starting rational reconstruction of Spinoza's metaphysics by "a formal analogy to elements of 'de deo' (E1)"

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Abstract

We aim to compile some means for a rational reconstruction of a named part of the start-over of Baruch (Benedictus) de Spinoza's metaphysics in 'de deo' (which is 'pars prima' of the 'ethica, ordine geometrico demonstrata' ) in terms of 1st order model theory. In so far, as our approach will be judged successful, it may, besides providing some help in understanding Spinoza, also contribute to the discussion of some or other philosophical evergreen, e.g. 'ontological commitment'. For this text we assume the reader familiar with 'de deo' as well as with some basic concepts and results of 1st order model theory. Before we start reconstruction, we will first revisit shortly the concept of 'attributum' (definitio IV) in it's setting in 'de deo' , next scan for formalizable aspects of 'in suo genere finita' ('de deo', definitio II), subsequently list the model theoretic constructs we will make use of. Then we begin reconstruction by stating "coordinative definitions" for the notions of 'attribute (of a substance)', 'modus (as conceived via an attribute)' and 'substance (as conceived via an attribute)', reasoning shortly for each of them. The "coordinative definitions", we will arrive at, must not be understood as literal translations of Spinoza's concepts - of course, there can't be such a thing as a literal translation - they are meant as formal analoga of these concepts, mapping some logical structure. But even with this caveat they may seem strange to the reader at this stage of discussion. Additional justification for them then should be found in our endeavour, to map some argumentation of Spinoza's proofs of some of his propositions from this starting point. [ Version 1 of this paper originated from 2020-03-14. This is version 2 from 2021-09-12 with some readability amendments. ]

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