Spinoza in the Light of Classical and Contemporary Western Philosophy

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Abstract

The article concerns the main lines of reception of the philosophical ideas of B. Spinoza. Estimates of the work of this thinker, his role and importance have undergone significant changes in the course of the development of Western European and Russian philosophical thought. It focuses on the study of the transformations occurred in the approach and nature of evaluations of the main philosophical ideas of Spinoza in the Western European philosophical space, primarily in Germany and France. At the same time, we can state that the peak of interest in the philosophy of Spinoza in these national traditions seriously diverges in time. Initially, we can talk about the predominance of interest in Spinoza’s philosophy on the part of German-speaking thinkers. For a long time, Spinoza’s philosophy was characterized as atheistic and, in connection with this, was subjected to fierce criticism. It is the German enlighteners who are credited with reviving interest in Spinoza’s philosophy at a new level. At the same time, the philosophical views of this thinker not only cease to be assessed as atheistic, but are sometimes perceived in the exact opposite way - as imbued with genuine religious faith. F. Schleiermacher can be considered here as a striking example of such an approach to Spinoza’s philosophy. In the future, interest in Spinoza’s philosophy was maintained in the German-speaking philosophical space due to the reception of his ideas by Hegel, Feuerbach, and Neo-Kantians. In French-language philosophy, interest in Spinoza wakes up much later - in the middle-second half of the 20th century, which is associated primarily with such name as Deleuze. However, this “French Renaissance” of Spinoza’s philosophy can be considered as no less significant than the Renaissance of the age of German Enlightenment. It was “French Spinozism” that brought the study of Spinoza’s philosophy to the international level, significantly expanding their conceptual framework.

About the authors

Ludmila E. Kryshtop

Рeoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: kryshtop-le@rudn.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1012-5953

Doctor of Science (Philosophy), Рrofessor

6, Miklukho-Maklaya str., Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

Mohammad Malla

Рeoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Email: malla-m@rudn.ru
PhD student in Philosophy 6, Miklukho-Maklaya str., Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

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