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Publisher's Summary

Spinoza's brilliant metaphysical system was derived neither from reality nor experience. Starting from basic assumptions, with a series of geometric proofs he built a universe which was also God, one and the same thing, the classic example of pantheism. Although his system seems an oddity today, Spinoza's conclusions are deeply in accord with modern thought, from science (the holistic ethics of today's ecologists) to politics (the idea that the state exists to protect the individual). Both Spinoza's system and conclusions have compelling beauty unequaled in the history of philosophy.

In Spinoza in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Spinoza's life and ideas, and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Spinoza's work, a brief list of suggested readings for those who wish to delve deeper, and chronologies that place Spinoza within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.

©1998 Paul Strathern (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Well-written, clear, and informed, they have a breezy wit about them. I find them hard to stop reading." (The New York Times)

What listeners say about Spinoza in 90 Minutes

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Useful for the Beginner

It can take a lot to sit down and digest 17th century Philosophy. I was interested in Spinoza because he's often mentioned as a proponent of Pantheism. The narrator is excellent (the same, BTW, as for A Short History of Everything - 5 stars). 90 minutes was just about right. Very useful for getting acquianted with Spinoza for the first time.

7 people found this helpful

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It felt.like an undergrad research paper.

While it started with a nice tongue-in-cheek style and have a decent biography of the man, the book itself mostly expressed the author's opinions on the philosophy with little support. It felt like an undergrad research paper than an introduction to the works of one of the giants of philosophy.

3 people found this helpful

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Silly Spinoza

This version of "90 Minutes" wasn't as good as the one on Hegel. The author made Spinoza out to be pretty goofy and introverted, more interested in eating raisin soup than educating others in philosophy. Id like to have heard more about his ideas of pantheism, than his eating habits. According to the author Spinoza died early because of his grinding away at lenses, which he swallowed and caused him to die at an early age.

3 people found this helpful

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Interesting, clear and enticing

This is a good introduction to Spinoza's life and work. Reading his work will be easier since we already can place them within the context of his time and life.

2 people found this helpful

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Straight to the point!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would. This book was a great way to familiarize one-self with Spinoza quickly and efficiently.

What other book might you compare Spinoza in 90 Minutes to and why?

This question does not compute. Clearly audible made poor choices in outsourcing this website. lol

What does Robert Whitfield bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

WTF? this question is unanswerable.

If you could give Spinoza in 90 Minutes a new subtitle, what would it be?

I would not.

Any additional comments?

Again, great audio book, straight to the point and useful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • g
  • 06-19-22

Very nice summary of his life and thought

These 90-minute summaries are great for getting to the main points of a philosopher's ideas. I learned about Spinoza's personal life in the Jewish community, the failed assassination attempt on him, and his excommunication. I learned about his philosophy and his books as well. The end of the book goes through a timeline of major events of the world and events in Spinoza's life.

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An Opinion

If you want to be told what to think about Spinoza without doing any work to form your newfound opinion, this is the book for you. The book is factual and an easy listen. However, it conveys little with regard to the matters to which Spinoza dedicated the waking, thoughtful hours of his existence.

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  • KC
  • 03-20-22

Grateful, humble and inspired.

The death of personal prestige is paramount. Your book is as if cliff notes to nirvana. Thank you, if I could I would give a copy to billions and if read enlightenment would ensue. As for now I can only repair myself and that’s a losing battle.

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too much fluff

author added a lot of their own color and opinions. unless one is in the philosophical know, not helpful

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  • ZA
  • 01-05-22

Very Informative

It is a comprehensive overview, intelligent and thorough.

The narrator performed well and held my attention.