Miriam van Reijen
Miriam van Reijen, Het Argentijnse gezicht van Spinoza. Passies en politiek, Klement, Kampen, 2010, 444 pp.
The central question that will be answered in this dissertation is, if there is an explanation for the fact that at the end of the 20th century there exists a relatively great interest in the philosophy of Spinoza in Argentina, compared with other countries in Latin America and in Europe. This study is partly historical. It contains a history of the reception of Spinoza in a little known context. In addition, the nature of that reception has been analyzed. Some Argentine publications on Spinoza in which passions and politics are central themes appeared to take a radical position. Spinoza is a ‘passionalist’, and not a rationalist, wrote Gregorio Kaminsky in a publication from 1990 (1). The reason for the excommunication of Spinoza in 1656 is the fact that his philosophy of the passions was considered subversive by the authorities, asserts Diego Tatián in a book about Spinoza from 2001 (2). Both Argentine philosophers expose the mechanisms to which Deleuze refers in the quote I have chosen as the motto for this dissertation: ‘La dévalorisation des passions tristes, la dénonciation de ceux qui les cultivent et qui s’en servent, forment l’objet pratique de la philosophie’ (3). My study will reveal what has been written about Spinoza in Argentina in the 20th century and also highlights the philosophical theme of the intrinsic relation between passions and politics in Spinoza’s philosophy.
The research question which is formulated in the introduction of the study states explicitly the underlying relation between the philosophical question for passion and politics and the historical-contextual question for the reception of Spinoza. This question is: Is it possible to give an explanation for and an evaluation of the reception of Spinoza in Argentina after 1980 which shows a relatively great interest in the relation of Spinoza’s philosophy of the passions and his political philosophy? This research question has been divided into three sub questions; each of these sub questions will be treated in one of the three parts of this study.