De Spinozareceptie zit vol interpretatieconflicten – ook op dit webblog

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Sinds de laatste botsing met en het vertrek van dit
blog door Henk Keizer, houden de moeilijkheden en verschillen van interpretaties
mij de laatste dagen zeer bezig (momenteel loopt er weer zo’n fundamenteel interpretatieverschil
met Adèle Meijer op
dit blog). Zo stuitte ik op


Christopher Norris, Spinoza and the Origins of Modern Critical Theory. Wiley-Blackwell,
1991 [november 1990] – 330 pagina's. Ik heb en ken het boek niet, maar zag
enige reviews – en het volgende:


Alex Houen, begint zijn hoofdstuk “'Various
Infinitudes': Narration, Embodiment and Ontlogogy in Beckett's How It Is and Spinoza's Ethics,”
1) aldus


In Spinoza
and the Origins of Modern Critical Theory
(1990), Christopher Norris
declares Spinoza to be the thinker who 'more than anyone saw the need to
maintain a clear-cut distinction between knowledge arrived at through
experience, sensory acquaintance, and phenomenal intuition', and 'knowledge as
established (or produced in thought) through a form of immanent structural
critique'. All the most significant developments and debates within modern
critical theory have their origin in Spinoza's writings accordingly, Norris
argues – whether the critics know it or not – for only by making these
distinctions can we conceive of critical thought as producing what Spinoza
calls 'adequate knowledge', one which, à
la
Althusser, is unattainable from within the realm of 'ideology, lived
experience or the discourses of socially legitimized truth' (p. 164). And this,
he asserts, is the 'single most contentious issue in present-day literary
critical debate' (ibid.).
These separations, as far as Norris is concerned, are manifest in Spinoza's ‘scientia intuitiva', the third and
highest form of knowledge, which is defined in Part 5 of the Ethics as the thinking of the body
'under a form of eternity' (sub specie
aeternitatis
). Yet Spinoza denies any possibility of transcendence at many
points in the text, declaring at the end that this third kind of knowledge
means viewing eternity as determined and known only in particular things: 'the
more we understand particular things the more we understand God'. For this
reason, Deleuze and Guattari, in What is
Philosophy
? (1991), pose Spinoza as the 'Christ' of philosophers because he
'drew up the "best" plane of immanence" in thinking an incarnation
of infinitude.”


Deze Christopher Norris schreef twintig jaar
later het eerste hoofdstuk, “Spinoza and the Conflict of Interpretations,” in
Dimitris Vardoulakis (Ed.) Spinoza Now
[Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2011]. Daar op dit Spinoz-blog, de enige plek in
Nederland waar over Spinoza gediscussieerd kan worden, ook voortdurend
conflicterende interpretaties zichtbaar zijn, ben ik zo vrij hier enige pagina’s
uit dit hoodstuk over te nemen (de verwijzingen naar de eindnoten laat ik
staan, maar voor de inzage ervan verwijs ik naar het boek.