Logic Language

A modern formal logic primer: sentence logic by Paul Teller

By Paul Teller

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But we can also use general terms to specify divine Ideas - The Cat and The Dog are divine Ideas - and it is quite wrong to say on that account 'God is a cat' and 'God is a dog'. There is thus a distinction between attributes and Ideas in God; of Ideas I shall have a little more to say, later. I return, then, to my medieval Muslim-Jewish-Christian imbroglio. In all three religions, men were keenly agitated about whether the divine attributes were or were not really distinct from each other and from God; for Muslims, the question arose about the ninety-nine Beautiful Names in their concrete and abstract forms.

17) There is, then, a problem for Spinoza about individuals. Basically, however, his position seems to be cIear, even if not completely consistent: to be an individual is to be a little lump of God under one or more of the attributes. In the case of human individuals, under J. J. Maclntosh 34 two attributes, thought and extension. Now, what is it for such twoattribute entities to know something? They must, at least, have ideas in their minds. And this brings us to the second main problem that Spinoza has about individuals: his metaphysical views make the problems that cluster around the individuality of ideas even more severe for hirn than for other seventeenth-century philosophers.

One way, and the only way, to achieve this necessity is to provide, implicitly or explicitly, an ontological guarantee, to find something in the things that will be there to ground the certainty of our beliefs. 1t is in this ontological sense that Descartes tries to provide a 'criterion' of external reality. The criterion is not merely an epistemological test but is an ontological category that will ensure the certainty of knowledge. The apparent need for an ontological warrant for knowledge arises because the object of knowledge, the intention of the mental act (what is perceived), is withheld by the theory of ideas.

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