By Edwin Curley

This ebook is the fruit of twenty-five years of analysis of Spinoza by way of the editor and translator of a brand new and greatly acclaimed version of Spinoza's gathered works. in response to 3 lectures introduced on the Hebrew college of Jerusalem in 1984, the paintings presents an invaluable point of interest for persisted dialogue of the connection among Descartes and Spinoza, whereas additionally serving as a readable and comparatively short yet huge creation to the Ethics for college students. at the back of the Geometrical procedure is basically books in a single. the 1st is Edwin Curley's textual content, and is the reason Spinoza's masterwork to readers who've little historical past in philosophy. this article will turn out a boon to those that have attempted to learn the Ethics, yet were baffled by way of the geometrical kind within which it's written. right here Professor Curley undertakes to teach how the imperative claims of the Ethics arose out of serious mirrored image at the philosophies of Spinoza's nice predecessors, Descartes and Hobbes.The moment e-book, whose argument is performed within the notes to the textual content, makes an attempt to aid additional the customarily arguable interpretations provided within the textual content and to hold on a discussion with contemporary commentators on Spinoza. the writer aligns himself with those that interpret Spinoza naturalistically and materialistically.

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No matter how poor such a semantic content may seem, it is, nevertheless, an altogether essential one, since it allows one to distin­ guish the meaning of the word 'Chesterfield' from, for example, the word ‘chimera’ which downright excludes the possibility of pointing at the object with the finger. It goes without saying, however, that once the unilingual Indian has learned that Chesterfields belong to the class of real objects as opposed to imaginary objects, he still will not be able to distinguish them within that class.

32 Thus it is social matter indeed, as linguistic matter, which, by means of its reciprocal form embedded in the cerebral traces of the individual, produces this movement of idealization, in which the original tendential relation of the signifying to the signified, is sent back to itself, and thereby becomes the lived relation of the ideal act of consciousness to its intentional meaning. “Consciousness is, therefore, from the very beginning a social product. . ” 33 This product has the following characteristics: on the one hand it stands out from the material movement which produces it - so that it cannot be considered material itself - but on the other hand it cannot be separated from that material movement from which it stands out, since it exists only in that idealization process which always begins at each instant of the reciprocal form of the linguistic sign itself.

Peirce, says, “ . . ” Thus the meaning of a word will be given by its dictionary definition, its transla­ tion in another language, its pictorial representation, etc. “ But in all these cases we substitute signs for signs. ” 1 It is quite clear that if the whole meaning o f signs merely consists in their referring to one another, without ever referring directly to things, then we are practically enclosed in a world of signs, so that we no longer see what speaking of things could mean. ” 2 In other words, from the simple definition of the concept of meaning, presented within the framework of the science of language, one easily passes to a philosophical position which, if not denying the reality of the external world, at least declares it to be useless and void o f meaning.

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