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Publisher's Summary

Spinoza's brilliant metaphysical system was derived neither from reality nor experience. Starting from basic assumptions, with a series of geometric proofs he built a universe which was also God, one and the same thing, the classic example of pantheism. Although his system seems an oddity today, Spinoza's conclusions are deeply in accord with modern thought, from science (the holistic ethics of today's ecologists) to politics (the idea that the state exists to protect the individual). Both Spinoza's system and conclusions have compelling beauty unequaled in the history of philosophy.

In Spinoza in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Spinoza's life and ideas, and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Spinoza's work, a brief list of suggested readings for those who wish to delve deeper, and chronologies that place Spinoza within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.

©1998 Paul Strathern; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Well-written, clear, and informed, they have a breezy wit about them. I find them hard to stop reading." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Jesse
  • Seattle, CA, USA
  • 05-06-06

Very Useful for the Beginner

It can take a lot to sit down and digest 17th century Philosophy. I was interested in Spinoza because he's often mentioned as a proponent of Pantheism. The narrator is excellent (the same, BTW, as for A Short History of Everything - 5 stars). 90 minutes was just about right. Very useful for getting acquianted with Spinoza for the first time.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Hilarious

Weak in philosophy, fun biography. Perfect voice actor. irritating when it makes basic philosophical mistakes.

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Straight to the point!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would. This book was a great way to familiarize one-self with Spinoza quickly and efficiently.

What other book might you compare Spinoza in 90 Minutes to and why?

This question does not compute. Clearly audible made poor choices in outsourcing this website. lol

What does Robert Whitfield bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

WTF? this question is unanswerable.

If you could give Spinoza in 90 Minutes a new subtitle, what would it be?

I would not.

Any additional comments?

Again, great audio book, straight to the point and useful.

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In 90 Minutes Series overview

If you could sum up Spinoza in 90 Minutes in three words, what would they be?
aka Cliff Notes

Would you recommend Spinoza in 90 Minutes to your friends? Why or why not?
Yes - I've listened to each book in the series about a major philosopher that is available on Audible. Strathern's books don't have the analytical depth found in Will Durant's "The Story of Philosophy" books, but he does a good job summarizing each philosopher's biography, major philosophical points, and criticisms. Additionally, Strathern's breadth is broader than Durant's in that he covers a greater number of philosophers. I believe that the time spent listening to these books has been well-spent.

My reviews for each book in the series about a philosopher are identical.

What about Robert Whitfield’s performance did you like?
Voice is clear, well-modulated, and easily understood, even at 1 1/2 speed.