Descartes vs. Spinoza on Substance

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Throughout the history of metaphysics the question, What is? has always been answered in an incomplete,unsatisfactory or complicated manner, but Spinoza tried to answer this question in an exceptional way simply by describing God and His essence. Based on Spinoza’s views, God’s qualities can be referred to as attributes and modes are merely affections of a substance. This paper will provide a detailed view of Spinoza’s key ontological definition of God as the only substance, his attributes, and their co-relations. The study goes further to explore the major scholarly argument between Spinoza and Descartes, in regard to their view of substance, and its attributes. Descartes and Spinoza appear to hold different perceptions in regard to…show more content…
In simpler terms an attribute constitutes the essence of the substance.(3)Descartes holds that there happens to be only one substance that is believed not to depend on anything else, whatsoever, and that thing is God. For all other substances depend on God to survive. Both philosophers agree that God is the only infinite substance that does not depend on anything else. Spinoza sees God as the only infinite substance with several substances while Descartes indicates that God is the substance, in which we comprehend to be completely ideal, and fully independent. He also illustrates God as the substance that we conceive to be absolutely without any defect in its perfection. The two philosophers, however, had some differences in regard to the number of substances and their attributes. In spite of the fact that Descartes’ definition presents God as absolutely faultless; this presentation does not see him as more of a substance than every other finite substance. Descartes does not show God as the only substance, but he holds that there are other finite substances. Accordingly, the term ‘substance’ is not applied universally to God but as well as, to all other creatures. While some created things need only the normal concord of God to exist (in that case substances), others can only exist with the help of other created things. Such things are referred to, as per Descartes, attributes of substances. According to Spinoza, the assumption of

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