This essay explores Spinoza’s attitude towards the ontological status of finite corporeal things, i.e., finite bodies or, in the Cartesian context in which he is working, finite regions of res extensa. It argues that Spinoza’s monism, especially as it bears on the ontological status of finite bodies, should be understood as a response to revisions in the concept of matter wrought by Descartes’s science. The early exchange of letters between Henry Oldenburg and Spinoza is examined to defend this argument.
Keywords: Spinoza; monism; finite bodies; ontological status; Descartes; Henry Oldenburg
Chapter. 12979 words.
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