Spinoza's Modernity: Mendelssohn, Lessing, and Heine

Overview

Spinoza’s Modernity is a major, original work of intellectual history that reassesses the philosophical project of Baruch Spinoza, uncovers his influence on later thinkers, and demonstrates how that crucial influence on Moses Mendelssohn, G. E. Lessing, and Heinrich Heine shaped the development of modern critical thought. Excommunicated by his Jewish community, Spinoza was a controversial figure in his lifetime and for centuries afterward. Willi Goetschel shows how Spinoza’s philosophy was a direct challenge to ...
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Overview

Spinoza’s Modernity is a major, original work of intellectual history that reassesses the philosophical project of Baruch Spinoza, uncovers his influence on later thinkers, and demonstrates how that crucial influence on Moses Mendelssohn, G. E. Lessing, and Heinrich Heine shaped the development of modern critical thought. Excommunicated by his Jewish community, Spinoza was a controversial figure in his lifetime and for centuries afterward. Willi Goetschel shows how Spinoza’s philosophy was a direct challenge to the theological and metaphysical assumptions of modern European thought. He locates the driving force of this challenge in Spinoza’s Jewishness, which is deeply inscribed in his philosophy and defines the radical nature of his modernity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299190842
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Series: Studies in German Jewish Cultural Hist Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Willi Goetschel is professor of German and philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Constituting Critique: Kant’s Writing as Critical.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : the scandal of Spinoza's Jewishness 3
Ch. 1 The new metaphysical framework of ontology 23
Ch. 2 Understanding understanding : Spinoza's epistemology 33
Ch. 3 A psychodynamic theory of affects 45
Ch. 4 Spinoza's theory of religion, hermeneutic, and tradition 53
Ch. 5 A noncontractual theory of the political order 66
Ch. 6 From the margins of philosophy : Mendelssohn's aesthetic theory of mixed sentiments 85
Ch. 7 The exchange on tragedy 100
Ch. 8 Staking out grounds for public reason : Lavater's challenge 119
Ch. 9 Framing political rights : Mendelssohn's preface to Manasseh Ben Israel's Vindication of the Jesus 133
Ch. 10 An alternative universalism : Jerusalem, or on religious power and Judaism 147
Ch. 11 Rescuing Lessing : Mendelssohn's Morgenstunden 170
Ch. 12 Lessing's Spinozist exercises 183
Ch. 13 Toward a new concept of truth 196
Ch. 14 The secret of the public : the dialogues on freemasonry, Ernst and Falk 207
Ch. 15 Theorizing the Enlightenment : Spinoza in The education of mankind 219
Ch. 16 Negotiating truth : on Nathan's business 230
Ch. 17 Heine's dis/enchantment of Hegel's history of philosophy 253
Ch. 18 Tradition as innovation in Heine's "Jehuda ben Halevy" : counterhistory in a Spinozist key 266
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