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Philosophy Forum: Spinoza on Scientia Intuitiva

Posted on: August 12th, 2014 by skultety

Dr. Kristin Primus

University of California, Berkeley

April 11th at 4:00-5:30 in Bryant Hall 200

“Spinoza on Scientia Intuitiva

Scientia Intuitiva—a special form of cognition from which arises the greatest satisfaction of mind and an intellectual love of God—is a keystone notion in Spinoza’s Ethics. But few scholars have focused much attention on it and often treat it either as so cognitively demanding that actual people cannot achieve it, or as a mystical experience that eludes precise characterization. I present a novel account of Scientia Intuitiva that is neither mystical nor unachievable. While it is still difficult and rare, all human beings have the capacity to attain it. And it can be precisely characterized as exploiting, in one intuition, the power of two famous Cartesian intuitions: the cogito and the Fifth Meditation’s argument for the existence of God.”

The format of this event will be a workshop of Dr. Primus’ paper. Requests for an advance copy of the paper can be directed to Dr. Donovan Wishon (

More information about future UM Philosophy Forum events can be found on the department calendar at

can be found on the department calendar at