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Geometrical Method

  • Errol E. Harris
Chapter
  • 78 Downloads
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire des Idees International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 59)

Abstract

The ultimate concern of Spinoza’s philosophy, as we have seen, is not simply a theoretical interest in ethics but a deep practical desire to discover the best way to live. Spinoza was no mere theorist; he put his philosophy into practice and lived the kind of life he found on theoretical grounds to be the most satisfactory. And he did so only when and because he was rationally convinced. Though experience taught him that the pursuit of mundane advantages was frustrating and unsatisfying, he was not content to accept experience as the final arbiter of the truth and to rest his convictions upon it. That experience was real and bitter. The Synagogue, in which his learning and great intellectual powers might have qualified him for distinction, rejected him with the most awesome curses and expelled him from the Jewish community. His own sister attempted to exclude him from his heritage, so that he had to resort to the law to establish his rights (which he then voluntarily relinquished). In trade he found men all too ready to swindle and defraud; and, if Lucas’ report is to be trusted, an attempt was made upon his life for no stronger reason than that his opinions and neglect of religious observance displeased the Jewish authorities. With reason he was able to write that experience had taught him that all things usually encountered in common life were futile and vain.

Keywords

Geometrical Method Deductive System Deductive Reasoning Religious Observance Formal Essence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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    Cf. Ethics II, vii and H. H. Joachim, Study of the Ethics of Spinoza (Oxford, 1901, New York, 1964), Introduction. Hereafter abbreviated Study.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Errol E. Harris
    • 1
  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityUSA

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