Susan James

Exploring Spinoza is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Susan James, Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London. Susan James is an internationally-renowned Spinoza scholar and author of Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion and Politics and Spinoza on Learning to Live Together which are discussed in detail during this wide-ranging conversation.

After an inspiring story of how she became interested in philosophy, Susan James provides detailed insights into Spinoza’s ideas and their current relevance; the political environment and the theological struggle about who has control of religion and how much freedom of religion there was during Spinoza’s time, and more.  

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, The Rational Humanist, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

  1. Philosophical Beginnings – Cambridge, with a bit of Princeton thrown in 
  2. Setting the Stage – Spinoza: a vignette
  3. Spinozistic Separation – Religion, science and politics
  4. Determinism – Howard gets stuck
  5. Modern Lessons – Mind, body, freedom and fortitudo
  6. The Philosophical Life – Becoming philosophical and doing philosophy



Available in electronic format on all major booksellers, including:





Exploring Spinoza is also part of the five-part Ideas Roadshow CollectionConversations About Philosophy, Volume 2, which is available in both paperback and electronic format.