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It is well known that the modern atomists assumed the ancient thesis that things are composed of simple entities. It is also known that Leibniz went beyond atomism, since he affirmed that the true substances on which things are founded, the so-called monads , cannot be divisible or extended, for they are souls. For Christian Wolff, the elements of bodies are not extended; these elements have no figure and no magnitude whatsoever, they fill no space and are indivisible. In the Monadologia physica , published in , Kant also argues that the ultimate principles of bodies are the monads or simple substances.
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The Monadology French : La Monadologie , is one of Gottfried Leibniz 's best known works representing his later philosophy. It is a short text which sketches in some 90 paragraphs a metaphysics of simple substances , or monads. During his last stay in Vienna from to September , Leibniz wrote two short texts in French which were meant as concise expositions of his philosophy. Christian Wolff and collaborators published translations in German and Latin of the second text which came to be known as The Monadology. Without having seen the Dutch publication of the Principes they had assumed that it was the French original of the Monadology, which in fact remained unpublished until The monad , the word and the idea, belongs to the Western philosophical tradition and has been used by various authors.