Adequate and Inadequate Ideas in Spinoza

History of Philosophy Quarterly 31 (2):119-136 (2014)
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Adequate and inadequate ideas play a central role in Spinoza’s system. A number of recent commentators have suggested that the internality or externality of an idea’s immediate cause is a necessary and sufficient condition of the idea’s adequacy or inadequacy, respectively. I show that this thesis is subject to counterexample and briefly explore the significance of this critique for recent interpretations. I offer an alternative interpretation on which adequate and inadequate ideas are characterized by the manner in which they grasp their objects. Adequate ideas conceive of their objects as following from God. Inadequate ideas conceive of their objects as affecting the body at a time and place.



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Blake McAllister
Hillsdale College

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References found in this work

Spinoza.Michael Della Rocca - 2008 - New York: Routledge.
A Study of Spinoza's Ethics.Jonathan Bennett - 1984 - Critica 16 (48):110-112.
Spinoza's 'Ethics': An Introduction.Steven Nadler - 2006 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Representation and the Mind-Body Problem in Spinoza.Michael Della Rocca - 1996 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 189 (4):555-557.

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