Spinoza als dichterlijk filosoof

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Op mijn zwertochten door het wereldwijde web kom ik soms verrassende dingen tegen. Vandaag stuitte ik op een boek waarin Spinoza in zijn filosofie poëtisch wordt genoemd. Dat inzicht was ik nog niet eerder tegen het lijf gelopen – om het eens lekker onspinozistisch uit te drukken.

De esthetisch filosoof George Lansing Raymond (1839 – 1929) noemt in zijn boek The representative significance of form; an essay in comparative aesthetics (1900), één keer Spinoza:

"Imagination is a forerunner of investigation; and investigation furnishes an impetus to imagination. For this reason a great thinker, whether a poet or a philosopher, although he will incline to the one method or to the other, according to the bent of his genius, must not be wholly deficient in the qualities that go to make up either. Nor, so far as education can atone for deficiency, will his education be complete until he has cultivated the powers that go to make up both. Goethe was a student of science; and his poetry owes much to his scientific studies. Dante and Milton were scientific in their poetry, and Plato and Spinoza were poetic in their philosophies.

As Sir Wm. Hamilton says, in the thirty-third of his "Lectures on Metaphysics”: "A vigorous power of representation is as indispensable a condition of success in the abstract sciences as in the poetical and plastic arts; and it may accordingly be reasonably doubted whether Aristotle or Homer were possessed of the more powerful imagination."

Volume 2 of 7 The System of COMPARATIVE AESTHETICS, G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS, NEW YORK AND LONDON, The Nickerbocker Press, 1900, p. 154 – als pdf te downloaden