on 24 March 2010
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.
on 27 July 2011
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...)