Inherence, Causation, and Conceivability in Spinoza

Journal of the History of Philosophy (2012)
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Abstract

In this paper I suggest a new interpretation of the relations of inherence, causation and conception in Spinoza. I discuss the views of Don Garrett on this issue and argue against Della Rocca's recent suggestion that a strict endorsement of the PSR leads necessarily to the identification of the relations of inherence, causation and conception. I argue that Spinoza never endorsed this identity, and that Della Rocca's suggestion could not be considered as a legitimate reconstruction or friendly amendment to Spinoza 's system because it creates several severe and irresolvable problems in the system. -/- In the first part of the paper, I present the considerations and arguments that motivated Don Garrett's and Della Rocca's interpretations. In the second part, I present and examine several problems that result from Della Rocca's reading. In the third and final part, I present my own view on the relation among inherence, causation, and conception; offer a new interpretation of the conceived through relation in Spinoza ; and finally, defend and justify the presence of bifurcations at the very center of Spinoza 's system

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Yitzhak Melamed
Johns Hopkins University

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