Source:

Sämtliche schriften und briefe series VI, volume 4
Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften
p 1615



Date: April - October 1686 (?)

Translated from the French



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LEIBNIZ: ON THE GENERAL RELATION OF ALL THINGS


[A VI 4, p1615]

     The general and exact relation of all things between themselves proves that all parts of matter are full of organism. For as each part of matter has to express the others, and among the others there are many that are organic, it is clear that there must be the organic in what represents the organic.
     I even add that there is no chaos in nature, nothing that is not fashioned artistically even down to its parts, however small they might be. It is true that we notice many crude pieces, which appear to lack artistry, but what is fashioned is too small to be apparent, yet it is everywhere. God's wisdom does not permit there ever to be a true chaos, as this would be a defect of his artistry.
     It follows from that that we could not identify parts with nothing organic in them, because one such part, when it expresses the others, which are organic, would have something of the organic in it too, contrary to the hypothesis.


© Lloyd Strickland 2005
With thanks to Geert de Wilde