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Gerard
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xx Reading Tea Leaves?
« Thread started on: Mar 6th, 2015, 10:13am »

It seems to me that the belief that there must be some reason for everything (no matter how trivial) can lead (almost naturally and inevitably) into reading some meaning into everything.

And it seems to me that that's what lies behind palmistry, the reading of tea leaves, the ICHING, and other forms of divination.

What did Leibniz think of such things?

I think I read somewhere that he was interested in the ICHING, was this because of his belief in the PSR?

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xx Re: Reading Tea Leaves?
« Reply #1 on: Mar 8th, 2015, 12:19pm »

You are quite right. In 17th century rationalists God is everywhere. See, for example, Meditation V by Descartes or Spinoza's Ethics. The same with Leibniz - each monad is created (and ended) by God, so they all reflect him and God can read each state of the monad throught their complete concept. But men cannot do this due to their limited understanding.
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Nihil sine ratione.
Gerard
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xx Re: Reading Tea Leaves?
« Reply #2 on: Mar 9th, 2015, 01:53am »

But Leibniz would have regarded the concept behind augury as sound?

For example: There has to be some reason little Joey bit his tongue while talking, so maybe he wasn't telling the truth.

If you're king Charles I, and a friend suggests you peer into your future by opening a book and reading the first passage your eyes fall on, and you turn to a passage that reads "Nor let him then enjoy supreme command; / But fall, untimely, by some hostile hand" (from Virgil's Aeneid), there must be some sufficient reason you turned to that particular passage, and it's perfectly reasonable to assume that you're doomed (as king Charles I did in fact assume.)

I don't think Israeli Prime minister Netenyahu sneezed when he was giving his speech before congress, but suppose for a moment that he did, and that he did immediately after he spoke of Iran using an atomic bomb against the United States (if we allow them to continue enriching uranium.)

Given Leibniz's Principle of Sufficient Reason, and the ancient and widespread superstition that a speaker's sneeze is some kind of Divine affirmation the speaker is telling the truth, wouldn't there have to be some reason he sneezed at that particular moment?

And wouldn't it be perfectly reasonable to conclude that it could only be a warning of what lies ahead of we allow Iran to continue enriching uranium?

(And again, this is only a hypothetical, I'm unaware of the Prime Minister actually sneezing at any time during his speech--but is there any other way of looking at such things given Leibniz's PSR?)

Is this how Leibniz viewed what we would call superstition, and is that why he was interested in the ICHING?
« Last Edit: Mar 9th, 2015, 08:36am by Gerard » User IP Logged

mroinila
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xx Re: Reading Tea Leaves?
« Reply #3 on: Mar 10th, 2015, 12:10pm »

on Mar 9th, 2015, 01:53am, Gerard wrote:
But Leibniz would have regarded the concept behind augury as sound?

For example: There has to be some reason little Joey bit his tongue while talking, so maybe he wasn't telling the truth.

If you're king Charles I, and a friend suggests you peer into your future by opening a book and reading the first passage your eyes fall on, and you turn to a passage that reads "Nor let him then enjoy supreme command; / But fall, untimely, by some hostile hand" (from Virgil's Aeneid), there must be some sufficient reason you turned to that particular passage, and it's perfectly reasonable to assume that you're doomed (as king Charles I did in fact assume.)

I don't think Israeli Prime minister Netenyahu sneezed when he was giving his speech before congress, but suppose for a moment that he did, and that he did immediately after he spoke of Iran using an atomic bomb against the United States (if we allow them to continue enriching uranium.)

Given Leibniz's Principle of Sufficient Reason, and the ancient and widespread superstition that a speaker's sneeze is some kind of Divine affirmation the speaker is telling the truth, wouldn't there have to be some reason he sneezed at that particular moment?

And wouldn't it be perfectly reasonable to conclude that it could only be a warning of what lies ahead of we allow Iran to continue enriching uranium?

(And again, this is only a hypothetical, I'm unaware of the Prime Minister actually sneezing at any time during his speech--but is there any other way of looking at such things given Leibniz's PSR?)

Is this how Leibniz viewed what we would call superstition, and is that why he was interested in the ICHING?


Again, God through his infinite cognition can analyze all the states of the monads (seeing sufficient reason for everything), but men cannot do this. So we just to have to assume if we belive Leibniz that there is sufficient reason for everything - the whole world is rational in some sense. Of course, this is not without its problems - you can find a great discussion on this in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Leibnizs-System-Associated-Contemporary-Texts/dp/0198248458

For him, it is not superstition, it is seeing God's purposes in the world. I ching has nothing to do with this, it is related to his interest in binary code.
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Leibniz-resources
http://www.helsinki.fi/~mroinila/leibniz.htm
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