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Tractatus Theologico-Politicus

 
 
Arjen
 
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 03:37 am
Tractatus Theologico-Politicus
Buruch de Spinoza
ISBN 978 90284 1773 1
Publisher: Wereldbibliotheek

OVERVIEW:

PRO'S:





  • Translation - Relatively easy to read.
  • The first work advocating the modern western state in western philosophy.
  • A meticulous analysis of key elements in scripture.
  • Many referrals and citations from Hebrew, Greek, Roman and Eastern and Arabian works that point out more or less what Spinoza means to show.
  • A clear look into the thoughts of medieval thinking, religion and politics.
  • It was written by 'our Jew'.
CON'S:


  • In reality the only con there is exists because I have the luxury of looking at this work from a perspective which has had a chance to see the thought voiced in this work evolve.
  • The first sixteen of twenty chapters are an analysis of scripture which might be boring for people who are not interested in that.
  • Translation - Losing its accuracy in translation.
HIGHLIGHTS:






  • Tolerence is shown as a necessity for human life and therefore a necessity for the survival of the state.
  • The philosophical stance Spinoza takes towards what is surely going to be excommunication is inspiring.
  • The insights into scripture are voiced in such a way that it is clear Spinoza knows he is balancing on the edge of the inquisitions pyres and the only reason that he doesn't press certain points is a natural respect for other people's belief systems.
  • Spinoza's idea of 'God' as nature shows beautifully in the way he reasons away certain dogma's.
NOTABLE QUOTE:

[INDENT]"No, the object of government is not to change men from rational beings into beasts or puppets, but to enable them to develop their minds and bodies in security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing hatred, anger, or deciet, nor watched with the eyes of jealousy and injustice. In fact, the true aim of government is liberty."
[/INDENT]RATING: 8.5 [1]

[1] The 1,5 point I didn't award this book with are primarily due to a poor translation and poor philosophical explanations of Spinoza's work by the translator. The original work would not have had this disadvantage.
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Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 03:43 am
@Arjen,
Ah, Spinoza! And I thought I'd hit all his good stuff.

Added to list!
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