Benedict de Spinoza's Ethics, first published in 1677, constitutes a major systematic critique of the traditional and religious foundations of philosophical thought. In it, Spinoza follows a logical step-by-step format consisting of definitions, axioms, propositions, proofs, and corollaries to create a comprehensive inquiry into the truth about God, nature, and humans' place within the universe. From these broad metaphysical themes, Spinoza derives what he considered to be the highest principles of religion and society and lays out an ethical system in which reason is the supreme value. A seminal contribution to 17th-century rationalism, Spinoza's Ethics refutes the dualism of René Descartes and provides a bridge between religion and modern-day psychology. This edition is the translation by R. H. M. Elwes.
Public Domain (P)2011 Tantor
The Ethics is not the easiest book and being able to listen at .75x really helped me take it in. Good performance.
Any summary of this work deserves more than three words.
Spinoza was a true genius, however, the writing style of his time was very dry and drawn out. Antony does as good a job as possible in taking the information and communicating it in a manner that is palatable enough to listen to.
There aren't scenes in this book, however, in the beginning I realized Spinoza wasn't talking so much about a deity as he was hypothesizing about energy. This revelation blew my mind in a very positive way.
Spinoza was as smart as so many have claimed that he was, and that's refreshing.
Interesting but fraught with all kinds of problems. I wasn't at all sure what his source for his understanding of the nature of God. It seemed overall that the system worked within itself, but on what premise was the whole thing based? On the nature of Man, well, so much has been contradicted by research on the brain, that it was hard to tell, of the remainder, what was actually useful. The structure was based on Euclid, which is great for a subject like Geometry which has so little room for doubt and error, but man is not as clear a subject. I was also quite frustrated that so many things were "self evident" or any other possibility could be written off as ridiculous. In those moments, it felt like a real discussion of why he considered it self evident was required even more. Wouldn't bother taking this on again. Once was enough.
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