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Spring Colloquium Series - Yitzhak Melamed
WhenWednesday, May 24, 2017, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Campus roomSAV 408
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsDepartment of Philosophy
University of Washington

Location: SAV 408

Spinoza’s Mereology

Yitzhak Melamed
Charlotte Bloomberg Professor of Philosophy
Johns Hopkins University

In this paper I attempt to reconstruct the outline of Spinoza’s mereology. In the first part, I will begin with a preliminary exploration of Spinoza’s understanding of part and whole and attempt to explain Spinoza’s claim that certain things are indivisible. In the second part, I will study and explain Spinoza’s view on the priority of parts to their wholes, and point out the contrast between the whole-part and substance-mode relationships in Spinoza. In the third part, I will investigate the termini of Spinoza’s mereology: the largest wholes and the smallest parts (if there are any). In the fourth part, I will attempt to explain and motivate Spinoza’s claim that mereology cuts across the attributes, i.e., the fact that the parallelism among the attributes preserves the same mereological relations. In order to motivate this claim, we will have to clarify the relationship between mereology and causation in Spinoza, and explain his notion of “singular things.”

Yitzhak Y. Melamed is the Charlotte Bloomberg Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University. He works on Early Modern Philosophy, German Idealism, Medieval Philosophy, and some issues in contemporary metaphysics (time, mereology, and trope theory), and is the author of Spinoza’s Metaphysics: Substance and Thought (Oxford University Press, 2013).…
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