Jacob's Reviews > Ethics

Ethics by Baruch Spinoza
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's review
May 05, 2009

really liked it
Read in May, 2009

When the conatus doctrine is matched with Spinoza's general dynamistic approach to individuation, they produce the most naturalistic and, in my opinion, sensible foundation for ethical theory. Unfortunately all of the buildup and followup is mired in, what seems to be, a strange attempt to reject his religious competitors while preserving all of their intuitive practices: belief in an necessarily existing being, the love of God and the promotion of a strangely defined blessedness, salvation and even an immortality of the soul. Might this have been an early attempt at achieving that silly aim of some Anglo-American philosophers: an intuition friendly reflective equilibrium?

Reading to the end reminds me of the first time I got to the end of Plato's Republic with it's lapse into an account of heavenly rewards and eternal damnation. You'll find 'OMG WTF?!' in the margins of both these unfortunate sections.

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