Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
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
History of ideas
Tantra is, and was, a subversive philosophy of feminine power
Ancient Greek sculptures were colourful. Why does the white marble ideal persist?
Thinkers and theories
Metaphysics and beyond – Martha Nussbaum on Aristotle’s indelible ideas
Dizzying discs and obscene wordplay – revisiting Marcel Duchamp’s 1926 film debut
Politics and government
Is mass media still ‘manufacturing consent’ in the internet age?
Knowing if you’re awake seems simple. Why has it vexed philosophers for centuries?
Stories and literature
Solaris and beyond – Stanisław Lem’s antidotes to the bores of American sci-fi
Philosophy of language
For Ludwig Wittgenstein, language is a game, but not a frivolous one
Grotesque imagery meets religious conservatism in Hieronymus Bosch’s art