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Belgrade Philosophical Annual
2013, iss. 26, pp. 23-35
article language: English
document type: Original Scientific Paper
published on: 12/12/2017
doi: 10.5937/BPA1326023S
Spinozistic attribute anti realism
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy


Logical-epistemological basis of metaphysics (MESTD - 179067)


In this paper, I attempt to show how, contrary to criticisms by, for instance, Wilson (Wilson 1999) Spinoza's double-aspect theory of mind is indeed a plausible position. Much of the interpretations that render Spinoza's theory of mind implausible rest on specific interpretations of 1) parallelism, 2) incrementalism or panpsychism and, 3) what is commonly known as objectivist understanding of attributes. In the first part of the paper, I examine reasons for 3). Haserot (in Kashap 1972) famously denied the possibility of subjectivist understanding of attributes, though recently Shein (Shein 2010) put forward an argument that the dichotomy between subjectivist and objectivists interpretations is false. However, I will claim there is another way of interpreting attributes that is neither subjectivist, nor objectivist, but anti-realist. I lack the space here to go into much detail, but in short, the starting point of my interpretation will be EID4 and EIID3. The second part will, following the implications of this interpretation, try to shed new light on 1) and 2). Here I will examine interpretations of the two put forward by, among others, Curley (Curley 1969), Garrett (Garrett 1996), Wilson (Wilson 1999) and Miller (Miller 2007). Finally, I conclude that, if my interpretation is correct, Spinoza presents us with a way to make sense of his double-aspect theory of mind coherently and plausibly.


Spinoza; Substance; Attributes; Parallelism; Subjectivism; Objectivism; Anti-Realism


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