Tag Archives: Metaphysics

Monads as Functions

How does a Leibnizian monad (which, viewed as active, or as clearly and distinctly perceiving, possesses substantial form, and which, viewed as passive, or as obscurely and confusedly perceiving, possesses prime matter) relate to its body? The monad/body distinction maps onto … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Criticizing Aristotle on “substance”

Here’s a simplified criticism of the Aristotelian theory of substance. For Aristotle, a substance has three components: matter, form, and accidents, each playing a different explanatory role. Consider a tree. It’s one thing, but also a member of a particular natural … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kant Corrects Plato

In the Theaetetus 195e-196-b Socrates confronts Theaetetus with an apparent paradox: surely it’s impossible, he has Theaetetus admit, for anyone to think that 11 is 12. But, he notes, it happens all the time that someone tries to add 5+7  and comes up with … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Placing Nature in the “Space of Reasons”

I’ve expressed my admiration here before for McDowell’s development of Sellars’s distinction of the “space of nature” from the “space of reasons,” but I’ve also criticized him for side-stepping the metaphysical problems that arise from his determination to see the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment