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  1. Human Action and Virtue in Descartes and Spinoza.Noa Naaman-Zauderer - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (1):25-40.
    In this paper, I argue that despite undeniable fundamental differences between Descartes’ and Spinoza’s accounts of human action, there are some striking similarities between their views on right action, moral motivation, and virtue that are usually overlooked. I will argue, first, that both thinkers define virtue in terms of activity or freedom, mutatis mutandis, and thus in terms of actual power of acting. Second, I will claim that both Descartes and Spinoza hold a non-consequentialist approach to virtue, by which human (...)
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  • Affect, Desire, and Judgement in Spinoza's Account of Motivation.Justin Steinberg - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (1):67-87.
    Two priority problems frustrate our understanding of Spinoza on desire [cupiditas]. The first problem concerns the relationship between desire and the other two primary affects, joy [laetitia] and sadness [tristitia]. Desire seems to be the oddball of this troika, not only because, contrary to the very definition of an affect, desires do not themselves consist in changes in one's power of acting, but also because desire seems at once more and less basic than joy and sadness. The second problem concerns (...)
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  • Spinoza’s Genealogical Critique of His Contemporaries’ Axiology.Benedict Rumbold - 2017 - Intellectual History Review 27 (4):543-560.
    Among Spinoza’s principal projects in the Ethics is his effort to “remove” certain metaethical prejudices from the minds of his readers, to “expose” them, as he has similar misconceptions about other matters, by submitting them to the “scrutiny of reason”. In this article, I consider the argumentative strategy Spinoza uses here – and its intellectual history – in depth. I argue that Spinoza’s method is best characterised as a genealogical analysis. As I recount, by Spinoza’s time of writing, these kinds (...)
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  • Spinoza on Lying and Suicide.Steven Nadler - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (2):257-278.
    Spinoza is often taken to claim that suicide is never a rational act, that a ‘free’ person acting by the guidance of reason will never terminate his/her own existence. Spinoza also defends the prima facie counterintuitive claim that the rational person will never act dishonestly. This second claim can, in fact, be justified when Spinoza's moral psychology and account of motivation are properly understood. Moreover, making sense of the free man's exception-less honesty in this way also helps to clarify how (...)
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  • Spinoza on Emotion and Akrasia.Christiaan Remmelzwaal - 2016 - Dissertation, Université de Neuchatel
    The objective of this doctoral dissertation is to interpret the explanation of akrasia that the Dutch philosopher Benedictus Spinoza (1632-1677) gives in his work The Ethics. One is said to act acratically when one intentionally performs an action that one judges to be worse than another action which one believes one might perform instead. In order to interpret Spinoza’s explanation of akrasia, a large part of this dissertation investigates Spinoza’s theory of emotion. The first chapter is introductory and outlines Spinoza’s (...)
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