Spinoza has been regarded as a philosophical outsider, ‘at odds with what became the philosophical mainstream . . . [and] to read him is to glimpse unrealised possibilities . . . and alternative ways of thinking of minds and bodies . . . agency and responsibility, of the relation between human beings and the rest of nature, between reason and the passions.’ and also of freedom. Today, the controversial philosophy of Spinoza’s Ethics is often described as all-encompassing and celebrated as ‘one of the most remarkable metaphysical systems in the entire history of philosophy’.
Spinoza, though not a major figure in Zionist thought, recurs persistently in the works of Zionist writers. What is the significance of Spinoza for them? Some see him as an inspiring character; others see him as a Zionist before his time. The article examines, first, how a Jew who abandoned his people could inspire those dedicated to their people; and, secondly, whether Spinoza can in any way be called a Zionist. It is concluded that Spinoza, though no Zionist, embraced some key elements of Zionist thought, and thus might fairly be called a “proto-Zionist,” and that the later Zionists were indeed influenced by these teachings of Spinoza.
The Building of a Free Commonwealth in Spinoza's <em>Political Treatise</em>
The aim of this article is to discuss how Spinoza’s Theological- Political Treatise and Political Treatise deal with the development of a free and pacific commonwealth, taking into account both a comparison with the irenic tradition of Erasmus and the original position of Spinoza’s republicanism within the Dutch context of that period. To approach this issue, comparing Spinoza’s idea of security with the Hobbesian one can also be useful in order to demonstrate that security and freedom are not antithetical in Spinoza (differently from Hobbes) but rather support each other. Consequently, the role of peace and concord within the Political Treatise shall be considered the result of a collective self-emendation process of social interactions and political institutions. In this perspective, Spinoza’s concept of peace seems a very original attempt to build a free political community, where democratic institutions are both the cause and effect of pacific (i.e., rational and harmonious, although not necessarily irenic) relationships among citizens.
Spinoza against Negri
Negri celebrates a conception of democracy in which the concrete powers of individual humans are not alienated away, but rather are added together: this is a democracy of the multitude. But how can the multitude act without alienating anyone's power? To answer this difficulty, Negri explicitly appeals to Spinoza. Nonetheless, in this paper, I argue that Spinoza's philosophy does not support Negri's project. I argue that the Spinozist multitude avoids internal hierarchy through the mediation of political institutions and not in spite of them; nor do these institutions merely emanate from the multitude as it is, but rather they structure, restrain and channel its passions. In particular, the required institutions are not those of a simple direct democracy. There may be other non-Spinozist arguments on which Negri can ground his theory, but he cannot legitimately defend his conception of the democratic multitude by appeal to Spinoza.
Sartre's reading of Harald Höffding's works was instrumental in his critical reception of Spinoza. One may find traces of Höffding's critical monism in Sartre's Being and Nothingness. Höffding had formulated his critical monism in order to remedy what he perceived to be problems in Spinoza's view. Sartre's critique of Spinoza aligns with that of Höffding. Moreover, Höffding's influence on Sartre goes well beyond the reception of Spinoza. Indeed, the young Sartre's interest in Bergson, psychology and questions relative to the totality of Being could have followed from his reading of Höffding. In fact, the way in which Höffding tackles questions about the soul, the world, and God illuminates the timid proposals offered by Sartre in the conclusion of Thus, understanding Höffding
French Cet article démontrera que la réception critique de Spinoza par Sartre est influencée par sa lecture des oeuvres de Harald Höffding. Une lecture attentive permet d'identifier des traces du monisme critique de celui-ci dans L'être et le néant. Ce monisme critique avait été formulé afin de pallier aux problèmes perçus par Höffding chez Spinoza. Or, cette même critique se retrouve chez Sartre. De plus, cet article fera aussi la démonstration que l'influence de Höffding sur Sartre va au-delà de la réception de Spinoza. En effet, l'intérêt du jeune Sartre pour Bergson, la psychologie et les questions relatives à la totalité de l'Être pourraient être le résultat de sa lecture de Höffding. En fait, la manière dont Höffding traite des questions de l'âme, du monde et de Dieu éclairent les timides propositions métaphysiques offertes par Sartre en conclusion de L'être et le néant. Par conséquent, bien comprendre Höffding permet de mieux comprendre Sartre.
Spinoza's Radical Enactivism and You Were Never Really Here
Many scholars have looked at Baruch Spinoza as the forerunner of contemporary cognitive science, in particular of those neurocognitive studies that highlight the embodied and integrated nature of human conceptualization and complex mental
Adrian van den Hoven
of being. This goes without saying, since Hegel has told us – by taking up an expression from Spinoza – that omnis determinatio est negatio.’ In footnote 17, the translator notes quite correctly that: ‘Hegel is slightly misquoting Spinoza here [and
Roger Deacon, Ben Parker, Herman C. Waetjen, and Lasse Thomassen
Humanity, Terrorism, Terrorist War: Palestine, 9-11, Iraq, 7-7..., by Ted Honderich Roger Deacon
The Struggle for Meaning: Reflections on Philosophy, Culture and Democracy in Africa, by Paulin J. Hountondji Ben Parker
The Rationalists: Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz by Pauline Phemister Herman C. Waetjen
The Divided West by Jürgen Habermas Lasse Thomassen
This is the second of two special issues on freedom and power to be published seriatim in Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory. The contributors to this issue analyse the relationship between freedom and power in fascinating ways. Issue 131 was arranged in terms of intellectual historical chronology, focusing on the work of Hobbes, Spinoza, Hegel, Adorno and Arendt, amongst others. This time the contributors are concerned less with intellectual history and more with conceptual, exegetic and contemporary matters.
Humanism and Anti-Humanism in Daoist and Enlightenment Political Thought
Some contemporary authors have witnessed the flourishing of the Sinophilia of the Early Enlightenment and the direct impact of Daoist and Chinese thought on the ideas of Spinoza, Leibniz, Voltaire, Quesnay and the philosophes and have proceeded to make overt connections between the Daoist notion of 'non-action' or Wu wei and Enlightenment doctrines of laissez-faire. In contrast to such approaches, I argue that these frequent conceptual comparisons have often been inappropriate where touchstone humanist notions devoid of the Dao de Jing's fundamental spiritual and metaphysical commitments are brought forward as evidence of interconnection.