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date: 25 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article considers the relation of Spinoza’s thought to the project in Descartes of providing new foundations for philosophy. The importance of this relation is indicated by the fact that Spinoza’s first published work is a reconstruction of portions of Descartes’s Principia Philosophiae. Following a consideration of this reconstruction that highlights the ways in which its views differ from Spinoza’s own, there is an examination of the manner in which Spinoza revises the foundational claims in Descartes concerning the nature of body as an extended thing, the nature of mind as a thinking thing, and the nature of God as infinite substance. Whereas Spinoza deviates in important ways from Descartes’s conception of extension and thought, there are some significant points of agreement with respect to Descartes’s doctrine of God’s creation of eternal truths.

Keywords: body, Cartesianism, Descartes, eternal truths, extension, God, mind, thought

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