Spinoza: Metaphysics

Edited by Kristin Primus (University of California, Berkeley)
Assistant editor: William Phillips (University of California, Berkeley)
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  1. Illuminations On Ethics - An Analysis of Spinoza's Monistic Metaphysics Through The Lens of Kabbalah.Asher Rose - manuscript
    In this paper I will argue that Spinoza's metaphysics reflects the Kabbalist metaphysical system. In much of the contemporary literature, the influence of early modern thinkers such as Descartes has been aggrandized to the detriment of other influences on his thought, such as the Kabbalistic tradition. I will argue that there is strong historical evidence to suggest that Spinoza was exposed to and engaged in Kabbalah, such as his references to Kabbalah in his works and letters, the books he owned (...)
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  2. Spinozism and Native American on Pantheism and Panentheism.Joel Alvarez - 2023 - In Valera Luca (ed.), Pantheism and Ecology: Cosmological, Philosophical, and Theological Perspectives. Springer. pp. 159-171.
    Baruch Spinoza famously said, “Whatsoever is, is in God, and without God, nothing can be, or be conceived”. This form of Pantheism is quite like eastern Pantheism, where in Hinduism they assert that “everything is Brahma”, or in Taoism, where Lao Tzu says, “Heaven and I were created together, and all things and I are one”. Although the western and eastern world shared their respective ideas of Pantheism, Native Americans also contributed to such discussion. However, comparative philosophy between western and (...)
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  3. Spinoza's conception of law : metaphysics and ethics.Donald Rutherford - 2015 - In Andre Santos Campos (ed.), Spinoza and Law. Routledge.
  4. The concept of power (potentia) in the metaphysics of Benedict Spinoza.Rostyslav Dymerets - 2005 - Sententiae 12 (1):3-23.
    The author examines Spinoza's view of (1) the relationship between modes of substance and divine power, particularly in the context of the limitations of each individual mode, (2) the process of realizing divine power within a specific mode. The text proves that the representation of all things as modes of substance, or divine modes, allows Spinoza to endow them with divine power. For a thing that exists in time and has duration, the preservation of existence means creation. Thus, maintaining the (...)
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  5. Essence, variations in power, and becoming other in Spinoza.Céline Hervet - 2019 - In Charles Ramond & Jack Stetter (eds.), Spinoza in Twenty-First-Century American and French Philosophy: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Moral and Political Philosophy.
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  6. Leibniz's principle of (sufficient) reason and principle of identity of indiscernibles.Valérie Debuiche - 2019 - In Charles Ramond & Jack Stetter (eds.), Spinoza in Twenty-First-Century American and French Philosophy: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Moral and Political Philosophy.
  7. The transformation of relations in Spinoza's metaphysics.Simon B. Duffy - 2019 - In Charles Ramond & Jack Stetter (eds.), Spinoza in Twenty-First-Century American and French Philosophy: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Moral and Political Philosophy.
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  8. Metaphysical rationalism.Martin Lin - 2019 - In Charles Ramond & Jack Stetter (eds.), Spinoza in Twenty-First-Century American and French Philosophy: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Moral and Political Philosophy.
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  9. Accidents and modifications: an additional note on Axioms 1 and 2 in Appendix 1 of the short treatise.Mogens Lærke - 2019 - In Charles Ramond & Jack Stetter (eds.), Spinoza in Twenty-First-Century American and French Philosophy: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Moral and Political Philosophy.
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  10. In what way it exists.Pascal Sévérac - 2019 - In Charles Ramond & Jack Stetter (eds.), Spinoza in Twenty-First-Century American and French Philosophy: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Moral and Political Philosophy.
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  11. The elusiveness of the one and the many in Spinoza: substance, attribute, and mode.Michael Della Rocca - 2019 - In Charles Ramond & Jack Stetter (eds.), Spinoza in Twenty-First-Century American and French Philosophy: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Moral and Political Philosophy.
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  12. Spinoza's metaphysics revisited.Edwin Curley - 2019 - In Charles Ramond & Jack Stetter (eds.), Spinoza in Twenty-First-Century American and French Philosophy: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Moral and Political Philosophy.
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  13. Spinoza and Buddhism on Death and Immortality.Soraj Hongladarom - 2023 - In Soraj Hongladarom, Jeremiah Joven Joaquin & Frank J. Hoffman (eds.), Philosophies of Appropriated Religions: Perspectives from Southeast Asia. Springer Nature Singapore. pp. 11-23.
    There is no evidence that Spinoza knew anything about Buddhism, but his philosophy bears certain similarities with Buddhist philosophy, or at least as shall be argued later. This paper compares and contrasts Spinoza’s thoughts on death and immortality with Buddhist philosophy. According to Spinoza, the death of a human being is a process whereby the body, as a mode of Substance, is modified according to natural law. However, Spinoza’s view on the mind or the soul is interesting. In Book V (...)
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  14. Contrariety and Complementarity: Reading Spinoza’s Intersubjective Holism of Ideas with Aristotle’s Two Accounts of Motion.Buhr Lorina - 2023 - Journal of Spinoza Studies 2 (2):14-20.
    Do minds and ideas connect, interact, or even depend on each other, and if so, how exactly do they connect and interact? How should we conceive of the mode and process of minds and ideas being in a network and connected in some way, that is, being intersubjective or social? Martin Lenz's study Socializing Minds convincingly shows that, contrary to widespread opinion in philosophy of mind, at least some early modern philosophers, here Spinoza, Locke, and Hume, actually give a positive (...)
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  15. Different Beasts: Humans and Animals in Spinoza and the Zhuangzi.Sonya Nihan Ozbey - 2023 - New York, US: OUP Usa.
    Different Beasts: Humans and Animals in Spinoza and the Zhuangzi studies conceptions of human and animal identity as articulated in the ancient Chinese text known as the Zhuangzi and in the works of the seventeenth-century European philosopher Benedict de Spinoza. By examining how, in these very different philosophies, notions of humanness and animality intersect with ideas about human unity and solidarity, social order, and categories of social difference (such as gender, descent, and ability), Different Beasts opens new paths for understanding (...)
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  16. Explaining the Concepts of Substance, Attribute, and Mode in Spinoza's Philosophy Using the Opinions of Philosophers before Her (based on Wolfson's interpretation).Javad Rabiee & Yousef Nozohour - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations 17 (44):242-260.
    This article explores the concept of substance, attributes, and modes in Spinoza's "Ethics" by examining them through the perspectives of ancient Greek and medieval philosophers, as well as Descartes' views on substance and extension, along with their notions of God and His attributes. Wolfson's interpretation of Spinoza based on these perspectives serves as the basis for this investigation. The primary objective of this article is to critically evaluate Wolfson's interpretation of the concepts of substance, attribute, and mode as proposed by (...)
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  17. Spinoza y la noción de “perspectivismo ontológico pluralista”.Cristian Tejeda & Rodrigo Lagos - 2023 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 68:389-423.
    En este artículo defendemos la existencia de un perspectivismo ontológico pluralista inherente a la filosofía de Baruch Spinoza. Indispensable para la constitución de esta noción es la relación establecida entre su teoría general de composición de los cuerpos y los conceptos de “afecto”, “inmanencia”, “potencia” y “multitud”. El objetivo de este análisis es una fundamentación interior del concepto de “puntos de vista”: es imposible pensarlo como una característica epistemológica de un individuo aislado, pero tampoco es posible unificarlo mediante el postulado (...)
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  18. Spinoza, Leibniz y el debate acerca de la posibilidad de que dos substancias compartan un mismo atributo. Un aporte a la historia de la lógica y de la metafísica del siglo XVII.Juan Vicente Cortés - 2023 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 68:345-387.
    El presente trabajo se propone examinar la objeción de Leibniz a E1p2 y E1p5 y responder a ella. La objeción es conocida: es falso, según Leibniz, que dos substancias de atributos diversos no tengan nada en común (i. e., E1p2) y, por consiguiente, que en la naturaleza no puedan darse dos o más substancias de mismo atributo (i. e., E1p5). Defiendo que E1p2 y, por tanto, E1p5 resisten a la objeción de Leibniz. Para ello, abordo, primero, el sentido y la (...)
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  19. Idealism in Spinoza’s Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Ethics: A Friendly and Judicious Revision to the Active/Passive Distinction as Solution to Spinoza’s Attribute and Parallelism Problems.Sean Butler - unknown
    Spinoza’s doctrine of parallelism admits of certain observed inconsistencies that have long troubled Spinoza scholars. The scholarship over the last one hundred and thirty years or so has offered three dominant interpretations of Spinoza’s metaphysics as a result of the deficiencies with the doctrine of parallelism. These are 1) the subjective/objective distinction according to which the attribute of thought is understood as subjective and the attribute of extension is understood as objective, 2) materialism according to which the attribute of thought (...)
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  20. Spinoza's Metaphysics: Substance and Thougth (Chinese version, 2023).Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2023 - Beijing: Commercial Press.
    In this book, Yitzhak Y. Melamed offers a new and systematic interpretation of the core of Spinoza’s metaphysics. In the first part of the book, he proposes a new reading of the metaphysics of substance in Spinoza. Against Curley's influential reading, he argues that for Spinoza modes both inhere in and are predicated of God. Using extensive textual evidence, he shows that Spinoza considered modes to be God's propria. Against the claim that it is a category mistake to consider things (...)
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  21. Being and Reason: An Essay on Spinoza’s Metaphysics, by Martin Lin. [REVIEW]John Grey - 2022 - Mind 131 (522):659-667.
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  22. Spinoza and Global Justice.Ericka Tucker - unknown
  23. Substance Abuse.Landon Frim & Harrison Fluss - 2018 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (1):191-217.
    This paper will set out in plain language the basic ontology of “Deleuze’s Spinoza”; it will then critically examine whether such a Spinoza has, or indeed could have, ever truly existed. In this, it will be shown that Deleuze’s reading of Spinoza involves the imposition of three interlocking, formal principles. These are (1) Necessitarianism, (2) Immanence, and (3) Univocity. The uncovering of Deleuze’s use of these three principles, how they relate to one another, and what they jointly imply in terms (...)
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  24. Review of A Revolution of the Mind by Jonathan Israel.Ericka Tucker - 2012 - Studies in Social and Political Thought:138-140.
Spinoza: Attributes
  1. Die Psyche und die Krankheit. Ein abhidhammisch-spinozistischer Ansatz.Cristina Chitu - 2023 - Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann.
    Psychische Krankheiten werden im Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry (2019) als Erkrankungen der Gehirnfunktion betrachtet. In DSM-5 und ICD-11, den Haupthandbüchern der Psychiatrie, gelten sie als (schädliche) Dysfunktionen. Beide Ansichten sind mit Problemen behaftet, weshalb es bisher keinen Konsens darüber gibt, was es eigentlich bedeutet, psychisch krank zu sein. In der Philosophie der Psychiatrie hat es viele Versuche gegeben, dies zu klären. Im vorliegenden Buch wird das Problem aus spinozistisch-abhidhammischer Perspektive in zwei Schritten angegangen: Zunächst wird festgestellt, dass die Psyche aus (...)
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  2. Śaṅkara, Spinoza, and Acosmism.James H. Cumming - 2023 - Dogma: Revue de Philosophie Et de Sciences Humaines 23:74-91.
    This article is the SIXTH of several excerpts from my book The Nondual Mind: Vedānta, Kashmiri Pratyabhijñā Shaivism, and Spinoza (the full book is posted on this site). “I liked James H. Cumming’s The Nondual Mind a lot. It is beautifully written, thoughtful, and very clear.” (Prof. Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Charlotte Bloomberg Professor of Philosophy, Johns Hopkins University) “James H. Cumming’s scholarly interpretation of Spinoza’s works, persuasively showing how 17th century European ideas that ushered in the Enlightenment find a precursor (...)
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  3. Spinoza and the Puzzle of Attributes: An Essentialist Approach.Ataollah Hashemi - manuscript
    In Spinoza’s ontology, there are only two categories of existing items: an independent entity that is one substance, and dependent entities that are infinite modes; “nothing exists external to the intellect except substances and their affections”(Proof of 1.P.4). Nevertheless, Spinoza introduces a third notion, ‘attribute’, that is defined as “what the intellect perceives of substance as constituting its essence” (1.d.4). Spinoza’s metaphysics is known for the doctrine of substance monism that indicates that only one substance exists. Spinoza, however, explicitly states (...)
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  4. Nature and necessity in Spinoza's philosophy.Don Garrett - 2018 - New York City: Oxford University Press.
    Spinoza's guiding commitment to the thesis that nothing exists or occurs outside of the scope of nature and its necessary laws makes him one of the great seventeenth-century exemplars of both philosophical naturalism and explanatory rationalism. Nature and Necessity in Spinoza's Philosophy brings together for the first time eighteen of Don Garrett's articles on Spinoza's philosophy, ranging over the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics, and political philosophy. Taken together, these influential articles provide a comprehensive interpretation of that (...)
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  5. The elusiveness of the one and the many in Spinoza: substance, attribute, and mode.Michael Della Rocca - 2019 - In Jack Stetter & Charles Ramond (eds.), Spinoza in Twenty-First-Century American and French Philosophy: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Moral and Political Philosophy. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  6. Spinoza's Ethics: a guide.Michael LeBuffe - 2023 - New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press.
    This guide has an introduction and five chapters, one for each of the parts of Spinoza's Ethics. The Introduction includes background material necessary for productive study of the Ethics: advice for working with Spinoza's geometrical method, a biographical sketch of Spinoza, and accounts of important predecessors: Aristotle, Maimonides, and Descartes. The chapters that follow trace the Ethics in detail, including accounts of most of the elements in Spinoza's book and raising questions for further research. Chapter 1, "One Infinite Substance," covers (...)
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  7. Spinoza on Mind, Body, and Numerical Identity.John Morrison - 2022 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind Vol. 2. Oxford: OUP. pp. 293-336.
    Spinoza claims that a person’s mind and body are one and the same. But he also claims that minds think and do not move, whereas bodies move and do not think. How can we reconcile these claims? I believe that Spinoza is building on a traditional view about identity over time. According to this view, identity over time is linked to essence, so that a thing that is now resting is identical to a thing that was previously moving, provided that (...)
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  8. Spinoza on Essence Constitution.Antonio Salgado Borge - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (3):987-999.
    I argue that, against what is commonly believed, Spinoza’s use of the relation of constitution to characterize the relation between attributes and the essence of a substance does not indicate that, for him, there must be a numerical identity between each attribute and the essence constituted by that attribute. To do this, I follow a twofold strategy. First, I contend that the claim that because in Spinoza’s time constitution was understood as a one- to-one relation is mistaken: the main logicians (...)
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  9. Ética de Spinoza como proyecto onto-gnoseológico.Antonieta García Ruzo - 2022 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 86:101-116.
    El presente trabajo es un intento por repensar el modo en que ha sido interpretada la primera parte de la Ética de Baruch Spinoza por la tradición. Fundamentalmente, busca alejarse de las interpretaciones que llamamos “ontológicas” -que sostienen que las distinciones conceptuales allí postuladas refieren a diferentes ámbitos de lo real-, para defender una lectura que tenga al factor gnoseológico como principio explicativo de tales distinciones. Se intentará mostrar que mediante esta hipótesis de lectura se accede a aquello que nos (...)
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  10. Spinoza on the Metaphysics of Thought and Extension.Martin Lin - 1996 - In Don Garrett (ed.), The Cambridge companion to Spinoza. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 113-140.
  11. Spinoza’s Labyrinths: Essays on His Metaphysics.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
    Spinoza’s recognition of the unpredictable fortunes of individuals, explicable through the interplay between their intrinsic natures and their susceptibility to external causes, informs his account of political success and – what for him is the same thing – political virtue. Thus, a state may thrive because it has a good constitution (an internal feature), or because it was fortunate not to be surrounded by powerful enemies. Normally, however, it is the combination of both luck and internal qualities that determines the (...)
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  12. Spinoza on the Distinction Between Substance and Attribute.Antonio Salgado Borge - 2022 - Philosophy 97 (2):207-231.
    I examine Spinoza's claim in the Metaphysical Thoughts that the attributes of God are only distinguished by a distinction of reason. I contend that for Spinoza essential attributes, such as Thought or Extension, cannot be distinguished by Francisco Suarez's distinction of reasoning reason, as Martin Lin suggests, nor can he be using Suárez’ distinction of reasoned reason for this purpose, as Yitzhak Melamed believes. Since reasoning reason and the distinction of reasoned reason are the only two kinds of rational distinction (...)
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  13. Politics, Ontology and Knowledge in Spinoza: Essays by Alexandre Matheron.Gil Morejon, DavidVE Maruzzella, Filippo Del Lucchese & David Maruzzella - 2020 - Edinburgh University Press.
    "Alexandre Matheron is considered one of the most important interpreters of Spinoza's philosophy in the 20th century. These 20 essays, translated into English for the first time, focus on ontology, knowledge, politics and ethics in Spinoza, his predecessors and his contemporaries."--Publisher description.
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  14. ‘Except God, no substance can be conceived’: Spinoza on other substances.Ruben Noorloos - 2021 - Analysis 81 (4):656-65.
    This paper argues that Spinoza held substances other than God to be inconceivable. It uses this claim to develop a novel response to the Problem of Other Substances, the problem of explaining why some of Spinoza’s proofs for God’s existence cannot be used to prove the existence of a non-divine substance instead.
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  15. «Interferencias metafísicas»: Leibniz, Spinoza y Tschirnhaus sobre el principio de plenitud.Pablo Montosa - 2021 - Anales Del Seminario de Historia de la Filosofía 38 (3):415-429.
    Durante su intercambio epistolar con Spinoza, Tschirnhaus defiende la imposibilidad de deducir la naturaleza de los cuerpos particulares a partir de la sola extensión. El motivo de esta objeción reside en su dificultad para desmarcarse de la concepción sustancial de los cuerpos como partes finitas de la extensión sostenida por Descartes. Esta dificultad inicial, sin embargo, queda ensombrecida por la intervención de Leibniz en un momento clave de la correspondencia que convertirá la disputa de carácter físico en una controversia teológica. (...)
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  16. Being and reason: an essay on Spinoza’s metaphysics: by Martin Lin, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019, pp. 224, £47.49 (hb), ISBN: 0198834152. [REVIEW]Antonio Salgado Borge - 2021 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (6):1198-1201.
    To what extent does human reason apply to the mind-independent world according to Spinoza? Does he even believe that human reason applies to that world at all? Being and Reason answers these questi...
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  17. Diferença e Singularidade, Notas Sobre a Crítica de Hegel e Spinoza.João Emiliano Fortaleza de Aquino - 2006 - Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy 14 (28):109-133.
    This essay intends to discuss the starting point of Hegel’s criticism of Spinoza. According to Hegel, Spinoza’s idea doesn’t manage, even though it wants to, to give an absolute foundation to difference and self-conscious singularity; that is why the Dutch thinker didn’t reach the specificity of the modem conception of freedom, as it is represented by Christianity and effectively developed in modernity by the mediation of the particularity in the civil-bourgeois society. Hegel hopes to demonstrate his thesis analyzing Spinoza’s concepts (...)
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  18. The Oxford Handbook of Spinoza.Michael Della Rocca (ed.) - 2013 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Until recently, Spinoza's standing in Anglophone studies of philosophy has been relatively low and has only seemed to confirm Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi's assessment of him as "a dead dog." However, an exuberant outburst of excellent scholarship on Spinoza has of late come to dominate work on early modern philosophy. This resurgence is due in no small part to the recent revival of metaphysics in contemporary philosophy and to the increased appreciation of Spinoza's role as an unorthodox, pivotal figure - indeed, (...)
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  19. Two Problems in Spinoza's Theory of Mind.James Van Cleve - 2022 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind 2:337-378.
    My aim in what follows is to expound and (if possible) resolve two problems in Spinoza’s theory of mind. The first problem is how Spinoza can accept a key premise in Descartes’s argument for dualism—that thought and extension are separately conceivable, “one without the help of the other”—without accepting Descartes’s conclusion that no substance is both thinking and extended. Resolving this problem will require us to consider a crucial ambiguity in the notion of conceiving one thing without another, the credentials (...)
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  20. Supernatural Will and Organic Unity in Process: From Spinoza’s Naturalistic Pantheism to Arne Naess’ New Age Ecosophy T and Environmental Ethics.Evangelos D. Protopapadakis - 2009 - In George Arabatzis (ed.), Studies on Supernaturalism. pp. 173-193.
    The most habitual and common use of the term natural corresponds to that which is – or could be – property of our experience, irrespective of whether that experience is mental or physical, viz. whatever can be known, perceived, determined and categorized by human mind, after it has bumped into and passed through the channels of our senses. The cooperation between our intellectual and sensual capabilities in relation to the usurpation of what is considered to be “natural”, is extremely crucial (...)
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  21. The unity of substance and attribute in Spinoza.R. Kyle Driggers - 2021 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (1):45-63.
    Spinoza argues that there is one substance, God, with at least two distinct attributes. On Objective Interpretations, the “attributes” are what God conceives of God’s own essence. Because God truly...
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  22. Spinoza’s EIp10 As a Solution to a Paradox about Rules: A New Argument from the Short Treatise.Michael Rauschenbach - 2020 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 2 (1):12.
    The tenth proposition of Spinoza’s Ethics reads: ‘Each attribute of substance must be conceived through itself.’ Developing and defending the argument for this single proposition, it turns out, is vital to Spinoza’s philosophical project. Indeed, it’s virtually impossible to overstate its importance. Spinoza and his interpreters have used EIp10 to prove central claims in his metaphysics and philosophy of mind (i.e., substance monism, mind-body parallelism, mind-body identity, and finite subject individuation). It’s crucial for making sense of his epistemology (i.e., Spinoza’s (...)
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  23. La Metafisica di Spinoza: Sostanza e Pensiero.Yitzhak Melamed - 2020 - Milan: Mimesis Edizioni.
  24. Reconceiving Spinoza, by Samuel Newlands. [REVIEW]Karolina Hübner & Róbert Mátyási - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):307-314.
    Reconceiving Spinoza, by Samuel Newlands. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. x + 283.
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  25. François Lamy’s Cartesian Refutation of Spinoza’s Ethics.Jack Stetter - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):7.
    François Lamy, a Benedictine monk and Cartesian philosopher whose extensive relations with Arnauld, Bossuet, Fénélon, and Malebranche put him into contact with the intellectual elite of late-seventeenth-century France, authored the very first detailed and explicit refutation of Spinoza’s Ethics in French, Le nouvel athéisme renversé. Regrettably overlooked in the secondary literature on Spinoza, Lamy is an interesting figure in his own right, and his anti-Spinozist work sheds important light on Cartesian assumptions that inform the earliest phase of Spinoza’s critical reception (...)
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  26. Spinoza and the problem of other substances.Galen Barry - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (4):481-507.
    ABSTRACTMost of Spinoza’s arguments for God’s existence do not rely on any special feature of God, but instead on merely general features of substance. This raises the following worry: those arguments prove the existence of non-divine substances just as much as they prove God’s existence, and yet there is not enough room in Spinoza’s system for all these substances. I argue that Spinoza attempts to solve this problem by using a principle of plenitude to rule out the existence of other (...)
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