Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
John R. M. Bristol
The essence of Spinoza's system is to be found in its very unity. This is found in the reflection of the unity of God in the structure of his Ethic. As a result of this, how one goes about reading the Ethic is directly responsible for one's ability to piece the whole of the system together. The main problem with commentators' positions, for example, lies in just such an inability.
The position taken in this thesis is essentially a proposal for how to read the Ethic and how one can tie the whole together in any analysis. I begin with a discussion of unity and the structure of the Ethic as revealed by this unity. I then proceed to discuss Spinoza's conception of the path to a life of reason; a discussion which culminates in a presentation of his Ethic in Scientia Intuitiva, and his notion of Immortality. I take these last two positions as standards of one's ability to tie the Ethic together and reveal its inherent integrity. This, then, leads to a discussion of commentators' views and a display of their limitations in revealing the integrity of Spinoza's thoughts.
This thesis marks the first step of the study of Spinoza. One must grasp the fundamental integrity of his thoughts before one can proceed to a defense or criticism of his position. It is not, therefore, a topical analysis of his system, but a proposal which encompasses what I feel to be the essentials of his total position. By working from this whole of the Ethic to this particular proposal I hope to be able to reveal, by example if necessary, the fundamental integrity of God and of Spinoza's system.
Carruthers, William Taylor, "The Integrity of Ethic: Spinoza's Intuitive Science" (1977). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 4560.
McMaster University Library