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Of Men and MannersEssays Historical and Philosophical$
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Anthony Quinton and Anthony Kenny

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199694556

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694556.001.0001

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(p.17) 2 Spinoza
Of Men and Manners

Anthony Quinton

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the philosophy of Spinoza. Spinoza's most original, fundamental, and, in the eyes of his contemporaries, most shocking idea was that God and Nature, the creator and his creation, are not distinct things, but are one and the same. This pantheist doctrine had been anticipated by some ancient Greek thinkers and it is to be found in much Oriental thought. But the all-encompassing influence of Christianity had made it unacceptable to the European mind for more than a thousand years. For Spinoza the creator and his creation were not separate things but one single thing, viewed from different sides.

Keywords:   philosophy, God, Nature, Christianity, creator, creation, pantheist doctrine

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