De "post-Spinozist outlook" van Diderot en Lessing

Voor wat ze met “post-Spinozist outlook” of “post-Spinozist climate” bedoelt verwijs ik naar haar inleiding in

Louise Crowther, Diderot and Lessing as Exemplars of a Post-Spinozist Mentality. MHRA [vol. 78 in the MHRA Texts & Dissertations series], 2010

Renowned as the chief challenger of traditional views of morality, man's freedom, and religion from 1650-1750, Benedict de Spinoza (1632-77) spread alarm and confusion throughout Europe through his writings. Theologians and rulers desperately sought to ban the spread of Spinozist ideas, and, in the post-Spinozist climate, eighteenth-century thinkers, often exasperated and perplexed, attempted to cope with the fallout from this intellectual explosion. The philosophical radicalism of Denis Diderot (1713-84), a French philosophe, and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-81), a German philosopher, well exemplifies the post-Spinozist mentality that permeated eighteenth-century thinking. As they grapple with the loss of intellectual, moral, and theological certainties, Diderot and Lessing re-work post-Spinozist ideas and in many instances elucidate even more radical ideas than Spinoza himself had envisaged.


Uit die inleiding die bij books-google in z’n geheel te lezen is en waarin ze een overzicht geeft van eerdere studies over Diderot en Lessing en hun kennis van en houding t.o.v. Spinzoa, o.a. van Jonathan Israel, citeer ik de slotalinea:

Whilst commentators have explored the impact of Spinoza on Diderot and Lessing to a degree, there are considerable areas that have not been investigated in detail, and it is these omissions which, in part, this book seeks to redress. Furthermore, the present study seeks to break new ground in combining an investigation of Spinoza's impact on Diderot with an investigation of his impact on Lessing to show just how these two enlightenment thinkers relate to each other in terms of their post-Spinozist mentality. Until now, examinations of Spinoza's impact on Diderot and Lessing have been carried out separately, with no comparative element. This study will therefore provide a new insight into their thinking and relationship and demonstrate their similar outlooks. Furthermore, many critics have placed the emphasis on Diderot's and Lessing's philosophical essays when considering their post-Spinozist mentality. In focusing not only on their philosophical but also on their literary works, this book aims to provide a comprehensive interpretation of Diderot's and Lessing's texts which is more thorough than previous ones and which will, therefore, open up fresh insights into their thinking, whilst showing that their post-Spinozist outlook pervades the works of their entire writing careers. In summary, it will highlight the fact that their radical thinking was inextricably influenced by the post-Spinozist climate in a way which has not been emphasized before.

Zie verder nog een citaat uit de inleiding over  het boek van Toshimasa Yasukata, Lessing's Philosophy Of Religion And The German Enlightenment. Lessing on Christianity and Reason. in het volgende blog dat over dat boek gaat.