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Introduction: Spinoza’s Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata

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Chapter Summary

Spinoza's Ethics is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by a philosopher. It addresses every area of philosophical inquiry, at least in its basic elements: ontology, philosophy of mind, physics, epistemology, study of emotions, social philosophy, political philosophy, meta-ethics, moral philosophy and, finally, the consideration of 'final things' such as freedom, happiness and eternity. Spinoza does not present all of this in the usual prose. Instead, his book is modelled on Euclid's Elements. Hence the subtitle, "ordine geometrico demonstrata". The Ethics comprises five parts, entitled: Of God, Of the Nature and Origin of the Mind, Of the Origin and Nature of the Affects, Of Human Bondage, or of the Powers of the Affects and Of the Power of the Intellect, or of Human Freedom. The order of these five parts reflects the fact that the theory of God - also a theory of being - forms the basis for all that follows.

Keywords: epistemology; Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata ; human freedom; ontology; philosopher; Spinoza; study of emotions; theory of God

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