Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science
Online ISSN : 1884-1228
Print ISSN : 0453-0691
ISSN-L : 0453-0691
Spinoza on Contemporary Monism: A Further Discussion
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2020 Volume 29 Pages 93-105


This paper seeks to reveal a formal similarity between Jonathan Schaffer's argument for monism and Benedict de Spinoza's argument for substance monism. Since Spinoza was referred to as a “priority monist” in Schaffer (2010), some scholars have discussed the validity of this interpretation. Among these, Mogens Lærke's criticism is the most important and critical. According to his criticism, Spinoza is not even a “monist” because substance cannot be counted as one. In this paper, I argue that the “tiling constraint,” which Schaffer introduces for inquiring what the basic actual concrete objects are, does not depend on counting, pace Lærke. Schaffer invokes it to give directions to monism. Furthermore, I show that the indivisibility of substance is Spinoza's counterpart of one of two conditions which constitute the tiling constraint. He argues that the substance cannot be divided into substantial parts. In conclusion, Spinoza's position is allowed to be at least formally considered as a monism in Schaffer's sense.

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