Item description for The God of Spinoza: A Philosophical Study by Richard Mason...
Spinoza has been called both a God-intoxicated man and an atheist, both a pioneer of secular Judaism and a bitter critic of religion. He was born as a Jew but chose to live outside any religious community. He was deeply engaged both in traditional Hebrew learning and in contemporary physical science. This study brings together Spinoza's fundamental philosophical thinking with his conclusions about God and religion. It explains how he identifies God with nature or substance, a theme which runs through his work, enabling him to naturalize religion but equally important to divinize nature. He emerges not as a rationalist precursor of the Enlightenment but as a thinker of the highest importance in his own right, both in philosophy and in religion.
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Studio: Cambridge University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.99" Width: 6.08" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.93 lbs.
Release Date Jun 30, 2008
Publisher Cambridge University Press
ISBN 052166585X ISBN13 9780521665858
Availability 140 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 02:13.
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More About Richard Mason
Richard Mason began writing "The Drowning People" at the age of 18. He is currently twenty and a student at Oxford University, where he studies with Martin Amis's former tutor.
Reviews - What do customers think about The God of Spinoza: A Philosophical Study?
Well done Mar 21, 2001
Richard Mason is a pretty sympathetic expositor of Spinoza, but he likes to get his digs in when he can. (Spinoza comes in, for example, for a little gentle ribbing on the question whether anyone can achieve blessedness without relying on Scripture. Mason suggests in a parenthetical comment that Spinoza may have thought he and Jesus were the only two people who could do so.)
Overall, this volume is an excellent exposition of Spinoza's thought about God and religion -- and it has some very interesting features. For one thing, there's a full chapter devoted to figuring out just what Spinoza thought of Jesus -- a much-neglected topic. For another, there's _another_ full chapter devoted to figuring out just what Spinoza meant by the eternality of the mind.
I find Mason very congenial on many points. For my money he outdoes both Edwin Curley _and_ Jonathan Bennett on some topics -- especially Spinoza's views on the nature of necessity. He also beats the heck out of Yovel on Spinoza's relations to religion. And at one point he offers a gentle corrective to nineteenth-century-idealistic readings of Spinoza (especially Joachim), arguing that Spinoza did think it was possible to know things short of the Absolute. (I think, by the way, that this is both correct and entirely consonant with idealism as it should be understood; in my view the British neo-Hegelians were a bit vulnerable on this point.)
Some readers may like his approach and its conclusion: that there isn't any point to digging around behind Spinoza's words looking for theological secrets; Spinoza meant just what he wrote. (Which means, among other things, that he wasn't trying either to found a new religion or to undermine any existing ones.) Straussians will disagree, of course, but frankly there seems to be little reason to apply persecution-and-the-art-of-writing standards to Spinoza's writings.
A nice addition to everyone's home Spinoza library.
Excellent discussion of Spinoza's background and metaphysics Aug 3, 1999
This book is an excellent source, for those interested in the influence of the Jewish/Marrano background of Spinoza, but also for those interested in his metaphysics. The discussion on the attributes was very smooth.