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Ethics (Oxford Philosophical Texts) [Paperback]

By G. H. R. Parkinson (Editor)
Our Price $ 32.26  
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Item Number 159975  
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Pages   368
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 10, 2000
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0198752148  
EAN  9780198752141  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
The Oxford Philosophical Texts series consists of truly practical and accessible guides to major philosophical texts in the history of philosophy from the ancient world up to modern times. Each book opens with a comprehensive introduction by a leading specialist which covers the philosopher's life, work, and influence. Endnotes, a full bibliography, guides to further reading, and an index are also included. The series aims to build a definitive corpus of key texts in the Western philosophical tradition, forming a reliable and enduring resource for students and teachers alike.
One of the classical texts of philosophy, Spinoza's Ethics is also one of the most difficult to understand. It discusses the nature of human beings, the way in which a rational person might live, the nature of God, and true freedom and how it can be attained. This volume features a new, lucid translation of Ethics enhanced by a comprehensive guide to Spinoza's work. An extensive introduction includes a short biography of Spinoza; help in understanding the form of Spinoza's writing and his own particular use of definitions; an introduction to the philosophy of Ethics; and a summary of Ethics. Further aids include a glossary of terms, notes to the text, and notes to the translation.

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More About G. H. R. Parkinson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Benedict de Spinoza was born in Amsterdam in 1632, where his orthodox Jewish family had fled from persecution in Portugal. Spinoza was expelled from the synagogue for his heterodox philosophy, and earned his living as an optical-lens grinder. He identified God with nature and denied the possibility of an act of creation. "Ethics "was published in 1677 after his death and explored a doctrine which inspired the Romantic poets.
Edwin Curley is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan and editor and translator of Spinoza's Collected Works.
Stuart Hampshire was elected a Fellow of All Souls in 1936 and was a tutor in philosophy. He has held numerous presitigious academic posts.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Epistemology   [672  similar products]
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Item: 159977

Reviews - What do our customers think?
Excellent Philosophy, Horrible Translation!  Nov 11, 2005
This is one of the most important works of modern philosophy, I suggest you read it, but please do not pick up this translation which is absolutely riddled with out-right errors. For example, in Part I Definition 2 Spinoza rights: "The thing is called finite in its own kind which cannot be limited by another of the same nature." This is a total blunder, it should read as it does in the original: "The thing is called finite in its own kind which CAN be limited by another of the same nature." This error completely misunderstands the entire premise of Spinoza's entire argument! Please pick up another edition and enjoy.
I am not totally certain that I understand Spinoza's "Ethics"
as well as I should, because I fail to see the peace of mind other reviewers say it engenders.

One reviewer from Israel said that Spinoza is contrary to Jewish tradition. I think that she is right in that the ethical foundation upon which Judaism rests is shattered, but otherwise Spinoza is a natural extention of Judaism. Spinoza had a foundation of prior Jewish thinkers much as Einstein and Newton had foundations upon which they built. Ben Maimon follows tradition in MT (in Hebrew), but in GFTP (in Arabic) his expressions are much more naturalistic, as death existing for the individual so that species would survive with no reference to a creator or sin. In a greater withdrawl than Ben Maimom from the personal or national God, Spinoza retains the generalized, assumed but unspoken god apart from the Torah with the definition as the balance, simple machine, logical if-and-then
principle, basis for economic thought and implication that god is "just". He retains, without personality, the Hebrew God, but explores the implications of a generalized ethic in place of the Hebrew biblical ethic that whatever is in the long term interests of the Jewish people is "good" and whatever is contrary to this is to be struggled against if performed by others and condemmed as "sin" if performed by a Jew. But Spinoza retains the heart, though not the ethnocentrisity, of Old Testament ethics. He generalizes the principle as "risk". Risk is a natural element of all life. The expression of the nature of god as related to man is risk. Risk is the essence of responsibility: where there is no risk there is no responsibility. This means that power is the basis of human ethical relationships, and the exercise of power is, in the world of Spinoza's ethics, guided and restricted by risk.

Herman Cohen (died c 1900), in his great work "Religion of Reason: Out of the Origins of Judaism" gives his opinion that to be a true religion a system must be true, not simply believed. Spinoza's ethical philosophy takes the assumed but unstated god of the Old Testament as true, not in the mystical sense, but the literal or even scientific sense, while rejecting God as invention. In essence, take God out of Judaism and replace him with god and you have Spinoza's ethics. Take Spinoza's ethics and put in the collective judgement that whatever is in the long term interests of the Jewish people is to be promoted thorough other peoples and considered right or good if done by the individual Jew, and you have returned to God, even if you are not religious.
I simply cannot see from the eye of Eternity   Nov 4, 2004
The 'Ethics' is one of the landmark works in the History of Philosophy. Its influence is great both within philosophy itself and in and through general culture. For Goethe and for Coleridge and for many other pillars of Western Literature its wisdom opens up new depths of literature. Spinoza's role in Western Culture as one who follows Descartes and in some sense leads to what comes next in the Tradition is far different from what his place is in the Jewish tradition. Spinoza was put under herem a form of excommunication and cast out of the organized Jewish community in Amsterdam. Will Durant said that he was the only great philosopher who lived in accordance with his thought and there is the conception of Spinoza as somehow living in the pure realm of his own thought. Despite however his rejection by the established Jewish tradition Spinoza became the great intellectual hero of ' freethinking Jews' and the inspiration of many to this day . Isaac Singer is only the most recent of Jewish cultural figures to be enthralled and obsessed with the spirit of Spinoza.
The 'Ethics' is a difficult work. And it is a work which aims to be rigorous in its logic, a geometry of the moral life. It reasons to an identification of the Infinite with Nature- but that Infinite and this is the heretic Spinoza is not a personal
G-d. Spinoza teaches that the human being should master emotion by mind and by seeing all from the ' eye of Eternity ' look upon the life and world with a divine calm. Perhaps it was easier the unmarried , childless Spinoza to attain such calm than it is for most ordinary family people.
The Ethics again is a difficult work and one I do not pretend to understand. Reading it one comes across unforgettable sentences solidly constructed and part of the whole edifice Spinoza has built. Those interested and capable of it will find the whole world of ' substance ' and 'modes' and ' attributes ' connecting with each other in one ethical metaphysical picture of ultimate reality. I do not understand the picture nor do I think any longer ' language of that kind' can really give us ' the whole world structure and meaning'.
I am saying in a way that this work is very rich and very great, and no doubt more so for those unlike myself who might understand it in a fundamental way.
Convoluted  Apr 28, 2002
Definitely true this work is difficult to understand, and that is because the logic employed is seriously flawed. This is not a work that will help anyone live a more fullfilling life. In that sense, it is not real ethics but some kind of epistomological escapade. It is however a philosophy for the weak, like most religion. This book is great for those with little self esteem and are looking for something with a little more substance.
beautiful and classic deductive metaphysics  May 22, 2001
A truly beautiful philosophical system: Spinoza's pantheistic and monistic conception of the Universe is absolutely awesome. The Ethics can be a bit difficult to understand given the "geometrical order" it is written, but when it finally makes sense it is evident that it truly is very profound and influential deductive rationalist logic. What is staggering of Spinoza's philosophy is that given the truth of his definitions and axioms, his metaphysical system is air-tight.

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