VII - Spinoza’s unquiet acquiescentia

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-163
JournalProceedings of the Aristotelian Society
Issue number2
Early online date28 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


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