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    Freedom and nature: a Spinozist invitation

    James, Susan (2016) Freedom and nature: a Spinozist invitation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society CXVI (1), ISSN 1467-9264.

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    Can we deal with existing environmental threats without giving up a significant degree of freedom? The answer is often thought to be no, but in this lecture I sketch a Spinozist invitation to view the matter in a different light. Spinoza's conception of liberty is fundamentally a republican one, but, unlike other defenders of this tradition, he argues that we can be made made unfree by non-human things such as viruses or weather patterns. Insofar as we are subject to their arbitrary power, we are already in a condition of servitude. If we adopt this Spinozist diagnosis of our condition, the problem we confront is not so much whether we are willing to give up existing freedoms as whether we can find the means to overcome existing forms of servitude.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Proceedings of The Aristotelian Society, 137th session. 108th Presidential Address, Monday October 5th 2015.
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2017 07:45
    Last Modified: 12 Apr 2017 07:49


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