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One of the most original and penetrating philosophers of all time, Spinoza is also one of the clearest and easiest to understand. His works constitute an important adjunct to understanding Goethe, Hegel, Schelling, Coleridge, Whitehead, Schopenhauer, Wittgenstein, and other writers who were influenced by his thinking. Spinoza's works retain an endless wealth of lucidly expressed and deeply profound analyses of such concepts as God, the universe, pantheism, the role of society, revealed religion, the state, democracy, the mind, the emotions, freedom, and human nature. In A Theologico-Political Treatise, Spinoza presents an eloquent plea for religious liberty, demonstrating that true religion consists of the practice of simple piety, independent of philosophical speculation. Anticipating the methods of modern rationalists, he examines the Bible at length to show that freedom of thought and speech are consistent with the religious life. In the unfinished Political Treatise, Spinoza develops a theory of government founded on common consent. This volume is part of Dover's Philosophical Classics series, a collection of the major works in Western and Eastern philosophy that ranges from ancient Greece to modern times. Its low-priced, high-quality, unabridged editions are ideal for teachers and students as well as for other readers.