Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/90981
Type: Thesis
Title: The value of benevolence: Spinoza and perfectionism.
Author: Tillett, Jason
Issue Date: 2014
School/Discipline: School of Humanities
Abstract: This thesis examines Spinoza’s claim that rational benevolence is crucial to human well-being (‘the rational benevolence claim’). According to Spinoza, rational benevolence is rational in two senses. First, it involves using reason to guide benevolent actions. Second, it involves the promotion of the rationality of other people. In order to assess the rational benevolence claim, we need to know what human well-being is. Spinoza holds that well-being consists in the perfection of human nature. Aristotle and the Stoics are the most illustrious proponents of perfectionism. However, their respective accounts have been criticised so severely that many have concluded that perfectionism about well-being is implausible. This thesis argues that Spinoza’s perfectionism avoids the traditional objections to the accounts of Aristotle and the Stoics. Nevertheless, Spinoza’s own account, particularly his doctrine of agreement in nature, which underpins his rational benevolence claim, has attracted criticism. The thesis defends the rational benevolence claim in the following ways. First, the thesis shows that Spinoza avoids the traditional objections to perfectionism. Second, the thesis argues that there are available replies to the objections to Spinoza’s doctrine of agreement in nature.
Advisor: Cullity, Garrett Michael
Gamble, Denise D.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (M.Phil.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2014
Keywords: Spinoza; Aristotle; the Stoics; perfectionism; well-being; benevolence
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legals
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
01front.pdf350.59 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02whole.pdf1.03 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
PermissionsLibrary staff access only181.05 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
RestrictedLibrary staff access only1.28 MBAdobe PDFView/Open


Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.