Spinoza and the Specters of Modernity: The Hidden Enlightenment of Diversity from Spinoza to Freud

Spinoza and the Specters of Modernity: The Hidden Enlightenment of Diversity from Spinoza to Freud

by Michael Mack


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Spinoza and the Specters of Modernity draws new theoretical conclusions from a study of Spinoza's legacy in the age of Goethe and beyond, largely transmitted through the writings of Herder, that will have implications for the study of German intellectual history and, more broadly, the study of religion and literature. Michael Mack describes how a line of writers and thinkers re-configured Spinoza's ideas and how these ideas thus became effective in society at large. Mack shows that the legacy of Spinoza is important because he was the first thinker to theorize narrative as the constitutive fabric of politics, identity, society, religion and the larger sphere of culture. Indeed, Mack argues for Spinoza's writings on politics and ethics as an alternative to a Kantian conception of modernity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441118721
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 03/25/2010
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Michael Mack (PhD. Cambridge) is Reader in English Literature and Medical Humanities at Durham University, UK. Formerly he has been a Visiting Professor at Syracuse University, a Fellow at the University of Sydney, and lecturer and research fellow at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Spinoza and the Specters of Modernity (Continuum, 2010), German Idealism and the Jew (University of Chicago Press, 2003), which was shortlisted for The Koret Jewish Book Award 2004, and Anthropology as Memory (Niemeyer, 2001, Conditio Judaica Series).

Table of Contents



Spinoza' alternative modernity

Chapter 1.

Descartes, Spinoza or the goal that destroys itself.

Chapter 2.

Spinoza's conatus or the critique of political self-destruction

Chapter 3.

Herder's Spinozist understanding of Reflection

Chapter 4.

From the Dissection theatre to popular philosophy or Herder's Spinozist theology

Chapter 5.

From the National to the Transnational

Chapter 6.

Universalism contested: Herder, Kant and Race

Chapter 7.

Talking Humanly with the Devil: From Rosenzweig via Spinoza to Goethe's hospitality in Faust and Iphigenia on Tauris

Chapter 8.

The Significance of the Insignificant: George Eliot's Daniel Deronda and the Literature of Weimar Classicism

Chapter 9.

Conclusion: Freud and Spinoza or how to be mindful of the mind.

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