Spinoza for Our Time: Politics and Postmodernity

Spinoza for Our Time: Politics and Postmodernity

by Antonio Negri
     
 

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Antonio Negri, one of the world's leading scholars on Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677) and his contemporary legacy, offers a straightforward explanation of the philosopher's elaborate arguments and a persuasive case for his ongoing relevance. Responding to a resurgent interest in Spinoza's thought and its potential application to contemporary global issues, Negri

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Overview

Antonio Negri, one of the world's leading scholars on Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677) and his contemporary legacy, offers a straightforward explanation of the philosopher's elaborate arguments and a persuasive case for his ongoing relevance. Responding to a resurgent interest in Spinoza's thought and its potential application to contemporary global issues, Negri demonstrates the thinker's special value to politics, philosophy, and related disciplines.

Negri's work is both a return to and an advancement of his initial affirmation of Spinozian thought in The Savage Anomaly. He further defends his understanding of the philosopher as a proto-postmodernist, or a thinker who is just now, with the advent of the postmodern, becoming contemporary. Negri also connects Spinoza's theories to recent trends in political philosophy, particularly the reengagement with Carl Schmitt's "political theology," and the history of philosophy, including the argument that Spinoza belongs to a "radical enlightenment." By positioning Spinoza as a contemporary revolutionary intellectual, Negri addresses and effectively defeats twentieth-century critiques of the thinker waged by Jacques Derrida, Alain Badiou, and Giorgio Agamben.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
... Small, attractively produced... While the translation is lucid and elegant, Negri's analysis is subtle and couched in the philosophical grammar of contemporary Continental philosophy. The volume would be most appreciated by readers conversant in this idiom.

Library Journal
10/15/2013
This short book consists of four lectures given by the Italian political philosopher Negri (Savage Anomaly: The Power of Spinoza's Metaphysics and Politics) between 2005 and 2009. As with his other works on the Jewish-Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632–77), Negri's lectures seek to show the relevance that the thinker has to contemporary political philosophy. Why these four lectures only? The author explains that they were selected because they best support his theses on Spinoza, whose book Ethics he references to show how the philosopher's ontological arguments for God or Nature and the two modes of Extension and Thought can be applied to contemporary communist philosophy and social movements. While Negri defends his arguments, his passionate and focused thought comes through in each lecture as the author points out the shortcomings of those who oppose his interpretation and application of Spinoza's philosophy. VERDICT While the topics and terminology used in the lectures will make them less accessible to those without a background in the subject, readers with an interest in contemporary continental philosophy will find this volume appealing.—Scott Duimstra, Capital Area Dist. Lib., Lansing, MI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231160469
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
09/24/2013
Series:
Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture Series
Pages:
152
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Daniel Colucciello Barber
There are very few authors who are able to supply the degree and force of insight that Antonio Negri does on the subject of contemporary continental political philosophy. Even among those living thinkers who are as important as Negri, no oneis able to offer a substantive and creative account of the value of Spinoza for contemporary thought. It is precisely such an account that Negri here provides and in a way that makes original advances beyond even his more notable previous contributions.

Meet the Author

Antonio Negri is an independent researcher and world-renowned theorist, who has taught political philosophy at the University of Padua, the University of Vincennes, and College Internationale de Philosophie. His books include Factory of Strategy: Thirty-three Lessons on Lenin; The Politics of Subversion: A Manifesto for the Twenty-First Century; and Negri on Negri: In Conversation with Anne Dufourmentelle. With Michael Hardt, he coauthored the best-selling trilogy, Empire, Multitude, and Commonwealth.

Rocco Gangle is associate professor of philosophy at Endicott College and the author of François Laruelle's Philosophies of Difference: A Critical Introduction and Guide.

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