Spinoza and the Politics of Freedom

Taylor, Dan (2021). Spinoza and the Politics of Freedom. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

URL: https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-spinoza-...


Reconceives human freedom in Spinoza as intrinsically social and politically committed.

Combining careful historical and textual analysis with comparisons across past and present political theory, this book re-establishes Spinoza as a collectivist philosopher.

Taking as its starting point the formative role of fear in Spinoza?s thought, Dan Taylor argues that Spinoza?s vision of human freedom and power is realised socially and collectively. He offers a new critical study of the collectivist Spinoza, where we can become freer through desire, friendship, the imagination and transforming the social institutions that structure a given community. A freedom for one and all, attuned to the vicissitudes of human life and the capabilities of each one of us to live up to the demands and constraints of our limited autonomy.

This book develops and enriches the continental tradition of Spinozism, drawing on a range of untranslated materials and bringing a fresh perspective to key debates. It repositions Spinoza as the central thinker of desire and freedom and demonstrates how the conflicts within his work inform contemporary theoretical discussions around democracy, the multitude, populism and power.

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