Monday, July 3, 2023


 Philosophy, as Spinoza understands it, does not peddle in temporary cheer, modest improvements in well-being, or chicken soup for the soul; it seeks and claims to find a basis for happiness that is absolutely certain, permanent, and divine.  The principal—indeed, the sole—purpose of his mature philosophy, as expressed in his masterwork, the Ethics, is to achieve this kind of blessedness or salvation. . . . Like Socrates, Spinoza avers that blessedness comes only from a certain kind of knowledge—specifically, the "knowledge of the union the that mind has with the whole of Nature."

-Matthew Stewart, Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World

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