zaterdag 15 juli 2017

Robert A. Duff’s boek over Spinoza’s politieke en ethische filosofie [1]

Ergens [n.l. in het Voorwoord van Christopher Norris, Spinoza and the Origins of Modern Critical Theory] kwam ik een opmerking tegen over het Spinoza-boek van Robert A. Duff uit 1903, waarvan ik nog eerder had gehoord. Dan ga ik vervolges op zoek naar meer informatie over:

Robert A. Duff, Spinoza's Political and Ethical Philosophy. Glasgow: James Maclehose and Sons, The Macmillan Co., New. York, I903. pp. 516
Over de schrijver is behalve wat op het titelblad staat (Lecturer on Moral and Political Philosophy in the University of Glasgow) verder niets te vinden.*) Zijn boek blijkt gedigitaliseerd te staan op archive.org (ook nog hier op archive, maar incompleet).
Het boek is in facsimile herdrukt bij Augustus M. Kelley Publishers, New York, 1970. En dat is o.a. te vinden bij amazon.com waar ook de inhoudsopgave te zien is, die ik hier overneem (maar ook uit archive.org had kunnen overnemen):

CONTENTS.
CHARTER I. INTRODUCTION,
II. GENERAL PRINCIPLES, 12
III. MAN'S PLACE IN NATURE,   24
IV. NATURAL NECESSITY AND FREEDOM OF WILL,  36
V. UNITY AND DIFFERENCE,   47
VI. DIVINE DETERMINATION,   67
VII. THE 'CONATUS SESE CONSERVANDI' AND THE GOOD, 76
VIII. NATURE AND DEFECTS OF THE PASSIONS,  93
IX. PLACE AND FUNCTION OF REASON, 107
X. THE GOOD AS AN IDEAL HUMAN NATURE, 120
XI. THE GOOD AS THE PRINCIPLE OF SOCIALITY. 136
XII. THE ‘JUS NATURAE,'   146
XIII. THE ‘STATUS NATURALIS' AND THE NATURAL MAN, 155
XIV. GOD'S LAWS AND HUMAN LAWS,  164
XV. THE FUNDAMENTAL LAWS OF HUMAN NATURE, 192
XVI. THE PROBLEM OF EVIL,   208
XVII. THE 'LUMEN NATURALE’ OR THE IDEA OF GOD IN MAN, 231
XVIII. THE SOCIAL AND THE CIVIL CONDITION, 245
XIX. NECESSITY AND ORIGIN OF THE STATE, 265
XX. THE NATURE OF GOVERNMENT, 283
XXI. THE STATE AS ONE MIND,   309
XXII. THE NATURE AND FUNCTION OF LAW,  327
XXIII. VALUE OF A GOOD CONSTITUTION, - -362
XXIV. NATURE AND CONDITIONS OF A STATE'S SECURITY,  405
XXV. THE AUTONOMY Or THE STATE,   451
XXVI. FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, SPEECH, AND RELIGION,  471
XXVIl. STATE'S RELATION TO MORALITY AND RELIGION,  486
XXVIII. FORMS OF STATIC-MONARCHY, ARISTOCRACY, AND DEMOCRACY,   499
INDEX, 513




Uit die herdruk werden uitgebreide uittreksels van alle 28 hoofdstukken gebracht op Advayavada.org waarbij je je afvraagt wie daarvan kennis zouden willen nemen.

Interessant vind ik het zo’n boek te leren kennen via contemporaine besprekingen. Die laten je zien hoe verschillend er over zo’n boek werd gedacht. Ik neem er hier en in een volgend blog enige over. Er zijn heel kritische besprekers (zoals Pollock), maar ook die veel gunstiger over het boek oordelen. De kritische besprekers lijken gelijk te hebben gekregen, als je nagaat dat het twee jaar eerder verschenen boek van Joachim nog steeds geciteerd wordt en je van Robert A. Duff nooit meer iets hoort (behalve bij Christopher Norris dan), dan wordt duidelijk hoe ‘de geschiedenis’ over Duf’s boek heeft geoordeeld. Maar de receptiegeschiedenis van Spinoza is nog niet voorbij - er kan nog weer anders worden geoordeeld.
Hier een eerste bespreking - een positieve:


• James Wilford Garner, review of Spinoza's Political and Ethical Philosophy by Robert A. Duff. In: The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science [ Sage Publications, Inc. in association with the American Academy ofPolitical and Social Science], Vol. 22, Southern Educational Problems (Sep., 1903), pp. 112-114  ] [cf]

Spinoza's Political and Ethical Philosophy. By ROBERT A. DUFF, M. A. Pp. 516. Price, $3.50. Glasgow: James Maclehose & Sons. New York: Macmillan & Co., 1903.
     This volume, the work of a Glasgow University professor, is by far the most systematic and scholarly exposition of Spinoza's philosophy that has yet appeared in English. Its chief merit as compared with the recent work of Sir Frederick Pollock is its greater comprehensiveness in scope, its finer elucidation of statement and its better correlation of ideas, although it falls short of the latter work in several minor particulars, notably as regards the treatment of the sources of Spinoza's philosophy. This important phase of the subject is dismissed by Professor Duff with a few paragraphs. Something like two- thirds of the volume is given up to an exposition of Spinoza's doctrines of law and politics as set forth in his two celebrated works, the "Tractatus Theologico- Politicus" and the "Tractatus Politicus," the former published in I670, the latter, an unfinished treatise, appearing shortly after the author's death in I677. The remaining one-third of the volume deals with Spinoza's ethical system. With regard to the sources of Spinoza's philosophy it may be noted that the author rejects in the main the view of Sir Frederick Pollock, T. H. Green and others, who have treated Spinoza largely as a disciple of Hobbes and who claim to have found the basis of much of his doctrine in the writings of the English philosopher. Duff points out that Spinoza never mentioned the name of Hobbes except in two passages, although he admits that Spinoza had a copy of the "De Cive" in his library. He thinks a deeper influence was exerted upon Spinoza by Machiavelli, who for some unaccountable reason seems to have held the Dutch philosopher under a magician's spell. There are frequent references of an important nature to the 'Prince" and the "Discourses," while the tone and temper, as well as many of the illustrations and phrases of the "Tractatus Politicus," may be traced to this source. Two other authors who, in the opinion of the editor, influenced Spinoza were Grotius and St. Augustine. Strangely enough there is no evidence that either Plato or Aristotle contributed anything to his system of philosophy, and he does not seem to have even had any direct knowledge of the greatest of all philosophers. Spinoza's doctrines of the "Jus Naturae" and the "Status Naturalis" are made the subjects of special chapters. With regard to the latter Spinoza accepted the view of Hobbes, that the state of nature was one of potential if not actual warfare among men. His conception of the nature and function of law is wholesome and rational. Law, he says, is not inconsistent with liberty; it does not restrain the freedom of the individual, but secures and enlarges his freedom, and its force is not that of him who commands but of the individuals who obey, because they judge that their good lies in the direction of obedience. Spinoza's doctrines of political science are treated under the captions, "origin and sphere of the state," the "nature of government," the "value of a good constitution," the "nature and conditions of state security," "state autonomy" and "forms of state." His theory of the origin of the state is not very different from that of Hobbes. He traces its beginning to a covenant of mutual concessions from individuals who are prompted by a desire to secure greater happiness, peace and security than the state of nature affords. The idea that the state is the result of necessity, but at the same time man's best friend, pervades his whole system. Its end is not dominion nor the restraining of men by fear, but to deliver each man from fear; that is, its end is libertas. Spinoza's philosophy with regard to the sphere of the state is in harmony with the principles of sound political science. The entire realm of social and family life, the world of business and of recreation, and in fact every phase of human activity, is within the control of the state. Even property is held subject to its power, and private owners are but trustees for the state. The idea that the supreme end for which the state exists is the foster- ing and development of human intelligence is one of the dominant principles of his politics. Unlike Hobbes he makes a distinction between state and gov- ernment. To him the terms are never synonymous except in absolute monarchies. His conception of the ideal state is that in which the power of the ruler is absolute; and the monarch who can say with truth L'etat c'est moi is the best of all rulers and has the happiest subjects, since only the best ruler can rule his subjects absolutely. The secret of the state's eternity, the happiness and freedom of its subjects and the surest security for the permanence of the royal power, is a good constitution planted deeply in the affections of the people. The obligation of obedience lasts only so long as the ruler maintains the conditions for the sake of which men form a state and elect rulers, but tyrannicide as a means of preventing tyranny is unjustifiable and insufficient. Applying to the state Hobbes' doctrine of the belligerency of the natural man, he says states are by nature enemies and are always in a state of potential or actual hostility.

JAMES WILFORD GARNER. University of Pennsylvania.
Dan een recensent die ongunstiger over Duff oordeelt:

Spinoza's political and ethical philosophy, by Robert A. Duff, M. A., lecturer on moral and political philosophy in the University of Glasgow. 1 vol. in-8, de 516 p., Glasgow, Maclehose, 1903. – In: Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale [Presses Universitaires de France], T. 11, No. 6 (Novembre 1903), p. 8,

M. Duff fait aux études qui ont été publiées jusqu'ici sur Spinoza un double reproche. Io On néglige de rechercher les sources historiques du spinozisme. Accusation trop générale: ce n'est pas ce reproche qu'il convient d'adresser, par exemple, au livre de M. Couchoud. Et, d'ailleurs, le volume que nous avons sous les yeux nesatisfait pas encore notre curiosité sur ce point, puisque M. Duff remet à plus tard de nous dire ce que Spinoza a emprunté « à Descartes, à la scolastique modifiée par le cartésianisme comme chez Heereboord et Clauberg, à Bacon, peut-être à Bruno... à la Bible, aux Stoïciens, à saint Augustin, à Thomas d'Aquin, à Philon le Juif ». 2° On ne considère pas assez que les divers ouvrages de Spinoza font un tout, et que l’Ethique ne doit pas être étudiée à part du Traite Politique. Car Spinoza, nous dit M. Duff, n'a fait de métaphysique que pour fonder une morale et une politique; pour prouver « que la compréhension vraie de son bien propre par l'individu produira et conservera une organisation sociale favorable au développement de la sagesse, de la justice et de la charité chez ceux qui la constituent ». Comment s'y prend M. Duff pour nous tracer le portrait d'un Spinoza solidariste et socialisant? Très simplement. Il commence par l'analyse de l’Ethique, s'arrête avant le livre V (chapitres i-xvii. p. 1-231), puis passe à l'analyse de la philosophie politique, pour finir par la théorie des trois formes de gouvernement. Au prix d'une grosse omission et d'un complet bouleversement dans l'ordre, vrai des matières, la philosophie de Spinoza, philosophie de la liberté, devient une philosophie de la servitude. Dans le détail, l'analyse de M. Duff semble généralement exacte, complète, un peu prolixe.
 
 
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*) Hoewel: één feitje kwam nog boven water toen ik eens op website van de Universiteit van Glasgow ging grasduinen. In "Who, Where and When: The History & Constitution of the University of Glasgow," [PDF] staat in de lijst "Lecturers":
1909 Robert Alexander Duff, MA, DPhil
Hij was de eerste Lecturer in Political Philosophy, want we lezen:
In 1909, a Lectureship in Political Philosophy was founded and endowed from funds raised to commemorate the services of Edward Caird (1835-1908), Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University, 1866-1893. [The Edward Caird Chair]. In 1960, the Lectureship was replaced by a Chair in Political and Social Theory. The title was changed to Political and Social Philosophy in 1965 and in 1970 to Politics. Patron: the University Court. (Ordinance 336-Glasgow 92; amended by Ordinance 504-Glasgow 139 and Resolution 52).

Edward Caird was dus een oudere collega van Duff.
Een kniesoor die erop wijst dat in het 1903-Spinozaboek al vermeld staat: Lecturer on Moral and Political Philosophy... Zijn boek Spinoza's Political and Ethical Philosophy. wordt vooral herdrukt onder zijn volledige naam: Robert Alexander Duff [cf. bol.com]
 
Bij nog wat verder zoeken blijkt uit een "Graduate Record for Robert Alexander Duff" [cf.]
dat zijn geboortedatum was: 21 December 1866
dat hij zijn Master of Arts behaalde in 1886
In andere registers werd gevonden: Licentiate of the Free Church; Assistant to Professor of Moral Philosophy in Glasgow University; conducted Logic Class during 1894-95, the Session after Professor Veith's death; Lecturer on Moral Philosophy in Queen Margaret College.



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