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  1. Oh man... I haven't spent any time reading pre-Socratic philosophy . And mentioning Plato, it's a shame, but the only work from Plato that I've ever seriously studied was The Republic, which seems very straight-forward compared to what I'm reading now. It's very difficult trying to figure out many of Spinoza's own terms, and in Book 2 it gets even more confusing where his notion of idea is sometimes more closely related to "cognition" or just "idea" itself. That said, it's hard figuring out what he actually means whenever he uses that word. I've been hopping around on various sites to help me make sense of some things, but I think I might have to eventually join up with a college seminar to really study this hardcore metaphysics and get a firm understanding on it .

    I'll start re-reading Book 1 later tonight or tomorrow, and I'll let you know if I think about anything else. I think I've been inspired to start reading some of Descartes, too.
  2. (continued)
    By the way, did you buy the really cheap copy of Ethics by Edwin Curly? That's the one I have . I'm actually going back to Book 1, so let me know if you want to read anything together, and we can try to figure out this mess.
  3. Thanks for the info, that's pretty interesting!

    On a similar note, I know that in Book 1 (off my head, I think it's in Proposition 29) that Spinoza draws distinctions between two terms in latin: natura naturans and natura naturata. Natura naturans can be translated as "nature naturing" and describes the creative aspects of God within nature itself. I guess God is treated like an individual here (as believed theistically), and produces attributes according to his own will and nature. On the other hand, natura naturata - or, "nature being natured", describes that nature and God are the same thing - where nature is mirrored after the attributes of God. So, unlike natura naturans, I think natura naturata is obviously a more indirect and impersonal relationship between God and nature - which Spinoza holds to be true.
  4. Oh man, sorry about the late reply, devil. I had to check my old syllabuses for Philosophy, and I don't think I ever covered it. What's it about?
  5. Hmm... I think reading Descartes may help to further understanding a little on the mind-body relations that come into play with Book II. But, I don't think it's necessary. From what I can gather, Spinoza essentially argues against the Cartesian model of body being an extension of the mind, and instead, he treats the mind and body as the same thing - or, in other words, the body exists as solely, as the only discernible object of the mind.
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  7. I'm on my way out of Book 2 with the mind-body relation that disregards the traditional Cartesian model of dualism from thought and extension (with extension being the human body). Needless to say, it's confusing as heck . I think I'm going to back-track to Book 1 for a bit, though. I'm interested in rereading Spinoza's views on cause and effect.
  8. Hey, did you get your copy of Spinoza yet?
  9. Glad I could give you the recommendation, my friend - I'm definitely looking forward to discussing it with you . It's funny, I've been on a roll, making a few of my other forum buds spend money on odd collectibles and what-not .

    I haven't read Galileo's Dialog, but it's definitely one of the single most revolutionary piece of work in science. It's a shame that the Church took over three centuries to issue an official apology to the man .
  10. Yeah, I heard that Descartes, Leibniz, and Spinoza are considered as the three most influential rationalists thinkers. Ethics is so very dense in its metaphysics, and I still haven't gotten past the first chapter, "Of God" . But, reading it is a very good pass-time.

    So, did you ever take philosophy tack back in college or anything? I minored in it back when I was an undergrad, but focused more on modal logic with some aspects of modern philosophy in the mix.
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About devilof76

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