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|Title:||The value of benevolence: Spinoza and perfectionism.|
|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|
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