Spinoza and the Logical Limits of Mental Representation

Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):5 (2019)
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This paper examines Spinoza’s view on the consistency of mental representation. First, I argue that he departs from Scholastic tradition by arguing that all mental states—whether desires, intentions, beliefs, perceptions, entertainings, etc.—must be logically consistent. Second, I argue that his endorsement of this view is motivated by key Spinozistic doctrines, most importantly the doctrine that all acts of thought represent what could follow from God’s nature. Finally, I argue that Spinoza’s view that all mental representation is consistent pushes him to a linguistic account of contradiction.

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Galen Barry
Iona University


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