Chapter

Spinoza's Causal Theory of the Affects

Donald Davidson

in Truth, Language, and History

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780198237570
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602610 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019823757X.003.0020
Spinoza's Causal Theory of the Affects

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This essay explores the difficulty of reconciling Spinoza’s ontological monism; his thesis that mind and body, extension and thought, are two different and mutually irreducible way of describing the universe; his insistence on the reality of the mental; and his denial of mind-body interaction. According to Spinoza, while a particular event described in one vocabulary may cause a particular event described in the other, a fully adequate explanation of a mental event cannot be given in physical terms and vice versa. This thesis is what Spinoza had in mind in denying mind-body interaction.

Keywords: Spinoza; monism; theory of affects; mind-body interaction; extension; thought

Chapter.  7637 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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