21 Dec 2008

Spinoza's Ethics Part 1, Axiom 5

[the following is quotation; my summary and commentary is in brackets. The Latin text comes last.]

Spinoza, Ethics

Part I "Concerning God"

Axiom V:

V. Things which have nothing in common cannot be understood, the one by means of the other ; the conception of one does not involve the conception of the other.

[Understanding one thing by means of another requires that they share something in common, otherwise they would not relate to each other in any way, and hence one would say nothing about the other. So when things share nothing in common, when we consider one, we consider nothing about the other.]

From the Latin:

V. Quæ nihil commune cum se invicem habent, etiam per se invicem intelligi non possunt, sive conceptus unius alterius conceptum non involvit.

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