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Freedom is learning to like what it’s rational to like: Spinoza’s ‘abominable heresies’

Today, the philosophical treatise known as the Ethics (1677) by Baruch Spinoza is widely considered a masterwork of philosophy. But at the time of its publication, Spinoza’s radical vision of God as synonymous with nature was enough for the Portuguese-Jewish congregation of Amsterdam to excommunicate him for ‘abominable heresies’. In this short video from the London Review of Books, the British philosopher and historian Jonathan Rée dissects the radical rationalism of the Ethics, elucidating Spinoza’s once-unconventional views on God, freedom and the necessity of approaching the world with an ‘intellectual love’ above all else.

Video by the London Review of Books

Producer: Anthony Wilks

20 December 2019

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