Rodrigo's Reviews > Ethics

Ethics by Baruch Spinoza
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M_50x66
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Jun 04, 11


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, which doesn't really do any justice to Spinoza's work. The truly remarkable thing about the "Ethics" is how well defined were the concepts used, and how they were all made to fit into each other in one way or another. And the part about thought and extension as mirroring properties of the same fundamental substance (god or/as nature; deus sive natura), that was just genius. I doubt there is a better way to solve the whole dualism problem (if mind and body are completely different things, then why is it that things that affect the body can affect the mind (like a cup of coffee)?).

Absolutely no empirical basis, though.
It's nice as a thought-experiment, but it's ultimately useless.
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