, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 17-27
Date: 26 Jun 2007

Spinoza on Having a False Idea

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Abstract

Naturalism pervades Spinoza’s doctrines of The Ethics, but the contours of it often bewilder us. In this light, I consider the account of falsity, or having a false idea, as presented by Spinoza in Proposition thirty_five of the Second Part, its demonstration, and the subsequent note. Based on my interpretation I argue for the claim that his account has coherence and makes sense. Further, I examine the significance of what Spinoza says about falsity for comprehension of his philosophy overall, especially as regards its contrasts with the philosophy of Descartes.