Abstract

Spinoza's account of acquiescentia has been obscured by inconsistent translations of acquiescentia, and forms of the verb acquiescere, in the standard English edition of the Ethics. For Spinoza, acquiescentia is an inherently cognitive affect, since it involves an idea of oneself (as the cause of one's joy). As such, the affect is closely correlated to the three kinds of cognition identified by Spinoza in Ethics II. Just as there are three kinds of cognition, so too are there three kinds of acquiescentia. Two qualities—stillness and obedience—provide the criteria for distinguishing between these. This illuminates Spinoza's positive account of acquiescentia, and also clarifies how it responds critically to the equivalent Cartesian passion, la satisfaction de soimême, which is translated as acquiescentia in se ipso in the relevant Latin edition of Les passions de l'âme.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 209-236
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-11
Open Access
No
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