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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

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

Donald Davidson

Oxford University Press

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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