Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Actual and the PossibleModality and Metaphysics in Modern Philosophy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mark Sinclair

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786436

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786436.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 March 2021

Aspects of Spinoza’s Theory of Essence

Aspects of Spinoza’s Theory of Essence

Formal Essence, Non-Existence, and Two Types of Actuality

(p.11) 1 Aspects of Spinoza’s Theory of Essence
The Actual and the Possible

Mogens Lærke

Oxford University Press

In this article, I develop an ‘aspectual’ reading of Spinoza’s doctrine of formal essence, objective being, existence and non-existence, and actuality of things that conforms to his monism understood as a one-level ontology. By an aspectual reading, I understand a reading that takes all these different qualifications to always refer to different aspects of one and the same thing rather than different entities. My aim is to refute and provide an alternative to a currently prominent Platonizing approach to Spinoza’s theory of essences basing itself on a dichotomy of formal and actual essences that I take to be a false dichotomy. I argue in particular that any notion of unactualized formal essences is inconsistent with Spinoza’s commitments on the level of both ontology and modal philosophy.

Keywords:   Spinoza, formal essence, objective being, actuality, non-existence

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .