The Supreme Grade of Knowledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


At the end of 5p36s, Spinoza refers to the inferences of the third kind of knowledge, which is called scientia intuitiva. This inference is “from the very essence of any singular thing” (Curley I: 613). Scientia intuitiva is the knowledge of individual (particular or singular) things. This knowledge is not immediate, with no procedure and evidences; on the contrary, it rests upon a special kind of sound inference. For instance, this supreme grade of knowledge demonstrates concretely and completely how each individual thing necessarily and eternally depends on God, whereas ratio teaches us about this dependence generaliter only, in a general way only, as a general rule. The major question that scientia intuitiva should answer particulariter, fully concretely is: “How our Mind, with respect both to essence and existence, follow … from the divine nature, and continually depends on God”? (ibid.).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Archives of the History of Ideas/Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Idees
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages70
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameInternational Archives of the History of Ideas/Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Idees
ISSN (Print)0066-6610
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0307

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy
  • History
  • Religious studies


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