The Trouble with Feelings, or Spinoza on the Identity of Power and Essence

Authors
Karolina Hübner
University of Chicago (PhD)
Abstract
one of spinoza’s fundamental assumptions as a philosopher is that metaphysics provides necessary and sufficient foundations for psychological theory and moral philosophy. This is the assumption that gives the Ethics its basic architecture, as it moves from claims about substance to a catalogue of human emotions or ‘affects.’ As may be expected, given this assumption, at least some of the concepts that Spinoza first develops in the context of his metaphysics continue to do work in his discussions of psychology and ethics. ‘Essence’ and ‘power’ are two such concepts. Both are also central to Spinoza’s system. But there are reasons to doubt that the metaphysical roles of these concepts are consistent with the...
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2017.0001
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