more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 21863

[catalogued under 11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 1. Certainty]

Full Idea

Who can know that he understands some thing unless he first understands it? That is, who can know that he is certain about some thing unless he is first certain about it?

Gist of Idea

You only know you are certain of something when you actually are certain of it


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], II Pr 43S)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics', ed/tr. Curley,Edwin [Penguin 1996], p.58

A Reaction

This seems to beg the question, which concerns how you get to the state of full understanding or certainty in the first place. Spinoza thinks only certainty counts as knowledge, which seems to derive from Descartes. I prefer Peirce.