The Testament of Spinoza

"The Testament of Spinoza," Bayerische Israelitische Gemeindezeitung, Vol. 8, No. 21 (1 November 1932).  Reprinted in Gesammelte Schriften: Band 1.  Reprinted in Leo Strauss: The Early Writings.


Neutrality toward Spinoza set in once one was able to admit that the “modern worldview,” whose victory was decisively aided by Spinoza’s metaphysics, does not, or does not entirely, coincide with this metaphysics.  but even at this stage it was still generally maintained, and even emphasized, that among the three great Western philosophers of the seventeenth century–Descartes, Hobbes, and Spinoza–Spinoza was the most important one because he was the most progressive one.  He alone had drawn certain consequences from the foundations of modern philosophy, which became fully clarified only in the nineteenth century and which henceforth determined the general consciousness.

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