Spinoza, Platonism and Naturalism


in Rationalism, Platonism and God

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264201
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734670 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Spinoza, Platonism and Naturalism

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  • History of Western Philosophy


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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

Chapter.  10140 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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