David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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European Journal of Philosophy 20 (1):91-108 (2012)
One of the aims of Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus is to vindicate the view that philosophy and theology are separate forms of enquiry, neither of which has any authority over the other. However, many commentators have objected that this aspect of his project fails. Despite his protestations to the contrary, Spinoza implicitly gives epistemological precedence to philosophy. I argue that this objection misunderstands the nature of Spinoza's position and wrongly charges him with inconsistency. To show how he can coherently allow both that theology and philosophy employ independent epistemological standards, and that philosophy is epistemologically superior to theology, we need to step back from the immediate disputes to which the Tractatus is a response and examine a Ciceronian distinction on which Spinoza indirectly draws. As well as enabling us to vindicate Spinoza's position, it places his alleged naturalism in a new light and portrays philosophizing as a form of piety
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References found in this work BETA
Stuart Hampshire (2005). Spinoza and Spinozism. Clarendon Press.
Jonathan I. Israel (2001). Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650-1750. Oxford University Press.
W. N. A. Klever (1991). A New Source of Spinozism: Franciscus Van den Enden. Journal of the History of Philosophy 29 (4):613-631.
Stephen Philip Menn (1998). Descartes and Augustine. Cambridge University Press.
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