Spinoza's Cosmological Argument in the 'Ethics'

Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (4):439 - 462 (2011)
Abstract
This paper discusses Baruch de Spinoza’s cosmological argument for the existence of God (CA) as it can be found in ’Ethics’, I, proposition 11, demonstration 3. The aim of the article is to provide a reconstruction of the argument by developing the underlying metaphysical framework governing it. It is partly motivated by Michael Della Rocca’s attempt to account of fundamental principles of Spinoza’s philosophy. According to him, all dependence relations in Spinoza can be reduced to conceptual ones. I argue to the contrary that Spinoza’s theories of causation and power are more fundamental than his theory of concepts. I discuss the CA as a point of departure for arguing this, and for suggesting what I consider to be a more faithful approach to Spinoza’s metaphysics as a whole
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