Maria Rosa Antognazza

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199545971
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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This chapter examines the moral philosophy of four early modern thinkers – Descartes, Malebranche, Leibniz, and Spinoza – who affirm in different ways the Platonic intuition of the priority of the perfect or infinite over the limited beings of which we have experience. In making this affirmation, Descartes, Malebranche, and Leibniz share the framework of a substantially traditional conception of God. Spinoza, on the other hand, challenges the Christianized Platonism of the other three while stretching to the extreme some features of Platonism.

Keywords: moral philosophy; Descartes; Malebranche; Leibniz; Spinoza; Platonism; God

Article.  13933 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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