The Philosophical Incompatibility of Spinoza’s System with the World Soul Theory. Bayle’s Identification of Spinozism with the World Soul Theory, and Wachter’s Denial of the Same. Lessing’s Statement Concerning the World Soul, and His Alleged Spinozism in Jacobi’s Ueber die Lehre des Spinoza (11785), Mendelssohn’s Morgenstunden (1785), and Herder’s Gott. Einige Gespräche (1787). Herder’s Rejection of the Identification of God with the Weltseele

  • Miklós VassányiEmail author
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas / Archives internationales d'histoire des idées book series (ARCH, volume 202)


As we have just mentioned, Spinozism, i.e., BaruchSpinoza’s (1632–1676) ­system, or, more specifically, its psychological facet – his theory of the mind – has been considered by many as philosophically closely related to the theory of the world soul. The ground for establishing this alleged link has been what is termed by S.Zac asSpinoza’sanimismthe idea that ‘everything is animate to some specific degree’, “…omnia, quamvis diversis gradibus, animata tamen sunt”.If human mind,mens humana is “nothing else than the idea of an individual thing actually existing”(i.e., ifmind is a kind ofidea in that it is knowledge of the body correlated to it), and if, analogically, the divine mind is also one universalidea, then God, one of whose essential attributes is the material universe (the world of­extensio) forSpinoza, could be regarded as a mind correlated with that universe, i.e., as a sort of higheranima mundi.


Divine Attribute Divine Essence Roman Character Finite Mind Divine Mind 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts Department of General HumanitiesKároli University of the Hungarian Reformed ChurchBudapestHungary

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