Ethics of Joy: Spinoza on the Empowered Life, by Andrew Youpa. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. Pp. 208
Mind 131 (523):995-1005 (2022)
AbstractThe central argument of Youpa's book is that Spinoza's moral philosophy offers a distinctive variety of moral realism, grounded in a standard of human nature. In this review essay, I provide an overview of Youpa's remarkably lucid interpretation of Spinoza. However, I also critique Youpa's conception of the 'free man' as an objective standard of perfection which (a) applies equally to all humans, and (b) which has objective moral force in the sense that it ought to be approached. I sketch an alternative reading of Spinoza which denies a shared human essence, and which denies that an individual ought to become more perfect than they in fact are. I argue that Youpa's reading rests on the conflation of Spinoza's concepts of active power and adequate causation. I then suggest that Youpa's resultant excessive focus on a rational human essence as 'what we fundamentally are' leads him to downplay a more developmental and imaginative dimension to Spinoza's moral philosophy.
Similar books and articles
LeBuffe, Michael. From Bondage to Freedom: Spinoza on Human Excellence.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. 253. $74.00. [REVIEW]Andrew Youpa - 2011 - Ethics 121 (2):456-460.
Essays on Spinoza's Ethical Theory ed. by Matthew J. Kisner and Andrew Youpa.J. Thomas Cook - 2017 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (2):352-353.
Spinoza's Theory of the Good.Andrew Youpa - 2009 - In Olli Koistinen (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza's Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
The Explainability of Experience: Realism and Subjectivity in Spinoza’s Theory of the Human Mind: Renz, Ursula, New York: Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. xiv + 328, £47.99 (hardback).Karolina Hübner - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):413-416.
A new collection of studies on Spinoza: Michael Della Rocca : The Oxford handbook of Spinoza. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018, xvii 687, pp $150 HB. [REVIEW]Francesca Poppa - 2019 - Metascience 28 (2):321-324.
A new collection of studies on Spinoza: Michael Della Rocca : The Oxford handbook of Spinoza. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018, xvii 687, pp $150 HB. [REVIEW]Francesca di Poppa - 2019 - Metascience 28 (2):321-324.
Review Essay: Making the World Safe for Compatibility: Hashemi, Nader. Islam, Secularism and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 304 pp. $65.00 . Kamrava, Mehran. Iran's Intellectual Revolution Cambridge. UK: Cambridge University Press. 2008. 288 pp. $85.00 , $33.99 . March, Andrew F. Islam and Liberal Citizenship: The Search for an Overlapping Consensus by Andrew F. March. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 360 pp. $55.00.Roxanne L. Euben - 2010 - Political Theory 38 (3):424-441.
Daniel Halliday and John Thrasher, The Ethics of Capitalism: An Introduction. New York, United States of America: Oxford University Press, 2020. ISBN 9780190096212, $29.95, Pbk. [REVIEW]Jeffrey Carroll - 2022 - Journal of Value Inquiry 56 (3):511-516.
David F. Channell, The Vital Machine: A Study of Technology and Organic Life. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Pp. xi + 192. ISBN 0-19-506040-7. $22.95. [REVIEW]Andrew Pyle - 1993 - British Journal for the History of Science 26 (1):128-129.
Reconceiving Spinoza: by Samuel Newlands, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 283, $63.69 (hb), ISBN 978-0-19-881726-0. [REVIEW]Zachary Gartenberg - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (2):405-408.
Spinoza's Theories of Value.Andrew Youpa - 2010 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (2):209-229.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
No citations found.
References found in this work
Spinoza's Political Psychology: The Taming of Fortune and Fear.Justin Steinberg - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.
Spinoza's Conatus Argument.Don Garrett - 2002 - In Olli Koistinen & J. I. Biro (eds.), Spinoza: Metaphysical Themes. Oxford University Press. pp. 127-58.
Why Spinoza chose the Hebrews: The exemplary function of prophecy in the Theological-Political Treatise.Michael Rosenthal - 1997 - History of Political Thought 18 (2):207-241.
The politics of the imagination.Moira Gatens - 2009 - In Feminist Interpretations of Benedict Spinoza. Pennsylvania State University Press.