God is good : the harmony between Judaism and enlightenment philosophy -- Philosophy and law : shaping Judaism for the modern world -- Either/or : Jacobi's attack on the moderate enlightenment -- Enlightenment reoriented : Mendelssohn's pragmatic religious idealism.
This chapter argues that in the Ethics Spinoza seeks to guide the reader to enlightenment. It explores how Spinoza decided to begin his quest for enlightenment before turning to two paths to enlightenment he presents in the Ethics. Spinoza contrasts the “things which regularly occur in ordinary life” with the “true good”. Spinoza is aware of modern skepticism that a path to mental tranquility and reliable joy can be found. Like Aristotle, Spinoza contrasts the “true good” with three main conventional (...) goods: wealth, honor, and sense pleasures. Spinoza observes that by focusing on uncertainty, fear highlights our lack of knowledge and power. Spinoza also describes how the Serpent effects a moral transformation. For Spinoza, God's infinite attributes are expressed through the finite modes. (shrink)