Excommunication and the philosophy of Spinoza

Inquiry 23 (3):327 – 348 (1980)
Abstract
This paper is an attempt to probe the connection between Spinoza's philosophy and his excommunication from the Synagogue in 1656. It seeks, first, to show the decisive influence of the 1656 excommunication on Spinoza's life and thought, and to demonstrate that this event is the single most important key to understanding his entire philosophy. With this key, the paper seeks, secondly, to illustrate the development and transformation of Spinoza's thought through specific reference to his three major works, Korte Verhandeling, De Emendatione, and Ethica. Underlying these two points is a third, namely, that the inherently dynamic and positive elements of ?experience?, which have not been fully appreciated thus far, should be given greater attention in the evaluation of Spinoza's philosophy
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