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By Elhanan Yakira

This publication analyzes 3 often-debated questions of Spinoza's legacy: was once Spinoza a spiritual philosopher? How may still we comprehend Spinoza's mind-body doctrine? What that means might be given to Spinoza's notions - similar to salvation, beatitude, and freedom - that are likely incompatible together with his determinism, his secularism, and his critique of faith. via a detailed examining of often-overlooked sections from Spinoza's Ethics, Elhanan Yakira argues that those doubtless conflicting parts are certainly appropriate, regardless of Spinoza's iconoclastic meanings. Yakira argues that Ethics is an try at supplying a merely philosophical - instead of theological - starting place for the speculation of worth and normativity.

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Spinoza and the Case for Philosophy

This booklet analyzes 3 often-debated questions of Spinoza's legacy: used to be Spinoza a non secular philosopher? How should still we comprehend Spinoza's mind-body doctrine? What that means might be given to Spinoza's notions - akin to salvation, beatitude, and freedom - that are doubtless incompatible along with his determinism, his secularism, and his critique of faith.

Additional resources for Spinoza and the Case for Philosophy

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36 The political is the place of neither full and real freedom nor salvation, and neither the political nor any form of anti-political can be a liberating agent. Although Spinoza was no conservative, let alone reactionary (as opposed to Hobbes or Leibniz for example), there was also no room in his political theory for anarchistic or libertarian idealizations of political freedom. Nor was he prefiguring political messianism or anything that would be much later referred to as political (or secular) religions.

44 Indeed, more than participating in the p ­ rocess, as Nelson describes it, Spinoza actually contributed to undermining its theological presuppositions and, by it, the whole project. The great novelty of Spinoza’s discussion of the biblical text did not reside in providing a better method for the study of the biblical text but in showing its pointlessness for any theoretical, or philosophical, endeavor. The perspective opened by studies such as Preus’s or Nelson’s is very important for any attempt to understand the nature, origin, and message, or messages, of the TTP, which was presumably addressed mainly to a non-Jewish a­ udience.

45 What was new was the boldness with which these contradictions and incoherencies were presented and, in particular, the use to which they were put. If seen from the perspective of the Christian Hebraists one could conclude, as we have just seen, that Spinoza was trying to Preus, op.  34–67 and passim. On Ludwig Meyer, see also Lagrée (1988, 2001, 2004) and Nadler (1990), passim. 43 Nelson, op.  21.  133; see also note 30 to this chapter. 45 See, for example, Harvey (2010), who discusses one famous case of a mediaeval Jewish biblical exegete who hints toward seemingly unresolvable difficulties in the biblical text.

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