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A study of the mind-body theory in Spinoza

Park, Sam-Yel (1999) A study of the mind-body theory in Spinoza. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates Spinoza's mind-body theory starting with the discussion of the diverse interpretations of his mind-body theory such as hylomorphism, idealism, epiphenomenalism, and materialism. From the critical comments on inadequacies of these interpretations, it turns out that Spinoza's argument of the relationship between the mind and the body should be understood as holding that there is a non-causal relationship between the mind and the body and that they have equal weight. Although the parallelistic interpretation is compatible with the above understandings, we cannot ascribe traditional parallelism to Spinoza. His parallelism is derived from his argument of identity between the mind and the body, which is based on his substance monism and attribute dualism. We should therefore understand Spinoza's mind-body theory as an identity theory which leads to a parallel relationship between the mind and the body. Since the double aspect theory argues both identity and parallelism between the mind and the body, the doctrine we should ascribe to Spinoza is the double aspect theory. Furthermore, owing to the fact that Spinoza maintains substance monism and attribute dualism (assuming an objective view of the attributes of thought and extension, which are distinct), there is, in Spinoza's theory, an identity between mental and physical events while there is no identity between mental and physical properties: the mental and the physical events are one and the same event described under mental and physical properties, respectively. From the fact Spinoza finds identity in individuals or events, but not in properties, it follows that his theory should also be understood as a kind of token identity theory.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Supervisor's Name: Supervisor, not known
Date of Award: 1999
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:1999-2040
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:50
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2040

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