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    Metaphysics and empowerment: Moore on the place of metaphysics in Spinoza’s philosophy

    James, Susan (2015) Metaphysics and empowerment: Moore on the place of metaphysics in Spinoza’s philosophy. Philosophical Topics 43 (1/2), ISSN 0276-2080.

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    Abstract

    In the discussion of Spinoza contained in his Evolution of Modern Metaphysics, Adrian Moore argues that Spinoza views metaphysics as a kind of sense-making that enables us to live more affirmative and joyful lives. I engage with two aspects of Moore’s argument. Where he claims that Spinoza regards metaphysics as the fruit of reasoning, and thus as a species of what is labelled in the Ethics as knowledge of the second kind, I argue that metaphysics also belongs with what Spinoza calls imagining or knowledge of the first kind. And where Moore holds that, in order to render metaphysical knowledge practical, one must take a leap to a kind of knowledge that is partly ineffable (so-called knowledge of the third kind), I argue that each of Spinoza’s three kinds of knowledge is practically oriented.

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