Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion, and Politics: The by Susan James
By Susan James
Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise is at the same time a piece of philosophy and a section of sensible politics. It defends non secular pluralism, a republican kind of political service provider, and the liberty to philosophise, with a selection that's super infrequent in seventeenth-century idea. however it is usually a fierce and polemical intervention in a chain of Dutch disputes over matters approximately which Spinoza and his rivals cared very deeply. Susan James makes the arguments of the Treatise obtainable, and their motivations undeniable, via surroundings them of their old and philosophical context. She identifies the interlocking theological, hermeneutic, historic, philosophical, and political positions to which Spinoza used to be responding, exhibits who he aimed to discredit, and divulges what he meant to accomplish. The quick objective of the Treatise is, she establishes, an area one. Spinoza is attempting to cajole his fellow voters that it is important to uphold and foster stipulations during which they could domesticate their ability to dwell rationally, loose from the political manifestations and corrosive mental results of superstitious worry. even as, even if, his radical argument is designed for a broader viewers. beautiful to the common philosophical ideas that he develops in better element in his Ethics, and drawing at the assets of mind's eye to lead them to forceful and compelling, Spinoza speaks to the population of all societies, together with our personal. merely in sure political situations is it attainable to philosophise, and learn how to dwell properly and good.
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Extra resources for Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion, and Politics: The Theologico-Political Treatise
19 Steven M. Nadler, Spinoza: A Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 244. 20 Spinoza, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, ch. 1, p. 16. 21 The view that there are no longer any prophets was also defended by Johannes Hoornbeek in Summa Contraversiarum Religionis (Utrecht, 1653). See Michael Heyd, ‘Be Sober and Reasonable’: The Critique of Enthusiasm in the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries (Leiden: Brill, 1995), pp. 34–5. 22 Spinoza, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, ch. 1, p.
According to the corrupted form of Calvinism that he aims to discredit, the two testaments of the Bible are our only public source of religious knowledge. Scripture contains the word of God communicated to the prophets, and the teachings of the Church are justiﬁed by the fact that they are based on nothing less than divine revelation. This conception of biblical authority purportedly sustains the hesitations of wouldbe philosophers, who believe that obeying the divine law set out in Scripture is necessary to their salvation and are afraid that philosophically grounded convictions may conﬂict with the requirements of true religion.
98 On the distinction between moral and mathematical certainty, see Rosalie Colie, Light and Enlightenment: A Study of the Cambridge Platonists and the Dutch Arminians (Cambridge: Cambridge 32 S P I N O Z A O N P H I L O S O P H Y, R E L I G I O N , A N D P O L I T I C S Different qualities of imaginative thinking can therefore have vastly different effects, and a community such as the Dutch Reformed Church which lacks the capacity to imagine well can do a huge amount of damage. Part of Spinoza’s project is to show his readers how to use the resources of imaginative thinking to examine their attitudes to particular things such as the Bible, and to criticize the dogmas and practices of the Reformed Church.