Spinoza: Complete Works
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The only complete edition in English of Baruch Spinoza's works, this volume features Samuel Shirley’s preeminent translations, distinguished at once by the lucidity and fluency with which they convey the flavor and meaning of Spinoza’s original texts.
Michael L. Morgan provides a general introduction that places Spinoza in Western philosophy and culture and sketches the philosophical, scientific, religious, moral and political dimensions of Spinoza’s thought. Morgan’s brief introductions to each work give a succinct historical, biographical, and philosophical overview. A chronology and index are included.
that God had a different will and a different understanding Part I, Chapter V then, in consequence of which he would have made it different; and so we should be compelled to think that God has a different character now from what he had then, and had a different character then from what he has now; so that, if we assume he is most perfect now, we are compelled to say that he would not have been so had he created all things differently. All these things, involving as they do palpable
contrary, I admit that we are not only free to utilise them, when we apply them in the service of mankind and for their amelioration, but that we may even do so at the price of curtailing our own (otherwise perfect and legitimate) freedom. For example: if any one wears costly clothes in order to be respected, he seeks a Glory which results from his self-love without any consideration for his fellow-men; but when some one observes that his wisdom (wherewith he can be of service to his neighbours)
has rest, makes it move. Likewise also the moving stone will not be made to rest except through something else which has less motion. It follows, accordingly, that no mode of thought can bring motion or rest into a body. In accordance, however, with what we observe in ourselves, it may well happen that a body which is moving now in one direction may nevertheless turn aside in another direction; as when I stretch out my arm and thereby bring it about that the [vital] spirits which were already
they love him, or hate them because they hate him. For in that case we should have to suppose that people do so of their own free will, and that they do not depend on a first cause; which we have already before proved to be false. Besides, this would necessarily involve nothing less than a great mutability on the part of God, who, though he neither loved nor hated before, would now have to begin to love and to hate, and would be induced or made to do so by something supposed to be outside him;
the Axioms that our Author frequently diverges from Descartes but also in proving the Propositions themselves and the other conclusions, and he employs a logical proof far different from that of Descartes. But let no one take this to mean that he intended to correct the illustrious Descartes in these matters, but that our Author’s sole purpose in so doing is to enable him the better to retain his already established order and to avoid increasing unduly the number of Axioms. For the same reason,