The Explainability of Experience: Realism and Subjectivity in Spinoza's Theory of the Human Mind

ISBN : 9780199350162

Ursula Renz
328 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Sep 2018
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This book reconstructs Spinoza's theory of the human mind against the backdrop of the twofold notion that subjective experience is explainable and that its successful explanation is of ethical relevance, because it makes us wiser, freer, and happier. Doing so, the book defends a realist rationalist interpretation of Spinoza's approach which does not entail commitment to an ontological reduction of subjective experience to mere intelligibility. In contrast to a long-standing tradition of Hegelian reading of Spinoza's Ethics, it thus defends the notion that the experience of finite subjects is fully real.


Introduction: The Explainability of Experience
Part I: The Basic Framework: The Ethics' Systematic Premises
Chapter 1: Dissociating the Concept of Substance from the Concept of Subject
Chapter 2: The Conception of Metaphysics in de Deo and its Implications
Chapter 3: The Concept of the Individual and its Scope
Part II: The Ontology of the Mental: On the Relationship between Being and Thought
Chapter 4: The Primacy of the Metaphysics over the Theory of the Mind
Chapter 5: The Concept of idea and Its Logic
Chapter 6: The Justification of a Realist Rationalism
Chapter 7: Body and Mind: What Spinoza's Theory of Identity Seeks to Achieve
Part III: Theory of the Subject: The Concept of the Human Mind and Its Premises
Chapter 8: The Problem of the Numerical Difference Between Subjects
Chapter 9: Finitude, or the Limited Knowability of Finite Things
Chapter 10: The Definition of the Human Mind in Its Derivation
Chapter 11: Panpsychism, or the Question What is the Subject of Experience?
Part IV: Psychology and Epistemology: The Constitution, Experiential Quality, and Epistemic Value of Content
Chapter 12: The Constitution of Mental Content in the imaginatio
Chapter 13: Emotions, or How to Explain Qualities of Experience
Chapter 14: Epistemology: The Possibility of Producing Successful Explanations
Conclusion: Successful Explanation of Experience and Practical Philosophy
Index of Persons
Index of Concepts
Index of References to the Ethics $ https://global.oup.com/academic/product/9780199350162

About the author: 

Ursula Renz is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria

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