Spinoza’s Book of Life: Freedom and Redemption in the Ethics

Yale University Press (2003)
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Abstract

Most readers of Spinoza treat him as a pure metaphysician, a grim determinist, or a stoic moralist, but none of these descriptions captures the author of the _Ethics, _argues Steven B. Smith in this intriguing book. Offering a new reading of Spinoza’s masterpiece, Smith asserts that the Ethics is a celebration of human freedom and its attendant joys and responsibilities and should be placed among the great founding documents of the Enlightenment. Two aspects of Smith’s book distinguish it from other studies. It treats the famous “geometrical method” of the _Ethics _as_ _a form of moral rhetoric, a model for the construction of individuality. And it presents the _Ethics _as_ _a companion to Spinoza’s major work of political philosophy, the _Theologico-Political Treatise, _each work helping to explore the problem of freedom. Affirming Spinoza’s centrality for both critics and defenders of modernity, the book will be of value to students of political theory, philosophy, and intellectual history.

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Citations of this work

Spinoza today: the current state of Spinoza scholarship.Simon B. Duffy - 2009 - Intellectual History Review 19 (1):111-132.
‘Disempowered by Nature’: Spinoza on The Political Capabilities of Women.Beth Lord - 2011 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (6):1085 - 1106.
Review essay: Mr. Smith does not go to Washington.Bart Schultz - 2007 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (3):366-386.
Spinoza’s Liberalism.Matthew J. Kisner - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (11):782-793.

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