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Roundtable Series: Salvation Through Philosophy?

Benedict Spinoza

Led by Dr. Steve Parchment: Although rare, there have been occasions in the history of Western philosophy when a philosopher has claimed that the activity of philosophy itself is sufficient for obtaining a state of eternal happiness—the sort of state usually associated with certain religious traditions and often alleged, in those traditions, to be attainable only through supernatural assistance. One such philosopher was the 17th century writer Spinoza. In the final paragraph of his principal work, The Ethics, Spinoza claims that anyone who follows a life of reason, as described in his text, “never ceases to be, but always possesses true spiritual contentment.” In this roundtable, after a brief overview of Spinoza’s account of the universe and our place in it, we’ll look at why he believes (and whether he ought to believe) that devotion to reason/philosophy ensures, in his words, “salvation” and an eternal life of “blessedness.”

This event will take place on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 3:30pm-4:30pm in the Main Library, Room 208.

Please direct any questions to the series organizer: (Phone: 859-622-2979)

Roundtable schedule:

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