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Sandra Leonie Field [7]Sandra Field [5]
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Sandra Leonie Field
Yale-NUS College
  1. Hobbes and the Question of Power.Sandra Field - 2014 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (1):61-85.
    Thomas Hobbes has been hailed as the philosopher of power par excellence; however, I demonstrate that Hobbes’s conceptualization of political power is not stable across his texts. Once the distinction is made between the authorized and the effective power of the sovereign, it is no longer sufficient simply to defend a doctrine of the authorized power of the sovereign; such a doctrine must be robustly complemented by an account of how the effective power commensurate to this authority might be achieved. (...)
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  2. Democracy and the Multitude: Spinoza Against Negri.Sandra Field - 2012 - Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 59 (131):21-40.
    Negri celebrates a conception of democracy in which the concrete powers of individual humans are not alienated away, but rather are added together: this is a democracy of the multitude. But how can the multitude act without alienating anyone’s power? To answer this difficulty, Negri explicitly appeals to Spinoza. Nonetheless, in this paper, I argue that Spinoza’s philosophy does not support Negri’s project. I argue that the Spinozist multitude avoids internal hierarchy through the mediation of political institutions and not in (...)
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  3.  97
    Becoming Political: Spinoza’s Vital Republicanism and the Democratic Power of Judgement. [REVIEW]Sandra Field - 2020 - Contemporary Political Theory 19 (2):116-120.
    In this review, I propose that the core contribution of Skeaff's book is to supplement existing discourses of non-domination and agonistic politics with the distinctly Spinozist concept of immanent normativity. However, I question whether this immanent normativity is so clearly and efficaciously democratic as Skeaff presumes.
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  4.  24
    China and England: On the Structural Convergence of Political Values. [REVIEW]Sandra Leonie Field - 2020 - Journal of World Philosophies 5 (1):188-195.
    At the centre of Powers' (2019) China and England is an extraordinary forgotten episode in the history of political ideas. There was a time when English radicals critiqued the corruption and injustice of the English political system by contrasting it with the superior example of China. There was a time when they advocated adopting a Chinese conceptual framework for thinking about politics. So dominant and prevalent was the English radicals' use of this framework, that their opponents took to dismissing their (...)
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  5.  77
    Course Design to Connect Theory to Real-World Cases: Teaching Political Philosophy in Asia.Sandra Leonie Field - 2019 - Asian Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 9 (2):199-211.
    Students often have difficulty connecting theoretical and text-based scholarship to the real world. When teaching in Asia, this disconnection is exacerbated by the European/American focus of many canonical texts, whereas students' own experiences are primarily Asian. However, in my discipline of political philosophy, this problem receives little recognition nor is it comprehensively addressed. In this paper, I propose that the problem must be taken seriously, and I share my own experiences with a novel pedagogical strategy which might offer a possible (...)
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  6. Hobbes and Human Irrationality.Sandra Field - 2015 - Global Discourse 5 (2):207-220.
    Hobbes’s science of politics rests on a dual analysis of human beings: humans as complex material bodies in a network of mechanical forces, prone to passions and irrationality; and humans as subjects of right and obligation, morally exhortable by appeal to the standards of reason. The science of politics proposes an absolutist model of politics. If this proposal is not to be idle utopianism, the enduring functioning of the model needs to be compatible with the materialist analysis of human behaviour. (...)
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  7.  98
    Huang Zongxi: Making It Safe Not to Be Servile.Sandra Leonie Field - 2020 - In Charlotte Alston, Amber Carpenter & Rachael Wiseman (eds.), Portraits of Integrity: 26 Case Studies from History, Literature and Philosophy. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 83-91.
    Integrity is often conceived as a heroic ideal: the person of integrity sticks to what they believe is right, regardless of the consequences. In this article, I defend a conception of ordinary integrity, for people who either do not desire or are unable to be moral martyrs. Drawing on the writings of seventeenth century thinker Huang Zongxi, I propose refocussing attention away from an abstract ideal of integrity, to instead consider the institutional conditions whereby it is made safe not to (...)
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  8. Potentia: Hobbes and Spinoza on Power and Popular Politics.Sandra Leonie Field - 2020 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    This book offers a detailed study of the political philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and Benedict de Spinoza, focussing on their concept of power as potentia, concrete power, rather than power as potestas, authorised power. The focus on power as potentia generates a new conception of popular power. Radical democrats–whether drawing on Hobbes's 'sleeping sovereign' or on Spinoza's 'multitude'–understand popular power as something that transcends ordinary institutional politics, as for instance popular plebsites or mass movements. However, the book argues that these (...)
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  9.  56
    Political Power and Depoliticised Acquiescence: Spinoza and Aristocracy.Sandra Leonie Field - 2020 - Constellations 27 (1).
    According to a recent interpretive orthodoxy, Spinoza is a profoundly democratic theorist of state authority. I reject this orthodoxy. To be sure, for Spinoza, a political order succeeds in proportion as it harnesses the power of the people within it. However, Spinoza shows that political inclusion is only one possible strategy to this end; equally if not more useful is political exclusion, so long as it maintains what I call the depoliticised acquiescence of those excluded.
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  10.  99
    Hobbes and the Two Faces of Ethics. [REVIEW]Sandra Leonie Field - 2018 - Online Colloquium of the European Hobbes Society 2018:1-1.
    In this review of Abizadeh's book, I question whether identifying a human 'capacity for reason' really resolves the problems with Hobbes's philosophy's distinctive combination of mechanistic materialism and moral normativity.
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  11.  40
    The Politics of Being Part of Nature.Sandra Leonie Field - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review 2021.
    Genevieve Lloyd argues that when we follow Spinoza in understanding reason as a part of nature, we gain new insights into the human condition. Specifically, we gain a new political insight: we should respond to cultural difference with a pluralist ethos. This is because there is no pure universal reason; human minds find their reason shaped differently by their various embodied social contexts. Furthermore, we can use the resources of the imagination to bring this ethos about. In my response, I (...)
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  12. The State: Spinoza's Institutional Turn.Sandra Field - 2015 - In Andre Santos Campos (ed.), Spinoza: Basic Concepts. Imprint Academic. pp. 142-154.
    The concept of imperium is central to Spinoza's political philosophy. Imperium denotes authority to rule, or sovereignty. By extension, it also denotes the political order structured by that sovereignty, or in other words, the state. Spinoza argues that reason recommends that we live in a state, and indeed, humans are hardly ever outside a state. But what is the source and scope of the sovereignty under which we live? In some sense, it is linked to popular power, but how precisely, (...)
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