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Like Hobbes, Spinoza invokes promising and contract or covenant in his discussion of the foundations of the state: primarily in his Theological-Political Treatise. This chapter poses a set of related puzzles concerning the interpretation of Spinoza's claims about promises and contracts specifically as they relate to Hobbes. It compares the doctrines of Hobbes and Spinoza concerning several key topics: rights and powers, good and evil, reason and passion, and faith and deception. These doctrines are used to resolve the puzzles about the nature and significance of promising and contract in Spinoza's political philosophy. It seems surprising that Spinoza characterizes Hobbes as denying that reason urges peace in all circumstances, since Hobbes states that "the first, and fundamental law of nature", from which he derives the obligation to keep covenants, is "to seek peace and follow it", and he characterizes all of the laws of nature as "dictates of reason".
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