Human Power and Ecological Flourishing: Refiguring Right and Advantage with Spinoza


This paper argues for an interpretation of Spinoza’s concept of human power that is conducive to ecological flourishing. Acknowledging the elements in Spinoza that authorize human exceptionalism, I argue for a countervailing conception of human power as ecologically interdependent. This model accounts for an amoral natural order, while simultaneously offering practical normative guidelines for calibrating human power in accordance with the ecological flourishing in which human existence is embedded. Hence, the normativity of this ethical model derives from the striving that, for Spinoza, is inscribed at the heart of earthly existence.

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