Bij NDPR review van "Philosophy and Its History"


NDPR biedt heden een review door Gary Hatfield,
University of Pennsylvania, van

Mogens Lærke, Justin E. H. Smith, and Eric
Schliesser (eds.), Philosophy
and Its History: Aims and Methods in the Study of Early Modern Philosophy
Oxford University Press, 2013, 362pp., $35.00 (pbk), ISBN 9780199857166.

In twee hoofdstukken komt Spinoza uitvoerig aan de orde, zo blijkt ook uit dit review.  Over of n.a.v. die twee hoofdstukken had ik eerder de volgende blogs:

06-12-2013: Julie R. Klein over Spinoza's perspectivisme

14-09-2013: Yitzhak Melamed bestrijdt de "domesticatie van Spinoza"

De alinea uit het review over Melamed neem ik hier over:

"Melamed evaluates the practice of giving "charitable" interpretations of past philosophers so that they "got it right" by contemporary standards (265). Focusing on Spinoza, he examines recent "charitable" interpretations according to which Spinoza spawned the early "Radical Enlightenment" (265) by advocating the separation of church and state, religious toleration, racial and sexual equality, sexual emancipation, a universal right to knowledge, and democracy as the best form of government. Melamed argues that Spinoza didn't hold the views attributed to him, or, in the case of democracy, offered only a lukewarm endorsement. Turning the tables on charitable interpretation, he contends that Spinoza should be philosophically interesting for us today precisely because he offers strong arguments for views different from our own. Melamed endorses approaching past philosophers with the same critical attitude we apply to our contemporaries, while all the same allowing those philosophers to speak in their own voices, eschewing the tendency to make them more like us in order to make them seem better or more interesting. As he puts it, "precise historical reconstruction is a major prerequisite for using past philosophers in the most profitable manner philosophically" (274) (echoing a historiographical theme of recent decades).