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Yitzhak Melamed
Johns Hopkins University
  1. Spinoza's Metaphysics: Substance and Thought.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press USA.
    Yitzhak Melamed here offers a new and systematic interpretation of the core of Spinoza's metaphysics. In the first part of the book, he proposes a new reading of the metaphysics of substance in Spinoza: he argues that for Spinoza modes both inhere in and are predicated of God. Using extensive textual evidence, he shows that Spinoza considered modes to be God's propria. He goes on to clarify Spinoza's understanding of infinity, mereological relations, infinite modes, and the flow of finite things (...)
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  2. The Building Blocks of Spinoza’s Metaphysics: Substance, Attributes and Modes.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2017 - In Michael Della Rocca (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Spinoza. Oxford University Press. pp. 84-113.
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  3. “Omnis determinatio est negatio” – Determination, Negation and Self-Negation in Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2012 - In Eckart Forster & Yitzhak Y. Melamed (eds.), Spinoza and German Idealism. Cambridge University Press.
    Spinoza ’s letter of June 2, 1674 to his friend Jarig Jelles addresses several distinct and important issues in Spinoza ’s philosophy. It explains briefly the core of Spinoza ’s disagreement with Hobbes’ political theory, develops his innovative understanding of numbers, and elaborates on Spinoza ’s refusal to describe God as one or single. Then, toward the end of the letter, Spinoza writes: With regard to the statement that figure is a negation and not anything positive, it is obvious that (...)
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  4. Spinoza’s Metaphysics of Thought: Parallelisms and the Multifaceted Structure of Ideas.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):636-683.
    In this paper, I suggest an outline of a new interpretation of core issues in Spinoza’s metaphysics and philosophy of mind. I argue for three major theses. (1) In the first part of the paper I show that the celebrated Spinozistic doctrine commonly termed “the doctrine of parallelism” is in fact a confusion of two separate and independent doctrines of parallelism. Hence, I argue that our current understanding of Spinoza’s metaphysics and philosophy of mind is fundamentally flawed. (2) The clarification (...)
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  5. The Enigma of Spinoza's Amor Dei Intellectualis.Yitzhak Melamed - 2019 - In Noa Naaman-Zaudrer & Noa Naaman (eds.), Freedom, Action and Motivation in Spinoza’s Ethics. Routledge. pp. 222-238.
    The notion of divine love was essential to medieval Christian conceptions of God. Jewish thinkers, though, had a much more ambivalent attitude about this issue. While Maimonides was reluctant to ascribe love, or any other affect, to God, Gersonides and Crescas celebrated God’s love. Though Spinoza is clearly sympathetic to Maimonides’ rejection of divine love as anthropomorphism, he attributes love to God nevertheless, unfolding his notion of amor Dei intellectualis at the conclusion of his Ethics. But is this a legitimate (...)
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  6. Why Spinoza is Not an Eleatic Monist (Or Why Diversity Exists).Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2011 - In Philip Goff (ed.), Spinoza on Monism. Palgrave.
    “Why did God create the World?” is one of the traditional questions of theology. In the twentieth century this question was rephrased in a secularized manner as “Why is there something rather than nothing?” While creation - at least in its traditional, temporal, sense - has little place in Spinoza’s system, a variant of the same questions puts Spinoza’s system under significant pressure. According to Spinoza, God, or the substance, has infinitely many modes. This infinity of modes follow from the (...)
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  7. ““Deus sive Vernunft: Schelling’s Transformation of Spinoza’s God”.Yitzhak Melamed - 2020 - In G. Anthony Bruno (ed.), Schelling’s Philosophy: Freedom, Nature, and Systematicity. Oxford University Press. pp. 93-115.
    On 6 January 1795, the twenty-year-old Schelling—still a student at the Tübinger Stift—wrote to his friend and former roommate, Hegel: “Now I am working on an Ethics à la Spinoza. It is designed to establish the highest principles of all philosophy, in which theoretical and practical reason are united”. A month later, he announced in another letter to Hegel: “I have become a Spinozist! Don’t be astonished. You will soon hear how”. At this period in his philosophical development, Schelling had (...)
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  8. Spinoza on Causa Sui.Yitzhak Melamed - 2021 - In Blackwell Companion to Spinoza. Blackwell. pp. 116-125.
    The very first line of Spinoza’s magnum opus, the Ethics, states the following surprising definition: By cause of itself I understand that whose essence involves existence, or that whose nature cannot be conceived except as existing [Per causam sui intelligo id, cujus essentia involvit existentiam, sive id, cujus natura non potest concipi, nisi existens]. As we shall shortly see, for many of Spinoza’s contemporaries and predecessors the very notion of causa sui was utterly absurd, akin to a Baron Munchausen attempting (...)
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  9. The Causes of Our Belief in Free Will: Spinoza on Necessary, ‘Innate,’ yet False Cognition.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2017 - In Spinoza’s Ethics: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
    This chapter will discuss Spinoza’s critique of free will, though our brief study of this topic in the first part of the chapter will aim primarily at preparing us to address the main topic of the chapter, which is Spinoza’s explanation of the reasons which force us to believe in free will. At times, Spinoza seems to come very close to asserting the paradoxical claim that we are not free to avoid belief in free will. In the second part of (...)
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  10. Spinoza’s Metaphysics of Substance.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1):17-82.
    In his groundbreaking work of 1969, Spinoza's Metaphysics: An Essay in Interpretation, Edwin Curley attacked the traditional understanding of the substance-mode relation in Spinoza, which makes modes inhere in the substance. Curley argued that such an interpretation generates insurmountable problems, as had been already claimed by Pierre Bayle in his famous entry on Spinoza. Instead of having the modes inhere in the substance Curley suggested that the modes’ dependence upon the substance should be interpreted in terms of (efficient) causation, i.e., (...)
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  11. Maimon’s ‘Law of Determinability’ and the Impossibility of Shared Attributes.Yitzhak Melamed - 2021 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 109 (1):49-62.
    Apart from his critique of Kant, Maimon’s significance for the history of philosophy lies in his crucial role in the rediscovery of Spinoza by the German Idealists. Specifically, Maimon initiated a change from the common eighteenth-century view of Spinoza as the great ‘atheist’ to the view of Spinoza as an ‘acosmist’, i.e., a thinker who propounded a deep, though unorthodox, religious view denying the reality of the world and taking God to be the only real being. I have discussed this (...)
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  12. Eternity in Early Modern Philosophy.Yitzhak Melamed - 2016 - In Yitzhak Y. Melamed (ed.), Eternity: A History. Oxford University Press. pp. 129-167.
    Modernity seemed to be the autumn of eternity. The secularization of European culture provided little sustenance to the concept of eternity with its heavy theological baggage. Yet, our hero would not leave the stage without an outstanding performance of its power and temptation. Indeed, in the first three centuries of the modern period – the subject of the third chapter by Yitzhak Melamed - the concept of eternity will play a crucial role in the great philosophical systems of the period. (...)
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  13. Charitable Interpretations and the Political Domestication of Spinoza, or, Benedict in the Land of the Secular Imagination.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2013 - In Mogens Laerke Eric Schilsser (ed.), The Methodology of the History of Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    In a beautiful recent essay, the philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong explains the reasons for his departure from evangelical Christianity, the religious culture in which he was brought up. Sinnot-Armstrong contrasts the interpretive methods used by good philosophers and fundamentalist believers: Good philosophers face objections and uncertainties. They follow where arguments lead, even when their conclusions are surprising and disturbing. Intellectual honesty is also required of scholars who interpret philosophical texts. If I had distorted Kant’s view to make him reach a conclusion (...)
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  14. The Sirens of Elea: Rationalism, Monism and Idealism in Spinoza.Yitzhak Melamed - 2012 - In Antonia Lolordo & Duncan Stewart (eds.), Debates in Early Modern Philosophy. Blackwell.
    The main thesis of Michael Della Rocca’s outstanding Spinoza book (Della Rocca 2008a) is that at the very center of Spinoza’s philosophy stands the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR): the stipulation that everything must be explainable or, in other words, the rejection of any brute facts. Della Rocca rightly ascribes to Spinoza a strong version of the PSR. It is not only that the actual existence and features of all things must be explicable, but even the inexistence – as well (...)
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  15. Schopenhauer on Spinoza: Animals, Jews, and Evil.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - forthcoming - In David Bather Woods & Timothy Stoll (eds.), The Schopenhauerian Mind. London: Routledge.
    Schopenhauer’s philosophical engagement with Spinoza spreads over many fronts, and an adequate – not to say, complete – treatment of the topic, should cover at least the following issues: Schopenhauer’s critique (and misunderstanding) of Spinoza’s pivotal concept of causa sui; Schopenhauer’s claim that Spinoza confused reason [ratio] and cause [causa]; the relationship between Schopenhauer’s and Spinoza’s monisms; the eminent role that both philosophers assign to causality; and finally, Schopenhauer’s view of the world as a macroanthropos, as opposed to Spinoza’s attack (...)
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  16. Spinoza's Deification of Existence.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 6:75-104.
    The aim of this paper is to clarify Spinoza’s views on some of the most fundamental issues of his metaphysics: the nature of God’s attributes, the nature of existence and eternity, and the relation between essence and existence in God. While there is an extensive literature on each of these topics, it seems that the following question was hardly raised so far: What is, for Spinoza, the relation between God’s existence and the divine attributes? Given Spinoza’s claims that there are (...)
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  17. Gersonides and Spinoza on God’s Knowledge of Universals and Particulars.Yitzhak Melamed - forthcoming - In Gad Freudenthal, David Wirmer & Ofer Elior (eds.), Gersonides Through the Ages.
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  18. Spinoza's Anti-Humanism.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2010 - In Smith Justin & Fraenkel Carlos (eds.), The Rationalists. Springer/Synthese.
    A common perception of Spinoza casts him as one of the precursors, perhaps even founders, of modern humanism and Enlightenment thought. Given that in the twentieth century, humanism was commonly associated with the ideology of secularism and the politics of liberal democracies, and that Spinoza has been taken as voicing a “message of secularity” and as having provided “the psychology and ethics of a democratic soul” and “the decisive impulse to… modern republicanism which takes it bearings by the dignity of (...)
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  19. Teleology in Jewish Philosophy: Early Talmudists till Spinoza.Yitzhak Melamed - 2020 - In Jeffrey McDonough (ed.), Teleology: A History. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 123-149.
    Medieval and early modern Jewish philosophers developed their thinking in conversation with various bodies of literature. The influence of ancient Greek – primarily Aristotle (and pseudo-Aristotle) – and Arabic sources was fundamental for the very constitution of medieval Jewish philosophical discourse. Toward the late Middle Ages Jewish philosophers also established a critical dialogue with Christian scholastics. Next to these philosophical corpora, Jewish philosophers drew significantly upon Rabbinic sources (Talmud and the numerous Midrashim) and the Hebrew Bible. In order to clarify (...)
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  20. The metaphysics of the Theological-Political Treatise.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2010 - In Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Michael A. Rosenthal (eds.), Spinoza's 'Theological-Political Treatise': A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
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  21. Spinoza and Leibniz on the Principle of Sufficient Reason.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - forthcoming - In Michael Della Rocca & Fatema Amijee (eds.), The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A History. New York: Oxford University Press.
    The early modern period was the natural historical habitat of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, i.e., the demand that everything must have a cause, or reason. It is in this period that the principle was explicitly articulated and named, and throughout the period we find numerous formulations and variants of the PSR and its closely related ‘ex nihilo nihil fit’ principle, which the early moderns inherited from medieval philosophy. Contemporary discussions of these principles were not restricted to philosophy. “Nothing will (...)
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  22. The Return to Nothingness: Hassidism and Philosophy.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - forthcoming - In Tyron Goldschmidt & Daniel Rynolds (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Jewish Philosophy. London: Routledge.
    A proper and comprehensive study of the relationship between Hassidism and philosophy would require a volume of its own. In the limited space of this chapter, I shall focus on two crucial issues within the broader topic of Hassidism and philosophy. In the first part, I will study the Hassidic reception of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed, widely perceived as the greatest work of Jewish philosophy, a work that was equally admired and derided as heretical from its very early dissemination (...)
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  23. Existence.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - forthcoming - In Karolina Hübner (ed.), Cambridge Spinoza Lexicon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    The distinction between essence (essentia) and existence (existentia) plays a major role in Spinoza’s metaphysics. Although the distinction did not originate with Avicenna, it is primarily through Avicenna’s influence that it became widespread, if not ubiquitous, in both Jewish and Christian medieval philosophy (e.g., Ogden 2021). Spinoza was clearly familiar with this important distinction through his study of Maimonides, Crescas, and Descartes, and it is particularly useful to examine Spinoza’s employment of the distinction in contrast to Descartes’. In the Meditations, (...)
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  24. Spinoza and Crescas on Modality.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - forthcoming - In Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Samuel Newlands (eds.), Modality: A History. New York: Oxford University Press.
    The first section of the chapter will address the philosophy of modality among Spinoza’s medieval Jewish predecessors, and, primarily, in Hasdai Crescas (1340-1410/11), a bold and original, anti-Aristotelian philosopher. This section should both complement the discussion of modality in medieval Christian and Islamic philosophy in the previous chapters of this volume and provide some lesser-known historical background to Spinoza’s own engagement with modal philosophy. Following a section on Spinoza’s definitions of his main modal concepts and his understanding of contingency, I (...)
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  25. Cohen, Spinoza, and the Nature of Pantheism.Yitzhak Melamed - 2018 - Jewish Studies Quarterly:171-180.
    The German text of Cohen’s Spinoza on State & Religion, Judaism & Christianity (Spinoza über Staat und Religion, Judentum und Christentum) first appeared in 1915 in the Jahrbuch für jüdische Geschichte und Literatur. Two years before, in the winter of 1913, Cohen taught a class and a seminar on Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise at the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums. This was Cohen’s first semester at the Hochschule, after retiring from more than thirty years of teaching at the University of (...)
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  26. Immanence.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - forthcoming - In Karolina Hübner & Justin Steinberg (eds.), Cambridge Spinioza Lexicon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Responding to Henry Oldenburg’s request to clarify his views about the relation between God and Nature (Ep. 71), Spinoza writes: “I favor an opinion concerning God and Nature far different from the one Modern Christians usually defend. For I maintain that God is, as they say, the immanent, but not the transitive, cause of all things” (Ep. 73 (IV/307)). In the Ethics, Spinoza does not define the notion of causa immanens, but we can easily retrieve the precise meaning of the (...)
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  27. God.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - forthcoming - In Karolina Hübner & Justin Steinberg (eds.), Cambridge Spinoza Lexicon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    In his Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Hegel offers the following verdict on Spinoza’s ontology: “According to Spinoza what is, is God, and God alone. Therefore, the allegations of those who accuse Spinoza of atheism are the direct opposite of the truth; with him there is too much God” (Hegel 1995, vol. 3, 281-2). It is not easy to dismiss Hegel’s grand pronouncement, since Spinoza indeed clearly affirms: “whatever is, is in God” (E1p15). Crocodiles, porcupines (and your thoughts about (...)
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  28. The Young Spinoza: A Metaphysician in the Making.Yitzhak Y. Melamed (ed.) - 2015 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Ex nihilo nihil fit. Philosophy, especially great philosophy, does not appear out of the blue. In the current volume, a team of top scholars-both up-and-coming and established-attempts to trace the philosophical development of one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Featuring twenty new essays and an introduction, it is the first attempt of its kind in English and its appearance coincides with the recent surge of interest in Spinoza in Anglo-American philosophy.Spinoza's fame-or notoriety-is due primarily to his posthumously published (...)
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  29. “A Substance Consisting of an Infinity of Attributes”: Spinoza on the Infinity of Attributes.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2018 - In Reed Winegar & Ohad Nachtomy (eds.), Infinity in Early Modern Philosophy. Springer. pp. 63-75.
    Though Spinoza's definition of God at the beginning of the Ethics unequivocally asserts that God has infinitely many attributes, the reader of the Ethics will find only two of these attributes discussed in any detail in Parts Two through Five of the book. Addressing this intriguing gap between the infinity of attributes asserted in E1d6 and the discussion merely of the two attributes of Extension and Thought in the rest of the book, Jonathan Bennett writes: Spinoza seems to imply that (...)
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  30. “’Christus secundum spiritum’: Spinoza, Jesus, and the Infinite Intellect”.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2012 - In Neta Stahl (ed.), The Jewish Jesus. Routledge.
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  31. God-Intoxicated Man: The Philosopher who denied the World.Yitzhak Melamed & Clare Carlisle - 2020 - TLS: The Times Literary Supplement.
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  32. “Spinoza on the Value of Humanity”.Yitzhak Melamed - 2023 - In Nandi Theunissen (ed.), Re-Evaluating the Value of Humanity. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 74-96.
    Spinoza is a hardcore realist about the nature of human beings and their desires, ambitions, and delusions. But he is neither a misanthrope nor in the business of glorifying the notion of a primal and innocent non-human nature. As he writes: Let the Satirists laugh as much as they like at human affairs, let the Theologians curse them, let Melancholics praise as much as they can a life that is uncultivated and wild, let them disdain men and admire the lower (...)
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  33. A Glimpse into Spinoza’s Metaphysical Laboratory: The Development of Spinoza’s Concepts of Substance and Attribute.Yitzhak Melamed - 2015 - In Yitzhak Y. Melamed (ed.), The Young Spinoza: A Metaphysician in the Making. Oxford University Press. pp. 272-286.
    At the opening of Spinoza’s Ethics, we find the three celebrated definitions of substance, attribute, and God: E1d3: By substance I understand what is in itself and is conceived through itself, i.e., that whose concept does not require the concept of another thing, from which it must be formed [Per substantiam intelligo id quod in se est et per se concipitur; hoc est id cujus conceptus non indiget conceptu alterius rei, a quo formari debeat]. E1d4: By attribute I understand what (...)
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  34. Spinozian Model Theory.Justin Bledin & Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2020 - Advances in Modern Logic 13:133-147.
    his paper is an excerpt from a larger project that aims to open a new pathway into Spinoza's Ethics by formally reconstructing an initial fragment of this text. The semantic backbone of the project is a custom-made Spinozian model theory that lays out some of the formal prerequisites for more ne-grained investigations into Spinoza's fundamental ontology and modal metaphysics. We implement Spinoza's theory of attributes using many-sorted models with a rich system of identity that allows us to clarify the puzzling (...)
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  35. Spinoza's Political Treatise: A Critical Guide.Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Hasana Sharp (eds.) - 2017 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    Spinoza's Political Treatise constitutes the very last stage in the development of his thought, as he left the manuscript incomplete at the time of his death in 1677. On several crucial issues - for example, the new conception of the 'free multitude' - the work goes well beyond his Theological Political Treatise, and arguably presents ideas that were not fully developed even in his Ethics. This volume of newly commissioned essays on the Political Treatise is the first collection in English (...)
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  36. Hegel, Spinoza, and McTaggart on the Reality of Time.Yitzhak Melamed - 2016 - Internationales Jahrbuch des Deutschen Idealismus / International Yearbook of German Idealism 14:211-234.
    In this paper, I study one aspect of the philosophical encounter between Spinoza and Hegel: the question of the reality of time. The precise reconstruction of the debate will require a close examination of Spinoza's concept of tempus (time) and duratio (duration), and Hegel's understanding of these notions. Following a presentation of Hegel's perception of Spinoza as a modern Eleatic, who denies the reality of time, change and plurality, I turn, in the second part, to look closely at Spinoza's text (...)
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  37. "Spinoza's Metaphysics and His Relationship to Hegel and the German Idealists".Yitzhak Melamed - 2017 - An Interview with Richard Marshall. 3:AM Magazine.
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  38. The Autobiography of Solomon Maimon.Solomon Maimon, Yitzhak Melamed & Abraham Socher - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
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  39. Spinoza and Some of His Medieval Predecessors on the Summum Bonum.Yitzhak Melamed - 2021 - In Yehuda Halper (ed.), The Pursuit of Happiness in Medieval Jewish and Islamic Thought. pp. 377-392.
    In the current paper I rely on two outstanding studies. The one, by Warren Zev Harvey, draws a portrait of Spinoza as Maimonidean, stressing the continuity between Maimonides and Spinoza on the issue of morality and the highest good. The other is the magisterial study by Steven Shmuel Harvey of the reception of the Nicomachean Ethics in medieval Jewish philosophy, from its being subject to almost complete indifference in the period before Maimonides until it became “the best known and most (...)
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  40. Spinoza and the Kabbalah: From the Gate of Heaven to the ‘Field of Holy Apples’.Yitzhak Melamed - forthcoming - In Cristina Ciucu (ed.), Early Modern Philosophy & the Kabbalah.
    In the first part of this paper we will consider the likely extent of Spinoza’s exposure to Kabbalistic literature as he was growing up in Amsterdam. In the second part we will closely study several texts in which Spinoza seems to engage with Kabbalistic doctrines. In the third and final part we will study the role of the two crucial doctrines of emanation and pantheism (or panentheism), in Spinoza’s system and in the Kabbalistic literature.
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  41. Medieval but not Christian.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2022 - Aeon 9.
    In 1989, Cambridge University Press announced the publication of a new, three-volume book series: The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts. The first volume – edited by Norman Kretzmann and Eleonore Stump, and dedicated to logic and the philosophy of language – contained 15 medieval texts, of which 15 were composed by Christian authors. The second volume in the series, this time focusing on ethics and political philosophy, appeared in 2000. Seventeen of the 17 texts included in this collection – (...)
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  42. “ ‘Let the Law Cut through the Mountain’: Salomon Maimon, Moses Mendelssohn, and Mme. Truth”.Yitzhak Melamed - 2014 - In Lukas Muehlethaler (ed.), Höre die Wahrheit, wer sie auch spricht. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. pp. 70-76.
    Moses Maimonides was a rare kind of radical. Being a genuine Aristotelian, he recommended following the middle path and avoiding extremism. Yet, within the sphere of Jewish philosophy and thought, he created a school of philosophical radicalism, inspiring Rabbis and thinkers to be unwilling to compromise their integrity in searching for the truth, regardless of where their arguments might lead. Both Spinoza and Salomon Maimon inherited this commitment to uncompromising philosophical inquiry. But of course, such willingness to follow a philosophical (...)
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  43. Does Eternity Have A Future?Yitzhak Melamed - 2018 - The Philosophers' Magazine 81:40-44.
    Metaphysics as an independent discipline has a surprisingly short history. Until the early eighteenth century, many, perhaps even most, writers on “metaphysics” primarily had the eponymous work of Aristotle in mind. In the writings of the early eighteenth-century German rationalists—Christian Wolff and Alexander Baumgarten—we find a conception of metaphysics that is no longer necessarily tied to Aristotle’s great work. But metaphysics as a discipline was not blessed with longevity, as a dozen years or so before Louis XVI it was condemned (...)
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  44. The Political Theology of Salomon Maimon.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - forthcoming - In Jason Yonover (ed.), Spinoza in Germany: Political and Religious Thought across the long nineteenth Century. Oxford University Press.
    The term ‘Political Theology’ was not coined in the twentieth century. I am not absolutely sure about who was the first to introduce the term. As we shall shortly see, Salomon Maimon (1753-1800) used the term as part of the title to one of the chapters of his 1792/3 Lebensgeschichte, and it is the primary aim of my chapter to explain his understanding of the term. The idea that views about the divine (‘theology’) – true or false – could have (...)
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  45. The First Draft of Spinoza's Ethics.Yitzhak Melamed - 2019 - In Charles Ramond and Jack Stetter (ed.), Spinoza in 21st-Century French and American Philosophy. Bloomsbury. pp. 93-112.
    The two manuscripts of the Korte Verhanedling that were discovered in the mid-nineteenth century contain two appendices. These appendices are even more enigmatic than the KV itself, and it is the first appendix that is the subject of this study. Unfortunately, there are very few studies of this text, and its precise nature seems to be still in question after more than a century and a half of scholarship. It is commonly assumed that the appendices were written after the body (...)
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  46. Hasdai Crescas and Spinoza on Actual Infinity and the Infinity of God’s Attributes.Yitzhak Melamed - 2014 - In Steven Nadler (ed.), Spinoza and Jewish Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 204-215.
    The seventeenth century was an important period in the conceptual development of the notion of the infinite. In 1643, Evangelista Torricelli (1608-1647)—Galileo’s successor in the chair of mathematics in Florence—communicated his proof of a solid of infinite length but finite volume. Many of the leading metaphysicians of the time, notably Spinoza and Leibniz, came out in defense of actual infinity, rejecting the Aristotelian ban on it, which had been almost universally accepted for two millennia. Though it would be another two (...)
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  47. Symposium on Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Spinoza’s Metaphysics,.Yitzhak Melamed - 2013 - Leibniz Review 23:207-222.
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  48. Jewish Philosophy as Minority Philosophy.Yitzhak Y. Melamed - forthcoming - In Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Paul Franks (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Jewish Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Jewish philosophy has seen better days. It has been quite a while since the discipline of Jewish philosophy enjoyed the respect of the wider philosophical community, and an obvious question is what are the reasons for this state of things? Providing a detailed and thorough answer to this question is beyond the scope of the current chapter. Still, I would like to contribute here a few ideas that might shed some light on the current predicament and its causes. Such an (...)
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  49. ‘Spinoza’s ‘Atheism’, the Ethics and the TTP.Yitzhak Melamed - forthcoming - In Spinoza: Reason, Religion, Politics: The Relation Between the Ethics and the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus.
    The impermanence of human affairs is a major theme in Spinoza’s discussions of political histories, and from our present-day perspective it is both intriguing and ironic to see how this very theme has played out in the evolving fate of Spinoza’s association with atheism. While Spinoza’s contemporaries charged him with atheism in order to impugn his philosophy (and sometimes his character), in our times many lay readers and some scholars portray Spinoza as an atheist in order to commemorate his role (...)
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  50. “Spinoza’s Metaphysics of Substance” in Don Garrett (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.Yitzhak Melamed - forthcoming - In Don Garrett (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza. 2nd edition. Cambriddge University Press.
    ‘Substance’ (substantia, zelfstandigheid) is a key term of Spinoza’s philosophy. Like almost all of Spinoza’s philosophical vocabulary, Spinoza did not invent this term, which has a long history that can be traced back at least to Aristotle. Yet, Spinoza radicalized the traditional notion of substance and made a very powerful use of it by demonstrating – or at least attempting to demonstrate -- that there is only one, unique substance -- God (or Nature) -- and that all other things are (...)
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