Selection from – Ethics – Part II. On the Nature and Origin of the Mind (Page 6)

Spinoza's Words: (the human mind has the capability to comprehend the universe)

Proposition. VII. The order and connection of ideas is the same as the order and connection of things.



This is a famous proposition. Its brevity belies its importance. As proof of the proposition Spinoza says that it is evident from an axiom in Part I that states: The knowledge of an effect depends on and involves the knowledge of a cause.What is stated there is that a certain cause has a certain result – resulting in a universe that is lawful.

In this proposition he is connecting ideas and things - the two realms that Descartes declared were separate. An idea is an important concept in Spinoza's philosophy. It is not a notion or an image of something. For Spinoza an idea is an act of thought, it is the mind in action.