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Spinoza's Philosophy of Ratio

Edited by Beth Lord

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Discover Spinoza’s philosophy of ratio, from geometry and reason to bodies, affects and architecture

From his geometrical method to his geometrical examples; from his doctrine of reason to his explanation of bodies in motion; and from his account of the affects to his understanding of social relations, ratio is of prime importance in Spinoza's philosophy.

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Author biographies
Abbreviations of Spinoza’s works
List of figures
Introduction, Beth Lord
1. Spinoza’s Ontology Geometrically Illustrated: A Reading of Ethics IIP8SM, Valtteri Viljanen
2. Reason and Body in Spinoza’s Metaphysics, Michael LeBuffe
3. Ratio and Activity: Spinoza's Biologizing of the Mind in an Aristotelian Key, Heidi M. Ravven
4. Harmony in Spinoza and His Critics, Timothy Yenter
5. Ratio as the basis of Spinoza’s concept of equality, Beth Lord
6. Proportion as a barometer of the affective life in Spinoza, Simon B. Duffy
7. Spinoza, Heterarchical Ontology and Affective Architecture, Gökhan Kodalak
8. Dissimilarity: Spinoza's ethical ratios and housing welfare, Peg Rawes
9. The greater part: How intuition forms better worlds, Stefan White
10. Slownesses and Speeds, Latitudes and Longitudes: In the Vicinity of Beatitude, Hélène Frichot
11. The Eyes of the Mind: Proportion in Spinoza, Swift, Ibn Tufayl, Anthony Uhlmann

About the Author

Beth Lord is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. She is the author of Kant and Spinozism: Transcendental Idealism and Immanence from Jacobi to Deleuze (2011) and Spinoza’s Ethics: an Edinburgh Philosophical Guide (2010), and editor of Spinoza Beyond Philosophy (2012) and the Bloomsbury Companion to Continental Philosophy (2009).


Readers will learn from this book that a philosophy of ratio is not to be conflated with a rationalist philosophy. The authors draw on the three senses of ratio – reason, relation and proportion – to explore their interdependence and, crucially, the emergent and constructed conatus towards equality and wellbeing. This valuable book demonstrates that empiricism and rationalism need not be opposed.

- Andrej Radman, Delft University of Technology

This volume represents an important collective re-thinking of Spinoza’s key concept of ratio. Along with new interpretations of his treatment of the relations between reason and emotion, it offers fascinating insights into the relevance of his philosophy for understanding contemporary issues in relation to artistic practice, architecture and the built environment.

- Genevieve Lloyd, Emeritus Professor in Philosophy, University of New South Wales

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