Pantheism in Spinoza and the German Idealists

Philosophy 21 (78):42 - 56 (1946)
In an essay on pantheism Schopenhauer observes that his chief objection against it is that it says nothing, that it simply enriches language with a superfluous synonym of the word “world.” It can hardly be denied that by this remark the great pessimist, who was himself an atheist, scored a real point. For if a philosopher starts off with the physical world and proceeds to call it God, he has not added anything to the world except a label, a label which, if we take into account the ordinary significance of the word “God,” might well appear unnecessary and superfluous: one might just as pertinently say that the world is the world as that the world is God. Neither the Jew nor the Christian nor the Moslem understand by “God” the physical world, so that, if someone calls the physical world God, he cannot be taken to mean that the world is God according to the Jewish or Christian or Moslem understanding of God. Does he mean any more than that the physical world is ultimately self-explanatory, that no Cause external to the world, no transcendent Being is requisite or admissible, i.e. that there is no God? If that were all there is in pantheism, the latter would indeed be indistinguishable from atheism, and those who called Spinoza an atheist would be fully justified
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/3748303
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,865
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Jennifer Mensch (2011). Intuition and Nature in Kant and Goethe. European Journal of Philosophy 19 (3):431-453.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

28 ( #109,369 of 1,724,937 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #210,935 of 1,724,937 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.