David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (2):201-218 (2011)
Spinoza scholars have claimed that we are faced with a dilemma: either Spinoza's definitions in his Ethics are real, in spite of indications to the contrary, or the definitions are nominal and the propositions derived from them are false. I argue that Spinoza did not recognize the distinction between real and nominal definitions. Rather, Spinoza classified definitions according to whether they require a priori or a posteriori justification, which is a classification distinct from either the real/nominal or the intensional/extensional classification. I argue that Spinoza uses both a priori and a posteriori definitions in the Ethics and that recognizing both types of definitions allows us to understand Spinoza's geometric method in a new way. We can now understand the geometric method as two methods, one resulting in propositions that Spinoza considers to be absolutely certain and another resulting in propositions that Spinoza does not consider certain. The latter method makes use of a posteriori definitions and postulates, whereas the former method uses only a priori definitions and axioms.
|Keywords||Spinoza definitions mos geometrico|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Lance Byron Richey (1993). Spinoza Contra Curie. Philosophy and Theology 7 (3):323-331.
Marx W. Wartofsky (1977). Nature, Number and Individuals: Motive and Method in Spinoza's Philosophy. Inquiry 20 (1-4):457 – 479.
Edward Leroy Schaub (ed.) (1933). Spinoza, the Man and His Thought. Chicago, the Open Court Publishing Company.
Pierfrancesco Basile (2012). Russell on Spinoza's Substance Monism. Metaphysica 13 (1):27-41.
Heidi M. Ravven (1989). Notes on Spinoza's Critique of Aristotle's Ethics. Philosophy and Theology 4 (1):3-32.
Steven M. Nadler (2006). Spinoza's Ethics: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
Aaron Garrett (2003). Meaning in Spinoza's Method. Cambridge University Press.
Guttorm Fløistad (1969). Spinoza's Theory of Knowledge. Inquiry 12 (1-4):41 – 65.
George Louis Kline (1952/1981). Spinoza in Soviet Philosophy: A Series of Essays, Selected and Translated, and with an Introduction. Hyperion Press.
Colin Marshall (2012). Spinoza on Destroying Passions with Reason. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):139-160.
Added to index2010-04-22
Total downloads145 ( #7,729 of 1,692,221 )
Recent downloads (6 months)43 ( #2,699 of 1,692,221 )
How can I increase my downloads?