Michael LeBuffe is Professor and Baier Chair of Early Modern Philosophy at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He has interests in the great systematic views of the 17th Century and the relation of metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics, and politics within those systems. Michael has published three books on Spinoza: From Bondage to Freedom: Spinoza on Human Excellence (Oxford, 2010); Spinoza on Reason (Oxford 2018); and Spinoza’s Ethics: A Guide (Oxford 2023). His recent articles include “Spinoza and Hobbes,” in A Companion to Spinoza, Yitzhak Melamed ed. (Blackwell, 2021); “Citizens and States in Spinoza’s Political Treatise,” Mind 130 (2021); “Motivation, Reason, and the Good in On the Citizen,” in Hobbes’s On the Citizen: A Critical Guide, Johan Olsthoorn and Robin Douglass eds. (Cambridge, 2020); and, with Emilie Gourdon, “Holbach,” in A Companion to Atheism and Philosophy, Graham Oppy ed. (Wiley, 2019). Michael is currently working on Spinoza’s understandings of law, perfection, and philosophy as a way of life. Spinoza’s views on the practice of philosophy inform his ethics—Spinoza demands that the free man live together with others in society—and his politics—the freedom to philosophize is a requirement for decent society. Spinoza’s own history of alienation and exclusion may warn against such social views. Or, perhaps, it helps to explain them.
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Institutional webpage: https://www.otago.ac.nz/philosophy/dept/staff-lebuffe.html