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Moira Gatens (ed), Feminist Interpretations of Benedict Spinoza (Pennsylvania State UP)

This volume brings together international scholars working at the intersection of Spinoza studies and critical and feminist philosophy. It is the first book-length study dedicated to the re-reading of Spinoza's ethical and theologico-political works from a feminist perspective. The twelve outstanding chapters range over the entire field of Spinoza's writings—metaphysical, political, theological, ethical, and psychological—drawing out the ways in which his philosophy presents a rich resource for the reconceptualization of friendship, sexuality, politics, and ethics in contemporary life.

The clear and accessible Introduction offers a historical sketch of Spinoza's life and intellectual context and indicates how Spinoza s philosophy might be seen as a rich cultural resource today. Topics treated here include the mind-body problem and its relation to the sex-gender distinction; relational autonomy; the nature of love and friendship; sexuality and normative morality; free will and determinism and their relation to Christian theology; imagination and recognition between the sexes; emotion and the body; and power, imagination, and political sovereignty. The essays engage in a rich and challenging conversation that opens new paths for feminist research. Contributors, besides the editor, are Aurelia Armstrong, Sarah Donovan, Paola Grassi, Luce Irigaray, Susan James, Genevieve Lloyd, Alexandre Matheron, Heidi Ravven, Amelie Rorty, and David West.

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