Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (1):pp. 35-58 (2009)
AbstractIn the final chapter of the Tractactus Theologico-Politicus , Spinoza declares that “the purpose of the state is, in reality, freedom.” While this remark obviously purports to tell us something important about Spinoza’s conception of the civitas , it is not clear exactly what is revealed. Recently, a number of scholars have interpreted this passage in a way that supports the view that Spinoza was a liberal for whom civic norms are rather more modest than the freedom of the Ethics . Against this view, I provide an interpretation of Spinoza’s account of civil liberation that enables us to view the political writings as an extension of his larger ethical enterprise. Specifically, I show that, according to Spinoza, the state can promote robust liberty in a variety of ways, not least by influencing the behavioral patterns and affective dispositions of its citizens.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
Spinoza's Metaphysical Psychology.Michael Della Rocca - 1996 - In Don Garrett (ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 192--266.
Citations of this work
Spinoza’s Curious Defense of Toleration.Justin Steinberg - 2010 - In Yitzhak Melamed Michael Rosenthal (ed.), Spinoza’s ‘Theological-Political Treatise’: A Critical Guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 210 – 230..
From Humility to Envy: Q Uestioning the Usefulness of Sad Passions as a Means Towards Virtue in Spinoza's Ethics.Sanem Soyarslan - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (1):33-47.
The Politics of Being Part of Nature.Sandra Leonie Field - 2020 - Australasian Philosophical Review 4 (3):225-235.
The Coherence of Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise.Yoram Stein - 2021 - Philosophies 6 (20):20.
Similar books and articles
Knowing the Essence of the State in Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico‐Politicus.Aaron Garrett - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (1):50-73.
Spinoza on the Political Value of Freedom of Religion.Edward Halper - 2004 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 21 (2):167-182.
What Spinoza’s View of Freedom Should Have Been.Frank Lucash - 1984 - Philosophy Research Archives 10:491-499.
Spinoza Today: The Current State of Spinoza Scholarship.Simon B. Duffy - 2009 - Intellectual History Review 19 (1):111-132.
Spinoza on Destroying Passions with Reason.Colin Marshall - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):139-160.
Nature, Number and Individuals: Motive and Method in Spinoza's Philosophy.Marx W. Wartofsky - 1977 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 20 (1-4):457 – 479.
When Does Truth Matter? Spinoza on the Relation Between Theology and Philosophy.Susan James - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (1):91-108.
The Text of Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus.Piet Steenbakkers - 2010 - In Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Michael A. Rosenthal (eds.), Spinoza's 'Theological-Political Treatise': A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press. pp. 29.