In this paper I argue, based on a comparison of Spinoza's and Descartes‟s discussion of error, that beliefs are affirmations of the content of imagination that is not false in itself, only in relation to the object. This interpretation is an improvement both on the winning ideas reading and on the interpretation reading of beliefs. Contrary to the winning ideas reading it is able to explain belief revision concerning the same representation. Also, it does not need the assumption that I (...) misinterpret my otherwise correct ideas as the interpretation reading would have it. In the first section I will provide a brief overview of the notion of inherence and its role in Spinoza‟s discussion of the status of finite minds. Then by examining the relation between Spinoza‟s and Descartes‟ distinction of representations and attitudes, I show that affirmation can be identified with beliefs in Spinoza. Next, I will take a closer look at the identification of intellect and will and argue that Spinoza's identification of the two is based on the fact that Spinoza sees both as the active aspect of the mind. After that, I analyze Spinoza‟s comments on the different scopes of will and intellect, and argue that beliefs are affirmations of the imaginative content of the idea. Finally, through Spinoza‟s example of the utterance of mathematical error, I present my solution to the problem of inherence of false beliefs. (shrink)
In this paper, I investigate whether Spinoza theory of intellect can be considered as an Averroistic, Themistian or Alexandrian theory of intellect. I identify key doctrines of these theories that are argumentatively and theoretically independent from Aristotelian hylomorphism and thus can be accepted by someone rejecting hylomorphism. Next, I argue that the textual evidence is inconclusive: depending on the reading of Spinoza's philosophy accepted, Spinoza's theory of intellect can or cannot be considered as an Averroistic theory.
In this paper I examine the question whether Spinoza can account for the necessity of death. I argue that he cannot because within his ethical intellectualist system the subject cannot understand the cause of her death, since by understanding it renders it harmless. Then, I argue that Spinoza could not solve this difficulties because of deeper commitments of his system. At the end I draw a historical parallel to the problem from medieval philosophy.
This issue is dedicated to consciousness in medieval and early modern philosophy of mind. It aims to shed new light on the continuities and innovations during the transition from medieval to early modern philosophy of mind. The four papers, by Sonja Schierbaum, Daniel Schmal, Oliver Istvan Toth, and Philipp N. Müller, focus on consciousness and, more specifically, on one of its less frequently considered aspects: memory.
In this paper, we reconstruct the development of Spinoza’s theory of judgment against the backdrop of the development of his political views. In this context we also look at the difference between Descartes’ meta-act theory of judgment, which Spinoza criticises, and his own all-inclusive approach. By “meta-act theory” we understand the claim that content and judgment about the truth of the content are metaphysically really distinct mental items. By an “all-inclusive theory” we understand the claim that judgment and content constitute (...) only one mental act. We show further how the core intuitions of this all-inclusive theory are developed by Spinoza in an increasingly radical manner and how the practical implications of his all-inclusive theory come to the fore in the Theological-Political Treatise: given that content and act are not really distinct, it is metaphysically impossible that human subjects can give up their ability to judge, which is why Spinoza can plausibly contend that everybody has an inalienable right to form their own judgment. (shrink)