Antropomorfismo, teleologia e superstizione

La politica dell’obbedienza nel Tractatus theologico-politicus di Spinoza


  • Daniel Garber Princeton University



One of the central targets of Spinoza’s Ethics is anthropomorphism. The anthropomorphic and teleological view of God and nature is one of the central supports of superstition. But even though central arguments of the Ethics are directed squarely against the anthropomorphic and superstitious conception of God and the world, in the Tractatus theologico-politicus Spinoza does not eliminate the anthropomorphic view of God completely, but, in a way, transforms it into something positive, something that will lead people to virtue and support the stability of society. In the Theological-Political Treatise he proposes a realistic politics and shows us how people, as they really are, can be led to virtue, surprisingly enough, through the very thing that inclines them to superstition, their irrational tendencies to believe in an anthropomorphic and teleological order of nature. Spinoza proposes a positive use of superstition, but this does not eliminate an obvious question: might it be better still not to have superstition and superstitious people altogether? Some paragraphs of Hobbes’s Leviathan allow us to identify an answer, probably shared by Spinoza, in the anthropological inevitability of superstition.


Author Biography

Daniel Garber, Princeton University

Stuart Professor of Philosophy. Chair, Department of Philosophy.




How to Cite

Garber, D. (2022). Antropomorfismo, teleologia e superstizione: La politica dell’obbedienza nel Tractatus theologico-politicus di Spinoza. Lexicon Philosophicum: International Journal for the History of Texts and Ideas, (9), 33–52.