Reading Spinoza: The Ethics

This page will provide links to posts that will discuss and analyze how the definitions, propositions, and scholia of Spinoza’s Ethics have been interpreted. As we move through the Ethics, links will be posted to the section(s) being discussed. The hope for this page is that it can become an online resource to assess how key passages of the Ethics have been interpreted by several key commentators, drawing from both the analytic and continental traditions. Variations on these interpretations may become, and probably will become, the subject of the threads that may develop with each post. The threads will remain open so that a reader may contribute their insights at any time, even after this reading is over and we move on to the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. The texts that will form much of the basis for the reading of the Ethics are the following:

  1. Ferdinand Alquié – Leçons sur Spinoza: Nature et vérité dans la philosophie de Spinoza, Servitude et liberté selon Spinoza
  2. Jonathan Bennett – A Study of Spinoza’s Ethics
  3. Gilles Deleuze – Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza
  4. Michael Della Rocca – Spinoza
  5. Martial Gueroult – Spinoza I (Dieu), II (L’âme)
  6. H.F. Hallett – Benedict de Spinoza: The Elements of his Philosophy
  7. Stuart Hampshire – Spinoza and Spinozism
  8. Pierre Macherey –Introduction a L’Ethique de Spinoza (4 vols.)
  9. Steven Nadler – Spinoza’s Ethics: an Introduction
  10. Harry Austryn Wolfson: Philosophy of Spinoza: Unfolding the Latent Process of His Reasoning

This list is merely a starting point and contributors will no doubt bring in other interpretations and point out glaring omissions from the list, or question what was included. For a list of current contributors, click here. If you’re interested in contributing, please feel free to contact me (jbell(at)

Spinoza’s Ethics

Part I (Concerning God)

  • Definitions
  • Propositions I-VII

5 thoughts on “Reading Spinoza: The Ethics

  1. Hello, I find the intent of this page very interesting. When will you post the links to the posts?
    Besided I like the way you make hte themes you discuss in your posts clear even to the amateur.

  2. Dear Jeffrey-

    If you decide to start up the reading of the Ethics, I’d love to be a participant. I, too, think understanding Spinoza can help with the critique of what Meillassoux calls ‘correlationism’ (which is an instance of what I think of as ‘human exceptionalism’).


    • Mandel, I realize this page has been up like a promissory note for quite some time now. I’ve been swamped with other commitments and have been unable to start this up. If and when I do I’ll be certain to get in touch with you.

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