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Spinoza’s Ethics of Interpretation: Interpreting the Paradoxical Singularity of Spinoza’s Ontological Argument

Title: Spinoza’s Ethics of Interpretation
Subtitle: Interpreting the Paradoxical Singularity of Spinoza’s Ontological Argument
Subject Classification: Philosophy, Religion and Faith
BIC Classification: HPCD, HPQ, HR
BISAC Classification: PHI005000, REL028000, PHI043000
Binding: Hardback, pp.264
Publication date: 27th November 2023
ISBN (Hardback): 978-1-80441-199-5
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-80441-200-8

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This book examines Spinoza's ontological argument and introduces the concept of "paradoxical singularity." It explores the ways in which Spinoza’s ontology establishes a framework in which singular things are, paradoxically, differentiated through intersecting causes. The book argues that Spinoza's ontological argument functions at once as a philosophical, religious, and political ethos in which interpretation is inseparable from cooperation. This emphasizes a connection between the productions of knowledge (interpretation) and the way of life (ethos) that those productions involve and express. Recommended for scholars interested in Spinoza's influence on post-structuralism, trans-individuality, and the history of secular religious thought.


Author: Jordan R. J. Nusbaum is an independent scholar with a PhD in Social & Political Thought from York University, Ontario, Canada.


“This book contributes to a subject matter in which I am particularly interested: the question of how Spinoza – contrary to the criticism that his world consists in a lifeless oneness with no time for a view of life as dynamic and transformative – rethinks difference not as a problem or obstacle, but as the central aspect with which philosophy needs to come to terms, not by excluding difference but comprehending its empowering aspects. Nusbaum breaks new grounds in advancing a new understanding of what he calls Spinoza’s ethics of interpretation. In exploring the way in which a new understanding of interpretation resides at the core of Spinoza’s project of the Ethics, the author offers new insights in what could be called the early history of dialogical thinking. This is developed with painstaking attention to Spinoza’s terms of thinking and deserves critical attention. In other words, one of the crucial insights that this book offers is an illuminating exploration of Spinoza’s critical commitment to setting the principle of non-contradiction aside.”

- Dr Willi Goetschel, University of Toronto.

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