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Wolff ’s entire theory of psychology is based on the imaginative power of the soul, which manifests itself in a passive state as sensation (‘Empfindung’). In the case of self-reflective entelechies (‘Geister’) the behaviour of the being in question is determined through the implementation of the imagination or other faculties of the active mind (intellectus agens). The seat of pleasure shifts for Wolff from animal instinct to the mental sphere. Perceptions of perfection give rise to pleasure while views of the imperfect and distorted cause displeasure.

Neither essentially material in nature nor subject to externally deterministic laws, the monad thus appears as the expression of the principle of self-realisation. Leibniz uses garden, plant and animal metaphors to illustrate this (§§, ). While every monad is different (§), operating like organic matter (§§ –) or germinating seeds (§), its nature is representative, and is thus a mirror of the universe as a whole. As such the individual monads are connected directly to God, ‘who is the cause of this correspondence between their phenomena’, and thus are indirectly connected to one another.

McCarthy aesthetic experience. Especially influential were Winckelmann and Lessing. Winckelmann re-established kalokagathia (‘the good and the beautiful’) as the anthropological ideal with its qualities of ‘edle Einfalt und stille Gr¨oße’ (‘noble simplicity and quiet grandeur’). Lessing identified the essence of aesthetic experience, whether in the fine arts or belles lettres, as residing in movement either implicit or explicit, since nature is always changing.  As a consequence, Lessing urges the artist to think ‘in transitions’ (‘transitorisch denken’), in keeping with the movement of nature (LW III, ).

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