Since their publication in 1982, Samuel Shirley's translations of Spinoza's _Ethics_ and _Selected Letters_ have been commended for their accuracy and readability. Now with the addition of his new translation of _Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect_ this enlarged edition will be even more useful to students of Spinoza's thought.
Don Isaac Abravanel was one of the main leaders of medieval Spanish Jewry. This work presents a systematic exposition of Abravanel's defence of Judaism, analyzing and evaluating his views on the basic issues of medieval philosophy and theology.
In the first volume of his Spinoza and Other Heretics entitled The Marrano of Reason, Yovel proposes a different cultural context for the study of Spinoza: the Marrano mentalité. Living as crypto?Jews in a Catholic Iberian world, the Marranos developed a certain life?style that had specific religious and literary modes of expression: heterodox tendencies, the use of equivocation, and the zealous search for salvation, which often assumed secular forms. These Marrano traits are, Yovel claims, found in Spinoza as well, who (...) was the son of a Marrano and brought up in the Marrano milieu of the Amsterdam Jewish quarter. In this essay I challenge this interpretation of Spinoza by stressing both the generally orthodox character of Marrano religiosity and the significant differences between Spinoza and the few Marrano heretics by whom he was supposedly influenced. I argue that Spinoza not only rejected Marrano orthodoxy but was already inhabiting an intellectual framework that differed considerably from the marginal deviant Marrano pattern that Yovel focuses upon. (shrink)