Neutral-monism-300x210Hey everyone, it’s Saturday once again which brings us to another philosophical story challenge. For this week’s challenge we’re going to be dealing the idea of Monism. Monism can be described as the belief in a single reality or substance. That is, at our essence, all existing things go back to one distinct thing or source. There are multiple theories of Monism that usually distinguish themselves by what they believe the source is (e.g. matter vs mind vs ‘the universe’). Even Platonism and Neoplatonism hold to a form of monism with their theories of the forms.

According to Wikipedia (very trustworthy, I know, but this isn’t a research paper it’s a blog post!) there are three basic types of Monism.

  • Substantial monism, “the view that the apparent plurality of substances is due to different states or appearances of a single substance”
  • Attributive monism, “the view that whatever the number of substances, they are of a single ultimate kind”
  • Partial monism, “within a given realm of being (however many there may be) there is only one substance”

With this information at hand, your challenge this week is to write a story that involves at least one form of monism, either as an over-arching philosophy behind the story or as a belief held by a specific character or group of people within the story. Good luck and have fun!



3 thoughts on “Philosophical Story Challenge

  1. So, can theism be a form of monism? The belief that underlying everything is God? I guess if you’re talking about as a ‘material’ or ‘substance’ (even an insubstantial one), that’d be pantheism, wouldn’t it?

    1. That’s a good question. Many theists reject monism because it would suggest that everything and everyone is a literal part of God; of course there are some theistic beliefs that do hold to this principle (or at least something similar to it). I want to say that Hinduism is one, but it’s been a long time since I’ve thoroughly studied Hinduism so don’t quote me on that. All that aside, I have met a few Christian theists who hold to some outlying forms of monism and while I disagree with them theologically they certainly know how to defend their position.

    2. Yea, pantheism can certainly be monistic. God doesn’t so much underly everything, but is everything.

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