Benedict de Spinoza, 1632-1677


Biographical note

Benedictus de Spinoza or Baruch de Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher of Jewish origin, considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy and, by virtue of his magnum opus the posthumous Ethics, one of the definitive ethicists. His writings, like those of his fellow rationalists, reveal considerable mathematical training and facility. Spinoza was a lens crafter by trade, an exciting engineering field at the time because of great discoveries being made by telescopes. The full effect of his work was realized only some time after his death, following the publication of his Opera Posthuma. He is now recognized as having laid the groundwork for the 18th century Enlightenment, and as a founder of modern biblical criticism.

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