Representation and the Mind-Body Problem in Spinoza

Representation and the Mind-Body Problem in Spinoza

3.85 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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This first extensive study of Spinoza's philosophy of mind concentrates on two problems crucial to the philosopher's thoughts on the matter: the requirements for having a thought about a particular object, and the problem of the mind's relation to the body. Della Rocca contends that Spinoza's positions are systematically connected with each other and with a principle at the heart of his metaphysical system: his denial of causal or explanatory relations between the
mental and the physical. In this way, Della Rocca's exploration of these two problems provides a new and illuminating perspective on Spinoza's philosophy as a system.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 238 pages
  • 162 x 241 x 21mm | 485g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0195095626
  • 9780195095623
  • 1,752,344

Back cover copy

This book offers a powerful new reading of Spinoza's philosophy of mind, the aspect of Spinoza's thought often regarded as the most profound and perplexing. Michael Della Rocca argues that interpreters of Spinoza's philosophy of mind have not paid sufficient attention to his causal barrier between the mental and the physical. The first half of the book shows how this barrier generates Spinoza's strong requirements for having an idea about an object. The second half of the book explains how this causal separation underlies Spinoza's intriguing argument for mind-body identity. Della Rocca concludes his analysis by solving the famous problem of whether for Spinoza the distinction between attributes is real or somehow merely subjective.
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Review quote

exhibits ... analytic rigour and clarity of expression ... offers some original and compelling interpretations of important elements of Spinoza's theory of mind. * Tad M. Schmaltz,Mind, Vol. 109, No.435, July 2000. * The considerable strengths of his discussion in this book provide reason for those interested in this area of Spinoza's thought to track this further development. * Tad M. Schmaltz,Mind, Vol. 109, No.435, July 2000. * "A very rigorous, sophisticated and subtle treatment of central issues in Spinoza's philosophy of mind and knowledge....Della Rocca puts forward interpretations which are likely to be the subject of discussion among Spinoza for some years to come. In general, Della Rocca shows himself to be an original, subtle, and often brilliant expositor of Spinoza."-Nicholas Jolley, University of California, San Diego "It will be a classic-'must' reading for Spinoza scholars, historians of philosophy in general, advanced students of the history of philosophy, and anyone interested in early modern cognitive psychology. It is one of the most exciting works in the history of philosophy that I have read in a long time....It deserves the widest possible readership."-Don Garrett, University of Utah
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Rating details

13 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 23% (3)
4 54% (7)
3 15% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 8% (1)
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