David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Inquiry 20 (1-4):419 – 445 (1977)
Of the two main interpretations of Spinoza's theory of the identity of the attributes, in particular those of Thought and Extension, the objective interpretation is now almost universally preferred to the subjective. Rejection of the subjective interpretation, according to which the attributes are merely our ways of cognizing a reality whose real essence remains unknown, is certainly justified, but the objective theory comes too near to replacing the identity by a mere correlation of diff rents to be quite satisfactory. Is it not better to say that Thought and Extension represent two complementary conceptions of reality which are both correct? Yes, but in saying so some commentators ascribe to mind, as Spinoza conceives it, an unplausibly abstract status. An alternative proposal is made as to a way in which Spinoza might be right in essentials, though it requires that a certain tension in Spinozism as to the nature of body be resolved in a particular direction.
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