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  1. Spinoza’s Conatus: A Teleological Reading of Its Ethical Dimension.Neşe Aksoy - 2021 - Conatus 6 (2):107-130.
    In this article I examine how the teleological reading of Spinoza’s conatus shapes the ethical trajectory of his philosophy. I first introduce the Spinozistic criticism of teleology and argue contra many critics that Spinoza has a mild approach to human teleology. On the basis of this idea, I develop the claim that conatus is a teleological element pertaining to human nature. From the teleological reading of conatus, I draw the conclusion that Spinozistic ethics is inclusive of objective, humanistic, and essentialist (...)
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  • Spinoza's Essentialist Model of Causation.Valtteri Viljanen - 2008 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):412 – 437.
    Spinoza is most often seen as a stern advocate of mechanistic efficient causation, but examining his philosophy in relation to the Aristotelian tradition reveals this view to be misleading: some key passages of the Ethics resemble so much what Surez writes about emanation that it is most natural to situate Spinoza's theory of causation not in the context of the mechanical sciences but in that of a late scholastic doctrine of the emanative causality of the formal cause; as taking a (...)
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  • Spinoza on Human Purposiveness and Mental Causation.Justin Steinberg - 2011 - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 14 (1):51-70.
    Despite Spinoza’s reputation as a thoroughgoing critic of teleology, in recent years a number of scholars have argued convincingly that Spinoza does not wish to eliminate teleological explanations altogether. Recent interpretative debates have focused on a more recalcitrant problem: whether Spinoza has the resources to allow for the causal efficacy of representational content. In this paper I present the problem of mental causation for Spinoza and consider two recent attempts to respond to the problem on Spinoza’s behalf. While these interpretations (...)
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  • Spinoza’s Analysis of His Imagined Readers’ Axiology.Benedict Rumbold - 2021 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 103 (2):281-312.
    Before presenting his own account of value in the Ethics, Spinoza spends much of EIAppendix and EIVPreface attempting to refute a series of axiological ‘prejudices’ that he takes to have taken root in the minds of his readership. In doing so, Spinoza adopts what might be termed a ‘genealogical’ argumentative strategy. That is, he tries to establish the falsity of imagined readership’s prejudices about good and bad, perfection and imperfection, by first showing that the ideas from which they have arisen (...)
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  • Restricting Spinoza's Causal Axiom.John Morrison - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (258):40-63.
    Spinoza's causal axiom is at the foundation of the Ethics. I motivate, develop and defend a new interpretation that I call the ‘causally restricted interpretation’. This interpretation solves several longstanding puzzles and helps us better understand Spinoza's arguments for some of his most famous doctrines, including his parallelism doctrine and his theory of sense perception. It also undermines a widespread view about the relationship between the three fundamental, undefined notions in Spinoza's metaphysics: causation, conception and inherence.
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  • The Heyday of Teleology and Early Modern Philosophy.Jeffrey K. McDonough - 2011 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 35 (1):179-204.
    This paper offers a non-traditional account of what was really at stake in debates over the legitimacy of teleology and teleological explanations in the later medieval and early modern periods. It is divided into four main sections. The first section highlights two defining features of ancient and early medieval views on teleology, namely, that teleological explanations are on a par (or better) with efficient causal explanations, and that the objective goodness of outcomes may explain their coming about. The second section (...)
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  • Spinoza on Expression and Grounds of Intelligibility.Karolina Hübner & Róbert Mátyási - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (3):628-651.
    Recent literature on Spinoza has emphasized his commitment to universal intelligibility, understood as the claim that there are no brute facts. We draw attention to an important but overlooked element of Spinoza's commitment to intelligibility, and thereby question its most prominent interpretation, on which this commitment results in the priority of conceptual relations. We argue that such readings are both incomplete in their account of Spinozistic intelligibility and mistaken in their identification of the most fundamental relation. We argue that Spinoza (...)
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  • Lucretius and Spinoza or Clinamen and Conatus.Pedro Mauricio Garcia Dotto - 2019 - Cadernos Espinosanos 41:241-277.
    Este artigo compara e contrasta dois conceitos filosóficos provenientes de distintas linhagens de pensamento: de um lado, o _clinamen _de Lucrécio; do outro, o _conatus _de Espinosa. O que fomentou minha pesquisa foi uma conjugação dessas noções tal como proposto por Deleuze no apêndice de seu _Logique du sens_. Nesse sentido, a primeira seção está orientada tendo em vista uma elucidação da filosofia de Lucrécio — consequentemente, também a de Epicuro — e, especificamente, uma interpretação do desvio dos átomos ou (...)
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  • On the Derivation and Meaning of Spinoza's Conatus Doctrine.Valtteri Viljanen - 2008 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 4:89-112.
    Spinoza’s conatus doctrine, the main proposition of which claims, “[e]ach thing, to the extent it is in itself, strives [conatur] to persevere in its being” (E3p6), has been the subject of growing interest. This is understandable, for Spinoza’s psychology and ethics are based on this doctrine. In my paper I shall examine the way Spinoza argues for E3p6 in its demonstration which runs as follows: "For singular things are modes by which God’s attributes are expressed in a certain and determinate (...)
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  • Spinoza, Explained.Stephen Harrop - 2022 - Dissertation, Yale University
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  • Pain, Pity, and Motivation: Spinoza, Hume, and Schopenhauer.Peter Nilsson - 2014 - Schopenhauer Jahrbuch 95:29-50.
    This paper compares the views on compassion in Spinoza, Hume and Schopenhauer. It is shown that even though all three approach compassion with the same aim and from very similar starting-points, all give significantly different accounts of compassion. The differences among the accounts are compared and explained, and it is shown how progress is made in that later accounts avoid certain problems faced by the earlier ones.
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  • Spinoza on Activity and Passivity: The Problematic Definition Revisited.Valtteri Viljanen - 2019 - In Martina Reuter & Frans Svensson (eds.), Mind, Body and Morality: New Perspectives on Descartes and Spinoza. London: Routledge. pp. 157-174.
    This chapter takes a fresh look at 3d2 of Spinoza’s Ethics, an absolutely pivotal definition for the ethical theory that ensues. According to it, “we act when something happens, in us or outside us, of which we are the adequate cause,” whereas we are passive “when something happens in us, or something follows from our nature, of which we are only a partial cause.” The definition of activity has puzzled scholars: how can we be an adequate, i.e. complete, cause of (...)
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  • Causal Efficacy of Representational Content in Spinoza.Valtteri Viljanen - 2010 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (1):17-34.
    Especially in the appendix to the opening part of his Ethics, Spinoza discusses teleology in a manner that has earned him the status of a staunch critic of final causes. Much of the recent lively discussion concerning this complex and difficult issue has revolved around the writings of Jonathan Bennett who maintains that Spinoza does, in fact, reject all teleology. Especially important has been the argument claiming that because of his basic ontology, Spinoza cannot but reject thoughtful teleology, that is, (...)
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  • Spinoza's Unorthodox Metaphysics of the Will.Karolina Hübner - 2013 - In Michael Della Rocca (ed.), The Oxford Handbook to Spinoza.
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  • Stoicism in Descartes, Pascal, and Spinoza: Examining Neostoicism’s Influence in the Seventeenth Century.Daniel Collette - unknown
    My dissertation focuses on the moral philosophy of Descartes, Pascal, and Spinoza in the context of the revival of Stoicism within the seventeenth century. There are many misinterpretations about early modern ethical theories due to a lack of proper awareness of Stoicism in the early modern period. My project rectifies this by highlighting understated Stoic themes in these early modern texts that offer new clarity to their morality. Although these three philosophers hold very different metaphysical commitments, each embraces a different (...)
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  • Spinoza on Emotion and Akrasia.Christiaan Remmelzwaal - 2016 - Dissertation, Université de Neuchatel
    The objective of this doctoral dissertation is to interpret the explanation of akrasia that the Dutch philosopher Benedictus Spinoza (1632-1677) gives in his work The Ethics. One is said to act acratically when one intentionally performs an action that one judges to be worse than another action which one believes one might perform instead. In order to interpret Spinoza’s explanation of akrasia, a large part of this dissertation investigates Spinoza’s theory of emotion. The first chapter is introductory and outlines Spinoza’s (...)
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