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Select Works of Baruch Spinoza (3 vols.)
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Select Works of Baruch Spinoza (3 vols.)


George Bell and Sons, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Open Court 1891–1905

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Get to know one of the great rationalists of the seventeenth century. Referred to as “the prince of philosophers” by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, Baruch Spinoza has left a lasting impact on the fields of ethics, biblical criticism, and literature.

The rationalist philosophers argued that knowledge does not come primarily through the senses, but through reason. The mind, they argued, contains innate ideas. These innate ideas are the foundation for, and structure of, knowledge. In order to attain truth, one must apply reason to these innate ideas. Consequently, one does not need direct experience of reality to achieve knowledge. Behind this theory was the belief in a common substance out of which all things are formed. Since the rationalist mind is also made from this substance, it shares the same basic structure. It is this shared structure that allows the mind to acquire knowledge of everything else.

With Logos, these valuable volumes are enhanced by cutting-edge research tools. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful topical searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion with you. With Logos, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Interested in modern philosophy? Get an even better deal with the Philosophy Research Library.

Key Features

  • Presents Spinoza’s major works
  • Includes a thorough introduction to the life and work of Spinoza
  • Contains in-depth indexes

Product Details

Individual Titles

The Principles of Descartes’ Philosophy

  • Author: Baruch Spinoza
  • Translator: Halbert Hains Britan
  • Publisher: The Open Court Publishing Company
  • Publication Date: 1905
  • Pages: 177

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In The Principles of Descartes’ Philosophy, Spinoza claims to offer an interpretation and explanation of Descartes’ work for the sake of his student. He emphatically denies that the thought represented in the work is his own. As such, the work is an important commentary on the thought of Descartes. However, the work is also important for understanding the mind of Spinoza. The way that Spinoza goes about explaining Descartes says as much about Spinoza as it does about Descartes. This book was the only book published under his own name during his lifetime.

The Chief Works of Benedict de Spinoza, vol. 1

  • Author: Baruch Spinoza
  • Translator: R.H.M. Elwes
  • Publisher: George Bell and Sons
  • Publication Date: 1891
  • Pages: 387

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The first volume of The Chief Works of Benedict de Spinoza contains Spinoza’s Theologico-Political Treatise and Political Treatise. In the Theologico-Political Treatise, Spinoza draws heavily on Moses Maimonides and offers a substantial critique on Judaism and organized religion, arguing for the necessary separation of faith and philosophy. He also offers a critique of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch and lays out the methodology for biblical textual criticism. In the second part of the treatise he lays out a political philosophy, drawing heavily on the work of Thomas Hobbes. Spinoza deals with the nature of the state and the social contract as well as the necessary conditions for religious tolerance. While the Theological-Political Treatise was written for theologians, the Political Treatise is written for philosophers. It covers similar ground as the former book, filling it out and generalizing it a bit more.

The Chief Works of Benedict de Spinoza, vol. 2

  • Author: Baruch Spinoza
  • Translator: R.H.M. Elwes
  • Publisher: George Bell and Sons
  • Publication Date: 1891
  • Pages: 420

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The Chief Works of Benedict de Spinoza, vol. 2 includes Spinoza’s magnum opus, Ethics, and select letters. In the first part of Ethics, Spinoza discusses the relationship between God and the universe. He argues that everything in the universe, humans included, is a mode of God. In other words, everything is logically dependent upon God for existence. Everything flows from God in the same way that it flows from the nature of a triangle that the sum of the angles equals 180 degrees. The second part of Ethics discusses the relationship between the human mind and the body. In particular, Spinoza attacks the Cartesian view that the mind and body are two different substances. In the third part of Ethics, Spinoza argues that everything fights to continue being. This fight motivates human emotion. In the fourth part, Spinoza says that the emotions control all actions of human beings. In the fifth and final part of Ethics, Spinoza maintains that we can rid ourselves of negative/damaging emotions by thinking the right thoughts. The volume contains 75 of Spinoza’s letters.

About Baruch Spinoza

Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677) was born in the Jodenbuurt in Amsterdam, Netherlands. His philosophy laid the foundation for the eighteenth century Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism. Spinoza grew up in a Portuguese community of Sephardic Jews in Amsterdam. His father was a successful trader. He attended the Keter Torah Yeshiva until he was 17. Leaving the yeshiva early, Spinoza began studying with the freethinker, former Jesuit, and accused atheist Frances van den Enden. Spinoza adopted the Latin name Benedictus de Spinoza, moved in to van den Enden’s house, and began teaching at van den Enden’s school in Amsterdam. During this time, Spinoza associated with Mennonites and a group of anti-clerical Catholics, known as Remonstrants. Following his father’s death in 1654, Spinoza ran the family business with his brother Abraham, leaving after a few years to pursue philosophy. In 1656, Spinoza was expelled from the Jewish community for heresy. Following this expulsion, Spinoza focused on writing, studying and his work as a lens grinder. In 1676, Spinoza completed his primary philosophical work, Ethics. He died in 1677 of lung disease.