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Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie

Ed. by Horn, Christoph / Serck-Hanssen, Camilla

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The Individuality of the State in Spinoza's Political Philosophy

Andre Santos Campos1


Citation Information: Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie. Volume 92, Issue 1, Pages 1–38, ISSN (Online) 1613-0650, ISSN (Print) 0003-9101, DOI: 10.1515/AGPH.2010.001, March 2010

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The place of the State in Spinoza's ontology has emerged in scholarly literature as one of the most complex issues involving Spinoza's political thought. At issue is whether Spinoza's State is an actual individual with its own conatus. Some consider it a completely real individual, others say that its individuality can only be metaphoric, whilst others point out the conceptual insufficiency of this polarity for explaining the ontological status of political aggregates and try to overcome it through new concepts, such as the multitude, transindividuality, and figuration. In this paper, each of these interpretations is analyzed and dismissed in favour of a new one stating that Spinoza's State is actually a dynamic network of political concepts operating in resemblance of individuality and reflecting the main characteristics of the modern Nation-State.

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