Authors
Kathleen Schenk
University of South Florida
Abstract
Humans' capacity to attain knowledge is central to Spinoza's philosophy because, in part, knowing things enables humans to deal properly with their affects. But it is not just any sort of knowledge that humans should attain. There are different types of knowledge, but only two of them–rational and intuitive knowledge–enable humans who attain them to know things clearly. Because rational knowledge attends to universals whereas intuitive knowledge attends to particulars, intuitive knowledge is better than rational knowledge at enabling humans to deal with their affects. Most scholars recognize both the importance of knowledge to humans' dealing with their affects and the superiority of intuitive knowledge at enabling them to do this. But these points are particularly relevant to the affect that Spinoza calls "tristitia," which is usually translated as either "pain" or "sadness." I argue in this dissertation that attaining knowledge– especially intuitive knowledge–enables humans to deal properly with their experiences of pain. This ability that humans acquire by knowing things is what I call "active suffering." A person suffers passively when she merely reacts to her pain, in this way allowing an external force to control her. She suffers actively when she uses knowledge to respond to her pain, in this way being in control of herself. This knowledge she uses to deal actively with her pain bears a relation to Spinoza's theory of freedom, since it entails a realization that all events happen necessarily and that embracing this necessity is the same as being free.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
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: 65,605
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Physicalism.Daniel Stoljar - 2010 - Routledge.
What Mary Didn't Know.Frank Jackson - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (5):291-295.
Metaphysical Rationalism.Shamik Dasgupta - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):379-418.
Pain.Murat Aydede - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 45 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Susceptibility of Intuitive Knowledge to Akrasia in Spinoza's Ethical Thought.Sanem Soyarslan - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (4):725-747.
Spinoza and Indexicals.T. L. S. Sprigge - 1997 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):3 – 22.
Spinoza’s Scientia Intuitiva.Joseph Grange - 1988 - Philosophy and Theology 2 (3):241-257.
Spinoza’s Scientia Intuitiva.Joseph Grange - 1988 - Philosophy and Theology 2 (3):241-257.
The Importance of Knowledge Ascriptions.Michael J. Hannon - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):856-866.
Metaphysics and Empowerment.Susan James - 2015 - Philosophical Topics 43 (1-2):13-26.
Spinoza's Summum Bonum.Michael Lebuffe - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (2):243–266.
Spinoza's Summum Bonum.Michael Lebuffe - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (2):243-266.
Method and the Structure of Knowledge in Spinoza.Diane Steinberg - 1998 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (2):152–169.
Reuniting Virtue and Knowledge.Tom Culham - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 49 (2):294-310.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-06-06

Total views
9 ( #932,633 of 2,461,403 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #448,382 of 2,461,403 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes