The Ethics

Benedict de Spinoza

The Ethics, by Benedict de Spinoza - click to see full size image

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The Ethics by Dutch philosopher Benedict de Spinoza (Baruch Spinoza) was first published in 1677, shortly after the death of the author. It is a philosophical treatise that was originally written in Latin. Considered Spinoza's magnum opus, the book is an attempt to apply the method of Euclid in philosophy. The first part of the book addresses the relationship between God and the universe. The second part focuses on the human mind and body. In the third part, Spinoza argues that all things, including human beings, strive to persevere in their being. The fourth part analyzes human passions. The fifth part argues that reason can govern the affects in the pursuit of virtue.

Shortly after it was published, the Catholic Church banned it, and for the next hundred years, it was read in secret. The novelist Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) was the first person to translate the work into English in 1856.

Part of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World set.

This book has 88,171 words, and 139 pages in the PDF version. This is an 1887 translation by R. H. M. Elwes.

Production notes: This ebook of The Ethics was published by Global Grey on the 5th November 2021. The artwork used for the cover is 'Venice, the Entrance to St Mark’s Basilica' by Antonietta Brandeis.

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