Dennett and Spinoza

Walter Veit in the Australasian Philosophical Review:

Genevieve Lloyd has done much to promote serious engagement with Baruch Spinoza and has demonstrated many ways in which Spinoza can inform and challenge current debates in the philosophical mainstream. In her article in this issue, Lloyd invites us to challenge the simplistic caricature of Spinoza as a paradigm ‘rationalist’, thus providing us with rich insights into the subtleties of Spinoza’s naturalist view on minds, knowledge, and reason. This more accurate picture, however, offers a striking similarity to the work of Daniel Dennett. Indeed, Spinoza and Dennett are alike in sharing their fervent opposition to Descartes’ conception of mind and body.

Lloyd [2021] herself alludes to Dennett when she suggests that a serious engagement with Spinoza might allow us to provide an alternative framing of the problem of consciousness—one that replaces the current metaphors with what Dennett [1991: 455] would describe as novel ‘tools of thought’. While Lloyd [2017] has addressed the connection between Spinoza and the problem of consciousness in a previous publication, little has been made of the connection between these two Anti-Cartesian conceptions of the mind.

More here.