Spinoza Doctrine Monism
Monism views reality as encompassing one object. Spinoza’s doctrine of Monism revolves around one subject, either God or Nature, from which everything else emanates. Spinoza borrowed part of his monism view from Descartes on how the substance influences attribute. However, unlike Descartes, who believed in the attribute of thought and attribute of extension, plurality aspect of a substance, Spinoza believed in one Substance; God or Nature. According to Spinoza, the substances are extended, contrary to the Cartesian doctrine that God is simple and indivisible. Spinoza demonstrates nature to be in parts that are inconsistent with the concept of substance monism. Spinoza monism does not involve existence or priority Monism because there is one Substance and many attributes attached that draw their existence from the Substance (Goff,2012). The mereology of the substance monism is the main differentiating factor between existence and priority monism. Mereology of Substance is the view of the Substance as an extension.
Spinoza categorizes extended beings into two; substances and modes and further into thinking substance and thinking modes. Extended substances have extension as attributes, and thinking substances have thoughts as the attribute. Modes are substance affections extended in terms of time and space, which Spinoza refers to as individuals and affection of modes. If we were to apply this to the real world, we would have humans as the modes and God as the Substance in whom or in what humans derive their existence. The affection of modes is the extended mode of extended mode or mode of the second order. Mode of thinking constitutes of affections of minds, ideas of objects, and reasoning of beings. We have many modes but only one Substance, ‘God or Nature,’ but Substance possesses extension and thoughts (Goff,2012). The Modes being extendable means they are divided into several parts that apply to nature but not to God, as Cartesian doctrine indicates. God cannot be divided into parts. Spinoza, therefore, posits that nature is mere logically simple though indivisible. A substance cannot depend on another substance following the definition of Monism. If two substances had the same attribute, it is not possible to differentiate them. This view also goes contrary to the Cartesian doctrine, which states substances can have more than one attribute. Cartesian doctrine is mentioned here because Bayle later mentions in his critique that Spinoza was a Cartesian, meaning that he advocated for Cartesian doctrine. The major differentiating factor between Cartesian doctrine and Substance Monism is the view of the Meteorology of Substances, which differentiates it from other doctrines.
Substances, attributes, and modes are the distinct features in Spinoza substance Monism. Which shows that human beings are not remarkable because they do not qualify as the Substance, which is the highest level of existence? Many finite modes that emanate from the Substance follow from the essential nature of God. This means that the plants, animals, both living and nonliving things, human beings follow the Nature of God as the substances in which these things have their existence.
What does Spinoza Substance Monism Mean?
The argument that there is only one Substance in which everything else emanates means that God must exist. The idea that man thinks about God means that God gives a man that idea because all things that pertain to a man come from God. According to the analogy of Monism, man cannot create an image of God. Man’s ideas do not come from him but an external source. He also states that scripture should be read and interpreted in terms of what is visible and not assumed, ‘miracles.’ The philosophical view of substances and their attributes indicate the essence of who God is in real life. The interpretation by Spinoza shows that God is not an entity but a substance of the universe with many other substances. Everything exists because of God but God is not a creator. Being an Atheist, Spinoza acknowledged the existence of God but not in the way most people see God as a supernatural being with unlimited powers and the ability to control the universe.
All other modes have equal attributes. This equates men to plants and other non-living things. Human –being is not unique based on substance monism. The position humans occupy in existence is equal to all other modes with thought attributes. According to the Cartesian, modes are not comparable because they have different attributes. For instance, Human has the attribute of thought while plants do not have the attribute of thought ( Balz, 1937). Again, humans have the attributes of ideas and objects of reason, not in non –living things or animals.
Spinoza was one of the most famous Atheists. An Atheist does not believe in the existence of God as a supernatural being. His attitude and philosophical view of existence generally conclude the God does not exist. His idea of God is more of Science than a supernatural being. He acknowledges that God exists and everything exists out of God, but his definition of who God is is contrary to religious people. Spinoza pointed out one time that God can be indeed be proven. He, therefore, constructed the Substance Monism that best describes the nature of God. When we look closely at Spinoza Monism, we see that it disregards the view of spirituality in existence. He can also not adequately explain some of the gaps in his doctrine contrary to the other proponents.
Spinoza, therefore, views the universe and everything in it as the defining factor of the external source of existence that controls modes based on what is visible. The idea of Monism could further explain the concepts of man. The distinct ideas from man come from God, which means they are divine and necessitate the reason they are true. He also views extension and thoughts equated to mental and physical as parallel; that is how ideas connect in the same manner. The simple explanation of extension and thoughts also relate to the simplicity of God, according to Monism.
Bayle points out the definition of Substance Monism of God or Nature as equating God to nature which does correlate with the character of the mode. God’s simplicity does not explain the complex nature of modes. Human nature does not reflect the God explained by Monism. Human nature is diverse and loaded with misery; however, God portrayed as unique, good, and immutable. In essence, man should be good too, or God should be influenced by man and take the nature of man. Bayle questions the view of God as an extension which is a simple entity. Bayle shows how allegation by a renowned philosopher like Spinoza is mocking the world with such a view. The simplicity of God does not relate to the complexity of modes which is an issue in itself.
Monism identifies distinct modes, which leads Bayle to get very personal in his criticism as to how he can distinguish himself from another man. Bayle finds it utterly absurd that thought and extension can exist in a single or their identification in a single substance. He further expresses concern of the irony of how people view others’ thoughts negatively without considering their own, which are as bad if not worse. The idea that man could be in different places at the same does not sit well with Bayle. For instance, how can a man be hot, cold, merry all at the same time? Bayle shows how Spinoza Monism is contradictory and lacks logic on the Substance. Bayle agrees with Spinoza that it is indeed true that Substance can have the same nature. The Substance is capable of having attributes of the same nature, contrary to the Monism view. According to Bayle’s observation, the use of mode to describe the parts that come from the Substance was out of place. The philosophical viewpoints of other proponents like Descartes backed Bayle’s allegations. Modes fit better in a created substance, but Bayle leaves the speculation to Christians and faith.
Substance Monism showed the parallelism of occurrence of an event in terms of connection of ideas and things. This brings us to question the mind and body. Parallelism of occurrence means that the mind and the body should work in unison. The complexity of mind and body are not explainable by a simple occurrence of ideas and things. Suppose human beings thought manifested in the body all the time. How interesting would that be? Parallelism, according to Spinoza, was a simple way to explain nature or God. That how we see nature is how we should explain it. But there are many questions that mere observation of nature cannot explain.
God the subject of Contradictory Predictions
Bayle’s criticisms of Spinoza Substance Monism show clear viewpoints based on reason and not just manipulation of words. Bayle attempts to link the philosophical viewpoint to real-world scenarios in a way that even a small child could understand. Bayle was trying to get beneath the real intention behind his highly illogical viewpoints and contradicted them. Bayle did not mention the wrong choice of Substance in his critics, but other proponents have touched on the poor choice of Substance to explain Nature or God in his Monism. (Ve Brykman, 1987). Bayle used tangible and real examples such as mind and body and the distinctive element of modes applicable in the real world. For instance, we expect people to be distinct, so how can we distinguish humans by bringing in the element of soul. Bayle also wanted to show how Spinoza Substance Monism brings the contradictory predication of God. Spinoza Substance Monism is an attempt to use logic and reasoning to explain away God. If He alleged God did not exist, then the questions that follow would be too hard for him to answer. Again, he would be going against other proponents whose claim of the existence of a supernatural being was not refutable. The explanation that God exists does not seem to carry enough weight in itself, but it helps keep away impossible questions.
Spinoza states that God exists because man exists. He does not put it in such exact terms, but that what he means. Or, to put it in a different way, God exists because man has created him in his ideas. Spinoza directly answers the question of the existence of God by bringing in the Monism concepts and then relating them to the logic and reasoning behind Substance Monism. He says that the substances are the ultimate reflection of what you see. Since man thinks that God exists, it means that God exists because that idea is from God. Bayle calls such reasoning an abomination. Like explaining to five-year things that happen to adults that they cannot understand at that age. If Spinoza answered that God did not exist, which was his indirect response anyway, nature and Science could not adequately cover the universe’s existence. An Atheist does not believe in God, but Spinoza did not want to answer it that way. It would discredit his reasoning and logic as a philosopher.
Spinoza Substance does not take one stand of nature or God to represent the Substance in his reasoning. This is one of the ways that brings contradictions, as alleged by Bayle. He balances nature and God, and this causes a further contradiction. God’s definition is not a supernatural being but part of the universe that everything draws its existence from. It not clear what this God would look like. According to Monism, we can look at the attributes of the modes to determine the answer. Bayle finds this absurd and not relatable to the real world. (Ve Brykman, 1987). Nature is not tangible in what we can see. If the modes such as humans have life, God must have life if were to interpret the Monism based on its logical assumption. There also plants, animals, oceans tables and all the other modes. God should have some form of life that relates to the mode that has their existence in God.
Bayle’s criticism was in part to address the fanatics to see reason in Spinoza Substance Monism. Bayle’s critical point or questions about the monism interpretation of the simplicity of God concerning the complex nature of humans. The view of God has an extension. Spinoza Responds to the simplicity of God by insisting that the conclusion to his reasoning should not be based on imagination but by the intellect. Spinoza appeals to Ethics to protect his logic from critics. Bayle points out the distinctiveness of objects that do not relate to the simple fact that Spinoza could not distinguish himself from another man. He responded by substituting mode to the part that translates into a fantasy to the onlooker. Substituting mode to part did not relate to Monism doctrine. Modes could also not exist as distinct beings, as alleged by Spinoza. Therefore, his response to most of the contradictions would be his silence, as seen by the muted response to other critics. He did not respond to the good view the substances could have more than one attribute as proposed by Descartes. Spinoza’s contrary position also caught Bayle’s eyes.
Inability to defend a viewpoint based on logic and reasoning is attacking the truth. It is drifting from the basics that govern what is known to a fantasy world. This fantasy world of reasoning and logic offers no point of rest. (Ve Brykman, 1987). Bayles’s conclusion of the matter alludes to the intentions of Spinoza in his doctrine Substance Monism. His doctrine has shocked many philosophers and non-philosophers alike, Thinkers and critics, Religious and non-religious people. However, based on Bayles’s article, Spinoza has a group of people whom Bayle refers to as fanatics who intend to liberate from Substance Monism doctrine through reason and logic.
An Atheist does not believe in God’s existence, and we see that Spinoza has remained true to this belief. However, we recognize atheism to be a religion. Religion does not become a religion by the belief in the existence of supernatural beings alone. Regardless of their view of the existence of God, they still believe in something. That something is what Spinoza wrote about that attracted a generous share of critics. Every religion has its share of fanatics, and atheism is no exception. Some of the things that religious people like Christians cannot explain they consult the scripture or ascribe it to an all-knowing supernatural being. Would it be unfair to describe Spinoza’s claims in this respect? That would be the individual perspective of the matter. The aim of Substance Monism convincing some of its monism doctrines. Spinoza doctrines have been weighted upon by identity theories to discover the motivation to his insights. Identity theories have tried to support the need to belong somewhere to construct truth that identifies with personal beliefs. Identity theories show the new perspective in understanding the body and mind relationship as one consequence of monist doctrine.
How satisfactory is Spinoza Response
Spinoza’s response to his critics is very satisfactory in discrediting his work as a religious fanatic and search of self-identity. Failure to respond is also another indication that He was not sure of his doctrine. After the many critics, he must have started to doubt himself too. The response he gave to some of the gaps in his reasoning does not stand logic. Anyone, even someone who has never gone to school, can question these gaps in the Substance Monism doctrine. The consequences of the doctrine go to questioning the intentions behind his reasoning to a deeper extent. Bayle’s criticism is full of allegations that depict Spinoza as someone not in touch with reality. Words like abomination and absurdity of the doctrine and the later statement in his conclusion that terms such reasoning as the frailty of the mind.
Spinoza is not able to defend his argument as a philosopher should. Some responses sound like defense. For instance when he said that the simplicity of God should not be related to imagination, and the senses do not seem to make the slightest sense. Even though his responses invalidate his stand however there are a few things that we can relate with. Looking at his doctrine in a more detailed sense, we can infer the following;
The search for identity by relating nature to existence has sparked a near belief that God exists. Whichever form or manner in which God is believed to exist, there is an eternal force that cannot be fully explained in human terms. This force is the essence of existence from which everything emanates from. The external force has no definable state, but it relates in one way or another with the other aspect that we can see, such as human beings, plants, animals, and even non-living things like table, chair stones, and other objects. Interestingly these conclusions are made by people who do not believe in the existence of God. Spinoza was an atheist. We can deduce that a higher being must exist somehow to explain better how existence through reason and logic. When it comes to the debate of Science and creation, the main themes under the substance monist doctrine, we can conclude one thing. The debate will never be won. Each side will have a seemingly valid point, and the other side will have questions that cannot be answered. However, choose the side that you want to choose and let us co-exist peacefully because the facts of where we came from, whether created or from evolution, will not change the fact that we exist. It will also not change the fact that one day we will die, and lastly, your belief in wherever you came from will influence your view of your identity and the fulfillment that life offers.
Balz, A. G. A. (1937). Cartesian Refutations of Spinoza. The Philosophical Review, 46(5), 461–484. https://doi.org/10.2307/2180831
Ve Brykman, G. (1987). Bayle’s Case for Spinoza. New Series, 88, 259–270.
Goff, P. (2012). Spinoza on Moni
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more