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Die Deflation der Macht: Geld und Ökonomie als politisches Problem bei Spinoza

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Article
In den letzten Jahren ist mit Konzepten wie der »property-owning democracy« die Frage nach dem Verhältnis von Eigentumsstruktur und Demokratie neu aufgeworfen worden. Um das Problem, wie eine freie ökonomische Sphäre mit einem Modus der Selbstregierung vereinigt werden kann, in seiner ganzen Radikalität zu begreifen, leistet diese Arbeit eine Rekonstruktion von Rousseaus republikanischer politischer Ökonomie. In ihr zeigt sich die Aporie der Moderne, politische Freiheit ohne ökonomische Selbsterhaltung fordern zu müssen, als ein unlösbares Paradox. Heutige Ansätze, das Problem zu lösen, können sich an Rousseaus Problembeschreibung messen lassen. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In recent years, concepts such as »property-owning democracy« have raised anew the question of the relationship between property structure and democracy. In order to understand the problem of how a free economic sphere can be united with a mode of self-government in all its radicality, this paper reconstructs Rousseau’s republican political economy. In it, the aporia of modernity, of having to demand political freedom without economic self-preservation, is revealed as an unsolvable paradox. Today’s approaches to solving the problem can be measured against Rousseau’s description of the problem.
Chapter
This chapter discusses one way to understand one of Spinoza's most vital, controversial concepts – essence – and attempts to show how this interpretation of essence illuminates and animates the basic precepts of his political theory. It shows that the radical metaphysics of the Ethics are the beating heart of Spinoza's ethical and political prescriptions. The chapter considers how the knowledge of essences of singular things, scientia intuitiva, is the key to the method by which an individual achieves freedom, virtue, and beatitudo. An idea that involves the unity of the formal and actual essence of a thing in the finite intellect is the object of the third kind of knowledge. Unity, for Spinoza, is a critical theme underlying his metaphysics, his epistemology, and his politics. For Spinoza, man can only achieve wisdom hand‐in‐hand with freedom, that is, hand‐in‐hand with his fellow man.
Article
In his final, incomplete Tractatus Politicus (1677), Spinoza’s account of human power and freedom shifts towards a new, teleological interest in the ‘highest good’ of the state in realising the freedom of its subjects. This development reflects, in part, the growing influence of Aristotle, Machiavelli, Dutch republicanism, and the Dutch post-Rampjaar context after 1672, with significant implications for his view of political power and freedom. It also reflects an expansion of his account of natural right to include independence of mind, a model of autonomy that in turn shapes the infamous sui juris exclusions of his unfinished account of democracy. This article focuses specifically on the Tractatus Politicus, a hitherto under-addressed work in Spinoza’s corpus and one too often considered indistinct from his earlier Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670). It argues for a reconsideration of its importance to early modern political thought, particularly regarding the role of the state in realising the freedom and harmony of its subjects through reasonable laws.
Chapter
Spinoza's Political Treatise - edited by Yitzhak Y. Melamed August 2018
Article
In the context of Spinoza's psychological and political theory, money appears as a profound social problem. I agree with Frédéric Lordon and André Orléan that Spinoza's psychological theory can explain how multiple agents can converge on a single monetary good as a means of payment. I disagree, however, with their further claim that this convergence brings an end to rivalrous conflict among those agents. Instead, I argue, it intensifies and concentrates this rivalry, threatening the very bonds that hold society together. Yet money is, on Spinoza's account, necessary for commerce, and commerce is necessary for humans to live together. The social problem that thus arises is that of ensuring that money can play its vital role in supporting commerce without giving way to destructive rivalries that can destroy society. My interpretation of Spinoza on these points is influenced by the theory of René Girard, with which Spinoza's account has some striking parallels.
Chapter
In the near future, artificial hearts may be quite different from natural hearts. The pulse and variable speed of the human heart are difficult to reproduce in reliable machines, and they might also be inessential to the heart’s main function, moving blood. So these devices will not reproduce them. Instead, they will provide a constant flow of blood. There is no need to be sentimental about this. We know that what is essential to being who we are resides no more in the heart than it does in the liver or any other mythological seat of the self. Still, what would it be like to have such a heart and be really angry? Anger clearly is a conscious state, of course, but a change in blood pressure and a pounding heart seem to be important parts of it. Is there any sense in which a person with a heart that provides a constant flow of blood could experience what we do when we are angry? Spinoza’s account of the passions is one of the most immediately engaging parts of his account of the human being because it captures the intimacy of the physical and the psychological in passion. So many of our passions are, like anger, clearly psychophysical that something like Spinoza’s identification of mental and physical states, a position often seen in other contexts as a liability of the Ethics, seems practically required of a good account of the passions. This essay describes Spinoza’s theory of the passions in the Ethics and focuses on the details of Spinoza’s accounts of the mental and physical aspects of passion and on the ways in which those accounts correspond to each other.
Chapter
Spinoza maintained that the state should accommodate, and even encourage, personal freedom. According to the Theological-Political Treatise, the appropriate constitution for such a state is democratic. According to the Political Treatise, a kind of monarchy and kinds of aristocracy can also make room for free human beings. But these forms of government were not supposed to be very close to actual or typical political arrangements in Spinoza's day. In typical monarchies and aristocracies, Spinoza suggests, the need for obedience could be overdrawn, and power could be over-concentrated in one man, or in a council of patricians drawn from too few families or too few places. All of these claims put Spinoza's political philosophy in conflict with one of its main sources: Namely Hobbes's theory of the state and of the state of nature. Hobbes holds that when sovereignty is vested in an assembly, democratic or aristocratic, it is liable to be divided and disunited, and he associated disunity with war, that is, with the absence of political order. He thought many actual states were internally unstable because power was not concentrated enough. The purpose of sovereignty, according to Hobbes, is collective security, and this is best achieved if each of the many give up self-rule and submit to an undivided, all-powerful lawmaker. Submission is what Hobbes reduces citizenship to. He does not think it is for subjects to use their judgment in deliberation over common purposes. Instead, subjects are vehicles for the sovereign's will in everything the sovereign's legislation touches. © Cambridge University Press 2008 and Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Article
Since its publication in 1677, Spinoza’s Ethics has fascinated philosophers, novelists, and scientists alike. It is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and contested works of Western philosophy. Written in an austere, geometrical fashion, the work teaches us how we should live, ending with an ethics in which the only thing good in itself is understanding. Spinoza argues that only that which hinders us from understanding is bad and shows that those endowed with a human mind should devote themselves, as much as they can, to a contemplative life. This Companion volume provides a detailed, accessible exposition of the Ethics. Written by an internationally known team of scholars, it is the first anthology to treat the whole of the Ethics and is written in an accessible style.
Article
The Machiavellian Momentis a classic study of the consequences for modern historical and social consciousness of the ideal of the classical republic revived by Machiavelli and other thinkers of Renaissance Italy. J.G.A. Pocock suggests that Machiavelli's prime emphasis was on the moment in which the republic confronts the problem of its own instability in time, and which he calls the "Machiavellian moment." After examining this problem in the thought of Machiavelli, Guicciardini, and Giannotti, Pocock turns to the revival of republican thought in Puritan England and in Revolutionary and Federalist America. He argues that the American Revolution can be considered the last great act of civic humanism of the Renaissance. He relates the origins of modern historicism to the clash between civic, Christian, and commercial values in the thought of the eighteenth century.
Article
Spinoza’s project of showing how the mind can be freed from its passive affects and the State from its divisive factions (E IV.Appendix and V.Preface) ultimately coincides with the aims announced in the subtitle of the Tractatus-Theologico-Politicus (TTP) “to demonstrate that [the] freedom to philosophize does not endanger the piety and obedience required for civic peace.”1 Both projects rest on a set of provisional isomorphic distinctions—between adequate and inadequate ideas, between reason and the imagination, between active and passive affects—that Spinoza proceeds to blur, and indeed to renounce. In using these distinctions while also moving to overcome them, Spinoza is not confused or indecisive. Every philosopher, every wise Sovereign, every free man who attempts to incorporate adequate ideas in inadequately framed, perspectivally limited contexts must use these distinctions and also see how deeply misleading they are. I want to offer a friendly amendment to Hasana Sharpe’s essay “The Force of Ideas in Spinoza” arguing that Spinoza refuses her distinction between the force of an idea and its truth.2
Article
Republicanism and liberalism are depicted here, under some ideal‐typing of the traditions, as philosophies of liberty — negative liberty — that take opposite sides on three broad issues: 1) whether the law is necessarily a partial assault on people's liberty — an assault that may be for the good overall — or something that is constitutive, at least in part, of whatever liberty citizens enjoy; 2) whether or not citizens and politicians can and should be expected — perhaps under institutionally designed pressures — to be public‐spirited; and 3) whether the ideal of liberty invites state intervention of the sort that is designed to empower individuals or whether it is essentially tied to a minimalist image of government Republicanism sees liberty as the social status of a citizen who is recognised and empowered, equally with others, before a suitable rule of law; it sees liberty as a status that is secure only so far as the republic is peopled and run by individuals who display civic virtue, whether spontaneously or under well designed institutional pressures; and, finally, it sees the dispensation of liberty as something that may in principle require a large state presence in areas like education, medicine, and social security. Liberalism, at least in its pure form, presents liberty as a condition ideally enjoyed, out of society, when there is no one else around; it holds that, given the possibility of invisible hand mechanisms, citizens and politicians need not be public‐spirited for liberty to thrive; and it interprets the demands of liberty in a way that supports a minimalist assumption about how government ought to behave.
Article
Spinoza's use of the phrase “sui iuris” in the Tractatus Politicus gives rise to the following paradox. On the one hand, one is said to be sui iuris to the extent that one is rational; and to the extent that one is rational, one will steadfastly obey the laws of the state. However, Spinoza also states that to the extent that one adheres to the laws of the state, one is not sui iuris, but rather stands under the power [sub potestate] of the state (TP 3/5). It seems, then, that to the extent that one is sui iuris, one will not, in fact, be sui iuris. In this paper, I offer an interpretation of Spinoza's notion of being sui iuris that enables us to overcome this paradox and sheds light on Spinoza's relationship to the republican tradition. I work towards this goal by distinguishing between two ways in which Spinoza uses the locution, which correspond to two different conceptions of power: potentia and potestas. This distinction not only allows us to save Spinoza from internal inconsistency, it also enables us to see one important way in which Spinoza stands outside of the republican tradition, since he conceives of liberty not as constituted by independence, or citizenship in a res publica, but as being sui iuris in the first sense described above: being powerful.
Article
Jonathan Bennett teaches philosophy at Syracuse University. His most recent completed works in the field of early modern philosophy are (with Peter Remnant) a translation and edition of Leibniz's New Essays on Human Understanding and a book entitled Spinoza's Ethics (forthcoming).
Article
Spinoza n’a pas élaboré de grande pensée sur le commerce, mais il l’a activement pratiqué. Le présent article mesure l’impact de cette pratique sur sa philosophie politique, en prenant en compte la manière dont l’histoire des idées s’articule à l’histoire de l’auteur, et en suivant comment l’élaboration d’une métaphysique du commerce le conduit à évacuer le négoce de son anthropologie.
Philosophie dreht sich um das klassisch-antike Problem der ‚Korruption' der Regierenden (vgl
  • Politische Seine
, seine Politische Philosophie dreht sich um das klassisch-antike Problem der ‚Korruption' der Regierenden (vgl. Blom 1988, 202), die Freiheit des Bürgers wird nicht in seiner
All diese Konnotationen und Elemente erinnern an die Ideale des klassischen Republikanismus, wie er sich in der Antike ausgebildet und vermittels der Erfahrungen der italienischen Stadtrepubliken im Europa der Renaissance fortgezeugt hat
  • Regierung
Regierung (vgl. Rosenthal 2021, 409), zudem als bürgerschaftliche Selbstständigkeit, d.h. im Unterschied zum Sklavenzustand definiert (vgl. Steinberg 2008, 242). All diese Konnotationen und Elemente erinnern an die Ideale des klassischen Republikanismus, wie er sich in der Antike ausgebildet und vermittels der Erfahrungen der italienischen Stadtrepubliken im Europa der Renaissance fortgezeugt hat (vgl. Pocock 2016).
Es gehört zu den produktivsten Einsichten der Spinoza-Interpretation, dass diese starke Dichotomie zwischen Liberalismus und Republikanismus überwunden werden muss, will man dem Werk als Ganzes gerecht werden (vgl
Es gehört zu den produktivsten Einsichten der Spinoza-Interpretation, dass diese starke Dichotomie zwischen Liberalismus und Republikanismus überwunden werden muss, will man dem Werk als Ganzes gerecht werden (vgl. Celikates 2006; Mosbah 2012; Steinberg 2018a).
obschon sich diese Frage unmittelbar anschließt, kann sie nicht mehr mithilfe der Auslegung philosophischer Argumentationen beantwortet werden. Stellte man sie, müsste man Licht in die selbsttäuschende Unvernunft der politischen Auseinandersetzungen seit dem 19
  • Doch
Doch, obschon sich diese Frage unmittelbar anschließt, kann sie nicht mehr mithilfe der Auslegung philosophischer Argumentationen beantwortet werden. Stellte man sie, müsste man Licht in die selbsttäuschende Unvernunft der politischen Auseinandersetzungen seit dem 19.
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Die Produktivität der Macht: Eine Analyse der politischen Theorie von Baruch Spinoza
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