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Spinoza on freedom knowledge and education

Glass, Peter Ronald; (1993) Spinoza on freedom knowledge and education. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis, through an examination of the Philosophy of Spinoza, represents a critique of the conception of freedom embodied in recent philosophy of education and the education system. In Chapter 1 I show that for Spinoza man's good is to realise his own nature; and this lies in becoming free, where we transcend our spatiotemporal circumstances. I distinguish between relative and absolute freedom. The former is where we become more free within the here and now. The latter involves participation in a realm that is untouched by the spatio-temporal. We can be free with respect to the content of our states and with respect to their acquisition. This is achieved through knowledge as the constitutive expression of freedom. In Chapter 2 I show in general terms what this involves. We go beyond the first stage of knowledge to Reason and Intuition. I also show the connection between freedom and eternity. In Chapter 3 I propose that we must understand Nature in Mechanistic and Organic terms if we are to view it from no particular standpoint and that we need to understand exactly how things are placed within nature. We must acquire a methodology to help us form ideas for ourselves. In Chapter 4 I explain that freedom must be realised through understanding ourselves as part of Nature and we must form affects that lift us out of the common order and which enable us to be more free within the common order. In chapter 5 I look at some implications for education of Spinoza's ideas: its neglect for the imagination, the light it throws on writings on Autonomy, the importance of critical thinking and the importance of a Spinozan education in putting the here and now in a correct balance with the eternal.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Spinoza on freedom knowledge and education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://ethos.bl.uk/ProcessSearch.do?query=536393
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis: (PhD) University of London Institute of Education 1993..
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10019750
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