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Truth, Language, and HistoryPhilosophical Essays Volume 5$
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Donald Davidson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198237570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019823757X.001.0001

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Spinoza's Causal Theory of the Affects

Spinoza's Causal Theory of the Affects

Chapter:
(p.295) 20 Spinoza's Causal Theory of the Affects
Source:
Truth, Language, and History
Author(s):

Donald Davidson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019823757X.003.0020

This essay explores the difficulty of reconciling Spinoza’s ontological monism; his thesis that mind and body, extension and thought, are two different and mutually irreducible way of describing the universe; his insistence on the reality of the mental; and his denial of mind-body interaction. According to Spinoza, while a particular event described in one vocabulary may cause a particular event described in the other, a fully adequate explanation of a mental event cannot be given in physical terms and vice versa. This thesis is what Spinoza had in mind in denying mind-body interaction.

Keywords:   Spinoza, monism, theory of affects, mind-body interaction, extension, thought

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