The Philosophy of Spinoza as Contained in the First, Second, and Fifth Parts of the "Ethics" and in Extracts from the Third and Fourth

H. Holt
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Publisher
H. Holt
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Published on
Dec 31, 1892
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Pages
204
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English
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The Collected Works of Spinoza: Complete Digital Edition, combining volumes I and II, provides for the first time in English, a truly satisfactory edition of all of Spinoza's writings, with accurate and readable translations, based on the best critical editions of the original-language texts, done by a scholar who has published extensively on the philosopher’s work.

The first volume contains Spinoza’s single most important work, the Ethics, and four earlier works: the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, the Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being, Descartes’ "Principles of Philosophy," and Metaphysical Thoughts. Also included are Spinoza’s letters from the periods when these works were being written.

The centerpiece of the second volume is Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise, a landmark work in the history of biblical scholarship, the first argument for democracy by a major philosopher, and a forceful defense of freedom of thought and expression. This work is accompanied by Spinoza’s later correspondence, much of which responds to criticism of the Theological-Political Treatise. The volume also includes his last work, the unfinished Political Treatise, which builds on the foundations of the Theological-Political Treatise to offer plans for the organization of nontyrannical monarchies and aristocracies.

The elaborate editorial apparatus—including prefaces, notes, glossary, and indexes—assists the reader in understanding one of the world’s most fascinating, but also most difficult, philosophers. Of particular interest is the glossary-index, which provides extensive commentary on Spinoza’s technical vocabulary.

A milestone of scholarship more than forty-five years in the making, The Collected Works of Spinoza is an essential edition for anyone with a serious interest in Spinoza or the history of philosophy.

"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).
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