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Prop XXXI, Part One

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  • Frank Dixon
    Prop XXXI. The intellect in function, whether finite or infinite, as will, desire, love, &c., should be referred to passive nature and not to active nature.
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2 6:17 AM
      Prop XXXI. The intellect in function, whether finite or infinite, as
      will, desire, love, &c., should be referred to passive nature and not
      to active nature.

      Proof - By the intellect we do not (obviously) mean absolute thought,
      but only a certain mode of thinking, differing from other modes, such
      as love, desire, &c., and therefore (Def. v.) requiring to be
      conceived through absolute thought. It must (by Prop. xv. and Def.
      vi.), through some attribute of God which expresses the eternal and
      infinite essence of thought, be so conceived, that without such
      attribute it could neither be nor be conceived. It must therefore be
      referred to nature passive rather than to nature active, as must also
      the other modes of thinking. Q.E.D.

      Note - I do not here, by speaking of intellect in function, admit
      that there is such a thing as intellect in potentiality: but, wishing
      to avoid all confusion, I desire to speak only of what is most
      clearly perceived by us, namely, of the very act of understanding,
      than which nothing is more clearly perceived. For we cannot perceive
      anything without adding to our knowledge of the act of understanding.
      ==============
      Hmmmm. This one is a bit tougher.

      I'll repeat the "Note" from Prop XXIX just to get the ball moving.
      ==============
      Note--Before going any further, I wish here to explain, what we
      should understand by nature viewed as active (natura naturans), and
      nature viewed as passive (natura naturata). I say to explain, or
      rather call attention to it, for I think that, from what has been
      said, it is sufficiently clear, that by nature viewed as active we
      should understand that which is in itself, and is conceived through
      itself, or those attributes of substance, which express eternal and
      infinite essence, in other words (Prop. xiv., Cor. i., and Prop.
      xvii., Cor. ii.) God, in so far as he is considered as a free cause.
      By nature viewed as passive I understand all that which
      follows from the necessity of the nature of God, or of any of the
      attributes of God, that is, all the modes of the attributes of God,
      in so far as they are considered as things which are in God, and
      which without God cannot exist or be conceived.
      ==============
      Frank
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