Betraying Spinoza: the renegade Jew who gave us modernity
In 1656, Amsterdam's Jewish community excommunicated Baruch Spinoza, and, at the age of twentythree, he became the most famous heretic in Judaism. He was already germinating a secularist challenge to religion that would be as radical as it was original. He went on to produce one of the most ambitious systems in the history of Western philosophy, so ahead of its time that scientists today, from string theorists to neurobiologists, count themselves among Spinoza's progeny. InBetraying Spinoza,Rebecca Goldstein sets out to rediscover the flesh-and-blood man often hidden beneath the veneer of rigorous rationality, and to crack the mystery of the breach between the philosopher and his Jewish past. Goldstein argues that the trauma of the Inquisition's persecution of its forced Jewish converts plays itself out in Spinoza's philosophy. The excommunicated Spinoza, no less than his excommunicators, was responding to Europe's first experiment with racial anti-Semitism. Here is a Spinoza both hauntingly emblematic and deeply human, both heretic and heroa surprisingly contemporary figure ripe for our own uncertain age. From the Hardcover edition.
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Never had there been quite so ambitious a metaphysical project as Spinoza's. He
is audacious in the claims he makes for pure reason. Logic alone, he argues, is
sufficient to reveal the very fabric of reality. In fact, logic alone is the very fabric of
The insight came when I grasped that the fundamental intuition underlying
Spinoza's thinking was simply this: all facts have explanations. For every fact that
is true, there is a reason why it is true. There simply cannot be, for Spinoza, the ...
He's simply trying to capture one of the most elusive of all "is" facts: the fact of
one's identity. To be this thing is to be interested in this thing in a way
unduplicated by my interests in other things, as vivid as these may be. And
nothing else can ...
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - MarkBeronte - LibraryThing
In 1656, Amsterdam’s Jewish community excommunicated Baruch Spinoza, and, at the age of twenty–three, he became the most famous heretic in Judaism. He was already germinating a secularist challenge to ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - KidSisyphus - LibraryThing
"By decree of the angels and by the command of the holy men, we excommunicate, expel, curse and damn Baruch de Espinoza, with the consent of God, Blessed be He, and with the consent of the entire holy ... Read full review
Baruch Bento Benedictus
n In Search of Baruch
in The Project of Escape
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