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Spinoza Beyond Philosophy

Edited by Beth Lord

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These 10 engaging and original essays argue that Spinoza is the interdisciplinary thinker for our times

This book brings Spinoza outside the realm of academic philosophy, and presents him as a thinker who is relevant to contemporary problems and questions across a variety of disciplines.

Discover how Spinoza's theory of bodies transforms our understanding of music, and how it grounds 'collective subjectivity' in contemporary politics. Learn how Spinoza's idea of freedom was instrumental to the Haitian revolution of 1791, and how it inspired Samuel Taylor Coleridge's prose and George Eliot's novels. Find out how early modern physics, contemporary architecture, and ecological activism can be rethought through Spinoza's theory of affectivity.


Introduction - Beth Lord
1. 'Subjectivity without the subject': Thinking beyond the subject with/through Spinoza - Caroline Williams
2. Spinoza's Non-Humanist Humanism - Michael Mack
3. The Ethical Relation of Bodies: Thinking with Spinoza Towards an Affective Ecology - Anthony Paul Smith
4. Spinoza's architectural passages and geometric comportments - Peg Rawes
5. The Secret History of Musical Spinozism - Amy Cimini
Interlude: Lance Brewer, Christina Rawls, Shelley Campbell
6. Thinking the Future: Spinoza's Political Ontology Today - Mateusz Janik
7. Spinoza's Empty Law: The Possibility of Political Theology - Dimitris Vardoulakis
8. Which Radical Enlightenment?: Spinoza, Jacobinism, and Black Jacobinism - Nick Nesbitt
9. George Eliot, Spinoza and the Ethics of Literature - Simon Calder
10. Coleridge's Ecumenical Spinoza - Nicholas Halmi

About the Author

Beth Lord is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. She is the author of Kant and Spinozism: Transcendental Idealism and Immanence from Jacobi to Deleuze (2011) and Spinoza’s Ethics: an Edinburgh Philosophical Guide (2010), and editor of Spinoza Beyond Philosophy (2012) and the Bloomsbury Companion to Continental Philosophy (2009).


Beyond the historical alternatives of materialism and idealism, these essays explore an ethics of affectivity, materiality and textuality. This wide-ranging collection is, in turns, fresh, ambitious, relevant, rich and engaged, capable of inspiring those who wish to live a thoughtful life that is fully integrated with all dimensions of experience.

- Philip Goodchild, University of Nottingham

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