Benedictus Spinoza (1632-77) was among the most important of the post-Cartesian philosophers of the second half of the seventeenth century. He made original contributions in every major area of philosophy. His work reflects the influences of Stoicism, Maimonides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Descartes, and others. Spinoza is best known for his Ethics, which is often held up as a supreme example of a self-contained metaphysical system intended to explain the universe. Some of his psychological influences, perhaps lesser known, anticipated Freud.
This book is the first to offer an accessible, encyclopedic account of Spinoza's life and ideas, his influences and commentators, and his lasting significance. Some of the best features include an annotated chronology of Spinoza's life, bibliographies of his major influences and critics, a substantive dictionary of key Spinozan concepts, and summaries of Spinoza's principal writings. The work concludes with an essay on Spinoza's place in modern academic scholarship.
This work is a valuable tool for anyone interested in Spinoza and the era of great change in which he lived and wrote.