more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 4836

[catalogued under 16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 7. Self and Body / a. Self needs body]

Full Idea

The mind does not know itself, except in so far as it perceives the ideas of the modifications of the body.

Gist of Idea

The mind only knows itself by means of ideas of the modification of the body


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], II Pr 29)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics, Improvement of Understanding, Letters', ed/tr. Elwes,R [Dover 1955], p.106

A Reaction

This is reminiscent of Hume's 'bundle of perceptions' report of introspection. It is in tune with a modern 'animalist' view of a person, and with a view of the mind as a map of the body and its environs. Is he a sceptic about personal identity?