Au premier abord, les visées et les méthodes philosophiques de Spinoza et de Sartre semblent radicalement différentes. Or, ces différences radicales se trouvent dépassées dès qu'on se penche sur une problématique commune à ces deux philosophes : la production et le maintien de la communauté libre. Une interrogation philosophique sur la question de l'articulation de l'éthique et de la politique nous donnera la possibilité d'évaluer ces philosophes comme les constituants d'une certaine théorie anticontractualiste se fondant spécifiquement sur l'idée de l'émancipation (...) perpétuelle de l'individu dans et par la communauté."--Page 4 of cover. (shrink)
In this book, renowned theorist Antonio Negri examines how Spinoza's thought constitutes a radical break with past ideas and a key tool for envisaging a form of politics beyond capitalism. His philosophy gives us new ways of looking critically at our present, revealing that power must always be seen as a question of antagonism and class struggle.
This volume analyzes in detail Spinoza's reasoning in Tractatus theologico-politicus, identifies allies and enemies in its historical context, and explores its more or less obvious connection with the Ethica.
This guide has an introduction and five chapters, one for each of the parts of Spinoza's Ethics. The Introduction includes background material necessary for productive study of the Ethics: advice for working with Spinoza's geometrical method, a biographical sketch of Spinoza, and accounts of important predecessors: Aristotle, Maimonides, and Descartes. The chapters that follow trace the Ethics in detail, including accounts of most of the elements in Spinoza's book and raising questions for further research. Chapter 1, "One Infinite Substance," covers (...) central arguments of Spinoza's substance monism. Chapter 2, "The Idea of the Human Body," follows Spinoza's detailed metaphysics of ordinary objects, his theory of mind, and his epistemology. Chapter 3, "Desire, Joy, and Sadness," works from Spinoza's broad theory of finite activity in the striving to persevere in being to his detailed accounts of human action and passion. Chapter 4, "Bondage to Passion," emphasizes Spinoza's formal theory of value, his intellectualism in ethics, and particular claims about value that follow from these commitments. Chapter 5, "The Power of the Intellect," begins with Spinoza's criticism of Descartes's account of our ability to control passion and moves to Spinoza's own theory, which emphasizes reason, the eternal part of the mind, and human blessedness. (shrink)
Violence, domination, inégalité, tyrannie et insurrections : la réflexion de Spinoza sur le droit et la politique ne se limite pas au pacte social, ni à la liberté de philosopher. Il ne s'agit pas seulement de dresser la liste des droits respectifs du souverain et des sujets, dans le sillage des théories du droit naturel. Déjà Althusser avait rapproché Spinoza de Marx et Alexandre Matheron avait montré le rôle essentiel des passions dans la Cité et ses transformations. Toute une génération (...) de chercheurs s'est interrogée ensuite sur les notions par lesquelles se pense ce devenir : foule, peuple, nation, mais aussi multitude. C'est ce dernier terme surtout qui concentre le mieux une pensée de l'initiative historique des citoyens et de leur puissance collective. Il restait à en tirer les conséquences sur les rapports entre individu et multitude, sur les relations de la pensée spinoziste avec Machiavel, Grotius et Hobbes, sur l'attitude de Spinoza envers révolution et conservation, résistance, assimilation et intégration, citoyenneté, désobéissance et révolte. Autant de thèmes qui sont développés ici, à travers la lecture renouvelée de L'Ethique, du Traité théologico-politique, et du Traité politique. Le volume s'achève par un entretien avec Toni Negri, qui fut le premier, dans son livre L'Anomalie sauvage, à mettre en lumière l'importance et le rôle de ce concept. Il y fait le bilan de son propre itinéraire et des discussions qu'il a suscitées."--Page 4 of cover. (shrink)
Le Traité Théologico-Politique, publié anonymement en 1670, fut sans doute le livre le plus scandaleux du XVIIe siècle, et pour cause : l'emploi d'une méthode critique radicale pour dévoiler les mystères du pouvoir théologique et politique faisait de cet ouvrage un traité aussi stimulant que polémique. Après trois cent cinquante ans, le Traité demeure un modèle de réflexion sur la politique, la philologie, la métaphysique et la religion. Dans ce volume, le lecteur trouvera un commentaire suivi de l'ouvrage. Grâce au (...) travail collectif des vingt-huit contributeurs, il pourra comprendre le détail du discours de Spinoza ainsi que saisir la trame de fond de la pensée spinoziste. L'ouvrage se compose de deux parties : le commentaire proprement dit et une section consacrée aux principaux problèmes qui animent le débat contemporain sur Spinoza. (shrink)
En este artículo propongo una lectura de los primeros capítulos de Montesquieu. La politique et l’histoire de Louis Althusser con el fin de señalar el modo en el que las primeras menciones a Spinoza en la obra de Althusser se producen junto a Montesquieu y reflexionar sobre el sentido crítico de esas menciones. Con un estudio como este quisiera, primero y en general, señalar la importancia no siempre del todo reconocida que tuvo Montesquieu en el desarrollo teórico de Althusser. Segundo, (...) analizar el significado de las alusiones críticas a Spinoza presente en este escrito. Y, tercero, indicar los trazos que configurarían las condiciones de posibilidad de la integración del spinozismo al pensamiento de Althusser. (shrink)
Spinoza’s treatment of absolute sovereignty raises a number of interpretative questions. He seems to embrace a form of absolutism that is incompatible with his defense of mixed government and constitutional limits on sovereign power. And he seems to use the concept of “absolute sovereignty” in inconsistent ways. I offer an interpretation of Spinoza’s conception of absolutism that aims to resolve these problems. I argue that Spinoza is able to show that, when tied to a proper understanding of authority, absolute sovereignty (...) is not only compatible with, but actually necessitates, power-sharing and constitutionalism. (shrink)
Contemporary society characterizes itself by a quest for material progress that is established in detriment of human subjectivity/spirituality. In this context “happiness” could mean “the over-all level of happiness of a person with his/her life”, which necessarily means a conciliation between societal quest-for-progress and human subjectivity/spirituality. The objective of the present paper is to present Spinoza’s understanding on how to achieve happiness while coping with human reality. To Spinoza, “happiness” consists in comprehending the way the world works to the point (...) where it becomes possible to be better affected by current events. “Happiness” seems to be related to what Spinoza calls virtuous acting, acting in such a way that one’s actions are meant to be fundamented in adequate intuitive knowledge about how concrete reality works in such an introspected way that refraining apetites becomes a source of true joie de vivre. (shrink)
This paper deals with the unexpected and singular presence of Baruj Spinoza in the recent History of Philosophy published by Jürgen Habermas. On the matter, from current perspective, spinozist ethics of immanence is considered allows to overcome deontological limits that even today condition the ethics of discourse.
This article aims to show that Spinoza proposes a universal religion, whose essence structurally is faith and functionally is to worship by practicing justice and charity to others. Since Spinoza’s politics is in favor of a democratic state, we must make an effort to understand the contribution of both politics and religion to the aim of democratization. Yet, Spinoza’s critique of theocracy should not make his readers question his ideas concerning the maintenance of the relationship between politics and religion, because, (...) from the beginning of chapter nineteen of the TTP, he had planned to add considerations on the limits of religious authority. We will see Spinoza deal with religion as an indispensable part of society, which is simultaneously a subordinate of politics. In addition, we will find that it is not cost-effective if political systems would be based on a specific religious sect. He held that the separation of political and religious authorities will not be so easy to achieve or to affect a peaceful coexistence of good willing believers and the state.. (shrink)
Many current Marxist debates point to a crisis of imagination as a challenge to emancipatory thoughts and actions. The naturalisation of the capitalist mode of production within the production of subjectivity is among the chief reasons behind this state of affairs. This article contributes to the debate by focusing on the notion of imagination, marked by a deep ambivalence capable of both naturalising and denaturalising social relations constitutive of the established order. Such an understanding of imagination is constructed from within (...) the framework of historical materialism, and it draws on Spinoza and Marx, taking advantage of the similarities between the two with respect to the constitution of the subject. From this stems an investigation into the imagination as a material force that partakes both in subjection and liberation. This is further demonstrated in regard to juridical forms of subjectivation and the possibility of subverting these forms through imagination. (shrink)
The work will be structured in three sections. The first of them analyzes how the different specialists in Spinozian work have studied the Dutch corpus in a dialectical way. This type of interpretation will be emphasized here not only in regard to Spinoza's own ontology, but also to his political philosophy. Secondly, this article investigates the way in which Spinozian ontology can be studied, proposing that, rather than making use of a dialectical method of Hegelian roots, it is rather possible (...) to undertake the study of Spinoza's main philosophical concepts. that are linked to the essence from the notion of sublimation, a notion that, as we will see, is closely related to the monism of Spinoza's philosophy. Finally, the way in which this sublimation procedure can also be applied to the concepts of the Dutchman that specifically refer to the political aspect of his thought is analyzed. (shrink)
La necesidad de recurrir a imágenes al momento de intentar realizar una problematización conceptual incisiva fue reconocida por Althusser, cuando señaló que “no se piensa en filosofía sino bajo metáforas”. Por eso, se permitió recuperar y conservar la famosa metáfora arquitectónica de Marx, en virtud de la cual se sugería que una sociedad, a la manera de un “edificio social”, debía ser pensada como una totalidad consistente en una estructura o infraestructura que, a la manera de una base, sostenía al (...) conjunto de las superestructuras que se levantaban sobre ella. Partiendo de la reconsideración del uso crítico de la metáfora marxista, nos dedicamos a indagar el juego complejo de énfasis y de distinciones que articula la política y la teoría en la filosofía crítica que se conforma en la intersección de las perspectivas de Althusser y Spinoza. (shrink)
For too long, Spinoza's ethics was misread as an ethics of ideals, in which the most virtuous life possible was said to consist of the life of pure reasoning. The "free man," Spinoza's paragon of virtue, was understood to be the individual who is neither helped nor harmed by anything external. The goal, on this view, was to transcend the life of the body, of the material, and of the political, in order to focus solely on becoming like God by (...) increasing one's store of rational ideas.This, of course, is an impoverished understanding of Spinoza's aims. Not only does it cast virtue as something unattainable for actually existing, materially and socially embedded individuals, but it overlooks a vast swath of Spinoza's... (shrink)
The driving question behind Sandra Leonie Field's exciting new book, Potentia, is: what, exactly, constitutes popular power? Field turns to two seventeenth-century political theorists, Thomas Hobbes and Benedict de Spinoza, to try to extract an account that might avoid Joseph Schumpeter's dismal conclusion that we should abandon all pretenses to popular power. In the process, she exposes problems with recent populist interpretations of Hobbes and Spinoza, showing that both of these figures appreciated the problems with identifying plebiscites with popular power (...) better than their "radical" interpreters. The result is a rich and stimulating work on a topic—namely, power—that remains somewhat undertheorized, at least... (shrink)
This book addresses the use of Benedict Spinoza's philosophy in current attempts to elaborate an ecological basis for international environmental law. Because the question of environmental protection has not been satisfactory resolved, the legal debate concerning our responsibility for the environment has - as evidenced in the recent UN report series Harmony with Nature - come to invite calls for a new eco-centric, rather than anthropocentric, legal paradigm. In this respect, Spinoza appears as a key figure. He is one of (...) the few philosophers in the history of western philosophy who cares, and writes extensively, about the roots of anthropocentrism; the core issue of contemporary normative debates in ecology. And in response to the rapidly developing ecological crisis, his work has become central to a re-thinking of the human relationship with nature. Addressing the contention that Spinoza's ethics might provide a useful source for developing a new, eco-centred framework for environmental law, this book elaborates a more nuanced understanding of Spinoza's philosophy. Spinoza cannot, it is argued here, simply be reduced to an eco-ethicist. That is: his metaphysics cannot be used as basis of an essentially naturalised or extended human morality. At the same time, however, this book argues that the radicality of Spinoza's naturalism nevertheless offers the possibility of developing a more adequate ecological basis for environmental law. (shrink)
Mystic and Scientist: the Incompatible Components of Spinoza's Meta physics -- The Ethics of the Free Man as a Critique of the Calvinist Ethics -- The Mystic Rejection of Libertine Hedonism -- The Therapy of Self-understanding: Precursor to Freud -- Intellectual Love of God and Intellectual Hatred -- The Eternity of the Human Mind: Spinoza's Leap Beyond the Geometrical Method -- Ultimate Uncertainty: the Failure of the Geometrical Method -- Spinoza as a Left Cartesian The Infinity of God: a Masochist (...) Projection -- The Infinity of God: the Discovery of the Plurality of Attributes -- The Final Disunity of Spinoza's Thought: Linguistic Nonsense or Linguistic Transfiguration? -- Epilogue -- Notes -- Index. (shrink)
What effects are produced in an encounter between what Gilles Deleuze calls Spinoza’s ‘practical philosophy’ and abolition? Closely following Deleuze’s account of Spinoza, this essay moves from the reifying and weakening punitive moralism of carceral state thought towards a joyful materialist abolitionist ethic. It starts with the three theses for which, Deleuze argues, Spinoza was denounced in his own lifetime: materialism (devaluation of consciousness), immoralism (devaluation of all values) and atheism (devaluation of the sad passions). From these three, it derives (...) three parallel abolitionist theses: (1) Spinozan materialism undermines the reifications of carceral state thought; (2) Spinozan ethics undermines the punitivism of the carceral state; and (3) Spinozan joy is inversely proportional to the power of the carceral state. While Spinoza’s corpus may not give us an adequate account of the complex dynamics of the carceral state and racial capitalism today, this essay argues that in the infinite streams of the Ethics we nonetheless find some vital strategies through which we might compose an anomalous alliance between this condemned philosopher and abolition. (shrink)
Etienne Balibar, one of the foremost living French philosophers, builds on his landmark work 'Spinoza and Politics' with this exploration of Spinoza's ontology. Balibar situates Spinoza in relation to the major figures of Marx and Freud as a precursor to the more recent French thinker Gilbert Simondon's concept of the transindividual. Presenting a crucial development in his thought, Balibar takes the concept of transindividuality beyond Spinoza to show it at work at both the individual and the collective level.
"Alexandre Matheron is considered one of the most important interpreters of Spinoza's philosophy in the 20th century. These 20 essays, translated into English for the first time, focus on ontology, knowledge, politics and ethics in Spinoza, his predecessors and his contemporaries."--Publisher description.
Vittorio Morfino draws out the implications of the dynamic Spinoza-Machiavelli encounter by focusing on the concepts of causality, temporality and politics. This allows him to think through the relationship between ontology and politics, leading to an understanding of history as a complex and plural interweaving of different rhythms.
Este artigo considera a contribuição de Baruch Espinosa a uma teoria do poder constituinte. Teorias modernas do poder constituinte geralmente concordam em sua essência paradoxal: um poder que vem antes da lei e funda a lei é ao mesmo tempo um poder que, uma vez que a esfera jurídica é estabelecida, tem de ser obliterado pela lei. A ontologia de Espinosa tem sido reconhecida como uma das primeiras fontes modernas do poder constituinte, no entanto, ele argumenta por uma equivalência estrita (...) entre poder e lei. Este artigo defende que ao ler a teoria política de Espinosa através das lentes de uma imanência radical entre ontologia e história, podemos entendê-lo como uma fonte para a teoria do poder constituinte. Também defende que, através dessa imanência, o pensamento de Espinosa oferece uma solução para o paradoxo do poder constituinte e enriquece as discussões contemporâneas sobre a origem da esfera jurídica e a relação entre política e lei. (shrink)
This book is a philosophical enquiry into the educational consequences of Spinoza’s political theory. Spinoza’s political theory is of particular interest for educational thought as it brings together the normative aims of his ethical theory with his realistic depiction of human psychology and the ramifications of this for successful political governance. As such, this book aims to introduce the reader to Spinoza’s original vision of civic education, as a project that ultimately aims at the ethical flourishing of individuals, while being (...) carefully tailored and adjusted to the natural limitations of human reason. -/- Readers will benefit from a succinct introduction to Spinoza’s political philosophy and from an account of civic education that is based on careful exegetical work. It draws conclusions only hinted at in Spinoza’s own writings. (shrink)
In this paper I consider Althusser's concept of 'overdetermination' as a variation on the theme of a Spinozist physics of modes that attempts to incorporate the Marxist problematic of social antagonism.
This paper examines the relationship between violence and the domination of speech in Spinoza’s political thought. Spinoza describes the cost of such violence to the State, to the collective epistemic resources, and to the members of the polity that domination aims to script and silence. Spinoza shows how obedience to a dominating power requires pretense and deception. The pressure to pretend is the linchpin of an account of how oppression severely degrades the conditions for meaningful communication, and thus the possibilities (...) for thinking and acting in common. Because it belongs to human nature to desire to share our thoughts with others, Spinoza believes that most people experience efforts to control our communication to be acutely intolerable. As a result, such unbearable violence threatens the political order that deploys it. I conclude with some speculative remarks about why, in the Theological-Political Treatise, Spinoza consistently deploys the superlative form of the adjective violentus in reference to the domination of thought and speech rather than to other modes of political violence. (shrink)
Le projet de Spinoza d'une philosophie de la joie se développe dès une position hipersubjectiviste, presque hobbesienne, laquelle aboutirait à une contraposition entre les subjectivités, vers une autre position dont les traits collectifs sont remarquables. Cette dernière ouvre la porte à une théorie démocratique radicale, munie de tout un batiment épistémologique et ontologique. On peut trouver, dans notre siècle, une autre philosophie, celle de J.-P. Sartre, qui a parcouru un chemin très prochain et qui présente des problèmes politiques parallèles à (...) ceux de la théorie spinozienne, en concret en ce qui concerne la question de la liberté. Le présent article veut penser les limites de la conception spinozienne et sartrienne de la liberté et la dimension politique de la question. (shrink)
The notion of superstition has a long history of being understood in terms of epistemic and psychological features, although many discussions include its problematic political consequences. I argue that Spinoza’s discussion of superstition in Theological-Political Treatise is an exception. Spinoza connects superstition and piety with the problem of political stability via the notion of obedience, and uses the term “superstitious” to label religious attitudes and practices that undermine civil obedience by establishing demands of allegiance, on the part of the religious (...) authority, that compete with those of the government. Contrary to existing interpretations, I will show that, for Spinoza, “superstition” is not intrinsically characterized by features such as intolerance and anti-intellectualism. In Theological-Political Treatise, practices that clearly shows these traits are labeled as pious, rather than superstitious, precisely because, within certain societies, they foster obedience and therefore stability. One of Spinoza’s goals in TTP is to show that what counts as pious among the ancient Jews or in the Ottoman Empire should be considered superstitious in a more modern, diverse society such as the seventeenth century Dutch Republic, and that libertas philosophandi is the best way to inoculate a society against superstition. (shrink)
ABSTRACT The aim of this paper is to investigate the intertextual relationship between Spinoza and Tacitus in the Political Treatise, underlining how Spinoza uses Tacitus’ quotes against his main political enemy: Tacitism. I will show that Spinoza’s use of Tacitus is very selective and can be aptly characterized as a twofold political use: Tacitus’ quotes shape Spinoza’s political insights, but they are also used to confront Tacitism. To develop this twofold reading, after a brief introduction, I will consider Tacitus’ reception (...) in Early Modern period, describing Tacitism and its political standpoints. Then, I will analyse Spinoza’s use of Tacitus, considering his approach to three core themes: the nature of peace and sedition, the nature of the masses and the use of secrets (arcana). Finally, I will draw a comparison between the use to which Tacitus’ quotes are put by Spinoza on the one hand and by the Tacitists on the other, stressing how this comparison contributes to our understanding of their opposed political positions: democracy for Spinoza and monarchy for the Tacitists. (shrink)