Hot answers tagged

12 votes
Accepted

What is an attribute, as used in Spinoza's Ethics?

Attributes, for Aristotle, scholastics, Descartes, and Spinoza alike, are the non-accidental qualities/properties expressed in language by predicates, as substances are expressed in it by subjects, to ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 42.8k
11 votes
Accepted

What's the meaning of this aphorism by Goethe?

Thanks to @JoWehler we got the German original text, which reads: Alles Spinozistische in der poetischen Produktion wird in der Reflexion Machiavellismus. A proper translation would be Everything ...
Philip Klöcking's user avatar
  • 13.6k
8 votes

What counters are there to Spinoza's argument that acts of free will create infinite regress?

The meta-argument you attribute to Spinoza is closely related to the rule-following regress considered by Wittgenstein in Philosophical Investigations. To apply a rule in a particular situation we ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 42.8k
8 votes
Accepted

Is Spinoza the formal founder of agnosticism?

Spinoza spends the whole first part of his master book, Ethics, describing God and its properties, so clearly he thought there is something we can known about it. He is often described as deist or ...
armand's user avatar
  • 6,125
8 votes

What's the meaning of this aphorism by Goethe?

The quote is from "Goethe: Maximen und Reflexionen. Aus Kunst und Altertum. Fünftes Heft, Dritter Band 1826". The German original reads: „Alles Spinozistische in der poetischen Produktion ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
  • 28.6k
6 votes
Accepted

In what ways was Maimonides an influence on Spinoza?

We can see Maimonides for some hint and: Joshua Parens, Maimonides and Spinoza: Their Conflicting Views of Human Nature, University of Chicago Press (2012) See also: Steven Nadler (editor), Spinoza ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
6 votes

What's the origine of this quote?

Spinoza, Ethics, Part 1: Prop. XXIX. Nothing in the universe is contingent, but all things are conditioned to exist and operate in a particular manner by the necessity of the divine nature. [Latin: ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
5 votes

Spinoza and causality

Spinoza is not in any straightforward way a follower of Descartes. Descartes, for instance, believes that there are two substances, mind and body. For Spinoza, by contrast, there is only one substance;...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
  • 35.6k
5 votes
Accepted

Spinoza's proof of God

I think you are exactly right : the relevant portion of Spinoza's argument is circular or question-begging. Since the matter is tricky to lay out formally I am going to rely later on an extract from ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
  • 35.6k
5 votes

Is Spinoza really a determinist?

In the Ethics, Spinoza states : Determinism In nature there is nothing contingent, but all things have been determined from the necessity of the divine nature to exist and operate in a certain ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
  • 35.6k
5 votes

Spinoza’s argument for substance monism

Option 1 is ruled out by Spinoza's conception of attribute. No two substances can share an attribute, because for Spinoza an attribute both specifies the qualitative 'kind' of an entity, and also its ...
transitionsynthesis's user avatar
5 votes

What's the meaning of this aphorism by Goethe?

I take this to be making maybe a similar point to Zizek when he argues that poetry is an inherently ambiguous medium, because it is about pure experience — just like music, a poem can be used to ...
Joseph Weissman's user avatar
  • 9,582
4 votes
Accepted

How does Spinoza support the argument that there is a match between ideas and physical objects?

See Spinoza's Physical Theory: God or Nature is the unique substance (Ethics,Ip14), existing essentially (Ip7), infinite in power (Ip8), and characterized by infinite attributes, each constituting ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

does 'modification' have more than one meaning in Spinoza's Ethics?

In the Ethics, Spinoza uses mode, modification, and affection as synonyms. They all mean a thing that is in another. He seems to use modification and affection a little more often when he's referring ...
Gary Sugar's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

'Constituting its essence' meaning?

I suggest you to use some modern commentary, like : Beth Lord, Spinoza's Ethics (2010) or : Genevieve Lloyd, Spinoza and the Ethics (1996). For a more detailed study, see : Edwin Curley, Behind ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Confused by Spinoza's Use of Substance as Infinite

THE PROBLEM I see the problem : 'every' = 'all' or 'each' but neither term applies if there is only one. The Latin is : Omnis substantia est necessario infinita. On the surface it would have been ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
  • 35.6k
3 votes

does 'modification' have more than one meaning in Spinoza's Ethics?

In Prop.XIV, Spinoza has established that there is but one (infinite) substance of Nature, and this is God. And in Coroll.II he asserts : That extension and thought are either attributes of God ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
3 votes

In what ways are the philosophies of Spinoza and Nietzsche comparable?

A great little book on Spinoza is Deleuze's Spinoza: Practical Philosophy. He find within Spinoza many similarities to Nietzsche; in fact, the latter philosopher's name is the very first word in the ...
Joel Glidden's user avatar
3 votes

What should I read to learn about Spinoza's philososphy?

Check Amazon Books and review 'Letters to No One in Particular' by Charles M Saunders. It is a discussion and illustration of Spinoza's "On the Improvement of the Understanding'. This short Treatise ...
Charles M Saunders's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Spinoza Definitions VIII

"Conceiving" is the activity of the mind (compare it with "perceive"). We may rephrase it as "To understand, to think something truly." Thus, I would chose 3. understand. Understanding is the "...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
2 votes

What reasons could there be not to teach Spinoza in secondary school?

I love Spinoza's Ethics. However, I recognize that it might be better not to read it until you are a little bit older. If it were taught to young children, many of them might end up not believing in ...
Raffi's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between cause and reason?

Such is the "principle of sufficient reason" and "...many philosophers of the period...did not carefully distinguish between the two." Per https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sufficient-reason/#Spin ...
MmmHmm's user avatar
  • 2,411
2 votes

Spinoza--Why is Unity a Necessary Property of Substance?

Here's a basic answer : Spinoza's account is inextricably linked to the one substance and its essence. "All things ... are in God, and everything which takes place takes place by the laws ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
  • 35.6k
2 votes

What was Spinoza's take on miracles: what are they are why think they do occur?

See : Baruch Spinoza, Theological-Political Treatise (1670), Ch.6 : On miracles. I will show: (1) that nothing happens contrary to nature, but nature maintains an eternal, fixed and ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
2 votes

Spinoza à la Mode : Is Spinoza a Pantheist?

Spinoza's view is that there is only one substance, and nothing but one substance, which can be alternatively referred to as 'God' or 'Nature'. Your quote, with its hypothetical 'if', does not ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
  • 35.6k
2 votes

What are some critiques of Spinoza that are generally regarded as holding weight?

I'll mention a criticism which derives from Leibniz. There is not total disagreement between Spinoza and Leibniz on necessitarianism but their views irreducibly diverge as we cut deeper. In my view ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
  • 35.6k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible