Spinozas Metaphysics: Substance and Thought

Paperback | March 15, 2015

byYitzhak Y. Melamed

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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 extensivetextual 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 thatSpinoza 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 coextensivewith 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 whichis as elaborate, as complex, and, in some senses, as powerful as God.

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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 extensivetextual evidence, he shows that Spinoza cons...

Yitzhak Y. Melamed is a 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).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.1 × 0.71 inPublished:March 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190237341

ISBN - 13:9780190237349

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Substance-Mode Relation as a Relation of Inherence and Predication2. Immanent Cause, Acosmism, and the Distinction between 'Modes of God' and 'Modes of an Attribute'3. Inherence, Causation, and Conception4. The Infinite Modes5. Spinoza's Two Doctrines of Parallelism6. The Multifaceted Structure of Ideas and the Priority of ThoughtBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"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 inunderstanding Spinoza's metaphysics." --Don Garrett, Professor of Philosophy, New York University