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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 Definition of ‘Affect’ in Ethics III

The Definition of ‘Affect’ in Ethics III

(p.75) 4 The Definition of ‘Affect’ in Ethics III
Affects, Actions and Passions in Spinoza

Chantal Jaquet

, Tatiana Reznichenko
Edinburgh University Press

Once the internal evolution of Spinoza's thought has been analyzed, the objective is then to focus on the definition of affect in its psychophysical dimension. Chapter IV is entirely devoted to a detailed examination of and a commentary on the definition of affect in Part III of the Ethics. It highlights the following two main issues: - The problem of the two definitions – The nature of the affects according to Definition III Spinoza provides two definitions of affects, first at the beginning and then at the end of Part III of the Ethics, that seem contradictory. After showing in Definition III that affects cannot be reduced to passions, in the final general definition he equates them only with the passions of the soul. Once this apparent contradiction is resolved, it becomes possible to produce a complete analysis of the nature of affect by examining: 1)The difference between affects and affections 2) The nature of the body’s power of acting 3) The physical aspect of affects 4) The mental aspect of affects and the meaning of the adverb simul in Definition III 5) The four types of affects

Keywords:   definition of affect, affects, affections, passions, power of acting, Spinoza

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