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I—CreatingRationalUnderstanding: Spinoza as aSocialEpistemologist

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Does Spinoza present philosophy as the preserve of an elite, while condemning the uneducated to a false though palliative form of ‘true religion’? Some commentators have thought so, but this contribution aims to show that they are mistaken. The form of religious life that Spinoza recommends creates the political and epistemological conditions for a gradual transition to philosophical understanding, so that true religion and philosophy are in practice inseparable.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Philosophy Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E, 7HX, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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