Authors
Donald Rutherford
University of California, San Diego
Abstract
Spinoza presents the “dictates of reason” as the foundation of “the right way of living”. An influential reading of his position assimilates it to that of Hobbes. The dictates of reason are normative principles that prescribe necessary means to a necessary end: self-preservation. Against this reading I argue that, for Spinoza, the term “dictates of reason” does not refer to a set of prescriptive principles but simply the necessary consequences, or effects, of the mind's determination by adequate ideas. I draw on this conclusion in highlighting an abiding tension in Spinoza's notion of the preservation of one's being, which reinforces his divergence from Hobbes.
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DOI 10.1080/00201740802421402
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References found in this work BETA

Behind the Geometrical Methode. A Reading of Spinoza's Ethics.Edwin Curley - 1991 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 181 (1):92-93.
The Invention of Autonomy. [REVIEW]John Marshall - 1999 - Hume Studies 25 (1/2):207-224.

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Citations of this work BETA

Spinoza on Lying and Suicide.Steven Nadler - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (2):257-278.
‘Use Them At Our Pleasure’: Spinoza on Animal Ethics.John Grey - 2013 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 30 (4):367-388.
Moral Realism in Spinoza's Ethics.Colin Marshall - 2017 - In Yitzhak Melamed (ed.), The Cambridge Critical Guide to Spinoza's Ethics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 248-65.

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