Due via e-mail (to your TA, with cc to me) Tues., Feb. 22.
Please choose one of the eight definitions or one of the seven axioms at the beginning of the Ethics. Point out some way in which the axiom or definition is odd or surprising -- i.e., a way in which someone might argue that the definition or axiom in question should be corrected -- and explain briefly why Spinoza would not be able to prove one of his key conclusions (either Prop. 11 or Prop. 14) unless this definition or axiom were put the way it is. (Note that the axiom or definition need not appear directly in the proof of the proposition in question; it might be in the proof of one of the earlier propositions. If so you need to explain both how Spinoza's version is necessary for the proof of the earlier proposition, and how that earlier proposition is necessary for the proof of Prop. 11 or 14.) Finally, suggest briefly how Spinoza might defend his version of the axiom or definition. (Needless to say this should be your own original work.1)
Note that, as with the first assignment, this is not a full scale paper--please do not write an introduction and conclusion, summarize other parts of the Ethics, etc.