RE: A propos de monad/About monads

From: Jan Skibinski (
Date: Mon Oct 04 1999 - 23:20:46 MET DST

Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 16:20:46 -0500 (CDT)
From: Jan Skibinski <>
To: "Frank A. Christoph" <>
Subject: RE: A propos de monad/About monads
In-Reply-To: <000101bf0e77$470d1500$>

On Mon, 4 Oct 1999, Frank A. Christoph wrote:

> Toby Moth has informed me (and given a semi-mystical exposition involving
> the Holy Trinity :) of another notion of "monad" hailing from non-standard
> real analysis, due to the logician Robinson, and in this case it appears
> that the term was in fact derived from Leibniz's ideas. These monads of
> course have nothing to do with the ones from category theory, which are the
> ones relevant for denotational semantics and functional programming.
> --FAC

        As a practitioner of monads you may find this Leibnitz's
        statement interesting:

        "Monads have no windows by which anything goes in or out"

        Did he predict monadic IO here? :-)

        There are few statements in his "Monadologia" that may
        explain the reasons why the name "monad" was borrowed by the
        category theory.

        Generally, what he wrote about monads might seem laughable
        to us now, but I have some respect to his other philosophical
        thoughts, particularly about time and space (isotropic,
        anisotropic, absolute, relative?). Modern physics considers such
        questions relevant.

         I also vaguely remember some old text (arabic?) which mentions
        monads as well. The concept of monads might have been much older
        than we think.


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