This anthology of the work of Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677) presents the text of Spinoza's masterwork, the "Ethics," in what is now the standard translation by Edwin Curley. Also included are selections from other works by Spinoza, chosen by Curley to make the "Ethics" easier to understand, and a substantial introduction that gives an overview of Spinoza's life and the main themes of his philosophy. Perfect for course use, the "Spinoza Reader" is a practical tool with which to approach one of the world's greatest but most difficult thinkers, a passionate seeker of the truth who has been viewed by some as an atheist and by others as a religious mystic.
The anthology begins with the opening section of the "Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect," which has always moved readers by its description of the young Spinoza's spiritual quest, his dissatisfaction with the things people ordinarily strive for--wealth, honor, and sensual pleasure--and his hope that the pursuit of knowledge would lead him to discover the true good. The emphasis throughout these selections is on metaphysical, epistemological, and religious issues: the existence and nature of God, his relation to the world, the nature of the human mind and its relation to the body, and the theory of demonstration, axioms, and definitions. For each of these topics, the editor supplements the rigorous discussions in the "Ethics" with informal treatments from Spinoza's other works.
IntroductionISpinoza's Life and PhilosophyIIBibliographical NoteIIIAbbreviations and Other ConventionsPreliminariesIA Portrait of the Philosopher as a Young Man3IIA Critique of Traditional Religion6IIIFragments of a Theory of Scientific Method48IVFrom a Non-Geometric Draft of the Ethics55VAn Early Attempt at Geometrizing Philosophy66VITwo Criticisms of Descartes71VIIThe Study Group has Questions about Definitions77VIIIThe Worm in the Blood82The EthicsIOf God85IIOf the Nature and Origin of the Mind115IIIOf the Origin and Nature of the Affects152IVOf Human Bondage, or the Powers of the Affects197VOf the Power of the Intellect, or on Human Freedom244Objections and RepliesITschirnhaus on Freedom266IIFreedom and Necessity267IIITschirnhaus on Problems about the Attributes and Infinite Modes269IVOn Knowledge of Other Attributes and Examples of Infinite Modes270VTschirnhaus on Knowledge of Other Attributes272VIEach Thing Is Expressed by Many Minds272VIITschirnhaus Presses His Objection273VIIISpinoza Replies Again273IXTschirnhaus on Deducing the Existence of Bodies274XOn the Uselessness of Descartes' Principles of Natural Things274XITschirnhaus Presses the Objection274XIISpinoza's Last Reply275Index277