“Individual and Community in Spinoza” book launched in online event

The author explores a paradox, as he intends to follow the most demanding objectivist and rationalist parameters of the austere discipline to which he belongs: the history of philosophy.
Social Sciences
28 September 2021
“Individual and Community in Spinoza” book launched in online event

First published in 1968 and republished in 1988 by Éditions de Minuit of Paris, the book “Individual and Community in Spinoza” by Alexandre Matheron provided an original look at the thought of Dutch philosopher Spinoza. FGV Press is now publishing a Portuguese version of the book, which will be launched in an online event on September 30, at 6 pm, on FGV’s YouTube channel. The author explores a paradox, as he intends to follow the most demanding objectivist and rationalist parameters of the austere discipline to which he belongs: the history of philosophy.

Matheron adds other parameters, involving objectivism and radical rationalism, beyond most of the precepts that usually prevail over the practices of simple interpretation of texts. It is a complex and profound book, permeated not only by the subtleties of the knowledge it dissects and disseminates, but also by a sophistication of language essential to achieving its goals.

Like Guéroult and Deleuze, Matheron practices a genetic reading of Spinoza’s work. Unlike the frequent essayistic tendency found among interpreters (especially at the time), it is a question of deciphering the text’s own resources in order to elucidate its meaning. Subjective intuitions, haphazard hypotheses and reading habits imposed by the authority of the commentary tradition are rejected.

According to Matheron, the philosophical system elaborated by Spinoza and the truth gradually discovered by his thought, as he intensifies his understanding of himself, are two different things. Matheron’s method aims to give voice and systematic priority to this Spinoza who becomes a Spinozist. Spinozist truth, that is, Spinoza’s thought genetically understood and perfectly developed from the point of view of organic unity and demonstrative density, has a value that, for Matheron, goes far beyond simple philological or historical interest: this truth is the key to deciphering reality.

By virtue of this general principle of analysis, the commentator reorganizes the factual structure of the text according to the genetic order of its reasons and guidelines. He does not hesitate to amend statements that, in his view, remained incomplete, or to fill in what, according to the logic of Spinozist thought as a perfect total organic unit, seems to be a one-off failure or an abnormal gap in the proofs actually provided in the text. Concretely, instead of explaining the text in line with its factual order and therefore departing from Spinoza’s metaphysics, Matheron, in the name of the truth of the philosopher’s finished and complete thought, starts from the conatus doctrine.

The book is available exclusively in digital format on FGV Press’ website and other e-book sales platforms. 

To take part in the book launch, please click here.

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