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Publisher's Summary

Philosophy for busy people. Read a succinct account of the philosophy of Spinoza in just one hour.

Spinoza’s brilliant metaphysical system was derived neither from reality nor experience. Starting from basic axioms (assumptions), by means of a series of geometric proofs he built a universe which was also God – one and the same thing, the classic example of pantheism. While his system may seem an oddity today, Spinoza’s conclusions are deeply in accord with much of modern thought, from science (the holistic ethics of today’s ecologists) to politics (the idea that the state exists to protect the individual). The compelling beauty of both Spinoza’s system and conclusions are unequalled in the history of philosophy.

Here is a concise, expert account of Spinoza’s life and philosophical ideas that is entertainingly written and easy to understand. Also included are selections from Spinoza’s work, suggested further reading and chronologies that place Spinoza in the context of the broader scheme of philosophy.

©2012 Paul Strathern (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

'Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them...I find them hard to stop reading." (New York Times)
"Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise" (Wall Street Journal)
"Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character...I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one's friends to Western civilization." (Boston Globe)
"A godsend in this era of the short attention span." (New York Times)

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