Philosophy in Review 31 (4):290-291 (2011)

Hasana Sharp
McGill University
The guidebook is meant to be read alongside the Ethics. It thus follows the order of Spinoza’s text and discusses sets of propositions as the development of various strands of argument. It instructs readers to pause and, for example, read Propositions 1-5 of Part 1 together, before moving on to a different component of his argument for the simplicity of substance. Lord dedicates more elaborate discussion to crucial but problematic propositions, like Proposition 11 of Part 1, Proposition 7 of Part 2, etc. It thus serves as a good map for new readers, who are often bewildered by Spinoza’s geometrical method, in addition to explaining his major teachings. The book includes various study aids, including a glossary, suggestions for further reading, examples of questions students are likely to encounter, and even tips for students writing about Spinoza.
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