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SpinozaBerkeley - Essay Example

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Infinite substance is indivisible in Spinoza's view. He argues that if infinite substance were divisible then it could either be divided into two finite parts or it could be divided into two equally infinite parts; both of them being impossible. This proves that there is only one infinite substance and Spinoza believes that to be God (13). Since God is infinite substance, every being in existence has its being in God and nothing can exist without God (9). He proves that God is infinite substance and that no other substance exists outside of God. Thus Spinoza claims that God is present in all things; God is omnipotent.
Spinoza argues that the will is the same as the intellect and in God, intellect is actual. God can think of infinite number of things in infinite number of ways. This infinite intellect of God comprehends all of God's attributes. All ideas are present in the intellect of God and the human mind is a part of the infinite intellect of God (13). Therefore, Spinoza maintains that ideas are adequate and true as long as they refer to God and reflect the essence of God. He also maintains that ideas that logically follow from such adequate ideas will remain adequate as well. Since adequate ideas must necessarily represent the essence of God, the idea of any substance's actual existence must also come from God. In this case, the human mind must be capable of knowing God and God's infinite essence.
Spinoza explains that the human mind may have both adequate and inadequate ideas. Adequate ideas are subject to reason whereas inadequate ideas are subject to emotions. There are three primary emotions from which all other emotions are derived - desire, pleasure and pain. Desire may arise from either pleasure or pain, pleasure arises from a transition from a lesser to a greater state of perfection and pain from a transition from greater to lesser state of perfection. For Spinoza, perfection is reality and since is God is absolutely perfect, he is also absolutely real (14).

Spinoza argues that knowledge of good and evil comes from awareness of what causes pleasure and pain. The greatest good of the mind and the greatest virtue it can hold is to know God. To act with virtue is to act with reason and freedom is the ability to act with reason. Freedom is the ability to act rationally and to control emotions; not to subject to emotions and make free undetermined choices. Spinoza agrees that all emotions need not conflict with reason. Emotions that compliment reason causes pleasure whereas pain is caused by emotions that conflict reason (12). Adequate ideas reflect the infinite essence of God and they are subject to reason. Acting with reason causes pleasure and spreads goodness to all. Inadequate ideas do not express the essence of God and thus, knowledge of evil is inadequate knowledge. Inadequate knowledge thus causes pain. According to Spinoza, reason can control emotions and to live freely one must not be in servitude to emotions. Reason is virtue and virtue is the knowledge of God and thus, Spinoza proves that the better control one exhibits over one's emotions, the better one can understand God (12). In Spinoza's view, all ideas are found in god and only those ideas that truly reflect the essence and knowledge of God are adequate and only those ideas provide freedom to the human mind.

Berkeley's book "Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous" is broken into three separate sections, or dialogues. Through the first dialogue he tries to ...Show more


Spinoza's "The Ethics" is written in five parts, in a highly logical style of definitions, propositions and proofs. Through his book, Spinoza describes God as an infinite eternal substance which exists (8). All things are made in accordance with the laws of the infinite nature of God…
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SpinozaBerkeley essay example
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