The Essence of God and the Distinction of His Attributes in Spinoza’s Philosophy

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor of Philosophy at Imam Khomeini International University.

2 Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Imam Khomeini International University


Spinoza thinks that God is the only existent substance and all things are manifestations of it. In his view the manifestations of God in all infinite worlds is by his attributes which are infinite numerally and by their natures and they are united with his nature. In this world his nature has manifested by two attributes: thought and extension. Spinoza’s conception of God is so ambiguous that about it too many discussions took place between his commentators. Because of this he was called deist by some, atheist by some and pantheism by some. These paradoxical interpretations made it important to analyze his conception of God. There are two important theories in regard to the relation between nature and attributes of God: the theory of collection, according to which God’s essence is a collection of distinct attributes, and the theory of totality according to which God’s essence is identical with totality of his non-discrete attributes. This article tries to assess these deferent interpretations of Spinoza’s conception of God.


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