Spinoza's Metaphysics

Spinoza's Metaphysics : Substance and Thought

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Yitzhak Melamed here offers a new and systematic interpretation of the core of Spinoza's metaphysics. In the first part of the book, he proposes a new reading of the metaphysics of substance in Spinoza: he argues that for Spinoza modes both inhere in and are predicated of God. Using extensive textual evidence, he shows that Spinoza considered modes to be God's propria. He goes on to clarify Spinoza's understanding of infinity, mereological relations, infinite modes, and the flow of finite things from God's essence. In the second part of the book, Melamed relies on this interpretation of the substance-mode relation and the nature of infinite modes and puts forward two interrelated theses about the structure of the attribute of Thought and its overarching role in Spinoza's metaphysics. First, he shows that Spinoza had not one, but two independent doctrines of parallelism. Then, in his final main thesis, Melamed argues that, for Spinoza, ideas have a multifaceted (in fact, infinitely faceted) structure that allows one and the same idea to represent the infinitely many modes which are parallel to it in the infinitely many attributes. Thought turns out to be coextensive with the whole of nature. Spinoza cannot embrace an idealist reduction of Extension to Thought because of his commitment to the conceptual separation of the attributes. Yet, within Spinoza's metaphysics, Thought clearly has primacy over the other attributes insofar as it is the only attribute which is as elaborate, as complex, and, in some senses, as powerful as God.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 160.02 x 236.22 x 20.32mm | 521.63g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 2 illus.
  • 0195394054
  • 9780195394054
  • 1,227,135

About Yitzhak Y. Melamed

Yitzhak Y. Melamed is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at Johns Hopkins University. He works on Early Modern Philosophy, German Idealism, and some issues in contemporary metaphysics (time, mereology, and trope theory). Recently he won the ACLS Burkhardt (2011), NEH (2010), and Humboldt (2011) fellowships for his next major book project: Spinoza and German Idealism: A Metaphysical Dialogue.show more

Review quote

One of Melamed's most important contributions is that he rehabilitates the traditional view of Spinoza as a pantheist. * Michah Gottlieb, Jewish Review of Books * Focused on some of the most fundamental issues in the interpretation of Spinoza's metaphysics, this volume is original, deeply informed, and compellingly argued. There is no question that this is excellent work that will be of great interest to scholars and students interested in understanding Spinoza's metaphysics. * Don Garrett, Professor of Philosophy, New York University * Spinoza's Metaphysics will stimulate and inform discussion of Spinoza for years to come. * Journal of the History of Philosophy *show more

Table of contents

Contents ; Introduction ; Chapter 1: The Substance-Mode Relation as a Relation of Inherence and Predication ; Chapter 2: Immanent Cause, Acosmism, and the Distinction between 'Modes of God' and 'Modes of an Attribute' ; Chapter 3: Inherence, Causation, and Conception ; Chapter 4: The Infinite Modes ; Chapter 5: Spinoza's Two Doctrines of Parallelism ; Chapter 6: The Multifaceted Structure of Ideas and the Priority of Thought ; Bibliography ; Indexshow more

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