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Victor Nuovo on Spinoza: The Passions

Posted on September 29, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a series of essays on Dutch philosopher Benedict Spinoza.

I begin with a reminder of some themes from the previous essays. According to Spinoza, Nature is the only thing that can rightfully be said to exist, because it depends on no other thing but itself, whereas whatever else there is depends on it and inheres in it. It is the only substance; all other things are modes or finite modifications of it, just as a simple tune or a symphony are modes of music, not the thing itself.

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Victor Nuovo: Spinoza: Our place in nature

Posted on September 22, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series of essays on Dutch philosopher Benedict Spinoza.

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Nuovo on Spinoza: Examining the powers & limits of God and Nature

Posted on September 15, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of essays on Dutch philosopher Benedict Spinoza.

During his lifetime, Spinoza was vilified as an atheist. A century and a half later, he was celebrated as someone whose thought is the supreme expression of theism, as a “God intoxicated” thinker. Which is true?

To begin with, we should note that Spinoza equated God and Nature. In doing this, was it his intention to exalt Nature or to diminish God?

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Nuovo on Spinoza: In search of an idea

Posted on September 8, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of essays on Dutch philosopher Benedict Spinoza.

The ancient Greeks and Romans recognized three divisions of human enquiry: logic, physics and ethics. When constructing his philosophical system, Spinoza followed this traditional scheme, and I shall do the same in explaining it.

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Victor Nuovo: Spinoza borrows from Aristotle's universe

Posted on September 1, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



In the previous essay, we left Spinoza in search of an idea upon which he could found his philosophical system. As he set out on his way, he looked back to Aristotle in order to orient his thinking.

This is curious, because uppermost in the program of the scientific revolution of the 17th century, which Spinoza approved of and to which he contributed, is the repudiation of Aristotle (384–322 bce). His theory of nature and of the universe, which I will try briefly to describe later in this essay, was judged to be profoundly mistaken and it was generally repudiated.

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Victor Nuovo: Spinoza: Of empiricists and rationalists

Posted on August 25, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Another important fact about Spinoza’s intellectual character is that he was a rationalist. I begin, then, by explaining what this means and how being a rationalist differs from being an empiricist. For it is commonly supposed that empiricism and rationalism are the two poles of modern philosophy. What’s the difference?

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Victor Nuovo: Spinoza: the first secular Jewish intellectual

Posted on August 18, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of essays about the Dutch philosopher Benedict Spinoza.

Historians have long observed that the Netherlands has played a leading role in the Renaissance, the great revival of learning and intellectual life in Europe after the Middle Ages. Two eminent role players are Erasmus and Spinoza.

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Opinion: House governor candidates have proven their worth

Posted on July 18, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



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Victor Nuovo: Lucretius: 'Where shall wisdom be found?'

Posted on June 9, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



Editor’s note: This is the 16th and final in a series of essays on Lucretius, an early philosopher who provides a link to “lost classics” through his epic poem “On the Nature of Things.”

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Victor Nuovo: Lucretius and the Meaning of it All

Posted on June 2, 2016 |
By Victor Nuovo



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Editor’s note: This is the 15th in a series of essays on Lucretius, an early philosopher who provides a link to “lost classics” through his epic poem “On the Nature of Things.”

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