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Spinoza as a Scotist: Formally Distinct and Univocal

Posted Here is a lengthy selection from Gilles Deleuzes’ 1968/1992 monograph on Spinoza, in which he presents the essentially Duns Scotus foundation of Spinoza metaphysics, resting on both a principle of univocality and the formal distinction. It is an important point connecting Spinoza to Scholasticism, but also, perhaps much to Deleuze’s chagrin, to Decartes as well…

I believe it takes nothing away from Spinoza’s originality to place him in a perspective that may already be found in Duns Scotus. The analysis of how Spinoza for his part interprets the notion of univocality, how he understands it in an altogether different way from Duns Scotus, must be postponed till later. It will suffice for the moment to bring together the primary determinations of the attribute. Attributes are infinite forms of being, unlimited, ultimate, irreducible formal reasons; these forms are common to God whose essence they constitute, and to modes which in their own essence imply them (49)…

“It was without doubt Scotus who pursued farther than another other the enterprise of a positive theology. He denounces at once the negative eminence of Neoplatonists and the pseudoaffirmation of the Thomists, and sets against them the univocality of Being: being is predicated in the same sense Read more of this post