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    Mode, aspects, power: Spinoza's relational metaphysics

    Costa, Emanuele (2020) Mode, aspects, power: Spinoza's relational metaphysics. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This dissertation joins the vibrant conversation in the secondary literature on Baruch Spinoza, regarding the individuation of finite modes of the one existing substance. The novelty of the approach consists of a genuinely relational lens, which provides an alternative reading to issues and dilemmas that have arisen in the field for decades. The core aim of the dissertation is the identification of criteria for the individuation of singular, finite modes within Spinoza’s monist system. The analysis encompasses two main routes. First, the characterisation of the notion of ‘mode’, contrasted with ‘substance’ and ‘attribute’. This route leads me to examine several interpretations, which have attempted a description of the core concepts of Spinoza’s metaphysics, and to propose a novel reading that makes a robust use of the historical notion of distinction of reasoned reason (distinctio rationis ratiocinatae) as a philosophical device capable of rejecting the dichotomy between subjectivist and objectivist interpretations of Spinoza. The second route is the analysis of the internal structure of a mode, which I characterise as a trans-attributal entity whose essence can be described as relationally oriented power. Following this characterisation, I provide an argument for considering Spinoza’s metaphysics of modes as a genuine relational ontology. I conclude that the individuation of singular modes in Spinoza can either be perspectival, depending on a causal point of view; or holistic, in which case the process of individuation must account for the totality of the ‘order and connection’ of modal causes.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Additional Information: This thesis is not currently available for public use.
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2020 13:24
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 14:20


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