Alison Peterman


University of Rochester

The Attribute-Neutral Foundations of Spinoza’s Physics

The most fundamental principles of Cartesian physics make reference to extension and motion. These have no counterparts in minds and it seems we cannot learn anything about minds by considering them. For example, the distinction between bodies is determined by their relative motion and their mutual interaction is governed by the conservation of total quantity of motion. It is hard to see how such principles of individuation and collision could help us understand the individuation of minds or their causal powers.