GCMEMT lecture series event, Finding Finitude and Intellectual Emendation in the Ethics, 17 November

You are cordially invited to our next GCMEMT lecture series event.
On November 17, from 17.00 to 18.30 (CET)Noa Shein (senior lecturer, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and visiting scholar at Harvard University), will give a talk on Spinoza 

(see abstract below).

As usual, the session will take place online via zoom. We will use the following link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/96427734479?pwd=RVIybVZQeVZSM09IZWR0amxWT1N3QT09 

Title: Finding Finitude and Intellectual Emendation in the Ethics 
Abstract: Finite modes, and finite minds in particular, play acentral role in Spinoza’s Ethics. At the same time, by abolishing the distinction between the infinite substance and created substances and characterizing that which is finite as being “in part a negation” and “determined by another” it is not clear what metaphysical resources, so to speak, Spinoza can draw on for establishing that indeed there are real individuated finite modes. The problem, as traditionally conceived is that it is not clear how finite modes can be deduced from an infinite attribute. This indeed would be a real problem for Spinoza only if what we are expected to do is in fact to perform such a deduction. I argue however, that this expectation is misplaced. A key step in this argument is understanding the epistemic goal of Part One of the Ethics as an intellectual emendation. That is, it has as one of its primary goals to do away with a particular kind of confusion or presupposition. One of the main aims of the paper is to trace Part One as an intellectual emendation while making explicit the kind of confusion Spinoza invites us to abandon on the one hand, and the metaphysical commitments he urges us to adopt on the other. Once “cured” of this confusion and on our way of thinking of matters properly, we are ready in Part Two to recognize what is in fact the case: for example, which particular attributes belong to the substance and that there are finite things. This intellectual emendation explains both that finite modes need not be deduced from the infinite substance as well as secures their ontological status. 

The Groningen Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Thought

Centre blog: https://www.rug.nl/filosofie/organization/history/gcmemt/blog/


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