Curley does a decent job of translating Spinoza, although his penchant for identifying the Latin vocabulary with English cognates, almost without exception, sometimes lacks sensitivity to the content at hand. Both his introductory essay and selection of texts illustrate his peculiar, if not intriguing, analytical interpretation of Spinoza. For beginning readers of Spinoza, these issues will certainly not obstruct the view of Spinoza's extraordinary system. Advanced students who have not mastered their Latin, should consult Shirley or, dare I say, Elwes, for additional perspective on Spinoza's ideas.
This volume of excerpts from Spinoza's writings, selected and translated by Edwin Curley, provides a surprisingly accessible overview of the life and thought of rationalism's greatest "saint." Curley's translations are crisp, clear and accurate, and his selections well-chosen. The reader unfamiliar with Spinoza and with no background in philosophy is advised to begin with Roger Scruton's _Spinoza_ volume in the Past Masters series, also available from Amazon, and then move on to this extremely helpful volume.