Articles #Spinoza


Spinoza, Nietzsche and Sloterdijk

Spinoza, Nietzsche and Sloterdijk

I think of Spinoza as a radical religious reformer. I think he was trying to say this: “There is a single entity whose nature determines the structure and existence of the universe, and that entity is the thing that people have been calling “God” for many centuries. But they got the metaphysics (or theology) very wrong, and now we’re in a position to figure out what this divine thing really is, and to see how the writers of scriptures managed to get the basic moral of the story right, while getting all the metaphysical stuff wrong. And by the way, if you understand what I’m saying, you’ll see that there’s no harm in allowing philosophers to write about such things.” Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Charlie Huenemann.

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Philosophies of Judaism

Philosophies of Judaism

Jewish philosophy should give way to the philosophy (or philosophies) of Judaism, a deep analysis that takes normative Judaism as the explanandum—and I believe that this project will be most amenable to analytic philosophical concerns. In my view, two estimable figures in this (medieval) way of understanding and doing Jewish philosophy are Julius Guttmann and Leon Roth. There has also recently come into being the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism, which is devoted to injecting the subject with analytic rigor. I am always on the alert for parochialism and exceptionalism in Jewish philosophy. I am no fan of any kind of apologetics, so it doesn’t worry me that there is no analogue to Alvin Plantinga in Jewish philosophy. Further, I think philosophers working out of the Jewish tradition tend to focus on commentary, rather than apologetics. Even medieval Jewish kalam is a commentarial tradition. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Daniel Frank.

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Parmenides and Spinoza

Parmenides and Spinoza

I’m keenly aware of the possibility of the Parmenidean (e.g., me!) undermining their own position. After all, explanation itself seems to be relational; things are explained (often at any rate) in terms of other things. I don’t shy away from this apparent or even real self-undermining. For me, it’s a feature not a bug. And I embrace this self-undermining, in much the same way that Parmenides may have (see especially Owen’s reading of Parmenides), as Wittgenstein does at the end of the Tractatus, as Bradley does, and as my skeptical hero, Sextus Empiricus, does. In this way, I offer—paradoxically perhaps—a relational metaphysical challenge to relational metaphysics itself. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Michael Della Rocca

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