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Spinoza Ethics

Spinoza Ethics

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Published by: DrySun on Sep 21, 2008
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Ethics, The
The Ethics - Part IConcerning GodCirculated - 1673Posthumously Published - 1677Baruch Spinoza1632 - 1677 ____________________________________________________________________________JBY Notes:1. The ASCII text for this file, e1elwes.txt, was taken fromftp://ftp.archive.org/pub/gutenberg/etext/etext97/1spne10.txt,and (I believe) is from Benedict de Spinoza’s"On the Improvement of the Understanding", "The Ethics" and"Correspondence" as published in Dover’s ISBN 0-486-20250-X.2. The text is that of the translation of "The Ethics" byR. H. M. Elwes. This text is "an unabridged and unalteredrepublication of the Bohn Library edition originally publishedby George Bell and Sons in 1883."3. JBY added sentence numbers and search strings.4. Sentence numbers are shown thus (yy:xx).yy = Proposition Number when given.xx = Sentence Number.5. Search strings are enclosed in [square brackets]:a. Roman numeral, when given before a search string,indicates Part Number. If a different Part, bringup that Part and then search.b. Include square brackets in search string.c. Do not include Part Number in search string.d. Search Down with the same string to facilitate return.6. Please report any errors in the text, search formatting,or sentence numbering to jyselman@erols.com.7. HTML version:Part I - http://www.erols.com/jyselman/e1elwes.htm ___________________________________________________________________________TABLE OF CONTENTS:[DEFINITIONS][AXIOMS][POSTULATES][PROPOSITIONS:][I] . [XI] . [XXI] . [XXXI] .[II] . [XII] . [XXII] . [XXXII] .[III] . [XIII] . [XXIII] . [XXXIII] .[IV] . [XIV] . [XXIV] . [XXXIV] .[V] . [XV] . [XXV] . [XXXV] .[VI] . [XVI] . [XXVI] . [XXXVI] .
[VII] . [XVII] . [XXVII] .[VIII] . [XVIII] . [XXVIII] .[IX] . [XIX] . [XXIX] .[X] . [XX] . [XXX] .[APPENDIX] ____________________________________________________________________________[DEFINITIONS][D.I] By that which is SELF-CAUSED, I mean that of which theessence involves existence, or that of which the natureis only conceivable as existent.[D.II] A thing is called FINITE AFTER ITS KIND, when it can belimited by another thing of the same nature; for instance,a body is called finite because we always conceive anothergreater body. So, also, a thought is limited by anotherthought, but a body is not limited by thought, nor athought by body.[D.III] By SUBSTANCE, I mean that which is in itself, and isconceived through itself; in other words, that of whicha conception can be formed independently of any otherconception.[D.IV] By ATTRIBUTE, I mean that which the intellect perceives asconstituting the essence of substance.[D.V] By MODE, I mean the modifications ("Affectiones")substance, or that which exists in, and is conceivedthrough, something other than itself.[D.VI] By GOD, I mean a being absolutely infinite--that is,a substance consisting in infinite attributes, ofwhich each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality.Explanation. I say absolutely infinite, not infinite after its kind:for, of a thing infinite only after its kind, infinite attributesmay be denied; but that which is absolutely infinite, contains inits essence whatever expresses reality, and involves no negation.[D.VII] That thing is called free, which exists solely by thenecessity of its own nature, and of which the actionis determined by itself alone. On the other hand, thatthing is necessary, or rather constrained, which isdetermined by something external to itself to a fixedand definite method of existence or action.[D.VIII] By ETERNITY, I mean existence itself, in so far as itis conceived necessarily to follow solely from thedefinition of that which is eternal.Explanation.-- Existence of this kind is conceived as an eternaltruth, like the essence of a thing, and, therefore, cannot beexplained by means of continuance or time, though continuance maybe conceived without a beginning or end. ____________________________________________________________________________[AXIOMS][A.I] Everything which exists, exists either in itself or in
something else.[A.II] That which cannot be conceived through anything else must beconceived through itself.[A.III] From a given definite cause an effect necessarily follows;and, on the other hand, if no definite cause be granted,it is impossible that an effect can follow.[A.IV] The knowledge of an effect depends on and involves theknowledge of a cause.[A.V] Things which have nothing in common cannot be understood,the one by means of the other; the conception of one does notinvolve the conception of the other.[A.VI] A true idea must correspond with its ideate or object.[A.VII] If a thing can be conceived as non-existing, its essencedoes not involve existence. ____________________________________________________________________________[PROPOSITIONS:]PROP. [I] Substance is by nature prior to its modifications.Proof.- (1:1) This is clear from [D.iii] and [D.v] .PROP. [II] Two substances whose attributes are different havenothing in common.Proof.- (2:1) Also evident from [D.iii] . For each must exist in itself, andbe conceived through itself; in other words, the conception of one does notimply the conception of the other.PROP. [III] Things which have nothing in common cannot beone the cause of the other.Proof.- (3:1) If they have nothing in common, it follows that one cannotbe apprehended by means of the other ([A.v] ), and, therefore, one cannot bethe cause of the other ([A.iv] ). Q.E.D.PROP. [IV] Two or more distinct things are distinguished onefrom the other either by the difference of theattributes of the substances, or by the differenceof their modifications.Proof.- (4:1) Everything which exists, exists either in itself or insomething else ([A.i] ), that is (by [D.iii] and [D.v] ), nothing is grantedin addition to the understanding, except substance and its modifications.(2) Nothing is, therefore, given besides the understanding, by which severalthings may be distinguished one from the other, except the substances, or,in other words (see [A.iv] ), their attributes and modifications. Q.E.D.PROP. [V] There cannot exist in the universe two or moresubstances having the same nature or attribute.Proof.- (5:1) If several distinct substances be granted, they must bedistinguished one from the other, either by the difference of theirattributes, or by the difference of their modifications ([iv] ). (2) Ifonly by the difference of their attributes, it will be granted thatthere cannot be more than one with an identical attribute. (3) If bythe difference of their modifications, as substance is naturally priorto its modifications ([i] ), it follows that setting the modificationsaside, and considering substance in itself, that is truly; ([D.iii] and

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