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Summary

Philosophy for busy people. Read a succinct account of the philosophy of Spinoza in just one hour.

Spinoza’s brilliant metaphysical system was derived neither from reality nor experience. Starting from basic axioms (assumptions), by means of a series of geometric proofs he built a universe which was also God – one and the same thing, the classic example of pantheism. While his system may seem an oddity today, Spinoza’s conclusions are deeply in accord with much of modern thought, from science (the holistic ethics of today’s ecologists) to politics (the idea that the state exists to protect the individual). The compelling beauty of both Spinoza’s system and conclusions are unequalled in the history of philosophy.

Here is a concise, expert account of Spinoza’s life and philosophical ideas that is entertainingly written and easy to understand. Also included are selections from Spinoza’s work, suggested further reading and chronologies that place Spinoza in the context of the broader scheme of philosophy.

©2012 Paul Strathern (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

'Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them...I find them hard to stop reading." ( New York Times)
"Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise" ( Wall Street Journal)
"Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character...I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one's friends to Western civilization." ( Boston Globe)
"A godsend in this era of the short attention span." ( New York Times)

What listeners say about Spinoza: Philosophy in an Hour

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Spinoza: A biography in an hour

There's really not much here. I know nothing more than a superficial glance is possible in an hour, but that hour could have been better used.

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You will not learn much about Spinoza's philosophy

This brief audiobook focuses on Spinoza's life and very little is said of his philosophy. Its pretty snarky too, mostly making fun of Spinoza although at the end he suddenly become brilliant, as if a different author stepped in to say a few words about the philosophy. The narrator is funny. I would sure like a decent audio introduction to Spinoza.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Dull

I've listened to quite a few of the PiaH series and have enjoyed most of them. However, I found this dull and I'm not entirely sure why. Spinoza's life wasn't the most exciting of the philosophers in this series, but it wasn't the least exciting, either.

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Profile Image for Sarnchai Viriyachat
  • Sarnchai Viriyachat
  • 07-12-18

A Beautiful Introduction to Spinoza

I brought Descartes in an hour and was a little dissatisfied about its philosophical explanation.
So I decided to try another one.
This time with Spinoza in an hour I am impressed.
It is in the right proportion.
The context is well illustrated and very enjoyable.
The concepts is well explained and easy to follow (the author breaks it into parts)
I hope that the other titles under this same series will make it up to this standard.
Worth every penny.
If you want a simple and elegant introduction to Spinoza
This one will do