Meaning in Spinoza's Method

By Aaron V. Garrett | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
A few further basic concepts

This chapter introduces some important concepts in Spinoza's philosophy that will be drawn upon extensively in subsequent chapters. In the Ethics it seems as if every concept is quite literally interconnected with every other concept, and there is no way to explain the part without reference to many other parts and the whole. Trying to understand the Ethics we are in the position of our worm in the previous chapter, trying to make sense of a whole through the parts yet at the same time recognizing that all the parts are interconnected through principles that seem out of our reach.

In order to cope with this problem, many of the best-known works on Spinoza are written as commentaries on the Ethics as a whole. By commenting on the Ethics section by section, Spinoza's terminology and concepts can be introduced in the narrative sequence in which they arise. This is, of course, very advantageous, but it makes it difficult to concentrate on a specific issue — like Spinoza's method. For this reason I pursue only two partially satisfactory alternatives. In this chapter I treat a few key concepts in order that discussion of them does not unduly detract from the larger narrative; and then, as the book proceeds, I introduce technical issues and technical problems.

So this excursus into some of Spinoza's concepts does not seem too unmotivated, I will point at the conclusion of the chapter toward their relevance for Spinoza's claim introduced at the end of the last chapter: the human mind is “the infinite power of Nature” in thought “not insofar as it is infinite and perceives the whole of Nature, but insofar as it is finite and perceives only the human Body.” To understand this claim we need to understand Spinoza's take on the infinite. We need to have some background in Spinoza's theory of knowledge. Finally, we will need to know something about Spinoza's ways of thinking about external and internal causes.

-50-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Meaning in Spinoza's Method
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 240

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.