'The noblest and most lovable of the great philosophers ... ethically he is supreme' Bertrand Russell
Published shortly after his death in 1677, the Ethics is Spinoza's greatest work - a fully cohesive philosophical system that strives to provide a picture of reality and to comprehend the meaning of an ethical life. It defines in turn the nature of God, the mind, human bondage to the emotions and the power of understanding - moving from a consideration of the eternal, to speculate upon humanity's place in the natural order and the path to attainable happiness. A work of elegant simplicity, the Ethics is a brilliantly insightful consideration of the possibility of redemption through philosophical reflection.
Translated by Edwin Curley with an Introduction by Stuart Hampshire
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.