The First Punk Philosopher

We may define a punk philosopher as one who is out of step with his or her times, and who, both in their writings and life, call into question the conventions of the time, instead of confirming their legitimacy. it took many hundreds of years for a significant body of work to be composed that had this punk quality to it: Baruch d'Espinosa, (or Benedict (the "well-Spoken") Spinoza), son of Marano Jews, excommunicated from his synagogue for atheism, maker of lenses for the new scienctific studies, courageous republican in the face of royalist authority, critic of miracles and superstition, correspondent with philosophers and scientists around Europe, and the greatest of metaphysical ethicists. His life and works are a model of subversive thinking. We will read his main work, the Ethics, read slowly and dialogically, seeking the punk, even anarchic qualities as a model for contemporary life.

proposed by Eric Buck

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