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   This hypertext version of Spinoza's Ethics, On the Improvement of the Understanding (referred to here as TEI - Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect), Theological-Political Treatise (TPT), Short Treatise On God, Man, and His Well-Being (ST), and Metaphysical Thoughts (MT) plus Selected Correspondence (Corr.) was designed to work in a "Split-Frame" mode and requires browser frame support for best access. If you do not see a separate page, in a browser frame, below or above this page, then just select "HOME" at the top of this page and then take the "MENU: Spinoza's Works" link to return here in frame mode. If your browser does not support frames you might still be able to navigate through the complete text but you will not be able to view two areas at once along with the left-hand menu.

   In the "Split-Frame" mode each of the links in the left-hand menu frame will bring the associated page into the right-hand upper frame. Use the upper frame for the primary area under study. All reference links (i.e. non page-navigation links) in the upper frame will bring the associated area into the lower frame. This way you can view both the original area under study (upper) and each selected supporting reference (lower) at the same time. Links in the lower frame will bring the associated area into the lower frame allowing you to further trace references while keeping the original area in view in the upper frame. Also notice you can move the frame separation bar up or down to change the relative size of upper and lower frames. For that matter, you can change the position of the vertical separator too. You may wish to do this to narrow the right hand frames for readability if you keep your browser in full-screen mode and use a high-resolution display.

   A word about the common links found centered at the beginning of each entry labeled "PREV-NEXT-THIS-UPPER-TOP". The first three bring the associated section to the top of the particular frame so PREV and NEXT will usually only be clicked on the entry at the top of the frame. This way you can keep the mouse at that fixed location and move forward or backward through the entries. If you see an entry in the middle portion of a frame you can bring it to the top of that frame by clicking its THIS link. Any of the TOP links will reposition the current page title area to the top of that frame. Another feature is the "UPPER" link. Let's say you are viewing a supporting reference in the lower frame and decide you want to make it the primary area of study. Selecting its "UPPER" link will open a copy of that entry in the upper frame making it the new primary area under study while you view its references in the lower frame. Selecting an "UPPER" link in the upper frame has the same effect as selecting the associated "THIS" link, repositioning the entry to the top of the upper frame.

   If you have frame support but would prefer a full-screen view either size the lower frame manually to fill the window or simply select the "Maximize Lower Frame" link at bottom of the menu on the left. You should then see just the lower frame with a small sizing border at the left and top of the browser window. Use these borders to resize back to normal split-frame mode or go to HOME and re-enter via "Spinoza's Works" link. Note that expanding the upper frame in a similar manner will not work as well since most of the links there cause selection into the lower frame which would be invisible.

   Note: This document does not explicitly specify font style or size (only relative size in some places). As displays vary in total pixels from perhaps 640 x 480 to 1024 x 768 and beyond you may want to use your browser's ability to change the default font style and/or size for ease of on-screen reading. If you haven't used this feature before look under your browser's "options" for "fonts" and noting the current settings experiment by changing both size and style to suit your taste. There may also be a separate menu or toolbar item that allows you to temporarily increase or decrease the default font size.

   Also Note: You may have to click on a link more than once to get the browser to position the selection to the top of the frame. This failure is inconsistent and the same link that failed one time will often work fine the next. This is more of a problem if you are navigating within a frame since the link you are coming from is usually no longer visible. It often seems to stop short of the target so you may see it within the frame and can click its "THIS" link or use the scroll bar. You can also try the "Back" button on your browser to return to the original link and try clicking it again. When a reference link from the upper frame fails to position the selection properly in the lower frame just click again on the link in the upper frame. I am investigating the problem and will fix it if I can. It may however be a quirk of a particular browser version being used.

  • 1/19/2010: Since Spinoza makes a distinction between Imagination and Understanding I have included the original Latin term in The Ethics where Elwes has translated some form of the Latin "imagin..." to some form of the English "conceive." I have left the text unmarked where he translates some form of the Latin "concip..." to some form of the English "conceive" or where he translates some form of the Latin "imagin..." to some form of the English "imagine."

    Although, on careful reading, the context may have made the meaning clear I believe the appropriate form of the term "imagine" would be more in keeping with Spinoza's explanation of the passivity of the imagination and his comment in Ethics 2, Def. 3 that; "...conception seems to express an activity of the mind." Also, Curley and Shirley both seem to translate to the appropriate form of "imagine" in these places although I did not cross check exhaustively and just relied on a comparison with the Latin. Here is an example:

    ===== E3: PROP. 19:
    He who conceives [imaginatur] that the object of his love is destroyed will feel pain; if he conceives [imaginatur] that it is preserved he will feel pleasure.

    Proof.--The mind, as far as possible, endeavours to conceive [imaginari] those things which increase or help the body's power of activity (E3P12); in other words (E3P13CN), those things which it loves. But conception [imaginatio] is helped by those things which postulate the existence of a thing, ...

  • 5/27/2009: With many thanks to Paul Palmer I have corrected two errors in the Metaphysical Thoughts text. In MT101-P12 the word "not" in the second sentence has been removed and in MT103-P06 "extension" was corrected to "existence" in the first sentence.
  • 4/13/2008: Minor OCR copy corrections (done on occasion as discovered) and modified list of corrections (deleted 1 suspect correction probably not an error.)
  • 3/15/2008: Addition to list of corrections; for Pg. 268.
  • 9/1/2007: Addition to list of corrections; for Pg. 115.
  • 5/19/2004: Modified headings for Letters 39, 40 (35), and 41 (36) in the Selected Correspondence section to include the following note: [the Elwes translation shows this as Christian Huyghens, Shirley and others show it as John Hudde.]
  • 3/10/2004: Addition to list of corrections; for Pg. 117.
  • 5/29/2002: Included (on this page) a list of corrections applied to the R.H.M. Elwes text of The Ethics including page numbers for the Dover edition.
    Also be aware that occasionally corrections to the text or additions to the Topic Index are made without noting them here.
  • 1/21/2001: Modified the Emotion list in the Topic Index per several corrections/suggestions by Rudolf W. Meijer whose excellent Latin Spinoza site I highly recommend.
  • 10/3/2000: Modified target frame for each of the Ethics "Contents" pages so pages linked to in upper frame appear in lower frame.
  • 4/1/2000: Added several letters written by Spinoza which were inadvertently left out. Also some minor corrections to text and an addition to "Studies" section.
  • 12/29/99: Added "Studies" to left menu. This is a work in progress and is intended to bring together related topics with associated reference links.
  • 12/4/99 - 12/27/99: Continuing corrections to and expansion of Topic Index.
  • 12/4/99: Added the text of "Metaphysical Thoughts" (Cogitata Metaphysica) --the appendix to Spinoza's "The Principles of Descartes' Philosophy", Halbert Hains Britan translation, 1905.
    Note that I believe this translation is now beyond copyright protection as it was copyrighted in 1905.
  • 3/19/99 - 12/2/99: Continuing corrections to and expansion of Topic Index.
  • 3/18/99: Added the text of the Short Treatise "On God, Man, And His Well-Being", A. Wolf translation, 1910.
    Note that I believe this translation is now beyond copyright protection since it is over 50 years since Wolf's death.
  • 11/21/98 - 12/23/98: Continuing corrections and expansion of Topic Index.
  • 10/10/98: Added Emotion Menu to left frame.
  • 7/29/98 - 9/27/98: Continuing corrections and expansion of Topic Index.
  • 7/05/98: Added Wolfson's Outline to Topic Index at "W" and link in left menu. This closely follows chapter titles found in his "The Philosophy of Spinoza".
  • 6/13/98: Added "Split-Frame" Tutorial.
  • 6/08/98: Continuing corrections and additions to Topic Index.
  • 6/03/98: OCR'd and added text of Correspondence written By Spinoza.
  • 4/20/98 - 5/24/98: Continuing corrections and additions to Topic Index.
  • 4/15/98: Added "Maximize Lower Frame" to Menu and added text to this page (please read).
  • 4/14/98: Added text of "The Theological-Political Treatise". Also made navigation links at top of pages more uniform across ducuments.
    A word here about the source of the text used. Many thanks go to Joseph B. Yesselman at Spinoza's Insights who made the TPT text available to the public domain through the Gutenberg Project. Having OCR'd The Ethics and TEI myself several years ago I know how much work is involved. Depending on the state of the printed pages used and the limits of OCR-centric spellchecking, documents of this length can pose quite a challenge.
  • 4/12/98: Corrected a few more links. Continued expansion of Topic Index.
  • 4/03/98: Corrected a few more links. Added navigation links to Topic Index. Continued expansion of Topic Index.
  • 3/30/98: Added links found in Curley, but not in Elwes to match previous additions to "Referenced in" lists. Also corrected some references and modified some paragraphing for readability.
  • 3/23/98: Verified and modified "Referenced in" links. These include references found in Curley, but not in Elwes.
    Many thanks to Lance Fletcher at Free Lance Academy - Spinoza, etc. slow reading whose "Index of Implication" was used as a base.
  • 3/20/98: Modified paragraph numbering in TEI to follow Curley.
    Many thanks to Joseph B. Yesselman at Spinoza's Insights for his suggestions and support.
  • 3/18/98: Added text of "On the Improvement of the Understanding" (TEI).
  • 3/17/98: Added "UPPER" links to Ethics.
Corrections to (or clarifications of) the R.H.M. Elwes translation of Spinoza's Ethics as found in the Dover edition reprint of the Bohn Library edition. These were checked against either or both of the Curley and Shirley translations in most cases.
Correction Dover page Element As printed: Should be:
(1.) Pg. 47: I, Prop. IV. "(see Ax. iv.)" "(see Def. iv.)"
(2.) Pg. 47: I, Prop. V. "(Deff. iii. and vi.)" "(Deff. iii and Ax. vi.)"
(3.) Pg. 60: I, Prop. XVII., Corollary II., Note. "...that it should not follow from the nature of a triangle, that its three interior angles should not be equal to two right angles;" [One or the other of the words "not" should be deleted since he is clearly trying to express an "absurdity" while the statement as written is true and not absurd (i.e. it is true that it does not follow from the nature of a triangle that its three interior angles are not equal to two right angles.) Notice the double negative.]
(4.) Pg. 92: II, Prop. XIII., Corollary. [missing] "Hence it follows that man is composed of mind and body, and that the human body exists as we perceive it."
(5.) Pg. 99: II, Prop. XVII., Corollary., Note. "Furthermore (II. vii. Coroll.," "Furthermore (II. xvii. Coroll.,"
(6.) Pg. 115: II, Prop. XLIII., Note. "...I have set forth very clearly in II. xix and II. xxxv. with the note." "...I have set forth very clearly in II. xix up to II. xxxv. with the note."
(7.) Pg. 117: II, Prop. XLV. "...of the said thing (II. viii.)." and "--that is (I. vi.)" "...of the said thing (II. viii. Coroll.)." and "--that is (I. Def. vi.)" [2 corrections]
(8.) Pg. 130: III, Prop. I. "essence of the mind (II. x. Coroll.)" "essence of the mind (II. xi. Coroll.)"
(9.) Pg. 143: III, Prop. XVIII. "that is (II. xvi. Coroll.)" "that is (II. xvi. Coroll. ii.)"
(10.) Pg. 144: III, Prop. XIX. "in other words (III. xii. note), those" "in other words (III. xiii. note), those"
(11.) Pg. 148: III, Prop. XXVII. "to us (II. xvii.); in other words (II. x.)" "to us (II. xvii. Note); in other words (II. xvi.)" [2 corrections]
(12.) Pg. 150: III, Prop. XXX., Note. "As love (III. xiii.)" "As love (III. xiii. Note)"
(13.) Pg. 153: III, Prop. XXXV. "he will be (III. xiii.)" "he will be (III. xiii. Note)"
(14.) Pg. 159: III, Prop. XLIII. "to this extent (III. xxxviii.)" "to this extent (III. xxx.)"
(15.) Pg. 160: III, Prop. XLV. "in other words (III. xiii.)" "in other words (III. xiii. Note)"
(16.) Pg. 171: III, Prop. LIX. "referred to pleasure or pain." "referred to pleasure or desire."[in the text of the proposition itself]
(17.) Pg. 182: III, DOE XXXIV. "Cf. III. xxxix. note and xl." "Cf. III. xxxix. and xli. Note" [3 corrections]
(18.) Pg. 185: III, DOE Emotion (in Explanation) "I say, further, ... a force for existence greater than before." "... a force for existence greater or less than before."
(19.) Pg. 192: IV, Prop. I. "which (IV. iii.)" "which (III. iv.)"
(20a.) Pg. 197: IV, Prop. XII. "as contingent we are affected by" "as contingent we are not affected by"
(20b.) Pg. 197: IV, Prop. XII. "its existence (IV. iv.)" "its existence (IV. Def. iv.)"
(21.) Pg. 213: IV, Prop. XXXVII. Note 1. "to prove in Prop. xviii. of this Part" "to prove in Prop. xviii. Note of this Part"
(22.) Pg. 268: V, Prop. XL., Corollary. Note. "without relation to the body" "without relation to the existing body"
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