Spinoza and the Philosophy of Science: Mathematics, Motion, and Being


Authors
Eric Schliesser
University of Amsterdam
Abstract
This chapter argues that the standard conception of Spinoza as a fellow-travelling mechanical philosopher and proto-scientific naturalist is misleading. It argues, first, that Spinoza’s account of the proper method for the study of nature presented in the Theological-Political Treatise (TTP) points away from the one commonly associated with the mechanical philosophy. Moreover, throughout his works Spinoza’s views on the very possibility of knowledge of nature are decidedly sceptical (as specified below). Third, in the seventeenth-century debates over proper methods in the sciences, Spinoza sided with those that criticized the aspirations of those (the physico-mathematicians, Galileo, Huygens, Wallis, Wren, etc) who thought the application of mathematics to nature was the way to make progress. In particular, he offers grounds for doubting their confidence in the significance of measurement as well as their piece-meal methodology (see section 2). Along the way, this chapter offers a new interpretation of common notions in the context of treating Spinoza’s account of motion (see section 3)
Keywords Spinoza  Criticism of Mathematical Natural Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Spinoza and the Logical Limits of Mental Representation.Galen Barry - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):5.
On the Origins and Foundations of Laplacian Determinism.Marij van Strien - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45:24-31.
Reply to Yenter: Spinoza, Number, and Diversity.Galen Barry - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (2):365-374.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Miracle of Moses.C. M. Lorkowski - 2009 - Heythrop Journal 50 (2):181-188.
Newton and Spinoza: On Motion and Matter (and God, of Course).Eric Schliesser - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):436-458.
Spinoza’s Account of Sexuality.Lee C. Rice - 1984 - Philosophy Research Archives 10:19-34.
Spinoza and Consciousness.Steven Nadler - 2008 - Mind 117 (467):575-601.
Nature, Number and Individuals: Motive and Method in Spinoza's Philosophy.Marx W. Wartofsky - 1977 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 20 (1-4):457 – 479.
‘Disempowered by Nature’: Spinoza on The Political Capabilities of Women.Beth Lord - 2011 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (6):1085 - 1106.
Spinoza, the Man and His Thought.Edward Leroy Schaub (ed.) - 1933 - Chicago: the Open Court Publishing Company.
Spinoza's Methodology.Hubertus Gezinus Hubbeling - 1964 - Assen, Van Gorcum & Comp..

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-11-10

Total views
531 ( #8,696 of 2,286,537 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
59 ( #14,293 of 2,286,537 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature