Chapter

Spinoza's Necessitarianism Reconsidered

Edwin Curley and Gregory Walski

in New Essays on the Rationalists

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780195165418
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199868285 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195165411.003.0011
Spinoza's Necessitarianism Reconsidered

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In this paper, we defend the view that Spinoza is committed to allowing for the existence of a plurality of possible worlds, that his necessitarianism is merely moderate, not strict enough to exclude the possibility of other worlds (in the Leibnizian sense of the expression, which requires that a “world” include all the things existing at all times and not merely all the things existing at some time). To show that evidence for attributing strict necessitarianism to Spinoza is lacking, we shall concentrate on Don Garrett's article, “Spinoza's Necessitarianism,” in the conviction that his case for attributing strict necessitarianism to Spinoza is the strongest one available.

Keywords: conditional necessity; Edwin Curley; determinism; finite mode; Garrett; moderate necessitarianism; necessitarianism; strict necessitarianism; sufficient reason; unconditional necessity; Gregory Walski

Chapter.  12210 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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