Spinoza's Short treatise on God, man and his wellbeing - PDF by Spinoza

Spinoza's Short treatise on God, man and his wellbeing




Spinoza's Short treatise on God
Spinoza


This volume is primarily intended to be an introduction to the philosophy of Spinoza. The Short Treatise, though by no means free from difficulties, is well adapted for the purpose. 



It contains the essentials of Spinoza s philosophy in a less exacting form than the Ethics with its rigid geometric method. The Short Treatise cannot, of course, take the place of the Ethics y but it prepares the way for a much easier and more profitable study of it than is otherwise possible. 

The Introduction and the Commentary provide all the help that the reader is likely to require. At the same time, the Short Treatise has a special interest for more advanced students of Spinoza as the most important aid to the study of the origin and development of his philosophy. 

And their needs have not been overlooked. Every care has been taken to give a faithful version of the Treatise; notice is taken of all variant readings and notes which are likely to be of any importance; even peculiarities of punctuation and the lavish use of capital letters are for the most part reproduced here from the Dutch manuscripts. And the Introduction and the Commentary, though largely superfluous for the advanced student, will, it is hoped, also be found to contain something that may be interesting and helpful even to him. 

The Translation was, in the first instance, based on the Dutch text contained in Van Vloten and Land s second edition of Spinoza s works. Subsequently, however, I spent a very considerable amount of time and trouble in going through the manuscripts themselves, with the result that the present version may, I think, claim to be more complete than any of the published editions or translations.


Jewish history and Jewish life, and have devoted more attention to Manasseh ben Israel than he has so far received in this connection. It has not been thought necessary to give detailed references to authorities, because the earliest biographies and all the available documents relating to Spinoza have been edited by Prof. Freudenthal in a single volume under the title of Die Lebensgeschichte Spinozas, and the evidence can easily be found there. For the general history of the period I consulted Motley, Blok, and the Cambridge Modern History; and Graetz, for the history of the Jews. In the second part of the Introduction, I confined myself to such a general statement of the history, &c., of the Short Treatise as may be followed without any previous knowledge of the Treatise itself, leaving details for the Commentary, where they are dealt with as occasion arises. 


Publication: 1910
Translated by Abraham Wolf

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