- The Oxford Handbook of Spinoza
- Commonly Cited English Translations
- The Virtues of Geometry
- From Maimonides to Spinoza: Three Versions of an Intellectual Transition
- Spinoza and Descartes
- The Building Blocks of Spinoza’s Metaphysics: Substance, Attributes, and Modes
- But Why Was Spinoza a Necessitarian?
- The Principle of Sufficient Reason in Spinoza
- Spinoza and the Philosophy of Science: Mathematics, Motion, and Being
- Representation, Misrepresentation, and Error in Spinoza’s Philosophy of Mind
- Finite Subjects in the Ethics: Spinoza on Indexical Knowledge, the First Person, and the Individuality of Human Minds
- Spinoza on Skepticism
- The Highest Good and Perfection in Spinoza
- Spinoza on Mind
- The Intellectual Love of God
- The Metaphysics of Affects or the Unbearable Reality of Confusion
- Spinoza’s Unorthodox Metaphysics of the Will
- Spinoza’s Philosophy of Religion
- Spinoza’s Political Philosophy
- Leibniz’s Encounter with Spinoza’s Monism, October 1675 to February 1678
- Playing with Fire: Hume, Rationalism, and a Little Bit of Spinoza
- Kant and Spinoza Debating the Third Antinomy
- “Nothing Comes from Nothing”: Judaism, the Orient, and Kabbalah in Hegel’s Reception of Spinoza
- Nietzsche and Spinoza: Enemy-Brothers
- Spinoza’s Afterlife in Judaism and the Task of Modern Jewish Philosophy
- Spinoza’s Relevance to Contemporary Metaphysics
- Literary Spinoza
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).
Karolina Hübner is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. She is the author of several articles on Spinoza's philosophy.
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