Book Summaries Philosophy

Spinoza (A History of Western Philosophy)

Spinoza was the most moral philosopher. He was betrayed by Leibnitz and excommunicated by Jews and Christians.

Like Hobbes, Spinoza did not see right or wrong in state of nature.

The Sovereign is untouchable. The state should dictate policy. But unlike Hobbes, democracy is natural, free opinion is paramount. Spinoza was most interested in religion and virtue.

His metaphysical system was great. He admired God and nature. God includes thought. There is no personal immortality, only impersonal immortality.

To become more one with god is the goal, he was a pantheist. All that is decreed by God is good. But what about evil acts? The bad and the good are deemed so by finite creatures. God sees no negation. The evil we see does not exist because it is part of God’s vision which we are not intelligent enough to grasp.

Fear of death is slavery. Unless you are ill, there is nothing to fear. Even if you are ill, you should attend to your illness with calm. Stoicism entails an indifference to loved ones, which is bad . Christianity impels you to love your enemies, which is good, but the Christian way is just hard for people.

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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