Archive for the ‘Gullan-Whur articles’ Category

Articles on Ageing

September 5, 2011

Struggling to be Happy – Even When I’m Old

Published in The Journal of  Applied Philosophy Vol.19 Issue 1 pp. 17-30 2002

Read online at https://spinozaauthor.wordpress.com/books-by-spinozaauthor-margaret-gullan-whur/articles-on-spinoza-by-margaret-gullan-whur/struggling-to-be-happy-even-when-im-old/

Abstract

My thesis seeks to reduce what may be a natural human antipathy to ageing
and/or the elderly by working with one distinctive and consistently approved
feature of some older people. This feature is a bold and cheerful struggle
within a self-chosen project. The argument opens by distinguishing short-term
gratification from lasting, fulfilling happiness, and showing the link between
gratification and dependence. Three kinds of struggle (non-voluntary,
part-voluntary and positive) are then outlined and exemplified. Gerontological
and anthropological research suggest that attitudes to struggle are fixed early
in life, and while in the past they mitigated for or against successful
survival, they now influence happiness and coping in later life. I argue that
the negative effects of the first two kinds of struggle – which are often
misguided, grudging or ‘no-win’ struggles – are responsible for the rigidity,
narcissism and resentment disliked in some older people. Self-respect,
contrasted with self-righteousness, is shown to accrue only from the positive
(voluntary and congenial) struggle that seems at any age to deflect or
compensate for depression, disappointment, loneliness and illness.

Struggling to be Happy – Even When I’m Old

September 5, 2011

Published in The Journal of  Applied Philosophy Vol.19 Issue 1 pp. 17-30 2002

Read online at https://spinozaauthor.wordpress.com/books-by-spinozaauthor-margaret-gullan-whur/articles-on-spinoza-by-margaret-gullan-whur/struggling-to-be-happy-even-when-im-old/

Abstract

My thesis seeks to reduce what may be a natural human antipathy to ageing
and/or the elderly by working with one distinctive and consistently approved
feature of some older people. This feature is a bold and cheerful struggle
within a self-chosen project. The argument opens by distinguishing short-term
gratification from lasting, fulfilling happiness, and showing the link between
gratification and dependence. Three kinds of struggle (non-voluntary,
part-voluntary and positive) are then outlined and exemplified. Gerontological
and anthropological research suggest that attitudes to struggle are fixed early
in life, and while in the past they mitigated for or against successful
survival, they now influence happiness and coping in later life. I argue that
the negative effects of the first two kinds of struggle – which are often
misguided, grudging or ‘no-win’ struggles – are responsible for the rigidity,
narcissism and resentment disliked in some older people. Self-respect,
contrasted with self-righteousness, is shown to accrue only from the positive
(voluntary and congenial) struggle that seems at any age to deflect or
compensate for depression, disappointment, loneliness and illness.

 

Spinoza and the Equality of Women

July 14, 2011

Abstract   On the last page of A Political Treatise Spinoza denies that women are subject to men by convention only. He excludes females from participation in politics on the grounds that they are “by nature … necessarily” (that is, by the logical and causal necessity which are for him equivalent) unequal to men “in strength of mind and intellectual ability”. This claim is examined in relation to four of Spinoza’s foundational principles. It is found to be in tension with all four, and with the psychological, social, political and moral deductions Spinoza makes from them, and is moreover an internally weak argument.

Spinoza on religion in public life

July 8, 2011

Spinoza’s proposals for calming sectarian tensions.

ARTICLES on Spinoza by Margaret Gullan-Whur

February 25, 2010

See the full list of Margaret Gullan-Whur’s articles on Spinoza, and find a link to my Ph.D. thesis. 

These articles on Spinoza and his philosophy get multiple hits but I can tell from the search terms that people don’t always get answers. e.g. ‘What did Spinoza think of Jesus? ‘ Please use the comment boxes including an email address and I will try to answer you.  You will also prompt me to upload more articles and blogs.