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Single Idea 20308

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 5. Coherentism / b. Pro-coherentism]

Full Idea

The mind has only a confused knowledge of itself, its own body, and external bodies, as long as it is perceived from fortuitous encounters with things, ...and not internally, from the agreements, differences and oppositions of a number of things at once.

Gist of Idea

Encounters with things confuse the mind, and internal comparisons bring clarity

Source

Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], II Pr29s)

A Reaction

[compressed] This is a very nice expression of the commitment to coherence as justification, typical of the rationalist view of things. Empiricists are trapped in an excessively atomistic concept of knowledge (one impression or sense datum at a time).

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics', ed/tr. Curley,Edwin [Penguin 1996], p.52