Levene - Spinoza's Revelation by Professor Nancy K. Levene

By Professor Nancy K. Levene

Nancy Levene reinterprets an incredible early-modern thinker, Benedict de Spinoza - a Jew who was once rejected by means of the Jewish group of his day yet whose proposal comprises, and reviews, either Jewish and Christian principles. It foregrounds the relationship of faith, democracy, and cause, displaying that Spinoza's theories of the Bible, the theologico-political, and the philosophical all contain the recommendations of equality and sovereignty. Professor Levene argues that Spinoza's idea of revelation is the most important to this connection, and specially to Spinoza's view of human strength. this is often to shift the emphasis in Spinoza's notion from the language of amor Dei (love of God) to the language of libertas humana (human freedom) with no wasting both the dialectic of his such a lot notable declare - that guy is God to guy - or the Jewish and Christian parts in his idea. unique and thoughtfully argued, this ebook bargains new insights into Spinoza's proposal.

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What Spinoza is saying is that we can’t know anything at all except insofar as we are affected by it. We are thus correct in saying that, at the very least, we know “our body,” for, in Spinoza’s distinctive phrase, the idea of the body is the “first thing that constitutes the actual being of a human Mind” (E II p11). What this means is that “whatever happens in the object of the idea constituting the human Mind must be perceived by the human Mind,” and therefore “if the object of the idea constituting a human Mind is a body, nothing can happen in that body which is not perceived by the Mind” (E II p12).

Third and finally, the dynamic can be seen in Spinoza’s discussion of the Hebrew commonwealth and the election of the Hebrews. Spinoza is notorious among Jewish readers for his claim that the election of the Hebrews, and by extension, their covenantal law, only refers to “the temporal prosperity of the state” and “therefore could have been of practical value only while their state existed” (TTP, 60–61). As he says of Christian ceremonies as well, although they existed outside of a sovereign state per se, “their only purpose was the unification of a particular society” (TTP, 67).

What Spinoza is saying is that we can’t know anything at all except insofar as we are affected by it. We are thus correct in saying that, at the very least, we know “our body,” for, in Spinoza’s distinctive phrase, the idea of the body is the “first thing that constitutes the actual being of a human Mind” (E II p11). What this means is that “whatever happens in the object of the idea constituting the human Mind must be perceived by the human Mind,” and therefore “if the object of the idea constituting a human Mind is a body, nothing can happen in that body which is not perceived by the Mind” (E II p12).

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