Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (3):613-614 (2020)

Kristin Primus
University of California, Berkeley
How the arguments of Spinoza's Ethics work might seem obvious. Even if Spinoza's exposition is not perfect, and some suppressed premises might have to be recovered, it seems clear enough that the demonstrations are supposed to show, in Euclidian fashion, how truths about the basic structure of nature—as well as truths about how to live—follow from axioms and uncontroversial definitions. If readers keep their imagination and emotions from sullying their reasoning, they will see the force of the demonstrations and be convinced.In his engaging, highly original book, Garver argues that the Ethics is not a linear march through timeless truths, but rather a complicated drama that works precisely because its "characters,"...
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2020.0056
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