Author: John Heyderman

Please visit my blog https://philosophicalbibliotherapy.wordpress.com/

London Spinoza Circle: Mogens Lærke on 1st November and other upcoming meetings

The next meetiIMG_6714ng of the London Spinoza Circle will be on Thursday 1st November 2018, 3:00-5:00pm, when Mogens Lærke (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)  will speak on:

The Apostolic Style: Spinoza on Fraternal Advice and the Freedom to Philosophize

Bloomsbury Room (G.35), Ground Floor, South Block, Senate House, London WC1E 7HU

(Please note change of location)

 

Abstract

In this paper, I discuss a chapter of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus that is rarely commented on, namely Chapter XI. It is particular for the TTP in that it is exclusively dedicated to the interpretation of the New Testament, more specifically, the Apostles’ Letters. I will show how, in the first part of that chapter, Spinoza argues that the epistolary style of the apostles, and the discursive room it establishes, can serve as a paradigm for the exercise of the “liberty to philosophize” that he shall proceed to defend in Tractatus, chap. XX.

The following meeting will be on Thursday 6th December, 3 – 5pm, when Clare Carlisle (King’s College London) will speak on “George Eliot’s Spinoza.” 

Location: Bloomsbury Room (G.35), Ground Floor, South Block, Senate House, London WC1E 7HU 

Dates for Spring Term 2019 

Thursday 7th February, 3 – 5pm

Moira Gatens (University of Sydney)

Title and location tbc

Thursday 21st March, 3 – 5pm

Michael A. Rosenthal (University of Washington)

Title and location tbc

All welcome and no registration is required.

London Spinoza Circle site: https://londonspinozacircle.wordpress.com/

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Michael Della Rocca at the London Spinoza Circle on 11.06.18

At our meeting on Monday 11th June, 3pm – 5pm, we are pleased to have Michael Della Rocca (Yale University) who will speak on

“Perseverence, Power, and Eternity: Purely Positive Essence in Spinoza”

3pm to 5pm,  Room 101, Birkbeck College, 30 Russell Square, WC1B 5DT

Abstract

The alignment of affirmation, essence, and the absence of negation is evident very early on in Spinoza’s Ethics, in the definition of God.   In this paper, I seek to show how the purely positive character of essence is a feature not only of God’s essence but also, in some way, of the essences of things in general. I will also argue that appreciating the roles that the conception of essence as purely positive plays in Spinoza’s conatus doctrine offers us a new way into and a new way of defending a reading of Spinoza according to which modes – things that are dependent on God – do not really exist.  By endorsing in this new way such an extreme interpretation, I aim to provide new insight into the third kind of knowledge and the eternity of the mind, for Spinoza.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 7th June when Beth Lord (University of Aberdeen) will speak on Spinoza and the art of reasoning. Details here.