This authoritative new introduction draws on both Richard H. Popkin's unparalleled scholarship and a wealth of historical and philosophical sources to highlight the real influences behind Spinoza's thought. Popkin reconstructs Spinoza the man, and his theories, contrasting these findings with some of the popularity held misconceptions. Locating him within the context of his family and background, the author assesses the impact on Spinoza of everything from his infamous excommunication, to his affection for Euclidian geometry and the work of Descartes. With a full account of Spinoza's groundbreaking Tractatus and Ethics, and an overview of his influence on both of his contemporaries and those who were to folow, this concise survey offers a variety of new perspectives, and will be warmly welcomed by students, scholars and interested readers alike.
Richard H. Popkin was the author or editor of over thirty books and 300 articles on philosophy,the history of ideas and Jewish intellectual history. He held positions at universities across America and internationally, and was Professor Emeritus at Washignton University (St Louis) and Adjunct Professor of History and Philosophy at UCLA.
'An excellent introduction by one of the world's most esteemed Spinoza scholars. The product of many decades of study of Spinoza's philosophy, it should be a valuable guide to anyone approaching Spinoza for the first time.'
– Steven Nadler - Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, author of 'Spinoza: A Life