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Questions tagged [spinoza]

For questions about the dutch rationalist Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677).

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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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Is Spinoza a Pantheist?

I define "Pantheism" as the postition that affirm 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 totality)...
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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 unsterstanding 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 perceives ...
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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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Does Spinoza's God have an essence?

Referring by "God" to Spinoza's God (that is, one may substitute "God" with "Nature" following the title of this question can be "On Nature and Nature's Essence and Essence") and capitalizing this as ...
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Which aristotelian causes would no longer apply to the mechanistic view of philosophers like Spinoza or Galileo?

I'm Having trouble understanding which causes from an aristotelian point of view would no longer apply to them mechanistic philosophy of philosophers like Boyle, Spinoza, Galileo
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Prop IX of spinoza's ethics

This is the english translation I am reading from for Spinoza's Ethics Geometrically. In proposition IX of this work, spinoza states: PROP. IX. The more reality or being a thing has, the greater ...
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Spinoza's Ethics' Axiom Seven

There seems to be a problem with Axiom VII from Spinoza's Ethics: VII. If a thing can be conceived as non—existing, its essence does not involve existence. How can this be axiomatic? God can be ...
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Why does Spinoza structure the ethics similarily to Euclid's geometry?

I am planning to read Spinoza's Ethics, Geometrically Demonstrated, and before I read a work I peruse throughout the work, keeping note of headings, as well as read the table of contents, to get a ...
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What is the meaning of Spinoza's first three definitions?

I've just started reading Spinoza's Ethics and I'd like to have delucidations about his first three definitions. Definition one: By that which is self-caused, I mean that of which the essence ...
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What is extension in Spinoza?

I assumed that extension in Spinoza, means the geometrisation of the phenomenal world; but possibly - probably this is wrong. After all, how does one geometrise something like matter? (There is, in ...
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Should it be, rather than God or Nature, Nature in God?

Spinoza's theology is sometimes represented by the phrase 'God or Nature'. However, he specifically notes that only two attributes, out of an infinity of attributes of God, are cognizable to us - mind ...
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Spinoza Ethics: if a thing could act in a different way, will it have a different essence?

Ethics part 1: PROP. 26. A thing which is conditioned to act in a particular manner, has >necessarily been thus conditioned by God; and that which has not been conditioned by God >cannot condition ...
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Why are the laws of nature 'always and everywhere the same'?

Spinoza wrote in his Ethics that: the laws and rules of Nature…are always and everywhere the same This so as to deny a categorical difference between man and nature; Spinoza affirms that man is ...
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Must infinity involve repetitions?

Infinity for Nietzsche in at least one line of argument involves the eternal return; he refers to it in the Die fröhliche Wissenschaft and Also sprach Zarathustra; most completely in his Notes on the ...
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Question about a proposition of Spinoza's Ethics

In Proposition 29 of Spinoza Ethics, he says that "In nature there is nothing contingent" My questions: What does it mean for something to be contingent? and what follows from the claim that nothing ...
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Can an infinite be undifferentiated?

Starting in amthematics: The infinite in mathematics must be differentiated: we have the sequence - 0,1,2,3...; where each number is distinct. The same goes for infinite ordinals and cardinals. ...
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Deleuzian finitism and Spinozian infinitism

In the IEP entry on Deluze, there is the following: Commenting on Lucretius, Deleuze makes the following, extremely similar, remark: "The speculative object and the practical object of ...
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What is the essence of Descartes Riddle?

In Descartes philosophy Mind & Matter are two substances which he then found difficult explain how they affected each other. This, on the face of it seems wrong. Conventionally, one supposes one ...
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Is the world of Gods substance?

Supposing that God exists, supposing that nothing can be created out of nothing, then the world must be created out of God. That is the world is not apart from God. Famously Spinoza argues that the ...
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Is Stephen Hawking's denial that gods exists founded on a misunderstanding?

In this days I'm following an interesting scientific TV program and yesterday I watched an interview of Stephen Hawking. He was arguing about the existence of God saying that God does not exist since ...
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In Spinoza's system what is the status of time and space?

Spinoza in his Ethics, following Descartes says that: Extension is the unique essence of matter Noting that matter is generally percieved to be distinct from space and time, how does one use ...
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Who else besides Spinoza has described how to resolve Descartes separation of thought and matter?

Descarte famously divided thought from matter and placed them in separate realms. Spinoza put them together by placing them within God as the two modes - thought and extension - that are visible to ...
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What reasons could there be not to teach Spinoza in secondary school?

In The Netherlands, it's on some schools possible to get philosophy taught from the fourth to the sixth grade of high school (that's the age group 15-18). I've done this. I discovered that Spinoza's ...
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Spinoza's a priori proof for the existence of God

I am currently studying some aspects of Spinoza's philosophy, mainly in contrast to Kant. It seems to me that Spinoza is just the kind of "dogmatic metaphysician" Kant criticises. I know that Kant ...
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How does the writing style of Spinoza's Ethics affect the reception of its meaning?

The works of Marshall McLuhan (and others) explore the way meaning comes to be conditioned by the nature of the medium through which it is conveyed. The key emphasis for McLuhan, however, centred upon ...
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In what ways are the philosophies of Spinoza and Nietzsche comparable?

“I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor! I hardly knew Spinoza: that I should have turned to him just now, was inspired by “instinct.” Not only is his ...
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What should I read to learn about Spinoza's philososphy?

I don't have much philosophical background aside from a couple college classes and stuff I've picked up from general interest. I'd like to learn Spinoza's philosophy. What is a good starting place? ...
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Meaning of Spinoza's First Axiom

Spinoza's first axiom in The Ethics goes "All things which are either are in themselves or in another." Omnia quae sunt vel in se vel in alio sunt. The meaning of this, as many commentators have ...