It is with the problem of man's place in nature — his relation to God or the total sys tem of things, and the possibility of his free dom — that Spinoza is most directly con cerned. Here he shows that the possibility of man's freedom depends upon his first recog nizing that he is a part of nature, and that his mind, like everything else, is subject to uni form natural laws. Man forms no "kingdom within a kingdom"; it is not contingency or some strange power of free will which governs his mental experiences; but here as elsewhere all takes place according to law and necessity. "Nature's laws and ordinances whereby all things come to pass and change from one form to another are everywhere and always the same. There should, therefore, be one and the same method of understanding the nature of all things whatsoever, viz., through nature's universal laws and rules." Accordingly he proceeds: "I shall consider human actions and desires in exactly the same manner as though I were concerned with lines, planes and solids?' From this standpoint he gives a scientific ac count of the origin and nature of the emotions, showing how they necessarily arise from certain assignable causes, and how their intensity de pends on definite natural conditions. The various emotions are all found to be com pounds of the primary states, pleasure, pain and desire. But this reduction of the emo tions to law is only a preliminary step in Spinoza's treatment. To attain freedom, it is first necessary to recognize the bondage of man, the fixed determination of the emotions through natural laws. But just as knowledge is power in regard to external nature, so we can free ourselves from the emotions by under standing their laws. The mind is, after all, something more than a series of passive states. Its essence consists in an effort to preserve its own being to promote its own good. And in carrying out this purpose it finds that nothing is so serviceable as knowledge. Through knowledge it is possible to free man from the bondage of the emotions. An emotion when understood becomes transformed and ceases to be a mere state of passivity. Moreover, when the conditions of an emotion are understood, it is possible to arrange and associate the various emotions in such a way as to strengthen and promote the occurrence of those that are desir able, and to weaken and repress those which are hurtful. The highest kind of knowledge for Spinoza is not scientific reason, but intu ition, the direct insight that all things follow necessarily from the nature of God and hence form one system. To see all things, not as a series of events in time, but in their necessary logical relation to God, is what Spinoza calls viewing the world under the form of eternity (sub specie crteruitatis). And this highest knowledge gives rise to the intellectual love to ward God (amor intellectualis) which is the highest good or blessedness for man. It is
through the strength of this emotion, which is not a passion but the highest activity of mind, that the other emotions are mose successfully governed and transformed. This intellectual love toward God enables the mind to renounce entirely all finite or personal desires, as well as all envy and jealousy. He that loves God does not demand that God should love him in return"; he demands nothing for himself, but acquiesces completely in the order of the uni verse. Moreover, Spinoza argues that since this knowledge and the intellectual love to which it gives rise are eternal, the mind which experiences these must have something in it which is eternal and which cannot be destroyed with the body. Scholars, however, maintain that it is still doubtful whether Spinoza pro: nounces in favor of individual immortality. An interesting feature of Spinoza's philosophy is the close relation which he always recognizes between the individual and society. It is no merely individual good for which he was seek ing but one which as "many others as possible" might share with him. In numerous passages he approached very near to the modern con ception of the individual as standing in an organic relation to society.
For about a century after Spinoza's death his philosophy was wholly neglected, and his name used by both orthodox and unorthodox writers in a depreciatory way as that of an utter atheist who deserved little attention. Lessing was the first thinker who knew and appreciated Spinoza, and a controversy after his death between Mendelssohn and Jacobi as to Lessing's real opinions did much to spread a knowledge of the system in Germany. Goethe was deeply influenced by Spinoza and helped to awaken interest in the Spinozistic philosophy. Thus, since the beginning of the 19th century, Spinoza's ideas have affected in important ways the development of modern thought. It was Novalis who called Spinoza uThe God-intoxi cated man." Bibliography.— The standard edition of Spinoza's works is that edited by Van Vloten and Land (2 vols., 1882-83; also in a cheaper form, 3 vols., 1895). The chief works have been translated into English by R. H. M. Elwes (Bohn Library, 2 vols.). The (Ethics' and the of the Understanding' are also translated by W. H. White and Miss A. Stiling (2d ed., 1899), and the (Ethics' in part by George S. Fullerton in (The Philosophy of Spinoza' (2d ed., 1894). The best general com mentary in English is Sir F. Pollocles (Spinoza: His Life and Philosophy' (2d ed., 1899). Con sult also Caird, J., (Spinoza' (Edinburgh, 1888) ; Joachim, H. H., (A Study of the Ethics of Spinoza' (Oxford 1901) ; Duff, R. A., (Spinoza's Political and Ethical Philospohy' (Glasgow 1903).