A profoundly beautiful and uniquely insightful description of the universe, Benedict de Spinoza's "Ethics" is one of the masterpieces of Enlightenment-era philosophy.
This "Penguin Classics" edition is edited and translated from the Latin by Edwin Curley, with an introduction by Stuart Hampshire.
Published shortly after his death, the "Ethics" is undoubtedly Spinoza's greatest work - an elegant, fully cohesive cosmology derived from first principles, providing a coherent picture of reality, and a guide to the meaning of an ethical life.
Following a logical step-by-step format, it defines in turn the nature of God, the mind, the emotions, human bondage to the emotions, and the power of understanding - moving from a consideration of the eternal, to speculate upon humanity's place in the natural order, the nature of freedom and the path to attainable happiness.
A powerful work of elegant simplicity, the "Ethics" is a brilliantly insightful consideration of the possibility of redemption through intense thought and philosophical reflection. "The Ethics" is presented in the standard translation of the work by Edwin Curley. This edition also includes an introduction by Stuart Hampshire, outlining Spinoza's philosophy and placing it in context.
Baruch Spinoza (1632-77), later known as Benedict de Spinoza, was born in Amsterdam, where his orthodox Jewish family had fled from persecution in Portugal. "Ethics" was published in 1677 after his death, and his influence spread to the nineteenth century: inspiring the Romantic poets, winning the respect of Flaubert and Matthew Arnold, and moving George Eliot, who admired him as the enemy of superstition and the hero of scientific rationalism, to begin a translation of his works.
If you enjoyed "Ethics", you might like Rene Descartes' "Meditations and Other Metaphysical Writings", also available in "Penguin Classics". "The noblest and most lovable of the great philosophers ...ethically he is supreme". (Bertrand Russell).
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 208 pages, illustrations
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 27/06/1996
- Category: Literary essays
- ISBN: 9780140435719
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by pansociety
Formidable reading; but no list of Pantheist thought can be complete without the leading publication by the founder of western Pantheism.
Review by ostrom
Difficult, exacting. But I think he got it right.
Review by HadriantheBlind
Baruch you beautiful magnificent bastard. Within these two hundred dense pages of Euclidean geometric proofs axioms and postulates you manage to construct an ethical system , upend the traditional conception of monotheistic G-dd, and instead make him synonymous with the Laws of Nature. This is the best last expression of scholastic theology, and one of the most influential and astonishing philsophers of ever. It is a system which is both beautiful in its logic and yet kind and sympathetic in its recognition of the flaws, and refuting the Descartian mind-body dualiity, and yet preeemptivly going after Leibnizs Just World tripe, recognizing the imperfections and nature of human beings yet offering a coherent method to their betterment through reason and Caring For Others - not some empty cliche but instead a necessry outlet for understanding the universe and maintaining positive emotion<br/><br/>As an additional benefit, such a system is comptible with some of the recent materialist neurological discoveries of modern science, stating that the mind can be inlfuenced by the body, and taht we must understand physical causes in order to make progress with the mentl/abstract. We must cultivate our gardens.<br/><br/>Spinoza is the foundations of philosophy and even mysticism and religion for even the most doubtful and venomous of skeptics, offering up the Universe and the Mathematical Laws of Nature instead of the dusty antiquated God of Bronzze Age massacres who demands foreskins for marriage. Perhaps a few others with benefit s of additional centuries of thought might yet construct a more applicable or cogent system but he is the base of it. He has the foundation, our Rock upon which the new Church is to be founded.<br/><br/>(Written in sleep-deprived haze on a trans-Pacific flight. Typos and other mistakes preserved. May write a better review later, but this will serve for now.)
Review by MarkBeronte
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 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 humanity’s 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.