The Effects of Baruch Spinoza on Philosophy and History of ThoughtJune 26, 2021
Spinoza’s powerful system of logical metaphysics is partly forgotten by both Leibniz’s criticisms and the development of other empirical philosophy. When it comes to Kant, he encounters an important theoretical intervention.
Kant follows a path that problematizes the implicit and explicit assumptions of this system, and tries to invalidate the assumption that reality corresponds to our thoughts or can be, by categorically separating the ontological and epistemological fields. The perspective of pure reason cannot be reached, a view or knowledge of the dimension of infinity cannot be reached. Apart from the sterile or one-sided evaluations as an atheist or god-loving philosopher, Spinoza has influenced many philosophers as allies or rivals since the 18th century.
Novalis, Sckleiermacher, Jacobi, Mandelssohn, Goethe, Schelling, Hegel can be mentioned as important names in this domain. It can be said that Hegel uses the Spinozist philosophical system by transforming it, in a sense the substance in Spinoza is taken as the Absolute Idea in Hegel. In addition, it is claimed that there is a Spinoza effect in Marx’s attempt to put Hegel on his feet. Because Marxist philosophy does not see human activities independent of his material conditions, affirms the thesis that freedom is the consciousness of necessities, and, depending on these, asserts that the laws of nature are decisive, and it is inevitable to draw parallels between them with the Spinozist system.
Nietzsche, on the other hand, speaks as a complete anti-Spinoza because he finds Spinoza’s basic arguments unacceptable. For example, the idea that reality can be detached from approaches to it is an unacceptable mistake. Nietsche says that Spinoza established his philosophical system with mathematical hocus pocus and describes him as a “sick ascetic”. Gilles Deleuze, one of the important names of postmodern philosophy who has important interests in Nietzschean thought, is one of the dreams that attaches great importance to Spinoza. Deleuze, who gave lectures and conferences on Spinoza, later published these notes under the title of Spinoza/Practical philosophy. This book is a kind of dictionary and exposition text on Ethics. Deleuze evaluates Ethics, which defines freedom as reaching the knowledge of obligations, as an ethics of liberation.
Before Deleuze, it is necessary to mention the name of Louis Althusser. Althusser, an important figure in Structuralism and theoretical Marxism, is a thinker who has found references from the Spinozist system on the absence of the subject and the determination of the structure/theory and emphasized it.