A Reconstruction of Basic Concepts in Spinoza's Social Psychology

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 12:105 (1969)
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Spinoza's philosophical anthropology is reconstructed with a view to its relevance to theoretical and practical problems in social psychology. An attempt is made to show how he conceives the interrelations between cognitions, sentiments (i.e. emotions and attitudes), and interests (i.e. drives and desires) as relational concepts and as anchored in social interaction rather than in a purely individualistic conception of man. Spinoza's determinism is interpreted as a personal and social causation, rather than a physical, causal determinism, and his theory of cognition is interpreted partly in relation to the Hegelian distinction between undialectical and dialectical thinking



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