Spinoza, the Epicurean: Authority and Utility in Materialism

Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press (2020)
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Through a radical new reading of the Theological Political Treatise, Dimitris Vardoulakis argues that the major source of Spinoza’s materialism is the Epicurean tradition that re-emerges in modernity when manuscripts by Epicurus and Lucretius are rediscovered. This reconsideration of Spinoza’s political project, set within a historical context, lays the ground for an alternative genealogy of materialism. Central to this new reading of Spinoza are the theory of practical judgment (understood as the calculation of utility) and its implications for a theory of democracy that is resolutely positioned against authority.

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Dimitris Vardoulakis
University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury


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