University of California, Irvine
The Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science
PhD, 2002
Southern Hills, Illinois, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Meta-Ethics
17th/18th Century Philosophy
  •  36
    Essays on Spinoza's Ethical Theory (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2014.
    Thirteen original essays by leading scholars explore aspects of Spinoza's ethical theory and, in doing so, deepen our understanding of it as the richly rewarding core of his system. They resolve interpretive difficulties, advance longstanding debates, and point the direction for future research
  •  13
    Rationalist Moral Philosophy
    In Alan Jean Nelson (ed.), A Companion to Rationalism, Wiley-blackwell. 2005.
    This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction Descartes' Ethics Spinoza's Ethics Leibniz's Ethics Conclusion.
  •  41
    Andrew Youpa offers an original reading of Spinoza's moral philosophy, arguing it is fundamentally an ethics of joy. Unlike approaches to moral philosophy that center on praiseworthiness or blameworthiness, Youpa maintains that Spinoza's moral philosophy is about how to live lovingly and joyously. His reading expands to examinations of the centrality of education and friendship to Spinoza's moral framework, his theory of emotions, and the metaphysical foundation of his moral philosophy.
  •  197
    Spinoza’s Model of Human Nature
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (1). 2009.
    Central to Spinoza’s ethical theory is a model of human nature: the model of the free man. In this paper I argue that the idea of the free man is an inadequate idea when this is understood as the idea of a perfectly free finite thing. But when properly understood--that is, when the idea of the free man is understood as the idea of the perfection of our nature and power--the idea of the free man is a way of conceiving God and is, as such, an adequate idea.
  •  100
    Spinoza's theories of value
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (2). 2010.
    According to a widely accepted reading of the "Ethics," Spinoza subscribes to a desire-satisfaction theory of value. A desire-satisfaction theory says that what has value is the satisfaction of one’s desires and whatever leads to the satisfaction of one’s desires. In this paper I argue that this standard reading is incorrect, and I show that in Spinoza’s view the foundation of what is truly valuable is the perfection of a person’s essence, not the satisfaction of a person’s desires.
  •  54
    Spinoza’s moral philosophy is trending. This is the fourth book written in English in six years devoted to various aspects of it; that may not qualify as viral, but it is progress. The volume’s five essays cover moral responsibility, akrasia, moral realism, and Spinoza’s model of human nature: the free man. Hence its subtitle is misleading. There is nothing uniquely contemporary about the issues discussed, as is evident from the essays themselves. Also, the moral problems are not the type one mi…Read more
  •  409
    Spinoza on the Very Nature of Existence
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 35 (1): 310-334. 2011.
    The official definitions that appear at the beginning of four of the five parts of the "Ethics" do not include an account of "existence." However Spinoza does provide a definition of “existence” in the scholium to proposition 45 of Part 2. This is an odd place for such an important doctrine, and all the more so given that the account there differs from anything resembling commonsense. In this paper I show that, for Spinoza, to exist is to be eternal. Existence in the strict sense is eternal …Read more
  •  20
    Leibniz and China: A Commerce of Light (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (1): 125-126. 2006.
    Andrew Youpa - Leibniz and China: A Commerce of Light - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44:1 Journal of the History of Philosophy 44.1 125-126 Franklin Perkins. Leibniz and China: A Commerce of Light. Cambridge-New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. xvi + 224. Cloth, $65.00. In his Leibniz and China, Franklin Perkins undertakes two main tasks. The first is historical: to illuminate Leibniz's nearly lifelong interest in China within the context of early modern Europe as well as with…Read more
  •  4
    Spinoza's Theory of the Good
    In Olli Koistinen (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza's Ethics, Cambridge University Press. 2009.
    In this paper I argue that, for Spinoza, the power to produce effects through one's nature alone is the key constituent of the good life. Indeed, to exist in the strict sense is to be the causal source of effects. On this reading, a temporally long life that is entirely governed by causal factors external to one's essence is not a genuine existence.
  •  27
    Leibniz's Ethics
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
  •  91
    Spinozistic Self-Preservation
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (3): 477-490. 2003.
    In Part 4 of his "Ethics," Spinoza puts forward and defends what might appear to be the controversial Hobbesean thesis that the desire to prolong one’s life is the basis of virtue (i.e., E4p22). Indeed there is a tradition of commentators offering an egoistic, Hobbesean interpretation of Spinoza’s ethical theory. In this paper, however, I argue that we should not understand Spinozistic self-preservation in the commonsense, empiricist sense of prolonging our lives. Instead I argue that, for Sp…Read more
  •  3
    Descartes and Spinoza on Freedom and Virtue
    Dissertation, University of California, Irvine. 2002.
    Philosophers have devoted a great deal of time and energy to understanding and assessing the metaphysical and epistemological branches of Descartes' and Spinoza's philosophical systems, and deservedly so---they are arguably the most brilliant and innovative metaphysicians and epistemologists of the seventeenth century. The primary aim of this dissertation is to contribute to showing that their brilliance and innovation is also manifested in the ethical branch of their systems. ;Descartes is not …Read more
  •  19
    Spinoza's Theories of Value
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (2): 209-229. 2010.
  •  79
    Spinoza's theory of motivation
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (3). 2007.
    On the basis of 3p9s and 3p39s of the Ethics, it might seem that, for Spinoza, a judgment about something's goodness or badness is motivationally inert and, moreover, that value judgments essentially reflect an individual's pre-existing motivational states. However, in this paper I show that Spinoza holds that under certain conditions a motivational state results from a value judgment. Spinoza's theory of motivation consists of two accounts of the psychological order of value judgments and motiv…Read more
  •  59
    Descartes’s Virtue Theory
    Essays in Philosophy 14 (2): 179-193. 2013.
    What is the function of Cartesian virtue within the motivational and cognitive economy of the soul? In this paper I show that Cartesian virtue is a higher-order motivational disposition. Central to the interpretation I defend is Descartes’s view that the will can govern an individual’s attention. An exercise of this capacity, I argue, is a higher-order operation. Because Cartesian virtue is a resolution to focus attention on what reason deems worthy of consideration, it should therefore be under…Read more