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Publisher's Summary

A Portuguese Jew living in Holland, Spinoza was excommunicated because of the unorthodox view he took of God. Spinoza wrote in the rationalist style of a geometric proof to develop his idea of God as the infinite, indwelling cause of all things, a unified causal system that is virtually synonymous with nature.

In this system, there is no free will, for all things are necessary and inevitable, and all objects, including humans, are part of God's active self-expression. Our minds can participate in the eternity of God by focusing on natural laws and the way all things follow from God or nature. Human fulfillment is possible, he believed, only by rejecting our finite, flawed selves and identifying with the eternal within us. Spinoza believed that by doing so we can love God with an immediate devotion without asking anything in return.

The Giants of Philosophy is a series of dramatic presentations, in understandable language, of the concerns, questions, interests, and overall world view of history's greatest philosophers. Special emphasis on clear and relevant explanations gives you a new arsenal of insights toward living a better life.

Don't miss other titles in The Giants of Philosophy series.
© and (P)1990 Carmichael & Carmichael, Inc. and Knowledge Products

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Good over view of Spinoza

Gives a brief overview of Spinoza's up bringing and formative years and then delves into the philosophy he espoused in his writings. Poets loved him and religious leaders despised him. Atheist, pantheists, and deeply religious believers have all tried to claim him as their own. Though he speaks of God he seems to be talking more of the God of Einstein and Hawking. He Attacked scripture and made the argument that they were just morals to live by only and not divine. The book then covers his theories of modes of thought including Imagination, reason, and intuition. A significant amount of incite on Spinoza in such a small volume.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • las3tortugas
  • 6542 de bordeaux, montreal,qc,h2g2s1
  • 12-05-12

Spinoza, a unknown phylosopher for most people

If you could sum up Baruch Spinoza in three words, what would they be?

Great and independant mind. Search for happiness in a world that has no purpose to serve us but to exist.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The narrative is definetely good but slightly too fast to appreciate all the details of the text.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great intro to a great mind, and powerful philosophy

Spinoza, the ethics, pantheism saved my life. After surgery, in and out of restless sleep I listened to the ethics and was so moved by many of his ideas, even through the pain. Even through the dry style of philosophical dissertation that he employs. This version would have been very welcome as an introduction at the time. Or much earlier in my life as a pantheist. You gotta give it a listen.

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And excellent introduction to an incredible philosopher!

This is a job well done. Charles Helston voice really makes the narrative one of fascination and discovery. You can always come back to learn a little bit more

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A great experience, great narration.


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0 of 3 people found this review helpful