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Vico’s Ring


within natural science of what meanings are for hermeneutic science» (Id.,


Book Forged in Hell

, cit., p. 133).


It is no coincidence that Gabbey can cite the programmatic



sage (p. 87) as template for Spinoza’s scientific method, rather than the other

way around (Id.,

Spinoza’s natural science and methodology

, cit., p. 170), and unsur-

prising that in both cases, analogous outcomes are reached: with respect to

Scripture, «this method […] teaches […] not what they [the prophets] intend-

ed to signify or represent by the symbols in question. The latter we can only

guess at, not infer with certainty from the basis of Scripture» (


, p. 93); for

physical/chemical phenomena, «I [Spinoza] deny that these things follow from

the said experiment more clearly and evidently than from many other common-

place experiments, which do not, however, provide definite proof» (

Letter 13



To use an elementary mathematical illustration, in the study of the struc-

ture of a cylinder (in topology), that is, the 2-dimensional surface of a cylinder, it

is possible to identify two fundamental components, a circle and a line, but their

study in isolation is not commensurate with correctly describing the nature of

the cylinder as a “product” of both, a very simple kind of “interaction”, none-

theless an interaction rather than merely a disjunctive “sum”; mathematical illus-

trations of “interaction” can be found at any desired level of complexity.


As stated by Simonutti: «“Interpretare la Scrittura per se stessa” […],

procedendo secondo una metodica e una critica, strumenti che l’ermeneutica

biblica condivide con la matematica e le scienze della natura, e in questo con-

siste la grande intuizione di Spinoza (“Interpreting Scripture through itself”

[…], proceeding according to a methodology and a criticism, tools which bi-

blical hermeneutics shares with mathematics and the natural sciences, and this

constitutes the great intuition of Spinoza)» (Id.,

Dalle “sensate esperienze”

all’ermeneutica biblica

, cit., p. 327).


We are following Montag,







cit., p. 5, who, to a par-

ticular extent and depth, has developed these implications. He calls Spinoza

«the first philosopher explicitly to consider Scripture, that is, writing as a part

of nature in its materiality, as irreducible to anything outside of itself, […] a

repetition or emanation of something posited as primary. For Spinoza, nature

is a surface without depth; Scripture as part of nature conceals nothing, holds

nothing in reserve».



, pp. 4, 5; Garrett, in a different context, also expressed the funda-

mental state of affairs: «For Spinoza […], nature and man form only one



[…]» (Id.,

Meaning in Spinoza’s Method


cit., p. 81).


Tosel commented: «La comparaison entre la Nature et l’Écriture doit se

lire dans le sens d’une reconduction de celle-ci à celle-là. […] C’est l’Écriture

qui est une réalité naturelle que l‘on doit décrire à partir de ses données consti-