Spinoza's arguments for the existence of God

It is often thought that, although Spinoza develops a bold and distinctive conception of God, the arguments that he offers which purport to prove God’s existence contribute nothing new to natural theology. Rather, he is seen as just another participant in the seventeenthcentury revival of the ontological argument initiated by Descartes and taken up by Malebranche and Leibniz among others. That this is the case is both puzzling and unfortunate. It is puzzling because although Spinoza does offer an ontological proof for the existence of God, he also offers three other non-ontological proofs. It is unfortunate because these other non-ontological proofs are both more convincing and more interesting than his ontological proof. In this paper, I offer reconstructions and assessments of all of Spinoza ’s arguments and argue that Spinoza ’s metaphysical rationalism and his commitment to something like a Principle of Sufficient Reason are the driving force behind Spinoza ’s non-ontological arguments
Keywords Spinoza  Ontological Argument  Cosmological Argument  God  Principle of Sufficient Reason
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2007.00076.x
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