Spinoza

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By blaine
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John Locke was a 17th-century English philosopher whose ideas formed the foundation of liberal democracy and greatly influenced both the American and French revolutions. His contributions to philosophy include the theory of knowledge known as empiricism, which addressed the limits of what we can understand about the nature of reality. Locke held that our understanding of reality ultimately derives from what we have experienced through the senses. The political implications of his theories included the notions that all people are born equal and that education can free people from the subjugation of tyranny. Locke also believed that government had a moral obligation to guarantee that individuals always retained sovereignty over their own rights, including ownership of property that resulted from their own labor.
We may remark, in passing, that the modern theory of the transmutation of species is nothing but an application of Locke's teaching that species have no objective reality. Let us also note the important fact that this extreme nominalism closely approximates extreme realism. Scholastic nominalism denies the reality of species, and absolutely affirms the reality of individuals to the exclusion of everything else. In this sense Leibniz is a nominalist. English nominalism, from which the theory of transformation takes its rise, denies not only the existence of species, but also the stability of the individuals themselves. All things, says Locke, besides their author, are liable to change. Now this is exactly what Spinoza teaches. He is not content with repudiating universals for the sake of the one universal Being, but considers the individuals themselves as passing modes of what he calls substance, what the materialists call matter, and Locke and the positivists call the great unknown.
When experience means that the Notion has objective actuality for…...

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