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From Medieval Mnemonics to a Social Construction of Memory - page 8 / 23





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First, that of Contradiction, by means of which we decide that to be false which involves contradiction and that to be true which contradicts or is opposed to the false. . . . And second, the principle of Sufficient Reason, in virtue of which we believe that no fact can be real or existing and statement true unless it has sufficient reason why it should be thus. (p. 258)

Leibniz (1993) also claimed there were two kinds of truths—truths of reason- ing and truths of fact:

The truths of Reasoning are necessary and their opposite is impossible. Those of Fact, however, are contingent, and their opposite is possible. When truth is neces- sary, the reason can be found by analysis in resolving it into simpler truths until we reach those which are primary. (p. 258)

According to Leibniz’s Monadology, individual entities or monads reflect imperfectly a small portion of this “indestructible universe.” From the Leibnizian point of view, total knowledge is not known by society and change occurs by small degrees from within an entity which is “a multiplicity in the unity . . . what is called Perception” (Leibniz, 1993, p. 253). Leibniz noted, “Apperception or Consciousness . . . the Cartesians have fallen into a serious error, in that they treat as non-existent those perceptions of which we are not conscious” (p. 253).

Leibniz’s (1993) Monadology abbreviates salient aspects of his grand theory of force, perception, knowledge, time, expectation, and God. Although Carte- sian theory argued for mechanicalism and extension in response to the problem- atic theory of substantial forms, Leibniz posited a theory of dynamism to com- plete the Cartesian mechanical theory of res extensa, which translates as an extended substance. Leibniz argued that extension was only a frozen attribute (or present condition) with modifications in only position and time and with no reference to past or future and no explanation for changes from the original itself (p. viii). Leibniz’s gradualist argument augmented the concept of using incre- mental time change studies to witness change but not explain it, because changes in the original came from within the original’s own force or dynamism, which acted ultimately in preestablished harmony or from within passions origi- nating in God (pp. XII-XIII). The Monadology and the Discourse on Metaphys- ics posit that something, which today we might call agency or solidarity, is attributable to a God or pure knowledge, is devoid of value judgments, and has qualities of what might be called “fate.” The contradictions and nuances of Leibniz’s philosophy have been the subject of much secondary research and are beyond the scope of this article. One condensed analysis of Leibniz’s philoso- phy explains the many different approaches that Leibniz explored in his quest to improve on Cartesianism, commenting that “the principles held by Descartes and Leibniz were both correct, though different, and their conflict only appar- ent” (Kellogg, 1902, p. 421). Leibniz also considered the significance of forgetting and immortality (Leibniz 1951, p. 340).

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