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By James Mackintosh

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Two of the references to Herrera, however, seem to point to a direct literary connection and are of special significance. Cf. , I. 245 and 314. 15. Elimah Rabbati, I, 16. Behind the Geometrical Method 15 gies, and we were especially careful to avoid the extension of analogies beyond the limits of what the actual facts warranted, and also to avoid the suggestion of influences when no direct literary relationship could be established. Had we thought it advisable we could have eliminated all the quotationS from our texts, either by omitting them altogether or by giving them in paraphrase form.

But the parallel is imperfect in one rather interesting respect. The four stages of cognition in the Republic are distinguished from one another primarily by a difference in their objects. There may also be a difference in the state of mind of the knower. Dianoia, for example, may be distinguished from noesis not only by its being concerned with mathematical objects rather than forms, but also by its involving a process of reasoning as opposed to an immediate apprehension of its object. But the differences in the objects of cognition are fundamental.

Behind the Geometrical Method 19 that it was boiled down to a concentrated essence, and it is this concentrated essence that we are served in the form of propositions. The Ethics is not a communication to the world; it is Spinoza's communication with himself. In its concentrated form of exposition and in the baffling allusiveness and ellipticalness of its style, the Ethics may be compared to the Talmudic and rabbinic writings upon which Spinoza was brought up, and it is in that spirit in which the old rabbinic scholars approach the study of their standard texts that we must approach the study of the Ethics.

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