Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Philosophy and Its HistoryAims and Methods in the Study of Early Modern Philosophy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mogens Laerke, Justin E. H. Smith, and Eric Schliesser

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199857142

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199857142.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 23 July 2019

Charitable Interpretations and the Political Domestication of Spinoza, or, Benedict in the Land of the Secular Imagination

Charitable Interpretations and the Political Domestication of Spinoza, or, Benedict in the Land of the Secular Imagination

Chapter:
(p.258) 12 Charitable Interpretations and the Political Domestication of Spinoza, or, Benedict in the Land of the Secular Imagination
Source:
Philosophy and Its History
Author(s):

Yitzhak Y. Melamed

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199857142.003.0013

This essay discusses the method of so-called "charitable" interpretations in the history of philosophy. The first part discusses the general logic of charitable interpretations in the history of philosophy, mostly concentrating on discussions in metaphysics and epistemology. The second part focuses on the somewhat less noticed use of charitable interpretations in the study of political philosophy, and points out the quintessential role ideology plays in these discussions. Both parts discuss mainly various interpretations of Spinoza’s thought. The final part outlines an alternative methodology, which suggests that past philosophers can be most relevant to our current philosophical discussion, to the extent that they provide us with well-motivated challenges to our common-sense beliefs. Such challenges have the invaluable virtue of being able to undermine our most fundamental and secure beliefs, and force us to engage with the most fundamental questions. What more can we expect from good philosophy?

Keywords:   Spinoza, political philosophy, charitable interpretations, metaphysics, epistemology, ideology, common-sense beliefs

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .