By Wiep Bunge
Spinoza previous and Present comprises twelve essays on Benedictus de Spinoza's Jewish history, his perspectives on metaphysics, arithmetic, faith and society. specified recognition is paid to a few of the ways that Spinoza's works were interpreted from the past due 17th century to the current day. particularly, Spinoza's contemporary reputation between advocates of the novel Enlightenment is mentioned: Van Bunge proposes a brand new interpretation of Spinoza's position within the early Dutch Enlightenment.
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Additional info for Spinoza Past and Present. Essays on Spinoza, Spinozism, and Spinoza Scholarship
217–219. , 223: ‘Quaeris deinde, annon ad substantiae conceptum indigeamus attributis? Procul omni dubio, si de determinatae substantiae conceptu agatur. 42 By implication, De Volder must have left open the possibility that ‘working’ was among God’s non-essential attributes, which, paradoxically, turns his sympathy for Bredenburg into a token of his Cartesianism rather than being evidence of his Spinozism. De Volder deserves some attention in this context, also because Klever has tried to turn him into a ‘crypto-Spinozist’.
This proposition is based on I, 5, according to which there cannot be in nature two or more substances of the same nature or attribute. This proposition, however, does not exclude the possibility of regarding the attributes as if they were substances, because the attributes do not share a common nature. Again, it is precisely because each and every attribute expresses an infinite essence of its own that it is impossible to conceive of a single substance consisting of infinite attributes. , 128.
De Vries’ Question The issue of Spinoza’s views on the relationship between substance and its attributes has haunted Spinoza scholarship for a long time. It was first raised at an early stage in Spinoza’s philosophical development. On 24 February 1663 Simon Joosten de Vries wrote a letter to his ‘(m)ost upright friend’ Spinoza, informing him that a ‘group’ had been formed the members of which were studying manuscripts of Spinoza, who at the time had reached the age of thirty. ‘One member (each has his turn)’, or so De Vries told his friend, does the reading, explains how he understands it, and goes on to a complete demonstration, following the sequence and order of your propositions.