Constructive Forms of Uncertainty in Spinoza’s Theological Political Treatise
Vergaray, Alfonso V.
In the preface to the Theological Political Treatise Spinoza presents uncertainty as an intractable problem in political and social life. Scholars have indirectly examined uncertainty’s role in TTP, focusing on fear, hope, and superstition. This article takes a comprehensive view of the multiple parts of uncertainty, ultimately showing uncertainty to be both a problem and a source of social vitality. It argues that Spinoza’s central means of addressing destructive forms of uncertainty is through the advancement of what I call constructive forms of uncertainty. Instead of recognizing only the potential dangers and pitfalls accompanying uncertainty, this paper argues that uncertainty can constructively support political stability and a free state. This interpretation presents a fresh reading of the role of uncertainty in the TTP and points toward Spinoza’s abiding concern with uncertainty throughout his oeuvre.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Alfonso V. Vergaray, "Constructive Forms of Uncertainty in Spinoza’s Theological Political Treatise" in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2023) XXV/1", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2023, pp. 477-498
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