donderdag 27 juli 2017

Robert J. McShea (1917–1997) schreef de “The Political Philosophy of Spinoza”

Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, at Boston University, wrote Morality and Human Nature: A New Route to Ethical Theory, and The Political Philosophy of Spinoza.
Dat was de hele over hem. Iets meer over hem is te vinden in een rouwadvertentie in de New York Times: “McSHEA-Robert J. Died November 25, 1997. Professor emeritus, Boston University. Survived by his wife of more than 49 years, Naomi S. of Brookline, MA, his daughter Sarah D. of New York, NY, his son Daniel W., daughter-in-law Diane Ritchie and granddaughter Hannah Leah, of Durham, NC, and sisters Marie Dewey and Dorothy Backer. Born November 19, 1917, graduated from Queens College and, with Naomi, ran a chicken farm for 16 years. Earned a Ph.D. in political theory from Columbia University *) and taught at Boston University from 1967 to 1988. Authored many articles on political philosophy and The Political Philosophy of Spinoza (1968) and Morality and Human Nature (1990). Memorial gathering will be held at Marsh Chapel, Boston University, December 13, 1997, at 1:00 P.M.” [Paid Notice DEC. 7, 1997 in The New York Time]
*) Er staat daar niet bij dat die "Thesis--Columbia University, 1966" de The Political Philosophy of Spinoza was [cf.].

Ik ging naar deze McShea op zoek, daar Caroline Williams aan het slot van haar hoofdstuk ‘Baruch de Spinoza,” [In: T. Carver, J. Martin (Eds.), Palgrave Advances in Continental Political Thought. [Palgrave] Springer, 2005, pp. 17-31 – cf. abstract bij] onder ‘further reading” onder andere aanbeval [ze bracht die tekst niet naar haar]:

S. Rosen, "Benedict Spinoza", in: R. Cropsey & L. Strauss (Eds.), History of Political Philosophy. Chicago University Press, 1987, p. 456 – 475 – alwaar dit hoofdstuk door google aan te klikken geheel te lezen is. En
R. McShea, The Political Philosophy of Spinoza. Zone Books, 1990. Dit was een herdruk van oorspronkelijk:
Robert J. McShea, The Political Philosophy of Spinoza. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968 – vii, 214 p
. amazonbooks,google

Contents [cf.]
Life and writings of Spinoza
The metaphysics
Human nature
Man in society
Subjects and hero-founders
Constitutional proposals
The state
Spinoza and Hobbes

Cover van hier


Er bestaan meerdere reviews van het boek, waaruit ik hieronder een uittreksel biedt. Het meest opvallend vind ik de eerste zinnen die Wernham, de inleider en vertaler van van Spinoza’s politieke werken, schreef: de is de eerste behandeling van Spinoza’s politieke filosofie sinds R.A. Duff in diens Spinoza's Political and Ethical Philosophy in 1903 daar aandacht aan gaf. Dat ik nu net onlangs enige blog aan deze Duff wijdde…

• A. G. Wernham, in: The Philosophical Quarterly (1950-), Vol. 20, No. 80, Special Review Number (Jul.,1970), p. 272

This is the first full-length treatment of Spinoza's political philosophy to appear in English since R. A. Duff published his Spinoza's Political and Ethical Philosophy in 1903. Mr. McShea's book is much slighter than that of his predecessor; but it con- tains a good chapter on Spinoza's philosophical and political background, a topic for which Duff found little room in his 516 pages. And since Spinoza's political philosophy is based on his conception of human nature, which in turn is based on his metaphysics, it contains chapters on these topics al.

[Nadat hi enige technische opmerkingen gemaakt heeft over het gebruik van termen en begrippen, eindigt hij met:

This book makes no original contribution to the understanding of Spinoza: but except on the points I have mentioned, and on a few others of lesser importance, it is sound and well-informed. On the whole it provides a useful introduction to Spinoza's political thought.

• Angèle K. Marietti, in: Les Études philosophiques, No. 3/4, Giambattista VICO (1668-1744): Une philosophienon-cartésienne (JUILLET-DÉCEMBRE 1968), p. 475

Heeft niet echt een recensie, maar geeft een globale samenvatting van Spinoza’s politieke leer (zoals ze misschien uit het boek heeft geleerd?)

Thomas H. Clancy in The Journal of Politics. Volume 31, Number 1 | Feb., 1969, pp. 244-245

[..] After two opening chapters on his life and background, McShea follows the steps of Spinoza through his metaphysics, his psychology, his ethics, and finally his political ideas. It is only at the end of the book that he gives us the inevitable chapter comparing Hobbes and Spinoza. For too long has the Jewish philosopher served as a foil to test the logical rigor of the Hobbesian system. Throughout there are apposite references to other political theorists: Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau, Burke and John Dewey.

Though obviously sympathetic to Spinoza's system and careful to smooth over at least some of the rough spots in his thought, the author makes no excessive claims for his subject. Towards the end, he writes: "

“... Good metaphysical systems are not usually disproven, they simply go out of fashion, sometimes to return with a new hemline. I do not myself look forward to a revival of Spinozism itself so much as to a possible increased awareness of its usefulness, perhaps even necessity for, the kind of responsible metaphysical thought to which Spinoza provokes us." This is a short book written in a spare and austere style.

Howard Warrender in: Political Studies, June 1, 1969

The author considers briefly some applications of Spinoza's thought: to international rela-tions, to the Church/State conflict, to civil liberty and the right to revolution. He concludes with an assessment of Spinoza's achievements which, apart from inventing modem techniques of Biblical analysis, are 'the conversion of a great metaphysical tradition into a philosophy of science, the creation of a naturalistic ethics, and the reconciliation of the claims of individual freedom and social peace through an analysis of the nature of political power' (p. 197). On the political side, he is to be regarded essentially as a bourgeois ideologist—a supporter of the modern secular omnicompetent State, to which he contributes a very significant analysis of power, and its relation to absolutism and to freedom. In general, this book is a good introduction to the subject; it is clearly written, modest, and free from padding or jargon. If it has a fault, it is that it is not long enough; the advanced student would have welcomed a more concrete statement of what we may now hope to achieve from a renewed study of Spinoza's work. Nevertheless, Professor McShea is to be congratulated in having given us such a fair start. [Cf.]

• Ralph Gilbert Ross in:  Journal of the History of Philosophy, Volume 8, Number 2, April 1970,  pp. 215-217

This is a very good book, with a clear point of view, taut and exact prose, and sophisticated scholarship. It goes a long way to establish Spinoza as a major political philosopher. Perhaps, as a result, surveys and textbooks in political philosophy will give Spinoza adequate space. Recent texts, describing Spinoza as a mere follower of Hobbes, give him about as much space as they do Pufendorf.

Robert J. McShea's Spinoza derives from Machiavelli as well as Hobbes, and reaches out to Rousseau and the English and French Revolutions. He is even more hard-headed and clinical than Hobbes, and he is more systematic, carrying some Hobbist arguments to their logical conclusions, even where Hobbes himself doesn't.

• Rosalie L. Colie, in: Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 86, No. 2 (Jun., 1971), pp. 311-313

Dr. McShea has produced another sound, Columbia-style study of a ma- jor political thinker. His analysis and commentary are spare, scrupulous, and occasionally ironical: he likes his subject and makes us like even the austere Spinoza. Recognizing Spinoza's extraordinary quality as a politi- cal thinker as well as the fact that Spinoza's political thought was in ev- ery sense dependent upon his metaphysics and ethics, Mr. McShea has nonetheless chosen to crack the hard, close-grained block of Spinoza's thought with the wedge of political philosophy. His instrument is very good indeed: by his stern concentration on things political, the author manages to say a great deal about Spinoza's metaphysics and (what he recognizes as still more important) his ethical system. […] In his last chapter, the author makes the extremely interesting point that in Spinoza's whole system-of ethics, psychology, politics, Uncle Tom Cob- leigh and all-he offers a laicized, politicized Calvinism. Indeed, the Spinoza of this book is a major revisionist of traditions, a man writing from well within the idioms and commonly received notions of Western thought and expression, who managed to transcend-some might say, to subvert-them; a-man who, in addition, offered in his philosophy the most important critiques up to then of Machiavelli, Descartes, and Hobbes-perhaps, indeed, the most important critiques of these figures ever written by anyone.

• S. Zac, in: Revue Philosophique de la France et de l'Étranger, T. 162 (1972), pp. 225-227

Zac acht in zijn lange recensie een goed gedocumenteerde studie die accuraat rapporteert over de filosofie van Spinoza en ’t politieke in samenhang brengt met zijn hele filosofie. De auteur gaat eerst in op de metafysische vooronderstellingen van het politieke denken van Spinoza: idee van uniformiteit en de noodzakelijke wetten van de natuur, de ontkenning van wonderen en het bovennatuurlijke en tenslotte de weerlegging van het idee van de vrijheid van keuze, in God en in de mens, en bevestiging van vrijheid als: moeten handelen volgens de wetten van zijn eigen aard.
Aanvulling zelfde dag
Vandaag ontdek ik dat in het volgende boek vooral gebruik wordt gemaakt van beide boven genoemde auteurs, te weten S. Rosen en  Robert J. McShea:

Abraham Melamed, The Philosopher-King in Medieval and Renaissance Jewish Political Thought. Edited and with a Foreword by Lenn E. Goodman. SUNY Press, 2012 -

In voetnoot 32 bij Hoofdstuk 9, "Rejection" zegt Abraham Melamed het volgende over Robert J. McShea:

Abraham Melamed is professor of Jewish philosophy in the department for Jewish History and Thought at the University of Haifa, and holds the Wolfson Chair for the Study of the Jewish. [Cf.]

Toevoeging 8 september 2017
Zie dit blog van 14 september 2015 over
Daniel Frank & Jason Waller, Spinoza on Politics [Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to -]. London and New York: Routledge, 2016 [2015]
Ik maak daar een opmerking over de mededeling van uitgever die op de achterflap en de openingspagina van het boek beweert: “The first guidebook to Spinoza’s political writings.”
Toen wist ik nog niet van het bestaan van het boek van McShea waar het in dit blog over gaat.

Ik noteer hier tevens dat in
T. Carver, J. Martin (Eds.), Palgrave Advances in Continental Political Thought. Springer, 2006 [2005] - het eerste hoofdstuk van het eerste deel "Classics" van de hand is van
Caroline Williams, "Baruch de Spinoza," p. 17-31 [zij geeft het niet op haar pagina bij]
Zij geeft veel aandacht aan Negri, Althusser, Balibar en de anderen die de multitudo belangrijk achtten.

Zie "Spinoza's Political Philosophy," lemma door Justin Steinberg geschreven, op Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, waarin het boek van McShea aan de orde komt.


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