The Collected Works of Spinoza provides, for the first time in English, a truly satisfactory edition of all of Spinoza’s writings, with accurate and readable translations, based on the best critical editions of the original-language texts, done by a scholar who has published extensively on the philosopher’s work.
The centerpiece of this second volume is Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise, a landmark work in the history of biblical scholarship, the first argument for democracy by a major philosopher, and a forceful defense of freedom of thought and expression. This work is accompanied by Spinoza’s later correspondence, much of which responds to criticism of the Theological-Political Treatise. The volume also includes his last work, the unfinished Political Treatise, which builds on the foundations of the Theological-Political Treatise to offer plans for the organization of nontyrannical monarchies and aristocracies.
The elaborate editorial apparatus—including prefaces, notes, glossary, and indexes—assists the reader in understanding one of the world’s most fascinating, but also most difficult, philosophers. Of particular interest is the glossary-index, which provides extensive commentary on Spinoza’s technical vocabulary.
A milestone of scholarship more than forty-five years in the making, The Collected Works of Spinoza is an essential edition for anyone with a serious interest in Spinoza or the history of philosophy.
Awards and Recognition
- One of The Times Literary Supplement’s Books of the Year 2016, chosen by Clare Carlisle
Edwin Curley is professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Michigan. His books include A Spinoza Reader, Behind the Geometrical Method: A Reading of Spinoza's "Ethics," and Spinoza's Metaphysics. He is also the author of Descartes Against the Skeptics and the editor of an edition of Hobbes's Leviathan. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
"The Collected Works of Spinoza has been the labour of a lifetime, and it provides us with a fluent, meticulous, consistent and usefully annotated English version of everything Spinoza wrote (except the Hebrew grammar), and a fresh opportunity to see his arguments in detail and to see them whole."—Jonathan Rée, London Review of Books
"A magnificent achievement and a beautiful companion to the first volume. This edition will last—I'm hesitant to say forever—but it's hard for me to see how it will ever be surpassed."—Steven Smith, Yale University
"A monument to scholarship [which] promises to inspire new research in the field. . . . Other good translations of these works now exist, but they do not compare to the depth or importance of the scholarly apparatus that accompanies this one. . . . For this volume, and all that Edwin Curley has brought to Spinoza scholarship, we should be grateful."—Michael A. Rosenthal, Journal of the History of Philosophy
"[A] major and brilliantly executed editorial project. . . . Terrific."—Wiep van Bunge, Renaissance Quarterly
"With this volume, Edwin Curley completes his ambitious project to make Spinoza's difficult thought accessible to an English-speaking audience. Curley's edition sets a very high standard, not only for translation, but for scholarly editions of every kind. His translations are both philosophically astute and readable, while his notes inform the reader of the latest results of textual scholarship. Furthermore, his multilingual glossary-index is an invaluable guide to Spinoza's often idiosyncratic vocabulary. This is an edition of Spinoza for the ages: students and scholars will be reading Curley's Spinoza for many years to come."—Daniel Garber, Princeton University
"This is not just an extraordinarily important and beautifully rendered translation, but a magisterial work of scholarship. The long-awaited second volume, which includes the political writings and later letters, is especially welcome. Curley's edition of Spinoza's writings will, and should, remain the standard text of Spinoza in English for generations to come."—Steven Nadler, author of A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza's Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age