Backing into Spinozism

Samuel Newlands
University of Notre Dame
One vexing strand of Spinozism asserts that God's nature is more expansive than traditionally conceived and includes properties like being extended. In this paper, I argue that prominent early moderns embrace metaphysical principles about causation, mental representation, and modality that pressure their advocates towards such an expansive account of God's nature in similar ways. I further argue that the main early modern escape route, captured in notions like “eminent containment,” fails to adequately relieve the metaphysical pressures towards Spinozism. The upshot is that those sympathetic with these early modern projects must embrace a costlier option if they are to successfully escape the orbit of Spinoza.
Keywords Spinoza  Early Modern Metaphysics  Eminent Containment  Causation  Mental Representation  Modality
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DOI 10.1111/phpr.12219
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Kant's Possibility Proof.Nicholas Stang - 2010 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (3):275-299.
Kant, Modality, and the Most Real Being.Andrew Chignell - 2009 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 91 (2):157-192.
Leibniz and the Ground of Possibility.S. Newlands - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (2):155-187.

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