Ethics is a philosophical book written by Benedictus de Spinoza. Although published after Spinoza's death, in 1677, it is considered his greatest and most famous work. In it, Spinoza tries to set out 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."
"High up on the roll of the world's great thinkers stands the name of Benedict de Spinoza. Not many American readers, however, have had an opportunity to become acquainted with the writings of this celebrated philosopher. Perhaps the class of minds that would take any trouble to seek for and carefully study and appreciate them may not be a large one, although, with the progress of science and general knowledge, it is doubtless increasing. In presenting to the few who may desire to read in their own language the following version of Spinoza's greatest work, the Ethics. In all complete systems of philosophy and religion a conception of God is fundamental. I will therefore only venture to add that we meet at the outset, in the First Part of the Ethics, with a definition or conception of God as the Absolutely Infinite Being, or Substance--infinite in extension as well as infinite in thought--eternal, without beginning or end--self-existent, uncaused--or to use the equivalent expression of Spinoza, causa sui, its own cause, or cause of itself. All things are in God, and nothing can be, or be conceived to be out of God. God is above all, and through all, and in all; and all things live, and move, and have their being in God. This conception is most admirably and clearly set forth. It has its source in the reason or understanding, not in the imagination, and is now very generally accepted by philosophers, men of science, and the most free and thoughtful minds everywhere. In the Second Part, the philosopher treats of the origin and nature of the human mind or soul. In the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Parts, the source and nature of the human emotions or passions are investigated, their power defined, and the way pointed out whereby their excessive and therefore hurtful action may be controlled, so that man may be enabled to live in accordance with the dictates of reason and enjoy that supreme felicity and immortality of soul which the practice of virtue, and the knowledge and intellectual love of God, can alone procure"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
If men's minds were as easily controlled as their tongues, every king would sit safely on his throne, and government by compulsion would cease; for every subject would shape his life according to the intentions of his rulers, and would esteem a thing as true or false, good or evil, just or unjust, in obedience with their dictates.-from "That in a Free State Every Man May Thing What He Likes, and Say What He Thinks"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.
Los orígenes de la filosofía moral. Tradución y anotaciones de J. B. Bergua. La ética proviene del griego ethos cuyo significado es costumbre y tiene como objeto de estudio la moral y la acción humana. Su estudio se remonta a los orígenes de la filosofía moral en la Grecia clásica y su desarrollo histórico ha sido diverso.