Aristotle's essentialism distinguishes between what belongs in itself and what belongs accidentally. Yet two distinct kinds of entity belong in itself: those that belong to something in what it is, and those that have what they belong to in the account of what they are; it is not clear in what sense the latter are essential. I articulate the nature of these entities, and argue that they are indeed essential in that they cannot not belong to their subjects. This is because they are 'entrenched' within the generic matter that is 'worked up' into the substance that is their subject.
Spinoza claims that God is extended and corporeal, but he resists identifying God with the extended, corporeal world. How then are we to understand the relation of God to the physical world? This essay first critically examines interpretations offered by Schmaltz and Woolhouse which claim that Spinoza's God is not actually extended, but a nonextended essence of extension. It is then suggested that Spinoza's God can be understood as something akin to (a modified version of) scholastic prime matter. On this view, Spinoza's God is actually extended, but cannot be identified with the corporeal world, which is changeable and variegated in a way that prime matter is not.
I distinguish two senses in which organisms are mechanically inexplicable for Kant. Mechanical inexplicability in the first sense is shared with artefacts, and consists in their exhibiting regularities irreducible to the regularities of matter. Mechanical inexplicability in the second sense is peculiar to organisms, consisting in the reciprocal causal dependence of an organism's parts. This distinction corresponds to two strands of thought in Aristotle, one supporting a teleological conception of organisms, the other supporting a conception of organisms as natural. Recognizing this distinction helps us to see how a teleological conception of organisms is compatible with recent advances in biology.
In this paper I explore one issue in the history of German Idealism which has been widely neglected in the existing literature. I argue that Salomon Maimon was the first to suggest that Spinoza's pantheism was a radical religious (or 'acosmistic') view rather than atheism. Following a discussion of the historical context of Maimon's engagement with Spinoza, I point out the main Spinozistic element of Maimon 's philosophy: the view of God as the material cause of the world, or as the subject in which all things inhere. I argue that this doctrine was the basis of Maimon's Law of Determinability.