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Posted March 18, 2007
The best scholarly edition in English...
Edwin Curley has given us the most thoroughly annotated translation of Spinoza's metaphysical and ethical writings in English to date. This is a wonderful contribution to all English-speaking readers of Spinoza and is frankly indispenable to any serious student. Anyone who has ever attempted a translation knows what a difficult if not impossible task it is to produce one that is technically accurate and of good literary merit. Curley has succeeded admirably. His translation of the 'Ethics' has become, and is likely to remain for some time, the standard against which others will be measured. He has not produced the 'definitive' translation. That is impossible. You must combine Curley's translation with others available if you want to get a really good understanding of Spinoza's texts. Fortunately, we have been blessed with several recent contributions as well as new editions of older efforts. Even if you don't understand Latin, comparing these various translations with one another will give you an excellent technical grasp of the text material. An understanding of Spinoza's meaning is, of course, another matter. No translation is going to do that for you and Curley makes no pretense in this regard. The present editon is of a high quality and the price is actually very reasonable for a work of this type. If you are serious about Spinoza, this work is mandatory for your library. In addition to this edition you will also want to acquire W. H. White's translation of the 'Ethics' (A new paperback edition is currently available, although I recommend a good used copy of Vol. 31 of the 'Great Books of the Western World' series) Samuel Shirley's excellent 'Spinoza: Complete Works' an outstanding new edition of 'The Ethics' by G. H. R. Parkinson the older two volume 'Works of Spinoza' by R. H. M. Elwes and the underrated 'Ethics and Treatise on the Correction of the Intellect' by Andrew Boyle.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.