Abstract
The final chapter of Spinoza’s Ethics has elicited numerous interpretations, and in this work, I discuss Jonathan Bennett’s and Harry Wolfson’s. Bennett claims that the doctrine of blessedness is unintelligible, while Wolfson claims that Spinoza’s account of blessedness actually defends traditional, medieval views of the immortality of the soul. I find neither of these acceptable accounts for the reasons presented below, and I have a simple alternative explanation for this doctrine. Essentially, I argue that by ‘blessedness’ Spinoza means being happy with being virtuous. In my reading of the Ethics, Spinoza first offers the account that we should help others in order to help ourselves, and then he explains that we should enjoy doing so, and he writes that being happy with this is called ‘blessedness.’
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