Spinoza Research Network: an update

Dear Network members,

I have decided that the time has come to wind down the website of the Spinoza Research Network. The purpose of the site was to be a source of information and networking for those working on Spinoza, from all academic fields and none, from all over the world. It has certainly fulfilled its purpose: over the past 12 years, it has gathered nearly 500 subscribers, many of whom are non-academics. I regularly recieve emails asking me to share information and I have had many kind messages from those who appreciate the site.

However, it’s been difficult to keep up with developments, both in the Spinoza world and in technology. When I started the site back in 2008, there was little of this kind available. Blogs were in their infancy and Twitter didn’t exist. The site offered something unique, and the number of Spinoza events was just about manageable to keep it up-to-date.

Things have moved on considerably since then. There has – I’m delighted to say – been an explosion of new work on Spinoza, much of it interdisciplinary and public-oriented. And there are now far more ways of accessing this information quickly and reliably. Network members have played a huge role in these developments. But the SRN website is now out of date, both visually and in terms of how, what, and how often it communicates. To use a Spinozist idiom, its ratio of motion and rest has fallen out of line with that of the world around it.

I’ve therefore decided that the time has come to close the webiste. The site and its current posts will remain online, but I will no longer be posting new information.

The end of the website does not mean the end of the Spinoza Research Network. The Spinoza Research Network Facebook group, with over 4000 members, is an active and positive group exchanging and discussing Spinoza news and events. If you follow me on Twitter (@ProfBethLord) I’ll be happy to share any Spinoza news you send me.

Thank you for following and participating in the Network over the years. I look forward to continuing the conversation.


Prof. Beth Lord
University of Aberdeen

The Spinoza Explosion

SRN member Herb Roseman has written a program called the Spinoza Explosion. This program takes any element of the Ethics and either explodes it backward to every element that is needed for its logical proof or forward to every proposition that requires the element for its proof.

He has made the program available on his website. Message from Herb follows:

“Since humans are visually oriented, the logical flow of the Ethics can be better understood if it is depicted graphically. There are several examples of graphical representations of the five Parts of the Ethics on the Web, but because of the large number of elements and the complexity of their interactions using these representations can be inconvenient. (There are representations of Parts 1-3 on my website.)

Spinoza_Explosion is a Python 2.7 script that can be used interactively to create representations focused on single elements of the Ethics. There are two types of “explosions:” forward and backward.  Forward creates a graphical representation of all propositions that directly or indirectly require the element for its proof. Backward creates a representation of all elements (propositions, definitions, axioms, etc) directly or indirectly necessary for the proof of the selected element.

Documentation for the program and the program itself can be downloaded by navigating to the Spinoza Project on my website: sites.google.com/site/hroseman. If there are any questions please contact hroseman@gmail.com.”

Translator sought for Segre’s Le Manteau de Spinoza

Bloomsbury Publishing is looking for someone to translate Ivan Segre’s Le Manteau de Spinoza from French into English. The publisher has secured English-language rights to the book, and is ready to start straight away. If you are interested, or for more information, please contact Frankie Mace, Assistant Editor for Philosophy at Bloomsbury, at frankie.mace@bloomsbury.com

Ethica: Work without obstacles: video online

ETHICA. Work Without Obstacles.

A video presentation of ETHICA is now online in French and English on Vimeo at the following address :

in english  : https://vimeo.com/127819088
in french : https://vimeo.com/127819090

ETHICA is a web application for the Ethics, by Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)

Author : Patrick Fontana www.grenze.org

Scientific director: Lorenzo Vinciguerra (directeur du CRAE, EA 4291, UPJV, Amiens)

ETHICA, Work without obstacles, is an internet application which is a digital and augmented edition of a major philosophical book, the Ethics by Spinoza (1632-1677). This web application is free. It has been developed with freeware.

Using a digital application, ETHICA makes visible the structure of Spinoza’s text, thanks to a graphic that allows a dynamic visualisation of the work in 3D.

Using digital tools, ETHICA users can visualise the text, read it, explore it in a free, innovative and intuitive way, with the support of a digital archive that contains original video and audio commentaries by 100 philosophers from more than 40 universities around the world.

The user will be able to build her own reading patterns, record them and share them with other members of the network, thus contributing to the construction of an open community that is engaged in creating an active knowledge of our historical and philosophical past.

It is a broad-scope project, bridging the gap between artistic creation and international scientific research, hence the noticeable transdiscipinarity of the project.

Patrick Fontana, artist and the author of ETHICA, liaised with Professor Lorenzo Vinciguerra, the director of the Centre de Recherche en Arts et Esthétique (art and aesthetics research centre, CRAE, EA 4291, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens).

ETHICA by now brings together the Spinozist community: 40 universities, 20 nationalities with 12 languages, and 90 philosophers (we aim at 100).

ETHICA is produced by Patrick Fontana and TYGRYZ COMPAGNIE.

Spinoza and Proportion conference: last chance to register

Equalities of Wellbeing in Philosophy and Architecture

The Equalities of Wellbeing conference on Spinoza and Proportion is coming up next week (5-6 May) at the University of Aberdeen. The final programme, with all information, is available here:

Spinoza and Proportion programme FINAL

Registration is open until 5 May at this link: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/spinoza-and-proportion-conference-tickets-15501670915?aff=eac2

Contact: Beth Lord s.b.lord@abdn.ac.uk

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Spinoza and Proportion Conference – Speakers announced

Equalities of Wellbeing in Philosophy and Architecture

Spinoza and Proportion

A conference of the AHRC Equalities of Wellbeing project

5-6 May 2015, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

This conference will explore different aspects of proportion in Spinoza’s philosophy. We are delighted to announce our list of speakers. Programme and registration information will follow soon. Please follow the blog by email to receive updates.


Simon Duffy (Yale-NUS College, Singapore): “Proportion as a barometer of the affective life in Spinoza”

Helene Frichot (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm): Title TBA

Gokhan Kodalak (Cornell University): “Spinoza, affective architecture, and proportionate power”

Mike LeBuffe (University of Otago): “The place of body in Spinoza’s metaphysics” (by Skype)

Beth Lord (University of Aberdeen): “Spinoza’s ratios and relational autonomy”

Heidi Ravven (Hamilton College): “Ratio and activity: Spinoza’s biologizing of the mind in an Aristotelian key” (by Skype)

Peg Rawes (University College London): Title TBA

Anthony Uhlmann (University of Western Sydney): “‘The eyes of the mind’:…

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Spinoza’s Web: information sought

Message follows from Jeroen M. M. van de Ven. Please respond to him if interested: J.M.M.vandeVen@uu.nl

“I would like to call upon all Spinoza scholars to send me information of known copies of Spinoza’s work, 1663 up to 1796, preserved in libraries around the world and, more importantly, surviving copies kept in private collections.

This all will contribute to a new descriptive bibliography of Spinoza’s works I am preparing for the Dutch NWO-funded project ‘Spinoza’s Web’ (under supervision of Prof dr P.L.M. Steenbakkers).

Of course, I did a lot of research in locating copies in the greater libraries, but I am also interested in copies preserved in smaller libraries and institutions, museums or private collections.

All information will be dealt with confidentially. Should scholars, particularly bibliographers, be interested in cooperation and willing to provide with information on copies extant, they can send me an email at the following address:


For now, I would like to know in principle only:

  •  the complete text of the title page of a copy, its location and shelf number.

If interested, scholars are invited to act as contributors to the bibliography.


Dr Jeroen M. M. van de Ven
Postdoc researcher (NWO project ‘Spinoza’s Web’)
Utrecht University
Faculty of Humanities
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.”