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Spinoza’s Affects. From Descartes to Hobbes

digital Spinoza’s Affects. From Descartes to Hobbes
issue RIVISTA DI FILOSOFIA NEO-SCOLASTICA - 2020 - 2. Ethica e Passions de l’âme Spinoza con e contro Descartes
title Spinoza’s Affects. From Descartes to Hobbes
publisher Vita e Pensiero
format Article | Pdf
online since 07-2020
doi 10.26350/001050_000189
issn 00356247 (print) | 18277926 (digital)
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This paper sketches how Spinoza’s theory of the emotions changed over his career. It begins with a contrast between the theories of the emotions found in Descartes’ Passions de l’âme and the account of the passions found in a variety of writings by Thomas Hobbes. A comparison of the accounts of the emotions that Spinoza offered in the early Korte Verhandeling (KV) and in the later Ethica then suggests that he moved from an initial commitment to a Cartesian conception of the emotions to a later view more influenced by Hobbes.


Spinoza, Descartes, Hobbes, Emotions, Passions

Author biography

Princeton University. Email: