Benedictus Spiza (1632-77) was among the most important of the post-Cartesian philosophers of the second half of the seventeenth century. He made original contributions in every major area of philosophy. His work reflects the influences of Stoicism, Maimonides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Descartes, and others. Spiza is best kwn for his Ethics, which is often held up as a supreme example of a self-contained metaphysical system intended to explain the universe. Some of his psychological influences, perhaps lesser kwn, anticipated Freud. This book is the first to offer an accessible, encyclopedic account of Spiza's life and ideas, his influences and commentators, and his lasting significance. Some of the best features include an antated chrology of Spiza's life, bibliographies of his major influences and critics, a substantive dictionary of key Spizan concepts, and summaries of Spiza's principal writings. The work concludes with an essay on Spiza's place in modern academic scholarship. This work is a valuable tool for anyone interested in Spiza and the era of great change in which he lived and wrote.
Prof Wiep van Bunge is Dean of the Faculteit der Wijsbegeerte at Rotterdam. He was previously Head of the Philosophy Department and has published extensively on Spinoza and Dutch Philosophy.