The Ethics

Front Cover
Echo Library, 2006 - Philosophy - 156 pages
Published shortly after his death in 1677, Ethics is undoubtedly Spinozas greatest worka fully cohesive philosophical system that strives to provide a coherent picture of reality and to comprehend the meaning of an ethical life. Following a logical step-by-step format, it defines in turn the nature of God, the mind, human bondage to the emotions, and the power of understanding, moving from a consideration of the eternal to speculate upon humanitys place in the natural order, freedom, and the path to attainable happiness. A powerful work of elegant simplicity, Ethics is a brilliantly insightful consideration of the possibility of redemption through intense thought and philosophical reflection.

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User Review  - MarkBeronte - LibraryThing

Published shortly after his death in 1677, Ethics is undoubtedly Spinoza’s greatest work—a fully cohesive philosophical system that strives to provide a coherent picture of reality and to comprehend ... Read full review

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User Review  - LisaMaria_C - LibraryThing

According to the introduction, “Baruch Spinoza, who wrote in the mid-seventeenth century, has been considered the first modern philosopher, for he was the first to write philosophy from a standpoint ... Read full review

About the author (2006)

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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