Excerpt: ...nor by the efficient cause, which necessarily posits the existence of the thing but does not take it away. VI. By reality and perfection I understand the same thing. VII. By individual things I understand things which are finite and which have a determinate existence; and if a number of individuals so unite in one action that they are ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...nor by the efficient cause, which necessarily posits the existence of the thing but does not take it away. VI. By reality and perfection I understand the same thing. VII. By individual things I understand things which are finite and which have a determinate existence; and if a number of individuals so unite in one action that they are all simultaneously the cause of one effect, I consider them all, so far, as one individual thing. Axioms I. The essence of man does not involve necessary existence; that is to say, the existence as well as the non-existence of this or that man may or may not follow from the order of Nature. II. Man thinks. 157 III. Modes of thought, such as love, desire, or the emotions of the mind, by whatever name they may be called, do not exist, unless in the same individual the idea exist of a thing loved, desired, etc. But the idea may exist although no other mode of thinking exist. IV. We perceive that a certain body is affected in many ways. V. No individual things are felt or perceived by us excepting bodies and modes of thought. The Mind of God Individual thoughts, or this and that thought, are modes which express the nature of God in a certain and determinate manner. God therefore possesses an attribute, the conception of which is involved in all individual thoughts, and through which they are conceived. Thought, therefore, is one of the infinite attributes of God which expresses the eternal and infinite essence of God or, in other words, God is a thinking thing. This proposition is plain from the fact that we can conceive an infinite thinking Being. For the more things a thinking being can think, the more reality or perfection we conceive it to possess, and therefore the being which can think an infinitude of things in infinite ways is necessarily infinite by his power of thinking. Since, therefore, we can conceive an infinite Being by attending to thought alone, thought is necessarily one of the infinite attributes of...Read Less
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