more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 21801

[catalogued under 11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / e. Belief holism]

Full Idea

Unlike Descartes, who held an atomist theory of belief (that we can assent to a belief quite independently of our other beliefs), Spinoza endorsed a holistic theory of belief - that our degree of affirmation is essentially determined by our other ideas.

Gist of Idea

Unlike Descartes' atomism, Spinoza held a holistic view of belief


report of Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], II Pr 49S) by Stephan Schmid - Faculties in Early Modern Philosophy 3

Book Reference

'The Faculties: a history', ed/tr. Perler,Dominic [OUP 2015], p.166

A Reaction

Since I am a fan of the coherence theory of justification, I seem obligated to accept a fairly holistic account of the acceptance of beliefs. Descartes is a foundationalist.