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The purpose of this book is to put before English readers an
account, fairly complete in itself and on a fairly adequate scale,
of the life and philosophy of Spinoza. It aims, in the first
instance, at being understood by those who have not made a
special study of the subject ; but my hope, expressed in the first
edition, that it might be of some use to some who already know
Spinoza at first hand, and even to critical students of philosophy, has, I believe, been fulfilled. In this edition I have not thought it desirable to reproduce the critical and bibliographical matter which I formerly collected in this place. Nothing short of a
complete supplement to Van der Linde’s Benedictus Spinoxa :
Bihliografie (The Hague, 1871) would be adequate, and it is
beyond my powers and leisure to undertake such a supplement
at the present day. The first edition remains accessible in
public Hbraries, and the appendix to the title Spinoza in the
British Museum catalogue (now also accessible in print in many
libraries) will guide special students, if desired, to the recent
literature of the subject. A few items of special interest to
English readers have, however, been worked into the body of the
book.

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