Spinoza’s Non‐Theory of Non‐Consciousness

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter aims to reexamine the question of consciousness in Spinoza. It begins by surveying the relatively few places in the Ethics where Spinoza explicitly uses the language of consciousness. The significance of the complexity of the human body goes back to the discussion of the human body and the human mind immediately after the account of the mind as the idea of the body in E2p13 and its scholium. In E5p39, Spinoza seems to relate the complexity of the body to its consciousness of itself, of God, and of things. The chapter presents what seem to be the three principal uses of the terms conscius and conscientia in the Ethics: sensory consciousness, reflexive consciousness, and intuitive consciousness. The search for a theory of consciousness in Spinoza seems to end in disappointment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Spinoza
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781119538349
ISBN (Print)9781119538646
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Spinoza's theory
  • human mind
  • intuitive consciousness
  • reflexive consciousness
  • sensory consciousness


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