Spinoza Right and Absolute Freedom

Author: Stephen Connelly
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1317575091
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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

Author: Matthew J. Kisner
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139500090
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

The Free Development of Each

Author: Allen W. Wood
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199685533
Format: PDF, ePub
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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

Author: Steven Nadler
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 069113989X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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 Beyond Philosophy

Author: Beth Lord
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 0748656073
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This book of 10 engaging and original essays brings Spinoza outside the realm of academic philosophy, and presents him as a thinker who is relevant to contemporary problems and questions across a variety of disciplines.

Spinoza and the Politics of Renaturalization

Author: Hasana Sharp
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226750744
Format: PDF, Docs
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There have been many Spinozas over the centuries: atheist, romantic pantheist, great thinker of the multitude, advocate of the liberated individual, and rigorous rationalist. The common thread connecting all of these clashing perspectives is Spinoza’s naturalism, the idea that humanity is part of nature, not above it. In this sophisticated new interpretation of Spinoza’s iconoclastic philosophy, Hasana Sharp draws on his uncompromising naturalism to rethink human agency, ethics, and political practice. Sharp uses Spinoza to outline a practical wisdom of “renaturalization,” showing how ideas, actions, and institutions are never merely products of human intention or design, but outcomes of the complex relationships among natural forces beyond our control. This lack of a metaphysical or moral division between humanity and the rest of nature, Sharp contends, can provide the basis for an ethical and political practice free from the tendency to view ourselves as either gods or beasts. Sharp’s groundbreaking argument critically engages with important contemporary thinkers—including deep ecologists, feminists, and race and critical theorists—making Spinoza and the Politics of Renaturalization vital for a wide range of scholars.

Spinoza and Politics

Author: Etienne Balibar
Publisher: Verso
ISBN: 9781859848012
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Spinoza Theological Political Treatise

Author: Jonathan Israel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139463614
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.