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From Ordinary Life to Blessedness, The Power of Intuitive Knowledge in Spinoza's Ethics

In Matthew Kisner & Andrew Youpa (eds.), Essays on Spinoza's Ethical Theory. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 236-257 (2014)

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  1. The Susceptibility of Intuitive Knowledge to Akrasia in Spinoza's Ethical Thought.Sanem Soyarslan - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (4):725-747.
    Spinoza unequivocally states in the Ethics that intuitive knowledge is more powerful than reason. Nonetheless, it is not clear what exactly this greater power promises in the face of the passions. Does this mean that intuitive knowledge is not liable to akrasia? Ronald Sandler offers what, to my knowledge, is the only explicit answer to this question in recent Spinoza scholarship. According to Sandler, intuitive knowledge, unlike reason, is not susceptible to akrasia. This is because, intuitive knowledge enables the knower (...)
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  • Spinoza on Ingenium and Exemplarity: Some Consequences for Educational Theory.Johan Dahlbeck - 2020 - Studies in Philosophy and Education:1-21.
    This article turns to the neglected pedagogical concept of ingenium in order to address some shortcomings of the admiration–emulation model of Linda Zabzebski’s influential exemplarist moral theory. I will start by introducing the problem of the admiration-emulation model by way of a fictional example. I will then briefly outline the concept of ingenium such as it appears in a Renaissance context, looking particularly at the pedagogical writings of Juan Luis Vives. This will set the stage for the next part, looking (...)
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  • Rational Devotion and Human Perfection.Christina Chuang - 2020 - Synthese 197 (6):2333-2355.
    In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna lays out three paths of yoga as the means to achieve human perfection: the path of self-less action, the path of knowledge, and the path of devotion. In this paper I will argue for an interpretation of the Gita in which the path of devotion is the last step that leads to moksha. This is not to claim that bhakti yoga is more important than karma and jnana yoga, but rather that the latter two are more (...)
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  • From Humility to Envy: Q Uestioning the Usefulness of Sad Passions as a Means Towards Virtue in Spinoza's Ethics.Sanem Soyarslan - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (1):33-47.
    In the Ethics Spinoza defines certain traditional virtues such as humility and repentance as species of sadness and denies that they are virtues. He nonetheless holds that they can turn out to be useful as a means towards virtue—in fact, the greatest virtue of blessedness—in the life of someone who is not guided by reason. In this paper, I examine Spinoza’s relatively overlooked claim regarding the usefulness of sad passions as a means towards blessedness. In taking up Spinoza’s treatment of (...)
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  • A Critical Assesment of Spinoza’s Theory of Affect: Affects, Beliefs, and Human Freedom.Ahmet Aktaş - 2018 - Beytulhikme An International Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):251-272.
  • Spinoza’s Critique of Humility in the Ethics.Sanem Soyarslan - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (3):342-364.
    Abstract: In the "Ethics" Spinoza denies that humility is a virtue on the grounds that it arises from a reflection on our lack of power, rather than a rational understanding of our power (Part IV, Proposition 53, Demonstration). He suggests that humility, to the extent that it involves a consideration of our weakness, indicates a lack of self-understanding. However, in a brief remark in the same demonstration he also allows that conceiving our lack of power can be conducive to self-understanding (...)
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  • The Distinction Between Reason and Intuitive Knowledge in Spinoza's Ethics.Sanem Soyarslan - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):27-54.
    While both intuitive knowledge and reason are adequate ways of knowing for Spinoza, they are not equal. Intuitive knowledge, which Spinoza describes as the ‘greatest virtue of mind’, is superior to reason. The nature of this superiority has been the subject of some controversy due to Spinoza's notoriously parsimonious treatment of the distinction between reason and intuitive knowledge in the Ethics. In this paper, I argue that intuitive knowledge differs from reason not only in terms of its method of cognition—but (...)
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