Critique on Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz's Theories on the Mind Essay

Critique on Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz's Theories on the Mind Essay

Length: 1028 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz has the view that the mind of a substance, including humans, is not a composite entity. To Leibniz, the mind is similar to a mill, in the sense that it is like a machine where all of the parts of it work together. When, in reality, the mind is something that is complex, and needs both an intellectual and a technical side to it for it to function –quite unlike the machine Leibniz claims it is. His argument, known as “The Mill Argument”, states that if a person were to walk into a mill, he or she would observe the inner workings of it, and not know what the parts are made of, or how they are related. Nothing about the parts of the mill would provide insight as to how it works. Leibniz concludes that the mind is merely a mechanical substance, because there is no proof that there is a consciousness connected to the properties of the mind. However, the mind is composed of neurons, which allow the body experience sensations. This means that everything that composes the mind also composes thoughts and feelings, which makes humans not only material, but also thinking beings.
In Reflections on the Soul of a Beast, Leibniz writes:
“we also may easily conclude that in any mill or clock considered
by itself no perceiving principle is found that is produced in the
thing itself; and it makes no difference whether solids, fluids or
mixtures of the two are considered in the machine”
(Leibniz, Rutherford, Philosophy.ucsd).
Leibniz uses the example of the mill to illustrate the fact that there is a difference between the mechanics, and the mental state of the mind. For instance, an analysis of the mind would show that there is nothing that connects the material substance of the brain, to the perceptions it produ...

... middle of paper ...

...e. Which is why we do not analyse the mechanical parts of our Smartphones, or other machines, because we are aware that they are going to perform whatever task we choose to command of the technology. Our minds do not work in the same way as machines; we have multiple functions that we sometimes are not aware we can do, which is completely unlike a machine that can only function the way it is programmed. This is why Leibniz’s theory cannot be true.
Word Count: 1256

Works Cited

Locke, John. "IV.iii.6." An Essay concerning Human Understanding. Print.

Von Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, and Donald Rutherford. "Reflections on the Souls of Beasts." Philosophy.ucsd. N.p., 21 Nov. 2001. Web.

Von Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm. Monadology 17. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Biography of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz

- Biography of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz was born on the July 1, 1646 in Leipzig, Germany and died on November 14, 1716 in Hanover, Germany. He was the son of Friedrich Leibnitz, a professor of moral philosophy at Leipzig. Friedrich Leibnitz was evidently a competent though not original scholar, who devoted his time to his offices and to his family as a pious, Christian father. His mother was Catharina Schmuck, the daughter of a lawyer and Friedrich’s third wife. Friedrich died when Leibnitz was only six years old and he was brought up by his mother....   [tags: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz Mathematicians Essays]

Free Essays
3620 words (10.3 pages)

Comparing Two Prominent Nineteenth Century Architects: John Soane and Gottfried Semper

- John Soane (1753 – 1837), is one of the most original English architects. Soane’s personal style is superficially Neo-Classical, but with his interest in death and ruins Soane was also very much at the forefront of the picturesque design. Whilst Gottfried Semper (1803 -79), a German architect, took up Neo-Renaissance design as well as a belief that in the expression of the function of a building in its exterior, including any decorative. This paper will concentrate upon examine the difference and similarities of those two prominent architects in the 19th century....   [tags: Gottfried Semper, John Soane, architects, history,]

Strong Essays
1858 words (5.3 pages)

Essay Prince Klemens von Metternich and Prince Otto von Bismarck

- Prince Klemens von Metternich and Prince Otto von Bismarck can be compared to the dual sides of a Deutsche Mark, a Deutsche Mark that has sported different faces when repeatedly tossed over the years. After 1871, the Prussian-friendly German historians hailed Bismarck as the national hero who had united Germany while Metternich was deemed a failure. Then after the loss of the two world wars, the coin was again flipped, and Bismarck was seen as a bloodthirsty power monger while Metternich still carried the stigma of a failure....   [tags: Klemens von Metternich, Otto von Bismarck, Germany]

Strong Essays
2468 words (7.1 pages)

A Brief Biography of Gottfried Liebniz Essay

- Gottfried Liebniz was known as the last “Universal Genius” until Mr. Fitterer was born that is, but I am assigned to write this essay about Leibniz. Leibniz had many achievements in metaphysics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of religion, as well as mathematics, physics, geology, jurisprudence, and history. A French philosopher named Denis Diderot was even stunned by some of Leibniz’s work, “Perhaps never has a man read as much, studied as much, meditated more, and written more than Leibniz… What he has composed on the world, God, nature, and the soul is of the most sublime eloquence....   [tags: developed Calculus independently from Newton]

Free Essays
563 words (1.6 pages)

Theories of the Unconscious Mind Essay

- Theories of the Unconscious Mind Instincts are something that every human being has. They affect everything that we do in our day to day lives. Whether we realize it consciously or not. There are many forms of mental and emotional treatment, but psychoanalysis is different. It requires a certain mindset because of the ethical dilemmas that arise during sessions. There is no room for judgment; any judgment of anti-social or destructive thoughts are detrimental to the psychoanalysis process because the patient would shut down....   [tags: freudian theory, pyschology, confidenciality]

Strong Essays
1122 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Otto Von Bismarck And The 19th Century

- 19th century European politics saw the creation of countries and the forging of alliances that are still relevant today. However, the latter part of the 19th century was dominated by one powerful force: nationalism. This force was especially present in Germany, and when the German people demanded to be unified under one flag, Otto von Bismarck answered the call. By single-handedly unifying the German states, Otto von Bismarck secured his place as one of the greatest contemporary European statesmen....   [tags: Otto von Bismarck, German Empire]

Strong Essays
1645 words (4.7 pages)

Synopsis of Commanding Heights Essay

- Synopsis of Commanding Heights During World War I the main theories of economics came to light from two friends but intellectual rivals and are still used today. John Maynard Keynes believed that during tough economic times the market economies would go into excess and the market would not work. This is when the government should step in a help. Freidrich von Hayek believed that Keynes idea of the government stepping in was a threat to freedom and that the market would eventually balance by itself....   [tags: economic theories, Keynes, von Hayek]

Strong Essays
768 words (2.2 pages)

What Fuels Conspiracy Theories? Essay

- Conspiracy Theories Conspiracy theories, are they a bunch of made up old wives tales or are they reality as we know it. Well, first of all, let’s take a look at the definition of a “theory”. A “theory” or “theories” are analytical tools for understanding and explaining a given subject manner however, they aren’t always true, but they are generally expected to follow principles of rational thought or logic. Most conspiracy theories cause paranoia in certain people; it gives you the reality of this actually being true because they are published in books, written in large serious segments in websites etc....   [tags: Conspiracy Theories]

Strong Essays
1055 words (3 pages)

Socialization Theories: The Door in Our Mind Essay

- The Door in Our Mind At the beginning of every human life we are born with an open mind later to be molded. Once the molding reaches a certain stage the door closes and our journey to become who we are begins. As a young child is introduced to new enviorments, people and surrondings they are created into who they will become, a process called socialization. Socialization is a process of learning ones culture, it must be done at an early age to have the proper affects on the child. This process is done naturally when the door in the child’s mind is wide open....   [tags: freud, locke, erikson ]

Strong Essays
1658 words (4.7 pages)

Character Analysis of Wolfgang von Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther

- Character Analysis of Wolfgang von Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther The purpose of this papers it to give general information about the author, Wolfgang von Goethe, and introduce as well as analyze the main character of one of his most influential works: The Sorrows of Young Werther. The protagonist of this series of confessional letters, Werther, is in fact a tragic figure who committed suicide as a result of his loneliness and critical approach to society, as well as his obsession for a woman, Lotte, whom he could not eventually conquest....   [tags: Wolfgang von Goethe Papers]

Strong Essays
1943 words (5.6 pages)