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Spinoza -- Ethics 3

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10/5/2009
Modern Philosophy PHIL320
1
Spinoza – Ethics Three
Charles Manekin
10/5/2009
Modern Philosophy PHIL320
2
Topics of Discussion
On the AffectsBy affects I understand affections of the Body by which the Body’s power of acting is increased or diminished, aided or restrained, and at the same time, the ideas of these affections“Affects” generally means emotionsActions vs. PassionsThe doctrine of conatusThe three primary affectsThe derivative affects
10/5/2009
Modern Philosophy PHIL320
3
On the Origin and Nature of the Affects
The geometricization of ethics; descriptive vs. prescriptive ethics.Adequate vs. Inadequate Cause“I call that cause adequate whose effect and be clearly and distinctly perceived through it…partial or inadequate, if its effect cannot be understand through it alone.”Example: my scientific understanding of the sun is an adequate cause of my ideas of the properties of the sun; my perception of the sun is an inadequate cause of the properties of the sun.Action vs. Passion“I say that we act when something happens, in us or outside us, of which we are the adequate cause; we are acted on when something happens in us, of something follows from our nature, of which we are only a partial cause.
10/5/2009
Modern Philosophy PHIL320
4
The Doctrine of Conatus
“Each thing, as far as it can by its own power, strives to persevere in its being”Finite mode of God, and God eternally acts.Somewhat similar to a principle of inertia; each mode strives to survive.Will=conatus as it relates to mind.Appetite= conatus as it related to mind and body.I desire something: hence I call it “good.”All beings possess the conatus principle – it is fundamental to all nature, including human nature.
10/5/2009
Modern Philosophy PHIL320
5
Desire, Joy, Sadness
Desire = “appetite with the consciousness of that appetite,” “conducive to self-preservation”Joy = that passion by which the Mind passes to a greater perfectionSadness = that passion by which the Mind passes to a greater perfection.Pleasure and Pain relate to mind/body; they are, respectively, the increase and decrease of the activity conducive to self-preservation
10/5/2009
Modern Philosophy PHIL320
6
Derivative Emotions
Love: joy or pleasure attributed by mind to an external cause.Hate: sadness accompanying idea of an external cause.Wonder, disdain, inclination, aversion, devotion, mockery, hope, fear, confidence, despair, gladness, remorse, pity, favor, indignation, overestimation, envy, compassion, humility, repentance, pride, shame, longing, cowardice, courage, gluttony, drunkenness, greed, lustModeration, Sobriety, chastity are active affects.. Active affects are emotions which are related to the mind in so far as it acts, of which man is the adequate cause.

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Spinoza -- Ethics 3