Unpacking Spinoza’s Ontological Argument in Regards to Monism
Baruch Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher who was active in the mid to late 17th century. In Spinoza’s ontological argument he attempts to prove the existence of God as the root of all things that everything is created from as well as proving that God is the only true substance. According to Spinoza, “It pertains to the nature of a substance to exist” (Spinoza). This means that Spinoza believes existence is a necessary property of any single thing. Everything that exists is a substance or an affection (mode). This disagrees with other philosophers discussed throughout the course, such as Kant, who felt that existing was not a necessary property and that it could not be assumed…show more content… This means that existence is an inherent property of every substance and that existence is an attribute of every substance.
Secondly, Spinoza claims that, “Two substances having different attributes have nothing in common with one another” (Spinoza). He uses Definition 3 to justify this claim: “By substance I understand what is in itself and is conceived through itself, i.e., that whose concept does not require the concept of another thing, from which it must be formed” (Spinoza). In this Spinoza states that this substance is made up entirely of itself whilst simultaneously having been created by itself. Since the substance is created from itself, it is impossible for it to have been conceived by something else and therefore cannot share the same attributes as another substance.
Spinoza also states that “If things have nothing in common with one another, one of them cannot be the cause of the other” (Spinoza). According to Axiom 5, because these things have nothing in common, they cannot be understood through the other substance meaning that they cannot be the cause. Additionally, since Definition 3 makes it clear that the substance is entirely created from itself it is not possible for things that have nothing in common with one another to be the cause of its