Noûs 44 (3):469-502 (2010)

Samuel Newlands
University of Notre Dame
I argue that Spinoza endorses "conceptual dependence monism," the thesis that all forms of metaphysical dependence (such as causation, inherence, and existential dependence) are conceptual in kind. In the course of explaining the view, I further argue that it is actually presupposed in the proof for his more famed substance monism. Conceptual dependence monism also illuminates several of Spinoza’s most striking metaphysical views, including the intensionality of causal contexts, parallelism, metaphysical perfection, and explanatory rationalism. I also argue that this priority of the conceptual does not commit Spinoza to forms of idealism or mentalism. The question of how to understand different kinds of metaphysical dependence is quite controversial in Spinoza studies; I address major alternative readings in the notes. But there I also try to draw connections to the growing debate in contemporary discussions about metaphysical dependence, as this topic is a happy point of shared interest between Spinoza and contemporary metaphysicians alike.
Keywords Spinoza  conceptual dependence monism  metaphysics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00751.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,340
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
A Study of Spinoza's 'Ethics'.Jonathan Bennett - 1984 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 41 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Leibniz and the Ground of Possibility.S. Newlands - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (2):155-187.
Principle of Sufficient Reason.Yitzhak Melamed & Martin Lin - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
More Recent Idealist Readings of Spinoza.Samuel Newlands - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (2):109-119.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Argument for Anomalous Monism.Ted Honderich - 1982 - Analysis 42 (January):59-64.
Anomalous Monism and Epiphenomenalism.Rex Welshon - 1999 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (1):103-120.
Kantian Monism.Uriah Kriegel - 2012 - Philosophical Papers 41 (1):23-56.
A Phenomenological Reading of Anomalous Monism.Andrea Zhok - 2011 - Husserl Studies 27 (3):227-256.
Spinoza and Indexicals.T. L. S. Sprigge - 1997 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):3 – 22.
Monism on the One Hand, Pluralism on the Other.Matthew H. Slater - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):22-42.


Added to PP index

Total views
168 ( #62,804 of 2,448,757 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #301,105 of 2,448,757 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes