Body and Mind

  • Errol E. Harris
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire des Idees International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 59)


In his very brief, yet very significant discussion of the nature of physical bodies, Spinoza describes a hierarchy, or a series continuously increasing in degree of complexity. The simplest bodies are distinguished from one another only by their state of motion, but any contiguous group, which transmit to one another a constant proportion of motion and rest, may be regarded as a single individual; and a group of such groups, on similar conditions, constitutes a more complex unity. The series continues indefinitely until the physical universe is seen as one single whole governed by a principle of organization which determines the proportion of motion and rest transmitted from one to another of its internally distinguishable parts.


Human Mind Adequate Idea External Body Individual Thing Finite Mode 
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  1. 8.
    Cf., for the elucidation and elaboration of this position, H. F. Hallet, “On a Reputed Equivoque in Spinoza,” Review of Metaphysics, III, 1949. Cf. also R. G. Collingwood, The New Leviathan ( Oxford, 1942 ), Part I, i–v.Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    Cf. Pollock, Spinoza, his life and Philosophy (London, 1899), p. 198.Google Scholar
  3. 39.
    Cf. Tijd, Maat en Getal, Meededelingen van Wege het Spinozahuis VII (Leiden, 1946), pp. llf.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Errol E. Harris
    • 1
  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityUSA

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