emphasize that cause and effect cannot be things which differ in kind. He says, e.g., that “If two things have nothing in common, the one cannot be the cause of the other; for then there would be nothing in the effect, which had also been in the cause, and everything in the effect would then have originated from nothing.” According to Spinoza the fact that two things are related as cause and effect signifies that the concept of the one admits of a purely logical derivation from that of the other. He does not distinguish between cause and ground. He identifies the relation of cause and effect with the relation of premises and conclusion. The fact that cause precedes effect in time, as well as in thought, finds no place in his theory. “From the standpoint of eternity” time disappears.
The cause of an event may therefore exist in the event itself or in something else. That which has its cause within itself is Substance. Substance is that which exists in itself and is understood through itself, so that its concept does not presuppose any other concept. We have already observed that Spinoza’s fundamental principle is revealed in the uniformity of nature. It is therefore the fundamental presupposition of all existence and efficiency. It follows from his definition, that it exists necessarily: it contains its cause within itself, and hence nothing can prevent its existence! Only one Substance is possible: for, if there were several, they would limit each other, in which case neither one could be understood from itself. It is likewise self-evident that Substance can neither have beginning nor come to an end, neither be divided nor limited.
This concept, which is Spinoza’s inner terminus of all thought, is at once identical with the concept of God and