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Spinoza: Practical Philosophy

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  538 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Spinoza's theoretical philosophy is one of the most radical attempts to construct a pure ontology with a single infinite substance. This book, which presents Spinoza's main ideas in dictionary form, has as its subject the opposition between ethics and morality, and the link between ethical and ontological propositions. His ethics is an ethology, rather than a moral science ...more
Paperback, 130 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by City Lights Publishers (first published 1970)
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chapter two is changing my mode of living, specifically how I organize my relations to (and of) joy and sadness in order to increase of decrease my power to act and think. Spinoza works to produce or better, propose , a philosophy that is not grounded in cartesian subjectivity and individualism, but instead derived from the material, affective, and realtional experiences of situated bodies. This book is an open door and a relief, at once.

and my conceptual paradigm (from morals to ethics).
This book is the easiest way to approach Spinoza that I'm aware of.

I've noticed that Spinoza is repeatedly referenced as a major influence by my favorite philosphers. This book expertly conveys the subtle joy and peace that comes from viewing the world through a Spinozist lense.

Oh, did I mention that it's short too?
Loving this. Brief but super introduction too by Robert Hurley. He warns that the bokk may be 'difficult', and advises the reader to read lightly. I didn't find ithard, I found it delightful and rich. Coming from Gilles it was easy!
Sam L
Mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, a hefty portion of the book is filled by a virtually impenetrable glossary of Spinozan terms - impenetrable because the descriptions of each term rely heavily on other Spinozan terms not yet described, meaning that in order to make sense of the glossary you have to already understand its contents. Bah! But on the other hand, bookending the nasty bit are some great chapters introducing Spinoza's philosophy, character, and evolution, and right at the ...more
Sebastian Rising
this 4 should be a 5--but here's why it's not. i didn't read chapter four, also known as the egregiously long and difficult chapter functioning merely as a glossary for spinoza's ethics...written in that same, casi impenetrable early modern style (w/ the likes of descartes and leibniz). the only spinoza i've ever read was selections of his ethics for my classical modern philosophy class--and i guess kenny t was just never that good of a professor, and definitely not on the level of deleuze. so i ...more
The first and last sections were the most useful for me. The mid-section or index was a little excessively dense and not introductory, so I zoned out and wandered along to other sections. This feels like something I want to come back to a couple years from now. What was most useful was this: the morality of good versus evil should be sidestepped in favor a mode of operating that treats as good that which increases our power and ability to act, and treats as bad that which depresses, weakens and ...more
Luke Echo
An odd little overview and summary of Spinoza's philosophy. The central section of the definitions of key terms being the largest section is quite useful for anyone reading Ethics as it covers many of the primary difficulties.
Christopher Boerdam
A genius writing about a genius - Deleuze's introduction to Spinoza is mind-blowing. As I am new to Spinoza, I definitely do not feel I have grasped everything Deleuze has packed into this little book. But this little work definitely encouraged me to see the audacity and originality of Spinoza's philosophy. Deleuze is perfectly suited to explain to the reader precisely what distinguishes Spinoza from his contemporaries, and what makes Spinoza still relevant today. The final chapter is especially ...more
blorg schmorg
Deleuze offers a profound new understanding of Spinoza - as a predecessor to Nietzsche. The index of terms is helpful and provides foundational definitions for ideas that are more fully fleshed out in his book on Expressionism in Spinoza. However, even though Deleuze looks at Spinoza through a Nietzschean lens, he does not do away with all the metaphysical baggage and he does not grasp, as Antonio Negri later did, that the attribute is subsumed into the mind of finite modes and can only be under ...more
meh. serves the same purpose as spinozas wkipedio page but takse longer to read
Eric Phetteplace
I wasn't really aware of the nature of this book or I probably would've waited to read some Spinoza before tackling it. Overall, the book can provide a fair overview of Spinoza's life and work, but the bulk of the book is a dictionary of Spinozist terms which I, for one, had difficulty grasping without the proper background. The other chapters are illuminating, and make me want to read the Ethics very much, but the book overall is unlike any of Deleuze's other studies: it is entirely focused on ...more
John Thomason
super cool. super good. a must read for any Spinozaphile.
straight dharma. a convincing reminder to live life to the fullest.
Well that was a beautiful little book.
Mike Jart
very, very difficult. However, Spinoza just happens to be very difficult, and there's no getting around that. I got a little bit out of it, but this needs several rereads.
Deleuze gives a rather straightforward and clear account of his understanding of Spinoza. I liked the book because it focuses on practical philosophy and also gives some hints about Spinoza's ontology. The Nietzschean themes in Spinoza's philosophy are highlighted in the first part of the book. It is a brilliant book about ethics and the new ontology deleuze is creating. We understand the importance of body and power which will help us grasp "Nietzsche and Philosophy" better.
As a long time fan of both Mssrs. Spinoza and Deleuze, this made for a very impressive synthesis. Deleuze loses his weird, babbling writing style and becomes pretty lucid, showing the linkages between his own philosophy and the ecstatic monist perspective of Spinoza, showing subversive possibilities everywhere.
Sava Hecht
A good book to read as an introduction to Spinoza. It's also worthwhile to get this book to have as a reference or companion piece if you are doing any further exploration of Spinoza's work.
Nov 21, 2007 Matthew rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who haven't really read Spinoza
Shelves: philosophy
Sure, it's Deleuze. Yeah, it's quirky. Conatus, Deleuze finds, is an awfully good concept. He makes much of it. But it's not really all that Spinozian.
Todd Marek
Deleuze uses this volume to illustrate the radical ethical qualities underlying Spinoza's classic treatise.
Kathryn Kopple
The passion which Deleuze brings to Spinoza is nothing less than inspiring.
Amazing, accessible intro to both Spinoza AND Deleuze, if you ask me.
Apr 30, 2015 Yoel added it
Joy to read.
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN: 0872862186 3 13 Aug 22, 2011 04:55AM  
  • Deleuze: The Clamor of Being
  • After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency
  • A User's Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Deviations from Deleuze and Guattari
  • A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History
  • An Introduction to Metaphysics
  • The Accursed Share 1: Consumption
  • Rogues: Two Essays on Reason
  • Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle
  • The Three Ecologies
  • Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy
  • Complete Works
  • Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone
  • Lectures at the College de France, 1977-78: Security, Territory and Population
  • Organs Without Bodies: Deleuze and Consequences
  • The Space of Literature
  • Nihil Unbound: Naturalism and Anti-Phenomenological Realism
  • Culture and Value
Deleuze is a key figure in postmodern French philosophy. Considering himself an empiricist and a vitalist, his body of work, which rests upon concepts such as multiplicity, constructivism, difference and desire, stands at a substantial remove from the main traditions of 20th century Continental thought. His thought locates him as an influential figure in present-day considerations of society, crea ...more
More about Gilles Deleuze...
Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia Nietzsche and Philosophy (European Perspectives) Difference and Repetition Cinema 1: The Movement-Image

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