The Leibniz Review 22:37-65 (2012)

Authors
Alison Peterman
University of Rochester
Abstract
This essay considers Spinoza’s responses to two questions: what is responsible for the variety in the physical world and by what mechanism do finite bodies causally interact? I begin by elucidating Spinoza’s solution to the problem of variety by considering his comments on Cartesian physics in an epistolary exchange with Tschirnhaus late in Spinoza’s life. I go on to reconstruct Spinoza’s unique account of causation among finite bodies by considering Leibniz’s attack on the Spinozist explanation of variety. It turns out that Spinoza’s explanations of the variety of bodies, on the one hand, and of causation among finite bodies, on the other, generate a tension in his system that can only be resolved by taking Spinoza to employ two notions of “existence.” I conclude by offering evidence that this is in fact what Spinoza does
Keywords History of Philosophy  Major Philosophers
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ISBN(s) 1524-1556
DOI 10.5840/leibniz2012223
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Spinoza on Physical Science.Alison Peterman - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (3):214-223.
Clarke Against Spinoza on the Manifest Diversity of the World.Timothy Yenter - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (2):260-280.

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