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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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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

A Thought beyond Dualisms, Creationist and Evolutionist Alike

A Thought beyond Dualisms, Creationist and Evolutionist Alike

(p.321) 13 A Thought beyond Dualisms, Creationist and Evolutionist Alike
Spinoza Now

A. Kiarina Kordela

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter shows that the way that death is conceived is critical for Spinoza’s political stance seen from a psychoanalytic perspective. For this to come to the fore, it is imperative to avoid two interrelated premises that structure Antonio Damasio’s interpretation of Spinoza. These are, first, that Spinoza performs an inversion of Cartesian dualism by privileging the body over the mind, and second, that Spinoza’s is solely a philosophy of life, one that indicates self-preservation, homeostasis, and the pleasure principle. The chapter also argues that such an inversion of Cartesianism only leads to a new dualism—a dualism that can only conceive of death as a biological occurrence. Spinoza’s conception of death is indispensable in social and political critique.

Keywords:   death, Spinoza, Antonio Damasio, Cartesian dualism, philosophy of life, self-preservation, dualism

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