Tagged: Spinoza

Erich Fromm: Humanistic Ethics (1947)

If we do not abandon, as ethical relativism does, the search for objectively valid norms of conduct, what criteria for such norms can we find? The kind of criteria depends on the type of ethical system – the norms of which we study. By necessity, the criteria in authoritarian ethics are fundamentally different from those in humanistic ethics.

In authoritarian ethics an authority states what is good for man and lays down the laws and norms of conduct; in humanistic ethics man himself is both the norm giver and the subject of the norms, their formal source or regulative agency and their subject matter.

Spinoza – Tractatus Politicus. 1675

The following essay by Spinoza about political systems was written in 1675, remained unfinished, and was published after Spinoza’s death in 1677. It is not to be confused with the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, which was published in 1670.  The latter contains a critique of Judaism and organized religion, and maintains that theology and philosophy should be kept separate.  God does not depend on miracles or special revelations; he acts solely through natural laws that are “his own nature”. For the course of events God has no purpose or particular end game in mind; there is no “divine plan.” Those who believe...

Spinoza – Ethics

Spinoza’s Ethics is one one of the most influential books in Western philosophy. It was published by a friend in 1677, shortly after he had died. It was immediately attacked as being atheistic, because it suggests a conception of God without any anthropomorphic characteristics. The God of Spinoza is not personal; it is a God without  will, emotion, purpose, or mercy. According to Spinoza, this is not necessary since the world is perfect as it is; only our perception is so dim that we cannot grasp the deeper structure of nature. Spinoza also rejects the idea of free will in...

Baruch Spinoza

Baruch Spinoza was a Jewish philosopher of the 17th century who was in many ways ahead of his time, and therefore he did not have an easy life. Many 20th century philosophers regard him highly, because he is a very consistent thinker who begins with simple assumptions and draws radical conclusions. He claims that there is a unity in all that exists; everything happens according to a deep regularity, and that there is an identity of spirit and nature. Here is a short biography of Baruch Spinoza  (1632-1677), quoted from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Biography Baruch Spinoza was born...