Authors
Stephen Zylstra
University of California at Santa Barbara
Abstract
I address an apparent conflict between Spinoza’s concepts of immanent causation and acting/doing [agere]. Spinoza apparently holds that an immanent cause undergoes [patitur] whatever it does. Yet according to his stated definition of acting and undergoing in the Ethics, this is impossible; to act is to be an adequate cause, while to undergo is to be merely a partial cause. Spinoza also seems committed to God’s being the adequate cause of all things, and, in a well-known passage, appears to deny categorically that God is capable of undergoing. How then can God also be the immanent cause of all things, as Spinoza claims? On the basis of a close reading of the passage in question, I argue that Spinoza actually distinguishes between two senses of undergoing. An immanent cause undergoes not by being a partial cause but rather by being the metaphysical subject of its effect. While this sense of undergoing has its roots in scholasticism, Spinoza’s willingness to attribute such a capacity to undergo to God is idiosyncratic and reveals important ways in which his understanding of essence, perfection, and causation differs from the scholastic model.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1515/agph-2020-1002
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,323
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

View all 47 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Immanence and Causation in Spinoza.Christopher P. Martin - 2015 - In Andre Santos Campos (ed.), Spinoza: Basic Concepts. Exeter, UK: pp. 14-24.
Teleology and Human Action in Spinoza.Martin Lin - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (3):317-354.
Spinoza on Human Purposiveness and Mental Causation.Justin Steinberg - 2011 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 14.
Spinoza's Essentialist Model of Causation.Valtteri Viljanen - 2008 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):412 – 437.
Spinoza and Gödel: Causa Sui and Undecidable Truth.Martin Zwick - 2007 - North American Spinoza Society Monograph 13:46-52.
‘Strange Impotence of Men’: Immaterialism, Anaemic Agents, and Immanent Causation.John Russell Roberts - 2010 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (3):411-431.
Spinoza's Concept of Power.Richard Reilly - 1994 - Dissertation, Rice University
Spinoza's Metaphysical Psychology.Michael Della Rocca - 1996 - In Don Garrett (ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 192--266.
Le don de Spinoza à la phénoménologie de Jean-Luc Marion.Stéphane Vinolo - 2016 - Laval Théologique et Philosophique 72 (2):299-317.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-03-07

Total views
26 ( #420,091 of 2,448,710 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #97,303 of 2,448,710 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes