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Spinoza

Teaching Philosophy 10 (1):74-76 (1987)

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  1. 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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  • ‘Use Them At Our Pleasure’: Spinoza on Animal Ethics.John Grey - 2013 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 30 (4):367-388.
    Although Spinoza disagrees with Descartes's claim that animals are mindless, he holds that we may nevertheless treat them as we please because their natures are different from human nature. Margaret Wilson has questioned the validity of Spinoza's argument, since it is not clear why differences in nature should imply differences in ethical status. In this paper, I propose a new interpretation of Spinoza's argument that responds to Wilson's challenge. We have ethical commitments to other humans only because we share the (...)
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  • Imitation, Representation, and Humanity in Spinoza's Ethics.Justin Steinberg - 2013 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (3):383-407.
    In IVP50S, Spinoza claims that “one who is moved to aid others neither by reason nor by pity is rightly called inhuman. For (by IIIP27) he seems to be unlike a man” (IVP50S). At first blush, the claim seems implausible, as it relies on the dubious assumption that beings will necessarily imitate the affects of conspecifics. In the first two sections of this paper, I explain why Spinoza accepts this thesis and show how this claim can be made compatible with (...)
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  • The Susceptibility of Intuitive Knowledge to Akrasia in Spinoza's Ethical Thought.Sanem Soyarslan - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (4):725-747.
    Spinoza unequivocally states in the Ethics that intuitive knowledge is more powerful than reason. Nonetheless, it is not clear what exactly this greater power promises in the face of the passions. Does this mean that intuitive knowledge is not liable to akrasia? Ronald Sandler offers what, to my knowledge, is the only explicit answer to this question in recent Spinoza scholarship. According to Sandler, intuitive knowledge, unlike reason, is not susceptible to akrasia. This is because, intuitive knowledge enables the knower (...)
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  • Spinoza on Composition, Causation, and the Mind's Eternity.John Grey - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (3):446-467.
    Spinoza's doctrine of the eternity of the mind is often understood as the claim that the mind has a part that is eternal. I appeal to two principles that Spinoza takes to govern parthood and causation to raise a new problem for this reading. Spinoza takes the composition of one thing from many to require causal interaction among the many. Yet he also holds that eternal things cannot causally interact, without mediation, with things in duration. So the human mind, since (...)
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  • Spinoza on Civil Liberation.Justin Steinberg - 2009 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (1):pp. 35-58.
    In the final chapter of the Tractactus Theologico-Politicus , Spinoza declares that “the purpose of the state is, in reality, freedom.” While this remark obviously purports to tell us something important about Spinoza’s conception of the civitas , it is not clear exactly what is revealed. Recently, a number of scholars have interpreted this passage in a way that supports the view that Spinoza was a liberal for whom civic norms are rather more modest than the freedom of the Ethics (...)
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