Spinoza and Politics

Spinoza and Politics


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With Hobbes and Locke, Spinoza is arguably one of the most important political philosophers of the modern era, a premier theoretician of democracy and mass politics. In this revised and augmented English translation of his 1985 classic, Spinoza et la Politique, Etienne Balibar presents a synoptic account of Spinoza’s major works, admirably demonstrating relevance to his contemporary political life.

Balibar carefully situates Spinoza’s major treatises in the period in which they were written. In successive chapters, he examines the political situation in the United Provinces during Spinoza’s lifetime, Spinoza’s own religious and ideological associations, the concept of democracy developed in the Theologico-Political Treatise, the theory of the state advanced in the Political Treatise and the anthropological basis for politics established in the Ethics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781844672059
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 01/01/2008
Series: Radical Thinkers Series
Pages: 136
Product dimensions: 5.13(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.38(d)

About the Author

Étienne Balibar is a French Marxist philosopher and the most celebrated student of Louis Althusser. He is also one of the leading exponents of French Marxist philosophy and the author of Spinoza and Politics, The Philosophy of Marx and co-author of Race, Nation and Class and Reading Capital.

Warren Montag is Associate Professor of English at Occidental College, Los Angeles. He is the author of Bodies, Masses, Power: Spinoza and his Contemporaries and the Unthinkable Swift.

Table of Contents

Preface -- Warren Montag
Note On Editions and Translations Of Spinoza's Works
1. The Spinoza Party
The "Freedom Party"
Religion or Theology?
Predestination and Free Will: The Conflict of Religious Ideologies
Churches, Sects and Parties: The Crisis of the Dutch Republic
2. The Tractatus Theologico-Politicus: A Democratic Manifesto
Freedom of Thought and the Right of the Sovereign
Democracy: "The Most Natural" State
A Philosophy of History?
The Legacy of Theocracy
3. The Tractatus Politicus: A Science of the State
After 1672: A New Order of Problems
The Plan of the Tractatus Politicus
Right and Power
The "Body Politic"
Decision: The Soul of the State
4. The Ethics: A Political Anthropology
What Is Obedience?
"Ethics" and Communication
5. Politics and Communication
Power and Freedom
"Desire Is Man's Very Essence"
The Aporia of the Community and the Question of Knowledge
Further Reading

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