Baruch Spinoza on Constitution - Dictionary of Arguments
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Constitution/Spinoza/Höffe: Spinoza(1) starts with the foundations of law and state, shows that it is neither possible nor necessary to transfer everything to the highest authorities, and draws some political doctrines from the state constitution and history of the Hebrews. He declares that the law in spiritual matters, including the decision on external religious worship, is the exclusive prerogative of the highest authorities, and ends with the argumentation goal of the entire treatise: that in a free state not everyone is allowed to act as one wants, but that one is allowed to think what one wants and say what one thinks. >Natural Justice/Spinoza, >State/Spinoza, >Freedom/Spinoza.
Chapter 16(1), which is fundamental for the philosophy of law and state, breaks with the traditional Aristotelian Stoic-Thomist theory of natural law, which extends into the Spanish late scholasticism.
Natural Law/SpinozaVsThomas Aquinas/SpinozaVsAristotle: Spinoza retains the traditional expression of natural law, but gives it a fundamentally new, exclusively naturalistic meaning. According to its principle of self-preservation, natural law does not contain any moral or otherwise normative claim.
SpinozaVsMachiavelli: On the contrary, every human being, not just the prince as in Machiavelli's case, may do what morality tends to forbid, he may act with force or cunning. Defined without any sense of duty, pre-state law consists in nothing other than its own natural power (potentia). With this, a subjective right - the legitimate claim of a person - coincides with one’s ability to enforce one’s right.
SpinozaVsRationalism: Spinoza, a rationalist who is methodologically uncompromising in ethics, surprisingly rejects any recourse to ratio here. Thus,
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within his metaphysics he gives priority to content-related naturalism over methodical rationalism. The state treaty necessary for overcoming the state of nature is only valid under considerations of usefulness. >Contract Theory/Spinoza.
1.Spinoza, Tractatus theologico-politicus
2. Ibid., Chap. 16_____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Spinoza: Complete Works Indianapolis 2002
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016