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Spinoza's 'Theological-Political Treatise'


  • Page extent: 310 pages
  • Size: 229 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.42 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9781107636927)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$36.99 (C)

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 new Critical Guide presents new 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 new perspectives on this important and influential work.


List of contributors; Acknowledgements; 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; Bibliography.


"...Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise: A Critical Guide is a delightful book, an impressive demonstration of erudition and scholarship. The presentation is clear and forthright."
--George Lăzăroiu, PhD, Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, New York


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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