The divine essence and the conception of God in Spinoza

Synthese 135 (3):329 - 338 (2003)
I argue against a prevailing view that the essence of Godis identical with the attributes. I show that given what Spinoza says in 2d2 – Spinoza'spurported definition of the essence of a thing – the attributes cannot be identical withthe essence of God (whether the essence of God is understood as the distinct attributesor as a totality of indistinct attributes). I argue that while the attributes do notsatisfy the stipulations of 2d2 relative to God, absolutely infinite and eternal power does satisfythose stipulations. Hence, I conclude that absolutely infinite and eternal power is God'sessence and that the attributes are expressions of that power.
Keywords Spinoza  Essence  Attributes
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DOI 10.2307/20117372
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