books of the month
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Spinoza A Guide for the Perplexed by Charles Jarrett

Spinoza A Guide for the Perplexed

Part of the Guides for the Perplexed Series


Spinoza A Guide for the Perplexed by Charles Jarrett

Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to fathom, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material. Benedict de Spinoza is a major philosopher of enduring influence and importance, whose work is encountered by all serious students of Western philosophy; his Ethics is one of the seminal works of moral, religious and political thought. Nevertheless, Spinoza is a considerable challenge for the modern student; his language, rooted in the vocabulary of late medieval scholasticism is frequently opaque, while the esoteric themes explored in his work often require elucidation. Spinoza: A Guide for the Perplexed provides that elucidation, offering a thorough account and analysis of Spinoza's key works and overall philosophical project. The text equips the reader with the necessary means to draw full and clear understanding from Spinoza's often inaccessible language and complex philosophical system and method. His Ethics and political treatises are covered in detail; Spinoza's 'geometrical' approach to his subject is opened up, and his obscure terminology fully explained. The book concludes with a valuable assessment of Spinoza's enduring influence and his relevance for contemporary philosophical debates and concerns. It is an excellent support resource for anyone trying to get to grips with this challenging and important philosopher.


Jarrett's Spinoza: A Guide for the Perplexed (itself part of a relatively new series from Continuum that aids readers equally perplexed by authors as varied as Theodor Adorno, Gilles Deleuze, Thomas Hobbes, and Ludwig Wittgenstein) introduces the reader briefly to Spinoza's historical background and overall place in modern western philosophy...its main task is to present the reader with a detailed account of Spinoza's major works, including the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect (1662), the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670) and the Tractatus Politicus (1675-76), and, of course, his magnum opus, the Ethics (1677)... The perplexed reader who does not even know where to start or how to recognize important shifts in Spinoza's arguments will find these detailed treatments particularly illuminating. Even more useful are the sections at the end of each chapter, entitled Comparison of Spinoza with Others, and Problems and Disputed Issues of Interpretation.. .. For the reader set to wade through the Ethics in particular be that scholar in history, philosophy, literature, or any neighboring field Jarrett's guide could prove an invaluable tool. In this regard, it assumes that the perplexed reader of Spinoza is not the uninitiated, but rather the reader who knows just enough about Spinoza's thought to realize the challenge he/she faces. And for that perplexed reader, Jarrett's book will indeed be the welcome guide its title promises. -Tracie Matysik, H-Net Reviews, November 2008

About the Author

Charles Jarrett is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, New Jersey.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

7th June 2007


Charles Jarrett

More books by Charles Jarrett
Author 'Like for Like'


Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


240 pages


Western philosophy: c 1600 to c 1900



I love reading books I wouldn't normally choose before everyone else gets to read them!

Dawn Lynch

Lovereading are lovely people who send me lovely books. What's not to love?

Gavin Dimmock

Why I love @lovereadinguk? It's in the name - as dedicated lovers of reading, they are perfect matchmakers for helping me find my next read!

Catherine Jenkins

Lovereading helps me decide what real people read.

Kerry Bridges

You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

At Lovereading there are fabulous books available in every genre, with great reviews to help you pick the right book for you.

Teresa O'Halloran

Lovereading is an amazing place to be, the website is wonderful and to me if I'm sad I'll go here and it cheers me up!

Sophia Upton