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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.

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Turning from sense to reason, Carneades attacks the syllogistic process on grounds already specified in connexion150 with the earlier Sceptics; and also on the plea that to prove the possibility of syllogism is itself to syllogise, and thus involves either a petitio principii or a regress ad infinitum.235 Such a method is, of course, suicidal, for it disproves the possibility of the alleged disproof, a consideration which the Stoics did not fail to urge, and which the later Sceptics could only meet by extending the rule of suspense to their own arguments against argument.236 Nevertheless the sceptical analysis detected some difficulties in the ordinary theory of logic, which have been revived in modern times, and have not yet received any satisfactory solution. Sextus Empiricus, probably copying an earlier authority, it may be Carneades himself, observes that, as the major premise of every syllogism virtually contains the minor, it is either superfluous, or assumes the proposition to be proved. Thus we argue that Socrates is an animal because he is a man, and all men are animals. But if we do not know this latter proposition to be true in the case of Socrates, we cannot be sure that it is true in any case; while if we know it to be true in his case, we do not need to begin by stating it in general terms. And he also attempts to show the impossibility of a valid induction by the consideration, since so often urged, that to generalise from a limited number of instances to a whole class is unsafe, for some of the unknown instances may be contradictory, while the infinite, or at least indefinite multiplicity of individuals precludes the possibility of their exhaustive enumeration.237.
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The implications of such an ethical standard are, on the whole, conservative; it is assumed that social institutions are, taking them altogether, nearly the best possible at any moment; and that our truest wisdom is to make the most of them, instead of sighing for some other sphere where our grand aspirations or volcanic passions might find a readier outlet for their feverish activity. And if the teaching of the first Stoics did not take the direction here indicated, it was because they, with the communistic theories inherited from their Cynic predecessors, began by condemning all existing social distinctions as irrational. They wished to abolish local religion, property, the family, and the State, as a substitute for which the whole human race was to be united under a single government, without private possessions or slaves, and with a complete community of women and children.79 It must, however, have gradually dawned on them that such a radical subversion of the present system was hardly compatible with their belief in the providential origin of all things; and that, besides this, the virtues which they made it so much their object to recommend, would be, for the most part, superfluous in a communistic society. At the same time, the old notion of S?phrosyn锚 as a virtue which consisted in minding one鈥檚 own business, or, stated more generally, in discerning and doing whatever work one is best fitted for, would continue to influence ethical teaching, with the effect of giving more and more individuality to the definition of duty. And the36 Stoic idea of a perfect sage, including as it did the possession of every accomplishment and an exclusive fitness for discharging every honourable function, would seem much less chimerical if interpreted to mean that a noble character, while everywhere intrinsically the same, might be realised under as many divergent forms as there are opportunities for continuous usefulness in life.80?
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Then as now, Judaism seems to have had a much greater attraction for women than for men; and this may be accounted218 for not only by the greater credulity of the female sex, which would equally predispose them in favour of every other new religion, but also by their natural sympathy with the domestic virtues which are such an amiable and interesting feature in the Jewish character. Josephus tells us that towards the beginning of Nero鈥檚 reign nearly all the women of Damascus were attached to Judaism;336 and he also mentions that Poppaea, the mistress and afterwards the wife of Nero, used her powerful influence for the protection of his compatriots, though whether she actually became a proselyte, as some have supposed, is doubtful.337 According to Ovid, the synagogues were much visited by Roman women, among others, apparently, by those of easy virtue, for he alludes to them as resorts which the man of pleasure in search of a conquest will find it advantageous to frequent.338.
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XII.527
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