Questions tagged [spinoza]

Baruch Spinoza or Benedict de Spinoza (1632 – 1677) was a Jewish-Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Sephardi origin.

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Spinoza: what would be a concrete example of a thing that "is in" another thing

Spinoza talks about substance and its modifications. Since God is the only substance, it follows that everything else that exists is modifications of modifications of modifications ... etc. As I ...
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Spinoza: finding examples of a definite cause: where if no definite cause be granted, the effect cannot follow

When we typically think of cause and effect, we start with an event such as a death of a person and we ask what was the cause. For example, we might say that the cause of death was a heart attack. ...
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Where does Spinoza prove the equation ‚God = Nature‘?

In his answer to Is the God of Spinoza a conscious being? @armand refers to Spinoza’s equation Deus sive natura (God, i.e. nature) Indeed, Spinoza equates both terms several times in his work '...
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Is the God of Spinoza a conscious being?

Per Spinoza, everything ultimately derives from God and as humans are conscious beings through the attribute of thought, would it then follow that God is a conscious being through the attribute of ...
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Propositions XXI/XXII of the Ethics, part I - Making sure everything is eternal and infinite

I'm currently reading the George Eliot's translation of the Ethics, edited by Clare Carlisle, and I am french, so I'm not 100% certain I can trust what I think I understood. Since everything follows ...
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Question on Spinoza’s idea of substance

Fundamental to Spinoza’s philosophy is the idea of substance as “that which is conceived through itself.” But it’s hard for me understand the content of this phrase. What does it mean, for something ...
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Just finished reading Spinoza's ethics, which critics of Spinoza are most often recommended?

When I was in college, around 1984, Jonathan Bennett was famous as an important critic. At this point, I find myself a bit confused. I feel that I am very clear on Spinoza's arguments but I am having ...
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What's the meaning of this aphorism by Goethe?

What's the meaning of this aphorism by Goethe? "A Spinoza in poetry becomes Machiavelli in philosophy"
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what is Russell's Neutral Monism and how does it differ from Spinoza's Substance Monism?

I have studied Spinoza, so you don't need to explain that part. For some reason, explanations of Russell on the internet don't get into my head, that's why I've come here.
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Has Spinoza been disproved by modern physics?

As I understood it Spinoza claims everything has Extension, it occupies space. But in physics there are things called point particles which are zero dimensional, they don't occupy space. So for ...
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Spinoza’s argument for substance monism

Substance monism is a very significant part of Spinoza’s philosophy. But after reading the first part of his Ethics, an understanding of his arguments for it eludes me. Specifically, I have trouble ...
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How does Spinoza deduce substance must cause itself?

Prop. VII. Existence Belongs to the Nature of Substance Spinoza demonstrates this by arguing substance must be the cause of itself, i.e. existence must belong to the nature of substance (by def. 1). ...
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What's the origine of this quote?

This is a popular Spinoza quote "Nothing in Nature is random...A thing appears random only through the incompleteness of our knowledge." Spinoza, Ethics I. Yet, it is not in Ethics. Can ...
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Is Spinoza the formal founder of agnosticism?

According to a search on Google for "who founded agnosticism": It says that T.H. Huxley is the first to coin the word agnosticism publicly, but there is no much said about who was the ...
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What does Spinoza mean in propositions 11,12 and 13 in part 2 of the ethics?

In the propositions prior to these Spinoza was discussing the way the human soul was 'constituted' by another finite idea of an existing thing, and also about how the human soul was again 'constituted'...
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Is there any philosophical view on translation in early modern philosophy?

Do you know of any philosophical view on translation in early modern philosophy (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz)?
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Attributes of God in Spinoza’s “Ethics”

In Spinoza’s Ethics, he remarks that God/Nature has infinitely many attributes. However, in the Ethics, he only identifies and discusses two of these attributes: thought and extension, which account ...
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Part 2, Proposition 13 Spinoza’s Ethics

“XIII. The object of the idea constituting the human mind is the body, in other words a certain mode of extension which actually exists, and nothing else. Proof—If indeed the body were not the object ...
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Does Spinoza think essence and eternity are the same thing?

"VIII. By eternity, I mean existence itself, in so far as it is conceived necessarily to follow solely from the definition of that which is eternal." "Explanation—Existence of this kind ...
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Why did Nietzsche call Spinoza his 'precursor'?

In a letter Nietzsche made the following comment about Spinoza; "I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor! I hardly knew Spinoza: that I should have turned ...
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contradictio in adjecto

Arthur schopenhauer comments on Spinoza's God accordingly: For the word God, honestly used, means a cause such as this of the world, with the addition of personality. An impersonal God is, on the ...
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Explanation of a quote from Spinoza

Notandum, dari necessario unius cujusque rei existentis certam aliquam CAUSAM, propter quam existit. Et notandum, hanc causam, propter quart aliqua res existit, vel debere contineri in ipsa natura et ...
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Weakness of Spinoza's ontological argument

The ontological arguments of God are many, the weaknesses they suffer can be found in this reference. My goal here is to focus on Spinoza’s ontological argument. Spinoza's argument is different from ...
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Why for Spinoza is the essence of the mind eternal?

Quoted in The Oxford Handbook of Spinoza, 302. I'm confused as to why, if we express the essence of the body under the aspect of eternity -- which for the purposes of the question I take to mean its ...
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Prop. 2, Part I of Spinozas "Ethics"

Spinoza's proof for Proposition 2 of part I of the Ethics, "Two substances whose attributes are different have nothing in common", is confusing. This is the proof: 1, prop 2, demo - Also evident ...
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Are there Identity Conditions for Spinoza's modes?

A common interpretation of the relation of Substance to it's modes in Spinozas states that modes are properties of the Substance [1]. Let's assume this for now: Modes are properties of Substance. I ...
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Spinoza's adequate knowledge: Can he avoid being called a dogmatist?

Within Spinoza's System (laid down in the Ethics), the difference of inadequate from adequate knowledge is crucial. Perhaps it is even the central cornerstone of his system, because adequate knowledge ...
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What does 'mode' mean in Spinoza's Ethics?

He defines 'mode' in this way: By mode I understand the affections of a substance, or that which is in another through which it is also conceived. But it's not clear to me what this means. Could ...
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How does Spinoza derive his ethics while keeping with his definition of an "unfree" Will

In the Ethics, Spinoza does refute any definition of Will as being free, as Will for men is an illusion which proceeds from inadequate ideas and Will for God is that of the necessity of his Being. ...
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What are some critiques of Spinoza that are generally regarded as holding weight?

I'm nearing the end of my reading Spinoza's ethics, and the philosophy that he lays out seems perfectly consistent and logical. What are some critiques of Spinoza that are regarded as potentially ...
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In Spinoza's Epistemology what role is played by his concept of 'idea'? How do the idea in 'thought' and the object in extension interrelate?

Depending on which among the diverse variety of depictions of the status and possibility of humans being in possession of 'knowledge', Spinoza's Epistemology has been described in various ways. The ...
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Spinoza à la Mode : Is Spinoza a Pantheist?

I define "Pantheism" as the position that affirms the equality between God and the whole reality (not of course equal to every single existing thing, but equal to ALL reality, the reality as a ...
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What was Spinoza's take on miracles: what are they are why think they do occur?

What was Spinoza's take on miracles: what are they are why think they do occur? I'm asking because I want to find out and this could, conceivably, be the easiest way. I've read a chapter or two of ...
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What grounds did Spinoza give for the legitimacy of government?

How exactly does Spinoza ground the legitimacy of the government in the theologo-political treatise? More specifically in Chapter 16, what is the legitimacy of the government grounded in?
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Spinoza--Why is Unity a Necessary Property of Substance?

Why does Spinoza think Unity is a necessary property of substance? Is this something he posits or is there an argument behind this?
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Is Spinoza really a determinist?

According to Spinoza humans do not have free will. It is merely an illusion. But in his political tractatus he also wrote that men should have the freedom to choose a religion. But if one has the ...
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Confused by Spinoza's Use of Substance as Infinite

Ethics 1 Proposition 8 states that "Every substance is necessarily infinite", but in Scholium 2 he states: "there exists only one substance of the same nature. I'm confused by him saying "every" ...
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Spinoza's proof of God

Proposition 11. God, or a substance consisting of infinite attributes each of which expresses eternal and infinite essence, necessarily exists. His argument is such: If God didn’t exist then by ...
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Spinoza and causality

Spinoza puts causality above freedom. As a follower of Descartes and a rationalist, in the understanding of everything he goes from simple to complex, from subject to objects. In order to understand ...
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In what ways was Maimonides an influence on Spinoza?

As someone with an intense interest in Arabic Neoplatonism (in particular Ibn Sina), I have a passing familiarity with Maimonides. (I am considering reading The Guide for the Perplexed after I finish ...
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What is the difference between cause and reason?

I noticed that Spinoza (Ethics, proof for Prop. XI) mentions cause and reason often in the same sentence, but what is the actual difference between these terms? Example: "If, then, no cause or ...
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'Constituting its essence' meaning?

Spinoza's Proof to Prop.X says "An attribute is that which the intellect perceives of substance, as constituting its essence (Def. IV.) and, therefore, must be conceived through itself Def. III.)." ...
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does 'modification' have more than one meaning in Spinoza's Ethics?

V. Per modum intelligo substantiæ affectiones sive id quod in alio est, per quod etiam concipitur. Definition V By mode, I mean the modifications of substance, or that which exists in, and is ...
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Spinoza Definitions VIII

Please which of the meanings CONCEIVED is used in this context: VIII By Eternity, I mean existence itself, in so far as it is conceived necessarily to follow solely from the definition of that which ...
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What is an attribute, as used in Spinoza's Ethics?

In Spinoza's Ethics, the definitions of Part 1. include a supposedly all important term: Attribute, defined by Spinoza in the following: "IV. By attribute, I mean that which the intellect ...
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What terms in Spinoza's Ethics have antiquated or obscure definitions?

In "The Story of Philosophy", Will Durant says the following: Writing in Latin, [Spinoza] was compelled to express his essentially modern thought in medieval and scholastic terms; there was no ...
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Prop XI of Part 1 of Spinoza's Ethics

I'm having a rather difficult time understanding this proof. While the rest of the propositions are relatively easy to follow, I am completely lost as to how it is absurd to think that the essence ...
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How does Spinoza support the argument that there is a match between ideas and physical objects?

Spinoza argues that if God exists, He is a single continuous substance that constitutes all of reality. How does this argument go, and how does Spinoza use it to support the conclusion that there is ...
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Why did Spinoza believe that God's infinity, but not God's perfection, implied causal necessity?

Source: p 121, Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (2012) by Prof Sharon Kaye (MA PhD (Philosophy), U. Toronto) 6. For Spinoza, causal necessity is implied by which of the following? a) ...
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What counters are there to Spinoza's argument that acts of free will create infinite regress?

My 16-to-21-year-old self was very preoccupied with free will. When I was 21 years old I rejected the notion as ill-defined as both my reason and my inner experience told me that my will was caused ...
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