Spinoza has been regarded as a philosophical outsider, ‘at odds with what
became the philosophical mainstream . . . [and] to read him is to glimpse
unrealised possibilities . . . and alternative ways of thinking of minds and
bodies . . . agency and responsibility, of the relation between human beings
and the rest of nature, between reason and the passions.’ and also of freedom.
Today, the controversial philosophy of Spinoza’s Ethics is often
described as all-encompassing and celebrated as ‘one of the most remarkable
metaphysical systems in the entire history of philosophy’.