There seems little contemporary work on 'fear'. I certainly couldn't see anything which gave it such important a role. But
Fear, in the Ethics, seems to be government’s most valuable means of bringing passionate citizens to cooperate and obey: at IVp37s2, Spinoza suggests that states should rely on threats. In the Theological Political Treatise, however, Spinoza’s accounts of religion, and particularly of miracles and scripture, suggest that devotion devotio, a passion associated with wonder at Ethics IIIp52s, is a better political motive than fear.
Supposing that the good life is under the aspect of eternity and includes participation in a polis etc., then might philosophy - as a search for meaning that is greater than ourselves - be essentially about reducing fear (especially so that we may be creative)?
I think I read somewhere sometime that the enlightenment was essentially about reducing fear of nature. How can we avoid any sado-masochistic consequences to asserting this role to thinking/philosophy?