Love and essence in spinoza's ethics
Palavras-chave:Amor, Essências, Spinoza, Afetividade
Several questions regarding Spinoza's concept of essence have been the topic of recent scholarly debate. In this paper, I show that the connection between love, desire and essence is ubiquitous in the Ethics, as well as metaphysically and psychologically coherent; moreover, it provides the key to answer unresolved questions. Analyzing the notion of essence through Spinoza's theory of love shows that essence can be expressed in different ways, and be reflected through different objects of love. These objects of love, in turn, signify the extent to which the affected mind understands itself, God and things in the world. Each object is a different expression of the same single, unique essence of the individual, and therefore of the desire which defines them. This interpretation allows to solve some puzzles about essence, and also to establish the importance of love in Spinoza's philosophy as a whole-especially his epistemology and ethics.
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