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Rationalism, Platonism and GodA Symposium on Early Modern Philosophy$
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Michael Ayers

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264201

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264201.001.0001

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Spinoza, Platonism and Naturalism

Spinoza, Platonism and Naturalism

(p.52) (p.53) 4 Spinoza, Platonism and Naturalism
Rationalism, Platonism and God


British Academy

This chapter examines the strands of Platonism and naturalism in philosopher Baruch Spinoza’s metaphysics. It argues that Spinoza’s hierarchical system of substance, attribute, immediate and mediate infinite modes, and finite modes matches in some surprising respects Neoplatonist accounts of the emanation of the universe from God. It suggests that Spinoza’s perception of universal and necessary principles are more related to that of Thomas Hobbes than to Plato or Rene Descartes.

Keywords:   metaphysics, Baruch Spinoza, Platonism, naturalism, hierarchical system, God, Thomas Hobbes, Plato, Rene Descartes

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