Hegel or Spinoza

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  1. Hegel or Spinoza
  2. Three Contemporary Spinozas - Los Angeles Review of Books
  3. Passar bra ihop
  4. Hegel or Spinoza: Substance, Subject, and Critical Marxism

A problem arises, however, when this is thought of as a choice in the way Moore presents it, as the project of figuring Spinozan democracy threatens to eclipse the pole of Marx altogether. Of course, in another way, the opposition itself, of economics or politics as the central determinate of theory, is a category mistake, placing two incommensurable fields of research and theorization in opposition to each other.

Some of the figures most associated with the latter trend remain familiar ones today: Macherey, Gilles Deleuze, and Louis Althusser, to name only a few albeit, the particular approach to this problem in each case being markedly distinct. Moreover, a similar development occurs in Italian Marxism, led by the rich and original contributions of the Autonomia movement and most prominently of all, the wide-ranging work of Negri. A full comparative history of the French and Italian Spinoza revivals remains to be written.

The first occurs in the latter part of the eighteenth century following the lead of Goethe and German Romanticism more generally. Goethe famously claims,. After looking around me in vain for a means of disciplining my peculiar nature, I at last chanced upon the Ethica of this man.

To say exactly how much I gained from that work was due to Spinoza or to my own reading of him would be impossible; enough that I found in him a sedative for my passions and that he appeared to me to open up a large and free outlook on the material and moral world.

Hegel or Spinoza

Hegel and Spinoza traces the historical roots of these alternatives and shows how contemporary discussions between Heideggerians and Althusserians, Lacanians and Deleuzians are a variation of the disagreement between Hegel and Spinoza. Throughout, Moder persuasively demonstrates that the best way to read Hegel and Spinoza is not in opposition or contrast but together: as Hegel and Spinoza. About the Author. His book will make a signal contribution to current philosophical debates and could become a classic commentary.

As a responsibly technical work, Moder presents the tension between both positions of this battlefield through engaging to all possible combinations of this clash of Titans: Hegel and Spinoza of the title, encompasses the troubles of presenting the tension of Spinoza and Hegel, Spinoza or Hegel, Hegel vs.

Spinoza or perhaps, Spinoza vs.


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Each chapter of the book reveals additional layers of complexity to this inevitable and interesting tension; already at the Introduction we can sense the tone of this breathtaking theoretical discussion. Everyone loves him, from the Althusserian strict "scientific materialists" to Deleuzean schizo-anarchists, from rationalist critics of religion to the partisans of liberal freedoms and tolerances, not to mention feminists like Genevieve Lloyd who propose to decipher the mysterious third type of knowledge in Ethics as feminine intuitive knowledge surpassing the male analytic understanding Is it, then, possible at all not to love Spinoza?

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Three Contemporary Spinozas - Los Angeles Review of Books

Who can be against a lone Jew who, on the top of it, was excommunicated by the "official" Jewish community itself? One of the most touching expressions of this love is how one often attributes to him almost divine capacities - like Pierre Macherey who in his otherwise admirable Hegel ou Spinoza , against the Hegelian critique of Spinoza, claims that one cannot avoid the impression that Spinoza had already read Hegel and in advance answered his reproaches Or, even, more foreign to the Jewish universe which, precisely, is the universe of God as radical Otherness, of the enigma of the divine, of the God of negative prohibitions instead of positive injunctions?

Yet, instead of engaging in this rather boring academic exercise of opposing Spinoza and Levinas, what I want to accomplish is a consciously old-fashioned Hegelian reading of Spinoza - what both Spinozeans and Levinasians share is radical anti-Hegelianism.

My starting hypothesis is that, in the history of modern thought, the triad of paganism-Judaism-Christianity repeats itself twice, first as Spinoza-Kant-Hegel, then as Deleuze-Derrida-Lacan. Deleuze deploys the One-Substance as the indifferent medium of multitude; Derrida inverts it into the radical Otherness which differs from itself; finally, in a kind of "negation of negation," Lacan brings back the cut, the gap, into the One itself.

The point is not so much to play Spinoza and Kant against each other, thus securing the triumph of Hegel; it is rather to present the three philosophical positions in all their unheard-of radicality - in a way, the triad Spinoza-Kant-Hegel DOES encompass the whole of philosophy This simplified picture should, of course, be further elaborated.

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What about the interesting mediate role of Lyotard who passed from paganism to the celebration of Jewish Otherness? And do we not find in Derrida's development a shift symmetrical to that of Lyotard, from Hegel back to Kant?

That is to say, in his otherwise unreadable professorial What Is Neo-Structuralism? One of the commonplaces about Lacan is that the same goes also for him: the Lacan of the early s was Hegelian under the influence of Kojeve and Hyppolite, of course , often directly designates the analyst as the figure of the Hegelian philosopher, the work of analysus as following the Hegelian "cunning of reason," the end of analysis as "absolute knowledge," the mediation of all particular content in the universal symbolic medium, etc.

Seminar XI , Lacan struggled to overcome this Kantian horizon - the clearest indication of it is his reactualization of the concept of drive. Drive functions beyond symbolic castration, as an inherent detour, topological twist, of the Real itself - and Lacan's path from desire to drive is the path from Kant to Hegel. This shift in late Lacan from the "transcendental" logic symbolic castration as the ultimate horizon of our experience, emptying the place of the Thing and thus opening up the space for our desire to the dimension "beyond castration," i.

For that reason, he is able to draw all unexpected, for most of us consequences from it. Substance means, first of all, that there is no mediation between the attributes: each attribute thoughts, bodies So what is missing in Spinoza is the elementary "twist" of dialectical inversion which characterizes negativity, the inversion by means of which the very renunciation to desire turns into desire of renunciation, etc.

What is unthinkable for him is what Freud called "death drive": the idea that conatus is based on a fundamental act of self-sabotaging. Spinoza, with his assertion of conatus , of every entity's striving to persist and strengthen its being and, in this way, striving for happiness, remains within the Aristotelian frame of what a good life is - what is outside his scope is the what Kant calls "categorical imperative," an unconditional thrust that parasitizes upon a human subject without any regard for its well-being, "beyond the pleasure-principle," and that, for Lacan, is the name of desire at its purest.

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The first philosophical consequence of this notion of Substance is the motif on which Deleuze insists so much: the univocity of being; among other things, this univocity means that the mechanisms of establishing ontological links which Spinoza describes are thoroughly NEUTRAL with regard to their "good" or "bad" effects. Spinoza thus avoids both traps of the standard approach: he neither dismisses the mechanism which constitutes a multitude as the source of irrational destructive mob, nor does he celebrate it as the source of altruistic self-overcoming and solidarity.

Of course, he was deeply and painfully aware of the destructive potential of the "multitude" - recall THE big political trauma of his life, a wild mob lynching de Witt brothers, his political allies; however, he was aware that the noblest collective acts are generated by exactly the same mechanism - in short, democracy and a lynching mob have the same source. It is with regard to this neutrality that the gap which separates Negri and Hardt from Spinoza becomes palpable: in The Empire , we find a celebration of multitude as the force of resistance, while in Spinoza, the concept of multitude qua crowd is fundamentally ambiguous: multitude is resistance to the imposing One, but, at the same time, it designates what we call "mob," a wild, "irrational" explosion of violence which, through imitatio afecti , feeds on itself and self-propels itself.

This profound insight of Spinoza gets lost in today's ideology of multitude: the thorough "undecidability" of the crowd - "crowd" designates a certain mechanism which engenders social link, and THIS VERY SAME mechanism which supports, say, the enthusiastic formation of social solidarity, also supports the explosive spread of racist violence.

Hegel or Spinoza: Substance, Subject, and Critical Marxism

What the "imitation of affects" introduces is the notion of trans-individual circulation and communication: as Deleuze later developed in a Spinozean vein, affects are not something that belongs to a subject and is then passed over to another subject; affects function at the pre-individual level, as free-floating intensities which belong to no one and circulate at a level "beneath" intersubjectivity.

In short, since every entity endeavors to persist in its own being, nothing can be destroyed from within, for all change must come from without. What Spinoza excludes with his rejection of negativity is the very symbolic order, since, as we have learned already from Saussure, the minimal definition of the symbolic order is that every identity is reducible to a bundle faisceau - the same root as in Fascism!