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ISBN-10: 1844655784

ISBN-13: 9781844655786

The arrival of recent technological know-how introduced deep demanding situations to conventional faith. Miracles, prophecy, immortal souls, absolute morality - all of those basic notions have been challenged by means of the more and more analytical and skeptical procedure of contemporary scientists. One thinker, Baruch Spinoza, proposed a brand new theology, rooted in an in depth research of the Bible, that can healthy this new technological know-how and supply a legitimate foundation for a social order. "Spinoza's Radical Theology" explains the mechanics and that means of Spinoza's principles and the way they could tell the questions with which we nonetheless fight this present day.

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Additional info for Spinoza's Radical Theology: The Metaphysics of the Infinite

Example text

Another way of making this point is to say, with Aristotle, that substances are the subjects of predication. This is not merely the claim that the names of substances usually occupy the “subject” part of a complete grammatical sentence. It is rather to say that when we talk about the world, we talk first and foremost about what happens to substances. Talk of properties and relations is somehow derivative of our talk of substances. They are the “players” in the universe. As I said, most philosophers do not insist that substances are wholly self-sufficient.

12) Spinoza’s puzzlement is over why anyone would take a created thing, mouthing such words, to be an instrument being employed by an infinite, eternal, changeless being. We might wonder: if a man, donkey, or pillar of fire were to declare to us “I am the number seventeen”, how could we possibly relate that voice to that number? The number is not a man or a donkey, or indeed any sort of thing that can manipulate a body into speaking its mind; but neither, according to Spinoza, is God. So why would a human ever take a humanlike voice as issuing either directly or indirectly from an eternal, infinite being?

It is nothing we have made up or invented. It is the fabric, the contours, of mathematical space, or logical space. Metaphysicians of the deepest sort, such as Plato and Spinoza and Leibniz, also sought to map the truths of logical space. But instead of concerning themselves merely with numbers, sets and shapes, they concerned themselves with our deepest and most powerful concepts, such as substance, cause, property and relation. They believed there are necessary truths about these concepts as well, such as that every substance has a cause, and that substances are more basic (“more real”) than the relations they bear to one another.

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Spinoza's Radical Theology: The Metaphysics of the Infinite


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