If any member of staff or student wishes to post an event, please contact Clare Simpson at Clare dot Simpson at warwick dot ac dot uk.
PG Work in Progress Seminar
There will be a discussion of a paper by Neşe Aksoy, who will be interviewed by Dino Jakusic.
Spinoza’s Conatus: A Teleological Reading of its Ethical Dimension
In this article I examine how the teleological reading of Spinoza’s conatus shapes the ethical trajectory of his philosophy. I first introduce the Spinozistic criticism of teleology and argue contra many critics that Spinoza has a mild approach to human teleology. On the basis of this idea, I develop the claim that conatus is a teleological element pertaining to human nature. From the teleological reading of conatus, I draw the conclusion that Spinozian ethics has objective, humanistic and essentialist elements. In this sense, this paper emerges to be a challenge against the anti-teleological reading of conatus that is directly related to the subjectivistic, anti-humanistic and non-essentialist interpretation of Spinoza’s ethics. It mainly situates Spinoza in a traditionally teleological context where the human conatus is seen as an act of pursuing objective and essential moral ends that is distinctive to human nature.