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Profile: Yitzhak Melamed (Johns Hopkins University)
  1. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2010). Acosmism or Weak Individuals?: Hegel, Spinoza, and the Reality of the Finite. Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (1):pp. 77-92.
    Like many of his contemporaries, Hegel considered Spinoza a modern reviver of ancient Eleatic monism, in whose system “all determinate content is swallowed up as radically null and void”. This characterization of Spinoza as denying the reality of the world of finite things had a lasting influence on the perception of Spinoza in the two centuries that followed. In this article, I take these claims of Hegel to task and evaluate their validity. Although Hegel’s official argument for the unreality of (...)
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  2.  78
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2009). Spinoza's Metaphysics of Substance: The Substance-Mode Relation as a Relation of Inherence and Predication. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1):17-82.
  3.  15
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (forthcoming). The Causes of Our Belief in Free Will: Spinoza on Necessary, ‘Innate,’ yet False Cognition. In Spinoza’s Ethics: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press
    This chapter will discuss Spinoza’s critique of free will, though our brief study of this topic in the first part of the chapter will aim primarily at preparing us to address the main topic of the chapter, which is Spinoza’s explanation of the reasons which force us to believe in free will. At times, Spinoza seems to come very close to asserting the paradoxical claim that we are not free to avoid belief in free will. In the second part of (...)
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  4. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2012). “Omnis Determinatio Est Negatio” – Determination, Negation and Self-Negation in Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel. In Eckart Forster & Yitzhak Y. Melamed (eds.), Spinoza and German Idealism. Cambridge University Press
    Spinoza ’s letter of June 2, 1674 to his friend Jarig Jelles addresses several distinct and important issues in Spinoza ’s philosophy. It explains briefly the core of Spinoza ’s disagreement with Hobbes’ political theory, develops his innovative understanding of numbers, and elaborates on Spinoza ’s refusal to describe God as one or single. Then, toward the end of the letter, Spinoza writes: With regard to the statement that figure is a negation and not anything positive, it is obvious that (...)
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  5. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2013). Spinoza's Metaphysics of Thought: Parallelisms and the Multifaceted Structure of Ideas. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):636-683.
    In this paper, I suggest an outline of a new interpretation of core issues in Spinoza’s metaphysics and philosophy of mind. I argue for three major theses. (1) In the first part of the paper I show that the celebrated Spinozistic doctrine commonly termed “the doctrine of parallelism” is in fact a confusion of two separate and independent doctrines of parallelism. Hence, I argue that our current understanding of Spinoza’s metaphysics and philosophy of mind is fundamentally flawed. (2) The clarification (...)
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  6. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2010). Spinoza's Anti-Humanism. In Smith Justin & Fraenkel Carlos (eds.), The Rationalists. Springer/Synthese
    A common perception of Spinoza casts him as one of the precursors, perhaps even founders, of modern humanism and Enlightenment thought. Given that in the twentieth century, humanism was commonly associated with the ideology of secularism and the politics of liberal democracies, and that Spinoza has been taken as voicing a “message of secularity” and as having provided “the psychology and ethics of a democratic soul” and “the decisive impulse to… modern republicanism which takes it bearings by the dignity of (...)
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  7.  16
    Yitzhak Melamed (forthcoming). Eternity in Early Modern Philosophy. In Yitzhak Y. Melamed (ed.), Eternity: A History. Oxford Unuversity Press 129-167.
    Modernity seemed to be the autumn of eternity. The secularization of European culture provided little sustenance to the concept of eternity with its heavy theological baggage. Yet, our hero would not leave the stage without an outstanding performance of its power and temptation. Indeed, in the first three centuries of the modern period – the subject of the third chapter by Yitzhak Melamed - the concept of eternity will play a crucial role in the great philosophical systems of the period. (...)
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  8. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2013). Spinoza's Metaphysics: Substance and Thought. Oxford University Press.
    This book is comprised of two parts. The first four chapters concentrate on the metaphysics of substance, while the last two address Spinoza’s metaphysics of thought. These two parts are closely connected, and several crucial claims in the last two chapters rely on arguments advanced in the first four. I intentionally use the term ‘metaphysics of thought’ rather than ‘philosophy of mind’ for two main reasons. First, the domain of thought in Spinoza is far more extensive than anything associated with (...)
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  9. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2013). Spinoza's Metaphysics: Substance and Thought. Oxford University Press Usa.
    Yitzhak Melamed here offers a new and systematic interpretation of the core of Spinoza's metaphysics. In the first part of the book, he proposes a new reading of the metaphysics of substance in Spinoza: he argues that for Spinoza modes both inhere in and are predicated of God. Using extensive textual evidence, he shows that Spinoza considered modes to be God's propria. He goes on to clarify Spinoza's understanding of infinity, mereological relations, infinite modes, and the flow of finite things (...)
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  10. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2012). “’Christus Secundum Spiritum’: Spinoza, Jesus, and the Infinite Intellect”. In Neta Stahl (ed.), The Jewish Jesus. Routledge
  11. Yitzhak Melamed (forthcoming). Spinoza's Amor Dei Intellectualis. In Noa Naaman (ed.), Descartes and Spinoza on the Passions. Cambridge University Press
    The notion of divine love was essential to medieval Christian conceptions of God. Jewish thinkers, though, had a much more ambivalent attitude about this issue. While Maimonides was reluctant to ascribe love, or any other affect, to God, Gersonides and Crescas celebrated God’s love. Though Spinoza is clearly sympathetic to Maimonides’ rejection of divine love as anthropomorphism, he attributes love to God nevertheless, unfolding his notion of amor Dei intellectualis at the conclusion of his Ethics. But is this a legitimate (...)
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  12.  22
    Eckart Förster & Yitzhak Y. Melamed (eds.) (2012). Spinoza and German Idealism. Cambridge University Press.
    Machine generated contents note: 1. Rationality, idealism, monism, and beyond Michael Della Rocca; 2. Kant's idea of the unconditioned and Spinoza's the fourth antinomy and the ideal of pure reason Omri Boehm; 3. The question is whether a purely apparent person is possible Karl Ameriks; 4. Herder and Spinoza Michael Forster; 5. Goethe's Spinozism Eckart Förster; 6. Fichte on freedom: the Spinozistic background Allen Wood; 7. Fichte on the consciousness of Spinoza's God Johannes Haag; 8. Spinoza in Schelling's early conception (...)
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  13. Yitzhak Melamed & Martin Lin, Principle of Sufficient Reason. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The Principle of Sufficient Reason is a powerful and controversial philosophical principle stipulating that everything must have a reason or cause. This simple demand for thoroughgoing intelligibility yields some of the boldest and most challenging theses in the history of metaphysics and epistemology. In this entry we begin with explaining the Principle, and then turn to the history of the debates around it. A section on recent discussions of the Principle will be added in the near future.
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  14.  59
    Yitzhak Melamed (2013). Symposium on Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Spinoza’s Metaphysics,. Leibniz Review 23:207-222.
  15. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2013). Charitable Interpretations and the Political Domestication of Spinoza, or, Benedict in the Land of the Secular Imagination. In Mogens Laerke Eric Schilsser (ed.), The Methodology of the History of Philosophy. Oxford University Press
    In a beautiful recent essay, the philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong explains the reasons for his departure from evangelical Christianity, the religious culture in which he was brought up. Sinnot-Armstrong contrasts the interpretive methods used by good philosophers and fundamentalist believers: Good philosophers face objections and uncertainties. They follow where arguments lead, even when their conclusions are surprising and disturbing. Intellectual honesty is also required of scholars who interpret philosophical texts. If I had distorted Kant’s view to make him reach a conclusion (...)
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  16.  91
    Yitzhak Melamed (2014). Hasdai Crescas and Spinoza on Actual Infinity and the Infinity of God’s Attributes. In Steven Nadler (ed.), Spinoza and Jewish Philosophy. Cambridge University Press 204-215.
    The seventeenth century was an important period in the conceptual development of the notion of the infinite. In 1643, Evangelista Torricelli (1608-1647)—Galileo’s successor in the chair of mathematics in Florence—communicated his proof of a solid of infinite length but finite volume. Many of the leading metaphysicians of the time, notably Spinoza and Leibniz, came out in defense of actual infinity, rejecting the Aristotelian ban on it, which had been almost universally accepted for two millennia. Though it would be another two (...)
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  17. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2012). Spinoza's Deification of Existence. Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 6:75-104.
    The aim of this paper is to clarify Spinoza’s views on some of the most fundamental issues of his metaphysics: the nature of God’s attributes, the nature of existence and eternity, and the relation between essence and existence in God. While there is an extensive literature on each of these topics, it seems that the following question was hardly raised so far: What is, for Spinoza, the relation between God’s existence and the divine attributes? Given Spinoza’s claims that there are (...)
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  18. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (forthcoming). The Building Blocks of Spinoza’s Metaphysics: Substance, Attributes and Modes. In Michael Della Rocca (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Spinoza. Oxford University Press
  19.  6
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2016). Divine Teaching and the Way of the World: A Defense of Revealed Religion. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 125 (1):151-154.
  20. Yitzhak Melamed (2012). The Sirens of Elea: Rationalism, Monism and Idealism in Spinoza. In Antonia Lolordo & Duncan Stewart (eds.), Debates in Early Modern Philosophy. Blackwell
    The main thesis of Michael Della Rocca’s outstanding Spinoza book (Della Rocca 2008a) is that at the very center of Spinoza’s philosophy stands the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR): the stipulation that everything must be explainable or, in other words, the rejection of any brute facts. Della Rocca rightly ascribes to Spinoza a strong version of the PSR. It is not only that the actual existence and features of all things must be explicable, but even the inexistence – as well (...)
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  21.  20
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2012). Spinoza on Inherence, Causation, and Conception. Journal of the History of Philosophy 50 (3):365-386.
    Spinoza’s philosophy is bold and rich in challenges to our “common-sense intuitions”, and insofar as it provides powerful arguments to motivate these challenges, I believe that we cannot ask for more. Bold and well-argued philosophy has the indispensable virtue of being able to unsettle and try us, to move us to reconsider what seems natural and obvious, and possibly even to change our most basic beliefs. Indeed, for those who seek to test – rather than confirm - their old and (...)
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  22.  7
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (forthcoming). Descartes' Method. In Larry Nolan (ed.), Cambridge Descartes Lexicon. Cambride University Press
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  23. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2013). “ ’Scientia Intuitiva’: Spinoza’s Third Kind of Cognition”. In Johannes Haag (ed.), Übergänge - diskursiv oder intuitiv? Essays zu Eckart Förster die 25 Jahre der Philosophie. Klostermann 99-116.
    I am not going to solve in this paper the plethora of problems and riddles surrounding Spinoza’s scientia intuitiva, but I do hope to break some new ground and help make this key doctrine more readily understandable. I will proceed in the following order (keep in mind the word ‘proceed’). I will first provide a close preliminary analysis of the content and development of Spinoza’s discussion of scientia intuitiva in the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect and the Ethics. (...)
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  24. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2013). “Spinoza’s Respublica Divina:” in Otfried Höffe (Ed.), Baruch de Spinozas Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (Berlin: Akademie Verlag (Klassiker Aulegen), Forthcoming). In Otfried Höffe (ed.), Baruch de Spinozas Tractatus theologico-politicus. Akademie Verlag (Klassiker Aulegen) 177-192.
    Chapters 17 and 18 of the TTP constitute a textual unit in which Spinoza submits the case of the ancient Hebrew state to close examination. This is not the work of a historian, at least not in any sense that we, twenty-first century readers, would recognize as such. Many of Spinoza’s claims in these chapters are highly speculative, and seem to be poorly backed by historical evidence. Other claims are broad-brush, ahistorical generalizations: for example, in a marginal note, Spinoza refers (...)
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  25. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2011). Why Spinoza is Not an Eleatic Monist (Or Why Diversity Exists). In Philip Goff (ed.), Spinoza on Monism. Palgrave
    “Why did God create the World?” is one of the traditional questions of theology. In the twentieth century this question was rephrased in a secularized manner as “Why is there something rather than nothing?” While creation - at least in its traditional, temporal, sense - has little place in Spinoza’s system, a variant of the same questions puts Spinoza’s system under significant pressure. According to Spinoza, God, or the substance, has infinitely many modes. This infinity of modes follow from the (...)
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  26. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2012). Review of Michah Gottlieb, Faith and Freedom: Moses Mendelssohn's Theological-Political Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. [REVIEW] Journal of Religion.
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  27.  87
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2014). „ “What is Time?”. In Aaron Garrett (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Eighteenth Century Philosophy. Routledge 232-244.
    Time is one of the most enigmatic notions philosophers have ever dealt with. Once subjected to close examination, almost any feature usually ascribed to time, leads to a plethora of fundamental and hard to resolve questions. Just as philosophers of the eighteenth-century attempted to take account of revolutionary developments in the physical sciences in understanding space, life, and a host of other fundamental aspects of nature (see Jones, Gaukroger, and Smith in this volume) they also engaged in fundamental and fruitful (...)
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  28. Yitzhak Melamed (2009). Review of Yirmiyahu Yovel, The Other Within: The Marranos: Split Identity and Emerging Modernity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009). [REVIEW] Journal of Modern History 82.
  29. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2012). Review of Susan James, Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion, and Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  30. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2012). Inherence, Causation, and Conceivability in Spinoza. Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    In this paper I suggest a new interpretation of the relations of inherence, causation and conception in Spinoza. I discuss the views of Don Garrett on this issue and argue against Della Rocca's recent suggestion that a strict endorsement of the PSR leads necessarily to the identification of the relations of inherence, causation and conception. I argue that Spinoza never endorsed this identity, and that Della Rocca's suggestion could not be considered as a legitimate reconstruction or friendly amendment to Spinoza (...)
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  31. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2010). The Metaphysics of the Theological-Political Treatise. In Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Michael A. Rosenthal (eds.), Spinoza's 'Theological-Political Treatise': A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press
  32.  10
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2005). Causa Sive Ratio. Leibniz Society Review 15:163-168.
  33.  55
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2004). Salomon Maimon and the Rise of Spinozism in German Idealism. Journal of the History of Philosophy 42 (1):67-96.
    : In this paper I explore one issue in the history of German Idealism which has been widely neglected in the existing literature. I argue that Salomon Maimon was the first to suggest that Spinoza's pantheism was a radical religious (or 'acosmistic') view rather than atheism. Following a discussion of the historical context of Maimon's engagement with Spinoza, I point out the main Spinozistic element of Maimon 's philosophy: the view of God as the material cause of the world, or (...)
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  34. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2007). Radical Protestantism in Spinoza's Thought. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (2):333-334.
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed - Radical Protestantism in Spinoza's Thought - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45:2 Journal of the History of Philosophy 45.2 333-334 Muse Search Journals This Journal Contents Reviewed by Yitzhak Y. Melamed University of Chicago Graeme Hunter. Radical Protestantism in Spinoza's Thought. Aldershot, UK–Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2005. Pp. vii + 196. Cloth, $89.95. If this book's announced and modest aim—"to present the Christian dimension of Spinoza's thought positively and directly" —were all the author meant to achieve, (...)
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  35.  59
    Yitzhak Melamed (2015). A Glimpse Into Spinoza’s Metaphysical Laboratory: The Development of Spinoza’s Concepts of Substance and Attribute. In Yitzhak Y. Melamed (ed.), The Young Spinoza. Oxford University Press 272-286.
    At the opening of Spinoza’s Ethics, we find the three celebrated definitions of substance, attribute, and God: E1d3: By substance I understand what is in itself and is conceived through itself, i.e., that whose concept does not require the concept of another thing, from which it must be formed [Per substantiam intelligo id quod in se est et per se concipitur; hoc est id cujus conceptus non indiget conceptu alterius rei, a quo formari debeat]. E1d4: By attribute I understand what (...)
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  36. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2006). Inherence and the Immanent Cause in Spinoza. Leibniz Review 16:43-52.
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  37.  86
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2010). The Metaphysics of Spinoza's Theological Political Treatise. In Yitzhak Melamed (ed.), Spinoza's Theological Political Treatise: A Critical Guide. Cambridge
  38.  20
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2011). Spinoza's Anti-Humanism: An Outline. In Smith Justin & Fraenkel Carlos (eds.), The Rationalists. Springer/Synthese 147--166.
  39.  30
    Yitzhak Melamed (forthcoming). Gersonides and Spinoza on God’s Knowledge of Universals and Particulars. In Gad Freudenthal, David Wirmer & Ofer Elior (eds.), Gersonides Through the Ages.
  40.  83
    Yitzhak Melamed (2014). “Spinoza, Tschirnhaus Et Leibniz: Qu’Est Un Monde?“. In Raphaële Andrault Pierre-François Moreau (ed.), Spinoza/Leibniz. Rencontres, controverses, réceptions. Presses Universitaires de Paris 85-95.
  41.  38
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Michael A. Rosenthal (eds.) (2010). Spinoza's 'Theological-Political Treatise': A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
    Machine generated contents note: List of contributors; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction Yitzhak Y. Melamed and Michael Rosenthal; Spinoza's exchange with Albert Burgh Edwin Curley; The text of Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus Piet Steenbakkers; Spinoza on Ibn Ezra's Secret of the Twelve Warren Zev Harvey; Reflections of the medieval Jewish-Christian debate in the Theological-Political Treatise and the Epistles Daniel J. Lasker; The early Dutch and German reaction to the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus: foreshadowing the Enlightenment's more general Spinoza reception? Jonathan Israel; G. W. (...)
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  42.  64
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2005). Causa Sive Ratio. [REVIEW] The Leibniz Review 15:163-168.
  43.  5
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2011). From Bondage to Freedom. [REVIEW] Leibniz Society Review 21:153-159.
  44.  15
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (forthcoming). Idolatry and its Premature Rabbinic Obituary. In Aaron Segal & Daniel Frank (eds.), Debates in Jewish Philosophy - Past and Present. Routledge
    The current paper aims at merely charting a brief outline of Jewish philosophical attitudes toward idolatry. In its first part, I discuss some chief trends in Rabbinic approach toward idolatry. In the second part, I examine the role of idolatry in the philosophy of religion of Moses Maimonides and Benedict de Spinoza, two towering figures of medieval and early modern Jewish philosophy. In the third and last part, I address the relevance of the notion of idolatry to contemporary Jewish life, (...)
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  45.  27
    Yitzhak Melamed (2014). Review of Ezequiel L Posesorski, Between Reinhold and Fichte: August Ludwig Hülsen's Contribution to the Emergence of German Idealism (Karlsruhe: KIT, 2012). Journal of the History of Philosophy 52:382-383.
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  46.  4
    Yitzhak Melamed (2014). “ ‘Let the Law Cut Through the Mountain’: Salomon Maimon, Moses Mendelssohn, and Mme. Truth”. In Lukas Muehlethaler (ed.), Höre die Wahrheit, wer sie auch spricht. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 70-76.
    Moses Maimonides was a rare kind of radical. Being a genuine Aristotelian, he recommended following the middle path and avoiding extremism. Yet, within the sphere of Jewish philosophy and thought, he created a school of philosophical radicalism, inspiring Rabbis and thinkers to be unwilling to compromise their integrity in searching for the truth, regardless of where their arguments might lead. Both Spinoza and Salomon Maimon inherited this commitment to uncompromising philosophical inquiry. But of course, such willingness to follow a philosophical (...)
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  47.  12
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2016). Review of Samuel Fleischacker, Divine Teaching and the Way of the World (Oxford University Press, 2011), Philosophical Review. Forthcoming. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review:151-154.
  48. Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Michael Rosenthal (2010). Introduction. In Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Michael A. Rosenthal (eds.), Spinoza's 'Theological-Political Treatise': A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press
     
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  49.  10
    Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2011). From Bondage to Freedom: Spinoza on Human Excellence. [REVIEW] The Leibniz Review 21:153-159.
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  50.  11
    Yitzhak Melamed (2013). Reply to Colin Marshall and Martin Lin. The Leibniz Review 23:207-222.
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