Category Archives: Spinoza

I am Not Luke Roelofs

Yesterday I argued that human beings have no real individuality – we can treat them, approximately, as individuals but questions about their identity over time will sometimes have no determinate answer. But this feels deeply wrong, and I think that … Continue reading

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Luke Roelofs is Not a Real Individual

Yesterday I argued that human beings are not substances or ‘things’ but rather complex actions performed by matter or by ‘the universe’. This might not seem like a big deal. After all, if might sound strange to say “the universe … Continue reading

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You Are a Mode: Spinoza on Individuals

One of the most famous claims of Spinoza’s metaphysics is that there is only one substance – only one real ‘thing’ – and everything else is a ‘mode’ of that. ‘Mode’ here means something like a property, an action, a … Continue reading

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Nietzsche/Spinoza: Striving and the Will-to-Power

Nietzsche and Spinoza are philosophers very different in temperament, but I’d like to suggest they agree entirely on a certain sort of motivational monism. Nietzsche famously suggests – with that vague, casual, conviction that characterises his writing – that every … Continue reading

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Spinoza, Panpsychism, and the Difference between Animals and Objects

What’s the difference between the mental lives of animals and of inanimate objects – between a human, say, and some mustard? The usual answer is simple: objects like mustard don’t have mental lives at all, while animals do. But some … Continue reading

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Having “Something to Do”: Spinoza as an Existentialist

In my recent posts on Spinoza I talked alot about the idea of our minds having a characteristic structure, and our mental lives being the self-maintenance of this structure. But what is this structure? What is the human ‘essence’? Spinoza … Continue reading

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Reading Spinoza’s ‘Ethics’, Post 7: EIIIP12-13

This is going to be the last of my posts focusing on particular propositions from the ‘Ethics’, because I think by the time you reach Propositions 12 and 13, it becomes less useful to focus on propositions in isolation than … Continue reading

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