Category Archives: Reading EIIIP4-13

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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Reading Spinoza’s ‘Ethics’, Post 6: EIIIP11

Previous post here. “Whatever increases or diminishes…the power of activity in our body, the idea thereof increases or diminishes, helps or hinders the power of thought in our mind.” This proposition is actually fairly trivial, given Spinoza’s commitment to mind-body … Continue reading

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Reading Spinoza’s ‘Ethics’, Post 5: EIIIP10

An idea, which excludes the existence of our body, cannot be postulated in our mind, but is opposed to it. This is somewhat perplexing. What is it for an idea to exclude the existence of our body? Or to be … Continue reading

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Reading Spinoza’s ‘Ethics’, Post 4: EIIIP9

“The mind, both in so far as it has clear and distinct ideas, and also in so far as it has confused ideas, strives to persist in its being for an indefinite period, and of this endeavour it is conscious.” … Continue reading

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Reading Spinoza’s ‘Ethics’, Post 3: EIIIP7-8

So in Propositions 4 to 6, Spinoza has constructed the idea of purposive individuals as collections of interacting relationships, each of which tends to preserve the structure of the whole collection. In Propositions 7 and 8 he clarifies this idea, … Continue reading

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Reading Spinoza’s ‘Ethics’, Post 2: EIIIP5-6

Today I want to look at Propositions 5 and 6 of Part III, which say, respectively, that: “Things are opposed in nature, that is, cannot exist in the same object, in so far as one is capable of destroying the … Continue reading

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Reading Spinoza’s ‘Ethics’, Post 1: EIIIP4

Over the next week or two my blogging is going to focus on Spinoza’s ‘Ethics’, Part III, Propositions 4 to 13 – a baffling text by a baffling philosopher. This section contains the foundations of Spinoza’s account of the human … Continue reading

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