Spinoza: Europe’s Greatest Heretic, Philosopher, and Thinker with Dr. Firmin DeBrabander

Spinoza: Europe’s Greatest Heretic, Philosopher, and Thinker with Dr. Firmin DeBrabander


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Baruch Spinoza is one of the most mysterious and remarkable philosophers of Modern Europe: he is the father of atheism, a great mystic, an early proponent of democracy, and an author on psychotherapy. How shall we understand the many (sometimes competing) strains of this deeply influential thinker?

Baruch Spinoza is a unique and curious figure in European philosophy. He is considered by some the father of modern secularism. And while he said truly scandalous things about God–which got him banished from the Jewish community in Amsterdam–he was deeply religious in other respects. Though considered one of the first proper atheists of Europe, Spinoza called himself no such thing.

Spinoza was also one of the first philosophers to articulate the political theory of democracy. His psychotherapy harked back to the ancient Roman Stoics, and also anticipated Freudian psychoanalysis, in many respects. This course will consider the many strains of Spinoza's thought; his ambitions for 17th-century politics and religion; the role of his many influences- Stoicism, Judaism, Modern Science; and his plan for shaping the human soul.

Led by an expert on Political Philosophy, Firmin DeBrabander, this interactive seminar will explore the many fascinating aspects of Baruch Spinoza's philosophy. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation of this amazing thinker, whose work helped shape secularism, psychoanalysis, and liberal democracy.

You may also enjoy Plato vs the Poets: Philosophy, Politics, and the Arts in the Ancient World with Dr. Firmin DeBrabander

Firmin received his PhD from Emory University in 2002, and specializes in Political Philosophy. Dr. DeBrabander also teaches courses in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy, Aesthetics, Moral Philosophy, Environmental Ethics and Economic Theory. He has written two books: Spinoza and the Stoics (Continuum Press, 2007) and Do Guns Make us Free? (Yale University Press, 2015). He is currently at work on a manuscript on privacy. Dr. DeBrabander has written pieces in social and political commentary for a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Salon, The Atlantic and The New Republic.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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Cheryl (Hofheim am Taunus, DE)
A very thorough and very interesting lecture

This was an excellent introduction to Spinoza's life and his ideas. This conversation has inspired me to learn more about Spinoa.

I
Irina (San Francisco, US)

It was a very inspiring and clarifying lecture. I like how Dr. DeBrabander uses paintings by great artists to illustrate the philosophical ideas he explains. It helps to feel that everything is interconnected. I want more talks by this scholar.

A
Anonymous (Philadelphia, US)
Clear, Organized, and Comprehensive

I very much enjoyed Firmin's seminar on Spinoza. He explained this philosopher's main contributions and made complex concepts clear in an interesting manner. Thank you, Firmin! More philosophy seminars please!

M
Matthew Parker (Kansas City, US)
A fantastic lecture

This was an excellent webinar! Dr. DeBrabander not only gave a detailed and informative analysis of Spinoza's Ethics, but he was also remarkably entertaining while doing so. His responses to audience questions were excellent and demonstrated his deep understanding of the subject matter. If he hadn't mentioned that this was his first talk at Context, I'd have assumed he had been doing these talks for years. I'm looking forward to attending more of his lectures in the future!

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
100%
(4)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
Cheryl (Hofheim am Taunus, DE)
A very thorough and very interesting lecture

This was an excellent introduction to Spinoza's life and his ideas. This conversation has inspired me to learn more about Spinoa.

I
Irina (San Francisco, US)

It was a very inspiring and clarifying lecture. I like how Dr. DeBrabander uses paintings by great artists to illustrate the philosophical ideas he explains. It helps to feel that everything is interconnected. I want more talks by this scholar.

A
Anonymous (Philadelphia, US)
Clear, Organized, and Comprehensive

I very much enjoyed Firmin's seminar on Spinoza. He explained this philosopher's main contributions and made complex concepts clear in an interesting manner. Thank you, Firmin! More philosophy seminars please!

M
Matthew Parker (Kansas City, US)
A fantastic lecture

This was an excellent webinar! Dr. DeBrabander not only gave a detailed and informative analysis of Spinoza's Ethics, but he was also remarkably entertaining while doing so. His responses to audience questions were excellent and demonstrated his deep understanding of the subject matter. If he hadn't mentioned that this was his first talk at Context, I'd have assumed he had been doing these talks for years. I'm looking forward to attending more of his lectures in the future!