Week 2 – Spinoza I: Substance & Explanation

This week we look at Spinoza’s view of substance and its connection to one or another variety of the PSR. Among the questions we’ll be asking are the following: Does Spinoza endorse a version of the PSR? What role, if any, does it play in his monism argument? How is any version of the PSR related to his overall project in Ethics I? In what sense, if any, does Spinoza consider God/nature to be “self-caused”? How is his view of the causal-explanatory status of God different from that of Aquinas or Descartes?