Baruch Spinoza

Dutch philosopher (1632–1677) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Baruch (de) Spinoza[lower-alpha 2] (24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677),[17][18][19] mostly known under his Latinized pen name Benedictus de Spinoza,[20][21] was a leading seventeenth-century philosopher of Portuguese-Jewish origin,[22] resident in the Dutch Republic, and, as a young man, permanently expelled from the Jewish community. After his expulsion, Spinoza lived an outwardly simple life without religious affiliation; the center of his life was philosophy.[23] He had a dedicated clandestine circle of supporters, a philosophical sect, who met to discuss the writings he shared with them in his lifetime, and, immediately following his untimely death, rescued his unpublished writings for posterity.[24]

Quick facts: Baruch Spinoza, Born, Died, Other names,...
Baruch Spinoza
Baruch Espinosa[1] /
Bento de Spinosa[2]

(1632-11-24)24 November 1632
Died21 February 1677(1677-02-21) (aged 44)
The Hague, Dutch Republic
Other namesBenedictus de Spinoza
EducationTalmud Torah of Amsterdam[3]
University of Leiden
(no degree)[5]
Era17th-century philosophy
Age of Enlightenment
RegionWestern philosophy
Correspondence theory of truth[lower-alpha 1][9]
Direct realism[10]
Foundationalism (according to Hegel)[11]
Psychological Egoism[12]
Main interests

One of the foremost thinkers of the Age of Reason,[18] modern biblical criticism,[25] and 17th-century Rationalism, including modern conceptions of the self and the universe,[26] Spinoza came to be considered "one of the most important philosophers—and certainly the most radical—of the early modern period".[27] He was influenced by Stoicism, Maimonides, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, and a variety of heterodox Christian thinkers of his day. [19]

Spinoza challenged the divine origin of the Hebrew Bible, the nature of God, and the earthly power wielded by religious authorities, Jewish and Christian alike. He was frequently called an "atheist" by contemporaries, although nowhere in his work does Spinoza argue against the existence of God.[28][29] This can be explained by the fact that, unlike contemporary 21st century scholars, "When seventeenth-century readers accused Spinoza of atheism, they usually meant that he challenged doctrinal orthodoxy, particularly on moral issues, and not that he denied God’s existence."[30] His theological studies were inseparable from his thinking on politics; he is grouped with Hobbes, Locke, Leibniz, and Kant, who "helped establish the genre of political writing called secular theology."[31]

Spinoza's philosophy encompasses nearly every area of philosophical discourse,[32] including metaphysics, epistemology, political philosophy, ethics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. With an enduring reputation as one of the most original and influential thinkers of the seventeenth century, Rebecca Goldstein calls him "the renegade Jew who gave us modernity."[33]

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