The Road to Finite Modes in Spinoza’s Ethics

In Igor Agostini, Richard T. W. Arthur, Geoffrey Gorham, Paul Guyer, Mogens Lærke, Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Ohad Nachtomy, Sanja Särman, Anat Schechtman, Noa Shein & Reed Winegar (eds.), Infinity in Early Modern Philosophy. Cham: Springer Verlag. pp. 97-114 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

There are many aspects of the Ethics that seem to suggest, or perhaps even require the possibility of deducing finite modes from the infinite substance. Nonetheless, as many have noted even during Spinoza’s own time, it is far from clear that such a deduction can be successfully performed. In this chapter I argue that the expectation of a top-down deduction is unwarranted, and that interestingly enough, it is not only unwarranted with regard to Spinoza but with regard to Descartes as well. I show this by pointing to the crucial role confusion plays for both, noting that our epistemic journey to clear and distinct or adequate knowledge begins with confusion, and that this trajectory is one of emending initially confused ideas. This shows that epistemically a bottom-up trajectory necessarily precedes a top-down one. My claim, however, goes beyond this point regarding the order of discovery. I argue that the state of confusion presupposes a plurality of finite modes, in Spinoza’s case, and substances and modes in Descartes’s. Confusion, I claim, amounts to an inadequate perception of an amalgam of ideas of a real plurality of things. Recognizing the metaphysical ground of confusion along with its central epistemic role brings to light the artificiality, and indeed ultimately the impossibility of a top-down deduction which is divorced from a preceding bottom-up analysis.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,202

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Truth and Imagination in Spinoza's Metaphysics.Philip Michael Mouch - 1998 - Dissertation, The University of Rochester
Infinite Modes.Kristina Meshelski - 2015 - In Andre Santos Campos (ed.), Spinoza: Basic Concepts. Imprint Academic. pp. 43-54.
Hegel's Critique of Spinoza's Concept of Substance.Laura Mary Byrne - 1987 - Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)
Spinoza’s ‘Infinite Modes’ Reconsidered.Kristin Primus - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):1-29.
Spinoza's Concept of Power.Richard Reilly - 1994 - Dissertation, Rice University
Spinoza's mediate infinite mode.Tad M. Schmaltz - 1997 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 35 (2):199-235.
Immanence and Causation in Spinoza.Christopher P. Martin - 2015 - In Andre Santos Campos (ed.), Spinoza: Basic Concepts. Imprint Academic. pp. 14-24.
Spinoza's Metaphysics: Substance and Thought.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press USA.
Spinoza on the Essences of Modes.Thomas M. Ward - 2011 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (1):19-46.
Acosmism or weak individuals?: Hegel, Spinoza, and the reality of the finite.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2009 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (1):pp. 77-92.
The Causality of Finite Modes in Spinoza's "Ethics".James G. Lennox - 1976 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 6 (3):479 - 500.
Begriffliche und psychologische Ordnung bei Spinoza.Dominik Perler - 2008 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 90 (2):188-215.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-06-17

Downloads
26 (#574,431)

6 months
14 (#151,397)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Noa Shein
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Citations of this work

The unity of substance and attribute in Spinoza.R. Kyle Driggers - 2021 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (1):45-63.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references