HomeAviationTravelPhotosMinistryResourcesBlogFunFilesXtraFilesResumeEmailTemp

History of Modern Philosophy
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. John Culp
February 6, 2004
"Substance, Freedom & God"

I.   Sources of Knowledge
A.   Descartes bases his knowledge on the intuitive certainty of the individual
B.   Spinoza thinks the basis of knowledge must be God, not the individuals
C.   Leibniz agrees with both, but human knowledge is more limited than Spinoza and Descartes therefore, certainty is not possible
II.   Substance
A.   Technical Labels
1.   Monism - the theory that reality is a unified whole and is grounded in a single basic substance or principle
2.   Pantheism - the belief that God and the material world are on and the same thing and that God is present in everything
B.   Descartes defines substance as an existent thing that requires nothing but itself to exist
1.   Thought things were created of an infinite substance
2.   God designed two kinds of substance
a.   Extended (physical)
b.   Thinking substance (nontangable)
C.   Spinoza recognizes some problems
1.   Dualism between mind and body
2.   Believed in one infinite substance
a.   This substance had an infinite amount of attributes
b.   We as humans can understand in two of its infinite ways
i.   Thought
ii.   Extension (physical)
c.   Everything is made up of God
i.   God is an infinite substance
a.   God is an infinite substance because there is no end, no beginning, and all things stem from Him
b.   If God is infinite than there is nothing that exists outside of Him
c.   Therefore God, God is the only substance
ii.   Problems from this arrive if we start discussing elements, or substances alienated from God because it means that God is now limited
a.   If God is limited, than He no longer is God in our understanding of that Being
b.   According to Spinoza, God must the only substance - there are no substances absence of God
3.   Two problems
a.   No significance to individual existence if we are all manifestations of the same substance (there is a difference between us and the table)
b.   If Spinoza is consistent, then Spinoza must admit that there is no evil (or God is evil)
D.   Leibniz finds these two theories problematic
1.   Believes we should look at the world made up of individual units energy (Monads)
a.   Elements of Monads
i.   They have no parts
ii.   Can't be divided
iii.   Must be unique
iv.   Can't be altered form the outside (not from others)
v.   It can change (itself) - Changes are guided by internal principle
vi.   Can't perish
b.   Relationship between God and the Monads
i.   They are created by God
ii.   Annihilated by God
iii.   Everything isn't a manifestation of God but rather a creation of His
c.   Aristotle's 4-types of Cause
i.   Material Cause
ii.   Efficient Cause - what makes stuff happen
iii.   Formal Cause - what makes the shape
iv.   Final Cause - the purpose of what has been created
2.   All little units of energy are preprogrammed to work together - in a sense, I didn't put on my shirt today, but rather my arm moved and the shirt went on together with out an interaction with each other
3.   Problem of Evil according to Leibniz
a.   God in creating saw all the possible worlds that could exist (arrangements of monads), in choosing which of those worlds to create, God, as a good God, chose the best world
b.   It may appear to us that He didn't chose the best world, but Leibniz questions if we have the capacity to understand the best world
4.   4 Significance things of Leibniz
a.   He shifted the concept of the basics of reality away from extended substance to energy
b.   His idea of pre-established harmony as an emphasis on reality
c.   First to use the term theodicy
d.   His attempt to explain all of reality in a systematic way provides an opponent to Kant who challenge the idea of giving a systematic explanation of all reality
III.   Freedom
A.   Two definitions
1.   Being able to act with out restriction
2.   An internal sense of direction, being free is being able to do something
B.   Concepts of Freedom
1.   Descartes - believes are mind capable of making mistakes, but our body is controlled by the physical world - freedom is very internal
2.   Spinoza - believes it is the clarity you have in the understanding of your purpose
3.   Leibniz - the internal direction of each moment, which comes from God
IV.   Concept of God
A.   Descartes - God is an infinite substance, that creates other substances
B.   Spinoza - God is the infinite substance, that expresses itself various ways
C.   Leibniz - God is a simple substance that establishes the harmony of the monads
JerusalemUniversityCollege_SideAd2