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The Spiritual Automaton - Spinoza's Science of the Mind | Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Spiritual Automaton: Spinoza's Science of the Mind

Eugene Marshall


This book provides a systematic account of Spinoza’s philosophy of mind. This account presents Spinoza’s concept of the mind as affective mechanism, one that, when rational, behaves as a spiritual automaton. The central feature of this account is a novel concept of consciousness, one that identifies consciousness with affectivity, a property of an idea paradigmatically but not exhaustively instantiated by those modes of thought Spinoza calls affects. Inadequate and adequate ideas come to consciousness, and thus impact our well-being and establish or disturb our happiness, only insofar as they ... More

Keywords: Spinoza, mind, consciousness, affects, affectivity, conatus, ethics, bondage, freedom, power

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199675531
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675531.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Eugene Marshall, author
Assistant Professor, Wellesley College, Massachusetts