This title was first published in 2002. This collection of essays aims to present a wide range of interpretations of central themes in Spinoza's philosophy. Philosophical interpretations of Spinoza divide into three general categories. The first sets Spinoza within what is taken to be his historical context. Special emphasis is laid here on aspects of his teaching that seem to bear the influence of Spinoza's own education (and self-education), either through concepts assimilated into his own thinking, or those he undertook to refute and displace. A second interpretative approach uses analytical tools in an attempt to reconstruct Spinozistic issues and theories critically. Finally, there are philosophers who explore Spinoza's texts in their own terms, attempting to present a coherent picture of one or more aspects of Spinoza's teaching. Given the broad span of issues with which Spinoza deals, the latter is often the most difficult track to follow. The 25 articles in this collection exemplify these three attitudes to Spinoza interpretation, though most avail themselves of more than one. In making the selection the editors preferred studies that treat their subject as a viable, endurable philosophical issue, whether the writer accepts Spinoza's presentation or highlights his difficulties. On each issue the articles critically analyze the texts, rather than simply portraying the Spinozistic ideas they express.
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