Monad (Greek philosophy)

Monad (from Greek μονάς "monas", "unit"; "monos", "alone"), [Compact Oxford English Dictionary.] which according to the Pythagoreans, was a term for God or the first being, or the totality of all beings. Monad being the source or the One meaning without division.

For the Pythagoreans, the generation of number series was related to objects of geometry as well as cosmogony. [Sandywell, p. 205. "The generation of the number-series is to the Pythagoreans, in other words, both the generation of the objects of geometry and also cosmogony. Since things equal numbers, the first unit, in generating the number series, is generating also the physical universe. (KR: 256) From this perspective ‘the monad’ or ‘One’ was readily identified with the divine origin of reality."] According to Diogenes Laertius, from the monad evolved the dyad; from it numbers; from numbers, points; then lines, two-dimensional entities, three-dimensional entities, bodies, culminating in the four elements earth, water, fire and air, from which the rest of our world is built up. [Diogenes Laertius, " Lives of Eminent Philosophers."] [This Pythagorean cosmogony is in some sense similar to a brief passage found in the Daoist "Laozi": "From the Dao came one, from one came two, from two came three, and from three came the ten thousand things." (道生一、一生二、二生三、三生萬物。) "Dao De Jing," Chapter 42]

The term monad was later adopted from Greek philosophy by Giordano Bruno, Leibniz (Monadology), and others.

ee also

*Monism
*Dyad
*Triad
*Tetrad
*Pentad
*Decad
*Solar symbol
*Monad
*Circle with a point at its centre
*Tao

References

ources

*Hemenway, Priya. "Divine Proportion: Phi In Art, Nature, and Science". Sterling Publishing Company Inc., 2005, p. 56. ISBN 1-4027-3522-7
*Sandywell, Barry. "Presocratic Reflexivity: The Construction of Philosophical Discourse C. 600-450 BC." Routledge, 1996.


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