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Spinoza's Actualist Model Of Power

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Chapter Summary

This chapter outlines the basic role the concept of power plays in Spinoza?s system. It is uncontroversial that Spinoza?s God can be only purely active, ultimately the adequate cause of each and every thing. This is so already because there is nothing else besides God?s power that could bring about effects. But things appear more interesting, and challenging, when we consider the way in which God?s power is exercised. The chapter suggests that the actualist line of thought concerning God?s power underpins Spinoza?s theory of finite human existence in the following manner. All of our power is always completely exercised. There is no power that could remain to any degree potential: things are always fully causally operative, and are so of their own accord. In plainer words, all finite individuals always do everything they can.

Keywords: Benedictus de Spinoza; God?s power; theory of finite human existence



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