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- According to Leibniz, the world is made up of indivisible, but nevertheless complex, self-sufficient units that he called monads.
- Engels sees this process of the endless movement of crowds as emblematic of the dissolution of humankind into a race of monads, of individuals reduced to selfish atoms in a world of atoms.
- Thus this reality cannot be the sheer resultant of the juxtaposition of individuals who are monads, totally self-sufficient and self-referring entities, with respect to one another.
- An artwork then, when seen as one of Leibniz's monads, is its own universe but its perspective is within the larger totality of society in which the other artworks reside and refer.
- Now a partless, or indivisible entity does not necessarily have to be infinitesimal: souls, individual consciousnesses, and Leibnizian monads all supposedly lack parts but are surely not infinitesimal.