chapter  4
The contradiction between static unity and dynamic multiplicity in existence
Pages 15

This chapter discusses the contribution of the contradiction between static unity and dynamic multiplicity to a better understanding of the fundamental status of contradiction in Spinoza's philosophical system. The contradiction in the matter of unity and multiplicity joins a long line of contradictions in other fundamental issues within his metaphysics. The indivisibility of the attribute of extension, which is called here in Cartesian terms corporeal substance, is one of the more radical implications of his strict conception of unity. He adopts the term corporeal substance from the lexicon of his opponents for two reasons: first, because this term serves well his attempts to win over, through the use of rhetorical means, philosophers from the Cartesian camp. Spinoza, who equates unity with dynamicity, seems to opt for a Christian point of view. In the framework of the idea of the trinity God is understood as one that is three. Yet the similarity is only very partial.