Shifting the Geography of Reason, with Respects to Spinoza


  • Lewis R. Gordon University of Connecticut



Spinoza lecture, Africana philosophy, Black philosophy, Caribbean philosophy


Abstract: This essay is based on a portion of the author’s Spinoza Lecture, which was presented in Amsterdam on 24 May 2022. Although Spinoza is not the main subject of the lecture, his anxieties and fears about his Sephardic Jewishness and its links to Africa and by extension racialized blackness offer an opportunity to outline Euromodern hegemonic geography of reason as a misrepresentation from which a shift in point of view can offer a set of important challenges to the portrait of philosophy it promotes. These challenges are elaborated through the author’s summary of Africana and Black philosophy and the questions that philosophy, understood in intellectual, historical, and political terms, generates. Among these are the meanings of humanity, freedom, justification, redemption, reality, political transformation, and love.

Author Biography

Lewis R. Gordon, University of Connecticut

Lewis R. Gordon is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Global Affairs and Head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut. He is also Honorary President of the Global Center for Advanced Studies and Distinguished Scholar at The Most Honourable PJ Patterson Centre for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy at The University of the West Indies, Mona. He is the author of many award-winning and influential books, including Fear of Black Consciousness (Penguin, 2022), and hundreds of articles, essays, and other kinds of writings. He was one of the two Spinoza lecturers in 2022, the same year in which he was the recipient of the Eminent Scholar Award from the International Studies Association.



How to Cite

Gordon, Lewis R. 2024. “Shifting the Geography of Reason, With Respects to Spinoza”. Krisis | Journal for Contemporary Philosophy 44 (1):84-105.