Spinoza, Right and Absolute Freedom

Author: Stephen Connelly

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1317575091

Category: Law

Page: 242

View: 8726

Against jurisprudential reductions of Spinoza’s thinking to a kind of eccentric version of Hobbes, this book argues that Spinoza’s theory of natural right contains an important idea of absolute freedom, which would be inconceivable within Hobbes’ own schema. Spinoza famously thought that the universe and all of the beings and events within it are fully determined by their causes. This has led jurisprudential commentators to believe that Spinoza has no room for natural right – in the sense that whatever happens by definition has a ‘right’ to happen. But, although this book demonstrates how Spinoza constructs a system in which right is understood as the work of machines, by fixing right as determinate and invariable, Stephen Connolly argues that Spinoza is not limiting his theory. The universe as a whole is capable of acting only in determinate ways but, he argues, for Spinoza these exist within a field of infinite possibilities. In an analysis that offers much to ongoing attempts to conceive of justice post-foundationally, the argument of this book is that Spinoza opens up right to a future of determinate interventions –as when an engineer, working with already-existing materials, improves a machine. As such, an idea of freedom emerges in Spinoza: as the artful rearrangement of the given into new possibilities. An exciting and original contribution, this book is an invaluable addition, both to the new wave of interest in Spinoza’s philosophy, and to contemporary legal and political theory.

Spinoza on Human Freedom

Reason, Autonomy and the Good Life

Author: Matthew J. Kisner

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139500090

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 1709

Spinoza was one of the most influential figures of the Enlightenment, but his often obscure metaphysics makes it difficult to understand the ultimate message of his philosophy. Although he regarded freedom as the fundamental goal of his ethics and politics, his theory of freedom has not received sustained, comprehensive treatment. Spinoza holds that we attain freedom by governing ourselves according to practical principles, which express many of our deepest moral commitments. Matthew J. Kisner focuses on this theory and presents an alternative picture of the ethical project driving Spinoza's philosophical system. His study of the neglected practical philosophy provides an accessible and concrete picture of what it means to live as Spinoza's ethics envisioned.

Spinoza: Theological-Political Treatise

Author: Jonathan Israel,Michael Silverthorne

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139463614

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 426

Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise (1670) is one of the most important philosophical works of the early modern period. In it Spinoza discusses at length the historical circumstances of the composition and transmission of the Bible, demonstrating the fallibility of both its authors and its interpreters. He argues that free enquiry is not only consistent with the security and prosperity of a state but actually essential to them, and that such freedom flourishes best in a democratic and republican state in which individuals are left free while religious organizations are subordinated to the secular power. His Treatise has profoundly influenced the subsequent history of political thought, Enlightenment 'clandestine' or radical philosophy, Bible hermeneutics, and textual criticism more generally. It is presented here in a translation of great clarity and accuracy by Michael Silverthorne and Jonathan Israel, with a substantial historical and philosophical introduction by Jonathan Israel.

The Free Development of Each

Studies on Reason, Right, and Ethics in Classical German Philosophy

Author: Allen W. Wood

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199685533

Category: History

Page: 330

View: 1832

The Free Development of Each collects twelve essays on the history of German philosophy by Allen W. Wood, one of the leading scholars in the field. They explore moral philosophy, politics, society, and history in the works of Kant, Herder, Fichte, Hegel, and Marx, and share the basic theme of freedom, as it appears in morality and in politics. All of the essays have been re-edited and revised for this collection, and five are previously unpublished. They are accompanied by an Introduction which sets out the central, philosophical viewpoint of the volume, and a comprehensive bibliography.

A Book Forged in Hell

Spinoza's Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age

Author: Steven Nadler

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 069113989X

Category: History

Page: 279

View: 4989

When it appeared in 1670, Baruch Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise was denounced as the most dangerous book ever published--"godless," "full of abominations," "a book forged in hell . . . by the devil himself." Religious and secular authorities saw it as a threat to faith, social and political harmony, and everyday morality, and its author was almost universally regarded as a religious subversive and political radical who sought to spread atheism throughout Europe. Yet Spinoza's book has contributed as much as the Declaration of Independence or Thomas Paine's Common Sense to modern liberal, secular, and democratic thinking. In A Book Forged in Hell, Steven Nadler tells the fascinating story of this extraordinary book: its radical claims and their background in the philosophical, religious, and political tensions of the Dutch Golden Age, as well as the vitriolic reaction these ideas inspired. It is not hard to see why Spinoza's Treatise was so important or so controversial, or why the uproar it caused is one of the most significant events in European intellectual history. In the book, Spinoza became the first to argue that the Bible is not literally the word of God but rather a work of human literature; that true religion has nothing to do with theology, liturgical ceremonies, or sectarian dogma; and that religious authorities should have no role in governing a modern state. He also denied the reality of miracles and divine providence, reinterpreted the nature of prophecy, and made an eloquent plea for toleration and democracy. A vivid story of incendiary ideas and vicious backlash, A Book Forged in Hell will interest anyone who is curious about the origin of some of our most cherished modern beliefs.

Spinoza and Politics

Author: Etienne Balibar

Publisher: Verso

ISBN: 9781859848012

Category: Philosophy

Page: 136

View: 5765

Spinoza is arguably one of the most important political philosophers of the modern era. Etienne Balibar presents a synoptic account of Spinoza's major works, admirably demonstrating relevance to his contemporary political life. Balibar carefully situates Spinoza's major treatises in the period in which they were written.

Hegel Or Spinoza

Author: Pierre Macherey

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 1452933103

Category: Philosophy

Page: 245

View: 5325

The first English-language translation of a classic work of French philosophy

A Spinoza Reader

The Ethics and Other Works

Author: Benedictus de Spinoza,Edwin M. Curley

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780691000671

Category: Philosophy

Page: 280

View: 4190

This anthology of the work of Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677) presents the text of Spinoza's masterwork, the Ethics, in what is now the standard translation by Edwin Curley. Also included are selections from other works by Spinoza, chosen by Curley to make the Ethics easier to understand, and a substantial introduction that gives an overview of Spinoza's life and the main themes of his philosophy. Perfect for course use, the Spinoza Reader is a practical tool with which to approach one of the world's greatest but most difficult thinkers, a passionate seeker of the truth who has been viewed by some as an atheist and by others as a religious mystic. The anthology begins with the opening section of the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, which has always moved readers by its description of the young Spinoza's spiritual quest, his dissatisfaction with the things people ordinarily strive for--wealth, honor, and sensual pleasure--and his hope that the pursuit of knowledge would lead him to discover the true good. The emphasis throughout these selections is on metaphysical, epistemological, and religious issues: the existence and nature of God, his relation to the world, the nature of the human mind and its relation to the body, and the theory of demonstration, axioms, and definitions. For each of these topics, the editor supplements the rigorous discussions in the Ethics with informal treatments from Spinoza's other works.

Becoming Political

Spinoza’s Vital Republicanism and the Democratic Power of Judgment

Author: Christopher Skeaff

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022655550X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 208

View: 1798

In this pathbreaking work, Christopher Skeaff argues that a profoundly democratic conception of judgment is at the heart of Spinoza’s thought. Bridging Continental and Anglo-American scholarship, critical theory, and Spinoza studies, Becoming Political offers a historically sensitive, meticulous, and creative interpretation of Spinoza’s texts that reveals judgment as the communal element by which people generate power to resist domination and reconfigure the terms of their political association. If, for Spinoza, judging is the activity which makes a people powerful, it is because it enables them to contest the project of ruling and demonstrate the political possibility of being equally free to articulate the terms of their association. This proposition differs from a predominant contemporary line of argument that treats the people’s judgment as a vehicle of sovereignty—a means of defining and refining the common will. By recuperating in Spinoza’s thought a “vital republicanism,” Skeaff illuminates a line of political thinking that decouples democracy from the majoritarian aspiration to rule and aligns it instead with the project of becoming free and equal judges of common affairs. As such, this decoupling raises questions that ordinarily go unasked: what calls for political judgment, and who is to judge? In Spinoza’s vital republicanism, the political potential of life and law finds an affirmative relationship that signals the way toward a new constitutionalism and jurisprudence of the common.

Spinoza

Basic Concepts

Author: Andre Santos Campos

Publisher: Andrews UK Limited

ISBN: 1845408896

Category: Philosophy

Page: 275

View: 1606

Spinoza is among the most pivotal thinkers in the history of philosophy. He has had a deep and enduring influence on a wide range of philosophical subjects, and his work is encountered by all serious students of Western philosophy. His Ethics is one of the seminal works of metaphysical, moral, religious and political thought; his Theological-Political Treatise inaugurated a novel method of biblical exegesis; and both his political works developed the pre-eminence of democracy above all other regimes. Nevertheless, the significance of Spinoza's philosophy is matched by its complexity. His system presents a considerable challenge for the modern student; his language is frequently opaque, while the esoteric themes explored in his work often require elucidation. Spinoza: Basic Concepts intends to overcome most of such difficulties. Each essay in this collection explores a key concept involved in Spinoza’s thinking, relating it to his understanding of philosophy, outlining the arguments and explaining the implications of each concept. Together, the chapters cover the full range of Spinoza's interdisciplinary system of philosophy.

Re-Grounding Cosmopolitanism

Towards a Post-Foundational Cosmopolitanism

Author: Tamara Caraus,Elena Paris

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317430417

Category: Political Science

Page: 260

View: 6039

Leading experts and rising stars in the field explore whether cosmopolitanism becomes impossible in the theoretical framework that assumed the absence of a final ground. The questions that the volume addresses refer exactly to the foundational predicament that characterizes cosmopolitanism: How is it possible to think cosmopolitanism after the critique of foundations? Can cosmopolitanism be conceived without an ‘ultimate’ ground? Can we construct theories of cosmopolitanism without some certainties about the entire world or about the cosmos? Should we continue to look for foundations of cosmopolitan rights, norms and values? Alternatively, should we aim towards cosmopolitanism without foundations or towards cosmopolitanism with ‘contingent foundations’? Could cosmopolitanism be the very attempt to come to terms with the failure of ultimate grounds? Written accessibly and contributing to key debates on political philosophy, and social and political thought, this volume advances the concept of post-foundational cosmopolitanism by bridging the polarised approaches to the concept.

Spinoza and the Specters of Modernity

The Hidden Enlightenment of Diversity from Spinoza to Freud

Author: Michael Mack

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1441100717

Category: Philosophy

Page: 232

View: 536

An original and broad-ranging reassessment of Spinoza's intellectual legacy, which discusses a key shift in thought about the mind-body problem and the relationship between the particular and the universal from Spinoza to Freud. The book introduces the reader to the interconnections between philosophy and culture and literature and religion in the context of German intellectual history and, specifically, in the influence and legacy of Spinoza.

Heretics!

The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy

Author: Steven Nadler,Ben Nadler

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400884659

Category: Philosophy

Page: 192

View: 9812

An entertaining, enlightening, and humorous graphic narrative of the dangerous thinkers who laid the foundation of modern thought This entertaining and enlightening graphic narrative tells the exciting story of the seventeenth-century thinkers who challenged authority—sometimes risking excommunication, prison, and even death—to lay the foundations of modern philosophy and science and help usher in a new world. With masterful storytelling and color illustrations, Heretics! offers a unique introduction to the birth of modern thought in comics form—smart, charming, and often funny. These contentious and controversial philosophers—from Galileo and Descartes to Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, and Newton—fundamentally changed the way we look at the world, society, and ourselves, overturning everything from the idea that the Earth is the center of the cosmos to the notion that kings have a divine right to rule. More devoted to reason than to faith, these thinkers defended scandalous new views of nature, religion, politics, knowledge, and the human mind. Heretics! tells the story of their ideas, lives, and times in a vivid new way. Crisscrossing Europe as it follows them in their travels and exiles, the narrative describes their meetings and clashes with each other—as well as their confrontations with religious and royal authority. It recounts key moments in the history of modern philosophy, including the burning of Giordano Bruno for heresy, Galileo's house arrest for defending Copernicanism, Descartes's proclaiming cogito ergo sum, Hobbes's vision of the "nasty and brutish" state of nature, and Spinoza's shocking Theological-Political Treatise. A brilliant account of one of the most brilliant periods in philosophy, Heretics! is the story of how a group of brave thinkers used reason and evidence to triumph over the authority of religion, royalty, and antiquity.

The Savage Anomaly

The Power of Spinoza's Metaphysics and Politics

Author: Antonio Negri

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 9780816636709

Category: Philosophy

Page: 277

View: 9920

In this essential rereading of Spinoza's (1632-1677) philosophical and political writings, Negri positions this thinker within the historical context of the development of the modern state and its attendant political economy. Through a close examination of Spinoza, Negri reveals turn as unique among his contemporaries for his nondialectical approach to social organization in a bourgeois age.

The Sources of Secularism

Enlightenment and Beyond

Author: Anna Tomaszewska,Hasse Hämäläinen

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319653946

Category: Religion

Page: 323

View: 6909

This book examines the importance of the Enlightenment for understanding the secular outlook of contemporary Western societies. It shows the new ways of thinking about religion that emerged during the 17th and 18th centuries and have had a great impact on how we address problems related to religion in the public sphere today. Based on the assumption that political concepts are rooted in historical realities, this collection combines the perspective of political philosophy with the perspective of the history of ideas. Does secularism imply that individuals are not free to manifest their beliefs in public? Is secularization the same as rejecting faith in the absolute? Can there be a universal rational core in every religion? Does freedom of expression always go hand in hand with freedom of conscience? Is secularism an invention of the predominantly Christian West, which cannot be applied in other contexts, specifically that of Muslim cultures? Answers to these and related questions are sought not only in current theories and debates in political philosophy, but also in the writings of Immanuel Kant, Benedict Spinoza, Thomas Hobbes, Anthony Collins, Adriaan Koerbagh, Abbé Claude Yvon, Giovanni Paolo Marana, and others.

Spinoza and Dutch Cartesianism

Philosophy and Theology

Author: Alexander X. Douglas

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198732503

Category: Aufsatzsammlung

Page: 184

View: 5533

Alexander X. Douglas offers a new understanding of Spinoza's philosophy by situating it in its immediate historical context. He defends a thesis about Spinoza's philosophical motivations and then bases an interpretation of his major works upon it. The thesis is that much of Spinoza's philosophy was conceived with the express purpose of rebutting the claim made by some of his contemporaries that philosophy is intrinsically incapable of revealing anything of anyrelevance to theology. In contrast, Spinoza believed that philosophy reveals the true nature of God, and that God is nothing like what the majority of theologians, or indeed of religious believers ingeneral, think he is. The practical implications of this change in the concept of God were profound and radical. As Douglas shows, many of Spinoza's theories were directed towards showing how the separation his opponents endeavoured to maintain between philosophical and non-philosophical (particularly theological) thought was logically untenable.

Spinoza

A Life

Author: Steven Nadler

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1108425542

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 420

View: 4999

A fully updated new edition of the prize-winning and now standard biography of the great seventeenth-century philosopher Spinoza.

Spinoza's 'Ethics'

An Introduction

Author: Steven Nadler

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521836203

Category: Philosophy

Page: 300

View: 4144

Spinoza's Ethics is one of the most remarkable, important, and difficult books in the history of philosophy: a treatise simultaneously on metaphysics, knowledge, philosophical psychology, moral philosophy, and political philosophy. It presents, in Spinoza's famous 'geometric method', his radical views on God, Nature, the human being, and happiness. In this wide-ranging 2006 introduction to the work, Steven Nadler explains the doctrines and arguments of the Ethics, and shows why Spinoza's endlessly fascinating ideas may have been so troubling to his contemporaries, as well as why they are still highly relevant today. He also examines the philosophical background to Spinoza's thought and the dialogues in which Spinoza was engaged - with his contemporaries (including Descartes and Hobbes), with ancient thinkers (especially the Stoics), and with his Jewish rationalist forebears. His book is written for the student reader but will also be of interest to specialists in early modern philosophy.