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The authors argue that an understanding of human agency based on Spinoza's views can resolve the apparent conflict between the demands of happiness and the dictates of morality without damaging the unique values associated with the moral form of life espoused by Kant. Because Spinoza's views previously have been isolated from the main stream of moral philosophy in which Kant is the central figure, the insights presented in this text constitute a corrective for philosophical reflection on morality and ethics.

Contents: include: Two Kinds of Value; Kant's Shadow Model of Moral Causality; Reflexive Decision-Making; Groundwork for a Transition to Spinoza; Spinoza's Account of Human Agency; Agency in Kant; Explaining Away the Evidence for Morality as a Form of Life; and The Unique Viability of the Moral Form of Life.

Review

This stimulating and suggestive book focuses on two powerful conceptions of morality....The authors labor mightily, using a variety of devices, to render the Kantian conception intelligible but conclude finally that it cannot be done. They present a subtle version of the Spinozistic view as not only satisfactory in itself but as able to account, point by point, for the features that make Kantianism seem attractive.>>> (Ethics)

This stimulating and suggestive book focuses on two powerful conceptions of morality....The authors labor mightily, using a variety of devices, to render the Kantian conception intelligible but conclude finally that it cannot be done. They present a subtle version of the Spinozistic view as not only satisfactory in itself but as able to account, point by point, for the features that make Kantianism seem attractive. (Ethics)

About the Co-Author

Robyn McPhail is a Presbyterian minister with the Alexander-Clyde-Lauder Union Parish in Central Otago, New Zealand. 

What follows is a Chapter by Chapter menu:

Chapter One

 

CHAPTER TWO

This chapter contains a sustained comparison between the moral philosophy of Kant and the ethics of Spinoza. (My goodness.)  In it there is an amazing little dialogue written by my good self which answers the 64 dollar question: how can reason be practical? Michael Smith thought it was a gas and you will too. In it you will encounter another fresh concept 'the ontological imperative' which is, though I say it myself, an absolute pip.

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