Monism, Pluralism, and the Politics of Toleration: An Analysis of Spinoza's Rationalist Political Philosophy and its 20th Century Critics
Frim, David Landon
The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY.
Today, the concepts "toleration" and "pluralism" are generally taken to be synonymous. Yet Baruch Spinoza's rationalist political philosophy outlined a conception of positive liberty, as well as a robust doctrine of toleration, which grew out of a monistic metaphysics instead. Endorsing this view, this dissertation aims at demonstrating the conceptual connection between substance monism and political toleration. Apart from this historical and conceptual investigation into Early Modern political thought, this dissertation also examines the 20th century critics of monism and rationalist politics by self-avowed pluralists.