Facts as copies

Leibniz: A fact (or a contingency that happens to be actual) is a sort of copy, and so has a double relation to both a previous copy and an the original.

Communicated act is the source of fixity in the contingent and of knowledge.

Leaving aside errors, infinite copies of an image are possible. If God had his interns copying forever it might even be the case that every copy has a previous copy. But this does not do away with the original, which is thus both at an infinite distance from what we now have and immediately present to it.

If God is the original of a line of copies then by definition he contains no errors since these are nothing but deviations from the image. God is immediately all perfect, though in a way that has nothing to do with the “moral perfection” that we hear about God having.

Errors become possible because the relation of God to the universe-image is not the relation of the Father to his Image.

It’s easy to be impressed by how Leibniz is ahead of his time – it’s hard to explain what he is speaking of without talking about subconscious knowledge, programs reading information, information machines, etc. But he seems ahead of our time too by anticipating what it will take to have a true universe of copied information.

God is a source of information, but information is formal. In the world of “it from bit” things no longer can act on each other. Yet things clearly reference each other by their actions so as to form a unified whole, and so God becomes necessary as a primal programmer.

Leibniz seems to back off the idea of all truths beings pre-programmed into the monad, yet a purely formal system doesn’t seem to allow for this. Matter might do the trick.


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