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Theological-Political Treatise (1670)

by Benedictus de Spinoza

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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786919,546 (3.93)9
Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise (1670) is one of the most important philosophical works of the early modern period. In it Spinoza discusses at length the historical circumstances of the composition and transmission of the Bible, demonstrating the fallibility of both its authors and its interpreters. He argues that free enquiry is not only consistent with the security and prosperity of a state but actually essential to them, and that such freedom flourishes best in a democratic and republican state in which individuals are left free while religious organizations are subordinated to the secular power. His Treatise has profoundly influenced the subsequent history of political thought, Enlightenment 'clandestine' or radical philosophy, Bible hermeneutics, and textual criticism more generally. It is presented here in a translation of great clarity and accuracy by Michael Silverthorne and Jonathan Israel, with a substantial historical and philosophical introduction by Jonathan Israel.… (more)

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Spanish (4)  English (3)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 3 of 3
One quote review.
An excerpt from the book:

"The affirmations and the negations of 'God' always involve necessity or truth; so that, for example, if God said to Adam that He did not wish him to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it would have involved a contradiction that Adam should have been able to eat of it, and would, therefore, have been impossible that he should have so eaten, for the Divine command would have involved an eternal necessity and truth. But since Scripture nevertheless narrates that God did give this command to Adam, and yet that none the less Adam ate of the tree, we must perforce say that God revealed to Adam the evil which would surely follow if he should eat of the tree, but did not disclose that such evil would of necessity come to pass. Thus it was that Adam took the revelation to be not an eternal and necessary truth, but a law - that is, an ordinance followed by gain or loss, not depending necessarily on the nature of the act performed, but solely on the will and absolute power of some potentate, so that the revelation in question was solely in relation to Adam, and solely through his lack of knowledge a law, and God was, as it were, a lawgiver and potentate. From the same cause, namely, from lack of knowledge, the Decalogue in relation to the Hebrews was a law. We conclude, therefore, that God is described as a lawgiver or prince, and styled just, merciful, etc., merely in concession to popular understanding, and the imperfection of popular knowledge; that in reality God acts and directs all things simply by the necessity of His nature and perfection, and that His decrees and volitions are eternal truths, and always involve necessity."

The key words in the excerpt are: "solely through the lack of knowledge" - the whole anthropomorphic domain of law, ínjunction, moral command, et cetera, is based on our ignorance; and the proposed ontological ethics are deprived of the deontological dimension.
_______________________________

Also, "Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health."
But that is not prohibited obviously — (Nothing is, nothing can be) — you're just informed of a cáusal link.


( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
One quote review.
An excerpt from the book:

"The affirmations and the negations of 'God' always involve necessity or truth; so that, for example, if God said to Adam that He did not wish him to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it would have involved a contradiction that Adam should have been able to eat of it, and would, therefore, have been impossible that he should have so eaten, for the Divine command would have involved an eternal necessity and truth. But since Scripture nevertheless narrates that God did give this command to Adam, and yet that none the less Adam ate of the tree, we must perforce say that God revealed to Adam the evil which would surely follow if he should eat of the tree, but did not disclose that such evil would of necessity come to pass. Thus it was that Adam took the revelation to be not an eternal and necessary truth, but a law - that is, an ordinance followed by gain or loss, not depending necessarily on the nature of the act performed, but solely on the will and absolute power of some potentate, so that the revelation in question was solely in relation to Adam, and solely through his lack of knowledge a law, and God was, as it were, a lawgiver and potentate. From the same cause, namely, from lack of knowledge, the Decalogue in relation to the Hebrews was a law. We conclude, therefore, that God is described as a lawgiver or prince, and styled just, merciful, etc., merely in concession to popular understanding, and the imperfection of popular knowledge; that in reality God acts and directs all things simply by the necessity of His nature and perfection, and that His decrees and volitions are eternal truths, and always involve necessity."

The key words in the excerpt are: "solely through the lack of knowledge" - the whole anthropomorphic domain of law, ínjunction, moral command, et cetera, is based on our ignorance; and the proposed ontological ethics are deprived of the deontological dimension.
_______________________________

Also, "Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health."
But that is not prohibited obviously — (Nothing is, nothing can be) — you're just informed of a cáusal link.


( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
I know, I know that I also have this in French and in Latin but I bought the intro by Jonathan Israel.
  TheoSmit | Jun 21, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Benedictus de Spinozaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dini, AlessandroEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elwes, R.H.M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saint-Glain, Dominique deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Tra i vari, possibili discorsi introduttivi alla lettura del Trattato teologico-politico - testo insieme di critica biblica, filosofia della religione e filosofia politica - quello tendente a mettere in luce il significato della filosofia politica spinoziana e il nesso esistente tra filosofia politica e metafisica spinoziana mi è parso offrire il tipo di approccio al testo oggi più pertinente.

PREFAZIONE di Emilia Gaincotti Boscherini
Se gli uomini potessero procedere a ragion veduta in tutte le loro cose o se la fortuna fosse loro sempre propizia, non andrebbero soggetti ad alcuna superstizione. Ma, poiché essi vengono spesso a trovarsi di fronte a tali difficoltà che non sanno prendere alcuna decisione e poiché il loro smisurato desiderio degli incerti beni della fortuna li fa penosamente ondeggiare tra la speranza e il timore, il loro animo è quanto mai incline a credere qualsiasi cosa; quando è preso dal dubbio, esso è facilmente sospinto or qua or là, e tanto più allorché esita in preda alla speranza o al timore, mentre nei momenti di fiducia è pieno di vanità e presunzione.
PREFAZIONE
Profezia o rivelazione è la conoscenza certa di una cosa rivelata da Dio agli uomini.
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