The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World (Google eBook)

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jan 17, 2007 - Philosophy - 352 pages
2 Reviews

“A colorful reinterpretation. . . . Stewart’s wit and profluent prose make this book a fascinating read.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Philosophy in the late seventeenth century was a dangerous business. No careerist could afford to know the reclusive, controversial philosopher Baruch de Spinoza. Yet the wildly ambitious genius Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who denounced Spinoza in public, became privately obsessed with Spinoza's ideas, wrote him clandestine letters, and ultimately met him in secret.

"In refreshingly lucid terms" (Booklist) Matthew Stewart "rescues both men from a dusty academic shelf, bringing them to life as enlightened humans" (Library Journal) central to the religious, political, and personal battles that gave birth to the modern age. Both men put their faith in the guidance of reason, but one spent his life defending a God he may not have believed in, while the other believed in a God who did not need his defense. Ultimately, the two thinkers represent radically different approaches to the challenges of the modern era. They stand for a choice that we all must make.
  

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Contents

The Hague November 1676
11
Bento is 3 Gottfried
39
A Life of the Mind
54
Gods Attorney
75
The Hero of the People
95
The Many Faces of Leibniz
109
Friends of Friends
121
Leibniz in Love
132
Point of Contact
196
Surviving Spinoza
203
The Antidote to Spinozism
232
The Haunting
256
The Return of the Repressed
280
Leibnizs End
294
Aftermath
307
A Note on Sources
327

A Secret Philosophy of the Whole of Things
156
Approaching Spinoza
183

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About the author (2007)

Matthew Stewart is the author of the books The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World and The Management Myth: Debunking the Modern Philosophy of Business. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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