Abstract and Keywords
The paper examines how, within Spinoza’s deductively-structured system, his metaphysical commitments lead to unorthodox ethics, in particular an unconventional and unintuitive understanding of the causal nature of will, desire, and appetite, and of their relation to the good. The metaphysical commitments in question are first, Spinoza’s naturalism and second, his rejection of teleology. The former commitment leads to the universal scope of Spinoza’s moral doctrines. The latter dictates that volition, desire, and appetite—three manifestations of striving—can no longer be viewed as end-directed phenomena. The paper examines how Spinoza reconceives the causality of will, appetite, and desire and how he reinterprets the relation between these phenomena and the “goodness” of desired objects or states of being, if this “goodness” can no longer be seen as an end that produces and explains volitions (appetites, desires).
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.