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Affects, Actions and Passions in SpinozaThe Unity of Body and Mind$
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Chantal Jaquet

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474433181

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433181.001.0001

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The Nature of the Union of Mind and Body in Spinoza

The Nature of the Union of Mind and Body in Spinoza

Chapter:
(p.9) 1 The Nature of the Union of Mind and Body in Spinoza
Source:
Affects, Actions and Passions in Spinoza
Author(s):

Chantal Jaquet

, Tatiana Reznichenko
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433181.003.0002

The first chapter has three parts: – An analysis of the givens of the problem – A critique of the parallelism issue – The definition and nature of equality, which expresses the link between body and mind in Spinoza Spinoza conceives of the body and mind as one and the same thing expressed in two ways, under the attribute of thought, and under the attribute of extension. The problem is finding out how these two ways interrelate and come together, in order to understand human nature. Most commentators have interpreted the mind-body relationship according to the psychophysical parallelism model imported from Leibniz, which is unsatisfactory because it introduces a duality where there is unity, and reduces the differences of expression to the uniformity of self-replicating lines. That is why we must return to Spinoza's text, in order to inventory the terms he uses to expresses the mind-body union. The author's analysis reveals that the key concepts are equality and simultaneity. It then becomes necessary to examine psychophysical equality and simultaneity, and the special occasions on which they appear in Spinoza's corpus. That is why studying the affects becomes crucial – it makes it possible to comprehend the mind and body at the same time.

Keywords:   union of mind and body, parallelism, Leibniz, equality, simultaneity, affects, Spinoza

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