Being and Reason

Being and Reason : An Essay on Spinoza's Metaphysics

4.33 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.33 (3 ratings by Goodreads)

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In Being and Reason, Martin Lin offers a new interpretation of Spinoza's core metaphysical doctrines with attention to how and why, in Spinoza, metaphysical notions are entangled with cognitive, logical, and epistemic ones. For example, according to Spinoza, a substance is that which can be conceived through itself and a mode is that which is conceived through another. Thus, metaphysical notions, substance and mode, are defined through a notion that is
either cognitive or logical, being conceived through. What are we to make of the intimate connections that Spinoza sees between metaphysical, cognitive, logical, and epistemic notions? Or between being and reason? Lin argues against idealist readings according to which the metaphysical is reducible to or
grounded in something epistemic, logical, or psychological. He maintains that Spinoza sees the order of being and the order of reason as two independent structures that mirror one another. In the course of making this argument, he develops new interpretations of Spinoza's notions of attribute and mode, and of Spinoza's claim that all things strive for self-preservation. Lin also argues against prominent idealist readings of Spinoza according to which the Principle of Sufficient Reason is
absolutely unrestricted for Spinoza and is the key to his system. He contends, rather, that Spinoza's metaphysical rationalism is a diverse phenomenon and that the Principle of Sufficient Reason is limited to claims about existence and nonexistence which are applied only once by Spinoza to the case of the
necessary existence of God.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 212 pages
  • 159 x 242 x 18mm | 474g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198834152
  • 9780198834151
  • 2,941,019

Table of contents

1: Spinoza's Starting Points
2: Substance
3: God
4: The Attributes
5: Modes
6: The Conatus Doctrine
7: Metaphysical Rationalism
Postscript: Spinoza's Realism
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Review quote

clear, well-written, and peppered with healthy self-irony.... interesting and stimulating... I am looking forward to continued engagement with this important work. * Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
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About Martin Lin

Martin Lin is a professor of philosophy at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. His research concerns metaphysics and philosophy of mind in the early modern period.
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