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From Bondage to FreedomSpinoza on Human Excellence$
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Michael Lebuffe

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383539.001.0001

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God, Human Individuals, and Human Morality in the Ethics

God, Human Individuals, and Human Morality in the Ethics

(p.27) 1 God, Human Individuals, and Human Morality in the Ethics
From Bondage to Freedom

Michael LeBuffe

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the metaphysical doctrines in the Ethics that are most important to Spinoza's moral theory, including substance monism, necessity, determinism, mind–body parallelism, the denial of teleology in nature, and naturalism. It is argued that Spinoza's metaphysical doctrines are generally connected to his moral theory in four different ways. They show that central notions of received morality, including the notions of a providential God and of free will, are based upon false beliefs. They constrain Spinoza's revisionary moral theory. They form a basis for some of the revisionary theory's central arguments. Finally, God, as characterized by the metaphysical doctrines of Part 1 of the Ethics, is that the knowledge of which is the highest good of the mind.

Keywords:   determinism, naturalism, necessity, parallelism, substance monism, teleology

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