The project launched just a few days ago, and already I have learned of some interesting people doing research on Spinoza, architecture, and equality.

Gary Shapiro, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Richmond, got in touch with some papers on Spinoza and landscape architecture, which should be fascinating.

Over at The Funambulist – a blog on architecture, philosophy, and politics – Leopold Lambert has published the first of his Funamulist Pamphlets on Spinoza (free download from Punctum Books). There are several chapters connecting to our project themes – including “Architectures of Joy” and “Architectures of the conatus”. I’m really looking forward to reading this.

And later this week, I’m looking forward to catching up with Anya Topolski (KU Leuven) – plus everyone on the Spinoza and Politics panel – at the London Conference in Critical Thought. Topolski is doing important research on the concept of Tzedekah as used by Spinoza: a Hebrew term referring to both charity and debt. I’ll be giving a paper on Spinoza’s concept of equality in the Theological-Political Treatise, and the significance of debt for this concept (powerpoint available here).

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  1. I finally got around to reading these pieces today, and discovered an interesting convergence. Both Shapiro and Lambert independently describe the work of Arakawa and Gins – in particular, their architecture to prolong life and avoid death – as Spinozist architecture. I was also interested in Lambert’s connection between walking up a hill/incline and Spinoza’s joy, as transitions to greater power. I have used the hill/incline image to offer a visualization of this transition in Spinoza’s Ethics, but had not considered the significance of moving the body up an incline.

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