Authors
Justin Steinberg
Brooklyn College (CUNY)
Abstract
Despite Spinoza’s reputation as a thoroughgoing critic of teleology, in recent years a number of scholars have argued convincingly that Spinoza does not wish to eliminate teleological explanations altogether. Recent interpretative debates have focused on a more recalcitrant problem: whether Spinoza has the resources to allow for the causal efficacy of representational content. In this paper I present the problem of mental causation for Spinoza and consider two recent attempts to respond to the problem on Spinoza’s behalf. While these interpretations certainly shed some light on Spinoza’s account of cognitive economy, I argue that both fail to point the way out of the problem because they fail to differentiate between two forms of representation, one of which is causally efficacious, one of which is not. I close by suggesting that there is some reason to believe that Spinoza’s account of mind avoids some of the problems typically associated with mental causation.
Keywords Spinoza  mental causation  teleology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Imitation, Representation, and Humanity in Spinoza's Ethics.Justin Steinberg - 2013 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (3):383-407.
Affect, Desire, and Judgement in Spinoza's Account of Motivation.Justin Steinberg - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (1):67-87.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Disproportional Mental Causation.Justin T. Tiehen - 2011 - Synthese 182 (3):375-391.
Substance Causation, Powers, and Human Agency.E. J. Lowe - 2013 - In S. C. Gibb, E. J. Lowe & R. D. Ingthorsson (eds.), Mental Causation and Ontology. Oxford Up. pp. 153--172.
Mental Causation.David Robb & John Heil - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Two Claims That Can Save a Nonreductive Account of Mental Causation.Marc Slors - 1998 - In J. A. M. Bransen & S. E. Cuypers (eds.), Human Action, Deliberation and Causation. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 225--248.
Mental Causation as Teleological Causation.Andrew Jaeger - 2011 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 85:161-171.
Teleology and Human Action in Spinoza.Martin Lin - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (3):317-354.
Mental Causation.Thomas Kroedel - 2013 - In H. Pashler (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Mind. SAGE Publications.
Spinoza's Metaphysical Psychology.Michael Della Rocca - 1996 - In Don Garrett (ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 192--266.
Two Types of Mental Causation.Wim de Muijnck - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (1):21-35.
The Nonreductivist’s Troubles with Mental Causation.Jaegwon Kim - 1992 - In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.
Causation is Macroscopic but Not Irreducible.David Papineau - 2013 - In Sophie C. Gibb & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Mental Causation and Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 126.
Morse, Mind, and Mental Causation.Michael S. Pardo & Dennis Patterson - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (1):111-126.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-02-06

Total views
318 ( #33,551 of 2,519,572 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
24 ( #36,261 of 2,519,572 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes