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Spinoza And The Idea Of A Scientific Moral Philosophy

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Chapter Summary

Spinoza felt a scientific moral philosophy was not only feasible, but urgently necessary. From the opening lines of Tractatus de intellectus emendatione (TIE) to the closing remarks of Ethica (Ethics), it is clear that he was concerned with delivering a philosophy which enabled man to develop a certain way of life. Spinoza claims that his philosophy teaches us "how we must bear ourselves concerning matters of fortune, or things which are not in our power"; it contributes "to social life, insofar as it teaches us to hate no one, to disesteem no one, to mock no one, to be angry at no one, to envy no one". Finally, Spinoza argues, "this doctrine also contributes to the common society insofar as it teaches how citizens are to be governed and led, not so that they may be slaves, but that they may do freely the things which are best"..

Keywords: Ethica (Ethics); fortune; freely; life; salves; scientific moral philosophy; social life; Spinoza; Tractatus de intellectus emendatione (TIE)



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