Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 12 (1-4):41 – 65 (1969)
This paper is a discussion of which kinds of knowledge Spinoza himself employs in developing the system of the Ethics. The problem is raised by Professor D. Savan and further discussed by G. H. R. Parkinson. The thesis is (1) that no occurrence of the first kind of knowledge is to be found in the Ethics (against Parkinson), (2) that the main part of the analysis in the Ethics is conducted on the level of the second kind of knowledge (in agreement with Parkinson), and (3) that the third kind of knowledge occurs frequently and plays a most important role in the Ethics (in part against Parkinson). The relation between knowledge and language, the distinction between two types of imagination, or two ways of imagining things, the translation of knowledge of modes of extension into knowledge of the mind, and the relation between the second and third kind of knowledge are main parts of the argument. The third kind of knowledge derives its significance in the Ethics from the definitions and axioms, particularly in Part 1. These definitions and axioms form the basis of the whole system of the Ethics, and at least some of them, it is suggested, belong to the third kind of knowledge.
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