This chapter considers Hegel’s critique of Spinoza’s method of philosophical knowledge, which is reminiscent of René Descartes’ in its employment of mathematical procedures. Only a superficial resemblance exists between the truth of mathematics and the truth of philosophy, except during Spinoza’s era when mathematical reasoning seemed like the strongest weapon against the authority of dogmatic theories. Hegel argues that the geometric method has a limited validity, deals with abstract realities, and is therefore not suitable for application outside its own domain. Spinoza, on the other hand, identifies the original sense of the word method as the true path of the true idea, which forms in the mind according to laws that are proper to its nature, independently of any exterior model.
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