, pp. 73-100 (originally published in 1969), and G. Fløistad,
Theory of Knowledge in the Ethics,
pp. 101-127 (originally published in 1969). We
will refer to these contributions simply as Savan, Parkinson, and Fløistad, re-
«The imaginative, general, and confused character of words is, in Spi-
noza’s view, not contingent or accidental, it is not the result of ignorance and
cannot be eliminated by knowledge. It is rather the necessary consequence of
the action of external bodies upon our body» (Savan, p. 62).
substance, properties of substance, modes
, pp. 64-66).
, p. 71.
Parkinson, p. 91: «What he [Spinoza] objects to […] is not the use of
words as such, but the uncritical acceptance of common usage as a guide in
, p. 95: «One may indeed be tempted to suppose that the whole of
is an expression in verbal form of knowledge of the second kind».
, Proposition XL, Note II, as quoted above.
Parkinson, p. 95: «In sum, reason is regarded by Spinoza as deductive
knowledge, having as its basis propositions which every man must accept. […]
It is clear that much of what is said in the
is of this type [so called “no-
tions” about “things which are common to all”]».
, p. 99-100.
Fløistad, p. 111; Fløistad, at the same time, makes a case,
son, for the presence not merely of a few examples of intuitive knowledge in
, but for its pivotal role (
, pp. 123-127).
, p. 124: «a process of knowing in which the mind finally comes to
know (“intuit”) the unity of thought and extension».
, pp. 111-112: «Whether or not language may adequately express
knowledge by imagination [the first kind], reason [the second kind], and intui-
tion [the third kind] depends not only on language, […] but also on the kind
of knowledge or way of knowing things which one is exercising or is able to
Using the term very loosely and not intending to imply gradualism
from the first to the third kind of knowledge.
Both Parkinson and Fløistad take issue with Savan’s claims of «contra-
dictions”, and Fløistad observes that «[t]o decide exactly where incoherences
in fact lie is notoriously difficult» (
, p. 103).
Fløistad, p. 101.
Parkinson, p. 93: «[…] the fact that Spinoza makes no attempt to ex-
plain how words can convey true ideas is a strong argument against the thesis