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According to Wikipedia: "Baruch or Benedict de Spinoza (November 24, 1632 – February 21, 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Jewish origin. Revealing considerable scientific aptitude, the breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death. Today, he is considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy, laying the groundwork for the 18th century Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism. By virtue of his magnum opus, the posthumous Ethics, in which he opposed Descartes' mind–body dualism, Spinoza is considered to be one of Western philosophy's most important philosophers. Philosopher and historian Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said of all modern philosophers, "You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all." All of Spinoza's works were listed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (List of Prohibited Books) by the Roman Catholic Church. Spinoza lived quietly as a lens grinder, turning down rewards and honors throughout his life, including prestigious teaching positions, and gave his family inheritance to his sister."
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Availability for The Ethics
    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

    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.

    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.

    (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.)more
    Ethics is a presentation of a monolithic metaphysical system, derived from axioms and definitions. It possesses austere beauty and psychological insight, the latter in the case particularly of Spinoza's enumeration of the basic emotions, the elaboration of these, and his solution to the problems they cause human beings. (Everything in the Ethics is idiosyncratic, but taking that into account this section is at the least interesting and quite possibly accurate about the human condition.) Spinoza invests a lot in the elaboration of his higher metaphysics, relating to his versions of God, man, and nature. After a couple of hundred pages or so establishing all this, in perfect order, on that foundation he deals with political philosophy in just one page. The results is frightening. At one point Spinoza, by his relentless geometrical method, derives the conclusion that it is perfectly ok for humans to cause serious suffering to animals, because we are somehow, in curious Spinozistic fashion, special. Perhaps, all other things being equal, everything in the Ethics is true even, or can be reconstructed to be truthful. But all other things are never equal and reading this book might a good exercise in understanding that. From high-flown abstract principles to the justification of extremely cruel treatment of animals is a harsh inference.At the higher level, his idea of body and thought as being just two of limitless modes of what he calls God, and the only two accessible to us (though Spinoza believes he can infer there are more), is very interesting. Einstein said the God he believed in was the Spinozist God. This is a major influence on enlightenment philosophy and a classic statement of the non-existence of free will, a book you should read if you really want to, and pass by without guilt if you don't. I did enjoy it.more
    A difficult book but worth it. And if you try the Latin, it is beautifully written (if even more difficult) It is one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read. As such it is much more interesting than the rather facile rationalism of Descartes, although Descartes is, of course much easier to understand. Interestingly, the Ethics begins with a thorough examination of human knowledge, and those conclusions actually undermine the basic thesis of the book.more
    Difficult, exacting. But I think he got it right.more
    Formidable reading; but no list of Pantheist thought can be complete without the leading publication by the founder of western Pantheism.more
    Read all 5 reviews

    Reviews

    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

    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.

    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.

    (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.)more
    Ethics is a presentation of a monolithic metaphysical system, derived from axioms and definitions. It possesses austere beauty and psychological insight, the latter in the case particularly of Spinoza's enumeration of the basic emotions, the elaboration of these, and his solution to the problems they cause human beings. (Everything in the Ethics is idiosyncratic, but taking that into account this section is at the least interesting and quite possibly accurate about the human condition.) Spinoza invests a lot in the elaboration of his higher metaphysics, relating to his versions of God, man, and nature. After a couple of hundred pages or so establishing all this, in perfect order, on that foundation he deals with political philosophy in just one page. The results is frightening. At one point Spinoza, by his relentless geometrical method, derives the conclusion that it is perfectly ok for humans to cause serious suffering to animals, because we are somehow, in curious Spinozistic fashion, special. Perhaps, all other things being equal, everything in the Ethics is true even, or can be reconstructed to be truthful. But all other things are never equal and reading this book might a good exercise in understanding that. From high-flown abstract principles to the justification of extremely cruel treatment of animals is a harsh inference.At the higher level, his idea of body and thought as being just two of limitless modes of what he calls God, and the only two accessible to us (though Spinoza believes he can infer there are more), is very interesting. Einstein said the God he believed in was the Spinozist God. This is a major influence on enlightenment philosophy and a classic statement of the non-existence of free will, a book you should read if you really want to, and pass by without guilt if you don't. I did enjoy it.more
    A difficult book but worth it. And if you try the Latin, it is beautifully written (if even more difficult) It is one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read. As such it is much more interesting than the rather facile rationalism of Descartes, although Descartes is, of course much easier to understand. Interestingly, the Ethics begins with a thorough examination of human knowledge, and those conclusions actually undermine the basic thesis of the book.more
    Difficult, exacting. But I think he got it right.more
    Formidable reading; but no list of Pantheist thought can be complete without the leading publication by the founder of western Pantheism.more
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