- 法政大学文学部紀要 = Bulletin of the Faculty of Letters, Hosei University (ISSN:04412486)
- vol.79, pp.31-46, 2019-09-30
Once, Schopenhauer had criticized Descartes and Spinoza as holding judgmental (or intellectualist) theories of the will. But, largely, scholars agree that Descartes’ theory of judgment is, in fact, a volitional or voluntaristic one. In this paper, we argue that Spinoza inherits such a volitional theory of judgment, which subordinates judgment to the will instead of subordinating the will to intellectual judgment, from Descartes.It is true that, in his book Ethics, Spinoza criticizes Descartes’ free-will doctrine and two-step theory of judgment, as per which first the intellect provides ideas and then the will asserts or denies them. Nevertheless, Spinoza does identify the intellect with the will, or ideas with judgments, and we can consider his view as a deterministic volitional theory of judgment as well as an identity theory of ideas and volitional judgments. According to this identity theory, every idea necessarily contains volitional and assertive elements and is identical with affirmative or negative judgment.However, such reading may be doubted because the term “will” may have different meanings in his theory of judgment and in the context of practical decisions. One of the scholars who suggests Spinoza’s equivocal use of “will” is Bennett. He insists his reading by referring to Spinoza’s remark in his Ethics Part II, Proposition 48, Scholium. However, we argue that this is not sustainable. Yet, there is another reading which attributes equivocal usage of the term “will” to Spinoza, according to which the term “will” in Spinoza’s theory of judgment denotes a deserted concept used in his previous writing, which happens to be incorporated into Ethics. We also deny this reading and provide a univocal usage of the term “will” in the contexts of both intellectual judgments and practical decisions.