Naturalistic explanation in Spinoza's ethics: being mind-full of nature

Shoolman, Harvey (2019) Naturalistic explanation in Spinoza's ethics: being mind-full of nature. Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington. ISBN 9781498588010


Spinoza was the most uncompromising naturalist in the history of philosophy, determined to provide a comprehensive system of ultimate reasons for the existence of any object or event by relating that object or event to the infinitely complex structure of Nature itself. Unprecedented in the detail of its philosophical analysis, Naturalistic Explanation in Spinoza's Ethics: Being Mind-Full of Nature examines explanatory naturalism in Spinoza's mature metaphysical text, the Ethics. Rooted in intellectual history yet committed to contemporary application, Harvey Shoolman's fresh interpretation of Spinoza's theory of mind and action highlights the originality of Spinoza's vision, including his account of the existence of consciousness in Nature and the way that conscious awareness relates to the complex physical structures that express cognitive properties. Shoolman provides a clear interpretation of Spinoza's doctrine of the Eternity of the Human Mind. He also gives insight into the way Spinoza understood both mathematics and physical science in purely naturalistic terms as examples of embodied rational practice, a view that is completely at odds with modern conceptions of what scientists do. Furthermore, the book interprets social and political phenomena as rational extensions of any naturalistic theory of mind. Shoolman presents us with a more subtle and potent Spinoza, whose naturalistic vision privileges the rational and the deductive over the empirical and the inductive

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