Spinoza on Human Freedom: Reason, Autonomy and the Good Life

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 10, 2011 - Philosophy
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Spinoza was one of the most influential figures of the Enlightenment, but his often obscure metaphysics makes it difficult to understand the ultimate message of his philosophy. Although he regarded freedom as the fundamental goal of his ethics and politics, his theory of freedom has not received sustained, comprehensive treatment. Spinoza holds that we attain freedom by governing ourselves according to practical principles, which express many of our deepest moral commitments. Matthew J. Kisner focuses on this theory and presents an alternative picture of the ethical project driving Spinoza's philosophical system. His study of the neglected practical philosophy provides an accessible and concrete picture of what it means to live as Spinoza's ethics envisioned.
  

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Contents

Beyond therapy
1
chapter 1 Freedom as rationality
17
chapter 2 Justifying Spinozas conception of freedom
46
chapter 3 Autonomy and responsibility
57
chapter 4 Freedom and happiness
72
chapter 5 The good
87
chapter 6 The natural law
112
chapter 7 Benevolence
135
chapter 8 The free man
162
chapter 9 Rational deliberation
179
chapter 10 The character of freedom
197
chapter 11 The freedom of the citizen
215
The true freedom of man
236
Bibliography
248
Index
257
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About the author (2011)

Matthew J. Kisner is Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina. He has previously published articles on a variety of topics in early modern philosophy, including Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza and Malebranche.

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