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The Explainability of ExperienceRealism and Subjectivity in Spinoza's Theory of the Human Mind$
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Ursula Renz

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199350162

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199350162.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

The Definition of the Human Mind in Its Derivation

The Definition of the Human Mind in Its Derivation

(p.142) 10 The Definition of the Human Mind in Its Derivation
The Explainability of Experience

Ursula Renz

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the passages in which Spinoza develops his definition of the human mind. It begins by reading 2p11 as denying that the mind is something like a bearer of mental states. Next, the chapter argues that, in claiming that the mind is part of the infinite intellect, Spinoza is not referring to the mind’s activity but rather defending holism with respect to mental content. Through an examination of the wording of 2p12, the chapter shows that, contrary to most interpretations, Spinoza does not assume that the human mind perceives any affections of the body. The chapter concludes by showing how, by identifying the mind with the idea of the body, Spinoza solves the problem of the numerical difference between finite minds. Altogether, the chapter shows that, for Spinoza, the human mind is not an idea that God cognizes but the awareness by which we identify our own body.

Keywords:   mind, subject, subjectivity, holism, human body

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