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date: 16 October 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter suggests a new interpretation of Spinoza’s concept of mind claiming that the goal of the equation of the human mind with the idea of the body is not to solve the mind-body problem, but rather to show how we can, within the framework of Spinoza’s rationalism, conceive of finite minds as irreducibly distinguishable individuals. To support this view, the chapter discusses the passage from E2p11 to E2p13 against the background of three preliminaries, i.e. the notion of a union between mind and body as it appears in Thomas Aquinas’ refutation of Averroism, Spinoza’s views on knowledge of actually existing things in E2p8c, and the phenomenological character of E2a2-4. It argues that while this view on the human mind does not undermine radical rationalism, it does require its amendment by some irreducibly empirical concessions.

Keywords: human mind, phenomenology, phenomenological, indexical knowledge, empiricism, empirical, individual, rationalism, Thomas Aquinas, averroism, first person

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