London Spinoza Circle: Deriving Culture from Nature: Articulate and Inarticulate Bodies in Spinoza's Philosophy of Nature

Thursday 25th January, 3pm-5pm
Room B04, Birkbeck College Main Building, Malet St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX.
(Entrance from Torrington Square)

Spinoza’s philosophy is often criticised for lacking a direct consideration of art. According to commentators one of the reasons for this is his strong naturalism. Dr. Christopher Thomas (Manchester Metropolitan University) will argue that rather than see Spinoza’s naturalism as reductive in terms of a theory of art and culture, it actually allows for a novel understanding of the work of art as a particularly ‘articulate’ part of nature.

By turning to the two places that Spinoza mentions art in the Ethics–IIIP2Schol and IVP45Schol respectively–, as well as his theory of the sanctity of Scripture in the Theological-Political Treatise, this paper will develop the theory of art and culture that follows from, and is implicit in, Spinoza’s philosophical naturalism.

All are welcome and no registration is required.

Future Meetings, all 3 - 5pm in the Paul Hirst Room, Department of Politics, Birkbeck College, at 10 Gower Street London WC1E 6HJ,

February 15th, 2018 – Prof Yitzhak Melamed (Johns Hopkins University)
March 1st, 2018 – Dr Daniel Whistler (Royal Holloway)
March 22nd, 2018 – Dr Alexander Douglas (St Andrews University)