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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To have indulged in a sense of a special bond with Spinoza, forged by reason of
our shared Jewish experience, would have been to forsake the rational project as
Spinoza understood it, and as he deeply influenced me to understand it as well ...
To become rational, believing only what we have good grounds for believing, is
to transform the self so substantially as to change its very identity. His astounding
conclusion: to the extent that we are rational, we, all of us, partake in the same ...
The only significant way we differ from one another is the degree to which we
know the infinite system, and this is a difference that can be eradicated through
rational thought. It is precisely in these cognitive processes that we reconstruct ...
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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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