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Spinoza: Practical Philosophy [Paperback]

Gilles Deleuze
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.82
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Book Description

April 1988
Spinoza's theoretical philosophy is one of the most radical attempts to construct a pure ontology with a single infinite substance. This book, which presents Spinoza's main ideas in dictionary form, has as its subject the opposition between ethics and morality, and the link between ethical and ontological propositions. His ethics is an ethology, rather than a moral science. Attention has been drawn to Spinoza by deep ecologists such as Arne Naess, the Norwegian philosopher; and this reading of Spinoza by Deleuze lends itself to a radical ecological ethic. As Robert Hurley says in his introduction, "Deleuze opens us to the idea that the elements of the different individuals we compose may be nonhuman within us. One wonders, finally, whether Man might be defined as a territory, a set of boundaries, a limit on existence." Gilles Deleuze, known for his inquiries into desire, language, politics, and power, finds a kinship between Spinoza and Nietzsche. He writes, "Spinoza did not believe in hope or even in courage; he believed only in joy and in vision ...he more than any other gave me the feeling of a gust of air from behind each time I read him, of a witch's broom that he makes one mount. Gilles Deleuze was a professor of philosophy at the University of Paris at Vincennes. Robert Hurley is the translator of Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Books (April 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872862186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872862180
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.9 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remember Spinoza 24 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback
I 'did' Spinoza for an Open University course many years ago, I've come across his work seldom since but this book brings it all back. It's short and digestible with a substantial dictionary chapter explaining Spinoza's terminology which will be useful when I go back to The Ethics as I am bound to now! This book is probably not an ideal introduction to Spinoza unless you have some context before you begin. Start with some grip of Cartesian philosophy and it's background- find a popular history of western philosophy first (Russell's?) if you are compelled or confused by the Descartes and Berkeley read this! Despite being translated the language is readily accessible.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect point of access 27 July 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a perfect point of entry for the newcomer to Spinoza as well as to Deleuze. Deleuze' 'small' book on Spinoza is more accessible than his other monographies (on Hume, Nietzsche, Bergson, Kant, etc.), but nonetheless of such profundity that no one ought to be disappointed. It is highly innovative and 'to the point' concerning the practical implications of the philosophy of Spinoza. Written as a text of introduction the book makes the reader intimate with the 'spirit' of Spinoza without going into too much detail concerning scholarly interpretation of this or that proposition, corollary, scholium, etc. One of the books great merits is a 60+ page alphabetically ordered dictionary that accounts for the main concepts of Spinoza in a concentrated manner that leaves exegetical digressions out of sight. Welcome to the world of Spinoza through the eyes of one of the 20th century's 'sharpest knives in the drawer'! (A Danish proverb...)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Entity relations. 7 Feb 2014
By paul
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Entity relations based on predicate logic, the method for human/computer database design and engineering. Interesting for the Spinozan dictionary and contextual information.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delueuzional 2 Mar 2013
By toronto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is one of two of Deleuze's main works on Spinoza, the other being "Expressionism in Philosophy" which is weightier. This is a series of short essays and one definition section, held together by Deleuzian interpretative flair. In this book one gets among the first intimations of what will be a major Deleuzian theme -- how immanence manifests itself in the power of bodies to compose and decompose themselves and each other as they interact. If one had to characterize Deleuze's Spinoza, I would say that it deliquesces the geometry, turns all the nouns into verbs -- that is, brings out the dynamics of what, on the surface, appears to be a static, pure, geometrical universe. It is hardly recommendable as a first introduction to Spinoza (head for Genevieve Lloyd or some of the recent intros instead), though the first chapter (a bio) is amusing and approachable.
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding understanding positively 5 Mar 2014
By Roger Summers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is essential for anyone who wants to understand Spinoza and this "Practical" song will have you returning often. Dig-it!
29 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book is not for everyone 27 Feb 2008
By John Scott Schwab - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you are familiar with philosophy, and if you are interested in Sponiza, than this book is a must. But it is not easy or light reading. What is amazing is how this book let's you into the philosopher's soul. Spinoza is the voice of reason and logic. Of course, he paid a horrible price for his belief that God can be sought out through reason and logic, as opposed to emotion and gut level feelings.

We are born with the fear of death. I wonder how Spinoza ever found the inner strength to keep on searching for God without the dual crutches of myth and the belief that there is a reward in the afterlife.

One last thing, and that is that most of the great and fearless men who signed the Constitution were diests. Without Spinoza's insights, the underlying belief in democracy, which is than men can discover TRUTH through reasoning and logic, would have never happened.
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