De "post-Spinozist outlook" van Diderot en Lessing


Voor wat ze met “post-Spinozist outlook” of “post-Spinozist
climate” bedoelt verwijs ik naar haar inleiding in

Louise Crowther, Diderot
and Lessing as Exemplars of a Post-Spinozist Mentality
MHRA [vol.
78 in the MHRA Texts & Dissertations series]
, 2010

Renowned as the chief challenger
of traditional views of morality, man's freedom, and religion from 1650-1750,
Benedict de Spinoza (1632-77) spread alarm and confusion throughout Europe
through his writings. Theologians and rulers desperately sought to ban the
spread of Spinozist ideas, and, in the post-Spinozist climate,
eighteenth-century thinkers, often exasperated and perplexed, attempted to cope
with the fallout from this intellectual explosion. The philosophical radicalism
of Denis Diderot (1713-84), a French philosophe, and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
(1729-81), a German philosopher, well exemplifies the post-Spinozist mentality
that permeated eighteenth-century thinking. As they grapple with the loss of
intellectual, moral, and theological certainties, Diderot and Lessing re-work post-Spinozist
ideas and in many instances elucidate even more radical ideas than Spinoza
himself had envisaged.