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Discussion

The study of philosophy is vast and the complicated for its reflections and contemplations thatched seek to question the very nature of the nature and existence itself. There have been, multiple philosophers with heat own respective thought and perspectives through chic they attempt to understand and deconstruct the world around them in ana effort to understand the why, what and how of the world around them. Among the very many philosophers that have existed, one such philosopher who presented his own thought and theories is Baruch Spinoza. Spinoza is one of the most important and important philosophers in western philosophy. A major contributor for this is his radical contemplations and theories which he propounded. Bering mostly prolific during the early modern period, Spinoza’s philosophy consisted  large aspects of the Cartesian metaphysics. His philosophy also took influence from the epistemological principles of from philosophers like that of Hobbes and also from Ancient Stoicism and medieval Jewish rationalism. A major theme that evolved around his philosophy was that of naturalism and having naturalistic perspectives on humans, contemplation fanout their nature and the existence of God and the world. Spinoza also took his swing in the nature and source of knowledge. This paper aims to discuss the theories and perspectives of Spinoza about out sources of knowledge and  the reasons or our disagreement over knowledge and the means through which to resolve these disagreements. The paper also sim to the understand the means through which the sources of the knower laid by Spinoza are acquired and help in the formation of the ideas.

The book Ethics, Demonstrated in Geometrical Order, or more commonly known as “Ethics”, was written by Spinoza between 1661 and 1675. In the book, Spinoza documented in great detail his philosophical thoughts and the contemplation. In the book, Spinoza also talks about the throughputs and theories he had about knower and how us ad human being are subjected and interact with and gain knowledge. He states that, similar to that God, the human minds comprise of ideas. these ideas can be sensory, qualitative, or that of perpetual data. Ideas can also be figments of imagination which are imprecise in nature. These ideas, according to Spinoza are considered to be the expressions of thought if states of the body. This body, at the same time is also affected by other bodies that are around it. Then ideas which thew body experience are incomplete and cannot convey the complete and true knowledge of the world. Rather they provide a partial and relative picture of thaw how the world is received by the perceiver. “As long as the human Mind perceives things from the common order of nature, it does not have an adequate, but only a confused and mutilated knowledge of itself, of its own Body, and of external bodies”(Ethics, IIp29c). I these circumstances, there is the simple determination of ideas from the fortuitous and random encounters that we have with the external world.  but this will not yield complete and true knowledge ab out the essence of the things and objects of perception. As such “knowledge from random experience” is also considered to be the origin for delusion, and through this we are unaware of just how we are determined through causes.

Spinoza's Concept of Adequate Knowledge

On the other hand,  adequate ideas are formed through a rational and orderly manner which are necessarily true  of the essences of the things. The other kind of knowledge is that font he reasons which if the apprehension of the essence of things and is brought about through inference. “A true idea means nothing other than knowing a thing perfectly, or in the best way”(IIp43s). It is the grasping at the causal and conceptual connections to the attributes of God and infinite modes which follow immediately form them. These attributes directly and immediately flow from them and the “common notions” that are the selected features are presents in all of the mods of attributes. The adequate idea of objects and things aim to clearly and distinctly situate its object through all of its causal nexuses along with its conceptual relations. This shoes that what, why and how of things and not just merely that “that” of the object

A person which truly sees and knows anything, in reality, sees these reasons why this object of things of contemplation was determined to be and why to couped not yet been a nothing otherwise other than itself. “It is of the nature of Reason to regard things as necessary, not as contingent” (IIp43). The belief the are some things which is accidental or spontaneous can only be defined through adequate understanding of the causal explanation of things.

Spinoza also sense experience on its own, could never provide the same amount of information of that of adequate ideas. The sense allows for the understanding of the things as they appear for given moments in a particular perception. Adequate ideas through there depiction of a thing follows necessarily from of attribute to another of the God’s attribute and presents it in an “eternal” aspect of sub specie etretinate which means that  it is unrelating without time. ““It is of the nature of Reason to regard things as necessary and not as contingent. And Reason perceives this necessity of things truly, i.e., as it is in itself. But this necessity of things is the very necessity of God’s eternal nature. Therefore, it is of the nature of Reason to regard things under this species of eternity” (IIp44).

The third source of the knowledge that Spinoza lays down so that of the intuition. Intuition is defined by h8im as something that takes the knowledge acquired through reason and through the process of mental contemplation grasps at a single, perspicacious act of the mind.

Conclusion

The three sources of the knowledge that Spinoza states is something that allows for the three gradual understanding of the world that is external to the human mind,  

The understanding of Spinoza concept of adequate knowledge consists of the revelation of the unrivaled optimism in relation to the cognitive power of the human mind and being. Rene Descartes stated that there is a limit to which human can het to know the knowledge of all Nature and its innermost secrets and that there is a degree of knowledge after which there cannot be knowledge that is can be comprehended by humans. But in contrast to this belief, Spinoza states that it is indeed possible to known in death ad full degree of all of Nature. What is most remarkable is that, due to the fact that Spinoza assumed that their adequate knowledge of any and all objects and substances, along with knowledge of  nature as a whole, consists of a knowledge of the essence of Gd and the means through which it relates to God and attributes, Spinoza also bore no scruples in the claiming that we as humans are able to perfectly understand and comprehend the nature of God and, both perfectly and adequately. “The knowledge of God’s eternal and infinite essence that each idea involves is adequate and perfect” (IIp46). “The human Mind has an adequate knowledge of God’s eternal and infinite essence” (IIp47).

This claim makes Spinoza unique compared to his peers and other philosophers as there are no other philosophers that claim that God and be known perfectly and adequately. But it also needs to be noted that there is no other philosopher attempt to associate and identify God with that of Nature.

 In my own opinion, although Spinoza lays done tribal explanation for the courses of knowledge, it become hard to accepts the validity of the human mind being able to the perfectly and adequately know all of the Nature. Even though Spinoza associates and interties God with Nature, remain true that God has infinite modes and attributes. One the other hand, human have a finite set of modes and attribute and although these attributes can infer the knowledge of the external world and God, and through its Nature, it become impossible  to know about all infinite modes and attributes as finite existence. Due to this, it become impossible for the human mind to be able contemplate and truly and perfectly and adequately know knowledge and God.

Conclusion    

Spinoza lays down the clauses through which there can be brought about the understanding of the external world that is around us.  The main sources of our knowledge, according to Spinoza comes from sense experience, reason and intuition. Through the application of these knowledge sources, Spinoza states that the human mind can comprehends and understand the external world perfectly and adequately. This understanding by Spinoza also extended to the understanding of Nature and by its virtue also God. There for the uniqueness of the Sinisa ns his understanding of knowledge brings about the thew conclusion that humans through adequate ideas are capable fop the knowing all of the God and through it of Nature, perfectly and adequately. This line of the thought even goes against Descartes and Hobbs from whom Spinoza berths his own philosophical through and reflections.  

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[Accessed 28 February 2024].

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