Readers more interested in Spinoza’s philosophy, and particularly his ethical thinking, might instead turn to Mr. Nadler’s latest book, Think Least of Death: Spinoza on How to Live and How to Die. Spinoza inspires a rare devotion in many who study him. Descartes, Hobbes and Locke are all granted historical importance, but Spinoza is often read as a kind of timeless sage. There exists an entire genre recommending him to modern readers as a philosophical and ethical guide. Think Least of Death is just such a book. As an accessible introduction to the complex thought of Spinoza, it is a success.
In his latest book, Think Least of Death: Spinoza On How To Live And How To Die, Nadler has proven why people turn to him as an indispensable guide to Spinoza. The book mainly explores the last three parts of Spinoza’s famously complicated Ethics ... Like the Ethics, Nadler’s book slowly unfolds. After briefly explaining Spinoza’s theological framework, he goes on to explore a number of issues that stem from it, including what makes a person free, how to live an honest life, the nature of a good friendship, and our ideal attitude toward death. Nadler takes great care with exploring each of these topics ... Though the book is accessible, it is not simply a primer of Spinoza’s thinking. It is clear that Nadler did a great deal of original work ... In Think Least of Death, Steven Nadler has once again written an indispensable book for anyone interested in learning about Baruch Spinoza. But more importantly, though carefully cultivating many of Spinoza’s most relevant topics, he has written a book we can all use to better understand the people we seek to be and the ethical lives we hope to live.