Passage Analysis II

Choose from one of the two provided passages. In no more than 500 words describe the argument or point in the passage in as plain English as possible. The is due via email Friday, October 21st by 5 p.m.

Passage 1

Spinoza, Ethics I.p33.s1 (II/74)

A thing is called necessary either by reason of its essence or by reason of its cause. For a thing’s existence follows necessarily either from its essence and definition or from a given efficient cause. And a thing is also called impossible from these same causes-namely, either because its essence, or definition, involves a contradiction, or because there is no external cause which has been determined to produce such a thing.

But a thing is called contingent only because of a defect of our knowledge. For if we do not know that the thing’s essence involves a contradiction, or if we do know very well that its essence does not involve a contradiction, and nevertheless can affinn nothing certainly about its existence, because the order of causes is hidden from us, it can never seem to us either necessary or impossible. So we call it contingent or possible.

Passage 2

Kant, The Only Possible Argument In Support of a Demonstration of God’s Existence 2:91

None of the proofs which argue from the effects of this being to its existence as cause can ever - even granting that they are of the strictest character, which in fact they are not - render the nature of this necessity comprehensible. From the mere fact that something exists absolutely necessarily it is possible to infer that something is a first cause of something else. But from the fact that something is a first cause, that is to say, an independent cause, it only follows that, if the effects exist then the cause must also exist, not that the cause exists absolutely necessarily.