Spinoza’s Model of Human Nature
Abstract

Commentators are divided over the cognitive status of Spinoza’s model of human nature: the free man. In this paper I defend an interpretation on which the idea of the free man is an inadequate idea from one perspective and an adequate idea from another. Regarded as the idea of a perfectly free finite thing, the idea of the free man is incoherent and, as a result, inadequate. However, regarded as the idea of the perfection of our nature and power, the idea of the free man is a way of conceiving God and, as a result, an adequate idea.


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