Beth Lord's korte typering van de lotgevallen van de TTP

In: British Journal for the History of Philosophy [20:3 (2012), p. 636-639] verscheen een recensie door Beth Lord van Yitzhak Y. Melamed and Michael A. Rosenthal (eds): Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise: A Critical Guide [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 294]. Ik citeerde er in dit blog uit. Ze begon haar recensie met een paar opmerkingen over de lotgevallen van TTP die ik wel aardig vind om hier apart te citeren:

 Baruch Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise (Tractatus Theologico- politicus or TTP) is a text known better for the history of its reception than for the ideas it promotes. One of only two books Spinoza published in his lifetime, it was immediately banned upon its publication in 1670, and continued to be censored, vilified and refuted — and also secretly read and admired — for over a hundred years afterwards. In the second half of the twentieth century, the text enjoyed a resurgence as it was taken up by French and American political philosophers and put to use in defending both Marxist and liberal positions. Recently, the TTP seems to have surpassed the Ethics as the main source for scholars seeking unexplored connections in Spinoza's thought. But beyond a small circle of readers, the TTP remains better known for its reputation than for its arguments, as it has been for 300 years.

This is a shame, because the arguments of the TTP are not only fascinating and original, but were a major contribution to Enlightenment thinking about religion, politics and the state. The TTP should sit alongside Hobbes' Leviathan and Locke’s Treatise of Government as a standard text on university political philosophy courses; its arguments against miracles and clerical power, and in favour of toleration and the freedom to philosophize, should be ranked with those of Hume and Kant. Unlike the Ethics, which requires serious grappling with Spinoza's most counterintuitive metaphysical ideas and the difficulties of the geometrical method, the TTP largely avoids ontological and epistemological matters and is written in straightforward, polemical prose. Its careful examination of Biblical, historical and theological sources gives way to a daring criticism — on a par with those offered later by Nietzsche and Foucault — of the power structure and culture of society.

Daarna volgde haar bespreking van het boek van het boek van Melamed & Rosenthal.