- The Oxford Handbook of Spinoza
- Commonly Cited English Translations
- The Virtues of Geometry
- From Maimonides to Spinoza: Three Versions of an Intellectual Transition
- Spinoza and Descartes
- The Building Blocks of Spinoza’s Metaphysics: Substance, Attributes, and Modes
- But Why Was Spinoza a Necessitarian?
- The Principle of Sufficient Reason in Spinoza
- Spinoza and the Philosophy of Science: Mathematics, Motion, and Being
- Representation, Misrepresentation, and Error in Spinoza’s Philosophy of Mind
- Finite Subjects in the Ethics: Spinoza on Indexical Knowledge, the First Person, and the Individuality of Human Minds
- Spinoza on Skepticism
- The Highest Good and Perfection in Spinoza
- Spinoza on Mind
- The Intellectual Love of God
- The Metaphysics of Affects or the Unbearable Reality of Confusion
- Spinoza’s Unorthodox Metaphysics of the Will
- Spinoza’s Philosophy of Religion
- Spinoza’s Political Philosophy
- Leibniz’s Encounter with Spinoza’s Monism, October 1675 to February 1678
- Playing with Fire: Hume, Rationalism, and a Little Bit of Spinoza
- Kant and Spinoza Debating the Third Antinomy
- “Nothing Comes from Nothing”: Judaism, the Orient, and Kabbalah in Hegel’s Reception of Spinoza
- Nietzsche and Spinoza: Enemy-Brothers
- Spinoza’s Afterlife in Judaism and the Task of Modern Jewish Philosophy
- Spinoza’s Relevance to Contemporary Metaphysics
- Literary Spinoza
Abstract and Keywords
Spinoza never discusses the scenario of radical skepticism as it was introduced by Descartes. Why not? This chapter argues that he chooses a preventive strategy: instead of taking the skeptical challenge as it is and trying to refute it, he questions the challenge itself and gives a diagnosis of its origin. It is a combination of semantic atomism, dualism, and anti-naturalism that gives rise to radical doubts. Spinoza attacks these basic assumptions, opting instead for semantic holism, anti-dualism, and naturalism. This crucial shift of basic assumptions prevents radical skepticism from arising. To be sure, local doubts are still possible, but the possibility of global doubt is ruled out. The chapter examines this preventive strategy, situating it in the historical context and building a bridge to more recent anti-skeptical strategies.
Dominik Perler is Professor of Philosophy at Humboldt-Universität, Berlin. He works on medieval and early modern philosophy. His books include Zweifel und Gewissheit. Skeptische Debatten im Mittelalter (2006), Transformationen der Gefühle. Philosophische Emotionstheorien 1270–1670 (2011), and The Faculties (ed., 2015).
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