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Spinoza's Metaphysics: Substance and Thought

Oxford University Press USA (2013)

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  1. The Three Final Doctrines of Spinoza: Intuition, Amor Dei, the Eternity of the Mind.Michaela Petrufova Joppova - 2020 - Pro-Fil 21 (1):41-50.
    The study deals with the matter of three of the most puzzling doctrines of Baruch Spinoza's system, the so-called 'final doctrines', which are intuitive knowledge, intellectual love of God, and the eternity of the (human) mind. Contrary to many commentators, but also in concordance with many others, this account strives to affirm the utmost importance of these doctrines to Spinoza's system as a whole, but mostly to his ethical theory. Focusing specifically on the cultivation of the human mind, the paper (...)
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  • Spinoza and the Inevitable Perfection of Being.Sanja Särman - 2019 - Dissertation,
    Metaphysics and ethics are two distinct fields in academic philosophy. The object of metaphysics is what is, while the object of ethics is what ought to be. Necessitarianism is a modal doctrine that appears to obliterate this neat distinction. For it is commonly assumed that ought (at least under normal circumstances) implies can. But if necessitarianism is true then I can only do what I actually do. Hence what I ought to do becomes limited to what I in fact do. (...)
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  • Spinoza's Theory of the Human Mind: Consciousness, Memory, and Reason.Oberto Marrama - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Groningen/UQTR
    Spinoza attributes mentality to all things existing in nature. He claims that each thing has a mind that perceives everything that happens in the body. Against this panpsychist background, it is unclear how consciousness relates to the nature of the mind. This study focuses on Spinoza’s account of the conscious mind and its operations. It builds on the hypothesis that Spinoza’s panpsychism can be interpreted as a self-consistent philosophical position. It aims at providing answers to the following questions: what is (...)
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  • Spinoza’s Monism I: Ruling Out Eternal-Durational Causation.Kristin Primus - forthcoming - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
    In this essay, I suggest that Spinoza acknowledges a distinction between formal reality that is infinite and timelessly eternal and formal reality that is non-infinite (i. e., finite or indefinite) and non-eternal (i. e., enduring). I also argue that if, in Spinoza’s system, only intelligible causation is genuine causation, then infinite, timelessly eternal formal reality cannot cause non-infinite, non-eternal formal reality. A denial of eternal-durational causation generates a puzzle, however: if no enduring thing – not even the sempiternal, indefinite individual (...)
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  • Spinoza’s Monism II: A Proposal.Kristin Primus - forthcoming - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
    An old question in Spinoza scholarship is how finite, non-eternal things transitively caused by other finite, non-eternal things (i. e., the entities described in propositions like E1p28) are caused by the infinite, eternal substance, given that what follows either directly or indirectly from the divine nature is infinite and eternal (E1p21–23). In “Spinoza’s Monism I,” I pointed out that most commentators answer this question by invoking entities that are indefinite and sempiternal, but argued that perhaps we should not be so (...)
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  • A Spinozistic Model of Moral Education.Johan Dahlbeck - 2017 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 36 (5):533-550.
    Spinoza’s claim that self-preservation is the foundation of virtue makes for the point of departure of this philosophical investigation into what a Spinozistic model of moral education might look like. It is argued that Spinoza’s metaphysics places constraints on moral education insofar as an educational account would be affected by Spinoza’s denial of the objectivity of moral knowledge, his denial of the existence of free will, and of moral responsibility. This article discusses these challenges in some detail, seeking to construe (...)
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  • Spinoza on Action and Immanent Causation.Stephen Zylstra - 2020 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 102 (1):29-55.
    I address an apparent conflict between Spinoza’s concepts of immanent causation and acting/doing [agere]. Spinoza apparently holds that an immanent cause undergoes [patitur] whatever it does. Yet according to his stated definition of acting and undergoing in the Ethics, this is impossible; to act is to be an adequate cause, while to undergo is to be merely a partial cause. Spinoza also seems committed to God’s being the adequate cause of all things, and, in a well-known passage, appears to deny (...)
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  • Un Homme Ivre d'Immanence: Deleuze's Spinoza and Immanence.Jack Stetter - 2021 - Crisis and Critique 8 (1):388-418.
    Although Deleuze’s work on Spinoza is widely known, it remains poorly understood. In particular, Deleuze’s interpretation of Spinoza’s immanentism has not been treated sufficient care; that is, with an eye to the context of its elaboration and the way in which it gradually takes on different characteristics. With this paper, I offer a synoptic analysis of Deleuze’s views on immanence in Spinoza and examine how these change over the course of Deleuze’s career. There are three ascending stages here: a first (...)
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  • Thinking with Spinoza About Education.Elizabeth de Freitas, Sam Sellar & Lars Bang Jensen - 2018 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (9):805-808.
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  • Human Action and Virtue in Descartes and Spinoza.Noa Naaman-Zauderer - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (1):25-40.
    In this paper, I argue that despite undeniable fundamental differences between Descartes’ and Spinoza’s accounts of human action, there are some striking similarities between their views on right action, moral motivation, and virtue that are usually overlooked. I will argue, first, that both thinkers define virtue in terms of activity or freedom, mutatis mutandis, and thus in terms of actual power of acting. Second, I will claim that both Descartes and Spinoza hold a non-consequentialist approach to virtue, by which human (...)
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  • The Concept of Affectivity in Early Modern Philosophy.Boros Gábor, Szalai Judit & Toth Oliver Istvan (eds.) - 2017 - Budapest, Hungary: Eötvös Loránd University Press.
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  • Reflective Knowledge.Kristin Primus - 2021 - In Yitzhak Melamed (ed.), A Companion to Spinoza. Wiley Blackwell. pp. 265-275.
    In this chapter, I first turn to Spinoza’s obscure “ideas of ideas” doctrine and his claim that “as soon as one knows something, one knows that one knows it, and simultaneously knows that one knows that one knows, and so on, to infinity” (E2p21s). On my view, Spinoza, like Descartes, holds that a given idea can be conceived either in terms of what it represents or as an act of thinking: E2p7 (where Spinoza presents his doctrine of the “parallelism” of (...)
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  • Whole-Parts Relations in Early Modern Philosophy.Emanuele Costa - 2021 - Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences.
    The approach adopted by Early Modern authors to the notions of ‘whole’ and ‘part’ (what is called, in contemporary metaphysics, “mereology”, from the Ancient Greek word μερος: ‘part’) constitutes a central feature of their respective systems. The issue of what constituted a whole became all the more crucial as the new, revolutionary approaches to matter and extension – which mark the unavoidably fuzzy beginning of what we define as “modernity” – demanded a novel (and in some cases, radical) approach to (...)
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  • Spinoza on Composition, Monism, and Beings of Reason.Róbert Mátyási - 2020 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 2 (1):1-16.
    In this paper, I argue that Spinoza holds a perspectivalist view of mereological composition, a form of anti-realism. The paper has two parts: In the first half of the paper, I introduce interpretive puzzles for the standard realist reading of Spinoza’s mereology. In the second half of the paper, I discuss Spinoza’s positive view on mereological composition and present a perspectivalist reading that avoids the interpretive puzzles.
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  • Spinoza's Thinking Substance and the Necessity of Modes.Karolina Hübner - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (3):3-34.
    The paper offers a new account of Spinoza's conception of “substance”, the fundamental building block of reality. It shows that it can be demonstrated apriori within Spinoza's metaphysical framework that (i) contrary to Idealist readings, for Spinoza there can be no substance that is not determined or modified by some other entity produced by substance; and that (ii) there can be no substance (and hence no being) that is not a thinking substance.
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  • Spinoza on Negation, Mind-Dependence and the Reality of the Finite.Karolina Hübner - 2015 - In Yitzhak Melamed (ed.), The Young Spinoza: A Metaphysician in the Making. pp. 221-37.
    The article explores the idea that according to Spinoza finite thought and substantial thought represent reality in different ways. It challenges “acosmic” readings of Spinoza's metaphysics, put forth by readers like Hegel, according to which only an infinite, undifferentiated substance genuinely exists, and all representations of finite things are illusory. Such representations essentially involve negation with respect to a more general kind. The article shows that several common responses to the charge of acosmism fail. It then argues that we must (...)
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  • Can the Berkeleyan Idealist Resist Spinozist Panpsychism?Graham Clay & Michael Rauschenbach - forthcoming - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis:1-30.
    We argue that prevailing definitions of Berkeley’s idealism fail to rule out a nearby Spinozist rival view that we call ‘mind-body identity panpsychism.’ Since Berkeley certainly does not agree with Spinoza on this issue, we call for more care in defining Berkeley’s view. After we propose our own definition of Berkeley’s idealism, we survey two Berkeleyan strategies to block the mind-body identity panpsychist and establish his idealism. We argue that Berkeley should follow Leibniz and further develop his account of the (...)
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  • Spinoza.Jack Stetter - 2021 - Springer Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences.
    "Spinoza", second edition. Encyclopedia entry for the Springer Encyclopedia of EM Phil and the Sciences, ed. D. Jalobeanu and C. T. Wolfe.
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  • Boris Hessen and Newton's God.Ioannis Trisokkas - 2019 - Society and Politics 13 (1):64-86.
    A significant thread in Boris Hessen‟s iconic essay, The Social and Economic Roots of Newton’s Principia (1931), is his critique of Newton‟s involving God in his physics. Contra Newton, Hessen believes that nature does not need God in order to function properly. Hessen gives two, quite distinct, „internal‟ explanations of Newton‟s failure to see this. The first explanation is that Newton‟s failure is caused by his believing that motion is a mode instead of an attribute or essence of matter. The (...)
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  • Spinoza’s EIp10 As a Solution to a Paradox About Rules: A New Argument From the Short Treatise.Michael Rauschenbach - 2020 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 2 (1):12.
    The tenth proposition of Spinoza’s Ethics reads: ‘Each attribute of substance must be conceived through itself.’ Developing and defending the argument for this single proposition, it turns out, is vital to Spinoza’s philosophical project. Indeed, it’s virtually impossible to overstate its importance. Spinoza and his interpreters have used EIp10 to prove central claims in his metaphysics and philosophy of mind (i.e., substance monism, mind-body parallelism, mind-body identity, and finite subject individuation). It’s crucial for making sense of his epistemology (i.e., Spinoza’s (...)
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  • Spinoza on Contemporary Monism: A Further Discussion.Tatsuya Tachibana - 2020 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 29:93-105.
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  • Reply to Colin Marshall and Martin Lin.Yitzhak Melamed - 2013 - The Leibniz Review 23:207-222.
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  • Spinoza’s ‘Infinite Modes’ Reconsidered.Kristin Primus - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):1-29.
    My two principal aims in this essay are interconnected. One aim is to provide a new interpretation of the ‘infinite modes’ in Spinoza’s Ethics. I argue that for Spinoza, God, conceived as the one infinite and eternal substance, is not to be understood as causing two kinds of modes, some infinite and eternal and the rest finite and non-eternal. That there cannot be such a bifurcation of divine effects is what I take the ‘infinite mode’ propositions, E1p21–23, to establish; E1p21–23 (...)
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  • Essence as Power, or Spinoza on Heartbreak.Karolina Hübner - forthcoming - Journal of the History of Philosophy.
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  • Hegel, Spinoza, and McTaggart on the Reality of Time.Yitzhak Melamed - 2016 - Internationales Jahrbuch des Deutschen Idealismus / International Yearbook of German Idealism 14:211-234.
    In this paper, I study one aspect of the philosophical encounter between Spinoza and Hegel: the question of the reality of time. The precise reconstruction of the debate will require a close examination of Spinoza's concept of tempus (time) and duratio (duration), and Hegel's understanding of these notions. Following a presentation of Hegel's perception of Spinoza as a modern Eleatic, who denies the reality of time, change and plurality, I turn, in the second part, to look closely at Spinoza's text (...)
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  • Conhecimento humano e a ideia de afecção na Ética de Espinosa.Levy Lia - 2013 - Analytica (Rio) 17 (2): 221-247.
    A tese de que o conceito espinosista de ideia de afecção, introduzido na Ética, expressa o sentido mais preciso do que seja, para o autor, o conceito de ideia da imaginação. Este texto pretende problematizar essa leitura, procurando fornecer subsídios para a hipótese de que ela não é nem inequivocamente corroborada pelo texto da Ética, nem exigida pela doutrina aí apresentada. -/- It is widely accepted by scholars that Spinoza’s concept of idea of affection, introduced in the Ethics, states his (...)
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  • Descartes on Will and Suspension of Judgment: Affectivity of the Reasons for Doubt.Jan Forsman - 2017 - In Gábor Boros, Judit Szalai & Oliver Istvan Toth (eds.), The Concept of Affectivity in Early Modern Philosophy. Budapest, Hungary: pp. 38-58.
    In this paper, I join the so-called voluntarism debate on Descartes’s theory of will and judgment, arguing for an indirect doxastic voluntarism reading of Descartes, as opposed to a classic, or direct doxastic voluntarism. More specifically, I examine the question whether Descartes thinks the will can have a direct and full control over one’s suspension of judgment. Descartes was a doxastic voluntarist, maintaining that the will has some kind of control over one’s doxastic states, such as belief and doubt. According (...)
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  • Impronta del acosmismo luriánico en la "Ethica" de Spinoza.Miquel Beltrán - 2015 - Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 40 (2):63-81.
    El objetivo del artículo es exponer la doctrina acosmista que se halla en la cábala de Luria, tal como la describe Abraham Cohen de Herrera en Puerta del cielo, y cómo pudo ocurrir que a través de la lectura de esta obra aquella doctrina influyera en la concepción de Spinoza sobre la irrealidad de los modos.
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  • Is Spinoza’s Theory of Finite Mind Coherent? – Death, Affectivity and Epistemology in the Ethics.Oliver Istvan Toth - 2017 - The Concept of Affectivity in Early Modern Philosophy.
    In this paper I examine the question whether Spinoza can account for the necessity of death. I argue that he cannot because within his ethical intellectualist system the subject cannot understand the cause of her death, since by understanding it renders it harmless. Then, I argue that Spinoza could not solve this difficulties because of deeper commitments of his system. At the end I draw a historical parallel to the problem from medieval philosophy.
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  • A Spinozist Aesthetics of Affect and Its Political Implications.Christopher Davidson - 2017 - In Gábor Boros, Judit Szalai & Oliver Istvan Toth (eds.), The Concept of Affectivity in Early Modern Philosophy. Budapest, Hungary: Eötvös Loránd University Press. pp. 185-206.
    Spinoza rarely refers to art. However, there are extensive resources for a Spinozist aesthetics in his discussion of health in the Ethics and of social affects in his political works. There have been recently been a few essays linking Spinoza and art, but this essay additionally fuses Spinoza’s politics to an affective aesthetics. Spinoza’s statements that art makes us healthier (Ethics 4p54Sch; Emendation section 17) form the foundation of an aesthetics. In Spinoza’s definition, “health” is caused by external objects that (...)
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  • A Relação entre a Substância e os Modos na Filosofia de Espinosa.Carlos Ricardo Rodrigues da Silveira - 2013 - Dissertation, UFRGS, Brazil
    A relação entre os modos e a substância na filosofia de Espinosa é tida tradicionalmente como de inerência, de maneira semelhante, grosso modo, à relação entre os acidentes e as substâncias na filosofia aristotélica. Essa concepção de inerência foi contestada por Edwin Curley a partir de 1969. Esta monografia, no primeiro capítulo, procura defender que a relação entre os modos e a substância em Espinosa é de inerência, contra Curley, explicando em que consiste essa relação e diferenciando-a da concepção aristotélica (...)
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  • Educating for Immortality: Spinoza and the Pedagogy of Gradual Existence.Johan Dahlbeck - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 49 (3):347-365.
    This article begins with the question: What is it to live? It is argued that, from a Spinozistic perspective, to live is not an either/or kind of matter. Rather, it is something that inevitably comes in degrees. The idea is that through good education and proper training a person can learn to increase his or her degree of existence by acquiring more adequate ideas. This gradual qualitative enhancement of existence is an operationalization of Spinoza's quest for immortality of the mind. (...)
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