more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 4831

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 5. Interpretation]

Full Idea

If the human body is affected in a manner which involves the nature of any external body, the human mind will regard the said external body as actually existing.

Gist of Idea

If the body is affected by an external object, the mind can't help believing that the object exists


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], II Pr 17)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics, Improvement of Understanding, Letters', ed/tr. Elwes,R [Dover 1955], p.98

A Reaction

This is like one of Hume's 'natural beliefs', and seems to me a powerful idea. One of the basic questions of epistemology is, apart from the question 'which beliefs can I justify?', also 'which beliefs can I never abandon?' Skip the scepticism?