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Spinoza's Political Treatise
A Critical Guide

$29.99 (R)

Part of Cambridge Critical Guides

Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Hasana Sharp, Michael A. Rosenthal, Julie E. Cooper, Moira Gatens, Susan James, Chantal Jacquet, Mogens Laerke, Daniel Garber, Theo Verbek, Justin Steinberg, Filippo Del Lucchese
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  • Publication planned for: April 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316621660

$ 29.99 (R)

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About the Authors
  • Spinoza's Political Treatise constitutes the very last stage in the development of his thought, as he left the manuscript incomplete at the time of his death in 1677. On several crucial issues - for example, the new conception of the 'free multitude' - the work goes well beyond his Theological Political Treatise (1670), and arguably presents ideas that were not fully developed even in his Ethics. This volume of newly commissioned essays on the Political Treatise is the first collection in English to be dedicated specifically to the work, ranging over topics including political explanation, national religion, the civil state, vengeance, aristocratic government, and political luck. It will be a major resource for scholars who are interested in this important but still neglected work, and in Spinoza's political philosophy more generally.

    • Offers diverse perspectives on a major work of Spinoza
    • The first volume in English to concentrate solely on the Political Treatise
    • Presents a clear exposition of Spinoza's political philosophy
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: April 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316621660
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Yitzhak Y. Melamed and Hasana Sharp
    1. What is real about 'ideal constitutions'? – Spinoza on political explanation Michael A. Rosenthal
    2. Statesmen vs. philosophers: experience and method in Spinoza's Political Treatise Julie E. Cooper
    3. The condition of human nature: Spinoza's account of the ground of human action in the Tractatus Politicus Moira Gatens
    4. Politically mediated affects: envy in Spinoza's Tractatus Politicus Susan James
    5. Longing (desiderium) for vengeance as the foundation of the commonwealth Chantal Jacquet
    6. Family quarrels and mental harmony: Spinoza's Oikos-Polis analogy Hasana Sharp
    7. Spinoza on national religion Mogens Laerke
    8. Religion and the civil state in the Tractatus Politicus Daniel Garber
    9. Spinoza on aristocratic and democratic government Theo Verbek
    10. When is having too much power harmful? – Spinoza on political luck Yitzhak Y. Melamed
    11. Spinoza and political absolutism Justin Steinberg
    12. The revolutionary foundation of political modernity: Machiavelli, Spinoza, and constituent power Filippo Del Lucchese.

  • Editors

    Yitzhak Y. Melamed, The Johns Hopkins University
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed is the Charlotte Bloomberg Professor of Philosophy at The Johns Hopkins University. He is the coeditor of Spinoza's 'Theological-Political Treatise': A Critical Guide (Cambridge, 2010), Spinoza and German Idealism (Cambridge, 2012), the editor of Spinoza's Ethics: A Critical Guide (Cambridge, 2017), and the author of Spinoza's Metaphysics: Substance and Thought (2013).

    Hasana Sharp, McGill University, Montréal
    Hasana Sharp is Associate Professor of Philosophy at McGill University, Montréal. She is author of Spinoza and the Politics of Renaturalization (2011) and co-editor of Between Spinoza and Hegel (2012) and Feminist Philosophies of Life (2016).


    Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Hasana Sharp, Michael A. Rosenthal, Julie E. Cooper, Moira Gatens, Susan James, Chantal Jacquet, Mogens Laerke, Daniel Garber, Theo Verbek, Justin Steinberg, Filippo Del Lucchese

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