The Spiritual Automaton: Spinoza's Science of the Mind

2014.08.17 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Eugene Marshall, The Spiritual Automaton: Spinoza's Science of the Mind, Oxford University Press, 2013, 242pp., $65.00 (hbk),
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2014.08.17 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Eugene Marshall, The Spiritual Automaton: Spinoza's Science of the Mind, Oxford University Press, 2013, 242pp., $65.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199675531. Reviewed by Matthew J. Kisner, University of South Carolina The title of this book is taken from an intriguing passage in the early Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, where Spinoza claims that his philosophy is distinctive for conceiving of the soul as a "spiritual automaton." According to Marshall, this means, first, that Spinoza conceives of the mind like a machine, as an organized collection of parts, operating in accordance with laws of nature. Second, it means that the soul aims to be self-directed, determined by its own internal mechanisms, like a watch. Taking this metaphor as a guiding idea, he aims to explain Spinoza's view on the mental "mechanisms" by which the mind operates, with an eye to explaining how it does so when it is self-directing. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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