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Baruch Spinoza on Democracy - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 236
Democracy/Spinoza/Höffe: While Hobbes does not grant absolute sovereignty to the monarchy in principle, but for pragmatic reasons, according to Spinoza it belongs to democracy alone. However, democracy is "not bound by any law". Freed from all legal constraints, it amounts to a democratic absolutism, in contrast to the constitutional, legal and constitutional democracy that prevails today. Consequently, Spinoza does not speak of citizens, but of subjects. These are subject to the orders of a supreme power that is free from all over-positive criticism and correction: the subjects have "nothing other than to recognise law, except what the supreme power declares to be law" (1).


1. Spinoza, Tractatus theologico-politicus, Chap. 16.


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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 I
B. Spinoza
Spinoza: Complete Works Indianapolis 2002

Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-05-12
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