Explain the three kinds of being, God, Christ and Creatures, in the system of
Conway. How does she explain the relationship between these three kinds of being?
Conway states that there are three kinds of substances, including God, Christ and
creatures. According to Anne Conway, the substance of God comprises of pure spirit, and the
substance of Christ covers both man and God (Borcherding, 5). As such, the substance of Christ
includes both matter and spirit. Christ is the bridge for the relationship between God and man.
Conway argues that the three substances, God, Christ and creatures, share traits. In this case, all
the substances contain the spirit, but Christ and the creatures have matter. According to Conway,
since the substances share some traits, it shows relatedness of Christ, God and the creatures.
Hence, human beings, animals and stones do not have substantial differences. The difference
between an animal, a stone and a human being is based on the fact that a stone has fewer spiritual
particles while human beings have more spiritual particles. Moreover, the spiritual particles in a
stone are not enough for the stone to gain consciousness. In human beings, spiritual particles are
spread pout in the body, and they build clusters that become conscious at a certain point. The
clusters are controlled by a governing spirit that makes an individual seem like a spiritual whole.
Based on Conway, the existence of a substance that is purely matter, which Descartes speaks
about is impossible and "a non-entity or fiction"( Borcherding, 8) since God would never create
something that is exclusively matter and cut off from the spirit. Moreover, if a body does not
have anything spiritual, it is cut off from all spiritual substances, including God. Hence, Conway
states that things can only exist when they share a relationship with other things in the world and
the relationship is based on the fact that all things share the essential traits of being composed of
spirit and matter.
Borcherding, Julia. "Loving the Body, Loving the Soul: Conway’s Vitalist Critique of Cartesian
and Morean Dualism." (2019).