Monthly Archives: April 2016

Spinoza on Mind and Body

In part II of his Ethics, Spinoza offers some striking reflections on the mind’s relation to the body, two aspects of which I’ll note here. First, he defines the body (corpus) as “Obiectum ideae humanam mentem constituentis” (the object of the … Continue reading

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Hegel’s “Concrete Universal”

Robert Stern (in his Hegelian Metaphysics) argues that Hegel’s notion of the “concrete universal” (found mostly in Book III of his Science of Logic) provided a unique way forward for the perennial philosophical debate — going back to Plato’s Forms — over … Continue reading

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Spinoza, Platonist?

Spinoza notoriously argues that there is only (and could only be) one substance (Ethics 1p14), “God or nature” (1p29s) and everything else, including human persons, is just a “modification” of the attributes of God (2p10). But he has a very high bar for … Continue reading

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Aristotle’s Bifocal View of the Passions

Early in book 1 of De Anima, Aristotle considers how to characterize the passions, and concludes, “τὰ πάθη λόγοι ἔνυλοί εἰσιν” (403a26). Passions are “reasons embedded in matter.” For example, he suggests that anger can appropriately be depicted a series of … Continue reading

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