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Hegel or Spinoza$
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Pierre Macherey

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677405

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677405.001.0001

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The Problem of Attributes

The Problem of Attributes

The Ambiguity of the Concept of Attribute

(p.77) 3 The Problem of Attributes
Hegel or Spinoza

Pierre Macherey

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses Hegel’s objections to the relation of the attributes to substance. Hegel reduces the attributes to external forms of reflection that have lost all solidarity with substance from which they apparently emerge. The relationship of substance to its attributes is a chronological one; substance exists before its attributes and is greater than them. Meanwhile, Spinoza argues that the concept of attribute specifically eliminates the possibility of such subordination, stating that attributes express the very nature of substance in every possible way. Finally, Hegel interprets the distinction between attributes as a relationship of opposition, reflected through the distinction between thought and extension.

Keywords:   Hegel, Spinoza, attributes, substance, thought, philosophical extension

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