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Yitzhak Y. Melamed [38]Yitzhak Melamed [13]
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Profile: Yitzhak Melamed (Johns Hopkins University)
  1. Yitzhak Melamed & Martin Lin, Principle of Sufficient Reason.
    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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  2. Yitzhak Melamed (forthcoming). 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.
    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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  3. Yitzhak Melamed (forthcoming). “ ‘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.
    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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  4. 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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  5. Yitzhak Melamed (forthcoming). The Development of Spinoza’s Concepts of Substance and Attribute. In , The Young Spinoza. Oxford University Press.
    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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  6. Yitzhak Melamed (ed.) (forthcoming). The Young Spinoza. Oxford University Press.
  7. 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.
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  8. 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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  9. 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.
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  10. 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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  11. Yitzhak Melamed (2013). Symposium on Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Spinoza’s Metaphysics,. Leibniz Review 23:207-222.
  12. 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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  13. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2013). Spinoza and the Specters of Modernity, by Michael Mack. [REVIEW] European Journal of Philosophy 21 (S1):E1--E2.
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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2012). “’Christus Secundum Spiritum’: Spinoza, Jesus, and the Infinite Intellect”. In Neta Stahl (ed.), The Jewish Jesus. Routledge.
  21. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2012). Review of From Bondage to Freedom. [REVIEW] The Leibniz Review 21:153-159.
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  22. 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 (1) Spinoza never endorsed this identity, and (2) that Della Rocca's suggestion could not be considered as a legitimate reconstruction or friendly amendment (...)
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  23. 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 matter in its totality, (...)
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  24. 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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  25. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2012). Review of Susan James, Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion, and Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  26. 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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  27. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2012). Spinoza on Inherence, Causation, and Conception. Journal of the History of Philosophy 50 (3):365-386.
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  28. Yitzhak Melamed (2011). Spinoza: Une Lecture d'Aristote (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (1):126-127.
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  29. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2011). Hegel and Marx on the Rabble and the Problem of Poverty in Modern Society. Iyyun 50 (1):23-40.
  30. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2011). Spinoza's Anti-Humanism: An Outline. In. In Smith Justin & Fraenkel Carlos (eds.), The Rationalists. Springer/Synthese. 147--166.
  31. 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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  32. Yitzhak Melamed (2010). Review of Eric Nelson, The Hebrew Republic: Jewish Sources and the Transformation of European Political Thought. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (9).
  33. 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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  34. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2010). Michael Quante, Hegel's Concept of Action. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 119 (4):593-5.
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  35. 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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  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. 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.
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  41. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2009). Review of Michael Ayers (Ed.), Rationalism, Platonism and God. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (2).
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  42. 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.
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  43. Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Peter Thielke (2009). Salomon Maimon. Stanford On-Line Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  44. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2007). Radical Protestantism in Spinoza's Thought. Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (2):333-334.
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  45. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2007). Steven Nadler, Spinoza's “Ethics”: An Introduction. Ethics 117 (3):563-565.
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  46. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2006). Inherence and the Immanent Cause in Spinoza. Leibniz Review 16:43-52.
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  47. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2006). Review of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, H.B. Nisbet (Trans. And Ed.), Philosophical and Theological Writings. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (2).
  48. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2005). Causa Sive Ratio. [REVIEW] The Leibniz Review 15:163-168.
  49. Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2005). Versuch uber die Transzendentalphilosophie (review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 43 (3):366-367.
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