A Theologico-Political Treatise, and a Political Treatise

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Cosimo, Inc., Nov 1, 2007 - Philosophy - 428 pages
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An early voice calling for reason as the ruler of the human mind, and a man with, at best, a Deistic outlook on religion, Spinoza is perhaps the first truly modern philosopher. He is certainly the first modern critic of the Bible. His devoted adherents include many great names of 19th-century literature: Goethe, Coleridge, Shelley, and George Eliot were deeply swayed by his writing; in the 20th century, Albert Einstein claimed Spinoza's deterministic outlook as an abiding influence; understanding the writings of all these figures is greatly enhanced by an appreciation of Spinoza. In Theologico-Political Treatise, first published anonymously in 1670, Spinoza rails against religious intolerance and calls for governments to be entirely secular. His Political Treatise, unfinished at his death, was published only posthumously, and deals with democratic government. Dutch philosopher BENEDICT DE SPINOZA (1632-1677), alternately and paradoxically known as "the best Jew" and "the best atheist," is best known for his Ethics.
 

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Contents

IV
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VIII
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IX
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Page 51 - For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
Page 22 - My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh : yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
Page 15 - And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh : for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.
Page 18 - If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
Page 53 - Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the Oracles of God.
Page 23 - Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets; therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
Page 52 - For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight : is it not in that thou goest with us ? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

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About the author (2007)

Baruch Spinoza was born in Amsterdam, the son of Portuguese Jewish refugees who had fled from the persecution of the Spanish Inquisition. Although reared in the Jewish community, he rebelled against its religious views and practices, and in 1656 was formally excommunicated from the Portuguese-Spanish Synagogue of Amsterdam and was thus effectively cast out of the Jewish world. He joined a group of nonconfessional Christians (although he never became a Christian), the Collegiants, who professed no creeds or practices but shared a spiritual brotherhood. He was also apparently involved with the Quaker mission in Amsterdam. Spinoza eventually settled in The Hague, where he lived quietly, studying philosophy, science, and theology, discussing his ideas with a small circle of independent thinkers, and earning his living as a lens grinder. He corresponded with some of the leading philosophers and scientists of his time and was visited by Leibniz and many others. He is said to have refused offers to teach at Heidelberg or to be court philosopher for the Prince of Conde. During his lifetime he published only two works, The Principles of Descartes' Philosophy (1666) and the Theological Political Tractatus (1670). In the first his own theory began to emerge as the consistent consequence of that of Descartes (see also Vol. 5). In the second, he gave his reasons for rejecting the claims of religious knowledge and elaborated his theory of the independence of the state from all religious factions. After his death (probably caused by consumption resulting from glass dust), his major work, the Ethics, appeared in his Opera Posthuma, and presented the full metaphysical basis of his pantheistic view. Spinoza's influence on the Enlightenment, on the Romantic Age, and on modern secularism has been tremendous.

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