Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book


Rate this book
Published shortly after his death, the Ethics is undoubtedly Spinoza's greatest work - an elegant, fully cohesive cosmology derived from first principles, providing a coherent picture of reality, and a guide to the meaning of an ethical life. Following a logical step-by-step format, it defines in turn the nature of God, the mind, the emotions, human bondage to the emotions, and the power of understanding - moving from a consideration of the eternal, to speculate upon humanity's place in the natural order, the nature of freedom and the path to attainable happiness. A powerful work of elegant simplicity, the Ethics is a brilliantly insightful consideration of the possibility of redemption through intense thought and philosophical reflection. The Ethics is presented in the standard translation of the work by Edwin Curley. This edition also includes an introduction by Stuart Hampshire, outlining Spinoza's philosophy and placing it in context.

186 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1677

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Baruch Spinoza

388 books1,680 followers
Baruch Spinoza, often Benedictus de Spinoza, was a Dutch philosopher. The breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until many years after his death. By laying the groundwork for the 18th-century Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, including modern conceptions of the self and, arguably, the universe, he came to be considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy.
His magnum opus, the posthumous Ethics, in which he opposed Descartes' mind–body dualism, has earned him recognition as one of Western philosophy's most important thinkers. In the Ethics, "Spinoza wrote the last indisputable Latin masterpiece, and one in which the refined conceptions of medieval philosophy are finally turned against themselves and destroyed entirely."
Philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said of all contemporary philosophers, "You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all."

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
7,475 (43%)
4 stars
5,186 (30%)
3 stars
3,158 (18%)
2 stars
865 (5%)
1 star
329 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 706 reviews
Profile Image for Fergus, Quondam Happy Face.
1,029 reviews17.7k followers
August 20, 2023
LIVE Right and you’ll THINK Right.

Ethical living gives you a Crystal Clear Mind.

THIS is Spinoza’s message. And it’s so wonderfully true.

You may not grasp the arguments of this book the first time around, but come back to it after you’ve put its ideas into practice, and you’ll SEE...

Not only that, says Spinoza, but as he takes us further and further into the strictly Logical Patterns of Nature - Nature for him being synonymous with God - you’ll embark on a mystical journey into the very nature of the world.

‘Nuff said.

But if you buy a copy - and it’s dirt cheap - and borrow a good analysis of his arguments from your local library, you’ll be off and running.

You’ll find this magical world unfolding when you try to be Good.

But for me, it was tough to be good in 1969...

It was a hot, sultry summer in our valley, and as I read this book, my nattering testosterone levels were at their lifetime peak. Goes with teen territory, of course.

But free for the summer, with a uni survey of western philosophy under my belt, I was resolute.

I set my jaw determinedly and bored a hole through these pages with my concentration.

And it worked.

Because of it, I was DETERMINED henceforth to lead a Good Life.

Bless you, Baruch!

Now, the world didn’t love my choice of behaviour - in fact, it objected strenuously, as it will always do - but, having my Mom’s wilful genes, I stuck to my guns.

And now, fifty plus years later, I am SO glad I did.

Yes, it worked, and NOW in my life - just like in that Hippie Poster called Desiderata -

“Doubtless the World is Unfolding as it SHOULD.”

And that’s as good as it gets.

And if you do good, and smile away the pain -

And this is for darned sure, my friends -

Profile Image for Esteban del Mal.
191 reviews64 followers
June 9, 2012
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 debate. Yet Spinoza anticipated his detractors, if not through his philosophy, then by answering them explicitly, "I do not presume to have discovered the best philosophy, but I know that I understand the true one."

The book is divided into five parts, each part building upon the previous. Three essential aspects of his particular stripe of rational thought are: first, his confidence in the ability of reason to supply us with dependable knowledge (epistemology); secondly, his conviction that the universe itself is governed by rational law (metaphysics); and lastly, his certainty that reason is the one acceptable guide to living (ethics). All that Spinoza asks is that we first take one small leap of -- ironically enough -- faith and submit to the notion that everything happens for a reason, what philosophers call the principle of sufficient reason (and theists call God, but we'll come back to that). In essence, only belief in the intelligibility of the world, ourselves included, will provide the motivation necessary for pushing through our own limitations.

While the Ethics progresses in a linear manner, it is helpful to first thoroughly acquaint oneself with Spinoza's epistemology, by which he establishes his various axioms. He proposes that knowledge is derived in three separate, yet progressively linked, ways: knowledge acquired from sense perception is of the lowest level, and while of some value, is neither completely authentic nor consistent. Knowledge at the next level is found in the rational, as scientific principles. These ideas Spinoza refers to as adequate ideas, considered as such because they are logically related and one can have complete certainty about them in the same way one has complete certainty in the mathematical logic of, say, six is to three as four is to two. Knowledge at the third and highest level Spinoza terms scientific intuition. Knowledge at this stage is wholly contingent upon mastery of the previous stage of knowledge, the rational, which it then enables one to transcend. This is the insight that enables one to see possibilities that are beyond the current realm of scientific knowledge. One who possesses such intuitive knowledge understands that everything is necessary to the whole of the eternal order of things, and as such, the universe is rendered as a single absolute system that is governed by rational law.

It is from such an unequivocal position that Spinoza promotes the tenets of the Ethics. His epistemology is inextricably tied to his metaphysics and takes up the first three parts of the treatise, wherein he argues that the Universe is cause of itself. And it is in the working out of this element of his philosophy that the most distinctive, and perhaps most remarkable, claims of Spinozism are made. Living at the early dawn of the Enlightenment, Spinoza felt the need to interpret the nature of God in language sufficient to do justice to the new universe that science was explaining. The problem Spinoza perceived is not to prove the existence of God, but to find what God is really like. His first step was to define the existence of God in such a way as to make it incontrovertible. This concept is regarded as substance monism by contemporary philosophers, in that there is only one root thing from which all other things stem. And it is this root thing which Spinoza alternately calls substance, or God. He maintains that (a) there is a substance that has every attribute; (b) there cannot be two substances that have an attribute in common; (c) there cannot be a substance that has no attributes, and consequently; (d) there cannot be two substances. As a result, this uniquely self-determining substance, God, cannot be produced by anything other than itself.

As such, God is immanent in the rational order of the universe; the rational order which is expressed through the natural world and in human thought. If something exists other than God, it is either within and dependent upon God, in which case it is merely a finite expression of God, what Spinoza calls a mode; or it is without God, in which case something exists which is not God, whereby God is limited, and therefore itself finite, which is impossible because God has been demonstrated to be infinite. A necessary consequence of this claim is that the only entity exhibiting anything resembling free will in the universe is God, because everything else is necessarily dependent upon it, or, as Spinoza himself puts it, "God is, and acts solely by the necessity of His own nature; He is the free cause of all things." As a result, everything is determined by the ultimate substance, including human behavior. Or, as Spinoza would have it, "men believe themselves to be free, simply because they are conscious of their actions, and unconscious of the causes whereby those actions are determined." Great stuff, that. While it may induce existential panic in most of my literary-minded, free will sympathetic friends, I find it liberating.

The determinism of Spinoza, a consequence of his claim of holism, leads into his next claim in the Ethics, that the mind and body are really the same thing conceived under the Cartesian attributes of Thought and Extension. Because both Thought and Extension must be regarded as two aspects of a single reality, but cannot be demonstrated to be two distinct substances under Spinoza's rational universe, they must be two attributes of the single substance, or what I previously identified as God. It therefore follows that God, the natural universe as a whole, can be conceived as simultaneously a system of extended or material things and a system of thinking or immaterial things. As such, mind and body, expressions of the attributes of Thought and Extension, are nothing more than different sides of the same coin. Even so, Spinoza differs with strict materialism, in that the identity of the mind doesn't reduce either mind to body or body to mind. Spinoza sees the scientific knowledge of the body through reason advancing from, rather than opposed to, awareness of the body through sense and imagination. His rationalism is a consequence of empiricism, not in competition with it.

What is meant, then, by Spinoza's controversial statement that the mind is the idea of the body is understood as it is related to his epistemological system: knowledge born of sensory experience is of a lower order than knowledge of a rational kind. Still, rational knowledge is not possible without prior empirical experience; as a result, the mind, as the rational, is a necessary and ascendant consequence of the body, as the empirical. As such, as one ascends the levels of knowledge and one's ideas of the modifications of one's body become more logically consistent, one can be said to more fully understand the causes of these modifications. Knowledge based solely on empiricism is then, strictly speaking, reactive, whereas knowledge based upon rationalism is proactive. Spinoza uses the example of the sun, which one's senses tells one is a disc some few hundred feet from the earth. This idea is not false if considered at merely the sensory level of knowledge, but is inadequate at the next level of knowledge, in as much as it is demonstrated that the sun is a gigantic star millions of miles away.

The reason Spinoza addresses epistemological and metaphysical questions in the first place is because he feels that they are a necessary foundation for ethical questions. We must first know our potentialities and our relation to Nature, otherwise our ideas about moral philosophy will simply be projections of our imaginations. Spinoza understands that the rational laws of science, being comprehensive, are just as applicable to human life as they are to the physical universe. Ethical behavior becomes a matter of applied psychology. The virtuous man is not one who lives in accord with moral commandments imposed upon him by some external, vengeful authority, but the man who acts in accordance with his nature. A nature which has been laid bare to him.

Having demonstrated that a person's life is determined by forces both external and seemingly unmanageable to it, Spinoza endeavors to show in the final parts of his treatise that freedom from the bondage of determinism is really a matter of degree. And it is by exercising freedom, as he defines it, that one acts in an ethical manner. By acknowledging that one's life is determined, one becomes free, in that one is aware of the chain of causation that governs one's actions. By achieving adequate knowledge one understands the eternal; yet, one simultaneously comes to understand that one's own nature is distinguished from the whole of things because one recognizes one's separate existence is locked in this time-bound conception of ours that promises only incomplete knowledge. One is able to transcend this limited knowledge by replacing one's confused notions with the aforementioned adequate ideas.

An example of a confused idea addressed by Spinoza is emotion. Our emotions, he contends, are a result of ignorance. "We feel strongly because we understand dimly." One's emotional reaction to another person is a result of not understanding what makes that person act as he or she does. In experiencing the passions, one is reacting to external causes and one's conscious life is proceeding at the level of sense-perception, not at the level of the rational. If knowledge of this kind is insufficient, so much more so is a life that is based on it. The free man is conscious of his compulsions and seeks to understand them. This is the only freedom one can truly aspire to –- not escape from the necessity of one's reality, but to understand both it and oneself as a part of it.

When one comes to this understanding, good and evil are seen as one's reaction to circumstance, not as the eternal nature of things. Indeed, the concept of good and evil is relative and has nothing to do with that eternal nature. Spinoza writes, "So every man, according to his emotions, judges a thing to be good or bad, useful or useless." The solution to such a dilemma is to understand one's relation to the eternal order of things and in so doing one is liberated from the perpetual anxiety of striving against it. Things are neither good nor evil in and of themselves, they are just necessary to the universe as a whole. Coming to this awareness is no simple task, but if one extrapolates rationalism in the manner prescribed by Spinoza, it is a necessary outgrowth. It is only in comprehending the universe that man can rise above it, for as the philosopher reminds us, "The intellectual love of God, which arises from the intuitive kind of knowledge, is eternal."
Profile Image for Gary  Beauregard Bottomley.
1,008 reviews603 followers
July 31, 2016
The best way to read this book is to listen to it. If I were to have read it, I would have dwelled excessively on the axioms, definitions and propositions and would have missed the forest for the trees. Don't worry if you don't get the definition as he gives them. You'll be able to pick them up when he uses them latter on. Spinoza is an incredibly good writer. He will tell you what he's going to tell you, tell you and than tell you again. He'll say "in other words" or "take this example" or other such explanatory statements and amplify what he's been telling you while never being 'prolix' (a word he actually uses and I had to look it up. It means tediously long winded with words).

I've often heard people make the expression that they "believe in the God of Spinoza". After having read this book, I seriously would doubt them. What they've done is focused on the Spinoza formulation "that God is Nature and Nature is God" and they like the way that sounds, but they don't really know how Spinoza gets there or what he means by it.

This book is a vibrant defense of Scholasticism (Aristotelian thought) against Descartes' mind body duality. Spinoza creates a system with only one substance (God) but infinite attributes. Two of those attributes are thought and extension (body), but it's clear that God possess infinitely many more. God (or Substance) is the creator of the universe and possess thinking. The God/Nature Nature/God formulation would be pantheistic. But, Spinoza goes beyond that and very well could be 'panentheistic' (God transcends nature), but I can't say for sure based only on this book.

Spinoza uses most of the metaphysics of Aristotle. He believes God is the efficient cause (the mover) of the universe, but he does not believe in Aristotle's final causes, teleology. He believes that God is necessary, and that the universe is determined because from the necessary existence and therefore essence of God everything must follow from cause and effect (i.e. that Free Will is an illusion. Aristotle in his Ethics believes that Free Will does exist, but mostly Spinoza and Aristotle seem to agree. The concept of 'essence' are essential items in each of their systems). Things are only contingent when we don't know enough.

Only the first two sections of the book dealt with God and the Mind. The other three sections deal with emotions and our control. He'll reach some of the same conclusion that Aristotle reaches in his Nicomachean Ethics. Such as, our highest virtue is the contemplative virtue and we need to wake up, stop being distracted by the petty and focus on the universe and our place in it. He'll say we are most divine like when we use our contemplation on higher order matters.

Also, I want to mention that his sections on emotions and human bondage were some of the best formulations of psychology I've ever have come across in my readings. He'll say that it's our desires and our pains and pleasures which determine our emotional well being. The active part of us determines our emotional health and through the passive part is how our passions sneak in. Leading a virtuous life is the best. We should return hate with love or high mindedness for its own sake. He'll even segue into a self help book by saying we should repeat such slogans to ourselves so that when we our prone to hate we will know how to act instead. I can't understand why today's self help books don't do as well as Spinoza does within this book.

This book is a relatively easy read. It's clear that Hegel grabs major parts from Spinoza in his "Phenomenology of Spirit", and Hegel is no way as easy to read as this book is. Spinoza's attributes are determinants (limitations) of the infinite. Hegel makes all determinants negations of the infinite and gives us his dialectics (or movements) based on that. I did notice that Spinoza uses 'vacillate' in the later parts of his book and it seemed to correlate with Hegel's movements. I wish I had read this book before I had read Hegel. He would have made more sense to me if I had.

Never trust the summations you might have heard about this book or any other of the classic philosophical works you may come across. They always seem to get it wrong. This is a good book to read because Spinoza is such a great writer (he's not prolix as my review is!), he has a genuinely interesting take on the world, his psychology sections seem to be as good as any I have ever seen, you'll probably learn to be suspicious of the statement "I believe in the God of Spinoza" because a lot of baggage comes with that statement, and the influence his work has had on others becomes obvious and they would be easier to understand if you read this book before reading them.

(A note: I enjoyed this book so much I've downloaded his previous book "A Theologico Political Treatise" for free from LibriVox because it doesn't seem to be available at Audible).
Profile Image for Jon Nakapalau.
5,101 reviews724 followers
May 29, 2023
Another book that I am sure I was not able to fully understand; but - "Nothing exists from whose nature some effect does not follow." Taken from that perspective I am glad to have encountered the writings of this great philosopher. A definite '2nd' read is in order; hoping the the cumulative effect for me will be that I am able to understand more of this important work.
Profile Image for Ted.
515 reviews744 followers
November 4, 2018
3 1/2 stars.

Spinoza’s classic is contained in a 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

Spinoza’s Ethics - what it is, what it isn’t.

An example of Spinoza’s demonstrations.

I quickly found some comfort in the following method of reading this. I skipped all the text under the heading Proof. If Spinoza made a mistake in his proofs that I would be capable of seeing, I didn’t want to know about it. More to the point, I didn’t care whether his logic was correct, although I assume it is, given his Definitions and Axioms. No, the fact that Spinoza believed he was deducing statements about human beings and their emotions, God, the mind, etc., that had the same irrefutable truth value as mathematics, I found only curious. I don’t buy it.

Here, a summary of the five parts of Spinoza’s Ethics.

Part I Concerning God.

Part II Of the Nature and Origin of the Mind.

Part III On the Origin and Nature of the Emotions. To me, Part III is the real highlight of the Ethics. The section is an extremely interesting deductive derivation of human psychology. (At least that’s what I perceived it as.) The Propositions stated seem mostly correct, perceptive, and illuminating.

I have not read the last two Parts of the book, but I did skim them so I could make some brief comments.

Part IV Of Human Bondage or the Strength of the Emotions.

Part V Of the Power of the Understanding, or of Human Freedom.

My Summary

Before a final quote, this is what I think of Spinoza’s Ethics. For this modern reader, its main, though not only, interest is as a historical document. The rationalist program upon which it’s founded I find completely unconvincing, in our modern era of scientific understanding.

The third part, wherein Spinoza lays forth what I take to be a psychology of the emotions, was/is interesting, and I wish I had been able to condense and summarize it better. I might return to it someday, but … likely not, if I’m honest with myself.

Similarly, the fourth part, which I only skimmed, seems like it should be explored in conjunction with Part III.

The other parts of the Ethics did not attract me, and I doubt I will ever return to them.

But Spinoza was undoubtedly a great thinker, and deserves better than I’ve given him here. He deserves to provide his own summary. This quote is the last Note in Ethics.

Spinoza’s Summary


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Previous review: Sense of an Ending
Next review: Farewell to Cricket Don Bradman
More recent review: ___

Previous library review: Irrational Man
Next library review: Selected Writings of Charles S. Peirce Values in a Universe of Chance
Profile Image for Orhan Pelinkovic.
91 reviews166 followers
November 8, 2022
Spinoza claims that God loves or hates no one, nor that He can be impacted by sadness or joy, and that we should not expect our love for Him to be returned in any way. Nevertheless, God exists. He is the single and first cause of all things, the eternal truth, and the reason things came to exist and continue to persist.

The most useful virtue of Spinoza's Ethics is an individual's persistence to preserve itself which is best achieved by living in moderation and by their guidance of reason and that the only evil in the world is anger, envy, sadness, hate, and the like. While they can all be overcome or destroyed by love, peace, kindness; the good. Spinoza asserts that the power of the mind is defined solely by its understanding, where the greatest virtue of the mind is to understand God, while the greatest satisfaction one can experience is joy.

Throughout the book, Spinoza utilizes the Euclidean method of proof to deduce and demonstrate his philosophy which was challenging to follow as it's based on a set of axioms, propositions, and theorems at the beginning of his chapters. Therefore, I did not find this geometrical method sufficiently adaptable to prove ethical principles, but he has this capability to pin-point and get to the core of things. The method of reasoning Spinoza utilized to critique the Old and New Testament in the Theological-Political Treatise was simpler to follow.
Profile Image for Dario.
40 reviews25 followers
December 5, 2019
"And it is easy to credit Spinoza with the place of honour in the Cartesian succession; except that he bulges out of that place in all directions, there is no living corpse who raises the lid of his coffin so powerfully, crying so loudly 'I am not one of yours.' "

Baruch Spinoza - the man of joy. In under 200 pages Spinoza manages to create a philosophical system that, in effect, accounts for the entirety of life as we know it. More impressive still, his writing in The Ethics somehow seems as relevant today as it must have been in the mid 1600s. Or perhaps it wasn't? This book seems to anticipate, quite completely, so much of the Nietzschean project that was taken up a couple of hundred years later, and that we still see regarded as being our entry into the postmodern era. It is not surprising to learn that Spinoza was exiled in his life by the Jewish community, that this book was placed on the Vatican's list of forbidden books, and that he was even rejected by his family on account of his radical beliefs: this book is still radical! Along his metaphysical journey, Spinoza, among other things, casts off the idea of transcendent good and evil, rejects the Cartesian dualism of mind vs body, denies the transcendence and anthropomorphization of God, and posits an ethical system based on joy.

One substance, with an infinite number of attributes, expressed in an infinite number of modes. Extension (matter) is an attribute of God, or, nature, as is thought (ideas); we can conceive of God now as ideas through thought, now as matter through extension; the substance is the same. The mind and body are not two separate things, but rather the same thing expressed through different attributes. The decisions of the mind are exactly the determinations or appetites of the body. Ideas of things are conceived through thought, while things are conceived through matter. The mind is bodied and the body minded. The affections of the body are exactly the ideas of the affections of the mind, but insofar as these affections necessarily involve external bodies they can be said to be inadequate, or, not fully comprehensible by our body alone. These affections are passions. The mind however, as a part of the divine nature expressed through thought, is blessed with the power of reasoning, that is, of forming adequate or complete ideas. Through the use of reasoning the mind is able to create understanding, or understandings, of the divine nature, and through this, reach higher levels of empowerment and affirmation.

An affect is an idea of an affection of the body. The body is composed of many individuals, each of which is itself composed of many individuals, and so on; roll the mouse wheel. From this it follows that the body, and so also the mind, can be affected in a great many ways; we do not yet know what a body can do. All affects can be generally ascribed to three main affects: joy, sadness and desire. Joy can be described simply as all those affects that increase our power, that is, our power to act; that empower us, bring us to a higher level of perfection, affirm us more and aid our ability to act as the manifestations of the divine nature that we are. Sad affects are all those that restrain us, that diminish or weaken our ability to act and that destroy us. Desire is the very essence of man, insofar as it represents the appetites of the body, or of the individuals that constitute our body, that at all times seeks to empower and preserve, affirm and aid itself. This is the will to power, a will to life. This is, to this day, still one of the criteria we use to evaluate the living: all living things seek to preserve themselves. This, as we have just shown, is joy itself. Anything that seeks to destroy itself is not acting out of an intrinsic property, rather, anything, insofar as it seeks to destroy itself, is acting out of weakness of mind, that is, is being acted upon to such an extent by sad affects that it becomes completely overpowered. The man of reason, or of understanding, seeks at all times affects of joy, affects that increase our power.

The beautiful thing about Spinoza's immanent system of ethics, an ethics of empowerment and joy, is that once we stop subscribing to transcendent morals, morals that posit externally determined ideals of 'good' and 'evil', and that punish us (externally and internally) and render us guilty, we start to radiate positivity. This is the real charm of The Ethics. The more we seek to understand ourselves and the world of God/nature around us, the greater the ability we can gain to empower ourselves and brings ourselves to joy; the greater our power, the greater our ability to act, and the greater our ability to empower and preserve the things in our lives that bring us joy. Humans are necessarily social beings; we cannot live in isolation, and in fact, since the moment we were born (and certainly even before) we have been been acted upon and ourselves acted upon other people. These people, in our lives, from those closest to us to those furthest away, have a very real impact on us; they affect us and we them. The more the people around us are empowered to act well, live joyfully, and make something of their lives and duration as mind-bodies, the more we are. The more that everyone else in the world is empowered and brought to joy, the more we are brought to joy, and, conversely, the more that we are empowered the more we are able to bring everyone else to joy. "If each person most seeks their own advantage, then men are most useful to one another" - this is the great lesson, the great gift. But the fundamental subtext is that we are not alone, the empowerment and joy of those around us affects us, and we them. Spinoza discovers the remarkable knock-on effect of positivity, hidden away by those who preach evil, repentance and sin. The man of reason, the strong, lives by love; he knows that nothing joyous can come from hate or sad affects: hate only breeds hate and even compounds it, whereas love can only breed love, empowerment can only breed empowerment. 
13 reviews4 followers
February 15, 2008
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 anyone else, and not to your own wishes, compulsions, fantasies, and emotions. To be free is to be rational, and to be rational is to live the best kind of life for a human being to live.

I should add also that The Ethics is itself the work of a lonely spirit, a spirit who relinquished the claims of community and tradition in order to create a different and better future through the power of philosophy. I can think of no better company for my own solitude than the Ethics of Spinoza.
Profile Image for Mahnam.
Author 19 books265 followers
June 27, 2018
به طور حتم باید این کتاب رو بیش از یک بار خواند و قطعا در دور اول مطالعه‌اش نمیشه به برداشت صحیحی از تمام مطالب اون دست یافت به خصوص اگه با پیشینه فلسفی زیادی شروعش نکرد اما با تمامی این موارد کتابی است که میشه بسیار زیاد از اون آموخت و با وجود گذشت سال‌ها از نگارشش، هنوز طراوت خاصی داره که واقعا خواننده رو به وجد میاره.
اسپینوزا در رساله اخلاق با بهره‌گیری از شیوه‌ی دکارت و پیروی از پذیرش تنها تصورات واضح و متمایز ، نظام فلسفی خودش رو پی‌ریزی می‌کنه که در این راه، برخلاف دکارت نه از جز به کل و انسان به خدا که از کل به جز و از خدا و جوهر به انسان می‌رسه.
به همین خاطر خوانش دو فصل اول خیلی دشوارتر از سه فصل بعدی است چون چهارچوب‌های ذهنی خواننده رو بیشتر به چالش می‌کشه اما هر چه بیشتر پیش میریم، بیشتر با اونچه اسپینوزا قصد داره بگه، ارتباط برقرار میکنیم و خیلی از سوالاتی که برامون به وجود میاد، به مرور و به کمک متن خود کتاب حل میشه تا جایی که وقتی در فصل آخر نظام یکپارچه ای از موجودات و خداوند رو ارائه میده، تصوری که از نظام فلسفیش برای ما به وجود میاد تا حد زیادی روشن خواهد بود.
خداوند اسپینوزا نه پروردگاری خارج از موجودات که کل طبیعت موجود و سرمدی است و از ازل تا ابد نه کمالاتش افزایش پیدا میکنه و نه کاهش به نوعی که تمامی موجودات رو اگر مجموعه‌ای در نظر بگیریم، در نظر گرفتن خدا نه چیزی به اون مجموعه زیاد میکنه و نه چیزی از اون کم میکنه بلکه کل اون مجموعه که تحت صفات فکر و بعد اعتبار میشه، خداست که حقیقتی سرمدی به حساب میاد.
با این حال که به نظر میاد خداوند اسپینوزا طبیعتی فاقد شعور است اما او به کرات در نوشته‌هایش تاکید میکنه که فهم خداوند شامل تمامی اتفاقات هستی است و خدا از آن‌ها جدا نیست.
بخش اول کتاب به طور کلی به تعریف تنها جوهری که اسپینوزا در جهان قائل است، یعنی خداوند اختصاص دارد.
در بخش بعدی ما با طبیعت نفس انسان و منشا اون آشنا میشیم و می‌فهمیم که در نظام فکری اسپینوزا، نفس انسان چیزی جدای از جسم او نیست و تنها تفاوتش در این است که نفس تحت صفت فکر اعتبار می‌شود و جسم تحت صفت بعد درحالیکه این‌ها در حقیقت بر یک چیز دلالت دارند و فقط در ذهن انسان متمایز شناخته می‌شوند.
بنابراین اسپینوزا به هیچ عنوان اصالتی برای روح قائل نیست و هیچ اعتقادی به آن ندارد و مهمترین فضیلت انسان را کوشش برای حفظ ذات خود تعریف میکنه.
در فصول بعدی اسپینوزا سعی می‌کنه تا منشا عواطف انسانی و ارتباط ان‌ها با عقل و فهم انسان رو توضیح بده که باید بگم این سه فصل سرشار از نکات آموزنده است حتی برای خوانندگانی که علاقه‌ای به متون فلسفی ندارند یا با فلسفه اسپینوزا موافق نیستند و من مدام از خودم میپرسم چی میشد اگه ما در سنین پایین و در مدارس با این مطالب آشنا میشدیم و چقدر شناخت بهتری از ذات خودمون پیدا میکردیم و چقدر کمتر خودمون و دیگران رو اذیت میکردیم؛ چه اهداف بهتری برای زندگی‌مون برمی‌گزیدیم و چه زندگی بهتری داشتیم... این سه فصل نه چندان فلسفی که بیشتر بار روانشناختی دارن و شاید علم روانشناسی امروز بسیار فراتر از مطالب آمده در این رساله رفته باشه اما باز هم نمیشه از کارآمد بودن اونا چشمپوشی کرد.
فصل پنجم و آخر رساله به نوعی جمع‌بندیه و میخواد به خواننده بگه که چطور میشه با پذیرش جبر صددرصدی، زندگی سعادتمندی داشت و در چنین ساختاری فضیلت و سعادت چی تعریف میشه و آیا انسان با مرگ تمام میشه؟ تا چه حد میشه بر مبنای عقل زندگی کرد و تا کجا میشه از انفعال شخصی کاست و از اسارت مطلق عواطف منفعل رها شد.
و در آخر اسپینوزا نوشته خود را با جمله‌ی هر چیز عالی همان‌قدر که نادر است، دشوار هم هست به پایان میبره و نشان میده که چرا با وجود بودن مفاهیم مشترک در نفوس انسان‌ها، از آرامش واقعی برخوردار نیستیم و راه رسیدن به این آرامش که فقط و فقط از طریق شناخت تام حاصل میشه، تا چه اندازه دشواره و برای پیمودنش به پافشاری زیادی نیازه.
حتما این کتاب رو باید چندبار دیگه و با دانشی بیشتر مطالعه کرد و شاید برخی از این برداشت‌های حال حاضر من با مقصود حقیقی نگارنده متفاوت باشه اما تا همین حد هم بسیار آموختم. بسیار به وجد اومدم و بسیار از اسپینوزا سپاسگزارم. به راستی که آگاهی سرمدی است و در جهان باقی میماند حتی اگر جسم انسان از بین رفته باشد.
از جناب جهانگیری هم به خاطر ترجمه بسیار وفادارنه‌شون متشکرم و همچنین به خاطر تمام پانویس‌ها و توضیحاتی که در فهم بهتر متن به کمک خواننده می‌اومدن.
Profile Image for Aurelia.
95 reviews86 followers
December 1, 2020
Spinoza est certainement le philosophe le plus subversif de toute la tradition occidentale. Il traite de la Liberté au sein d’un monde ou règne le Déterminisme. La Vertu a pour lui le Désir et l’utilité des humains comme fondement. Il considère la Matière comme manifestation de la Divinité au même rang que l’Esprit, et son projet est d’amener une âme, quoique mortelle, au Salut et à la Béatitude.

Il est crucial de survivre la première partie de l’Ethique afin de pouvoir apprécier ce qui suit. Spinoza y expose son ontologie. L’idée la plus répandue à ce sujet est l’identification de Dieu avec la Nature, le refus du dieu personnel et des superstitions religieuses. Mais cette partie attaque également d’autres principes, en particulier le dualisme corps-esprit, la volonté et le finalisme. Si les philosophes du Moyen âge considèrent que la Matière est indigne d’être divine, et limite le divin à tout ce qui est idée et esprit ; Spinoza dans sa vision moniste, avance que la Matière et l’Esprit sont deux différents attribues de la même Substance essentielle qu’est Dieu. Les seuls attribues accessibles à l’homme parmi une infinité d’attribues. En conséquent, l’Esprit, n’est que l’idée du corps, sa conscience. Le libre arbitre n’est que la conscience confuse du désir. Le finalisme est une extrapolation de ces désirs individuels à l’échelle de l’univers entier, imprégnant une Nature déterministe et indifférente par la convenance et l’utilité des humains.

L'Esprit, comme idée du corps est réduit à son constituant le plus essentiel : le Désir. L’homme désire son utilité, son bonheur et son confort… il est affecté par les objets extérieurs, qui s’estampent sur son imagination et mémoire. Spinoza conçoit la vie cognitive comme une série interminable d’images affectant le sujet, mais paradoxalement éclairant le sujet affecté plus que les objets affectant. La compréhension adéquate et la maitrise de l’enchainement de ces affects est la clé de sa théorie du bonheur, puisque tout sentiment est réduit au bonheur ou au malheur crées par ces images. Le désir et la recherche de l’utilité ne sont pas condamnables ou mauvais en soi, c’est la manière avec laquelle le désir est poursuit qui fait la différence. Un désir poursuit dans la passivité, sans réflexion, en complète ignorance des causes réelles et en dépendance de la faveur du hasard, ne mènera que vers une vie tourmentée par les images tronquées et déformées. La vie heureuse nécessite une action constante avec laquelle l’homme comme cause sera supérieur à la causalité externe, et la maitrise de sa propre imagination est primordiale pour toute possibilité de salut.

Ainsi, Spinoza attaque toute morale d’esclave, de péché, de crainte du châtiment, tout ascétisme et superstition, tout faux espoir dans une vie après la mort, ou en une récompense. La vie heureuse de l’homme est de ce monde, ici et maintenant. Il ne doit pas éviter le vice pour pratiquer la vertu mais chercher directement la vertu, celle-ci est identifiée avec le bonheur, avec la connaissance adéquate et la recherche de l’utilité, individuel et collective.

Aucune note de lecture ne fera justice à cette œuvre. L’Ethique est une expérience à vivre et à revivre, à contempler de temps en temps. La critique des préjugés des hommes sur eux-mêmes et le Monde est lapidaire et poignante. Il est vrai que des siècles après, ces préjugés subsistent avec une ténacité impressionnante, mais ceci n’empêche pas de considérer Spinoza comme le précurseur de plusieurs idées fondamentales dans ce qu’on appelle la Modernité.
Profile Image for Huda Ak .
232 reviews159 followers
August 30, 2012
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 سبينوزا ليس محدودًا بزمان و لا مكان، و لا بالصفات البشرية المعهودة، و لكن جميع المخلوقات متصلة بالله بصورة من الصور و إن كانت محدودة.
الأمر الذي لا حظته عند استناد سبينوزا للعلم في وقته و الذي كان في القرن السابع عشر تقريبًا هو الفكرة الخاطئة عن الكون و الذي كان يعتقد به أن الكون لا متناهٍ و بذلك اختلط عليه تعريف الله سبحانه و تعالى و ساواهما بالتعريف. فبذلك خذله علم الإنسان المحدود و مع أن هذه الفلسفة قد تكون منطقية في زمانه إلا أنها مخالفة للعلم في وقتنا الحاضر

الفصل الثاني عالج الروح و الجسد، و قد اتصل اتصالًا وثيقًا بتعريفه لله.. بالمختصر اقترح سبينوزا أن الروح و الجسد وجهان لعملة واحدة، فقد اعتبر الجسد امتدادًا من الله و الذي اعتبره جوهرًا لا متناهيًا و امتدادًا أما الروح فهي صفة من صفاته اللا متناهية.
الأمر الجميل في فكرة سبينوزا هي أن العلم الحديث يوافقه الرأي تمامًا في كثير من أفكاره.. فها هو يصرح بتأثير الحالة النفسية على الجسد و أعضاء الجسد المختلفة على النفسية الإنسانية و الذي تم اثباته علميًّا في العصر الحديث. و بذلك هو يضحد فكرة ديكارت القائلة بانفصالهما. نقطة أخرى طرحها هنا أن "الإنسان يفكر" مخالفًا بذلك فكرة ديكارت القائلة بأن "الإنسان هو الفكر"
يجب الانتباه أن الفكر لدى سبينوزا مختلف بماهيته عن ديكارت، فهو مجموعة من الأفكار التي تعبر على الإنسان و قد تتغير بتغير الزمان أما الفكرة الديكارتية فإنها تقول بأن النفس الإنسانية هي الفكر و الفكر يعبر عن ماهية الإنسان.
هذا التعريف الذكي جدًّا للفكر عند سبينوزا يفسر "إنسانية" المجانين و الأطفال، فإنهم حسب التعريف الديكارتي لا يرتقون إلى المستوى الإنساني مما يثير الامتعاض و عدم القبول لدى معظم البشر.

الفصلان الثالث و الرابع كانا الفصلين الأكثر امتاعًا.. أحببتهما جدًّا و كنت أعيد قراءة مقاطعهما و استنتاجاته.. فهما زبدة هذا الكتاب نوعًا ما.. حيث يصنف الانفعالات و تعريفاتها، فلم يترك انفعالًا من انفعالات البشر حتى تلك الناجمة عن الإدمان على الكحول إلا و عرفها تعريفًا شافيًا و بين مدى تأثيرها على اختيارات و قناعات البشر.. و أهم استنتاجاته أيضًا أن الإنسان هو الذي يتحكم بمدى تأثير لانفعالات العرضية على نفسه و اختياراته

الفصل الأخير كان بمثابة الخاتمة للكتاب.. فبين كيف يستطيع الانسان السيطرة على هذه الانفعالات.. كما أنه اقترح أن الإنسان نوعًا ما أبدي بما أن أفكار الأبدية راودته.. فبذلك يجب أن تصل روحه و جسده لهذه الفكرة، و إن لم يكن قد حدد ماهية و وقت حدوث ذلك

كنت لأعطيه الخمس نجمات لكنني وجدت بعض الأفكار الخاطئة فيه فلن أستطيع فعل ذلك
لكنه كتاب ممتع بالفعل
Profile Image for Alexander.
50 reviews38 followers
May 27, 2012
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't keep pace with all the intermeshing gears. Essence. Substance. Attribute. Mode. Axiom. God. The musty pageant of scholastic theo-jabber hasn't dated well, even as Spinoza's aim was full-blown demystification -- the annihilation of orthodox religious doctrine in favor of a wholly naturalized "God" -- a logic-driven breaking of the vessels.

Once our renegade Cartesian emerges from his empyrean clocktower to engage human nature in Books III & IV ("On the Affects" & "On Human Bondage"), The Ethics becomes a much more nourishing book, though again, written as if Spock and Commander Data had collaborated on a treatise to map human emotion on a Euclidean grid -- a visionary Jewbot crunching game-theoretic equations in a geometric love-letter to God (whom he knows will not return said love).

Steven Nadler observed that The Ethics is a Rorschach for new readers, so this abyss-dwelling materialist and ego-blasted freewill-doubter takes to Spinoza like a lizard to a sunbaked rock. The tranquil surge of tautologies rarely provokes a yawn, while even the most self-evident claims seem slanted in a crisp new light, as if the bevy of truths I've come to accept is being ritually crop-rotated in freshly-composted black earth. ("Compost" has a double-meaning here, as some of Spinoza's notions will have you unholstering your pooper-scooper (i.e. the soul dies with the body, but "the mind" partakes of eternity, and thus survives in some form. -Bk. V, Prop. 23). The Ethics is a mixed bag of philosophical tricks, despite its systematic aims.)

The deep ecology movement, in its attempt to mashup Heideggerian phenomenology with pre-industrial eco-communion and reciprocity with wild spaces, has found a partial-ancestor in Spinoza's immersive pantheism -- albeit conferred by a Dutch freethinker who spent most of his life in boarding houses, lens-grinding workshops, libraries, taverns, and (before his excommunication) the synagogue. What this tells us is that The Ethics has as much to offer the roving city rat as the stinky dreadlocked Greenpeace volunteer, even as Spinoza might have dismissed much of today's green movement as "empty superstition and unmanly compassion" (Bk. IV, Sch. 1). Nature may be the source and generative matrix of All, but The Ethics still has one foot planted in Pentateuchal Dominion theology. (With regards to human emotion, it has both feet squarely planted. We are all bucks to be broken. Every passion named and tamed.)

Freud noted that the poets discovered the Unconscious long before he did, but Spinoza gave the concept a transgressive breadth and depth shocking to the Powers that Be (or the Powers that Were). European theocrats reviled him for his sweeping materialist vision of humans as passion-inflamed meat puppets, a vision that ripples forward to the present moment, with discoveries in neurophysiology that bracket (perhaps even obliterate) our hallowed notions of libertarian self-rule.

"I consider men's affects [emotions] and properties just like other natural things. And of course human affects, if they do not indicate man's power, at least indicate the power and skill of Nature, no less than many other things we wonder at and take pleasure in contemplating" (Bk. IV, Prop. 57).

Not that Spinoza's ethics are remotely "scientific." Rather they tend to seesaw between common-sense folk-morality and some spicy, proto-Nietzschean "revaluation of all values"-style critique, particularly in his (subtle but derogatory) views on pity, humility, compassion, and remorse. But throughout the treatise, there's a prevailing Vulcan faith in "reason" as the ultimate metaethical arbiter, which pitches Spinoza into a vague, dithering scientism without the science, a residual Platonism which magically equates knowing things "as they truly are" with nobility and virtue, a fuzzy non sequitur that has plagued philosophy for millennia. "Things are good only insofar as they aid man to enjoy the life of the mind" (Bk. IV, App. V). Contra Spinoza, flat-earthers can be sweet people, while bookish savants can be callous dicks.

Freewill is largely kaput in the cosmos of The Ethics. By the luck of the draw (our constitutional and environmental preconditions), some of us will ripen into bravura, meticulously-carved marionettes, whilst others are condemned to be wormeaten Punch & Judy sockpuppets stewing in vice, superstition, and fear. (I say "largely" kaput because there's some cognitive dissonance in The Ethics over whether the enlightened Spinozan has achieved a tentative sort of freedom, stemming from the veto-powers of the superego. Hence, there can be freedom from the passions, but not from causation. Spock didn't choose to be Spock, et al.) Those who brazenly declare themselves "free" are usually the least so, since they evade the self-deconstructive labor of unwinding the myriad threads of their constitutive origins and experiences.

So paradoxically, Spinoza would hail those who plunge facefirst into the pregnant abyss of determinism as possessing true freedom, by which he means a life uncontaminated by the resentment and emotional tumult of our passions and addictions, our blistering narcissism and neurotic sense of entitlement. But again, since we did not design the metaethical Universe which "reason" is primed to discover and retrofit our values to, freedom comes to mean empowerment and joy (within our limitations) rather than causation-trumping liberty.

In other words, some puppets get an eleven-stringed guidewire with greased ball-socket joints and gyro-stabilized swivel-torso, while the rest of us sock-monkeys bob and weave on tangled hanks of rotting yarn. The upshot here is that the virtue-seeking rationality of the Alpha marionettes compels them to upgrade and enlighten as many of the Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons as they can, for the community's sum benefit. "Everyone who is led by reason desires for others also the good he wants for himself" (Bk. IV, Prop. 73). This radical revolt against Plato's philosopher-kings helps make Spinoza a future prince of democratic modernity.

At the omega point of enlightenment, the true love of God would have us (lucky-rolling scions of serendipity) reason our way to a Taoist aeyrie of universal empathy in the Vulcan embrace of cosmic determinism:

"The mind is determined to wish for this or that by a cause, which has also been determined by a cause, and this again by another, and so on to infinity. This realization teaches us to hate no one, to despise no one, to mock no one, to be angry with no one, and to envy no one."

So spaketh the Jewish Buddha of 17th-century Amsterdam.

All the more dismaying when, in Book V ("On Human Freedom"), Spinoza tumbles off the rails into theobabble mystagoguery, and this just a few pages after bashing Descartes for skyhooking "occult qualities" to prop up the latter's rickety Cogito. Pot calls kettle noir.

Still, this is two centuries before the Darwinian upgrade. By the lights of his time, Spinoza had balls of brass and a suped-up frontal lobe. The prince of philosophers, and patron saint of the brainy, dispassionate Outsider.

Profile Image for Amirhossein.
36 reviews11 followers
August 21, 2022
يکي از لذت بخش ترين و عميق ترين کتاب هايي بود که مطالعه کردم. اسپينوزا در اين کتاب ابتدا سعي در پي ريزي مفهومي يکپارچه از جهان بر پايه و شالوده عقل دارد. وي ميکوشد با تفکر محض و استنتاجات حاصل از آن به سوالات بنيادين بشر پاسخي ارائه دهد. بخش هاي اول کتاب حاوي اين مطالب و برداشت هاي متافيزيکي وي است اما در فصول آخر کتاب که بسيار بيشتر از خواندنش لذت بردم وي بينش و تاملاتش را معطوف به انسان و ماهيت عواطف وي و چيستي خير و شر و موضوعاتي از اين دست ميکند. خواندن این اثر سترگ تمرکز و صبر زیادی می طلبد و باید با دقت خوانده شود و ذهن خواننده رو به شدت درگیر قضایا و براهین آن میکند. شیوه استدلال اسپینوزا بسیار فوق العاده است و باید برای درک بهتر نظریات وی با مسیر ذهنی نویسنده و ارجاعات پیاپی ای که به قضایای قبلی میدهد همگام شد. باید دوباره و چندباره این اثر رو مطالعه کنم و میدانم با هر بار خواندن به درک و بینش جدید تری از این شاهکار میرسم.

Profile Image for أسيل.
470 reviews252 followers
February 26, 2015


ثمة كتب حينما تقرأها تحدث بصمة ما في النفس
لا تزحزها اي كتب اخرى بنفس الموضوع
فتحافظ على ثبات صفها في رفوفك,,, ربما لأنها لا زالت تشغلك
ولا زلت على ترابط بها في محاولة لهضمها
ومع هذا الكتاب كانت تحضرني افكار ابن مسكويه في النفس
والرازي ودراز بالارادةو العقل والاخلاق
وتضفي لي التساؤلات والغوص في التأملات والشطحات والشاردات
خرجت بقليل وزدت حيرة في الكثير من مكامن واسرار النفس!
فكل ما نصل اليه من تأملاتنا وسوانح افكارنا ليس له غاية نهائية
الا توجيه الانسان في حياته ومعرفته بنفسه
وربط كل تأمل عقلي بالانسان!

الفضيلة قوة الانسان التي تحدد ماهيته!

يستهل سبينوزا كتابه بتأملات فلسفية ميتافزيقية في الاله
ثم في الانسان وطبيعته وطبيعة المعرفه وانفعالاته
ثم في العقل ويختتمه بالفضيلة والاخلاق
وهو بذلك يتقصد التدرج فالانسان يعرفه نفسه من خلاله صلته وارتباطه بالله
ويميز بعقله بين الخير والشر
ونحن لا نعرف الخير من الشر الا اذا كلن هذا الشيء يقودنا الى الفهم
او يحول بيننا وبينه اي الفهم
والخير الاسمى لها هو معرفة الله واسمى الفضائل معرفة النفس لله
ويرقى باخلاقه وفضيلته وبها يسمو لاعلى مراتب انسانيته
ففضيلة الانسان الحر تتمثل في توقيه للمخاطر بقدر
ما تتمثل في التغلب عليها... وان رباطة الجأش هي الرغبة التي يسعى
بها كل فرد الى حفظ كيانه وفقاً لما يمليه العقل
وحفظ الذات هو المبدأ الأول للفضيلة وذلك يتحقق بهداية من العقل
فالذي يجهل نفسه يجهل مبدأ كل الفضائل بل يجهل الفضائل نفسها
وبقدر ما نجد في البحث عما ينفعنا ويحفظ كياننا نكون فضلاء وعلى العكس
اذا اهملنا ما ينفعنا ويحفظ لنا كياننا كنا عاجزين

وما يضفي الميزة لكتابه ان يوضح المقصود والمعنى للمترادفات
كالطموح والامل والحزن والفرح والرغبة والشهوة والارادة
ويضفي اليها براهين وحواشي

اني ارد الى الدين كل ما نرغبه ونفعله ونكون علة له من جهة معرفتنا بالله
اني اطلق لفظ الاخلاقية على الرغبة في فعل الخير المتأصلة في عيشنا على مقتضى العقل
اقصد بالشرف الرغبة التي تدفع الانسان الذي يعيش على مقتضى العقل الى اكتساب صداقة غيره
واسمي شريفا العمل الذي يستحسنه الناس الذين يعيشون على مقتضى العقل ومخزيا على العكس ما يحول دون الصداقة
لا فرق بين الرغبة والشهوة سوى ان الرغبة تتعلق عموما بالانسان من حيث انه يعي شهواته
فالرغبة هي الشهوة المصحوبة بوعي ذاتها بينما الشهوة تتعلق بالنفس والجسم

"لا شيء مما يحدث في الطبيعة يمكن ان ينسب الى عيب كامن فيها
اذ الطبيعة هي هي على الدوام, وفضيلتها وقدرتها على الفعل واحدة, وهي ذاتها في كل مكان, اي ان قوانين الطبيعة وقواعدها التي تحدث بمقتضاها
الاشياء وتنتقل من شكل الى اخر هي نفسها دائماً
وفي كل مكان وتبعاً لذلك ينبغي ان يكون المنهج السليم لمعرفة
طبيعة الاشياء مهما كانت هذه الاشياء, نفس المنهج, اع��ي منهجاً ينطلق دائماً
من قوانين الطبيعة وقواعدها الكلية. وهكذا فان انفعالات الكره والغضب والحسد وما اليها
اذا ما اعتبرت في ذاتها, تسير وفقا لنفس الضرورة ونفس الفضيلة الطبيعية
التي تسير عليها الاشياء الجزئية الاخرى. وبناء عله فان لهذه الانفعالات عللا محددة تسمح بمعرفتها بوضوح, ولها خصائص معينة تجدر معرفتها شأنها شأن
اي موضوع آخر نتمتع بمجرد تأمله.

Profile Image for Paradoxe.
406 reviews94 followers
September 26, 2019
Δεν ξέρω πως να καθορίσω τα αστέρια που του αντιστοιχούν. Παρακαλώ μη δώσετε σημασία σε αυτά.

Πριν από 3,5 χρόνια βρέθηκα σε τέλμα, συνδυασμός ασθενείας, χωρισμού, υπερκόπωσης και απροσδιοριστίας στη ζωή μου. Ήταν αδύνατο να σπάσω ένα μισητό πρόγραμμα, που ακολουθούσα με ψυχαναγκαστική διάθεση να με ματώσω: πρωινό ξύπνημα, φάρμακα, κακός καφές, λίγες σκέψεις στο ημερολόγιο μου, δουλειά μέχρι που να θολώνουν τα μάτια μου για να γυρίσω στο σπίτι, σκέψεις τι θα μαγειρέψω που ματαιώνονταν βρίσκοντας μπροστά μου το ευκολότερο, διάβασμα λέξεων που δεν αντηχούσαν μέσα μου και φαγητό ως αργά. Κι άλλες σκέψεις στο ημερολόγιο, ένα διαρκές τριβέλισμα που οδηγούσε στο μένος και σε ακόμη μεγαλύτερη απροσδιοριστία. Είναι συντριπτικό να κλαις, χωρίς την εξαέρωση των φυσικών δακρύων, σα να προσπαθείς να ενεργηθείς και όμως ενώ αερίζεσαι και ανακουφίζεσαι, η κύρια πίεση παραμένει, σαν τον έρωτα ίσως, τη θες πολύ, είναι η στιγμή έντονη και όμως δε μπορείς να φτάσεις σε κορύφωση, γιατί μια επίμονη ανάγκη ούρησης σε πιέζει, που κι αυτή αργεί υπερβολικά και μετά έχει ακυρώσει σε σπασμένη μνήμη κάθε ατμόσφαιρα του πριν, ακόμη κι αν ήταν μόλις πέντε λεπτά και το κρεβάτι σου δεν είναι άδειο. Τότε ανακάλυψα ένα βιβλίο Φιλοσοφίας. Μου άνοιξε την πόρτα και με βοήθησε να κρατιέμαι σε φόρμα.

Όμως, ο καιρός περνούσε. Πειραματιζόμουν, διάβαζα διάφορα κι ωστόσο γυρνούσα διαρκώς σε αυτό το βιβλίο και τίποτα δε μπορούσε να με καλύψει, έχαναν κάτι που έψαχνα να βρω. Σα να διέφευγε τη στιγμή που γραφόταν ένα απόσταγμα που ψηλαφούσα αχνά και που την ώρα που επίσης άφηνε το χαρτί για να μπει σε ‘μενα, χανόταν κάτι ακόμα. Και όμως αυτά τα φαινομενικά, μη ταιριαστά μου, αναγνώσματα, είχαν καταφέρει να εκτρέψουν άλλοτε τη φορά, άλλοτε το φορέα. Πάντοτε με ανακούφιζε το βιβλίο αυτό. Τώρα όμως, είχα φτάσει σ’ ένα τέρμα μαζί του και δε μου ήταν αρκετό κι επειδή δε μπορούσα να βρω κάτι άλλο να ταιριάζει ακριβώς με το εισιτήριο σε μια άλλη σκέψη, με μια άλλη ορμή, θύμιζαν οι επιστροφές μου εκείνο το στίχο του Καβάφη, ‘’σαν μια ξένη φορτική’’. Σιγά σιγά, μου γεννούσε νοσηρότητα. Μια ανακουφιστική νοσηρότητα.

Αποφάσισα να στραφώ σε βιβλία εισαγωγής στη Φιλοσοφία, πήρα εναλλακτικές και όμως δε μπορούσα να καθορίσω ακόμα τι αναζητούσα. Χρειάστηκαν οι κατάλληλες συνθήκες για να γίνουν τα πολυειπωμένα λόγια μέσα μου, μορφές και να βρεθώ υπό πίεση για διάφορα ζητήματα, ώστε να αφήσω την ασφάλεια του γενικού και να τολμήσω στο ειδικό. Με είχε αγγίξει η ζωή του Σπινόζα και μαζί ήθελα μεν να αναμετρηθώ με το θείο, αν και αυτό το τελευταίο όχι άμεσα και γι’ αυτό πίστεψα πως δε θα είχε θέση σε ένα βιβλίο ηθικής.

Με το Σπινόζα λοιπόν, άρχισε ένα ταξίδι. Κατ’ αρχάς, η άμεση αντίδραση μου στη θέση του: δεν έχει σημασία αν πιστεύω και σε τι, ίσως και να μη μπορώ ακόμα να το προσδιορίσω. Αυτό όμως που προσδιορίζω είναι πως δεν πιστεύω και δεν αποδέχομαι μια ‘’θειοελεγχόμενη’’ ηθική. Ακόμα και αν κάποιος μου αποδείκνυε πέραν πάσης αμφιβολίας ότι θεός υπάρχει και πάλι θα πίστευα ( με το μέτρο που μπορώ να φανταστώ αυτή τη στιγμή ότι δε θα με επηρέαζε μια τέτοια υπέρβαση ) ότι η ηθική πρέπει να είναι απολύτως ανεξάρτητη. Και αν ο Θεός έλεγε, η ηθική που θέλω να ακολουθούν τα πλάσματα μου είναι αυτή και πάλι δε θα ήθελα να είναι γνωστό αυτό. Θα ήθελα/θέλω, ο άνθρωπος που μπορεί να είναι παιδί Του, μπορεί να είναι σφάλμα Του, μπορεί να είναι πείραμα Του, από τη στιγμή όμως που του έδωσε επιλογές, δε μπορεί να είναι δούλος Του, να καθορίσει μόνος τα κριτήρια βάσει των οποίων θα κανονίζει τη ζωή του ανάμεσα στους ανθρώπους. Εκείνο το κάτι, που θα είναι ανεξάρτητο των νόμων, θα μπορεί όμως να συνάδει με τη λογική που τους διέπει και παράλληλα να έχει ή να μπορεί να δημιουργήσει τις συνθήκες συναισθηματικού υποβάθρου, ώστε να συνδέει και να συνδέεται με τους ανθρώπους. Ναι έχω κάτι στο νου μο�� όταν το θέτω έτσι. Έχω κατά νου ένα περίγραμμα, όμως για να καταλήξω εκεί, χωρίς αυτό να σημαίνει πως έβγαλα τη φιλοσοφία μου, παρά πως σχημάτισα μια, ακόμη ασαφή, ιδέα, απαιτούνται πολύ περισσότερα, όμως σε αυτό, με βοήθησε ο Σπινόζα, έστω κι αν αυτό προϋπέθετε την αντίδραση μου.

Εδώ έχουμε μια ‘’θειοελεγχόμενη’’ ηθική. Επομένως, κλείνουμε το βιβλίο και χαιρετούμε; Όχι δεν είναι τόσο απλό. Στη Φιλοσοφία τίποτα δεν πετιέται και όλα κάπου χωρούν και κάτι μπορούν να συμπληρώσουν. Άλλωστε, το συμπέρασμα είναι το τέρμα της διαδρομής και όχι ο εαυτός της. Μπορεί να τη χαρακτηρίσει, το δέχομαι αυτό, αλλά όχι και να την οριοθετήσει. Είναι όμως ένα δύσκολο βιβλίο, γιατί ο Σπινόζα δεν ‘’εργάζεται’’ με το σύνηθες λεξιλόγιο της Επιστήμης της Φιλοσοφίας, αλλά υιοθετεί ένα δικό του και το οποίο συστηματοποιεί λέξεις που εκφράζουν περισσότερο την έννοια ή τις έννοιες που θέλει να περικλείονται μέσα σε αυτή. Αυτό που το κάνει ακόμα δυσκολότερο, αλλά που ήταν το εφαλτήριο για να μου ανοίξει το μυαλό είναι ο τρόπος που επιλέγει να μιλήσει, να οδηγήσει στα συμπεράσματα του. Ακολουθεί καθαρά μαθηματικό τρόπο. Υπάρχουν αξιώματα και προτάσεις προς απόδειξη. Υπάρχουν δεδομένα και ζητούμενα. Αυτός ο τρόπος είναι πολύ γοητευτικός, επίσης αποκλείει τη χρήση ενός εργαλείου που τείνουν να χρησιμοποιούν οι Φιλόσοφοι και δεν είχα καταλάβει ποτέ πόσο πολύ με ενοχλεί και πόσο ελλιπές είναι: λέω αυτό και στηρίζω την άποψη μου, έτσι κι έτσι κι έτσι και επιπλέον την υποστηρίζει ο τάδε που συμπέρανε εκείνο και ο δείνα που απέδειξε το άλλο.

Ναι θα πει κάποιος, αλλά δε σου δίνει ουσιαστικά ένα χάρτη μέσω του οποίου μπορείς να κινηθείς; Μου δίνει; Ή μήπως κάνει αυτό που σε οποιαδήποτε σχολή Φυσικομαθημ��τικής θεωρείται δεδομένο: δεν είμαστε στο σχολείο, δεν υπάρχουν τύποι τυφλοσούρτες αν δε μπορείς ανά πάσα στιγμή να ανακαλέσεις πως αποδεικνύονται και το κυριότερο τι είναι εκείνο που ώθησε στην αναζήτηση των μεγεθών, που τον συναποτελούν, ειδικά μάλιστα όταν πολλές φορές στην ίδια την απόδειξη βρίσκεται ένα κλειδί πολύ ‘’ωριμότερο’’ από το τελικά βεβιασμένο συμπέρασμα ( ορισμένως βεβιασμένο ). Εν πάση περιπτώσει, αυτός ο χάρτης είναι μια ωραία φιλολογική πινελιά, που κάλλιστα μπορεί να βρίσκεται σε έναν επίλογο, ή σε μια σχετική βιβλιογραφία. Δε μπορεί όμως να είναι μέρος που ενισχύει το συλλογισμό. Και επιπλέον, σε καθαρά προσωπικό επίπεδο, δεν εκτιμώ τους ήρωες. Μπορεί να είναι δειλοί, ή γενναίοι και η στιγμή να τους καθόρισε. Εκτιμώ τους ανθρώπους που βασίζονται στις δικές τους δυνάμεις, όσο αδέξιοι κι αν μας φαίνονται πολλές φορές. Κι ο Σπινόζα είναι αληθινά γενναίος, διότι με γνώσεις Φιλοσοφίας και όχι με τον τρόπο που συνηθίζουν να ονομάζονται οι φιλόσοφοι ως τέτοιοι, προσπαθεί μόνος του.

Σου έχω ήδη αναφέρει, τη χρήση ενός ειδικού, ‘’ιδιόκτητου’’ λεξιλογίου, σου έχω αναφέρει αξιώματα και δεδομένα, προτάσεις προς απόδειξη και ζητούμενα, ρώτησε οποιονδήποτε προέρχεται από το θετικό κλάδο τι σημαίνει αυτό. Όταν γυρίσεις να τον κοιτάξεις θα προσέξεις πως ήδη έχει μπροστά του ένα τετράδιο κι ένα στιλό και γράφει σε χαρτιά διαφόρων μηκών τα οποία θέτει πάνω στο τραπέζι σε διάφορες θέσεις. Μην αναρωτηθείς τι κάνει, σκέψου τον τρόπο του Σπινόζα. Αντιγράφει το λεξικό, τα αξιώματα, τα δεδομένα, τις προτάσεις και τα ζητούμενα. Κλείνει το βιβλίο. Μπορεί να χρησιμοποιήσει ό,τι θέλει για να καταλήξει στην απόδειξη της πρότασης, ή στη μη απόδειξη, είτε είναι βιβλίο, είτε είναι εξωτερικό ερέθισμα, ή και στοχασμός κι ανάκληση εμπειριών. Δε μπορεί όμως να χρησιμοποιήσει το ίδιο το βιβλίο του Σπινόζα.

Τον βλέπεις να προχωράει. Του παίρνει πάρα πολύ ώρα. Στις πρώτες προτάσεις θα δεις πως δυσκολεύεται και χάνει πολύ χρόνο. Διαρκώς πρέπει να κοιτάει τα χαρτάκια και συχνά τους αλλάζει θέσεις. Ξεφυτρώνουν κι άλλα χαρτάκια με πρόχειρους υπολογισμούς, τσαλακωμένες σελίδες και μουτζουρώματα, θα δεις πως πηγαινοέρχεται, κλείνει τα μάτια και κάτι φαίνεται να συλλογιέται. Τελικά, μοιάζει κάπου να καταλήγει και αντιλαμβάνεσαι ένα χαμόγελο που μένει στα μάτια, είναι το χαμόγελο της διανόησης, είναι το χαμόγελο των ανθρώπων που χαρακτηριζόμαστε ως ψεύτικοι, γιατί όταν πρέπει να γελάσουμε με τρόπο που θα ευχαριστήσει το συνομιλητή, γιατί απαιτείται κι αυτή, η κοινωνική δεξιότητα, το χαμόγελο δεν ξεκινάει απ’ τα μάτια και μπορεί μόνο αν είναι πολύ σημαντικός, ο συνομιλητής να φτάσει με κάποιο τρόπο ως εκεί. Είναι όμως το χαμόγελο ενός ανθρώπου που έχει φτιάξει κάτι, μόνος. Ένα ψωμί, μια βιβλιοθήκη, κάποιο συλλογισμό, έναν τέτοιο συλλογισμό που του επιτρέπει να γνωρίζει τι είναι αυτό που οδήγησε στην ανάγκη δημιουργίας της πρότασης.

Δεν τον βλέπεις να ανοίγει το βιβλίο, για να προχωρήσει παρακάτω. Ετοιμάζεσαι να ρωτήσεις γιατί και βλέπεις πως ξανά οδηγείται στα ίδια που έκανε και πρωτύτερα. Βλέπεις πως εμφανίζονται βιβλία, τρέχει και κοιτά απ’ το παράθυρο, κάνει κάτι εξωφρενικό με ένα ποτήρι πιθανόν που το πετάει πάνω στο τζάμι άδειο και μετά πετάει ένα γεμάτο με χρωματιστό υγρό σε άλλο. Μα τι σχέση έχει αυτό με τη Φιλοσοφία, σκέφτεσαι. Κι εγώ το επιστρέφω σε ‘σενα: απέδειξε μου πως δεν έχει. Τελικά, δεν κρατιέσαι και τον ρωτάς τι κάνει, αφού οδηγήθηκε εκεί που ήθελε. Και σου θυμίζει τότε το συμπέρασμα. Μα η πρόταση λες. Η πρόταση είναι ένας συνδετικός κρίκος, το μέρος ενός όλου, τώρα πρέπει να δεις τι απώτερο σημαίνει. Με τι μπορεί να συνδέεται. Αν απέδειξες τη λευκότητα, τώρα πρέπει να καταλήξεις στο τι σημαίνει για ‘σενα ( μικρόκοσμος ) και τι σημαίνει καθολικά. Κάπου κατέληξε τον είδες. Γράφει με μανία. Τελειώνει, ανάβει τσιγάρο και όμως δεν έχει απομακρύνει το στιλό, ή τα χαρτιά του. Γιατί σκέφτεσαι. Σου λέει πως αυτό το συμπέρασμα οδηγεί κάπου αλλού και πρέπει να το ακολουθήσει, να δει τις διαθέσιμες πρώτες ύλες, τις προτάσεις που θα πρέπει εν συνεχεία να αποδείξει. Μα του λες, αφού έχουμε το βιβλίο του Σπινόζα. Είναι ένας τρόπος λέει, δεν είναι όμως ο τελικός. Κι αν το συμπέρασμα είναι άλλο, ή αν οδηγεί σε διαφορετικά μεταξύ τους συμπεράσματα. Έχεις πια οδηγηθεί σε ένα εντελώς διαφορετικό τρόπο αντίληψης των πραγμάτων. Έχεις ήδη αντιληφθεί πως οτιδήποτε έχεις διαβάσει πριν, χρήζει ανακαίνισης, ή αντικατάστασης.

Με το Σπινόζα, δεν τα βρήκαμε στα συμπεράσματα. Το οποίο είναι το τελευταίο που έχει σημασία. Όλα τα υπόλοιπα παραμένουν. Με μια εξαίρεση: η οριστική μας διάσπαση ήρθε με κάποια εντεκάτη πρόταση. Ο Σπινόζα πιστεύει πως οι συμπερασμοί του, τον οδήγησαν στην απόδειξη θεού, εγώ δεν πιστεύω πως οδηγηθήκαμε εκεί. Από τη στιγμή που θεώρησε πως το απέδειξε, έχει το απόλυτο δικαίωμα να το καθορίσει δεδομένο όλων των μετέπειτα αποδείξεων, όσο και σημείο αναφοράς των αρχών κι αξιωμάτων. Πράγμα που πράττει. Από ‘κει και μετά δε μπορούμε να συμφωνήσουμε πουθενά.

Όμως, δεν πρέπει τελικά να δούμε τις ίδιες τις αποδείξεις του; Τι χρησιμοποίησε και τι απέρριψε; Άμα πήρε τη Βίβλο και τη θεώρησε ως καθολικό δεδομένο τελειώσαμε, δεν έχουμε τίποτα να συζητήσουμε. Όχι βέβαια. Αν το είχε κάνει, αντιλαμβάνεσαι κι εσύ φυσικά ότι δε θα διωκόταν, αντιθέτως καταργεί κάθε δικαίωμα του ανθρώπου να χρησιμοποιεί τεχνάσματα, εκλογικεύσεις και συναισθηματισμούς. Απορρίπτει το δικαίωμα του ανθρώπου να αποφασίζει βάσει αυτών, αν υπάρχει ή δεν υπάρχει θεός. Έχεις συνειδητοποιήσει απ’ αυτό, ελπίζω πως όταν μιλάμε για θείο στο Σπινόζα, δε μιλάμε για κτιριάκια με βιτρώ και για χαρτάκια με ‘’κακά ελληνικά’’, όπως θα έλεγε 200 χρόνια μετά ο Νίτσε. Ωραία λοιπόν, σκέφτεσαι και επομένως με τη σειρά του αποφασίζει ίσως βάσει πείσματος λόγου χάρην ότι αυτά που αποκαλεί τεχνάσματα δεν ισχύουν. Όχι, δεν το κάνει με αυτό τον τρόπο. Αξιοποιεί το σπουδαιότερο δεδομένο του: είναι άνθρωπος. Μπορεί να νιώσει φόβο, χαρά, πόνο, απόγνωση, ανάταση. Μπορεί να κατανοήσει. Μπορεί να συμπονέσει. Τα απέρριψε, αφού τα αιτιολόγησε. Δεν είχε γνωρίσει το Φρόϋντ που άλλωστε δε ζούσε τότε και μπορείς να θεωρήσεις την ψυχολογική εξήγηση αβάσιμη, από την άλλη ούτε εγώ έχω διαβάσει το Φρόϋντ και για να προχωρήσω στις αποδείξεις έκανα τις ίδιες παραδοχές. Θα μου επιτρέψεις να ξέρω καλύτερα από ‘σενα, ότι δεν είμαι ιδιοφυϊα, ούτε η μετενσάρκωση του Σπινόζα. Και όμως, με 400 χρόνια διαφορά ακολουθήσαμε τα ίδια απλά υλικά. Τελικά όμως, αυτό που έχει σημασία να αντιληφθείς είναι πως οι γραφές λένε ο άνθρωπος καθ’ εικόνα του Θεού. Ας μην εξετάσουμε ποιος το έγραψε και γιατί. Ας υποθέσουμε ότι είναι δεδομένο. Ποιος σου είπε όμως, ότι η φράση αντιστρέφεται; Ποιος σου είπε ότι ο Θεός είναι καθ’ εικόνα του ανθρώπου. Να το! Το είδες. Μη μου πεις πως δεν το είδες τώρα. Το καμουφλάζ που αναγνωρίζεις γιατί είναι αυτή η μορφή του στο δωδεκάθεο και που αντιστράφηκε ο ορισμός και από συμπέρασμα, έγινε προδιαγραφή, καθιστώντας αν θες και ένα απ’ τα πρώτα πολιτικά ορθά. Αν το παιδί είναι καθ’ εικόνα του πάτερα του, μπορούμε να πούμε το ανάποδο; Άντε πες το εσύ κι εγώ σου φέρνω χαρτί και στιλό, να μου το αποδείξεις.

Ωραία, λοιπόν τι μου λες τόση ώρα ρε φίλε, ότι ο Σπινόζα απέδειξε πως δεν υπάρχει θεός, αφού εσύ λες ότι διαφωνείς μαζί του γιατί χρησιμοποιεί το θείο στην ηθική του. Όχι και ξανά όχι. Απέδειξε πως δεν υπάρχει ο δικός Σου θεός, αυτός που κληρονόμησες. Αν υπάρχει θεός, δε μπορεί να εξηγείται μέσω τεχνασμάτων και ψυχολογικών κινήτρων κι αντικινήτρων. Ο ίδιος ο ορισμός του θαύματος απορρίπτει το να προηγείται ένα συναίσθημα, ή ένα περιστατικό αυτού. Όταν λες, ενώ ήμουν στα πατώματα ξαφνικά ένιωσα μια ανάταση κι είδα ένα φως και λίγο μετά μια κυρία μου πρόσφερε ένα μήλο και αντιλήφθηκα τη θεία δύναμη της καλοσύνης, έχεις πάρει τις θρησκευτικές διδαχές που σου έχουν περιγράψει ένα αυτούσιο γεγονός και το έχεις κάνει αποτέλεσμα. Δηλαδή δεν ένιωσες απ’ αυτό που σου προσφέρθηκε, ένιωσες και γι’ αυτό δημιουργήθηκε. Αν λοιπόν καταργείται η δομή της Εκκλησίας, καταργείται η εξουσία της. Κι όταν αυτό στο αποδεικνύουν 400 χρόνια πριν, δεν έχεις πια καμιά δικαιολογία, για να θυσιάζεις τον εαυτό σου. Μπορεί να υπάρχει θεός ή να μην υπάρχει, άλλο αυτό. Δε θα τον βρεις εκεί μέσα όμως. Δεν είναι κτήμα τούς, δεν είναι κτήμα σου. Θυμάσαι από που ξεκινήσαμε; Εγώ να λέω πως μπορεί να είμαι παιδί του και καταλήξαμε να σου λέω πως βάσει των διδαχών αποδείξαμε πως εκείνος δε μπορεί να είναι παιδί μου. Αφού το θαύμα είναι αφ' εαυτού συμβάν, πως μπορεί να είναι και διαμέσου. Τα γεγονότα προηγούνται, όχι τα συμπεράσματα. Μόνο στην περίπτωση των αποφάσεων, ας θυμηθούμε κι αυτό, η βούληση προηγείται της λογικής. Θυμήσου το καθ’ εικόνα και ομοίωση που ανέφερα παραπάνω. Τα λόγια αντίστροφα. Θυμήσου κάτι ακόμα, το Γιουνγκ να σου λέει ( υπάρχει και στο ελληνικό βιβλιαράκι, που κυκλοφορεί σε ελεύθερο pdf Ο εσώτερος εαυτός ) είναι ανάγκη να διαβάσουμε ξανά τα θρησκευτικά βιβλία. Γιατί στο λέει αυτό; Ψυχολόγος και γιατρός ήταν ο άνθρωπος, όχι θεολόγος. Τι ήθελε να σου πει; Σκέψου τι λέει ο Σπινόζα.

Διαβάστε το βιβλίο, αξίζει τον κόπο για ό,τι θα ανοίξει στο μυαλό σας μπροστά. Μπορεί να γράφω αρλούμπες τόση ώρα, άλλωστε είμαι υπό πολλές έννοιες απαίδευτος, το βιβλίο αυτό όμως έχει δύναμη πολιορκητικού κριού. Είναι καινοτόμο και με τον τρόπο του απλό. Επίσης, είναι ένα βιβλίο που δε μπορείτε να κλείσετε. Κρατήστε ό,τι θέλετε απ’ αυτό. Μην το καταδικάσετε όμως να διαβαστεί χωρίς χαρτί και στιλό.
Profile Image for Mahnam.
Author 19 books265 followers
May 28, 2022
برای بار دوم و هم‌چنان مسرور از خوانش کلمات و ایده‌های اسپینوزا، این مرد فرزانه و به‌معنای‌واقعی كلمه فیلسوف.
هر چند با دیدگاه ماوراءالطبیعه‌ی او فاصله دارم، در برابر نظام یک‌پارچه‌اش تمام‌قد می‌ایستم و جوهرش را بیش از هر چیز به طبیعت کاملاً مادی نزدیک می‌دانم.
اسپینوزا به ذهن آشفته و بی‌قرارم نظمی داد که تا هر وقت زنده‌ام، سپاسگزارش خواهم بود.
Profile Image for Asim Bakhshi.
Author 9 books266 followers
December 14, 2013
No matter which intellectual/religious background you come from, its one text that has the power to change your conception of cosmos. Its hard to decide what is more awe-inspiring: Spinoza's God or his Man and that is perhaps the ultimate success of his supreme and elegant egoism.
Profile Image for India M. Clamp.
223 reviews
February 2, 2021
Ethics was published posthumously, and the assumption of what, who and how God is contrary to our idea of God. According to Spinoza, God is equated to a feeling as opposed to a being on the outside or on the other side of the fence “force majeure.” Though Einstein conferred his belief in Spinoza’s God. In his axioms, one is confounded by the more prominent attributes of a thing equating to the larger factor/fact.

“The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is.”
---Baruch Spinoza

Living a rational life that mimics the patterns that we commonly find in nature attests to a modus operandi that is superior to what many have been programmed to think what life should be like. Some may call the nouveau form of being based on reason. Spinoza suggests that blessedness emanates from the blessing of others. And via good actions and deeds allow man to obtain an internal state that is not subject to transfixation. Difficult read.
Profile Image for Stian.
86 reviews130 followers
March 25, 2015
Perhaps it is the sentimentality that arose in me because of the circumstances under which I read the book that leads me to rate it five stars. There was something about reading this close to the window, with snow slowly trickling down from the pitch black sky, and the fireplace burning, and always at least 10 clementines by my side to be devoured while I read, that just made it so enjoyable. I don’t wish to make a detailed and big review here (there are other, better ones elsewhere, written by people much more qualified than myself), but it suffices to say that I can see why Einstein fell in love with Spinoza and regarded him as one of his heroes, and I can understand why Russell called him “the noblest and most lovable of the great philosophers.”

How much do I love that noble man
More than I could tell with words
I fear though he'll remain alone
With a holy halo of his own.

- Einstein's poem, dedicated to Spinoza.
Profile Image for Αγγελική Μανίτη.
Author 1 book43 followers
December 12, 2020
Ό,τι και να γράψω για τον Σπινόζα δεν θα ανταποκρίνεται στη διάνοιά του. Πιστεύω πως η Ηθική είναι από τα πιο αριστουργηματικά έργα της νεότερης ευρωπαϊκής φιλοσοφίας. Αν είναι κανείς διατεθειμένος να μείνει πιστός στην ανάγνωση θα κάνει τεράστιο δώρο στον εαυτό του, κατανοώντας έστω και τα ελάχιστα. Ωστόσο, θεωρώ πως δεν ενδείκνυται για κάποιον που έρχεται για πρώτη φορά σε επαφή με τη φιλοσοφία. Πέραν του σκεπτικισμού - που μου φαίνεται η καταλληλότερη στάση να προσεγγίσει κανείς τέτοια ζητήματα - χρειάζεται να διαθέτει κάποιος και μία στοιχειώδη, τουλάχιστον, εξοικείωση με το αντικείμενο της φιλοσοφίας. Ο λόγος που αναφέρω τα παραπάνω είναι γιατί εύκολα θα μπορούσε κάποιος να απογοητευτεί από την απαιτητικότητα του κειμένου.
Profile Image for Lobstergirl.
1,749 reviews1,266 followers
Shelved as 'perhaps-i-will-read-hard-to-say'
June 3, 2010
Appears to be written in some kind of code.
Profile Image for Max.
191 reviews139 followers
January 18, 2015
Can I jump farther and state that Spinoza may have killed God even before Nietzsche. I mean, forget the axioms and propositions. The idea of a God, in all human religions is very much contradictory and tricky, you want God to be superior, different, and 'unlike anything else' as is mentioned in the Koran. Yet at the same time, you attribute humane characteristics to this same God. Most importantly, is that he watches, guards, loves and hates every one of us. Well, Spinoza ingeniously took this idea to the absurd. The tone of the Ethics, is like educating an adult who still thinks childishly, like 'Take some freaking responsibility alright?'. God has no passions whatsoever, he does not love you nor hate you. He just doesn't care. Maybe he cannot even if he willed. Maybe he is something that isn't after all. You can see where this line of reasoning is going.

Oh, and the oneness of God, led everything else to be within the realm or dependent on God. Now, Proposition 23 says: The will cannot be called a free cause, but only a necessary one. Furthermore when the human mind perceives something, we are saying that God who constitutes the human mind has this idea. Yes. Spinoza explicitly concludes the following 'men are deceived in what they think themselves free, of their own free will'. Even the suspense of judgement is only a perception and not an act of free will. I could hear Spinoza's evil laugh while writing this.

Determinism. At some point in the book, Spinoza acknowledges that maybe it is not 'free will' of God, but just the necessity of his being. The idea that an emotion can only be replaced or overcome by a stronger emotion, which Nietzsche preached just a century later. The concepts of good, bad, praise, and blame are all non-existent human ideals. The only freedom man can achieve is acknowledging the determinism of this world. You can see how this resulted in the excommunication of Spinoza from his Jewish community.

One of my favorite quotes from the book which I love entertaining:
'men are conscious of their desire, but unaware of the causes by which their desires are determined'.
Profile Image for Joshua Nomen-Mutatio.
333 reviews892 followers
February 17, 2009
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. Especially Mr. Blue Shirt and the guy who keeps going on about Freud because he doesn't seem to know about much else. But Nadler is solid and so is Catherine Wilson.


There are links to the entire work as published online here:

In Ethics, Spinoza attempts to demonstrate a "fully cohesive philosophical system that strives to provide a coherent picture of reality and 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, and the power of understanding -- moving from a consideration of the eternal, to speculate upon humanity’s place in the natural order, freedom, and the path to attainable happiness."
Profile Image for Alp Turgut.
405 reviews126 followers
June 15, 2019
Eleştiri odağında insanların insana özgü sevgi, öfke, kin gibi duyguları yükleyerek insanlaştırdığı Tanrı kavramının bulunduğu "Ethics", Spinoza’nın Tanrı’yı doğayla birleştirerek sunduğu çağının çok ilerisinde bir eser. Tanrı’nın ödüllendiren veya cezalandıran, daha doğrusu dualarımızı dinleyen veya mucizeler yaratan bir kavram olmadığını savunan Spinoza, bilgimizin bu dünyada limitli olduğunu ve Tanrı’yı anlamak için öncelikle olarak doğanın nasıl işlediğini anlamamız ve one göre hayatımızı uyarlamamız gerektiğini belirtiyor. Tanrı inancının ortaya çıkış sebebinin ihtiyaçtan olduğunu söyleyen ünlü filozofu okurken Descartes’ın aksine akıl ve bedenin birbirini tamamlayan olgular olduğuna dair bir felsefe anlıyorsunuz. İnanç kavramının bireyin hayal gücünün bir ürünü olduğunu savunan Spinoza, bu yüzden devletin dinle ilgili kavramlardan uzak durarak tek görevi olan vatandaşları koruması gerektiğinin altını çiziyor. İyilik ve kötülük, mutluluk ve üzüntü kavramlarını açıklayarak insanlığı bilgeliğe yükselten şeyleri neşeye bağlayan Spinoza, nefretin sevgiyle yenilebileceğini güçlü bir şekilde okuyucuya veriyor.

İstanbul, Türkiye

Alp Turgut
Profile Image for أحمد علام.
11 reviews5 followers
December 28, 2013
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 تغاير المعنى تمامًا

ومن دلائل ذلك أن سبينوزا بدايةً قد رفض الأديان التقليدية جميعًا , وأساطيرها , من نشأة الكون , ومعجزات الأنبياء , والأنبياء أنفسهم (والأديان تتشابه فى هذا الشأن لا شك) , فى كتابه الآخر (رسالة فى الدين والسياسة) , مطبقًا بذلك منطق الشك الذى أحياه (ديكارت) , ووضع مبادئه , ولم يطبقها لاعتبارات سياسية

وسبينوزا إذ يقول بجوهر واحد فى الكون , ويجعله (الله) لا يقول بالوحدوية التى عند المسليمن إطلاقًا , إنما يغاير بذلك المفهوم الديكارتى بثنائية الجوهر (مفكر , و ممتد) , ثم أن (الله) عند (سبينوزا) يساوى الطبيعة , ويختلف كل الاختلاف عن (الله) التقليدى فى شتى الديانات ؛ فلا يتدخل شؤؤن الكائنات , ولا يرعاهم , ثم أنه ليس حرًا يتصرف وفق هواه.
وإن كان سبينوزا يصرح بهذه الحرية , حيث (الله) هو العلة الحرةالوحيدة , فهو لا يعنى الحرية المطلقة بمفهومها المعهود فى الأديان , إنما يقصد أن لا شيء خارج ذاته يقيده , فباعتباره معادلاً لقوانين الطبيعة , تكون كل أفعاله محددة بدقة

على خلاف (الإنسان) الذى ليس له حرية الإرادة ؛ لأن ضرورة البقاء تقرر الغريزة , والغريزة تقرر الرغبة , والرغبة تقرر الفكر والعمل , وقرارات العقل فى حقيقتها رغبات , ومن ثم فليس للعقل إرداة حرة , وعلى ذلك يظن الإنسان أن له حرية الإرادة , غير مُدرك أن رغياته هى التى تقوده , ويشبه (سبينوزا) ذلك بحجر قُذِف فى الهواء , ولو أمكن لهذا الحجر أن يدرك , لتوهم أن مساره كان اختيارًا بإرادته الحرة , وأنه كذلك هو الذى يحدد نقطة سقوطه على الأرض

ولأن (الله) كما يرى (سبينوزا) هو الطبيعة , هو الجوهر الرئيس , فهو لذلك ليس محدودًا بـزمان أو مكان , وليس لأنه يعلو عن كل وصف كما فى الديانة الإسلامية
إنه (الله) باختصار عند (سبينوزا) هو قوانين الطبيعة , وعقيدته هى هذا النور الفطرى , إنه مؤمن بالسعادة التى لا تكون إلا عن طريق التأمل الخالص المحض , لذلك فإن إلحاد الفلاسفة الذين يعتمدون على هذا النور الفطرى _لدية_ هو الإيمان الصحيح , بينما الإلحاد الصيحيح هو إيمان المتدينين القائم على الخرافات والأوهام
بذلك لا يكون (سبينوزا) متف��ًا فى مفهوم (الله) مع أى دين , فضلاً عن دين الإسلام , ولعل بعض العبارات السابقة هى التى أوقعت البعض فى هذا اللبس

Profile Image for AiK.
545 reviews134 followers
April 30, 2022
Это произведение состоит из философских аксиом, теорем, лемм и доказательств, т.е. как в геометрии. Аксиомы Спинозы: “Все, что существует, существует или само в себе, или в чем-либо другом”, “Что не может быть ��редставляемо через другое, должно быть представляемо само через себя”, “Из данной определенной причины необходимо вытекает действие, и наоборот, если нет никакой определенной причины, невозможно, чтобы последовало действие”, “Знание действия зависит от знания причины и заключает в себе последнее”, “Вещи, не имеющие между собой ничего общего, не могут быть и познаваемы одна через другую; иными словами, представление одной не заключает в себе представления другой”, “Истинная идея должна быть согласна со своим объектом”, “Сущность всего того, что может быть представлено несуществ��ющим, не заключает в себе существования”. Читается и понимается сложно. В средневековой Европе вопросы субстанции были важнейшим вопросом, исходившая из догмата божественного творения, креации. Понятие субстанции восходит к Аристотелю. Под субстанцией понимали самостоятельно существующую вещь в отличие от предикатов или то, что “существует в себе и представляется само через себя”, она не нуждается “в представлении другой вещи, из которого оно должно было бы образоваться”. Три вопроса – метафизика, психология аффектов и воли и этика – составляют ядро работы. Метафизика Спинозы близка к позициям Декарта. Из того, что понравилось "Ненависть увеличивается вследствие взаимной ненависти и, наоборот, может быть уничтожена любовью".
Profile Image for Cassandra Kay Silva.
704 reviews277 followers
July 26, 2012
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! I am so glad I bought this book. It deserves more study and will remain close to my bed until I can further ravage its pages.
Profile Image for Czarny Pies.
2,532 reviews1 follower
August 26, 2017
I decided to read this book after having read Isaac Bashevis Singer's novel "The Family Moskat" in which the protagonist cites it as justification for his contention that God was to blame for the Nazi Endlosung. It is in fact to see how Spinoza's Ethics could be used to arrive at such a conclusion. Unfortunately, having never taken a philosophy course while at university, I was unable to understand the section in which Spinoza specifically argues that his system cannot be used to argue that God is responsible for the unfortunate things that happen to humans.

This much said Spinoza's ethics is very clearly a great masterpiece. He combines Euclidean geometry and Thomist dialectics to argue that that the interests of man and God are perfectly aligned. He does not say anywhere that God could or should like us as individuals. It is easy to understand why the Catholic Church placed it on its index of banned works. It states the case for deism in a concise and efficient manner.
19 reviews3 followers
June 5, 2011
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.
Profile Image for Dan.
306 reviews70 followers
May 17, 2021
This book can be seen as the source of modern rationalism. First there is the structure that follows Euclidean geometry – definitions, axioms, propositions, proofs and so on. Secondly, the content is all about: Nature as God, reason, rational laws, certainty of ideas and reason, God as reason, feelings opposing reason, mind and body, application of reason as ethics, and so on. Descartes with his rational program and with truth as certainty looms large in this book; moreover, he is the only philosopher Spinoza mentions here.
Even if most of its content and the axiomatic form is outdated, there are still surprisingly interesting and radical ideas in it. Additionally, one cannot understand Hegel and the entire German Idealism without this book. Wittgenstein and his Tractatus is no longer strange after reading this book – Spinoza almost postulated the one-to-one correspondence between reality/things and reason/ideas that the logical atomism later centered on; while both books are just a long list of propositions (Wittgenstein at least dropped and spared us the “proofs”).
Displaying 1 - 30 of 706 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.