books

New book: Affectivity and Philosophy after Spinoza and Nietzsche

Affectivity and Philosophy After Spinoza and Nietzsche, by Stuart Pethick, investigates a much neglected philosophical connection between two of the most controversial figures in the history of philosophy, Benedict Spinoza and Friedrich Nietzsche. It is claimed that these thinkers break with the classical image of philosophy as looking beyond affectivity for a knowledge of the world that can allow us to attain surety of judgement, virtue and happiness, and instead insist that the task of philosophy is not to judge what is right or wrong, but understand how it is that we come to make such judgements. As Spinoza famously remarks, we do not desire something because it is good; we rather call something good because we desire it. Philosophy for Spinoza and Nietzsche thus traces the affective genesis of our desires to help us compose our relations in the world in the most joyful manner possible.  The crucial orientating role of affective experience thus joins these two disparate thinkers in a single and rare task: to make knowledge the most powerful affect.

More information on the publishers website: http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137486059

New book engaging with Spinoza’s Hebrew Grammar

A new book has been published (in French) that engages substantially with Spinoza’s Compendium of Hebrew Grammar. A short English description follows. Further information from http://www.cnrseditions.fr/philosophie-et-histoire-des-idees/7252-hebreu-du-sacre-au-maternel.html

Hebrew – From Sacred to Mother Tongue

by Keren Mock

Prefaces by Julia Kristeva and Pierre-Marc de Biasi

How is a new mother tongue formed? What are the materials and the circumstances that permit the appearance of a “new” mother tongue? According to what process does an ancient language appear and “modernize” in order to be adopted and practiced by its speakers? An everyday language whose basis is spiritual, cultural and religious, Hebrew allows one to assess the genesis of a contemporary mother tongue. Proceeding with an archeological search which leads us from the present to the most ancient strata, the author dialogs with two of the greatest Israeli writers, Aharon Appelfeld and Sami Michael, enters into the lexicographic “factory” of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, and returns to the philosophical foundations of secular Hebrew by means of a new reading of Baruch Spinoza’s Compendium of Hebrew Grammar.

“Rarely has a work been produced with such skill and originality over such vast fields, and, by means of an interdisciplinary approach, responded to political and ethical challenges which are as current as they are essential.” Julia Kristeva

“From psychoanalysis to semiotics, from intertextuality to the history of ideas, from genetic criticism to philosophy texts, this text prompts us to a happy and generous effective transdisciplinarity as to a veritable intellectual feast.” Pierre-Marc de Biasi