Spinoza: Clarifications and Criticisms on Freedom Essay

2010 Words 9 Pages
Baruch de Spinoza, or as later known by Benedictus de Spinoza, was a 17th century philosopher that came under much hostility because of his renunciation of the accepted religious perceptions of god. This is not to say that Spinoza repudiated god’s existence, on the contrary, Spinoza considered himself to believe in god, but in a different more natural sense. Spinoza received much denunciation and criticism for his beliefs from religious figure heads. He was excommunicated from the Jewish community because his ideas were contrary and revolutionary to the traditional Jewish religion. In addition to that, all works of Spinoza were considered prohibited by the Roman Catholic Church. This is not to say that no one agreed with Spinoza, in fact, …show more content…
The cause of error (P II Pr. 49 Sch.) is the last major theme for part II.
The third part is mainly about human psychology. Spinoza elucidates how the power characteristic of the human mind is understanding, and that we should exercise our understanding. This is established through the proposition (PII Pr. 6) that “Each thing, in so far as it is in itself, endeavors to persist in its own being.”
Part four is about human bondage, and continues the investigation into human behavior that part three hit on. Part four is the key that summarizes the Ethics by what man can do to escape that bondage with the power we have by taking action and preserving what is to our own advantage. “The more every man endeavors and is able to seek his own advantage, that is, to preserve his own being, the more he is endowed with virtue.” (P IV Pr. 20) What Spinoza is saying is that virtue and power (seeking one’s advantage) is synonymous.
The last part, part five is about human freedom, the type of freedom that of which is acted out by necessity. Intuitive knowledge comes out to play in part five where “the intellectual love of god” is brought up. By the love of god, human can gain some freedom and immortality.
We have now taken an extremely basic look into Spinoza’s belief system which gives us some background into the criticisms of Spinoza’s view. We can now delve into the criticisms and at the same time espouse a
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