Bijdragen 59 (1):58-74 (1998)

Angela Roothaan
VU University Amsterdam
On the basis of an analysis of relevant passages from the political-philosophical works of Spinoza, an interpretation is given of his concept of ‘public peace’. This investigation is undertaken in the context of the recent discussion between liberalists and communitarians on the question whether the basis of moral society has to be found in the autonomy of the individual or in the community which provides us with an identity. The outcome of the analysis is that Spinoza’s concept of peace refers to a situation of harmony between individuals and their community. This harmony can be understood from the standpoint of the philosophy of law, of psychology and of ethics. Interesting is the fact that Spinoza’s political philosophy is a reflection on the actual practice of living together, and is therefore less ‘idealistic’ than the recent positions in the debate about the individual and the community
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DOI 10.2143/BIJ.59.1.2002371
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