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Spinozas Erkenntnistheorie: Eine naturalisierte Epistemologie? - Zurich Open Repository and Archive


Renz, Ursula (2009). Spinozas Erkenntnistheorie: Eine naturalisierte Epistemologie? Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, 57(3):419-432.

Abstract

This article addresses the question whether or not, in his Ethics, Spinoza is committed to a naturalized epistemology. In the first step, the cognitive psychological principles involved in the concept of imagination are discussed. It is shown that Spinoza does indeed suggest a causal account for the contents of human thought, yet, in contrast to many psychologist views he does not privilege physicalist explanations, but allows for historical as well as for linguistic accounts. In the second section, a similar differentiation is made in regard to the theory of common notions. Whereas in claiming that human minds necessarily have adequate knowledge of certain properties of things, Spinoza does rely on certain psychological facts, his concept of common notions can better be explicated independently of psychological assumptions. A conclusive argument against a naturalist interpretation of Spinoza′s epistemology, however, is given in the third section via the analysis of the concepts of 'truth′ and 'true idea′. It shows that Spinoza not only embraces the idea of an epistemic normativity, but moreover admits the irrecucibilityof this normativity to natural properties. Since, in respect to moral normativity, Spinoza exhibits quite a different attitude, it can be assumed that he never wanted to provide naturalized epistemology.

Abstract

This article addresses the question whether or not, in his Ethics, Spinoza is committed to a naturalized epistemology. In the first step, the cognitive psychological principles involved in the concept of imagination are discussed. It is shown that Spinoza does indeed suggest a causal account for the contents of human thought, yet, in contrast to many psychologist views he does not privilege physicalist explanations, but allows for historical as well as for linguistic accounts. In the second section, a similar differentiation is made in regard to the theory of common notions. Whereas in claiming that human minds necessarily have adequate knowledge of certain properties of things, Spinoza does rely on certain psychological facts, his concept of common notions can better be explicated independently of psychological assumptions. A conclusive argument against a naturalist interpretation of Spinoza′s epistemology, however, is given in the third section via the analysis of the concepts of 'truth′ and 'true idea′. It shows that Spinoza not only embraces the idea of an epistemic normativity, but moreover admits the irrecucibilityof this normativity to natural properties. Since, in respect to moral normativity, Spinoza exhibits quite a different attitude, it can be assumed that he never wanted to provide naturalized epistemology.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:German
Date:2009
Deposited On:02 Feb 2010 17:08
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:49
Publisher:Akademie-Verlag
ISSN:0012-1045
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1524/dzph.2009.0037

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