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Spinoza's 'Theological-Political Treatise'
A Critical Guide


Part of Cambridge Critical Guides

Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Michael Rosenthal, Edwin Curley, Piet Steenbakkers, Zev Harvey, Daniel J. Lasker, Jonathan Israel, Mogens Laerke, Donald Rutherford, Michael Della Rocca, Don Garrett, Justin Steinberg, Susan James
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  • Date Published: November 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521882293

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About the Authors
  • Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise was published anonymously in 1670 and immediately provoked huge debate. Its main goal was to claim that the freedom of philosophizing can be allowed in a free republic and that it cannot be abolished without also destroying the peace and piety of that republic. Spinoza criticizes the traditional claims of revelation and offers a social contract theory in which he praises democracy as the most natural form of government. This Critical Guide presents essays by well-known scholars in the field and covers a broad range of topics, including the political theory and the metaphysics of the work, religious toleration, the reception of the text by other early modern philosophers and the relation of the text to Jewish thought. It offers valuable perspectives on this important and influential work.

    • Provides a number of diverse approaches to different aspects of the text
    • Essays from experts in the field, contributing new scholarship to this area of study
    • Explores in full the reception of Spinoza's work by his contemporaries, ranging across all the different texts
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521882293
    • length: 310 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of contributors
    List of abbreviations
    Introduction Yitzhak Y. Melamed and Michael Rosenthal
    1. Spinoza's exchange with Albert Burgh Edwin Curley
    2. The text of Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus Piet Steenbakkers
    3. Spinoza on Ibn Ezra's Secret of the Twelve Warren Zev Harvey
    4. Reflections of the medieval Jewish-Christian debate in the Theological-Political Treatise and the Epistles Daniel J. Lasker
    5. The early Dutch and German reaction to the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus: foreshadowing the Enlightenment's more general Spinoza reception? Jonathan Israel
    6. G. W. Leibniz's two readings of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus Mogens Laerke
    7. The metaphysics of the Theological-Political Treatise Yitzhak Y. Melamed
    8. Spinoza's conception of law: metaphysics and ethics Donald Rutherford
    9. Getting his hands dirty: Spinoza's criticism of the rebel Michael Della Rocca
    10. 'Promising' ideas: Hobbes and contract in Spinoza's political philosophy Don Garrett
    11. Spinoza's curious defense of toleration Justin Steinberg
    12. Miracles, wonder, and the state in Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise Michael A. Rosenthal
    13. Narrative as the means to freedom: Spinoza on the uses of imagination Susan James

  • Editors

    Yitzhak Y. Melamed, The Johns Hopkins University
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed is Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at The Johns Hopkins University. He works primarily on early modern philosophy, German idealism, metaphysics and medieval philosophy. He is the author of Spinoza's Metaphysics of Substance and Thought (forthcoming), as well as several articles on early modern philosophy, German idealism and metaphysics, and the editor of Eternity (forthcoming).

    Michael A. Rosenthal, University of Washington
    Michael A. Rosenthal is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Washington. He is the author of numerous articles on Spinoza and early modern philosophy, which have appeared in journals including Archiv f�r Geschichte der Philosophie, Journal of the History of Philosophy, and Journal of Political Philosophy. He is currently working on a book on the Theological-Political Treatise. He was recently a Visiting Fellow at the Forschungskolleg f�r Humanwissenschaften in Bad Homburg, Germany.


    Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Michael Rosenthal, Edwin Curley, Piet Steenbakkers, Zev Harvey, Daniel J. Lasker, Jonathan Israel, Mogens Laerke, Donald Rutherford, Michael Della Rocca, Don Garrett, Justin Steinberg, Susan James

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