Readers of Spinoza's philosophy have often been daunted, and sometimes been enchanted, by the geometrical method which he employs in his philosophical masterpiece the Ethics. In Meaning in Spinoza's Method Aaron Garrett examines this method and suggests that its purpose, in Spinoza's view, was not just to present claims and propositions, but also in some sense to change the readers and allow them to look at themselves and the world in a different way. His discussion draws not only on Spinoza's works, but also on those of the philosophers who influenced Spinoza most strongly, including Hobbes, Descartes, Maimonides, and Gersonides. This original and controversial book will be of interest to historians of philosophy and to anyone interested in the relation between form and content in philosophical works.
AARON V. GARRETT is Assistant Professor at Boston University. He has contributed to a number of publications and is the editor of Francis Hutcheson's An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections (2003), and of Animal Rights and Souls in the Eighteenth Century (2000).