Spinoza: the moral and political philosophy

Spinoza: the moral and political philosophy
The moral and political philosophy of Spinoza Hans W.Blom Spinoza as a moral and political philosopher was the proponent of a radical and extremely consistent version of seventeenth-century Dutch naturalism. As a consequence of the burgeoning bourgeois self-confidence during the heyday of their Golden Age, Dutch philosophers, attracted by Ciceronian republican moral ideas prepared the way for a philosophy of man and society in which natural processes and mechanisms had an important role to perform. Although they understood themselves as partisans of widely divergent philosophers like Aristotle or Descartes, they shared the conviction that man’s moral predicament should be analysed from a naturalistic point of view, by advocating an almost autonomous position for philosophy separate from religion. They were sure that sufficient attention paid to the natural capabilities of mankind would show the way to overcome human weakness. This philosophical programme, propagated by otherwise conventional Calvinists, was constructed on the basis of a theological notion of means-end relations, but its proponents were unaware that in the end it would turn out to secularize human teleology completely. The most outstanding outcome was to be Adam Smith’s theory of the invisible hand, in which individual and societal teleology are interrelated by means of the laws of human nature. In this perspective, Spinoza’s philosophy of man and society presents itself as an early and thorough attempt to realize the seventeenth-century Dutch naturalistic programme of secularizing the human condition. We shall follow Spinoza in this attempt and develop his moral and political philosophy against its Dutch background, eventually indicating why the response he met with was so critical and hostile. So after the introduction there will follow an overview of political philosophy in the Dutch Republic, next the presentation of Spinoza’s reaction to the key issues involved therein, especially as far as his moral philosophy is concerned, and then his political philosophy proper. After the conclusion there follows a select bibliography. INTRODUCTION Political philosophy may well be seen as one of the most important topics in Spinoza’s philosophical system, as far as modern Spinoza research is concerned. This is also evident from Spinoza’s own principles as a philosopher. I remind the reader of some of these central convictions. First of all, he proferred the view— in his writings, the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect and the Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being—that the realization of philosophy’s goal is a social activity (TDIE 14; KV XXVI, 10) (for the abbreviated form of titles etc. see the list of abbreviations at the end of Chapter 8). Not only do people need each other in their quest for truth, but also specific conditions have to be fulfilled for this quest to be pursued in a successful way: peace, security and toleration. Not by accident, then, did Spinoza postpone the writing of his Ethics in the mid-1660s to complete the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, published in 1670. In this, his first publication on politics, Spinoza opens with a forceful attack on superstition and the belief in signs and all kinds of insincerity that put prejudices ahead of rational analysis. He seems to be confident that the causes of these dogmatic hindrances of philosophical enquiry should be looked for in the political order. As is well known, the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus concludes with a dramatic plea for tolerance. But before reaching this peroration, the social and political reality is discussed and central conceptions like ‘power’, ‘right’, ‘reason’, ‘belief’ and ‘passion’ have their intermingled relations disentangled and are employed to a further understanding of the meaning and limits of sovereign power. The central contentions of Spinoza’s political philosophy itself point to its relevance in the overall philosophical system. Freedom, being the core concept of the Ethics, refers as by logical necessity to the social and political conditions of its realization. How far is the individual’s freedom hindered or enhanced by power relations between men? Can man be free in a society that is not free? Can a society be arranged in the interest of the promotion of freedom of its members? The answer to these and related questions necessitates a perspective on individual self-determination and social determination, as well as on their interaction. How do we understand the bonds that tie and relate men? What about laws, ordinances, rights and power? What is their origin, what their legitimacy, what their effect? These interests led Spinoza to write a second treatise on politics, the Tractatus Politicus. In this posthumously published work, he discusses the several forms of government, their principles and most rational practical application. In this book is evident again Spinoza’s conviction that philosophy is inherently a social affair. As in his involvement in religion, tolerance and the state in the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, here again Spinoza takes issue with contemporary opinions and debate as he found it in the Dutch Republic. He comes forward as an ‘interventionist’ who wants to change not only philosophy but political practice as well. One of our further interests will be to define Spinoza’s role as an interventionist in the political debate and strife of his own times. From a systematic point of view also, political philosophy presents itself as an unavoidable sequel to the Ethics. Quite a few propositions of the latter must have invited or even challenged the author to check the consistency of their interhuman consequences. Principles like the parallelism of the attributes of substance, the identity of right and might, and the conception of the individual as a persisting arrangement of individuals of a different order, all seem to have a meaning for groups and organizations of men as well. Spinoza will even argue for his political philosophy by presenting it as a deduction from the Ethics. In doing so, he takes issue with rival conceptions of politics in his time, coming forward as a theoretical interventionist as well. In terms of Hannah Arendt’s distinction between political philosophers (Plato, Hobbes, Marx, for example) and political thinkers (Machiavelli, Rousseau), Spinoza must be classified as belonging to both categories. Like the former, he formulates his political conceptions within a philosophical system, and like the latter he engages in verbal political action. His practical and his theoretical interests went hand in hand. His practical involvement in politics is partly evidence here. Possibly connected to his alleged acquaintance with the pensionary Johan de Witt, Spinoza’s strong reaction to the murder of the de Witt brothers in 1672 is well documented. It was only the intervention of his landlord that prevented him from nailing a placard saying ultimi barbarorum (outrage of barbarism) at the location of the murder. In the Tractatus Politicus he alludes to this episode by censuring the Dutch ‘regenten’ for using the pensionary as a scapegoat for their own shortcomings. His visit to the headquarters of the French occupation army in Utrecht in 1673, for all its possibly purely intellectual purposes, was regarded by the man in the street as an act bordering on treason. His practical involvement in politics is also evident from his appreciation of Machiavelli and Pieter de la Court. In presenting Spinoza’s moral and political philosophy, therefore, we could scarcely pass over the contextual element. We may well draw attention to the anomaly that this context as a matter of fact was. When Spinoza was born, the seven Provinces were still (since 1568) at war with Spain. Only in 1648 did a peace treaty materialize; only then was the Dutch Republic de jure accepted in the European system of states. But being a republic, and a very powerful one, it was a double anomaly. The relatively egalitarian society of shopkeepers and traders, governed by brewers and merchants, stood out for a relatively free intellectual climate. This anomaly stood in need of self-definition, as old conceptions had run out of relevance and new ones were yet to be invented. Philosophers and theologians, lawyers and politicians, lay and professional alike, all had their share in this redefinition of their political situation. Spinoza may be depicted by some modern commentators as a savage anomaly in relation to the main traditions of philosophy, but more importantly he was engaged in surmounting the double anomaly the Dutch confronted. It can be no surprise that the Dutch were keen on new developments in philosophy and reacted to thinkers like Thomas Hobbes and René Descartes. But their main motivation came from what we might call by hindsight their bourgeois understanding of their own society. We shall turn first to some of its elements as a background relevant to Spinoza’s moral and political philosophy. ASPECTS OF MORAL AND POLITICAL CONCERN IN THE DUTCH REPUBLIC To provide some context to Spinoza’s moral and political philosophy we shall present three distinct contributions. In the first place the Stoic-Aristotelian approach of Justus Lipsius (1547–1606) and Franco Burgersdijk (1590–1635) will be discussed. Here we find not only the basic arguments of Orangist political theory, but also the beginnings of naturalistic tendencies. In the second place, we will deal with the innovative contribution of Lambertus van Velthuysen (1622–85). Velthuysen attempted, on the basis of a rather general Cartesian methodology, to define the implications of the new individualism of Grotian-Hobbesian natural law in his peculiarly Aristotelian teleological scheme. In the third place, we must pay attention to the intense, rhetorical intervention in mid-seventeenth-century political debate of Johan and Pieter de la Court. Stoic-Aristotelian dimensions When Justus Lipsius published his Six Books on Politics in 1589, the Dutch Revolt was raging. Although the Low Countries had proved to be a difficult target for the far superior Spanish forces, there was no expectation of a conclusion of the war being at hand. Lipsius, for whom philosophy was most of all ethics and politics, tried to cope with the turbulence of his times. Taking politics to be the ‘order of governing and obeying’, he set out to give a highly practical answer, shunning the abstract categories of scholasticism, harking back to Tacitus, Machiavelli, Seneca and Cicero. This Neostoic practical philosophy provided him with a realistic morality: we have to live according to Nature, accepting what is inevitable, but working hard upon what is within our power. Morality of rulers and ruled alike consists in practical morality, of which the central instruments and targets are virtue and prudence. Lipsius preferred to see his philosophical task as different from theology. He did not abstain from using metaphysical concepts of the theological repertoire, especially that of primary and secondary causes, but put them to use in his analysis of human nature as a secular concept. The stability of the state, as far as that can be realized, was the central point of reference for him. The subjects have to accept their hardship if it must be, the rulers have to care for unity and concord. The conservatio sui, selfpreservation, is an important principle. The influence of Cicero is evident, as when it is stated that nothing preserves a republic better than fides, (good) faith. As for religion, Lipsius believed that the power of the state depends on religious peace, to be had only if there is but one religion and only if that religion is subjected to the jurisdiction of the prince. Nevertheless, he was convinced that consciences could not be forced, only persuaded. He was forcefully attacked by Dirk Coornhert, who believed that Lipsius betrayed their common cause of tolerance. But Lipsius kept to his opinion that the unity and concord of the country should not be placed in jeopardy. As Tacitus said, as a state is a single body, it should be ruled by a single mind. Lipsius concluded from this that monarchy is the superior form of government. A virtuous and prudent prince will further the potentia, the power of the state, which he described (referring to Cicero) as ‘the faculty regarding useful things to keep one’s own and to acquire those of foreigners’. This Ciceronian realism was complemented by a Senecan emphasis on sapientia, wisdom as the ultimate goal and moral end. Lipsius’s practical intent shows in the guidelines for warfare he presented in Book V of his Politics. Prince Maurice, who was not known for literary interests, was an ardent reader of this text and applied it to practice with a lot of success. However important this last aspect of Lipsius’s work may have been, his lasting influence proved to be the introduction of Neostoicism into Dutch intellectual life. In particular, Franco Burgersdijk, who held Lipsius’s chair at Leiden, was keen to continue this programme, be it under the disguise of his own brand of Neo-Aristotelianism, much more fashionable in Calvinist circles. We may therefore speak of a Neostoic-Aristotelian programme, which is realistic, practical and, for all its pagan overtones, presented as a complement to Calvinist theology. Practical morality, that is, prudence and virtue, can be studied independently of blessedness. Practical philosophy was studied as part of the propaedeutical curriculum, in the ‘lower faculty’ in contradistinction to the higher faculties of theology, law and medicine. Politics and ethics are central to practical philosophy. In his Idea politica, (1644), Burgersdijk was in complete agreement with Lipsius except for one important point. He tried to accommodate Lipsius’s notion of unity and concord and his subsequent emphasis on monarchy with the by then established Dutch practice of aristocracy supplemented with the institution of the stadhouder, the military leadership of the Princes of Orange. Central to this accommodation was Burgersdijk’s argument that the best form of government may not always concur with the preferences of the people. Indeed, for a people of shopkeepers and tradesmen, liberty is an important asset, which they unwillingly forgo. Therefore, Burgersdijk tried to formulate the principles that may promote unity and concord in a mixed constitution. In doing so, he provided for the adherents of the Orangist party, who sustained the Princes of Orange against the more specifically aristocratic preferences of the States party that consisted of the majority of the regenten. We shall see this Burgersdijkian concept of a mixed, Orangist constitution reappear in Spinoza’s treatment of monarchy in the Tractatus Politicus. In moral philosophy, too, Burgersdijk continued and improved upon the lines set out by Lipsius. Although Burgersdijk subscribes to the opinion that we aim at good things when we understand them to be good, he is not content to leave this principle unanalysed. He wants to understand how it is that we are moved to act. To this purpose he introduces the concept of ‘affectus’, apparently in a rather innocent way by identifying it as pathè, passion pertaining to the irrational part of the soul. But, as we shall see, he makes out of this ‘passion’ the basic concept of action. ‘Affect is a movement of the sensuous desire, when by a non-natural bodily modification directed at a good object or a bad one, suggested and judged by the imagination, this is made to be sought for or that is made to be evaded.’ Affects are not natural faculties of the soul, but functions or ‘movements’ of a natural faculty. Indeed, the seat of the affects is the facultas appetens, the desiring faculty. The principle of movement is the faculty of knowing, and the effect of movement is the modification of heart and body (the faculty of acting). Affects, so to say, represent a conceptual unity between knowing, desiring and acting, thereby suggesting that the three faculties are really aspects, and not parts, of the soul. In a subsequent rebuttal of the Stoic analysis of ‘affectus’, Burgersdijk exhibits his fundamental move away from Aristotle’s psychology. Indeed, referring to the passage in the Tusculanae Disputationes where Cicero suggests the translation of pathè by ‘disturbances’ (perturbationes) instead of by ‘illness’ (morbi), Burgersdijk points out that the Stoic notion of ‘affectus’ is wrong. That is, Burgersdijk continues one step further on the Ciceronian path of naturalizing pathè to a central psychological concept, by transforming it to the one motivational link between desire and action. Although being a Calvinist, Burgersdijk defends free will (liberum arbitrium). According to his simplified version of the history of philosophy, the Stoics reduced everything to providence, fate and the unchangeable concatenation of causes; the Peripatetics affirmed free will and denied divine providence. The Christians combine providence and free will, because they believe that ‘God rules individual things by secondary causes each according to the mode of their own nature, in such a way that necessary things happen by necessity, and free things freely such that whatever has to follow from their actions is produced freely’. Will itself is defined as the faculty to follow what is good and to shun what is evil; it is a blind capability (potentia caeca) because it depends on the direction of the practical intellect. We shall have ample opportunity to refer to Burgersdijk’s moral philosophy when we discuss Spinoza. Velthuysen’s naturalistic programme In 1651 the young medical doctor Lambertus van Velthuysen published an anonymous book entitled A Dissertation written as a Letter on the Principles of the Just and the Decent (Epistolica dissertatio de principiis justi ac decori). One would misunderstand this title if it did not contain the supplement: ‘containing a defense of the treatise De Cive of the most eminent Hobbes’. But neither is it just a defence of Hobbes. In the book, Velthuysen introduces three separate topics: first a teleological conception of morality, second a description of the rules of morality on the basis of ‘the fundamental law of self-preservation’, and third a political philosophy. In the 1680 reprint of the book, Velthuysen repressed his youthful expressions of enthusiasm for Hobbes without, however, changing the substance or even the wording of his own views. He might not have been a Hobbesian at all, but a ‘modern’ in search of support. Velthuysen’s target is to formulate the principles of morality from a naturalistic point of view. His argument is on a level with Burgersdijk’s use of the doctrine of secondary causes. God has created the world and man in particular to some purpose, some end. In doing so He must have willed the means necessary to this end (here God is compared with someone who builds a house). Man’s nature, especially his natural appetites and the sparks of reason, are the means he has provided mankind with. Therefore, man is totally justified in using these means, most of all since he is only slowly recovering from the dark times after the Fall, learning by experience the principles that, before the Fall, he followed from the goodness of his nature. Inevitably ‘nature incites’, where reason fell short. Nature does not provide man in vain (non frustra) with his natural inclinations. Pudency or shame is one of Velthuysen’s favourite social mechanisms by which decency is inculcated in man. The natural appetites and social mechanisms explain most of the historical development of moral codes in human society. We understand from this perspective why, for example, in our ‘more enlightened age’ we sustain monogamy against polygamy as was the moral practice in the Old Testament, and still is among the Turks. Justice, however, should be understood from the ‘fundamental law of self-preservation’. Man has a right to put things and animals to his own use, but not his fellow creatures. He has a right to defend himself against others’ invasion of his goods and person, and to punish them, but not to invade others’ rights in turn. This would be unjust, and injustice collides with God’s purpose with the world. This Ciceronian- Grotian conception of justice is the basis for Velthuysen’s political theory. A sovereign is essential to the proper functioning of the body politic. A sovereign body can perform this function even better than one person, since the accommodation of divergent interests is central to politics. The sovereign is either absolute, or party to a contract. Against an absolute ruler the people have no right at all, although even an absolute ruler has to refrain from doing certain things (i.e. neglecting justice, usurping the citizens’ property, violating women or chastity in general) because that would result in the ruin of the state. In religion, Velthuysen argues that the sovereign has to respect the accepted beliefs, and should not follow up claims from religious zealots because religious matters are not decided by a majority. A tyrannical sovereign has to be admonished by the lesser magistrates. Velthuysen’s political philosophy, all in all, falls short of the naturalistic principles of his ethical theory, as the Grotian conception of justice dominates here. In this respect, we find a more radical approach in de la Court. Political theory of the bourgeois middle classes: Johan and Pieter de la Court (1622–60/1618–85) The brothers de la Court represent the rapidly increasing category of nonacademic, bourgeois philosophers in the Republic. Both studied at Leiden University in the 1640s and made a Grand Tour to France, Italy and England; however, they eventually took over their father’s business as cloth manufacturers and traders. So they practised philosophy as dilettanti, in more than one respect along the lines of the ‘Rederijkers’, the literary circles of the beginning of the century. Their intellectual interest was to understand their society; their practical interest was related to the promotion of the new commercial interest against monopolies of guilds and government alike. The brothers de la Court were curious and investigative. Pieter, in particular, who outlived his brother by twenty-five years, had a lively interest in the new philosophy of Descartes and Hobbes, was well versed in the classical authors of the republican tradition, like Tacitus, Machiavelli and Guicciardini, and practised the Protestant religion in a personal and independent way. Following the death of his brother, Pieter—possibly profiting by some manuscripts of Johan—proved to be a prolific author. He published five editions of his Considerations of State, or Political Balance between 1660 and 1662, Interest of Holland, or Foundations of the Well-being of Holland (nine different editions in 1662), History of the Regime of Counts in Holland (four editions since 1662), Political Discourses (three editions, 1662–3), Demonstration of the Beneficent Political Foundations and Maxims of the Republic of Holland and West Frisia (two editions, 1669 and 1671), a collection of emblemata entitled Meaningful Fables (1685) and a manuscript on the ‘Well-being of Leiden’. So de la Court’s career as an amateur philosopher was a political fact of outstanding importance. One may appreciate this even better if one considers the fact that the anonymous book De jure ecclesiasticorum (1665) was (falsely) attributed until far into the eighteenth century both to de la Court and Spinoza. De la Court was perceived by the defenders of the House of Orange and orthodox Protestants as a defender of republicanism without a stadholder, but by the governing circle of regenten he must have been seen as a critic of their burgeoning practice of closed shop and monopolistic tendencies. As de la Court is, next to Machiavelli and Hobbes, one of the political writers that Spinoza refers to explicitly, we briefly sketch the outlines of his ideas. The power and charm of de la Court have to be found in his many figures of speech and his florid way of expressing himself. Here he brings the bourgeois understanding of himself and his group to the fore. We may distinguish two patterns. On the one hand he wants to make clear that man is always striving for independence and self-reliance: ‘home, sweet home’, ‘better a minor lord, than a mayor servant’, or the Spanish expression ‘en mi hambre mando yo’ (for all my hunger I command), and a host of other, similar ones. On the other hand, he expresses the dominant (and praiseworthy) principle of self-interest: ‘nobody suffers from another’s pain’, ‘he who eats the porridge, cooks it the best’, ‘own always takes precedence’, or somewhat more malicious, ‘set another’s house to fire, to warm oneself by its coals’, ‘don’t trust, so you won’t be betrayed’. These figures of speech are more than rhetoric, they are the substrate of the ideas. Their abundant use of Tacitus follows similar lines. Tacitus is used as a common-place book, to provide support for the de la Courts’ own ideology. On a theoretical level, however, de la Court is rather more shallow. He presents us with a scarcely elaborated compilation of Cartesian psychology and Hobbesian politics. His interpretation of Hobbes can prove the point. He starts with the state of nature and men’s strife for as many goods as possible to promote their uncertain conservation. But then he argues that, in the state of nature, man is subject to the laws of nature, the principal of which is, ‘don’t do unto another, that which you don’t want to suffer yourself: Grotian moralism instead of Hobbesian rationalism. Remarkable is the statement that ‘homo homini lupus in statu naturae’ (man is man a wolf in the state of nature), but ‘homo homini Deus in statu politico’ (man is man a God in the political state). The reference to Hobbes’s De Cive is maladroit, since it shows that he must have misread its introduction, where Hobbes says that ‘homo homini Deus’ refers to paradise. It is clearly not a Hobbesian notion to see the state as paradise. That is more in accordance with Machiavelli’s Renaissance conception of the state as work of art. The Machiavellian element is more prominent and more genuine. Man may be born subject to passions, but reasoning and experience permit him to suppress and regulate these in the perspective of enlightened self-interest. The state is necessary to promote order and law, because laws make men morally good. But since everybody is aiming at his self-interest political order should be arranged in such a way that it is in the interest of all to promote the common interest. ‘The best government is where the fortune and misfortune of the rulers is connected to the fortune and misfortune of the subjects’, a formula Spinoza will repeat in Tractatus Politicus VII, 31. De la Court’s political theory can be seen as a compendious elaboration of this notion. In the first place, it is central to his attack on absolute monarchy. Princes are driven by their self-interest to promote the misfortune of their subjects.They surround themselves with flatterers, they have an interest in not educating their children for fear of being overthrown, they are war-prone and exacting of the economy. It is quite likely that Algernon Sidney in his ‘Court Maxims’ was elaborating on de la Court in this respect. In any case, Spinoza did so in his construction of a constitutional monarchy. A republic can more easily be arranged according to the self-interest principle. Rotation of office, open access to offices, measures to prevent (religious) cabals and factions (all of which was not the standing Dutch practice), would bring the rulers’ self-interest into accordance with that of the citizens. De la Court’s double target is evident. Although he wrote in the preface to the Considerations that he ‘had no intent to harm any person in the world, let alone an innocent child’, the most evident practical implication was that the ‘child of State’, the then minor William III, should never become a stadholder in the Republic. But also he was convinced that the regenten were too keen on ‘warming themselves at the coals’ of the burning houses of others. SPINOZA’S POSITION Spinoza elaborates his conception of morality and politics against the background of his predecessors, using their arguments, examples and concepts. The result of this elaboration is both recognizable and totally different. Spinoza aims at conceptual integration and reformulates the convictions of spirits kindred to his own so as to adapt them to his own principles. Notwithstanding the evident ideological preoccupations of these authors, Spinoza believed that in all judgements there is some element of truth. We do not correct false statements by pointing out their falsity, but by improving on their truth, as Spinoza already explained in his Short Treatise and postulated in E II P35. Teleology We have seen how on the foundations of the Leiden Neostoic-Aristotelian tradition, Velthuysen gave teleology a central place in his moral and political thought. Spinoza reacts at length to this notion. In E I App, he explains that the teleological conception of nature is a projection of man, who takes his own goaloriented behaviour as a paradigm, unconscious of the fact that in reality everything happens according to causality. This projection leads to awkward consequences: ‘But while they sought to show that nature does nothing in vain (i.e. nothing which is not of use to men), they seem to have shown only that nature and the Gods are as mad as men.’ Indeed, nature has also provided many inconveniences (storms, earthquakes, diseases etc.) and they are imputed to the Gods being angry with men. Man may see himself as the maker of things (e.g. a house) and even form universal ideas or models to which these things have to conform, but this does not apply to nature. The reason, therefore, or cause, why God, or Nature, acts, and the reason why he exists, are one and the same. As he exists for the sake of no end, he also acts for the sake of no end. Rather, as he has no principle or end of existing, so he has also none of acting. What is called a final cause is nothing but a human appetite insofar as it is considered as a principal, or primary cause, of some thing. (E IV Praef) This is typically Spinozistic argumentation. An opinion or imagination is reinterpreted in terms of a more general theory. The opinion is not denied, but restricted in its applicability. These opinions cannot be taken as knowledge of nature, because they are a consequence or part of nature. But this cannot be all there is to teleology. However much we might realize that causality is behind our conviction of goal-oriented behaviour, this does not provide us as such with a better understanding of our own behaviour. Why do we strive to realize certain things, and try to escape others? What should we strive for, and why? To answer these questions we need a more precise understanding of what a causal explanation of human behaviour amounts to. Burgersdijk and his school regarded affects as modifications of sensitive appetite caused by nonnatural causes. Affects are in a way the movement of this sensitive appetite, implying that affects are the prerequisite of any actual appetite, as appetite is the prerequisite of actual behaviour. This position entailed furthermore that each affect, being a motivation of behaviour, necessarily contains both bodily and rational elements. And lastly, they asserted affects to be passions, as far as they did not concur with the judgement of practical reason, and to be actions as far as they did concur. The ultimate end of ethics is then to let the affects be in concurrence with practical reason, and thereby directed at beatitude, that is, the good life. Ethics is for them the desire for the good life, or eudaimonia. With this Neostoic, naturalistic ‘theory of behaviour’, Spinoza seems to have less difficulty than with teleology. Indeed, we find in Spinoza a theory of affects, of appetite and desire. The Neostoic principle of self-preservation surfaces in the conatus, the conscious striving of each thing to persevere in its being (E III P9). We cannot overlook the role of the active-passive distinction in Spinoza, nor the importance of the body for the conception of action. ‘A great many things happen from the laws of nature alone’, that is, from the nature of the body, Spinoza emphasizes in E III P2S where he explains the relative autonomy of body and mind. Furthermore, Spinoza’s conception of the evolution of passion to action shares a conviction with Neostoicism: passive affects are not to be suppressed, but can proceed by natural force to become active. That education should not be practised by force or punishment, but by admonition and example, is a point of view that is a complement to this notion of passion. But it is precisely against this background of shared ideas that in Spinoza’s philosophical system no function is left for teleology. In this, he is drawing the naturalism of his predecessors to its full conclusion. The projection onto Nature of man’s self-experienced goal-directedness is not a sign of action but of passion. Activity is living according to one’s own nature, i.e. according to one’s being as a particle in Nature, instead of (passion driven) believing oneself to be Nature’s master. What was at issue in the debate on teleology was (and is) the formulation of practical rules for actual behaviour in the perspective of an ultimate goal. As it is presumably God’s end for mankind to realize X, man has a duty to act so as to further X. Velthuysen amends this: God’s end is X, man is provided with means M, so employing M will by God’s provident ordering of Nature to further X. In this version M provides in a derivative fashion the criteria for our practical behaviour. One of Velthuysen’s main criteria is the ‘fundamental law of selfpreservation’. However, Velthuysen had to accept that M is necessary but not sufficient, as where he has to fall back on X in arguing that men cannot use each other as means to their own goal. Spinoza is the more radical thinker of the two. We can know God only in so far as we adequately understand ourselves as part of Nature, or God. Our being a part of Nature is essentially our being caused by Nature to exist and to act in a certain determined way. This excludes teleology. Second, in analysing our being part of Nature in more detail, we should not ‘prefer to curse and laugh at the Affects and actions of men, rather than understand them’, but to ‘consider human actions and appetites just as if they were a question of lines, planes, and bodies’ (E III Praef). Indeed, Spinoza wants to judge human actions according to their correspondence with reason, but here we should take ‘reason’ to be Spinoza’s theory of human nature. So by really naturalizing M, Spinoza is driven to eliminate X as irrelevant to his problem. Or, in a slightly different light, if morality is to live according to one’s own nature, X is internalized. We might sum up by saying that those who live by their passions believe or imagine they are free and their own master, whereas one who lives according to reason knows he is determined (by his own nature) and is therefore really free. Isn’t thus our imagination of freedom a passion that may lead us in the end to real freedom? Affects, passions, freedom: censuring the theory of the faculties Spinoza presents his moral philosophy in the three last parts of the Ethics, dealing respectively with the affects, with the passions, and with human freedom. Fundamental propositions of the first two books are applied, such as the thesis of the parallelism of mind and body, and the doctrine of ideas. In this context we should first discuss Spinoza’s rebuttal of the doctrine of the three faculties as he found it defended by his Neostoic-Aristotelian predecessors. One step in his argument is formulated at the end of Book II, where it is argued that will and intellect are one and the same (E II P49C). A further step is the integration of both will and intellect with acting, by means of the appetite. First, Spinoza argues that ‘there is in the Mind no absolute faculty of understanding, desiring, loving, etc. From this it follows that these and similar faculties are either complete fictions or nothing but Metaphysical beings, or universals, which we are used to forming from particulars’ (E II P48S). From thinking oneself to be free, as we have already seen, we may be apt to conclude that freedom exists, but only wrongly so. Universals are not to be formed by way of generalization. Our so-called faculties are to be investigated as singulars. Spinoza is interested in particular volitions, not in the obscure faculty of willing, and he defines a volition as the affirming or denying of something true or false. Volition is a mental category, and therefore it is to be seen in relation to ideas. Having an idea, and affirming it, or conversely having the idea that something is not the case, and denying it, cannot be different from each other. Spinoza is focusing here exclusively on the affirming/denying part of volition, thereby permitting himself to repeat his criticism of criteriology in E II P43. Therefore, he can conclude in II P49: ‘In the Mind there is no volition, or affirmation and negation, except that which the idea involves insofar as it is an idea.’ This proposition is then defended against the Cartesian conception of infinite will and finite knowledge, and against the notion of the indifference of the will. In a way, Spinoza’s dealing with volition is rather abstract here, only to become understandable when he moves on to discuss appetite. Minds and bodies being but modes of attributes and not substances, the activating principle of human behaviour no longer simply to be identified with volition, Spinoza argues for the equivalence of mind and body. ‘The very structure of the human Body, which, in the ingenuity of its construction, far surpasses anything made by human skill’ (E III P2S) is not to be regarded as an instrument for use of the mind, nor as its temple, but as much part of nature as the mind is. The body could not act if it were not determined to act qua body. However, for Spinoza the notion of ‘thing’ indicates existing objects without special reference to the attributes. Since he is convinced that all things can be analysed according to the two attributes we are acquainted with, and that the order and concatenation of matter is the same as that of ideas, he holds that we can explain things both ways. For sure, Spinoza does not follow up this principle in all details. In particular, since we lack precise knowledge about the workings of the human body, we had better concentrate on human psychology. This is what happens when Spinoza has introduced his central notion of conatus in E III P6–P9. P6: Each thing, as far as it can by its own power, strives to persevere in its being. P7: The striving by which each thing strives to persevere in its being is nothing but the actual essence of the thing. P9: Both insofar as the Mind has clear and distinct ideas, and insofar as it has confused ideas, it strives, for an indefinite duration, to persevere in its being and it is conscious of this striving it has. The two attributes are introduced in P9S as follows: When this striving is related only to the Mind, it is called Will; but when it is related to the Mind and the Body together, it is called Appetite. This Appetite, therefore, is nothing but the very essence of man, from whose nature necessary follow those things that promote his preservation. Spinoza adds that ‘desire can be defined as appetite together with consciousness of the appetite’ (emphasis in the original). This is somewhat problematic, since here Spinoza affirms a quality of things that precedes the thing’s explanation in terms of the attributes (i.e. conatus or appetite), but at the same time connects it in a rather complicated way to the attributal explanations. With this introduction of ‘will’ we have no quarrel, nor with appetite as synonymous with conatus; but can Spinoza consistently introduce the notion of ‘consciousness of the appetite’? That is, can ideas, which are ideas of the body, be also of something that is common to mind and body? We may argue that Spinoza has no other option but to introduce a concept (desire) that expresses the fact that man is a mind-body, instead of being a mind related to a body. Man forms ideas of his own body, that is, his consciousness of personal identity is precisely the consciousness of being a striving mind-body. The remainder of Spinoza’s moral philosophy is an elaboration of ‘desire’, in which he shows that being active is living according to the laws of one’s own nature, instead of passively behaving from external causes. Central in this is the analysis of the affects or emotions, that is of laetitia (joy, pleasure), tristitia (sadness, pain) and cupiditas (desire), and their numerous derivatives like love, hate, hope or fear. Joy is the emotion that furthers one’s capability (potentia)—it is so to say an active emotion; sadness hampers one’s capability to act. We should therefore prefer joy and its derivatives to sadness. Here we find the Stoic conception of living according to nature transformed into an active moral principle, without however neglecting contemplation. The intellectual love of God is Spinoza’s ultimate joy, since to understand ourselves as particles of Nature is equivalent to being active. To strive for this ultimate goal is what morality is about. But we cannot go along this path unless the mind-body goes this way. An active mind necessarily corresponds to an active body. The emotions as habits of the mind-body have to evolve from merely passive to predominantly active. Only the emotions can do the trick; it is not our will, but our checking emotions by emotions. The final apex of Spinoza’s ethics is contained in the programme that man be active or free: All our strivings, or Desires, follow from the necessity of our nature in such a way that they can be understood either through it alone, as through their proximate cause, or insofar as we are a part of nature, which cannot be conceived adequately through itself without other individuals. The Desires which follow from our nature in such a way that they can be understood through it alone are those that are related to the Mind insofar as it is conceived to consist of adequate ideas. The remaining Desires are not related to the Mind except insofar as it conceives things inadequately, and their force and growth must be defined not by human power, but by the power of things that are outside us. The former, therefore, are rightly called actions, while the latter are rightly called passions. For the former always indicate our power, whereas the latter indicate our lack of power and mutilated knowledge. (E IV App) Thus reason and the power of nature are identified and will lead Spinoza in the fifth part of the Ethics to a series of intricate and exciting conclusions concerning, among other things, the immortality of the soul. Here Spinoza is dealing with what full rationality might mean for man. But man is mostly driven by passions, and thereby dependent on things outside. We shall explore this interdependence in the next section on Spinoza’s political theory. MORAL PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICS In the same way that man is not his own creator, social institutions are not the result of human creation. Adam Ferguson was to express this towards the end of the eighteenth century by saying that men stumble ‘upon establishments, which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design’. How radical was Spinoza in this respect? Some commentators have recognized two different answers to this question. They judge that Spinoza provided a contractarian answer in his first book on politics, but an evolutionary one in the second. This has disconcerted others, since the problem of ‘design’ versus ‘action’ seems to them to be solved, as far as individual man is concerned, in favour of ‘action’. A divergent position in the political realm would smack of inconsistency, a type of judgement on Spinoza most are reluctant to uphold. More specifically, this argument is triggered by statements by Spinoza that indeed do seem to be inconsistent. In the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus the founding of the state is described as a decision of a multitude of men to unite and to live guided as it were by one mind. The state seems to be created in a constitutional act. In the Tractatus Politicus, however, these contractarian notions are completely absent, and evolutionary explanations are proffered. Here we are instructed to regard the formation of political institutions as the outcome of socio-psychological mechanisms. In presenting Spinoza’s political philosophy in this section, we shall deal with this central problem in a somewhat roundabout way. We shall see that, by presenting the complexity of both books, the problem will solve itself. Spinoza is indeed as radical in his political philosophy as he is in his ethics. But political theory has special problems of its own, among them being predominant the question of the audience it is addressed to. So what was the reason for writing the Tractatus TheologicoPoliticus? In fact there was more than one. Working at the Ethics, Spinoza must have deepened the theoretical foundation of his criticism of Bible scholarship that had provoked the scorn and indignation of the Jewish authorities, leading to his expulsion from the Jewish community in 1656. Indeed, more than half of the text is about Bible interpretation. Furthermore, the kind of problems he had met with in Jewish circles were far from being restricted to these alone. However tolerant the Dutch Republic may have been in comparison with surrounding nations, a continuing debate was going on about its real nature and limits, possibly even because of this relatively large degree of tolerance. De la Court pointed to the ambition of the ministers of the church who, not satisfied with their duty of spiritual care, were keen to profit from any opportunity to meddle with political affairs that came their way. So quite a few ministers tried to give support to the Orangist faction by giving William III pride of place in their weekly prayer for God’s help for the magistrate, although William was still in his minority. Attempts to suppress this kind of weekly prayer provoked a lot of unrest and even protest. Evidently, this political meddling was contrary to an important ideological tradition, going back to Erasmus and defended heatedly in the seventeenth century by Hugo Grotius and others. According to this Arminian set of beliefs, the church should restrict itself to its purely spiritual duties, and the government was granted the sole authority in mundane matters. Tolerance, according to this view, was founded in the individual’s conscientious responsibility to God alone. This so-called ‘internal religion’ could be a subject for ‘brotherly admonition’, but the ‘external religion’ including the church order had to be regarded as a subject of public order and therefore a matter of civil government alone. This party regarded the Dutch Revolt to have been libertatis ergo, for the sake of liberty. But these opinions were far from uncontested. Puritan theologians, for example Paulus Voetius from Utrecht, referred to the Revolt as religionis causa, for reason of (true) religion. As they were convinced that each act of a Christian should be under the aegis of faith, they evidently felt compelled to impose religious limits on the civil magistrates. Moreover, they found an interested ear on the part of the Princes of Orange for their claims against the regenten aristocracy. They did have substantial support among the people at large, but found opposition from latitudinarian groups like the Arminians. The authorities, for their part, were keen to present the case as a conflict of doctrines among theologians, and to emphasize their own responsibility for public peace and order. The issue of tolerance was therefore a very complicated matter, used partly by the regenten to argue their indifference in doctrine, partly by the conflicting religious groups and partly by the Orangist faction in its quest for a power base. A whole list of practical topics became related to the concept: apart from traditional ones like freedom of conscience and the persecution of heretics, there were such topics as public peace, sovereignty and lese-majesty, the freedom of the academic and popular press. The dominant policy of the authorities was to balance and mitigate, in all its diverse dealings with (purportedly) religious matters. This resulted in de facto toleration, although not without setbacks. The publication of books that aroused public indignation could still be forbidden, although that was not always enforced in a strict way. But in exceptional cases the authorities felt the necessity to persecute authors of ‘heretical’ works by putting them in jail, and by a prolonged preparation of the trial they waited for better weather. The conditions in jail, however, were often so bad that the indicted authors did not survive. The situation was strained by developments in the field of academic philosophy. Cartesianism and Hobbism were among the targets in Voetius’s circle. The separation of philosophy from theology was much scorned. The situation was aggravated when dilettanti like Lodewijk Meyer started to use the new philosophy in theological debate. His Philosophy, expounder of the Holy Writ (1666) produced much unrest, even among latitudinarians who were worried lest the fragile balance of toleration might be disturbed. To this complicated situation Spinoza wanted to address himself in the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. His stated purpose was to show ‘that freedom to philosophise can not only be granted without injury to Piety and the Peace of the Commonwealth, but that the Peace of the Commonwealth and Piety are endangered by the suppression of this freedom’, as the title page ran. His argument proceeded in the following manner. 1 In the Preface and the first six chapters, the character and function of religion in the Jewish state is discussed. Although Spinoza sets out to vehemently criticize superstition, and the slavery of totalitarian theocracies like that of the Turkish empire, the positive effects of religion in the Jewish state of the Old Testament are emphasized. It provided for the legitimacy of the political order, and taught the basic principles of morality. Spinoza explains that the Pentateuch imprinted on the Jewish people the natural light and the natural divine law, by appealing to the imagination of the people. The civil laws and religious ceremonies were strengthened by the special relationship that Moses, the lawgiver, was understood to have to God. The teachings of the Bible concern obedience, but not philosophy. 2 In the next seven chapters, the method of Bible interpretation is discussed. Theologians tend to read their own prejudices into the Holy Writ, by taking it as contrary to reason and nature. This is incorrect. The study of the Bible should be undertaken like the study of nature, that is, only from the Bible itself can one come to the correct interpretation. This interpretation is to be found by means of (a) a study of its language, (b) a careful classification of the text and (c) accounting for the historical circumstances. By applying this new method, Spinoza goes on to prove that the Bible teaches nothing but simple rules of behaviour, that is, obedience. About God’s nature he finds only simple statements, relevant to morality alone. God’s word is promulgated by testimony, by fraternal admonition and, in argumentation, is free from philosophical speculation. Spinoza is shocked to see the theologians of his time bring abstruse matters into religion, introduce philosophy, and practise theology as a science and as fit for debate. 3 The last seven chapters are devoted to the relationship between theology, philosophy and the state. Theology has to do with pietas, morality, philosophy with truth; the former is subject only to moral certainty, the latter to demonstrative certainty. Reason and belief are of a different order: we can never prove that simple obedience is the way to salvation. The concept of civil laws developed along philosophical lines, from the notions of natural right and sovereignty. Spinoza elaborates on this by discussing the interdependence of legitimacy and sovereignty, and the limits of power, by historical and actual examples. In the last chapter, in the context of a eulogy of the Republic, Spinoza puts forward and defends his central tenets. 1. That it is impossible to deprive men of the freedom to say what they think. 2. That this freedom can be granted to everyone without infringing the right and authority of the sovereign, and that the individual citizen can preserve this freedom without infringing that right, provided that he does not presume therefrom to make any innovation in the constitution or to do anything that contravenes the established laws. 3. That every man can possess this freedom without endangering public peace, and any troubles that may arise from this freedom can be easily held in check. 4. Finally, that this freedom can be granted without detriment to the public peace, to piety, and to the right of the sovereign, and indeed it must be granted if these are to be preserved. (TTP XX) The Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, therefore, really contains three distinctive arguments: one on the role of religion in the state, one on the interpretation of the Bible, and one on the role of reason in the state. In comparison with the doctrines of toleration of his compatriots, Spinoza clearly separates the distinct positions of faith and reason. His attempt at freeing philosophy from theological tutelage is founded in secularizing the state by referring theology to its proper constraints, without falling into the trap of absolutism. Not the absolute rule of the state, but the absolute rule of nature is the point of reference. Let us therefore follow more closely Spinoza’s conception of the rule of nature in politics. We do so under three headings: the nature of political order; the constitution of political order; and the development of political order. The nature of political order The formation of a society is advantageous, even absolutely essential, not merely for security against enemies but for the efficient organisation of an economy. If men did not afford one another mutual aid, they would lack both the skill and the time to support and preserve themselves to the greatest possible extent. All men are not equally suited to all activities, and no single person would be capable of supplying all his own needs. Each would find strength and time fail him if he alone had to plough, sow, reap, grind, cook, weave, stitch, and perform all the other numerous tasks to support life, not to mention the arts and sciences which are also indispensable for the perfection of human nature and its blessedness. We see that those who live in a barbarous way with no civilising influences lead a wretched and almost brutish existence, and even so their few poor and crude resources are not acquired without some degree of mutual help. (TTP V) Spinoza is arguing here from ‘universally valid principles’, and one is tempted to refer to E IV 18S: ‘To man, then, nothing is more useful than man’. But if we look into Spinoza’s arguments for this notion of mutual utility, we find two statements explained. First, referring back to E II Post4, he states that men can never do without external things in their striving for the preservation of their being. Second, he deduces that no external things are ‘more excellent than those that agree entirely with our nature’. Men who agree in all things will therefore seek the common good of all. They will want nothing for themselves that they do not desire for other men. As often in Spinoza, we have here the choice between a minimal and a maximal interpretation. If we take ‘agree’ in a maximal sense, it seems to indicate the agreement of all living equally according to the dictates of reason, but then we would have difficulty in understanding how, for example, a farmer and a philosopher can completely agree with each other. We would not want this agreement to consist in a shared certainty about the necessity of mutual help, since that is what we are trying to understand. On the minimal interpretation, agreement refers to those things about which persons in fact agree, as, for example, in an exchange of external goods. That is, to man nothing is more useful than man because people find their exchanges profitable as soon as they come to an agreement. On this minimalist interpretation only, agreement (s) explain mutual help. We may understand Spinoza to allude to this last interpretation when he concludes E IV 18S by justifying his argument so as ‘to win, if possible, the attention of those who believe that this principle—that everyone is bound to seek his own advantage—is the foundation, not of virtue and morality, but of immorality’. Reading this last remark against the background of de la Court, we easily see Spinoza here defending the morality of mutual aid on the basis of the diversity of human capabilities and preferences and the subsequent possibility of mutual advantage in agreed-upon exchange. There is one type of agreement, however, that stands out as a prerequisite for mutual aid, that is, good faith, the determination ‘to keep appetite in check in so far as it tends to another’s hurt, to do to no one what they would not want done to themselves, and to uphold another’s right as they would their own’ (TTP XVI), or, in the expression of E IV 18S, that men ‘want nothing for themselves that they do not desire for other men. Hence, they are just, honest (faithful), and honourable.’ Men can only provide each other external goods if they recognize each other as equals in a fundamental respect. That was also the opinion of Velthuysen. He, however, formulated it as a normative principle, whereas Spinoza confines himself to a prerequisite. If men do not keep their agreements, mutual aid is impossible. For Spinoza, unlike in Grotian natural law, for example, it is no self-evident rule that men should keep their promises. It is a fact about human life, however, that even a ‘few poor and crude resources are not acquired without some degree of mutual help’. A somewhat different argument for human co-operation that surfaces now and again (e.g. TTP XVI, TP II, 13, and E IV 18S) is that the capability power of a group of men is the sum of the capabilities of each of them. This may seem an echo of Burgersdijk’s emphasis on concord and unity. However, Spinoza does not really make much use of this principle in explaining the nature of the state. On the one hand, he seems uncertain about the exact law of aggregation involved. If, for example, a hundred chess players unite to play against another player, no one would be willing to regard their combined chance of winning as the sum of the individual chances of each of them. In general, the effect of combining forces will depend on the principles of co-operation that apply. On the other hand, Spinoza uses the notion to emphasize the central function of agreement in a state. As a sovereign is instituted by agreement, and agreement is based on utility, a sovereign loses his power to enforce his rulings as soon as a relevant proportion of the people unite in opposition against him. That is, it is the combining of forces that creates political power, not the legal title to such power. Sometimes Spinoza expresses this by his notorious remark that men’s right is coextensive with their capability power. Social power, we may now say, is the result of combining forces. But combining forces is mutual help, so agreement and good faith. Power and right both express the level of social co-operation. A strong state is strong because it is legitimate, that is, because it expresses the principles of actual co-operation. But by being the form of powerful co-operation it is, it is legitimate. Now, by way of introducing a limiting case, Spinoza states that, if everyone lived according to reason, a state would be superfluous, because men would be just, faithful and honourable on their own accord. This not being the actual situation, political order is an institutionalized form of power, a pattern of external causes that brings about human co-operation, where reason as internal cause fails. This institutionalized power can also be referred to as law, that is, human law. A human law is ‘an enactment from which good or ill consequences would ensue not from the intrinsic nature of the deed performed but only from the will and absolute power of some ruler’. Moreover, a law is ordained by men ‘for themselves and for others with a view to making life more secure and more convenient, or for other reasons’ (TTP IV). In particular, since the true purpose of the law is usually apparent only to the few and is generally incomprehensible to the great majority in whose lives reason plays little part, laws are enforced by sanctions. We have seen that the capability of man is greater according to the extent to which man is more active, that is, less dependent on external power. As the capability of a society of men is in some way a function of their individual capabilities, ways of enforcing a law that promote the activity of men are more useful than others. In particular, if a ruler can make people comply without the use of sanctions, but by influencing their behaviour by other means, he enhances the capability of the society. Most effective in this respect is making ‘the motive of self-interest’ depend on the state or, in other words, ‘no more effective means can be devised to influence men’s minds…as joy springing from devotion, that is love mingled with awe’ (TTP XVII). Although it is not the motive for obedience, but the fact of obedience, that constitutes a subject, the means that contribute to men’s willingness to obey are crucial. Convincing others means referring to their conception of things, for example by taking seriously their conviction of free will. This brings Spinoza to his version of the theory of political contract. The origins of the state We are now in a position to present Spinoza’s ‘contractual’ explanation of the origins of the state. In TTP XVI Spinoza points out that ‘in order to secure a secure and good life, men had necessarily to unite in one body’, and ‘therefore arranged that the unrestricted right naturally possessed by each individual should be put into common ownership, and that this right should no longer be determined by the strength and appetite of the individual, but by the power and will of all together’ (emphasis added). The argument about mutual assistance is rephrased here in terms of unity, and in this specific political form as well social co-operation is contingent on the existence of a de facto willingness in good faith ‘to be guided in all matters by the dictates of reason’. But this willingness is far from being a principle of nature. Against Hobbes, however, Spinoza points out that it is just as absurd to demand that a man should live according to reason as to say that a cat has the duty to live according to the laws of a lion’s nature. In particular, contracts bind by their utility alone. So the unity that is presupposed by political order should be founded in utility. To show how this is possible is the aim of Spinoza’s sixteenth chapter. How do men succeed in living according to the ‘will and power of all together’? Had they been guided by appetite alone they would have failed, he writes. Therefore they bound themselves by the most stringent pledges to live according to the dictates of reason. These pledges are effective since ‘nobody ventures openly to oppose [these], lest he should appear to be without the capacity to reason’: Ulysses is bound to the mast of reason by his appetites. In more detail, we find the same principle reappearing when political obligation and legitimacy are discussed. Since contracts are kept only as long as they are profitable, solemn pledges help people to stick to their contracts for fear of public disrespect. Note that contracts as such were only introduced as a symbolism or ideology to keep the disruptive effects of appetite in check. We may therefore very well say that Spinoza explains the origins of the state by the desire for unity, that is, according to the Ethics, the appetite for it together with the consciousness of it. These appetites are founded in utility, and like good faith in co-operation, solemn pledges in politics have the function of enforcing the desire for unity by putting additional utility in the outcome. In a highly significant argument, Spinoza explains why rulers are not bound by international contracts or treaties, ‘except through hope of some good or apprehension of some evil’: ‘For he [the ruler] cannot keep whatever promise he sees likely to be detrimental to his country without violating his pledge to his subjects, a pledge by which he is most firmly bound, and whose fulfilment usually involves the most solemn promises’! In other words, disrespect among his subjects is more detrimental to a ruler than the possible consequences of breaking a treaty. The well-being of the country is guaranteed by the ruler’s care for his own interest, and not by contracts in themselves. We easily recognize de la Court’s principle of public interest, cared for by the rulers because it is connected to their own interest. This connection is furthered by conceiving it as a contractual bond, since that threatens disrespect to anyone who would break it. Spinoza’s naturalistic theory of the state thus explains the state as an effect of the laws of nature, as well as showing the utility of an ideological conception of the state in terms of contract. In this respect we can understand why Spinoza believes that a state would be unnecessary if everybody lived according to the dictates of reason. Here Spinoza is more like Proudhon or Kropotkin than like Hobbes. But men being what they are, Spinoza is far from being an anarchist. Men who do not live according to reason are not ‘sui iuris’, and therefore are by definition subject to other powers. A stable system of powers is a state, and such a stable pattern is expressed by civil laws. Imagination plays the role that reason cannot perform. This imagination is the more effective the more men believe, or imagine, that they have instituted it by free will, that is, have contracted to abide by the civil laws. As a consequence, Spinoza is anxious to demonstrate that this set of imaginations is a consistent one. Formulating his position on a topic that appears in Hobbes and Locke as well, he says: We therefore recognize a great difference between a slave, a son, and a subject, who accordingly may be defined as follows. A slave is one who has to obey his master’s commands which look only to the interest of him who commands; a son is one who by his father’s commands does what is to his own good; a subject is one who, by command of the sovereign power, acts for the common good, and therefore for his own good also. Imagination is a consistent and effective mechanism that provides men with what we may call a provisional political morality (cf. E II P49S). Its consistency is explained in the language of imagination itself, since this is of concern to those who live according to the imagination. Its effectiveness can only be explained in terms of the laws of nature. In reading the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, these two different languages should be distinguished carefully, especially where they are implied in one and the same argument. We can illustrate this best in relation to Spinoza’s often distorted contention that right is might. ‘By the right and established order of Nature I mean simply the rules governing the nature of every individual thing, according to which we conceive it as naturally determined to exist and to act in a definitive way’, that is, right equals potentia: ‘the right of the individual is coextensive with its determinate power’. This appears to be a stipulative definition, since the concept of right surfaces here for the first time. ‘Right’, or ‘ius’, is evidently presented as an explication of the freedom that is permitted individuals by the rules that apply to them, be they natural or civil rules. Inevitably then, civil right equals civil power, whereby an individual is free to do whatever is in his power. Spinoza is aware, however, that men have all kinds of explanations for rights differing from his. They explain rights by divine origins, or as originating from a wise lawgiver, or from contract. So he preferred to explain them from ‘proximate causes’, that is, from the human will. But in this Chapter XVI, where the effectiveness of civic contracts has to be discussed, he can no longer refrain from giving a full explanation. So let us ask therefore: can one expect that an individual’s power increases or decreases according to his redefining his rights? Surely not. In this we might compare Spinoza with Hume, who was to demolish the theory of contract by arguing that people do not obey a sovereign because they have contracted to do so, but embellish their obedience by the fiction of a contract. On the other hand we have seen that a man’s power or capability can increase or decrease, that is, man can become more active or more passive. Hope and fear are Spinoza’s main examples. Freedom from fear and hope for advantages are indications of increasing capabilities. The imagination that obedience will bring in its wake the promotion of one’s own good is the expression of such a hope. So we reach the somewhat paradoxical conclusion that, by granting the sovereign a right to dictate one’s actions, man is promoting his capability. By enlarging one’s capability, man is enlarging his right (by definition). So Spinoza can only maintain that might equals right by granting that in a political order the powers of both individuals and the collectivity are increased. This increase goes with cooperation. If men were completely rational they would not need the imagery of the transference of rights to sustain such co-operation. Affection-driven man, however, cannot co-operate in this way unless forced by a supposedly selfimposed additional argument to do so. These arguments take the form of rights: rules that are enforced by sanctions some way or other. Each political organization has therefore the system of laws it deserves, be it a contract with God as in the Jewish state or a contract between men as in the Dutch Republic. The developing state In the beginning of the next chapter, TTP XVII, Spinoza points out that the authority of rulers in previous ages used to be strengthened by clothing it in the garments of divinity. The Persians looked to their kings as Gods. Indeed, men do not want to be ruled by their equals, but only by outstanding leaders. Moses was attributed this quality, and rightly so. He gave the Jewish people a very wise constitution. Spinoza emphasizes the determination of Moses to put all laws and thereby obedience under the aegis of religion. The Hebrews’ love for their country was not a mere case of patriotism but of piety and religious duty. And next to that, the political institutions were arranged according to the ratio utilitatis, the principle of utility. As Lipsius had seen, most patriotism is selfinterest in disguise, and so it was highly efficient that in the Jewish state it was made useful to men not to desert their country. These two wise principles that Moses put at the foundation of the Jewish state were a clear promise of the stability and continuity of the Jewish state. But this was not going to be the case. The worship of the golden calf, this undeniable expression of superstition, made for a change that produced the downfall of the Jewish state in the end. As Spinoza expresses it, God punished his people by giving it laws that were more a kind of vengeance than a contribution to their well-being. He decided that from then on only the Levites, who did not join in the worship of the golden calf, should have care of the law. This was the germ of decay. The ambitions of the successors of Moses as well as the zeal of the scribes resulted in the introduction of kingship and in sectarianism and Pharisaism. From this came civil war and the downfall of the state in the end. From this Spinoza concludes (a) that the original constitution of a state should be kept intact, and especially that if a people does not have a king kingship should not be introduced, (b) that religion should be separated from politics and (c) that in a state where ambition is permitted both (a) and (b) will be difficult to follow. Spinoza points to the history of England where monarchy was supposedly abrogated in 1642, only to be reintroduced under a different name under Cromwell, and reinstituted in its original form in 1660. The Dutch Republic proves the same. There never was a king, and the short experiment with Queen Elizabeth’s lieutenant Leicester was bound to fail. A political system is an intricate mechanism that cannot be changed overnight. The predominant suggestion from the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus is that there is a grand secular trend according to which superstition is gradually overcome, and that more rational political systems are more free and more powerful. Spinoza seems more interested to suggest the superiority of the Dutch Republic by rhetorical comparison than to provide his readers with a full theory. Indeed, in the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus his aim must have been to make an intervention in Dutch political life. He points out that ambition leads to war for honour’s sake (as de la Court had seen) and to curtailing the people’s freedom, to the downfall of the state if one makes the same mistakes as the Jewish people, that is, elects kings and admits the zeal of the scribes. Indeed, this was exactly what was threatening to happen around the Synod of Dordt (1618–19), and would have happened if the death of Prince Maurice had not curtailed the process. Along what lines did the philosopher Spinoza expect his intervention to be effective? What constituted the force of his argument? Was he hoping to contribute to the collective imagery of the state? Or to its explanation? We have seen that intervention was Spinoza’s most central concern. He adapted his mode of explanation to his audience, although in Chapters XVI and XVII he could not circumvent references to the order and concatenation of things that is the real explanation. However, his decision to explain in terms of the will was indeed an adaptation to his audience. Spinoza’s final chapter of the Tractatus Theologico- Politicus brings the intervention to its final conclusion. Here he shows what the implications are of the Dutch self-understanding of their republic along Spinozan lines. These implications have been presented on pp. 333–5. They do not differ much from run of the mill arguments about the relationship of church and state, except for one point: tolerance is defended as a virtue of a republic, especially as far as philosophy is concerned. This intervention was barely successful among those who were not convinced by the argument in the first place. Even Remonstrant theologians, who had always defended the same position, were made rather uncomfortable about this ‘support’ from a philosopher who presented God as Nature, and in his determinism denied human freedom, and hence sin and morality. Velthuysen, in his later writings, criticized Spinoza heavily. The Amsterdam Remonstrant and later friend of Locke, Philip van Limborch, scorned Spinoza for his fatalism. Spinoza’s influence was in other quarters. Among autodidacts, like himself, among idiosyncratic intellectuals, like the author of the Spinozistic novel The Life and Times of Philopater, his appeal was remarkable. But Spinoza must have been disappointed that the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus produced so few of the effects he had hoped for. In the Tractatus Politicus he came forward with a different style, and with different targets. In that book, he no longer aims at the imagination, but wants to present a political philosophy that is deduced from the Ethics, and formulated as a scientific theory. The theory of the Tractatus Politicus I have resolved to demonstrate by a certain and undoubted course of argument, or to deduce from the very condition of human nature, not what is new and unheard of, but only such things as agree best with practice. And that I might investigate the subject-matter of this science with the same freedom of spirit as we generally use in mathematics, I have laboured carefully, not to mock, lament, or execrate, but to understand human actions; and to this end I have looked upon passions such as love, hatred, anger, envy, ambition, pity, and the other perturbations of the mind, not in the light of vices of human nature, but as properties, just as pertinent to it, as are heat, cold, storm, thunder, and the like to the nature of the atmosphere, which phenomena, though inconvenient, are yet necessary, and have fixed causes, by means of which we endeavour to understand their nature, and the mind has just as much pleasure in viewing them aright, as in knowing such things as flatter the senses. (TP I, 4) This scientific, naturalist approach is put forward against the utopianism of the philosophers. We can learn more from practical politicians for whom experience is the teacher. This does not imply, however, that Spinoza opts for an empiricist approach to politics. He intends to formulate in a systematic and theoretical way, and to explain what politicians know from practical experience. He is the abstruse thinker of David Hume’s essay ‘On Commerce’, who fits the insights of the shallow thinkers of practical competence within an explanatory whole. And in this programme, he is as critical as Adam Smith of the ‘men of systems’ who suppose they can adapt human life to their schemes. In the Tractatus Politicus the human will as proximate cause has lost the prime position it enjoyed in the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. In doing so, Spinoza elaborates more fully on the concept of potestas, or coercive power, as distinct from potentia, or capability power. Second, the explanation of the origins of the state is more fully developed. Third, the various forms of government are distinguished and analysed as to their principles and to the organization that best accords with these principles. We shall see Spinoza argue for constitutional monarchy as the only reasonable form of monarchy, and for two types of aristocracy in a reflection of the differences between city-states like Venice and federative republics like the Dutch. Democracy is not discussed fully, since Spinoza died before completing the last chapters of the Tractatus Politicus. We may describe potentia as a power per se, as the capability that is in a thing, and potestas as a power ad aliud, as the power over other things. This has several consequences. First, in the case of states, one might expect that the capability of a state relates to its power in relation to other states. A state that acts according to its own nature is less dependent on external causes, that is, on other states. Whether it effectively is more powerful than other states is a different matter, because to answer this question we have to look into the capabilities of these other states. But ceteris paribus we must understand the more capable state as more powerful. In a general sense, a state arranged according to reason is more capable. We can understand this to say that a state that is ordered so as to promote the common good, and thereby the well-being or the capability of its citizens makes for a greater aggregated capability. It is in this sense that we can understand Spinoza’s saying that a democracy is the strongest state (TTP XVI; TP XI, 1) since it unites the capabilities of its citizens most fully or most absolutely. This absolute unity requires, however, a rational organization, and therefore citizens are most free when they abide by the laws of a rational political system. The relationship between citizens and the superior powers (summae potestates; in Dutch, Hoogmogende Heren, i.e. Sovereign Lords) is bidirectional, and has an aggregative aspect. The rule or dominion (imperium) of the sovereign powers is their capability, determined by the capability of the multitude that is guided as by one mind (TP II, 15; III, 2). We may well compare this with Spinoza’s analysis of the individual man: just as in that case, he does not want to separate the body (politic) from its director (or ruler). The capability of the sovereign is the organization of the state (in which the sovereign naturally is an element). So, when Spinoza continues in TP III, 2, by remarking that the right of a subject is the lesser the greater the capability of the collectivity, we understand this in the same way: in a well-organized state neither sovereign nor subject can live according to their appetites alone, but are directed towards the common good, and thereby to their own. Spinoza distinguished four ways in which this societal direction can take place. By taking away one’s arms and means of defence, or by preventing one’s escape, the state constrains one in a bodily way. By inspiring someone with fear, or by obliging one by favours, the state rules body and mind alike. These four ways of directing someone’s behaviour are forms of power over an individual, and are the ways in which the state is present as an external cause. This presence is inherently dynamic. It can only operate via the emotions of its target, and may lead to such diverse reactions as anger, hatred or hope, and devotion (i.e. love together with awe). These emotions may have an aggregative effect, as when, for example, some policy leads to collective indignation because of a wrong done to a subject. The collectivity may then become directed as by a different mind and endanger the rule of the sovereign, and thereby the stability or even continuity of the state. Naturally, indignation is likely to result when the interests of subjects are infringed upon, or when one who earns praise is declared unjust. In this respect, Spinoza tries to come to grips with the barbarous and slavish Turkish empire, which he deems despicable although very stable. ‘Yet if slavery, barbarism, and desolation are to be called peace, men can have no worse misfortune’ (TP VI, 4). His argument is a dissection of the true nature of absolute monarchies, where in fact more often the whims of concubines and minions decide. Repeating the analysis of de la Court, Spinoza demonstrates that in an absolute monarchy the king is always afraid of his subjects, and even of his own children, and ‘will look more for his own safety, and not try to consult his subjects’ interests, but try to plot against them, especially against those who are renowned for learning, or have influence through wealth’ (TP VI, 6). It is clear that Spinoza measures states not according to their stability, but according to their rationality. In this perspective Spinoza again investigates the origins of the state. Unlike the emphasis on the will and the ensuing contract in the Tractatus Theologico- Politicus, now he tries to explain by causal mechanisms. Inasmuch as men are led, as we have said, more by passion than reason, it follows, that a multitude comes together, and wishes to be guided, as it were, by one mind, not at the suggestion of reason, but by some common passion—that is (Ch. III, 3), common hope, or fear, or the desire of avenging some common hurt. But since fear of solitude exists in all men, because no one in solitude is strong enough to defend himself, and procure the necessaries of life, it follows that men naturally aspire to the civil state; nor can it happen that men should ever utterly dissolve it. (TP VI, 1) In the Latin of Spinoza we find that the multitude ‘ex communi aliquo affectu naturaliter convenire’, that is, ‘from some shared emotion agree by nature’. ‘Agreement’ being a somewhat more precise translation than Elwes’s ‘coming together’, we find here the principle of co-operation explained that we had been looking for in the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. In the shared or common emotion we see the civil state arise. What kind of emotion is Spinoza thinking of? In TP III, 6, he points to the removal of general fear and the prevention of general sufferings as a natural cause of the state. These ‘communes miserias’ seem to refer to the emotion of misericordia, compassion. We find it again in TP I, 5, together with jealousy or envy, vengeance, and ambition and glory. These passions predominate in an ordinary man, especially since men are led more by passion than by reason. Anyone who thinks otherwise believes in a chimera or in a Utopia, or in the golden age of the poets (TP I, 1). It is clear, however, that we need something more than just these passions. Thomas Hobbes would explain the war of all men against all men from these passions. How can Spinoza come to the explanation of the state? We have to take a close look at the term ‘convenire’, agree. We will then be dealing with the pre-political, state, that is, as long as the condition is not realized ‘that all, governing and governed alike, whether they will or no, shall do what makes for the general welfare: that is, that all, whether of their own impulse, or by force or necessity, shall be compelled to live according to the dictate of reason’ (TP VI, 3). As long as this condition is not realized, any order that may arise is not stable. People may agree for a moment, but disintegrate in the next. How can such an unstable agreement develop into a stable one? This may happen if such a temporary agreement induces people to agree on further points, leading to patterns of behaviour, habits and preferences that can be redefined as a political order. Spinoza seems to suggest this much when he says that compassion can induce men to alleviate the misery of others, from ambition or love of glory. Such ambitious men may want to continue to attract the praise of others, because they see it as a consequence of their help. Others may want the same, and thereby ambition becomes a motive for political leadership. Now, jealousy could follow if there is not room enough for all ambitious men, and fear and hate might follow as well. In that case, the evolution is thwarted. But if the surrounding world poses enough challenges, the effects may well be positive. Then, ‘love of liberty, desire to increase their property, and hope of gaining the honours of dominion’ (TP X, 8) will be the sure emotions leading to a stable political order. Interdependence of emotions makes for political order, but this process may equally well degenerate according to the circumstances. This dual character of emotive interdependence provides a good explanation of Spinoza’s use of positive and negative examples of political order. Positive examples (the kingdom of Aragon, the Dutch Republic) are indicative of the necessary conditions for their respective forms of government; negative examples (the Jewish state, Rome, France, Venice) show disturbing factors. On this reading, Spinoza’s statement that states are not to be invented, but do exist, explains to us that the historical process of growth and decline is central in his political theory. By being actual existences, they can be explained. We may point out that Spinoza in the Tractatus Politicus again is intervening in Dutch political debate. Taking issue with the major ideological positions of Orangism, republicanism and radicalism, he aims at objectifying the problems at hand. Orangists used to enforce their position by pointing out the heroic past of the Princes of Orange, but from Spinoza’s deduction of a feasible monarchy we learn that not the person of the prince but the quality of the institutions is the decisive factor: ‘And so, that a monarchical dominion may be stable, it must be ordered, so that everything be done by the king’s decree only, that is, so that every law be an explicit will of the king, but not every will of the king a law’ (TP VII, 1). These decrees have to be prepared by councils that embody a form of collective rationality. In the same vein, Spinoza reconstructs the republican argument. Here also passions have to be kept in check by institutional arrangements, linking the citizens’ private interest to that of the commonwealth. The radical position of dissenting religious groups is reconstructed in Spinoza’s analysis of democracy. Although this was unfinished, it is evident that democracy cannot imply license, but the broadening of the category of citizens to the whole male, adult, economically self-supporting population. That is, only those who have an articulated interest can be institutionally integrated into the pursuit of the common interest. However detached and objective this analysis may be, it is evident that Spinoza takes republicanism (or aristocracy) to correspond most closely to the Dutch situation. He may be saying: here are the feasible possibilities, pick your choice, but the institutional and economic arrangements of the Dutch Republic are closest to that of his model of federalist aristocracy. The Orangists, and William III in particular, who stated that he had rather be a Doge of Venice than a king in the Dutch Republic, would scarcely feel comfortable in Spinoza’s monarchy. But the events of the eighteenth century showed that Spinoza had foreseen the weaknesses of the Dutch stadholderate. But even in that century of Christian enlightenment, an atheist like Spinoza was not going to be heard. Spinoza’s principled political philosophy was going to inspire philosophers elsewhere, who like him understood the birthpangs of modernity. In France Rousseau and in Great Britain Adam Smith continued the project, just as in our day libertarians, marxists and even postmodern philosophers follow his lead. This radical naturalist of the seventeenth century is a present-day companion in our quest for understanding man and society. BIBLIOGRAPHY Citations in the text are from The Collected Works of Spinoza, ed. and trans. E. Curley, vol. I, Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 1985 (Ethics); Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, trans. Samuel Shirley with introduction by Brad S.Gregory, Leiden, Brill, 1989; A Theologico-Political Treatise and A Political Treatise, trans. with an introduction by R.H.M.Elwes, London, Routledge, 1883 (Tractatus Politicus citations only). For an explanation of abbreviations used in the text, see Chapter 8, p. 303. Editions Full editions of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus 9.1 Tractatus Theologico-Politicus […], from the Latin, with an introduction and notes by the editor, London, Trübner, 1862. 9.2 A Theologico-Political Treatise and A Political Treatise, trans. with an introduction by R.H.M.Elwes, London, Routledge, 1883; revised edition London, Routledge, 1895; reprinted, New York, Dover, 1951. 9.3 Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, trans. Samuel Shirley with introduction by Brad S.Gregory, Leiden, Brill, 1989. 9.4 Writings on Political Philosophy, ed. with an introduction by Albert G.A. Balz, New York, Appleton-Century, 1937. Partial editions of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus 9.5 The Political Works: The Tractatus Theologico-Politicus in Part and the Tractatus Politicus in Full, ed. and trans. with an introduction and notes by A. G.Wernham, Oxford, Clarendon, 1958. 9.6 Spinoza on Freedom of Thought: Selections from Tractatus Theologico-Politicus and Tractatus Politicus, ed. and trans. T.E.Jessop, Montreal, Mario Casalini, 1962. Editions of the Tractatus Politicus 9.7 A Treatise on Politics, trans. William Maccall, London, Holyoake, 1854. See also above: [9.2], [9.4], [9.5], [9.6]. Studies on Spinoza Studies of Spinoza’s moral and political philosophy 9.8 Bennett, J. A Study of Spinoza’s ‘Ethics’. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1984. 9.9 Bidney, D. The Psychology and Ethics of Spinoza, New York, Russell and Russell, 1940; 2nd edn, 1962. 9.10 Caird, J. Spinoza, Edinburgh, Blackwood, 1888. 9.11 Curley, E. Behind the Geometrical Method: A Reading of Spinoza’s Ethics, Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 1988. 9.12 De Deugd, C. (ed.) Spinoza’s Political and Theological Thought, Amsterdam, North- Holland, 1984. 9.13 Delahunty, R.J. Spinoza, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985. 9.14 Den Uyl, D.J. Power, State and Freedom. An Interpretation of Spinoza’s Political Philosophy, Assen, Van Gorcum, 1983. 9.15 Duff, R.A. Spinoza’s Political and Ethical Philosophy, Glasgow, Maclehose, 1903; reprinted New York, A.M.Kelley, 1970. 9.16 Feuer, L.S. Spinoza and the Rise of Liberalism, Boston, Mass., Beacon Press, 1958; 2nd edn, New Brunswick, N.J., Transaction Books, 1987. 9.17 Grene, M. (ed.) Spinoza: A Collection of Critical Essays, Notre Dame, Ind., University of Notre Dame Press, 1973. 9.18 Gunn, J.A. Benedict Spinoza, Melbourne, Macmillan, 1925. 9.19 Hampshire, S. Spinoza, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1951; 2nd edn, 1987. 9.20 Joachim, H.H. A Study of the Ethics of Spinoza, Oxford, Clarendon, 1901. 9.21 Kashap, S.P. Spinoza and Moral Freedom, Albany, N.Y., State University of New York Press, 1987. 9.22 Mandelbaum, M. and Freeman, E. (eds) Spinoza: Essays in Interpretation, La Salle, Ill., Open Court, 1975. 9.23 Martineau, J. A Study of Spinoza, London, Macmillan, 1882. 9.24 McShea, R.J. The Political Philosophy of Spinoza, New York, Columbia University Press, 1968. 9.25 Negri, A. The Savage Anomaly: the Power of Spinoza’s Metaphysics and Politics, trans. M.Hardt, Minneapolis, Minn., University of Minneapolis Press, 1991. 9.26 Neu, J. Emotion, Thought and Therapy, Berkeley, Calif., University of California Press, 1977. 9.27 Parkinson, G.H.R. ‘Spinoza on the Freedom of Man and the Freedom of the Citizen’, in Z.Pelczynski and John Gray (eds) Conceptions of Liberty in Political Philosophy, London, Athlone Press, 1984, 39–56. 9.28 Pollock, F. Spinoza: His Life and Philosophy, London, Kegan Paul, 1880; 2nd edn, London, Duckworth, 1899; 3rd edn, 1912; reprinted New York, American Scholar Publications, 1966. 9.29 Strauss, L. Spinoza’s Critique of Religion, New York, Schocken Books, 1965. 9.30 Studia Spinozana (yearbook), Munich, Walther Verlag, vol. 1 (1985): Spinoza’s Philosophy of Society, vol. 3 (1987): Hobbes and Spinoza. 9.31 Wetlesen, J. (ed.) Spinoza’s Philosophy of Man, Oslo, Universitetsforlaget, 1978. 9.32 Wolfson, H.A. The Philosophy of Spinoza, 2 vols, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1934; reprinted, 1948; Cleveland, Ohio, World Publishing, 1958; New York, Schocken Books, 1969; New York, Meridian Books, 1978. Spinoza and the ‘Dutch connection’ 9.33 de la Court, P. The True Interest and Political Maxims of the Republic of Holland , London, 1746. 9.34 Gregory, B.S. ‘Introduction’, in Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, trans. Samuel Shirley with introduction by Brad S.Gregory, Leiden, Brill, 1989, 1–45. 9.35 Haitsma Mulier, E.O.G. The Myth of Venice and Dutch Republican Thought in the Seventeenth Century, Assen, Van Gorcum, 1980. 9.36 Kossmann, E.H. ‘The Development of Dutch Political Theory in the Seventeenth Century’, in J.S.Bromley and E.H.Kossmann (eds) Britain and the Netherlands, vol. 1, London, Chatto, 1960, 91–110. 9.37 Lipsius, J. Sixe Bookes of Politickes or Civil Doctrine, London, 1594. 9.38 Oestreich, G. Neostoicism and the Early-modern State, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1982. 9.39 Rowen, H.H. The Low Countries in Early Modern Times, New York, Harper, 1972. 9.40 Van Bunge, L. ‘On the Early Dutch Reception of the Tractatus Theologico- Politicus’, Studia Spinozana 5 (1989) 225–51. 9.41 van Gelderen, M. ‘The Political Thought of the Dutch Revolt (1555–1590)’ Ph.D. thesis, European University, Florence, 1988 (forthcoming at the Cambridge University Press).

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