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Freedom and servitude: coincidences and tensions in Spinoza's and Fichte's metaphysics, politics and moral.

Grant number: 22/03084-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Luís César Guimarães Oliva
Grantee:Lucas Damián Scarfia
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/19880-4 - Power, conflict and freedom: Spinoza and the ways of Modern and Contemporary Political Philosophy about democracy, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):22/13909-6 - The Fichtean idealism of freedom at the crossroads between morality, religion and politics in the Jena period (1793-1800), BE.EP.PD


My research work is based on the philosophical thought of two authors: Spinoza and Fichte, whose arguments will be approached from a practical perspective. In other words, the research intends to analyze the political and moral significance of their ideas - which are based on a complex metaphysical system. There are two critical concepts for this path: 'freedom' and 'servitude'. Both thinkers aim to build up a political system based on their particular understanding of freedom. However, problems arise from several of their arguments that make it difficult to conceive the coherence and value of their thought -especially if one also takes into account how they consider the role of morality in subjective and intersubjective life. Therefore, it is essential to define up to what extent this view does not make freedom collapse into servitude. Furthermore, it is also critical to analyse the labels 'idealism' and 'dogmatism', because the concepts mentioned above -freedom and servitude- are linked to how those philosophical titles appear in Modern Philosophy. This becomes evident within idealistic thought, which finds its precursor in Fichte. In continuity with the practical sense of the investigation, it is also necessary to think about the religious aspect -whether pantheistic or theistic in its multiple branches- of their thinking. This element plays a fundamental role within their systems. From this standpoint it is possible to understand the reason for some of the contradictions in which they fall on the political level. Finally, the project also takes up some of the ideas of these two authors in order to reflect on the historical development and the current political situation in Latin America. At this point, Spinoza's and Fichte's reflections on the notions of democracy, contract, equality, people and nation, among others, are of particular interest.

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