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  1. suprunp's Avatar
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    #1

    insofar as *its* essence

    The power of an affect is defined by the power of the cause insofar as its essence is explicated or defined through the essence of its cause.
    (Spinoza "Complete Works" with translations by Samuel Shirley. "Ethics", Part V, 'Of the Power of the Intellect, or of Human Freedom', Axioms, #2)

    Does grammar explicitly and unambiguously tell us that its refers to 'an affect' and not to 'the cause'?
    (It is quite obvious taking into consideration the context, but what if we were dealing with a similar sentence lacking in such a clear context?)

    Thanks.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: insofar as *its* essence

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    Does grammar explicitly and unambiguously tell us that its refers to 'an affect' and not to 'the cause'?
    Thanks.
    No it doesn't.

  3. suprunp's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: insofar as *its* essence

    May I ask you the same question about another sentence from the same book?

    (My point is that if this sentence turns out to be 'slightly obscure' while looking at it from a grammatical point of view then what is the reason of writing (=translating) in such an ambiguous way?)

    This intellectual love follows necessarily from the nature of the mind insofar as that is considered as an eternal truth through God's nature.
    (Spinoza "Complete Works" with translations by Samuel Shirley. "Ethics", Part V, 'Of the Power of the Intellect, or of Human Freedom', Proposition 37, proof)

    Thanks.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: insofar as *its* essence

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    May I ask you the same question about another sentence from the same book?

    (My point is that if this sentence turns out to be 'slightly obscure' while looking at it from a grammatical point of view then what is the reason of writing (=translating) in such an ambiguous way?)

    People don't try to write or translate ambiguously. It just happens to some people.


    This intellectual love follows necessarily from the nature of the mind insofar as that is considered as an eternal truth through God's nature.
    (Spinoza "Complete Works" with translations by Samuel Shirley. "Ethics", Part V, 'Of the Power of the Intellect, or of Human Freedom', Proposition 37, proof)

    Thanks.
    Yes, this is also ambiguous, and the context, such as it is, doesn't help much. I'd guess that it's the nature of mind that is being considered as an eternal truth. But if A follows necessarily from B, and B is considered an eternal truth, then A must also be considered an eternal truth.
    Last edited by Raymott; 25-Jun-2011 at 04:03.

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