Spinoza’s Ethics

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

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Students on-site
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Course Description: 

This course will consist in a close reading of Spinoza’s Ethics. We investigate his metaphysics and epistemology and the role of theoretical understanding on the ethical question of how to live a good life.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course students should have detailed knowledge of the main elements of Spinoza’s metaphysics, epistemology and ethics as well as the principal lines of interpretation in the secondary literature. They will also be able to reconstruct and evaluate philosophical texts in accordance with the current standards of scholarly practice.  And they will be able to design and execute a research project that demonstrates knowledge of the primary and secondary literature, sensitivity to historical context, and independent philosophical thought.


Attendance and active participation is required and will account for 10% of your final grade. The remainder of your grade will be determined by a 2000 word term paper.  You will be asked to submit a draft of the paper by the end of the tenth week of class. You will receive detailed comments on the draft and a provisional grade. Papers should then be revised. Your final paper grade will be based on the provisional grade of the first draft and the grade on the revised version.

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