Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 August 2019

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).

Keywords: appetite, causality, desire, good, naturalism, striving, teleology, will

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.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.