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Title: Spinozism, realism and selfhood
Author: Evenden, Martin James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2679 2341
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2009
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This project combines the insights of Spinoza and critical realism to develop a model of self which presents us with the opportunity to enhance our personal autonomy by learning how to replace what Spinoza calls inadequate ideas with more adequate ideas of ourselves. The first part of this project offers an analytic and conceptual framework for understanding the self in terms of emotional constitution, the distinctions between personal and impersonal value and how these are connected to the structure of will. The second part shows how we can make significant inroads towards personal emancipation by applying the critical realist method of explanatory critique to ourselves and using it to revise and transform our emotional responses - thus uniquely bringing the insights of critical realism into the personal domain where it has previously been centred on the public domain. It also answers the question of ‘How should we live?’ by developing an ethical standpoint predicated on an open system based theory of individuality combined with a hierarchy of being which exhorts us to act towards others not only on the basis of their real natures, but also according to the real situations we find ourselves in. Essentially, it argues there is a genuine need to be able to combine reason and emotion effectively in relation to moral matters and this entails it is the value of the person and our contextually based relation to them that should determine moral concern and obligation. Finally, it argues that by virtue of being a moral object that exists in Popper’s World 3, such a theory allows us to come closer to the truth of moral problems by being subject to standards of rational criticism in terms of how successfully it can be seen to solve its problems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HM Sociology