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This chapter considers the question of how informed philosophical readers of Spinoza actually did understand him by examining one particular case, namely G. W. Leibniz. It first considers in some detail the historical and biographical context of Leibniz's reception of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (TTP). Next, the chapter turns to a discussion of how Leibniz situated Spinoza and the TTP in the intellectual landscape of the time. It then examines how Leibniz interpreted Spinoza's position in relation to the sect called Socinianism, in relation to the rationalistic biblical exegesis developed by Lodewijk Meyer and, finally, in relation to Thomas Hobbes's theory of natural right. The objective of these analyses is only to see just how discerning a reader of Spinoza Leibniz was, that is, to determine the extent to which he recognized the originality of Spinoza's position.
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