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Idealistic Studies

Volume 33, Issue 2/3, Summer/Fall 2003

Idit Dobbs-Weinstein
Pages 219-235
DOI: 10.5840/idstudies2003332/314

Whose History? Spinoza’s Critique of Religion As an Other Modernity

This paper discusses Spinoza's critique of religion as a visible moment of a radically occluded materialist Judeo-Arabic Aristotelian philosophical tradition. While the prevailing (Christo-Platonic) tradition begins with the familiar gesture to metaphysics as first philosophy, Spinoza's thought (and thus, this Other Tradition) takes politics as its point of departure with its concrete emphasis on a critique of dogma. This paper will show-by way of differing readings of Spinoza-how this materialist tradition becomes occluded by the prevailing tradition, even in the work of such careful materialist Spinoza commentators as Etienne Balibar.