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The One Substance And Finite Things (1P16–28)

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Chapter Summary

It would seem to be self-explanatory that everything follows in one way or another from God (1p16), that God is the immanent cause of all things (1p18), that the attributes of God are eternal (1p19), that the existence and essence of God are one and the same (1p20) and that God is the cause not only of the existence of finite things but also of their essence (1p25). The theory of infinite modes and the propositions about causal order of finite things belong together. Spinoza determines the general form of the relation between the one substance and the plenitude of individual things, from which follow the scandalous consequences presented towards the end of the first part of the Ethics. This chapter gathers further observations and questions in order to be able to state the problems somewhat more precisely. It then interprets 1p16, the propositions 1p21-23 and, finally, the propositions 1p25-28.

Keywords: attributes; essence; Ethics; existence; finite things; God; one substance; propositions; self-explanatory; Spinoza



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