Field Metaphysic, Power, and Individuation in Spinoza

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (3):393-418 (2007)
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Abstract

Spinoza developed a highly interesting metaphysical theory of nature and individuality. In this paper, I endeavor to bring forward some ideas on how Spinozistic views on extended substance, physical world, and individuality can be approached using the concept of power as the basis of interpretation. Jonathan Bennett's ‘field metaphysical’ interpretation of Spinoza's doctrine of one extended substance has generated much discussion, and forms the other starting point of my paper. I believe that the field metaphysical interpretation enables one to deal with the central questions concerning physical individuation — individuality and the persistence of individual being — in a rather novel way. My main question is this: what follows if physical individuals are seen as parts of a unified field of extended power?

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Valtteri Viljanen
University of Turku

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