Religion Wiki

Baruch Spinoza

34,279pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Add New Page Talk0

1665 portrait of Baruch Spinoza.

Baruch or Benedict de Spinoza (Hebrew: ברוך שפינוזה), (Portuguese: Bento de Espinosa), (Latin: Benedictus de Spinoza) (November 24, 1632 – February 21, 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Jewish origin.[1] Revealing considerable scientific aptitude, the breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death. Today, he is considered one of the great rationalists[2] of 17th-century philosophy, laying the groundwork for the 18th century Enlightenment[2] and modern Biblical criticism.[2] By virtue of his magnum opus, the posthumous Ethics, in which he opposed René Descartes' mind–body dualism, Spinoza is considered to be one of Western philosophy's most important philosophers. Philosopher and historian Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said of all modern philosophers, "You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all."[3]

Though Spinoza was active in the Dutch Jewish community and extremely well-versed in Jewish texts, his controversial ideas eventually led community leaders to issue a cherem (Hebrew: חרם, a kind of excommunication) against him, effectively dismissing him from Jewish society at age 23.[1][2] Likewise, all of Spinoza's works were listed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (List of Prohibited Books) by the Roman Catholic Church.

Spinoza lived quietly as a lens grinder, turning down rewards and honors throughout his life, including prestigious teaching positions, and gave his family inheritance to his sister. Spinoza's moral character and philosophical accomplishments prompted 20th century philosopher Gilles Deleuze to name him "the 'prince' of philosophers."[4] Spinoza died at the age of 44 of a lung illness, perhaps tuberculosis or silicosis exacerbated by fine glass dust inhaled while plying his trade. Spinoza is buried in the churchyard of the Nieuwe Kerk on Spui in The Hague.


Family origins

Spinoza's ancestors were of Sephardic Jewish descent, and were a part of the community of Portuguese Jews that grew in the city of Amsterdam after the Alhambra Decree in Spain (1492) and the Portuguese Inquisition (1536) had led to forced conversions and expulsions from the Iberian peninsula.[5]

Some historians argue the Spinoza family ("Espinosa" in Portuguese) had its origins in Espinosa de los Monteros, near Burgos, Spain.[6] Others claim they were Portuguese Jews who had moved to Spain and then returned to their home country in 1492, only to be forcibly converted to Catholicism in 1498. Spinoza's father was born roughly a century after this forced conversion in the small Portuguese city of Vidigueira, near Beja in Alentejo. When Spinoza's father was still a child, Spinoza's grandfather, Isaac de Spinoza (who was from Lisbon), took his family to Nantes in France. They were expelled in 1615 and moved to Rotterdam, where Isaac died in 1627. Spinoza's father, Miguel, and his uncle, Manuel, then moved to Amsterdam where they reassumed their Judaism. Manuel changed his name to Abraão de Spinoza, though his "commercial" name was still the same.

Early life and career

Baruch Spinoza was born in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. His mother Ana Débora, Miguel's second wife, died when Baruch was only six years old. Miguel was a successful importer/merchant and Baruch had a traditional Jewish upbringing; however, his critical, curious nature would soon come into conflict with the Jewish community. Wars with England and France took the life of his father and decimated his family's fortune but he was eventually able to relinquish responsibility for the business and its debts to his brother, Gabriel, and devote himself to philosophy and optics.

Controversial ideas and Jewish reaction

Spinoza became known in the Jewish community for positions contrary to prevailing Jewish belief of the period, wherein he harbored critical positions towards the anti-maimonidean dominance of Jewish religious texts that persisted since the Maimonidean Controversy.[7] On 27 July 1656, the Jewish community issued to him the writ of cherem (Hebrew: חרם, a kind of excommunication). Righteous indignation on the part of the synagogue elders at Spinoza's heresies was not the sole cause for the excommunication; there was also the practical concern that his ideas, which disagree equally well with the orthodoxies of other religions as with Judaism, would not sit well with the Christian leaders of Amsterdam and would reflect badly on the whole Jewish community, endangering the limited freedoms that the Jews had achieved in that city. The terms of his cherem were severe.[8] He was, in Bertrand Russell's words, "cursed with all the curses in Deuteronomy and with the curse that Elisha pronounced on the children who, in consequence, were torn to pieces by the she-bears."[9] The cherem was, atypically, never revoked. Following his excommunication, he adopted the first name Benedictus, the Latin equivalent of his given name, Baruch; they both mean "blessed". In his native Amsterdam he was also known as Bento (Portuguese for Benedict or blessed) de Spinoza, which was the informal form of his name.

The ban, written in Portuguese, is still preserved in the archives of the Amsterdam community. The pronouncement preceding the ban reads:

The chiefs of the council make known to you that having long known of evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Spinoza, they have endeavored by various means and promises to turn him from evil ways. Not being able to find any remedy, but on the contrary receiving every day more information about the abominable heresies practiced and taught by him, and about the monstrous acts committed by him, having this from many trustworthy witnesses who have deposed and borne witness on all this in the presence of said Spinoza, who has been convicted; all this having been examined in the presence of the Rabbis, the council decided, with the advice of the Rabbi, that the said Spinoza should be excommunicated and cut off from the Nation of Israel.

It has often been noted that, in view of Christian opposition to Spinoza's opinions, the Jewish community had little option but to dissociate itself from Spinoza's "heresies." After his cherem, it is reported that Spinoza lived and worked in the school of Franciscus van den Enden, who taught him Latin in his youth and may have introduced him to modern philosophy, although Spinoza never mentions Van den Enden anywhere in his books or letters. Van den Enden was a Cartesian and atheist who was forbidden by the city government to propagate his doctrines publicly.

During this period Spinoza also became acquainted with several Collegiants, members of an eclectic sect with tendencies towards rationalism. Many of his friends belonged to dissident Christian groups which met regularly as discussion groups and which typically rejected the authority of established churches as well as traditional dogmas.[1] Textbooks and encyclopedias often depict Spinoza as a solitary soul who eked out a living as a lens grinder; in reality, he had many friends but kept his needs to a minimum.[1] One reviewer noted "No one has ever come nearer to the ideal life of the philosopher than Spinoza."[10] Another wrote: "As a teacher of reality, he practiced his own wisdom, and was surely one of the most exemplary human beings ever to have lived."[11] "In outward appearance he was unpretending, but not careless. His way of living was exceedingly modest and retired; often he did not leave his room for many days together. He was likewise almost incredibly frugal; his expenses sometimes amounted only to a few pence a day."[12] "He appears to have had no sexual life."[11][13] Spinoza also corresponded with Peter Serrarius, a radical Protestant and millennarian merchant. Serrarius is believed to have been a patron of Spinoza at some point. By the beginning of the 1660s, Spinoza's name became more widely known, and eventually Gottfried Leibniz[14] and Henry Oldenburg paid him visits, as stated in Matthew Stewart's The Courtier and the Heretic.[14] Spinoza corresponded with Oldenburg for the rest of his short life.

Descartes has been described as "Spinoza's starting point."[11] Spinoza's first publication was his geometric exposition (formal math proofs) of Descartes, Parts I and II of Descartes' Principles of Philosophy (1663). Spinoza has been associated with Leibniz and Descartes as "rationalists" in contrast to "empiricists".[15] From December 1664 to June 1665, Spinoza engaged in correspondence with Blyenbergh, an amateur Calvinist theologian, who questioned Spinoza on the definition of evil. Later in 1665, Spinoza notified Oldenburg that he had started to work on a new book, the Theologico-Political Treatise, published in 1670. Leibniz disagreed harshly with Spinoza in Leibniz's own published Refutation of Spinoza, but he is also known to have met with Spinoza on at least one occasion[14][15] (as mentioned above), and his own work bears some striking resemblances to specific important parts of Spinoza's philosophy (see: Monadology).

When the public reactions to the anonymously published Theologico-Political Treatise were extremely unfavourable to his brand of Cartesianism, Spinoza was compelled to abstain from publishing more of his works. Wary and independent, he wore a signet ring engraved with his initials, a rose, and the word "caute" (Latin for "cautiously"). The Ethics and all other works, apart from the Descartes' Principles of Philosophy and the Theologico-Political Treatise, were published after his death, in the Opera Posthuma edited by his friends in secrecy to avoid confiscation and destruction of manuscripts. The Ethics contains many still-unresolved obscurities and is written with a forbidding mathematical structure modeled on Euclid's geometry [1] and has been described as a "superbly cryptic masterwork."[11]

Later life and career

Spinoza spent his remaining twenty-one years writing and studying as a private scholar.[1] He preached a philosophy of tolerance and benevolence and was described as living "a saintly life."[1]

Spinoza relocated from Amsterdam to Rijnsburg (near Leiden) around 1661 and later lived in Voorburg and The Hague respectively. He earned a comfortable living from lens-grinding. While the lens-grinding aspect of Spinoza's work is uncontested, the type of lenses he made is in question. Many have said he produced excellent magnifying glasses, and some historians credit him with being an optician (in the sense of making lenses for eyeglasses). He was also supported by small, but regular, donations from close friends.[1]

He died in 1677 while still working on a political thesis. His premature death was due to lung illness, possibly the result of breathing in glass dust from the lenses he ground. Or also possibly due to a syndrome, known as Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) which is a hereditary inflammatory disorder that affects groups of people originating from around the Mediterranean Sea (hence its name). It is prominently present in the Armenian people, Sephardi Jews (and, to a much lesser extent, Ashkenazi Jews), people from Turkey, and the Arab countries. Later, a shrine was made of his home in The Hague.[16]

Only a year earlier, Spinoza had met with Leibniz at The Hague for a discussion of his principal philosophical work, Ethics, which had been completed in 1676. This meeting was described in Matthew Stewart's The Courtier and the Heretic.[14] Spinoza never married, nor did he father any children. When he died, he was considered a heathen anti-religionist by the general population. When Boerhaave wrote his dissertation in 1688 he attacked the doctrines of Spinoza. However, he claimed later that defense of Spinoza's lifestyle cost him his reputation in Leiden and a post as a minister.

Dutch Port cities as sites of free thought

Amsterdam and Rotterdam were important cosmopolitan centers where merchant ships from many parts of the world brought people of various customs and beliefs. It was this hustle and bustle which ensured, as in the Mediterranean region during the Renaissance, some possibility of free thought and shelter from the crushing hand of ecclesiastical authority. Thus, Spinoza no doubt had access to a circle of friends who were basically heretics in the eyes of tradition. One of the people he must have known was Niels Stensen, a brilliant Danish student in Leiden; others were Coenraad van Beuningen and his cousin Albert Burgh, with whom Spinoza is known to have corresponded.


Substance, Attributes and Modes

These are the fundamental concepts with which Spinoza sets forth a vision of Being, illuminated by his awareness of God. They may seem strange at first sight. To the question "What is?" he replies: "Substance, its attributes, and modes".
— Karl Jaspers[17]

Spinoza considered God to exist only philosophically as an abstract and impersonal God.[1] Spinoza's system imparted order and unity to the tradition of radical thought, offering powerful weapons for prevailing against "received authority." As a youth he first subscribed to Descartes's dualistic belief that body and mind are two separate substances, but later changed his view and asserted that they were not separate, being a single identity. He contended that everything that exists in Nature (i.e., everything in the Universe) is one Reality (substance) and there is only one set of rules governing the whole of the reality which surrounds us and of which we are part. Spinoza viewed God and Nature as two names for the same reality,[11] namely the single substance (meaning "that which stands beneath" rather than "matter") that is the basis of the universe and of which all lesser "entities" are actually modes or modifications, that all things are determined by Nature to exist and cause effects, and that the complex chain of cause and effect is only understood in part. His identification of God with nature was more fully explained in his posthumously published Ethics.[1] That humans presume themselves to have free will, he argues, is a result of their awareness of appetites while being unable to understand the reasons why they want and act as they do. Spinoza has been described by one writer as an "Epicurean materialist."[11]

Spinoza contends that "Deus sive Natura" ("God or Nature") is a being of infinitely many attributes, of which thought and extension are two. His account of the nature of reality, then, seems to treat the physical and mental worlds as one and the same. The universal substance consists of both body and mind, there being no difference between these aspects. This formulation is a historically significant solution to the mind-body problem known as neutral monism. The consequences of Spinoza's system also envisages a God that does not rule over the universe by providence, but a God which itself is the deterministic system of which everything in nature is a part. Thus, according to this understanding of Spinoza's system, God would be the natural world and have no personality.

In addition to substance, the other two fundamental concepts Spinoza presents, and develops in the Ethics are attribute – that which the intellect perceives as constituting the essence of substance, and mode – the modifications of substance, or that which exists in, and is conceived through, something other than itself.

Spinoza was a thoroughgoing determinist who held that absolutely everything that happens occurs through the operation of necessity. For him, even human behaviour is fully determined, with freedom being our capacity to know we are determined and to understand why we act as we do. So freedom is not the possibility to say "no" to what happens to us but the possibility to say "yes" and fully understand why things should necessarily happen that way. By forming more "adequate" ideas about what we do and our emotions or affections, we become the adequate cause of our effects (internal or external), which entails an increase in activity (versus passivity). This means that we become both more free and more like God, as Spinoza argues in the Scholium to Prop. 49, Part II. However, Spinoza also held that everything must necessarily happen the way that it does. Therefore, humans have no free will. They believe, however, that their will is free. In his letter to G. H. Schaller (Letter 62), he wrote: "men are conscious of their own desire, but are ignorant of the causes whereby that desire has been determined."[18]

Spinoza's philosophy has much in common with Stoicism in as much as both philosophies sought to fulfill a therapeutic role by instructing people how to attain happiness (or eudaimonia, for the Stoics). However, Spinoza differed sharply from the Stoics in one important respect: he utterly rejected their contention that reason could defeat emotion. On the contrary, he contended, an emotion can only be displaced or overcome by a stronger emotion. For him, the crucial distinction was between active and passive emotions, the former being those that are rationally understood and the latter those that are not. He also held that knowledge of true causes of passive emotion can transform it to an active emotion, thus anticipating one of the key ideas of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis.[19]

Some of Spinoza's philosophical positions are:

  • The natural world is infinite.
  • Good and evil are related to human pleasure and pain.
  • Everything done by humans and other animals is excellent and divine.
  • All rights are derived from the State.
  • Animals can be used in any way by people for the benefit of the human race, according to a rational consideration of the benefit as well as the animal's status in nature.[20][21]

Ethical philosophy

Encapsulated at the start in his Treatise on the Improvement of the Understanding (Tractatus de intellectus emendatione) is the core of Spinoza's ethical philosophy, what he held to be the true and final good. Spinoza held good and evil to be relative concepts, claiming that nothing is intrinsically good or bad except relative to a particular individual. Things that had classically been seen as good or evil, Spinoza argued, were simply good or bad for humans. Spinoza believes in a deterministic universe in which "All things in nature proceed from certain [definite] necessity and with the utmost perfection." Nothing happens by chance in Spinoza's world, and nothing is contingent.

In the universe anything that happens comes from the essential nature of objects, or of God/Nature. According to Spinoza, reality is perfection. If circumstances are seen as unfortunate it is only because of our inadequate conception of reality. While components of the chain of cause and effect are not beyond the understanding of human reason, human grasp of the infinitely complex whole is limited because of the limits of science to empirically take account of the whole sequence. Spinoza also asserted that sense perception, though practical and useful for rhetoric, is inadequate for discovering universal truth; Spinoza's mathematical and logical approach to metaphysics, and therefore ethics, concluded that emotion is formed from inadequate understanding. His concept of "conatus" states that human beings' natural inclination is to strive toward preserving an essential being and an assertion that virtue/human power is defined by success in this preservation of being by the guidance of reason as one's central ethical doctrine. According to Spinoza, the highest virtue is the intellectual love or knowledge of God/Nature/Universe.

In the final part of the "Ethics" his concern with the meaning of "true blessedness" and his unique approach to, and explanation of how, emotions must be detached from external cause and so master them, gives some prediction of psychological techniques developed in the 1900s. His concept of three types of knowledge - opinion, reason, intuition - and assertion that intuitive knowledge provides the greatest satisfaction of mind, leads to his proposition that the more we are conscious of ourselves and Nature/Universe, the more perfect and blessed we are (in reality) and that only intuitive knowledge is eternal. His unique contribution to understanding the workings of mind is extraordinary, even during this time of radical philosophical developments, in that his views provide a bridge between religions' mystical past and psychology of the present day.

Given Spinoza's insistence on a completely ordered world where "necessity" reigns, Good and Evil have no absolute meaning. Human catastrophes, social injustices, etc. are merely apparent. The world as it exists looks imperfect only because of our limited perception.

Panentheist, Pantheist, or Atheist?

It is a widespread belief that Spinoza equated God with the material universe. However, in a letter to Henry Oldenburg he states that: "as to the view of certain people that I identify god with nature (taken as a kind of mass or corporeal matter), they are quite mistaken"[22]. For Spinoza, our universe (cosmos) is a mode under two attributes of Thought and Extension. God has infinitely many other attributes which are not present in our world. According to German philosopher Karl Jaspers, when Spinoza wrote "Deus sive Natura" Spinoza meant God was Natura Naturans not Naturarta Jaspers believed that in Spinoza's philosophical system, God's transcendence was attested by his infinitely many attributes, and that two attributes known by humans, namely Thought and Extension, signified God's immanence.[23] Even God under the attributes of thought and extension cannot be identified strictly with our world. That world is of course "divisible"; it has parts. But Spinoza insists that "no attribute of a substance can be truly conceived from which it follows that the substance can be divided" (Which means that one can not conceive an attribute in a way that leads to division of substance), and that "a substance which is absolutely infinite is indivisible" (Ethics, Part I, Propositions 12 and 13).[24] Following this logic, our world should be considered as a mode under two attributes of thought and extension. Therefore the pantheist formula "One and All" would apply to Spinoza only if the "One" preserves its transcendence and the "All" were not interpreted as the totality of finite things.[23]

Martial Guéroult suggested the term "Panentheism", rather than "Pantheism" to describe Spinoza’s view of the relation between God and the world. The world is not God, but it is, in a strong sense, "in" God. Not only do finite things have God as their cause; they cannot be conceived without God.[24]

In 1785, Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi published a condemnation of Spinoza's pantheism, after Lessing was thought to have confessed on his deathbed to being a "Spinozist", which was the equivalent in his time of being called an atheist. Jacobi claimed that Spinoza's doctrine was pure materialism, because all Nature and God are said to be nothing but extended substance. This, for Jacobi, was the result of Enlightenment rationalism and it would finally end in absolute atheism. Moses Mendelssohn disagreed with Jacobi, saying that there is no actual difference between theism and pantheism. The entire issue became a major intellectual and religious concern for European civilization at the time, which Immanuel Kant rejected, as he thought that attempts to conceive of transcendent reality would lead to antinomies (statements that could be proven both right and wrong) in thought.

The attraction of Spinoza's philosophy to late eighteenth-century Europeans was that it provided an alternative to materialism, atheism, and deism. Three of Spinoza's ideas strongly appealed to them:

  • the unity of all that exists;
  • the regularity of all that happens; and
  • the identity of spirit and nature.

Spinoza's "God or Nature" provided a living, natural God, in contrast to the Newtonian mechanical "First Cause" or the dead mechanism of the French "Man Machine." Coleridge and Shelley saw in Spinoza's philosophy a religion of nature[1] and called him the "God-intoxicated Man."[11][25] Spinoza inspired the poet Shelley to write his essay "The Necessity of Atheism."[11]

American Spinoza scholar Steven Nadler in 2006 argued that Spinoza's position was not best described as pantheist but atheist.[26] According to this view, Spinoza did not think God was in Nature like water can be in a sponge, but that God and Nature were identical, and a reverential attitude of awe or fear towards Nature was incorrect. For Spinoza, the proper attitude toward nature was that of scientific investigation of its secrets and laws.[26]

Modern relevance

Late 20th century Europe demonstrated a greater philosophical interest in Spinoza, often from a left-wing or Marxist perspective. Karl Marx liked his materialistic account of the universe.[1] Notable philosophers Louis Althusser, Gilles Deleuze, Antonio Negri, Étienne Balibar and Marilena Chauí have each drawn upon Spinoza's philosophy. Deleuze's doctoral thesis, published in 1968, refers to him as "the prince of philosophers."[27] Other philosophers heavily influenced by Spinoza include Constantin Brunner and John David Garcia. Stuart Hampshire wrote a major English language study of Spinoza, though H. H. Joachim's work is equally valuable. Unlike most philosophers, Spinoza and his work were highly regarded by Nietzsche.

Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein evoked Spinoza with the title (suggested to him by G. E. Moore) of the English translation of his first definitive philosophical work, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, an allusion to Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. Elsewhere, Wittgenstein deliberately borrowed the expression sub specie aeternitatis from Spinoza (Notebooks, 1914-16, p. 83). The structure of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus does have some structural affinities with Spinoza's Ethics (though, admittedly, not with the latter's own Tractatus) in erecting complex philosophical arguments upon basic logical assertions and principles. Furthermore, in propositions 6.4311 and 6.45 he alludes to a Spinozian understanding of eternity and interpretation of the religious concept of eternal life, stating that "If by eternity is understood not eternal temporal duration, but timelessness, then he lives eternally who lives in the present." (6.4311) "The contemplation of the world sub specie aeterni is its contemplation as a limited whole." (6.45) Furthermore, Wittgenstein's interpretation of religious language, in both his early and later career, may be said to bear a family resemblance to Spinoza's pantheism.

Leo Strauss dedicated his first book ("Spinoza's Critique of Religion") to an examination of the latter's ideas. In the book, Strauss identified Spinoza as part of the tradition of Enlightenment rationalism that eventually produced Modernity. Moreover, he identifies Spinoza and his works as the beginning of Jewish Modernity.[11]

Spinoza has had influence beyond the confines of philosophy. The nineteenth century novelist, George Eliot, produced her own translation of the Ethics, the first known English translation thereof. Eliot liked Spinoza's vehement attacks on superstition.[1] Goethe could not say exactly what he liked in the Ethics, but was profoundly moved by it nevertheless (Goethe admitted he could not understand much of Spinoza.)[1] The twentieth century novelist, W. Somerset Maugham, alluded to one of Spinoza's central concepts with the title of his novel, Of Human Bondage. Albert Einstein named Spinoza as the philosopher who exerted the most influence on his world view (Weltanschauung). Einstein, in a telegram response, answered he believes in "Spinoza's God."[28] Spinoza equated God (infinite substance) with Nature, consistent with Einstein's belief in an impersonal deity. In 1929, Einstein was asked in a telegram by Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein whether he believed in God. Einstein responded by telegram: "I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings."[28][29] Spinoza's pantheism has also influenced environmental theory. Arne Næss, the father of the deep ecology movement, acknowledged Spinoza as an important inspiration.

Moreover, the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges was greatly influenced by Spinoza's world view. In many of his poems and short stories, Borges makes allusions to the philosopher's work. So of course does Isaac Bashevis Singer in his short story The Spinoza of Market Street.[1] Spinoza has been the subject of numerous biographies and scholarly treatises (see list below).[25][30][31][32]

Spinoza is an important historical figure in the Netherlands, where his portrait was featured prominently on the Dutch 100guilder banknote, legal tender until the euro was introduced in 2002. The highest and most prestigious scientific award of the Netherlands is named the Spinoza prijs (Spinoza prize).

Spinoza's work is also mentioned as the favourite reading material for Bertie Wooster's valet Jeeves in the P. G. Wodehouse novels. Spinoza's life has been the subject of plays[2] and has been honored by educators.[33]

Spinoza and Deep Ecology

Arne Næss first wrote about the idea of Deep Ecology, and from the early days of his developing this outlook, he looked to Spinoza as an important philosophical source[34]

Others have followed Naess' inquiry, including Eccy de Jonge, in Spinoza and Deep Ecology: Challenging Traditional Approaches to Environmentalism, and Brenden MacDonald, in Spinoza, Deep Ecology, and Human Diversity—Realization of Eco-Literacies

One of the topical centres of inquiry connecting Spinoza to Deep Ecology is "self-realization." See Arne Naess in The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology movement and Spinoza and the Deep Ecology Movement for discussion on the role of Spinoza's conception of self-realization and its link to Deep Ecology.


By Spinoza

About Spinoza

  • Albiac, Gabriel, 1987. La sinagoga vacía: un estudio de las fuentes marranas del espinosismo. Madrid: Hiperión D.L. ISBN 84-7517-214-8
  • Balibar, Étienne, 1985. Spinoza et la politique ("Spinoza and politics") Paris: PUF.
  • Boucher, Wayne I., 1999. Spinoza in English: A Bibliography from the Seventeenth Century to the Present. 2nd edn. Thoemmes Press.
  • Boucher, Wayne I., ed., 1999. Spinoza: Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Discussions. 6 vols. Thoemmes Press.
  • Damásio, António, 2003. Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain, Harvest Books,ISBN 978-0156028714
  • Deleuze, Gilles, 1968. Spinoza et le problème de l'expression. Trans. "Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza" Martin Joughin (New York: Zone Books).
  • ———, 1970. Spinoza - Philosophie pratique. Transl. "Spinoza: Practical Philosophy".
  • ———, 1990. Negotiations trans. Martin Joughin (New York: Columbia University Press).
  • Della Rocca, Michael. 1996. Representation and the Mind-Body Problem in Spinoza. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509562-6
  • Garrett, Don, ed., 1995. The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza. Cambridge Uni. Press.
  • Gatens, Moira, and Lloyd, Genevieve, 1999. Collective imaginings : Spinoza, past and present. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-16570-9, ISBN 0-415-16571-7
  • Goldstein, Rebecca, 2006. Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. Schocken. ISBN 978-0-8052-1159-7
  • Gullan-Whur, Margaret, 1998. Within Reason: A Life of Spinoza. Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-05046-X
  • Hampshire, Stuart, 1951. Spinoza and Spinozism , OUP, 2005 ISBN 978-0199279548
  • Hardt, Michael, trans., University of Minnesota Press. Preface, in French, by Gilles Deleuze, available here.
  • Israel, Jonathan, 2001. The Radical Enlightenment, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • ———, 2006. Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man 1670-1752, (ISBN 0-19-927922-5 hardback)
  • Kasher, Asa, and Shlomo Biderman. "Why Was Baruch de Spinoza Excommunicated?"
  • Kayser, Rudolf, 1946, with an introduction by Albert Einstein. Spinoza: Portrait of a Spiritual Hero. New York: The Philosophical Library.
  • Lloyd, Genevieve, 1996. Spinoza and the Ethics. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-10781-4, ISBN 0-415-10782-2
  • Lucas, P. G., 1960. "Some Speculative and Critical Philosophers", in I. Levine (ed.), Philosophy (London: Odhams)
  • Lovejoy, Arthur O., 1936. "Plenitude and Sufficient Reason in Leibniz and Spinoza" in his The Great Chain of Being. Harvard University Press: 144-82 (ISBN 0-674-36153-9). Reprinted in Frankfurt, H. G., ed., 1972. Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays. Anchor Books.
  • Macherey, Pierre, 1977. Hegel ou Spinoza, Maspéro (2nd ed. La Découverte, 2004).
  • ———, 1994-98. Introduction à l'Ethique de Spinoza. Paris: PUF.
  • Matheron, Alexandre, 1969. Individu et communauté chez Spinoza, Paris: Minuit.
  • Morgan, Michael L. (ed.), 2002. "Spinoza: Complete Works", (Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company). ISBN 0-87220-620-3
  • Montag, Warren. Bodies, Masses, Power: Spinoza and his Contemporaries. (London: Verso, 2002).
  • Moreau, Pierre-François, 2003, Spinoza et le spinozisme, PUF (Presses Universitaires de France)
  • Nadler, Steven, 1999. Spinoza: A Life. Cambridge Uni. Press. ISBN 0-521-55210-9
  • Nadler, Steven, 2006. Spinoza's Ethics: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-83620-3
  • Negri, Antonio, 1991. The Savage Anomaly: The Power of Spinoza's Metaphysics and Politics.
  • ———, 2004. Subversive Spinoza: (Un)Contemporary Variations).
  • Popkin, R. H., 2004. Spinoza (Oxford: One World Publications)
  • Ratner, Joseph, 1927. The Philosophy of Spinoza (The Modern Library: Random House)
  • Stoltze, Ted and Warren Montag (eds.), The New Spinoza (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
  • Strauss, Leo. Persecution and the Art of Writing. Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1952. Reprint. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988.
  • ———ch. 5, "How to Study Spinoza's Tractus Theologico-Politicus;" reprinted in Strauss, Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity, ed. Kenneth Hart Green (Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press, 1997), 181-233.
  • ———Spinoza's Critique of Religion. New York: Schocken Books, 1965. Reprint. University of Chicago Press, 1996.
  • ———, "Preface to the English Translation" reprinted as "Preface to Spinoza's Critique of Religion," in Strauss, Liberalism Ancient and Modern (New York: Basic Books, 1968, 224-59; also in Strauss, Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity, 137-77.
  • Smilevski, Goce. Conversation with SPINOZA. Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 2006.
  • Yovel, Yirmiyahu, "Spinoza and Other Heretics, Vol. 1: The Marrano of Reason." Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1989.
  • Yovel, Yirmiyahu, "Spinoza and Other Heretics, Vol. 2: The Adventures of Immanence." Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1989.
  • The Courtier and the Heretic:Leibniz, Spinoza and the Fate of God; by Matthew Stewart[15]
  • Blessed Spinoza: A Biography; by Lewis Browne.[25]
  • Spinoza: Liberator of God and Man; by Benjamin De Casseres.[25]
  • Spinoza: The Biosopher; by Frederick Kettner.[25]
  • The Philosophy of Spinoza; by Henry Austryn Wolfson.[31]
  • Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity; by Rebecca Goldstein.[11]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 ANTHONY GOTTLIEB. "God Exists, Philosophically (review of "Spinoza: A Life" by Steven Nadler)". The New York Times -- Books. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Play shows the price of Spinoza's ideas -- (David Ives' play "New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation.")". The Boston Globe. January 14, 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  3. Hegel's History of Philosophy
  4. quoted in the translator's preface of Deleuze Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza (1990).
  5. Magnusson, M (ed.), Spinoza, Baruch, Chambers Biographical Dictionary, Chambers 1990, ISBN 0550160418.
  6. Javier Muguerza in his Desde la perplejidad
  8. Tel Aviv University: "Why Was Baruch De Spinoza Excommunicated?", by Asa Kasher and Shlomo Biderman
  9. Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy Allen & Unwin (1946) New Ed.1961 p.552
  10. Phelps, M. Stuart (February 21, 1877). "Spinoza. Oration by M. Ernest Renan, delivered at the Hague, Feb. 21, 1877 by Translated by M. Stuart Phelps [pp. 763-776"]. New Englander and Yale Review Volume 0037 Issue 147 (November 1878).;cc=nwng;rgn=full%20text;idno=nwng0037-6;didno=nwng0037-6;view=image;seq=00777;node=nwng0037-6%3A1. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 Harold Bloom (book reviewer) (June 16, 2006). "Deciphering Spinoza, the Great Original -- Book review of "Betraying Spinoza. The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity." By Rebecca Goldstein". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  12. "HOW SPINOZA LIVED". The New York Times. March 17, 1878. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  13. "NEW LIGHT ON SPINOZA -- Joseph Freudenthal's Book, Published in German, Gives Facts.". The Chicago Tribune. November 19, 1899. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Lucas, 1960.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Lisa Montanarelli (book reviewer) (January 8, 2006). "Spinoza stymies 'God's attorney' -- Stewart argues the secular world was at stake in Leibniz face off". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  16. SPECIAL FEATURES (December 5, 1926). "SHRINE WILL BE MADE OF OLD SPINOZA HOME; Society That Bears His Name Seeks Fund to Buy Dwelling of Great Philosopher at The Hague on the 250th Anniversary of His Death". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  17. Spinoza, Karl Jaspers p.9
  18. Ethics, Pt. I, Prop. XXXVI, Appendix: "[M]en think themselves free inasmuch as they are conscious of their volitions and desires, and never even dream, in their ignorance, of the causes which have disposed them so to wish and desire."
  19. Roger Scruton, Spinoza, A very Short Introduction, p.86
  20. Ethics, Pt. IV, Prop. XXXVII, Note I.: "Still I do not deny that beasts feel: what I deny is, that we may not consult our own advantage and use them as we please, treating them in a way which best suits us; for their nature is not like ours...." (Emphasis added to quotation.)
  21. Schopenhauer criticized Spinoza's attitude toward animals: "His contempt for animals, who, as mere things for our use, are declared by him to be without rights, conjunction with Pantheism, is at the same time absurd and abominable." The World as Will and Representation, tr.E.F.J. Payne (1958) Dover. New York 1966 Vol. 2, Chapter 50, p.645. = Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (hrsg.Arthur Hübscher), Reclam Stuttgart, 1987 Band 2, p.837
  22. Correspondence of Benedict de Spinoza, Wilder Publications (March 26, 2009), ISBN 1604591560, letter 73
  23. 23.0 23.1 Karl Jaspers, Spinoza (Great Philosophers), Harvest Books (October 23, 1974), ISBN 0156847302, Pages: 14 and 95
  24. 24.0 24.1 Genevieve Lloyd, Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Spinoza and The Ethics (Routledge Philosophy Guidebooks), Routledge; 1 edition (October 2, 1996), ISBN 0415107822, Page: 40
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 "Spinoza, "God-Intoxicated Man"; Three Books Which Mark the Three Hundredth Anniversary of the Philosopher's Birth BLESSED SPINOZA. A Biography. By Lewis Browne. 319 pp. New York: The Macmillan Com- pany. $4. SPINOZA. Liberator of God and Man. By Benjamin De Casseres, 145pp. New York: E.Wickham Sweetland. $2. SPINOZA THE BIOSOPHER. By Frederick Kettner. Introduc- tion by Nicholas Roerich, New Era Library. 255 pp. New York: Roerich Museum Press. $2.50. Spinoza". The New York Times. November 20, 1932. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  26. 26.0 26.1 Steven Nadler (2006). "Beyond Belief '06". YouTube. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  27. Deleuze, 1968.
  28. 28.0 28.1 "EINSTEIN BELIEVES IN "SPINOZA'S GOD"; Scientist Defines His Faith in Reply, to Cablegram From Rabbi Here. SEES A DIVINE ORDER But Says Its Ruler Is Not Concerned "Wit Fates and Actions of Human Beings."". The New York Times. April 25, 1929. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  29. Einstein's Third Paradise, by Gerald Holton
  30. "Spinoza's First Biography Is Recovered; THE OLDEST BIOGRAPHY OF SPINOZA. Edited with Translations, Introduction, Annotations, &c., by A. Wolf. 196 pp. New York: Lincoln Macveagh. The Dial Press.". The New York Times. December 11, 1927. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  31. 31.0 31.1 IRWIN EDMAN (July 22, 1934). "The Unique and Powerful Vision of Baruch Spinoza; Professor Wolfson's Long-Awaited Book Is a Work of Illuminating Scholarship. (Book review) THE PHILOSOPHY OF SPINOZA. By Henry Austryn Wolfson". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  32. "ROTH EVALUATES SPINOZA". Los Angeles Times. September 8, 1929. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  33. SOCIAL NEWS BOOKS (November 25, 1932). "TRIBUTE TO SPINOZA PAID BY EDUCATORS; Dr. Robinson Extols Character of Philosopher, 'True to the Eternal Light Within Him.' HAILED AS 'GREAT REBEL'; De Casseres Stresses Individualism of Man Whose Tercentenary Is Celebrated at Meeting.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  34. Spinoza and Deep Ecology.
  36. Spinoza's A Theologico-Political Treatise - Part 1:

External links


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Baruch Spinoza. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki