Welcome to LearnEnglish Kids
The relation of Spinoza鈥檚 Substance to its attributes is ambiguous. It is at once their cause, their totality, and their unity. The highly elastic and indefinite term Power helped these various aspects to play into and replace one another according to the requirements of the system. It is associated with the subjective possibility of multiplying imaginary existences to any amount; with the causal energy in which existence originates; and with the expansiveness characteristic alike of Extension and of Thought. For the two known attributes of the universal substance are not simply related to it as co-predicates of a common subject; they severally express its essential Power, and are, to that extent, identical with one another. But when we ask, How do they express Power? the same ambiguity recurs. Substance is revealed through its attributes, as a cause through its effects; as an aggregate through its constituents; and as an abstract notion through its concrete embodiments. Thus Extension and Thought are identical through their very differences, since these illustrate the versatility of their common source, and at the same time jointly contribute to the realisation of its perfection. But, for all practical purposes, Spinoza deals only with the parallelism and resemblance of the attributes. We have to see how he establishes it, and how far he was helped in so doing by the traditions of Greek philosophy.