new publications

New book on Spinoza, causal determinism and moral formation

Education and Free Will: Spinoza, Causal Determinism and Moral Formation

by Johan Dahlbeck

Education and Free Will critically assesses and makes use of Spinoza’s insights on human freedom to construe an account of education that is compatible with causal determinism without sacrificing the educational goal of increasing students’ autonomy and self-determination. Offering a thorough investigation into the philosophical position of causal determinism, Dahlbeck discusses Spinoza’s view of self-determination and presents his own suggestions for an education for autonomy from a causal determinist point of view. 

The book begins by outlining the free will problem in education, before expanding on a philosophical understanding of autonomy and how it is seen as an educational ideal. It considers Spinoza’s determinism and discusses his denial of moral responsibility. Later chapters consider the relationship between causal determinism and autonomy, the educational implications of understanding free will and how free will can be utilised as a valuable fiction in education.

 This book will be of great interest to academics and postgraduate students in the field of education, especially those with an interest in moral education and philosophy of education. It will also be of interest to those in the fields of philosophy and psychology and specifically those focusing on the free will problem, on Spinoza studies, and on the relation between moral psychology and external influence.

More information from:

https://www.routledge.com/Education-and-Free-Will-Spinoza-Causal-Determinism-and-Moral-Formation/Dahlbeck/p/book/9781138598652

 

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Spinoza’s Philosophy of Ratio

Equalities of Wellbeing in Philosophy and Architecture

We are delighted to announce the publication of Spinoza’s Philosophy of Ratio, edited by Beth Lord and published by Edinburgh University Press. The book brings together essays on Spinoza, ratio, architecture, and wellbeing from the Equalities of Wellbeing project.

30% Discount on book purchases available until 31 Dec. 2018: Lord_Worldwide Flyer

Readers will learn from this book that a philosophy of ratio is not to be conflated with a rationalist philosophy. The authors draw on the three senses of ratio – reason, relation and proportion – to explore their interdependence and, crucially, the emergent and constructed conatus towards equality and wellbeing. This valuable book demonstrates that empiricism and rationalism need not be opposed. – Andrej Radman, Delft University of Technology

This volume represents an important collective re-thinking of Spinoza’s key concept of ratio. Along with new interpretations of his treatment of the relations between reason and emotion, it…

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Thinking with Spinoza about education

2018 Special Issue of the journal Educational Philosophy and Theory, 5(9)

This international collection of articles tracks some of the significant implications of Spinozist philosophy for current education policy and practice. Authors dig deep into Spinozan texts and ideas, covering a range of topics pertaining to the ethico-political project of pedagogy and learning. Edited by Elizabeth de Freitas, Sam Sellar and Lars Bang Jensen (Manchester Metropolitan University), this special issue promises to open up further discussion in Spinoza Studies. 

 https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rept20/50/9?nav=tocList

 

New book: Spinoza: the Ethics of an Outlaw

A blurb from the publisher follows.

Spinoza: The Ethics of an Outlaw

By Ivan Segré

Translated by David Broder

Spinoza is among the most controversial and asymmetrical thinkers in the tradition and history of modern European philosophy. Since the 17th century, his work has aroused some of the fiercest and most intense polemics in the discipline. From his expulsion from the synagogue and onwards, Spinoza has never ceased to embody the secular, heretical and self-loathing Jew. Ivan Segré, a philosopher and celebrated scholar of the Talmud, discloses the conservative underpinnings that have animated Spinoza’s numerable critics and antagonists.

Through a close reading of Leo Strauss and several contemporary Jewish thinkers, such as Jean-Claude Milner and Benny Levy (Sartre’s last secretary), Spinoza: the Ethics of an Outlaw aptly delineates the common cause of Spinoza’s contemporary censors: an explicit hatred of reason and its emancipatory potential. Spinoza’s radical heresy lies in his rejection of any and all blind adherence to Biblical Law, and in his plea for the freedom and autonomy of thought. Segré reclaims Spinoza as a faithful interpreter of the revolutionary potential contained within the Old Testament.

For further information please click here.

 

New book on Spinoza and Education

Spinoza and Education: Freedom, understanding and empowerment

by Dr. Johan Dahlbeck

Spinoza and Education offers a comprehensive investigation into the educational implications of Spinoza’s moral theory. Taking Spinoza’s naturalism as its point of departure, it constructs a considered account of education, taking special care to investigate the educational implications of Spinoza’s psychological egoism. What emerges is a counterintuitive form of education grounded in the egoistic striving of the teacher to persevere and to flourish in existence while still catering to the ethical demands of the students and the greater community.

In providing an educational reading of Spinoza’s moral theory, this book sets up a critical dialogue between educational theory and recent studies which highlight the centrality of ethics in Spinoza’s overall philosophy. By placing his work in a contemporary educational context, chapters explore a counterintuitive conception of education as an ethical project, aimed at overcoming the desire to seek short-term satisfaction and troubling the influential concept of the student as consumer. This book also considers how education, from a Spinozistic point of view, may be approached in terms of a kind of cognitive therapy serving to further a more scientifically adequate understanding of the world and aimed at combating prejudices and superstition.

Spinoza and Education demonstrates that Spinoza’s moral theory can further an educational ideal, where notions of freedom and self-preservation provide the conceptual core of a coherent philosophy of education. As such, it will appeal to researchers, academics and postgraduate students in the fields of philosophy of education, theory of education, critical thinking, philosophy, ethics, and Spinoza studies.

 

More information from:

https://www.routledge.com/Spinoza-and-Education-Freedom-understanding-and-empowerment/Dahlbeck/p/book/9781138931817

Book and event on Uriel da Costa

On Tuesday 26 Julyat 5 pm, at the Warburg Institute, London, there will be the presentation of a new book on Uriel Da Costa, edited by Omero Proietti and Giovanni Licata. It is part of a series on the history of Spinozism, published by the University of Macerata (Italy), under the direction of Filippo Mignini. More information available here: http://eum.unimc.it/it/catalogo/506-tradizione-e-illuminismo-in-uriel-da-costa

The presentation is organized by Guido Giglioni and Giovanni Licata. Prof. Jill Kraye and Prof. Stephen Clucas will also be there.

New book on Spinoza and Levinas

Richard Cohen, Out of Control: Confrontations between Spinoza and Levinas (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2016); 370pp.

After the end of superstitious religion, what is the meaning of the world? Baruch Spinoza s answer is truth, Emmanuel Levinas s is goodness: science versus ethics. In “Out of Control,” Richard A. Cohen brings this debate to life, providing a nuanced exposition of Spinoza and Levinas and the confrontations between them in ethics, politics, science, and religion.

Spinoza is the control, the inexorable defensive logic of administrative rationality, where freedom is equated to necessity a seventeenth-century glimpse of Orwellian doublespeak and Big Brother. Levinas is the way out: transcendence not of God, being, and logic but of the other person experienced as moral obligation. To alleviate the suffering of others nothing is more important! Spinoza wagers everything on mathematical truth, discarding the rest as ignorance and illusion; for Levinas, nothing surpasses the priorities of morality and justice, to create a world in which humans can be human and not numbers or consumers, drudges or robots.

Situating these two thinkers in today s context, “Out of Control” responds to the fear of dehumanization in a world flattened by the alliance of positivism and plutocracy. It offers a nonideological ethical alternative, a way out and up, in the nobility of one human being helping another, and the solidarity that moves from morality to justice.”

More information from
http://www.sunypress.edu/p-6243-out-of-control.aspx