Advertisement

Self-Knowledge as Self-Preservation?

  • J. Thomas Cook
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 91)

Abstract

In this century much attention has been given to what might be called the naturalistic or scientific side of Spinoza’s thought. This attention is appropriate, I think, for it reflects a recognition of the seriousness with which our author claimed, in the Preface to Part III of the Ethics, that

… nature’s laws and ordinances, whereby all things come to pass and change from one form to another, are everywhere and always the same; so that there should be one and the same method of understanding the nature of all things whatsoever, namely, through nature’s universal laws and rules (Spinoza, 1955, p. 129).

The uncompromising sweep of this methodological pronouncement is impressive, and recent commentators such as Hampshire (1951), Curley (1969) and Matson (1977) have responded appropriately by emphasizing Spinoza’s naturalism, seeing his system as an attempt to lay the metaphysical foundations for the new, developing “natural philosophy” of his time — that natural philosophy which was in many ways the progenitor of our own natural science.

Keywords

Adequate Idea Common Notion Eternal Life Finite Mode Eternal Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bidney, D.: 1940, The Psychology and Ethics of Spinoza, Yale Press, New Haven.Google Scholar
  2. Churchland, P.: 1979, Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  3. Curley, E. M.: 1969, Spinoza’s Metaphysics: An Essay in Interpretation, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  4. Gregory, T. S.: 1959, ‘Introduction’ to the Everyman’s Library Edition of Spinoza’s Ethic, Dutton, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Hallett, H. F.: 1930, Aeternitas: A Spinozistic Study, Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  6. Halltt, H. F.: 1957, Benedictus de Spinoza: the Elements of his Philosophy, Athlone Press, London.Google Scholar
  7. Hampshire, S.: 1951, Spinoza, Penguin, Baltimore, Maryland.Google Scholar
  8. Jonas, H.: 1973, ‘Spinoza and the Theory of Organism’, in M. Grene (ed.), Spinoza: A Collection of Critical Essays, Anchor, Garden City, N.Y.Google Scholar
  9. Matson, W.: 1977, ‘Steps Toward Spinozism’, in Revue Internationale de Philosophie 31, pp. 69–83.Google Scholar
  10. Pollock, F.: 1880, Spinoza, his Life and Philosophy, C. K. Paul, London.Google Scholar
  11. Rorty, R.: 1970, ‘Mind-Body Identity, Privacy and Categories’, in Borst (ed.), The Mind/Brain Identity Theory, MacMillan, London.Google Scholar
  12. Sellars, W.: 1963, ‘Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man’, in Scinece, Perception and Reality, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.Google Scholar
  13. Spinoza, B.d.: 1925, Spinoza Opera, ed. by Carl Gebhardt, 4 vols., Carl Winter, Heidelberg. (Cited in text as ‘Gebhardt’.)Google Scholar
  14. Spinoza, B.d.: 1951, 1955, The Chief Works of Spinoza in Two Volumes, transl, by R. H. M. Elwes, Dover Books, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Spinoza, B.d.: 1966, The Correspondence of Spinoza, transl, and ed. by A. Wolf, Frank Cass, London.Google Scholar
  16. Spinoza, B.d.: 1982, The Ethics and Selected Letters, transl, by S. Shirley, Hackett, Indianapolis.Google Scholar
  17. Walther, Manfred: 1971, Metaphysik als Anti-Theologie: Die Philosophie Spinozas im Zusammenhang der religions-philosophischen Problematik, Felix Meiner Verlag, Hamburg.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Thomas Cook
    • 1
  1. 1.Rollins CollegeWinter ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations