A Critical Analysis of Spinoza’s Exposition of Ontological Argument

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran

2 PhD Student, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran


God for Spinoza is the essence that is the unique absolute truth of the existence. To prove the existence of God, Spinoza relies upon the ontological argument and argues that in order to verify the concrete existence of God, it is enough to imagine His essence. In the 11th question of his book on ethics, Spinoza provides four expositions of the ontological argument and proves God. His four expositions explain the implication of God’s existence from the imagination of His essence, the necessity of existence, the ability and power of God for existence as well as bestowing existence onto creatures that stem from lack of any obstacle for his existence. As a result, He can be considered as the most complete powerful existence and the necessary infinite. In sum, all his arguments root in the same vivid and distinct Kantian imagination of God which asserts that His existence can be verified through the imagination of His essence. In fact, his arguments are either reconstruction of previous arguments or the exact repetition of them with minor differences, even though offered as separate propositions.


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