Since its publication in 1677, Spinoza's Ethics has fascinated philosophers, novelists, and scientists alike. It is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and contested works of Western philosophy. Written in an austere, geometrical fashion, the work teaches us how we should live, ending with an ethics in which the only thing good in itself is understanding. Spinoza argues that only that which hinders us from understanding is bad and shows that those endowed with a human mind should devote themselves, as much as they can, to a contemplative life. This 2009 Companion volume provides a detailed, accessible exposition of the Ethics. Written by an internationally known team of scholars, it is the first anthology to treat the whole of the Ethics and is written in an accessible style.
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Introduction Olli Koistinen and Valtteri Viljanen; 1. The textual history of Spinoza's Ethics Piet Steenbakkers; 2. The geometrical order in the Ethics Piet Steenbakkers; 3. Spinoza's ontology Valtteri Viljanen; 4. Substance monism and identity theory in Spinoza Andreas Schmidt; 5. Spinoza and the Stoics on substance monism Jon Miller; 6. Spinoza on necessity Charles Jarrett; 7. Knowledge in Spinoza's Ethics Diane Steinberg; 8. Spinoza on action Ollie Koistinen; 9. The anatomy of the passions Michael LeBuffe; 10. Freedom, slavery, and the passions Susan James; 11. Spinoza's theory of the good Andrew Youpa; 12. The power of reason in Spinoza Martin Lin; 13. Spinoza on the essence of the human body and the part of the mind that is eternal Don Garrett.
Olli Koistinen is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Turku in Finland. He is the co-editor, with John Biro, of Spinoza: Metaphysical Themes.