Jonathan Bennett (essay date 1984)
SOURCE: “A Character Sketch of the Ethics” and “The Cast of Spinoza's Mind,” in A Study of Spinoza's Ethics, Hackett Publishing Company, 1984, pp. 7-54.
[In the following essay, Bennett outlines the central theses of the Ethics and positions them in their historical context.]
CHAPTER ONE: A CHARACTER SKETCH OF THE ETHICS
The central topic of this book is Spinoza's one indisputable masterpiece, the Ethics. In my first chapter I shall say what sort of work the Ethics is, what sort Spinoza took it to be, how it relates to the rest of his work, and in what spirit I intend to approach it.
(The entire section is 23673 words.)