philosophy spinoza and descartes


Please respond to either prompt #1 or prompt #2 in two or three typed double-spaced pages.


1. Spinoza argues for a strong version of determinism called “necessitarianism.” Carefully explain what necessitarianism is and what Spinoza’s argument for it is. How does Leibniz’s distinction between necessity ex hypothesi (i.e. hypothetical necessity) and absolute necessity (DM 13) help him avoid this difficulty, and how does Leibniz’s claim that God chooses this world because it’s the best seem to threaten his strategy for avoiding necessitarianism?

2. Descartes argues for substance dualism, an ontology according to which there are two kinds of substances and a plurality of individual substances of each kind. Carefully and thoroughly explain Spinoza’s argument against the possibility of this ontology in Ip5 of the Ethics. How does Leibniz’s metaphysics avoid this problem, even though he thinks that all created substances are simple, immaterial, perceiving beings?

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