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It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion, it is easy in solitude to live after our own, but the great man is he, who in the midst of the crowd, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The third episode of our four-part series on Baruch de Spinoza takes a close look at his Ethics, and specifically focuses on the first part of the five parts within the literary and philosophical work. His idea of God, or as he referred to it "Deus sive Natura" (God or Nature), is closely examined. For Spinoza God and Nature were interchangeable and God was not a creator of the universe but everything within the universe was God. We briefly discuss pantheism and panentheism, as well as the mind-body problem (monism vs. dualism) and demonstrate his formulation as a rational ontological-like argument for the existence of not only God but determinism, monism, and the nature of human existence. By this point, the consistency within his reason and his dedication, not only to philosophy, but to living a philosophical lifestyle, should be evident and persuasive. Spinoza made lasting contributions to the field of philosophy and is a testament to the link between Eastern and Western thought. In our next episode, we will look further into monism vs. dualism and discuss additional topics mentioned in parts two through five of the Ethics.
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