This page features a collection of the best resources on Spinoza. Just to be clear, there is no single best resource on Spinoza. The best one will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time you want to spend learning about him.
To get started, simply choose one of the links below:
If you want an academic overview of Spinoza:
- Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Spinoza. However, you should keep in mind that the SEP is often quite technical and this article may be difficult for beginners. It’s also quite long at around 14,000 words. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces Spinoza:
“Bento (in Hebrew, Baruch; in Latin, Benedictus) Spinoza is one of the most important philosophers—and certainly the most radical—of the early modern period. His thought combines a commitment to a number of Cartesian metaphysical and epistemological principles with elements from ancient Stoicism, Hobbes, and medieval Jewish rationalism into a nonetheless highly original system. His extremely naturalistic views on God, the world, the human being and knowledge serve to ground a moral philosophy centered on the control of the passions leading to virtue and happiness. They also lay the foundations for a strongly democratic political thought and a deep critique of the pretensions of Scripture and sectarian religion. Of all the philosophers of the seventeenth century, perhaps none have more relevance today than Spinoza. . . .”
If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
If you prefer audio and podcasts:
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can learn by using free online resources. If you want to learn more, check out this list of the best books on or by Spinoza.
For more introductory philosophy resources and reading lists check out this collection of Resources and Reading Lists.