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Spinoza's Book of Life – Freedom and Redemption in the Ethics - Yale Scholarship Online
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Spinoza's Book of Life: Freedom and Redemption in the Ethics

Steven Smith


Most readers of Spinoza treat him as a pure metaphysician, a grim determinist, or a stoic moralist, but none of these descriptions captures the book of the Ethics. Offering a new reading of Spinoza's masterpiece, the book asserts that the Ethics is a celebration of human freedom and its attendant joys and responsibilities, and should be placed among the great founding documents of the Enlightenment. This book treats the famous “geometrical method” of the Ethics as a form of moral rhetoric, a model for the construction of individuality. It presents the Ethics as a companion to Spinoza's major w ... More

Keywords: Spinoza, the Ethics, moral rhetoric, geometrical method, Enlightenment, Theologico-Political Treatise, freedom, methaphysics, political philosophy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780300100198
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300100198.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steven Smith, author