Spinoza's other writings

The Principles of Cartesian Philosophy – Mathematician, philosopher and scientist René Descartes died in 1650. His emphasis on the scientific interpertation of the world was new and became the focus of wide intellectual discussion. He advocated metaphysical dualism; a world of both physical and mental phenomena. Spinoza adopted Descartes' view of science and mathematics as the only valid view of the universe. But he did not accept mental phenomena and physical phenomena as separate realms. He reviewed and presented Descartes' point of view in his first published work and the only work published under his own name.

Starting in 1650 Spinoza attended the school of former Jesuit turned radical Franciscus van den Enden to learn Latin, so that he could read scholarly works. In addition to his native Portuguese Spinoza was fluent in Hebrew, Spanish and Dutch. He read widely including Latin versions of classical Greek philosophy and science.

1670. Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (A Theologico-Political Treatise) – Although published anonymously it was well known to be the work of "the Jew from Amsterdam." Spinoza used this book to test what the public reaction might be to some of his advanced ideas before he sent the Ethics out into the world. The Tractatus was banned by the Inquisition and condemned from all sides. In it Spinoza maintained that the language of the Bible was not to be taken literally. He said that in no sense were the Jews a specially chosen people. For him nothing happened contrary to the laws of nature and miracles were merely unexplained events. He wrote, "The masses think the power of (Deus sive Natura) is displayed by extraordinary events and that (Deus sive Natura) is inactive when Nature is working in her accustomed way... Thus they imagine two powers distinct from one another, the power of (Deus sive Natura) and the power of nature." Here Spinoza intimates that what is thought to be two, is, in reality, one; the basic idea of his Ethics.

After Spinoza died (1677) his friends had his manuscripts published.
Tractatus Politicus (an unfinished work on politics)
Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata (The Ethics)
On the Improvement of the Understanding (The Emendation of the Intellect)
A Hebrew Grammar