VII—Spinoza’s Unquiet Acquiescentia


For Spinoza, the highest thing we can hope for is acquiescentia in se ipso—acquiescence in oneself. As an ethical ideal, this might appear as a complacent quietism, a licence to accept the way you are and give up hope of improving either yourself or the world. I argue that the opposite is the case. Self-acquiescence in Spinoza’s sense is a very challenging goal: it requires a form of self-understanding that is extremely difficult to attain. It also involves occupying a daring and radical political position, one that obstructs the psychological mechanisms by which political power is typically maintained.

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Natural Goodness.Philippa Foot - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Ludwig Wittgenstein the Duty of Genius.Ray Monk - 1990 - New York, NY, USA: Penguin.
Natural Goodness.Philippa Foot - 2001 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (3):604-606.
Spinoza's Geometry of Power.Valtteri Viljanen - 2011 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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