Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 October 2021
A historical investigation into Spinozism teaches us at least as much about the interpreters of Spinoza as it does about Spinoza’s thought itself. More than any other philosophy, Spinoza’s has been held up like a mirror to the great currents of thought, providing a particular perspective on them: one can see reflected and revealed in the mirror of Spinozism the inner and outer conflicts and contradictions of Calvinism, Cartesianism, freethinking and libertinism, the Enlightenment, materialism, the Pantheismusstreit, German Idealism, French spiritualism, Marxism, British Idealism, structuralism, and other movements. This chapter provides a condensed overview of the European reception of Spinoza from the seventeenth century until today, in both minor and major thinkers.
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