Individuation and individuality: a reading of Spinoza's physical interlude

Kizuk, Sarah (2014) Individuation and individuality: a reading of Spinoza's physical interlude. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study looks at Spinoza's physical and metaphysical theory of individuation. It tackles the status of an individual in Spinoza's system given his remark in the political writings that the state is “guided as if by one mind.” Focusing primarily on the Ethics, the study begins with his physical account of the individual, and then proceeds to the status of individuals in terms of mind. Following this, it examines the question of the state-as-individual. Drawing from contemporary debates, the study focuses on three main accounts: the individualist, the communitarian, and the transindividual. This thesis argues that Spinoza's theory of individuation is neither libertarian nor strongly communitarian in the modern political tradition, which is to say that it neither favours the part nor the whole, but involves a constant flipping between both positions. The nature of Spinoza’s theory of individuation, then, is one that relies most fundamentally on relationality, reciprocity and mutuality.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 8281
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 112-118).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: May 2014
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Individuation (Philosophy); Spinoza, Benedictus de, 1632-1677--Criticism and interpretation; Individualism; Communitarianism; Libertarianism

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