Catherine Malabou – Spinoza and Symbolic Necessity


Event Date: 1 December 2016

Chelsea Lecture Theatre
University of the Arts London
John Islip Street
London, SW1P 4JU

The Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) presents:

Professor Catherine Malabou (Kingston) – Spinoza and Symbolic Necessity

In Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza, Gilles Deleuze contrasts philosophy and revelation. Expressionism is the privileged modality of immanence and intelligibility, opposed to ‘knowledge by signs’ that characterizes the domain of revelation and is supposedly meant to foster faith in ignorant people. The ontological dimension of revelation – that is, its necessity – is dismissed by Deleuze’s reading. Emmanuel Lévinas, following an apparently inverted logic, reproaches Spinoza for having subjected revelation to an overly rigid ontological necessity, thus missing its ‘signifying’ value. Do we find too many or too few signs in Spinoza?  By focusing on Spinoza’s method of interpretation, Catherine will challenge these approaches, showing how the issue of the symbolic inscribes itself in Spinoza’s project, and offering her own account of the symbolic.

Introduction by Dr Sheena Calvert (UAL):





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