Spinoza's True Ideas: Suggestive Convergences

Knox Peden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


It’s a recurrence bordering on cliché to begin accounts of the history of Spinozism with a remark on the plurality of philosophical roles that Spinoza has taken on, from the godless heretic who scandalized seventeenth-century Dutch Jewry to the Gottbetrunkener Mensch who inspired nineteenth-century German Romanticism. Politically, things aren’t much clearer when one notes that the same thinker beloved of Marxists is also dear to a tradition that runs from Bismarck to Kissinger. A lot of this disparity has to do with the different intellectual, cultural, and political contexts that Spinoza has occupied. If your concern is liberalism, you think of him alongside Hobbes; if it’s religion, he’s placed somewhere between Maimonides and radical Protestantism; the metaphysicians regard him as either post-Cartesian or pre-Kantian, or both. The point is that Spinoza serves a variety of theoretical purposes. This is a historical fact. But there’s another historical fact that...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpinoza in Twenty-First-Century American and French Philosophy
Subtitle of host publicationMetaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Moral and Political Philosophy
EditorsJack Stetter, Charles Ramond
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781350067325, 9781350067318
ISBN (Print)9781350067301
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Spinoza
  • Metaphysics
  • History of Western Philosophy
  • Philosophy
  • Modern Philosophy (Sixteenth-Century to Eighteenth-Century)
  • Convergence


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