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A Critical Assesment of Spinoza’s Theory of Affect: Affects, Beliefs, and Human Freedom
Affects are intentional structures of beliefs and desires. Many philosophers have plausibly argued that Spinoza’s theory of ideas is a kind of theory of belief by this time yet this claim has rarely been taken into account when it comes to Spinoza’s theory of affects, which is a part of his theory of ideas. This paper shows that if this point is taken seriously when regarding Spinoza’s theory of affects we reach significant results about the fifth part of Ethics. To confirm this, I shall strive to show that all affects depend on some beliefs by analyzing Spinoza’s theory of affects regarding his theory of ideas, and in particular an affirmation which an idea naturally involves. From this revelation, we will be able to see that Spinoza’s theory of affects appeared in third and fourth part of Ethics is inconsistent with the fifth part of Ethics in so far as three therapy methods given at the beginning of the fifth part of Ethics are considered. Additionally, and suitably to this assertion, I will also show that arguments by which soundness of these therapy methods are guaranteed seem logically invalid. Finally, I will try to revise Spinoza’s therapy methods by taking all errors and core ideas in Spinoza’s theory of affects into consideration.

Spinoza, affect, idea, affirmation, desire, belief, affection, freedom.

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