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From Bondage To Freedom Spinoza On Human Excellence

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From Bondage to Freedom

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From Bondage to Freedom by Michael LeBuffe Book Summary:

Spinoza rejects fundamental tenets of received morality, including the notions of Providence and free will. Yet he retains rich theories of good and evil, virtue, perfection, and freedom. Building interconnected readings of Spinoza's accounts of imagination, error, and desire, Michael LeBuffe defends a comprehensive interpretation of Spinoza's enlightened vision of human excellence. Spinoza holds that what is fundamental to human morality is the fact that we find things to be good or evil, not what we take those designations to mean. When we come to understand the conditions under which we act-that is, when we come to understand the sorts of beings that we are and the ways in which we interact with things in the world-then we can recast traditional moral notions in ways that help us to attain more of what we find to be valuable. For Spinoza, we find value in greater activity. Two hazards impede the search for value. First, we need to know and acquire the means to be good. In this respect, Spinoza's theory is a great deal like Hobbes's: we strive to be active, and in order to do so we need food, security, health, and other necessary components of a decent life. There is another hazard, however, that is more subtle. On Spinoza's theory of the passions, we can misjudge our own natures and fail to understand the sorts of beings that we really are. So we can misjudge what is good and might even seek ends that are evil. Spinoza's account of human nature is thus much deeper and darker than Hobbes's: we are not well known to ourselves, and the self-knowledge that is the foundation of virtue and freedom is elusive and fragile.

The Ethics of Joy

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The Ethics of Joy by Youpa Andrew Book Summary:

Philosopher Andrew Youpa offers a novel reading of Spinoza's moral philosophy. Unlike approaches to moral philosophy that center on praiseworthiness and blameworthiness, Youpa argues that Spinoza's moral philosophy is about how to live lovingly and joyously, not hatefully or sorrowfully. It is, fundamentally, an ethics of joy. Central to this reading is a defense of the view that there is a way of life that is best for human beings, and that what makes it best is its alignment with human nature. This is not, significantly, an ethics of accountability, or what a person does or does not deserve. Morality's role is not to assign credit or blame to individuals in an economy of good and evil; rather, it is to heal the sick and empower the vulnerable. It is an ethics centered on what, with respect to mental and physical well-being, requires our attention. Spinoza's ethics adheres to a medical model of morality, enacting and embodying a system of care to ourselves, care to others, and care to things in the world around us. From this approach, Youpa defends a comprehensive reading of Spinoza's moral philosophy, including its realism, pluralism, and the importance of friendship and education, which are the greatest sources of empowerment and joy. Empowering ourselves and others begins with love: the type of love that Spinoza refers to as the virtue of modestia, or humble devotion to others with their true well-being in mind. Youpa's examination starts with an original interpretaion of Spinoza's theory of emotions, and then turns to the metaphysical foundation of his moral philosophy and its normative and practical implications.

Spinoza on Reason, Passions, and the Supreme Good

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Spinoza on Reason, Passions, and the Supreme Good by Andrea Sangiacomo Book Summary:

Spinoza's thought is at the centre of an ever growing interest. Spinoza's moral philosophy, in particular, points to a radical way of understanding how human beings can become free and enjoy supreme happiness. And yet, there is still much disagreement about how exactly Spinoza's recipe is supposed to work. For long time, Spinoza has been presented as an arch rationalist who would identify in the purely intellectual cultivation of reason the key for ethical progress. Andrea Sangiacomo offers a new understanding of Spinoza's project, by showing how he himself struggled during his career to develop a moral philosophy that could speak to human beings as they actually are (imperfect, passionate, often not very rational). Spinoza's views significantly evolved over time. In his early writings, Spinoza's account of ethical progress towards the Supreme Good relies mostly on the idea that the mind can build on its innate knowledge to resist the power of the passions. Although appropriate social conditions may support the individual's pursuit of the Supreme Good, achieving it does not depend essentially on social factors. In Spinoza's later writings, however, the emphasis shifts towards the mind's need to rely on appropriate forms of social cooperation. Reason becomes the mental expression of the way the human body interacts with external causes on the basis of some degree of agreement in nature with them. The greater the agreement, the greater the power of reason to adequately understand universal features as well as more specific traits of the external causes. In the case of human beings, certain kinds of social cooperation are crucial for the development of reason. This view has crucial ramifications for Spinoza's account of how individuals can progress towards the Supreme Good and how a political science based on Spinoza's principles can contribute to this goal.

Spinoza and the Cunning of Imagination

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Spinoza and the Cunning of Imagination by Eugene Garver Book Summary:

Spinoza's Ethics, and its project of proving ethical truths through the geometric method, have attracted and challenged readers for more than three hundred years. In Spinoza and the Cunning of Imagination, Eugene Garver uses the imagination as a guiding thread to this work. Other readers have looked at the imagination to account for Spinoza's understanding of politics and religion, but this is the first inquiry to see it as central to the Ethics as a whole--imagination as a quality to be cultivated, and not simply overcome. ​Spinoza initially presents imagination as an inadequate and confused way of thinking, always inferior to ideas that adequately represent things as they are. It would seem to follow that one ought to purge the mind of imaginative ideas and replace them with rational ideas as soon as possible, but as Garver shows, the Ethics don't allow for this ultimate ethical act until one has cultivated a powerful imagination. This is, for Garver, "the cunning of imagination." The simple plot of progress becomes, because of the imagination, a complex journey full of reversals and discoveries. For Garver, the "cunning" of the imagination resides in our ability to use imagination to rise above it.

Being and Reason

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Being and Reason by Martin Lin Book Summary:

In Being and Reason, Martin Lin offers a new interpretation of Spinoza's core metaphysical doctrines with attention to how and why, in Spinoza, metaphysical notions are entangled with cognitive, logical, and epistemic ones. For example, according to Spinoza, a substance is that which can beconceived through itself and a mode is that which is conceived through another. Thus, metaphysical notions, substance and mode, are defined through a notion that is either cognitive or logical, being conceived through. What are we to make of the intimate connections that Spinoza sees betweenmetaphysical, cognitive, logical, and epistemic notions? Or between being and reason? Lin argues against idealist readings according to which the metaphysical is reducible to or grounded in something epistemic, logical, or psychological. He maintains that Spinoza sees the order of being and theorder of reason as two independent structures that mirror one another. In the course of making this argument, he develops new interpretations of Spinoza's notions of attribute and mode, and of Spinoza's claim that all things strive for self-preservation. Lin also argues against prominent idealistreadings of Spinoza according to which the Principle of Sufficient Reason is absolutely unrestricted for Spinoza and is the key to his system. He contends, rather, that Spinoza's metaphysical rationalism is a diverse phenomenon and that the Principle of Sufficient Reason is limited to claims aboutexistence and nonexistence which are applied only once by Spinoza to the case of the necessary existence of God.

Maimonides's Guide of the Perplexed; in Translation

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Maimonides's Guide of the Perplexed; in Translation by Josef Stern,James T. Robinson,Yonatan Shemesh Book Summary:

Moses Maimonides's Guide of the Perplexed is the greatest philosophical text in the history of Jewish thought and a major work of the Middle Ages. For almost all of its history, however, the Guide has been read and commented upon in translation--in Hebrew, Latin, Spanish, French, English, and other modern languages--rather than in its original Judeo-Arabic. This volume is the first to tell the story of the translations and translators of Maimonides' Guide and its impact in translation on philosophy from the Middle Ages to the present day. A collection of essays by scholars from a range of disciplines, the book unfolds in two parts. The first traces the history of the translations of the Guide, from medieval to modern renditions. The second surveys its influence in translation on Latin scholastic, early modern, and contemporary Anglo-American philosophy, as well as its impact in translation on current scholarship. Interdisciplinary in approach, this book will be essential reading for philosophers, historians, and religious studies scholars alike.

Spinoza on Reason

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Spinoza on Reason by Michael LeBuffe Book Summary:

In his work on metaphysics, Spinoza associates reasons with causes or explanations. He contends that there is a reason for whatever exists and whatever does not exist. In his account of the human mind, Spinoza makes reason a peculiarly powerful kind of idea and the only source of our knowledge of objects in experience. In his moral theory, Spinoza introduces dictates of reason, which are action-guiding prescriptions. In politics, Spinoza suggests that reason, with religion, motivates cooperation in society. Reason shapes Spinoza's philosophy, and central debates about Spinoza-including his place in the history of philosophy and in the European Enlightenment-turn upon our understanding of these claims. Spinoza on Reason starts with striking claims in each of these areas, which Michael LeBuffe draws from Spinoza's two great works, the Ethics and the Theological Political Treatise. The book takes each characterization of reason on its own terms, explaining the claims and their historical context. While acknowledging the striking variety of reason's roles, LeBuffe emphasizes the extent to which these different doctrines build upon one another. The result is a rich understanding of the meaning and function of each claim and, in the book's conclusion, an overview of the contribution of reason to the systematic coherence of Spinoza's philosophy.

Essays on Spinoza's Ethical Theory

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Essays on Spinoza's Ethical Theory by Andrew Youpa Book Summary:

Thirteen original essays by leading scholars explore aspects of Spinoza's ethical theory and, in doing so, deepen our understanding of the richly rewarding core of his system. Given its importance to his philosophical ambitions, it is surprising that his ethics has, until recently, received relatively little scholarly attention. Anglophone philosophy has tended to focus on Spinoza's contribution to metaphysics and epistemology, while philosophy in continental Europe has tended to show greater interest in his political philosophy. This tendency is problematic not only because it overlooks a central part of Spinoza's project, but also because it threatens to present a distorted picture of his philosophy. Moreover, Spinoza's ethics, like other branches of his philosophy, is complex, difficult, and, at times, paradoxical. The essays in this volume advance our understanding of his ethics and also help us to appreciate it as the centerpiece of his system. In addition to resolving interpretive difficulties and advancing longstanding debates, these essays point the direction for future research. Spinoza's enduring contribution to the development of ethical theory, to early modern philosophy, and indeed to early modern history generally, provide us with good reason to follow the lead of these essays.

Spinoza's Revolutions in Natural Law

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Spinoza's Revolutions in Natural Law by A. Campos Book Summary:

This first analysis of Spinoza's philosophy of law shows that he revolutionizes modern philosophy from within by developing an entirely new natural law theory connecting his ontology to radically democratic political views.

Spinoza in Germany from 1670 to the Age of Goethe

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Spinoza in Germany from 1670 to the Age of Goethe by David Bell,David R. Bell Book Summary:

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Spinoza: Theological-Political Treatise

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Spinoza: Theological-Political Treatise by Jonathan Israel,Michael Silverthorne Book Summary:

Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise (1670) is one of the most important philosophical works of the early modern period. In it Spinoza discusses at length the historical circumstances of the composition and transmission of the Bible, demonstrating the fallibility of both its authors and its interpreters. He argues that free enquiry is not only consistent with the security and prosperity of a state but actually essential to them, and that such freedom flourishes best in a democratic and republican state in which individuals are left free while religious organizations are subordinated to the secular power. His Treatise has profoundly influenced the subsequent history of political thought, Enlightenment 'clandestine' or radical philosophy, Bible hermeneutics, and textual criticism more generally. It is presented here in a translation of great clarity and accuracy by Michael Silverthorne and Jonathan Israel, with a substantial historical and philosophical introduction by Jonathan Israel.

The ways of philosophy

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The ways of philosophy by Milton Karl Munitz Book Summary:

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Spinoza

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Spinoza by Gilles Deleuze Book Summary:

Spinoza's theoretical philosophy is one of the most radical attempts to construct a pure ontology with a single infinite substance. This book, which presents Spinoza's main ideas in dictionary form, has as its subject the opposition between ethics and morality, and the link between ethical and ontological propositions. His ethics is an ethology, rather than a moral science. Attention has been drawn to Spinoza by deep ecologists such as Arne Naess, the Norwegian philosopher; and this reading of Spinoza by Deleuze lends itself to a radical ecological ethic. As Robert Hurley says in his introduction, "Deleuze opens us to the idea that the elements of the different individuals we compose may be nonhuman within us. One wonders, finally, whether Man might be defined as a territory, a set of boundaries, a limit on existence." Gilles Deleuze, known for his inquiries into desire, language, politics, and power, finds a kinship between Spinoza and Nietzsche. He writes, ""Spinoza did not believe in hope or even in courage; he believed only in joy and in vision . . . he more than any other gave me the feeling of a gust of air from behind each time I read him, of a witch's broom that he makes one mount. Gilles Deleuze was a professor of philosophy at the University of Paris at Vincennes. Robert Hurley is the translator of Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality.

The Calcutta review

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The Calcutta review by N.A Book Summary:

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The Explicability of Experience

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The Explicability of Experience by Ursula Renz Book Summary:

This book reconstructs Spinoza's theory of the human mind against the backdrop of the twofold notion that subjective experience is explainable and that its successful explanation is of ethical relevance, because it makes us wiser, freer, and happier. Doing so, the book defends a realist rationalist interpretation of Spinoza's approach which does not entail commitment to an ontological reduction of subjective experience to mere intelligibility. In contrast to a long-standing tradition of Hegelian reading of Spinoza's Ethics, it thus defends the notion that the experience of finite subjects is fully real.

Calcutta Review

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Calcutta Review by N.A Book Summary:

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Kant's Theory of the Self

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Kant's Theory of the Self by Arthur Melnick Book Summary:

The self for Kant is something real, and yet is neither appearance nor thing in itself, but rather has some third status. Appearances for Kant arise in space and time where these are respectively forms of outer and inner attending (intuition). Melnick explains the "third status" by identifying the self with intellectual action that does not arise in the progression of attending (and so is not appearance), but accompanies and unifies inner attending. As so accompanying, it progresses with that attending and is therefore temporal--not a thing in itself. According to Melnick, the distinction between the self or the subject and its thoughts is a distinction wholly within intellectual action; only such a non-entitative view of the self is consistent with Kant's transcendental idealism. As Melnick demonstrates in this volume, this conception of the self clarifies all of Kant's main discussions of this issue in the Transcendental Deduction and the Paralogisms of Pure Reason.

Writings on Political Philosophy

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Writings on Political Philosophy by Benedictus de Spinoza Book Summary:

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Of Human Bondage

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Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham Book Summary:

A nine year old boy's mother dies shortly after the death of his father. He is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in a small East-Anglian village, where his uncle is vicar. This uncle holds the boy's significant inheritance for him until he comes of age, giving him unlimited power over the boy. The novel is considered a masterpiece, and is also highly autobiographical, though Maugham claimed: "This is a novel, not an autobiography, though much in it is autobiographical, more is pure invention."

Epoché

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Epoché by N.A Book Summary:

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Spinoza: 1880-1888

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Spinoza: 1880-1888 by Wayne I. Boucher Book Summary:

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Spinoza

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Spinoza by Olli Koistinen Book Summary:

This collection of previously unpublished essays on Spinoza provides a sample of new and interesting research on the philosopher. The essays investigate such themes as Spinoza's monism, the nature of the individual, the relation between mind and body, and his place in 17th century philosophy.

Spinoza on Human Freedom

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Spinoza on Human Freedom by Matthew J. Kisner Book Summary:

Spinoza was one of the most influential figures of the Enlightenment, but his often obscure metaphysics makes it difficult to understand the ultimate message of his philosophy. Although he regarded freedom as the fundamental goal of his ethics and politics, his theory of freedom has not received sustained, comprehensive treatment. Spinoza holds that we attain freedom by governing ourselves according to practical principles, which express many of our deepest moral commitments. Matthew J. Kisner focuses on this theory and presents an alternative picture of the ethical project driving Spinoza's philosophical system. His study of the neglected practical philosophy provides an accessible and concrete picture of what it means to live as Spinoza's ethics envisioned.

The Spiritual Automaton

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The Spiritual Automaton by Eugene Marshall Book Summary:

Eugene Marshall presents an original, systematic account of Spinoza's philosophy of mind, in which the mind is presented as an affective mechanism, one that, when rational, behaves as a spiritual automaton. The account provides a consistent yet novel way of thinking about central themes in Spinoza's thought, and illuminates Spinoza's systematic philosophical and ethical project in a striking new way.

The Great Ideas Today, 1972

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The Great Ideas Today, 1972 by Robert Maynard Hutchins,Mortimer Jerome Adler,Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc Book Summary:

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Exemplarist Moral Theory

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Exemplarist Moral Theory by Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski Book Summary:

In Exemplarist Moral Theory of Linda Zagzebski presents an original moral theory based on direct reference to exemplars of goodness, whom we identify through the emotion of admiration. Using examples of heroes, saints, and sages, she shows how narratives of exemplars and empirical work on the most admirable persons can be incorporated into the theory to serve both theoretical and practical purposes.

Spinoza and Education

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Spinoza and Education by Johan Dahlbeck Book Summary:

Spinoza and Education offers a comprehensive investigation into the educational implications of Spinoza’s moral theory. Taking Spinoza’s naturalism as its point of departure, it constructs a considered account of education, taking special care to investigate the educational implications of Spinoza’s psychological egoism. What emerges is a counterintuitive form of education grounded in the egoistic striving of the teacher to persevere and to flourish in existence while still catering to the ethical demands of the students and the greater community. In providing an educational reading of Spinoza’s moral theory, this book sets up a critical dialogue between educational theory and recent studies which highlight the centrality of ethics in Spinoza’s overall philosophy. By placing his work in a contemporary educational context, chapters explore a counterintuitive conception of education as an ethical project, aimed at overcoming the desire to seek short-term satisfaction and troubling the influential concept of the student as consumer. This book also considers how education, from a Spinozistic point of view, may be approached in terms of a kind of cognitive therapy serving to further a more scientifically adequate understanding of the world and aimed at combating prejudices and superstition. Spinoza and Education demonstrates that Spinoza’s moral theory can further an educational ideal, where notions of freedom and self-preservation provide the conceptual core of a coherent philosophy of education. As such, it will appeal to researchers, academics and postgraduate students in the fields of philosophy of education, theory of education, critical thinking, philosophy, ethics, and Spinoza studies.

The Man of Reason

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The Man of Reason by Genevieve Lloyd Book Summary:

This new edition of Genevieve Lloyd's classic study of the maleness of reason in philosophy contains a new introduction and bibliographical essay assessing the book's place in the explosion of writing and gender since 1984.

Freedom and History

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Freedom and History by Richard Peter McKeon Book Summary:

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Karl Marx on Technology and Alienation

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Karl Marx on Technology and Alienation by A. Wendling Book Summary:

The author draws on lesser known archival materials, including Marx's notebooks on women and patriarchy and technology to offer a new interpretation of Marx's concept of alienation as this concept develops in his later works.

A Theologico-Political Treatise

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A Theologico-Political Treatise by Benedictus de Spinoza Book Summary:

A THEOLOGICO-POLITICAL TREATISE by Spinoza ultimate intention is reveal the truth about Scripture and religion, and thereby to undercut the political power exercised in modern states by religious authorities. He also defends, at least as a political ideal, the tolerant, secular, and democratic polity. Spinoza is one of the most important philosophers—and certainly the most radical—of the early modern period. His extremely naturalistic views on God, the world, the human being and knowledge serve to ground a moral philosophy centered on the control of the passions leading to virtue and happiness. They also lay the foundations for a strongly democratic political thought and a deep critique of the pretensions of Scripture and sectarian religion. Of all the philosophers of the seventeenth century, perhaps none have more relevance today than Spinoza.

Chief Works of Benedict de Spinoza -

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Chief Works of Benedict de Spinoza - by Benedictus de Spinoza Book Summary:

Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

Ethics and Sport in Europe

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Ethics and Sport in Europe by Dominique Bodin,Gaelle Sempé Book Summary:

Defending ethics in sport is vital in order to combat the problems of corruption, violence, drugs, extremism and other forms of discrimination it is currently facing. Sport reflects nothing more and nothing less than the societies in which it takes place. However, if sport is to continue to bring benefits for individuals and societies, it cannot afford to neglect its ethical values or ignore these scourges. The major role of the Council of Europe and the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) in addressing the new challenges to sports ethics was confirmed by the 11th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport, held in Athens on 11 and 12 December 2008. A political impetus was given on 16 June 2010 by the Committee of Ministers, with the adoption of an updated version of the Code of Sports Ethics (Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)9), emphasising the requisite co-ordination between governments and sports organisations. The EPAS prepared the ministerial conference and stepped up its work in an international conference organised with the University of Rennes, which was attended by political leaders, athletes, researchers and officials from the voluntary sector. The key experiences described in the conference and the thoughts that it prompted are described in this publication. All the writers share the concern that the end result should be practical action - particularly in terms of the setting of standards - that falls within the remit of the EPAS and promotes the Council of Europe's core values.

Retribution, Justice, and Therapy

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Retribution, Justice, and Therapy by J.G. Murphy Book Summary:

One might legitimately ask what reasons other than vanity could prompt an author to issue a collection of his previously published essays. The best reason, I think, is the belief that the essays hang together in such a way that, as a book, they produce a whole which is in a sense greater than the sum of its parts. When this happens, as I hope it does in the present case, it is because the essays pursue related themes in such a way that, together, they at least form a start toward the development of a systematic theory on the common foundations supporting the particular claims in the particular articles. With respect to this collection, the essays can all be read as particular ways of pursuing the following general pattern of thought: that a commitment to justice and a respect for rights (and not social utility) must be the foundation of any morally acceptable legal order; that a social contractarian model is the best way to illuminate this foundation; that a retributive theory of punish ment is the only theory of punishment resting on such a foundation and thus is the only morally acceptable theory of punishment; that the twentieth century's faddish movement toward a "scientific" or therapeutic response to crime runs grave risks of undermining the foundations of justice and rights on which the legal order ought to rest; and, finally, that the legitimate worry about the tendency of the behavioral sciences to undermine the values of

Betraying Spinoza

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Betraying Spinoza by Rebecca Goldstein Book Summary:

Part of the Jewish Encounter series In 1656, Amsterdam’s Jewish community excommunicated Baruch Spinoza, and, at the age of twenty–three, he became the most famous heretic in Judaism. He was already germinating a secularist challenge to religion that would be as radical as it was original. He went on to produce one of the most ambitious systems in the history of Western philosophy, so ahead of its time that scientists today, from string theorists to neurobiologists, count themselves among Spinoza’s progeny. In Betraying Spinoza, Rebecca Goldstein sets out to rediscover the flesh-and-blood man often hidden beneath the veneer of rigorous rationality, and to crack the mystery of the breach between the philosopher and his Jewish past. Goldstein argues that the trauma of the Inquisition’ s persecution of its forced Jewish converts plays itself out in Spinoza’s philosophy. The excommunicated Spinoza, no less than his excommunicators, was responding to Europe’ s first experiment with racial anti-Semitism. Here is a Spinoza both hauntingly emblematic and deeply human, both heretic and hero—a surprisingly contemporary figure ripe for our own uncertain age. From the Hardcover edition.

The Road to Inner Freedom

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The Road to Inner Freedom by Baruch Spinoza,Benedictus de Spinoza Book Summary:

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The Concept of a Person

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The Concept of a Person by Alfred Jules Ayer Book Summary:

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The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza

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The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza by Don Garrett,Professor of Philosophy Don Garrett Book Summary:

The essays in this volume provide a clear and systematic exegesis of Spinoza's thought informed by the most recent scholarship.

Spinoza: The Complete Works

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Spinoza: The Complete Works by Baruch Spinoza Book Summary:

The only complete edition in English of Baruch Spinoza's works, this volume features Samuel Shirley’s preeminent translations, distinguished at once by the lucidity and fluency with which they convey the flavor and meaning of Spinoza’s original texts. Michael L. Morgan provides a general introduction that places Spinoza in Western philosophy and culture and sketches the philosophical, scientific, religious, moral and political dimensions of Spinoza’s thought. Morgan’s brief introductions to each work give a succinct historical, biographical, and philosophical overview. A chronology and index are included.