London Spinoza Circle seminar on May 21st

The London Spinoza Circle will meet on Tuesday, May 21st, with a talk by Mogens Laerke (CNRS / Oxford) titled “Common Notions of Humanity: Human Authority, Human Living and Intellectual Friendship in Spinoza.”


The seminar will be in Room K0.20, King’s College London (King’s Building, Strand campus).  We will start at 3pm and finish by 5pm.



In this paper I dive deeper into the communal structures which condition the flourishing of “a human life” according to Spinoza. It stresses the importance for Spinoza’s social and political project of a particular kind of authority, namely what, in chapter XI of the Theological-Political Treatise, he calls the “authority to teach and advise,” a private authority that belongs to citizens as a matter of natural right. Contrary to other forms of authority in Spinoza, this kind of authority is inextricably tied to the common notion of humanitas as an authority that human beings have in virtue of their humanity and an authority of which they cannot be deprived except by being deprived of their humanity. Moreover, I will argue, it is also the authority which governs Spinoza’s understanding of intellectual friendship.


All welcome: if you are an external visitor please email to receive a visitor pass from the Strand reception.

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