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Spinoza Now$
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Dimitris Vardoulakis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816672806

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816672806.001.0001

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Toward an Inclusive Universalism: Spinoza’s Ethics of Sustainability

Toward an Inclusive Universalism: Spinoza’s Ethics of Sustainability

Chapter:
(p.99) 5 Toward an Inclusive Universalism: Spinoza’s Ethics of Sustainability
Source:
Spinoza Now
Author(s):

Michael Mack

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816672806.003.0005

This chapter addresses Descartes’s and Hobbes’s influence on Spinoza. It shows how it is possible to eschew an absolute universalism in favor of an inclusive universalism. Spinoza is not arguing against theology or religion per se but rather against the politics of domination to which the Cartesian dualism of necessity leads. The reason for this is that there is a line connecting theology with anthropomorphisms and teleology, which only leads to the possibility of one group claiming superiority and domination over another. The chapter analyzes how Spinoza’s Ethics delineates the project of a kind of modernity that offers an alternative to the current Kantian approach toward defining the modern. Additionally, Ethics radicalizes Descartes’s divide between the biological, namely, the natural realm of the body, and the intellectual sphere of the mind.

Keywords:   Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, absolute universalism, inclusive universalism, theology, Cartesian dualism, Ethics, mind

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