Spinoza and the Rise of Liberalism

Sampul Depan
Transaction Publishers, 1 Jan 1987 - 323 halaman

In this classic work the author undertakes to show how Spinoza's philosophical ideas, particularly his political ideas, were influenced by his underlying emotional responses to the conflicts of his time. It thus differs form most professional philosophical analyses of the philosophy of Spinoza. The author identifies and discusses three periods in the development of Spinoza's thought and shows how they were reactions to the religious, political and economic developments in the Netherlands at the time. In his first period, Spinoza reacted very strongly to the competitive capitalism of the Amsterdam Jews whose values were "so thoroughly pervaded by an economic ethics that decrees the stock exchange approached in dignity the decrees of God," and of the ruling classes of Amsterdam, and was led out only to give up his business activities but also to throw in his lot with the Utopian groups of the day. In his second period, Spinoza developed serious doubts about the practicality of such idealistic movements and became a "mature political partisan" of Dutch liberal republicanism. The collapse of republicanism and the victory of the royalist party brought further disillusionment. Having become more reserved concerning democratic processes, and having decided that "every form of government could be made consistent with the life of free men," Spinoza devoted his time and efforts to deciding what was essential to any form of government which would make such a life possible.

In his carefully crafted introduction to this new edition, Lewis Feuer responds to his critics, and reviews Spinoza's worldview in the light of the work of later scientists sympathetic to this own basic standpoint. He reviews Spinoza's arguments for the ethical and political contributions of the principle of determinism, and examines how these have guided, and at times frustrated, students and scholars of the social and physical sciences who have sought to understand and advance these disciplines.

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The Excommunication of Baruch Spinoza
1
The Jewish Community of Amsterdam
2
Why Spinoza Was Excommunicated
4
The Economic and Political Structure of Amsterdam Jewry
5
the Cases of Menasseh ben Israel and Uriel Acosta
9
How Spinoza Became a Liberal Republican
17
Spinozas Rejection of Jewish Authority
22
the Commercial Magnates and Rabbis Aboab and Morteira
24
the People as Mob
138
Spinoza Withdraws Again
139
Why Did the Liberal Republic Fall?
150
Theory of a Commercial Aristocracy
158
Constitution for the Dictatorship of the Commercial Aristocracy
164
The Impasse of Authoritarian Liberalism
175
Academic Freedom and Public Education
179
A Republican Conceives the Theory of Limited Monarchy
182

The Trial
33
Revolutionist in Mystic Withdrawal
38
Retreat Among the Religious Communists
40
Spinozas Mennonite Friends
43
Spinozas Meeting With an English Quaker Missionary
47
Spinozas Pantheism and the Radical Thought of the Seventeenth Century
52
Political Scientist in the Cause of Human Liberation
58
The Political Setting
61
The Birth of Liberalism
65
The Calvinist Party in the Netherlands
69
the Geometrical Method in Politics
76
Spinoza and the Mass of Mankind
80
the Guide to Action and the Apotheosis of Acquiescence
82
The Promise and Anguish of Democracy
87
Demonstration of the Futility of Revolution
90
What Is Democracy?
101
Manifesto for Freedom
108
To Preserve the Republic
119
Philosophic Liberal in a Reactionary Age
136
Free Men or Slaves?
192
A Free Mans Philosophy
198
The Ethics of the Free Man as a Critique of the Calvinist Ethics
200
The Mystic Rejection of Libertine Hedonism
207
Precursor to Freud
210
Intellectual Love of God and Intellectual Hatred
215
Spinozas Leap Beyond the Geometrical Method
221
the Failure of the Geometrical Method
227
Spinoza as a Left Cartesian
229
the Discovery of the Plurality of Attributes
233
Spinozas Panpsychism
235
a Masochist Projection
239
the Language of Artisans and Merchants
242
Linguistic Nonsense or Linguistic Transfiguration?
247
Epilogue
254
Notes
259
Index
309
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Halaman 112 - Oh that I knew where I might find him! That I might come even to his seat! 'I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
Halaman 177 - The French people recognize the existence of the Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul...
Halaman 18 - I thus perceived that I was in a state of great peril, and I compelled myself to seek with all my strength for a remedy, however uncertain it might be; as a sick man struggling with a deadly disease, when he sees that death will surely be upon him unless a remedy be found, is compelled to seek such a remedy with all his strength, inasmuch as his whole hope lies therein.
Halaman 308 - Nay, if we may openly speak the truth, and as becomes one man to another, neither pagan, nor Mahometan, nor Jew, ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth, because of his religion.
Halaman 303 - God of an existing circle are one and the same thing, which is manifested through different attributes; and, therefore, whether we think of nature under the attribute of extension, or under the attribute of thought, or under any other attribute whatever, we shall discover one and the same order, or one and the same connection of causes; that is to say, in every case the same sequence of things.
Halaman 239 - An individual thing, or a thing which is finite and which has a determinate existence, cannot exist nor be determined to action unless it be determined to existence and action by another cause which is also finite and has a determinate existence...
Halaman 243 - Resolution, to reject all the amplifications, digressions, and swellings of style: to return back to the primitive purity, and shortness, when men deliver'd so many things, almost in an equal number of words. They have exacted from all their members, a close, naked, natural way of speaking; positive expressions; clear senses; a native easiness: bringing all things as near the Mathematical plainness, as they can: and preferring the language of Artisans, Countrymen, and Merchants, before that, of Wits,...
Halaman 65 - For in this most flourishing state, and most splendid city, men of every, nation and religion live together in the greatest harmony, and ask no questions before trusting their goods to a fellow-citizen, save whether he be rich or poor, and whether he generally acts honestly, or the reverse.
Halaman 200 - It is the part of a wise man, I say, to refresh and invigorate himself with moderate and pleasant eating and drinking, with sweet scents and the beauty of green plants...
Halaman 209 - We see men sometimes so affected by one object, that although it is not present, they believe it to be before them; and if this happens to a man who is not asleep, we say that he is delirious or mad. Nor are those believed to be less mad who are inflamed by love, dreaming about nothing but a mistress or harlot day and night, for they excite our laughter.

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