By P. Zelazo, et al.,
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Extra resources for Cambridge handbook of consciousness
An important difference between the two theories is that, unlike Spinoza, Leibniz can maintain a distinction between things that have minds or mental attributes from those that do not, despite his panpsychism. This crucial distinction hinges on the difference between a ‘mere aggregate’ and what Leibniz sometimes calls an ‘organic unity’ or an organism. Each monad represents the world – in all its inﬁnite detail – from a unique point of view. Consider a heap of sand. It corresponds to a set of monads, but there is no monad which represents anything like a point of view of the heap.
460–3 70 bce). His principle of emergence was based upon the possibility of multi-shaped, invisibly tiny atoms interlocking to form an inﬁnity of more complex structures. But Democritus, in a way echoing Anaxagoras and perhaps hinting at the later distinction between primary and secondary properties, had to admit that the P1: JzG 05 2185 743 0c02 14 CUFX049/Zelazo 0 5 21 85 743 0 printer: cupusbw January 5 , 2007 the cambridge handbook of consciousness qualities of experience (what philosophers nowadays call qualia, the subjective features of conscious experience) could not be accounted for in this way and chose, ultimately unsatisfactorily, to relegate them to non-existence: ‘sweet exists by convention, bitter by convention, in truth only atoms and the void’.
According to Descartes, mind is a second kind of substance, with, naturally, its own set of characteristically mental properties. Thus one basic form of materialism involves merely the denial of mental substance, and the early materialists were keen to make this aspect of their views clear. But denial of substance dualism leaves open the question of the nature of mental properties or attributes (consciousness can be regarded as a feature of the brain, but is no less mysterious for being labeled a property of a physical object).