Baruch Spinoza's Ethics

Baruch Spinoza's Ethics

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Baruch Spinoza's Ethics is a dense masterpiece of sustained argumentative reasoning. It earned its place as one of the most important and influential books in Western philosophy by virtue of its uncompromisingly direct arguments about the nature of God, the universe, free will, and human morals.


Though it remains one of the densest and most challenging texts in the entire canon of Western philosophy, Ethics is also famous for Spinoza's unique approach to ordering and constructing its arguments. As its full title - Ethics, Demonstrated in Geometrical Order - suggests, Spinoza decided to use the rigorous format of mathematical-style propositions to lay out his arguments, just as the Ancient Greek mathematician Euclid had used geometrical propositions to lay out the basic rules of geometry.


In choosing such a systematic method, Spinoza's masterwork shows the crucial aspects of good reasoning skills being employed at the highest level. The key use of reasoning is the production of an argument that is well-organised, supports its conclusions and proceeds logically towards its end. Just as a mathematician might demonstrate a geometrical proof, Spinoza sought to lay out a comprehensive philosophy for human existence - an attempt that has influenced generations of philosophers since.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 96 pages
  • 133 x 197 x 5.08mm | 113g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1912127032
  • 9781912127030
  • 470,230

Table of contents

Ways In to the Text


Who was Baruch Spinoza?


What does Ethics Say?


Why does Ethics Matter?


Section 1: Influences


Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context


Module 2: Academic Context


Module 3: The Problem


Module 4: The Author's Contribution


Section 2: Ideas


Module 5: Main Ideas


Module 6: Secondary Ideas


Module 7: Achievement


Module 8: Place in the Author's Work


Section 3: Impact


Module 9: The First Responses


Module 10: The Evolving Debate


Module 11: Impact and Influence Today


Module 12: Where Next?


Glossary of Terms


People Mentioned in the Text


Works Cited
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About Gary Slater

Dr Gary Slater holds a DPhil in theology and religion from the Univeristy of Oxford. He is currently a faculty member at St Edwards University, Texas.


Andreas Vrahimis is the author of Encounters between Analytic and Continental Philosophy (2013). He teaches at the Univeristy of Cyprus.
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