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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  6,579 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Published shortly after his death in 1677, Ethics is undoubtedly Spinoza’s greatest work—a fully cohesive philosophical system that strives to provide a coherent picture of reality & to comprehend the meaning of an ethical life. Following a logical step-by-step format, it defines in turn the nature of God, the mind, human bondage to the emotions & the power of unde...more
Mass Market Paperback, 398 pages
Published January 1st 1994 by Gallimard (first published 1677)
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Esteban del Mal
If rationality is defined as the capacity to solve problems, anticipate consequences and understand causes of events, one would be hard pressed to find its more complete realization than in the philosophy of Benedict Spinoza. Indeed, in his masterwork, Ethics, Spinoza set out to prove certain theorems which are to be deduced from axioms in the manner of Euclidean geometry. Whether or not he was successful in this endeavor has been a matter for over three intervening centuries of scholarship and...more
Baruch you beautiful magnificent bastard. Within these two hundred dense pages of Euclidean geometric proofs axioms and postulates you manage to construct an ethical system , upend the traditional conception of monotheistic G-dd, and instead make him synonymous with the Laws of Nature. This is the best last expression of scholastic theology, and one of the most influential and astonishing philsophers of ever. It is a system which is both beautiful in its logic and yet kind and sympathetic in its...more
If I were exiled to a desert island, imprisoned, or otherwise isolated, and there were only book of philosophy I could have to read and re-read for the rest of my life, it would be The Ethics of Spinoza.

Here Spinoza lays out a complete system that encompasses metaphysics, theology, physics, psychology, and ethics. Throughout Spinoza is concerned with what it means to be free, and what sort of beliefs are worthy of a free human being. To be free, he insists, means not to be a slave -- not to any...more
3 1/2 stars.

I’m putting this book on the maybe return to shelf. I have other books I want to read more (many other books). This is a genuine review of the first three Parts of the book, to which I’ve added a brief overview of the last two parts, which I only skimmed.

Spinoza’s classic is contained in an old book I have called The Rationalists. Also included are Descartes’ Discourse on Method and Meditations; and Leibniz’s Monadology and Discourse on Metaphysics.

Historical context(view spoiler)...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Here's video footage of a pretty good discussion of a great, frequently glossed over, and far too often underappreciated philosopher who is one of my favorite philosophers of all time:

Spinoza, A Discussion

Steven Nadler is an excellent authority on Spinoza and has written a few books on him. I really like Catherine Wilson as well from this and now have several of her books and articles on my to-read list.

The other guys are sort of annoying and make some rather disagreeable points in my opinion....more
Don't be cowed by the metaphysical tail-chasing of Books I, II, and V.

The piston-huffing, steampunk clockwork of Axioms, Proofs, Scholia, and Corollaries can pound the reader's nerves like the mechanized hammer in a belfry. Even hardcore Spinozists may differ on how or whether these moving parts all click into place, so don't be miffed if you feel you've wandered into some weird Kabbalah seminar MC'd by a Jewy mathlete poking at his graphing-calculator.

Or perhaps my slow-moving brain simply can'...more
Jun 02, 2010 Lobstergirl marked it as perhaps-i-will-read-hard-to-say  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Appears to be written in some kind of code.
Farah Al-Shuhail
الفكرة الرئيسية للكتاب هي برهنة اتصال الجزء بالكل أو ما قد يشير إليه سبينوزا بـ"الجوهر" ويعني بذلك الله, واتخذ الكاتب اسلوب التسلسل المنطقي طريقاً له في اثبات ذلك.

في الباب الأول ركز سبينوزا على اثبات وجود إله متبعاً نهج علماء الهندسة, فهو يستعين بالبراهين والنتائج العقليه ويزن الأمور بقسطاس المنطق, والمدهش حقاً انه يقنعك بوجوده دون التطرق - ولو لمره واحدة - إلى الديانات والرسالات والمعجزات والوحي, لذلك اعتبر هذا الباب مناسب للرد على الملحدين كونه منطقي بحت. والجدير بالذكر ان الإله عند سبينوزا ل...more
Paul Bond
I idealized philosophy as the art of progressing from mundane, obvious facts to grand cosmic conclusions, all made unanswerable through the authority of logic. I now see that this is a fantasy of philosophy, though never more alluring than in Spinoza's Ethics. In a relatively small book patterned after Euclid's Elements, Spinoza lays claim to not only deep knowledge of the universe, but certain knowledge. It is difficult to keep from being swept up in Spinoza's audacious project. Here, he proves...more
Huda AbuKhoti
سبينوزا أبهرني.. لم أكن أتوقع من هذا الكتاب أن يكون مقنعًا لهذه الدرجة، أظن أن المنطقية الهندسية البحتة رفعت من مستوى تقبل المحتوى بصورة عظيمة.. كانت قراءة ممتعة و فريدة من نوعها

عالج الكتاب خمس مواضيع متتابعة و مرتبطة ارتباطًا وثيقًا.. فبدأ بالميتافيزيقيا ثم انتقل إلى معالجة الأخلاق لذلك من الصعب جدًّا فهم المحتوى لفصل من الفصول دون قراءة سابقيه

الفصل الأول يتحدث عن الله و الأمر الذي أثار اندهاشي هو أن الاستنتاجات التي وصل إليها سبينوزا في معظمها توافق الأفكار الإسلامية بصورة عجيبة! فالله لدى سبي...more
Cassandra Kay Silva
This book was incredibly surprising. I had heard a bit about Spinoza and perhaps had a very wrong view of his outlook/philosophy due to some lets just say pre conceived notions. Spinoza's God is amazing. If I had to choose a form of god to believe in it would be this. His point by point approach, and linking of each axiom was absolutely candy to my brain. I loved his approach and found it so clean cut. A god that had been stripped of its human tenancies, a god of nature, a god defined. Finally!...more
Difficult. I feel like this book found me when I needed it. Spinoza's conception of God resonates.

I admired Spinoza's dedication to reason without sacrificing the spiritual.
It was...beautiful. Just beautiful.
I'd never read something as delightfully coherent and well structured as this strange little work. The format, if a little dry, was perfect for what it was trying to achieve: creating an entire system of thought based on independently conceived concepts, and their clearly defined relations. Wikipedia tells me that the format is called "Geometric", and that it is modeled after Euclid's "Elements", but that's just a description of the arrangement of the arguments...more
Some one
كتاب عظيم بالفعل , (سبينوزا) أخطر فيلسوف فى تاريخ الفلسفة فى رأيى , ربما لذلك كان يدعو (هيجل) طلاب الفلسفة أن يكونوا فى بدايتهم (سبينوزيين) على حد تعبيره

والحق أن الكلام عن (سبينوزا) _من جهتى_ بعد كل المؤلفات التى عالجت فلسفته يعد بلا قيمه , بل يعد آية من آيات الغرور الساذج , لكن مالفت الانتباه هنا موقف الإخوة الذين يقارنون بين رؤية (سبينوزا) , ورؤية الإسلام لفكرة (الله) زاعمين التوافق بين الرؤيتين

ربما لأنهم لم يتعمقوا فى فكر الرجل , فغرتهم ألفاظ بعينها , تشبه فى الظاهر مالديهم من تراث , لكنها...more
Salah Sameh
"سبينوزا هو أنبل وأحب الفلاسفة الكبار" –راسل, الفصل 55
الأخلاق, منشور بعد وفاة سبينوزا, مكتوب على طريقة الهندسيين –أمثال اقليدس- بتعريفات وبديهيات ونظريات وحواشي. الكتاب صعب ومُمل أحياناً كتير لأنه صارم في الإثباتات وده بشهادة مُعظم الفلاسفة الكبار. الكتاب بيتكلم عن 3 مواضيع: الميتافيزيقا وسيكولوجية الانفعالات والإرادة وفي النهاية بيوصل لوضع أخلاق مؤسسة على الميتافيزيقا وعلم النفس اللي اتقالوا قبل كده.
"والميتافيزيقا تعديل لديكارت, وعلم النفس يذكرنا بهوبز" –راسل
سبينوزا عنده جوهر واحد, الله أو ال...more
Scott Gates
Proposition 14 is the John 3:16 of Ethics: God is infinite, and all substance is ultimately reliant on him. To say that there is any substance outside of God is an absurdity. God is the only substance. Everything was not created by God, but actually is God. This is extreme monism.

Related to this, and moreover to this, there is no Logos or realm of Ideas for Spinoza, no higher template against which reality should be measured for its authenticity. Existence as we know it is the pure form. “By rea...more
In this work, Spinoza attempts to articulate a full metaphysics, and extrapolate from it knowledge of God, man, and ultimately the nature of the "good life." It is a towering and dense project, and its heights show us the challenges we face when reasoning about an infinite, all-powerful God: rather than use his rhetorical ability to affirm the traditional, comforting picture of a very human God, Spinoza confronts the concept of God in all its implications. For example, such a being could never m...more
I'm not sure which edition/translation of this book I read... The book's title is somewhat misleading,as what Spinoza presents his his own system of happiness from first principles. He asks the question "what is the greatest good and how to achieve it?" and tries to answer it using a rigorous axiomatic method. Unfortunately, at times he seems to play word games (like his definition of God), makes leaps of logic and uses terms in a different way, which hinders understanding. If you read any editi...more
Oct 15, 2007 Randall rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the unemployed
a real bore of a chore, but a rewarding experience if you can wade your way through. i read it in school, and probably (definitely) wouldn't have stayed the course otherwise. from what i've read in philosophy (which isn't much), spinoza's definition of god is, to me, the most logical and most affecting. (spinoza was a liberal jew who lived in amsterdam in the 17th century. labeled an atheist, though he adamantly denied it, he was excommunicated from the jewish community and banished from his nat...more
One of the most incandescent books of philosophy or literature. The metaphysic here is obviously problematic (though resonant and deeply fascinating), and if you are not a Rationalist you will not be convinced by Spinoza on many points, but there is more capital-t Truth and capital-m Meaning in this book than in most of everything else I've read combined. It, and Spinoza himself, is warm, kind, elegant, and profoundly human.

Few doubt that Spinoza was a great philosopher, a genius, a towering in...more
Ethikon librum Spinozae hodie finii, quem magis quam exspectaverm valde amabam, etsi nullo modo sententiis neve notionibus consentio. Vere Spinoza homines non intellexit ; non puto eum amicos habuisse. Atque mundum agi sicut horologium credidit seu voluit. Forsitan vero fuit robotum ; Skynet eum trans tempus remisit qui philosophiam scriberet.

Lectio autem delectabat, etsi opera Leibnitii eis praefero. Uter sit philosophus melior ? Credo historiam crustulis judicasse ; non exstitit Choco Spinoza...more
Never seen utilitarianism so seductive . . . . was it the crystalline ring? Perhaps, but more likely his good will. Spinoza is good, he writes from a place of goodness, or so I feel. Is goodness something we feel or something we know? That deserves a long follow up.

Related question - can joy feel like sorrow?

I've left behind a Henry Jamesian ethics of self-sacrifice, of elegant senseless nobility. On this path forward, Spinoza's good will is indispensable.
A great read for any atheist or agnostic aspiring philosopher, or angry religious person. Spinoza is the only really logical philosopher I have ever read, which is both impressive and mind-numbingly depressing. He presents some great ideas in a very structured way, but expect quite a bit of trouble actually getting through the book. The appendix to part one is the best part, because it's readable and contains most of his major ideas.
Marc-André Chénier
A brilliant work in which the soul of man is deployed from his essence into a body - subject to the affections and sufferings of the world - to an ethic, where reason can triumph despite our limits. The very precise description of the ethic take most of the book; a meticulous work that is brought to necessity by the subtilities clarified.

In the end, we find that the accomplishment of the ethic is found in the knowledge of God. A very special God indeed, because it is wherever present and contin...more
Dr. A
Benedict de Spinoza’s greatest work is his Ethics, a masterpiece in ethical and moral philosophy that takes up the key question of how we should lead our lives.

In this work, Spinoza reflects on the nature of God, the rational power of the human mind, the role our emotions play in leading a good life, and the achievements of understanding.

He proposes a lucid and straightforward treatise on the place of human kind in the eternal order of the cosmos, human freedom, and our capacity for flourishin...more
Ethics is towering work by absolute genius.A mathematical definitive explanation of God,the universe & man's place in it.Read it not because you think you must fight through great philosophy but for its beautiful symmetry of ground breaking rational thought.I recommend this work to anyone interested in exploring their thoughts on philosophy,religion & psychology.
Spinoza introduces his idea that God and the universe are one and the same, meaning that God has both a spiritual and a physical nature, and that every human is a piece of God.
Gorgeous reasoning. Spinoza argues that if one can understand the nature of emotions, one can be the master of them rather than be controlled by them.
This book was OK. I think if you want to get the full effect of this book you need to understand the historical context it was written under. Some things that Spinoza says are things that we take for granted today, but were revolutionary when he wrote them. Spinoza seems to be a pantheist, but the way he describes and refers to God was quite confusing since he takes about God in a monotheistic way. Some of his assertions that he is confident in seem suspect to me. Overall, I'm not sure I got muc...more
Kevin K
How to Read the Ethics by Spinoza

This is a great, but notoriously difficult book. Allow me to present some guidelines on reading it efficiently.

1) The "proofs" (aka demonstrations) in this book aren't actually proofs. So you're better off skipping them all.

Many people throughout history have been taken in by the enigmatic fake "proofs" in this book. But think about it. The Ethics is modeled on Euclid's Elements, and seems to follow it in method and style. Yet the Elements is a perfectly clear p...more
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"Baruch or Benedict de Spinoza (Portuguese: Bento de Espinosa, Latin: Benedictus de Spinoza) (November 24, 1632 – February 21, 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Jewish origin. Revealing considerable scientific aptitude, the breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death. Today, he is considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century phi...more
More about Baruch Spinoza...
Theological-Political Treatise The Ethics/Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect/Selected Letters A Spinoza Reader: The Ethics and Other Works On the Improvement of the Understanding Complete Works

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“Everything excellent is as difficult as it is rare.” 81 likes
“Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means by which their authority is preserved.” 35 likes
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