Modus, pars. Note per una discussione sul lessico spinoziano


Cristina Santinelli (Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo")


The mos geometricus utilized to write his Ethics allows Spinoza to use language rigorously and in such a way as to express the appropriate ideas of things (res) as closely as possible. The term modus, chosen by Spinoza to put into words the ontological status of dependence, has its own specific definition in Ethics and belongs to the founding lexicon of this work (along with substantia and attributus). Spinoza’s warning not to confuse modus with pars (the latter being an abstract term and inadequate to express the essence of things because of its sensible and imaginative origin) does not prevent the Philosopher from making use of it in a particularly significant and coherent way, to indicate the ideas of belonging and composition. Ideas that concern the existential condition of man within Nature and his ethical-political dimension, but that also help to understand the notion of Amor Dei intellectualis that concludes the Ethics. So the term pars reveals itself as indispensable to express the many and different forms of the community dimension that our ontological status of substantiae modi imprints on all of us as a necessity.

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