Political Theory 38 (1):131 - 141 (2010)

Amelie Rorty
Harvard University
Spinoza's project of showing how the mind can be freed from its passive affects and the State from its divisive factions (E IV.Appendix and V.Preface) ultimately coincides with the aims announced in the subtitle of the Tractatus-Theologico-Politicus (TTP) "to demonstrate that [the] freedom to philosophize does not endanger the piety and obedience required for civic peace." Both projects rest on a set of provisional isomorphic distinctions—between adequate and inadequate ideas, between reason and the imagination, between active and passive affects—that Spinoza proceeds to blur, and indeed to renounce. In using these distinctions while also moving to overcome them, Spinoza is not confused or indecisive. Every philosopher, every wise Sovereign, every free man who attempts to incorporate adequate ideas in inadequately framed, perspectivally limited contexts must use these distinctions and also see how deeply misleading they are. I want to offer a friendly amendment to Hasana Sharpe's essay "The Force of Ideas in Spinoza" arguing that Spinoza refuses her distinction between the force of an idea and its truth.
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DOI 10.1177/0090591709348871
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References found in this work BETA

Collective Imaginings: Spinoza, Past and Present.Moira Gatens & Genevieve Lloyd - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):257-258.
Meaning in Spinoza’s Method.M. Della Rocca - 2005 - Mind 114 (453):150-154.
The Force of Ideas in Spinoza.Hasana Sharp - 2007 - Political Theory 35 (6):732-755.
The Two Faces of Spinoza.Amélie Oksenberg Rorty - 1987 - Review of Metaphysics 41 (2):299 - 316.

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