The Great Philosophers: Spinoza: Spinoza and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading The Great Philosophers: Spinoza: Spinoza on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Spinoza: The Great Philosophers (The Great Philosophers Series) [Paperback]

R. Scruton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £1.99  
Hardcover --  
Mass Market Paperback £4.16  
Paperback, 1 Sep 1999 --  

Book Description

1 Sep 1999 0415923905 978-0415923903
First published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Frequently Bought Together

Spinoza: The Great Philosophers (The Great Philosophers Series) + Ethics (Penguin Classics)
Buy the selected items together
  • Ethics (Penguin Classics) £7.19

Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (1 Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415923905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415923903
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.6 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,099,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Roger Scruton is currently Research Professor for the Institute for the Psychological Sciences where he teaches philosophy at their graduate school in both Washington and Oxford. He is a writer, philosopher and public commentator. He has specialised in aesthetics with particular attention to music and architecture. He engages in contemporary political and cultural debates from the standpoint of a conservative thinker and is well known as a powerful polemicist. He has written widely in the press on political and cultural issues.

Product Description


'an interesting and provocative guide' (Christian Science Monitor)

'His exposition is beautifully lucid.' (Expository Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Roger Scruton was Lecturer in Philosophy 1971-79, Reader 1979-85, and Professor of Aesthetics 1985-92 at Birkbeck College, University of London. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Benedict de Spinoza (1632-77) was born, lived and died in Holland, where his family, who were Jews from Portugal, had come as refugees from the Inquisition. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting analysis of Spinoza's ideas 31 May 2010
By Steve
A very short introduction to this great 17th century rationalist philosopher was always going to be a tall order. In the preface, author and philosopher Roger Scruton acknowledges as much when he admits he has been unable to make Spinoza's theory of substance fully accessible, and that chapter 3 will need to be read twice if it is to be understood. As a beginner, I have to say I struggled through parts, but overall found it to be a fairly absorbing and well-structured analysis of Spinoza's key ideas.

Biographical details are for the most part limited to the first chapter, leaving the author free to devote the rest of the book to each theme in a more focused way - a wise decision, given the complexity of many of the areas of discussion. This book was first published in 1986 (like many in the series, it's a reprint of a 'Past Masters' title) which maybe goes some way to explaining why it may be 'Very Short' but it doesn't quite feel like an 'introduction'. That's not a major criticism though - this is still an instructive and worthwhile read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spinoxa conceptual overview (lite) 29 Jan 2003
By Michael JR Jose VINE VOICE
The Jewish scholar Baruch (Benedict) de Spinoza (1632-77) lived in the Netherlands at a time when science, politics, religion, and philosophy were all in ferment. One of the last great philosophical 'system builders', he eagerly entered the fray, corresponding with and influencing the top minds of his day. A philosophical scholar whose manual trade was lens grinding, and whose chief passion was extending and completing the philosophical system of Descartes, he survived some real physical dangers, mostly caused by his rather heretical and revolutionary writings. His thought continues to influence modern scientists, as diverse as Albert Einstein (who famously believed in "Spinoza's God") and Sir Harry Kroto, a current British Nobel Laureate in chemistry. Spinoza is still studied by professional philosophers and historians.
The moral philosopher Roger Scruton covers his life and works in this short but positive work. His readable style is erudite and concise, and allusive without being elusive. As ever with this type of work, the author's main problem is the tight confines of the space allowed to the subject matter in a concise introduction. Moral - don't forget to read the Spinoza too! The chapters are: Life and character; Background; God; Man; Freedom; The body politic; and Spinoza's legacy. There is a glossary, further reading, and index. Not covered is Spinoza's influence on theology and Old Testament studies as set out in his important 'Theologico-Political Treatise', especially his remarks on prophecy, and the then avant-garde chapter on the authorship of the Pentateuch and other historical books.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 10 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I first came across Spinoza after reading a century of wisdom, and what a true find. Scruton is my new god of explaining the complex man, a fascinating book that again will make you think think think. Read it slowly and totally relish it
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Useful Guide 27 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed Roger Scruton's stimulating introduction to the thought of Benedict de Spinoza.

I have yet to read Spinoza first-hand as I have been warned that it is an onerous task. I am however familiar with the work of Roger Scruton, and this guide will undoubtedly help the virgin reader familiarise himself with the challenging concepts that Spinoza wrestled with, before directly venturing into his work, as Scruton is without doubt a first-rate writer and philosopher.

The book takes in some of the very biggest themes in philosophy in a mere fifty-four pages, including free will, the existence of God and epistemological logic, so naturally there is a limitation in detail, if not scope. However, do not let the brevity of the book put you off: there is plenty of food for thought for lay readers and philosophers alike, and Scruton's writing is up to his usual lucid standard.

My overwhelming impression upon completing this work is that Spinoza is someone whom the modern reader can, surprisingly, sit with somewhat comfortably. Indeed his pantheism, if you accept that's what his work amounts to, strikes me as being finely in tune with spiritually hungry westerners, who yearn for the beautiful, the spiritual and the sacred, but who nevertheless find it difficult to sign up to the arcane and dogmatic teachings of organised religion (and who equally struggle with the cold and austere implications of modern science).

It is not clear if Scruton accepts that Spinoza's work amounts to out and out pantheism, but it is clear that he believes him to be a tonic for the modern age. A thoroughly critical appraisal of Spinoza is of course far beyond the reach of an introductory book review, particularly if, like me, you are not directly acquainted with is work.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category