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The New Spinoza

To see the presence of Spinoza, Louis Althusser once quipped, “one must at least have heard of him.” The essays collected in this volume suggest that what applies to Althusser applies to his whole generation-that Spinoza is an unsuspected but very real presence in the work of contemporary philosophers from Deleuze and Lacan to Foucault and Derrida. The New Spinoza articulates that presence, making the influence and significance of Spinoza perfectly clear for a new generation of philosophy.

 

Whereas studies of Spinoza in English have emphasized the logic of the Ethics, these essays instead focus on the marginal and developmental moments that have had such a profound effect on French thought. To that end, the authors concentrate on Spinoza’s conception of substance, an implicit rejection of teleology and transcendence; antihumanism and anti-individualism in his works; his rejection of the classical juridical conception of rights and obligations; and his critique of biblical hermeneutics.

 

These essays, most of them appearing in English for the first time, establish Spinoza’s rightful role in the development and direction of contemporary continental philosophy. The volume should interest not only the growing group of scholars attracted to Spinoza’s thought on ethics, politics, and subjectivity, but also theorists in a variety of fields who have not yet understood how their work can productively engage Spinoza.

 

Contributors: Gabriel Albiac, Louis Althusser, Etienne Balibar, Gilles Deleuze, Emilia Giancotti, Luce Irigaray, Pierre Macherey, Alexandre Matheron, Pierre-François Moreau, Antonio Negri, André Tosel.

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