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Being and Reason: An Essay on Spinoza's Metaphysics

2021.04.01 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Martin Lin, Being and Reason: An Essay on Spinoza's Metaphysics, Oxford University Press, 2019, 200pp., $64.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198834151. Reviewed by Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Johns Hopkins University "To try to find out the reason for everything is very dangerous and leads to nothing but disappointment and dissatisfaction." With this zesty Queen Victoria quote Martin Lin opens the final chapter of his new book on Spinoza's metaphysics. In his introduction, Lin echoes Queen Victoria's admonition, warning the reader of the vices of over-confident rationalism that fails to realize that "the world is full of the contingent and the inexplicable" (2). While mostly sharing Lin's sentiment against hubristic rationalism, I have some reservations about his confidence that the vast terrain of the unexplained is also unexplainable. But let's not jump the gun. Lin's book appears at a particularly exciting time when the study of Spinoza is flourishing and outstanding works... Read [More]

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