56 Facts About Baruch Spinoza


Baruch Spinoza was a philosopher of Portuguese-Jewish origin, born in Amsterdam, the Dutch Republic, and mostly known under the Latinized pen name Benedictus de Spinoza.


Baruch Spinoza developed highly controversial ideas regarding the authenticity of the Hebrew Bible and the nature of the Divine.


Baruch Spinoza was frequently called an "atheist" by contemporaries, although nowhere in his work does Spinoza argue against the existence of God.


Baruch Spinoza lived an outwardly simple life as an optical lens grinder, collaborating on microscope and telescope lens designs with Constantijn and Christiaan Huygens.


Baruch Spinoza turned down rewards and honours throughout his life, including prestigious teaching positions.


Baruch Spinoza died at the age of 44 in 1677 from a lung illness, perhaps tuberculosis or silicosis exacerbated by the inhalation of fine glass dust while grinding lenses.


Baruch Spinoza is buried in the Christian churchyard of Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague.


Baruch Spinoza's philosophy encompasses nearly every area of philosophical discourse, including metaphysics, epistemology, political philosophy, ethics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science.


Baruch Spinoza's philosophy is largely contained in two books: the Theologico-Political Treatise, and the Ethics.


Baruch Spinoza was the second son of Miguel de Espinoza, a successful, although not wealthy, Portuguese Sephardic Jewish merchant in Amsterdam.


Baruch Spinoza had a traditional Jewish upbringing, attending the Keter Torah yeshiva of the Amsterdam Talmud Torah congregation headed by the learned and traditional senior Rabbi Saul Levi Morteira.


Baruch Spinoza's teachers included the less traditional Rabbi Manasseh ben Israel.


However, Baruch Spinoza never reached the advanced study of the Torah, dropping out at the age of 17 in order to work in the family importing business after the death of his elder brother, Isaac.


Baruch Spinoza duly recited Kaddish, the Jewish prayer of mourning, for eleven months as required by Jewish law.


Some time between 1654 and 1658, Baruch Spinoza began to study Latin with Franciscus van den Enden.


Baruch Spinoza adopted the Latin name Benedictus de Baruch Spinoza, began boarding with Van den Enden, and began teaching in his school.


For example, questioned by two members of his synagogue, Baruch Spinoza apparently responded that God has a body and nothing in scripture says otherwise.


The language of Baruch Spinoza's censure is unusually harsh and does not appear in any other censure known to have been issued by the Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam.


Third, it appears likely that Baruch Spinoza had already taken the initiative to separate himself from the Talmud Torah congregation and was vocally expressing his hostility to Judaism itself, through his philosophical works, such as the Part I of Ethics.


Baruch Spinoza had probably stopped attending services at the synagogue, either after the lawsuit with his sister or after the knife attack on its steps.


Baruch Spinoza kept the Latin name Benedict de Baruch Spinoza, maintained a close association with the Collegiants and Quakers, even moved to a town near the Collegiants' headquarters, and was buried at the Protestant Church, Nieuwe Kerk, The Hague.


Baruch Spinoza spent his remaining 21 years writing and studying as a private scholar.


Baruch Spinoza spent a brief time in or near the village of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, but returned soon afterwards to Amsterdam and lived there quietly for several years, giving private philosophy lessons and grinding lenses, before leaving the city in 1660 or 1661.


In 1660 or 1661, Baruch Spinoza moved from Amsterdam to Rijnsburg, the headquarters of the Collegiants.


In Voorburg, Baruch Spinoza continued work on the Ethics and corresponded with scientists, philosophers, and theologians throughout Europe.


Leibniz visited Baruch Spinoza and claimed that Baruch Spinoza's life was in danger when supporters of the Prince of Orange murdered de Witt in 1672.


Baruch Spinoza was known for making not just lenses but telescopes and microscopes.


The quality of Baruch Spinoza's lenses was much praised by Christiaan Huygens, among others.


Baruch Spinoza was said by anatomist Theodor Kerckring to have produced an "excellent" microscope, the quality of which was the foundation of Kerckring's anatomy claims.


Baruch Spinoza worked on the Ethics, wrote an unfinished Hebrew grammar, began his Political Treatise, wrote two scientific essays, and began a Dutch translation of the Bible.


Baruch Spinoza was offered the chair of philosophy at the University of Heidelberg, but he refused it, perhaps because of the possibility that it might in some way curb his freedom of thought.


Baruch Spinoza corresponded with Peter Serrarius, a radical Protestant and millenarian merchant.


Baruch Spinoza's philosophy has been associated with that of Leibniz and Rene Descartes as part of the rationalist school of thought, which includes the assumption that ideas correspond to reality perfectly, in the same way that mathematics is supposed to be an exact representation of the world.


Early in The Ethics Baruch Spinoza argues that there is only one substance, which is absolutely infinite, self-caused, and eternal.


Baruch Spinoza defined God as "a substance consisting of infinite attributes, each of which expresses eternal and infinite essence", and since "no cause or reason" can prevent such a being from existing, it therefore must exist.


Baruch Spinoza believed that God is "the sum of the natural and physical laws of the universe and certainly not an individual entity or creator".


Baruch Spinoza attempts to prove that God is just the substance of the universe by first stating that substances do not share attributes or essences and then demonstrating that God is a "substance" with an infinite number of attributes, thus the attributes possessed by any other substances must be possessed by God.


Baruch Spinoza argues that "things could not have been produced by God in any other way or in any other order than is the case".


Baruch Spinoza has been described as an "Epicurean materialist", specifically in reference to his opposition to Cartesian mind-body dualism.


Baruch Spinoza deviated significantly from Epicureans by adhering to strict determinism, much like the Stoics before him, in contrast to the Epicurean belief in the probabilistic path of atoms, which is more in line with contemporary thought on quantum mechanics.


That this is what Baruch Spinoza has in mind can be seen at the end of the Ethics, in E5P24 and E5P25, wherein Baruch Spinoza makes two final key moves, unifying the metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical propositions he has developed over the course of the work.


Later in 1665, Baruch Spinoza notified Oldenburg that he had started to work on a new book, the Theologico-Political Treatise, published in 1670.


Baruch Spinoza stated that both religions are made "to deceive the people and to constrain the minds of men".


Jacobi claimed that Baruch Spinoza's doctrine was pure materialism, because all Nature and God are said to be nothing but extended substance.


Baruch Spinoza inspired the poet Shelley to write his essay "The Necessity of Atheism".


Baruch Spinoza has therefore been called the "prophet" and "prince" and most eminent expounder of pantheism.


For Baruch Spinoza, the universe is a mode under two attributes of Thought and Extension.


Baruch Spinoza said, "a substance which is absolutely infinite is indivisible".


Baruch Spinoza's philosophy played an important role in the development of post-war French philosophy.


Many of these philosophers "used Baruch Spinoza to erect a bulwark against the nominally irrationalist tendencies of phenomenology", which was associated with the dominance of Hegel, Martin Heidegger, and Edmund Husserl in France at that time.


Deleuze's interpretation of Baruch Spinoza's philosophy was highly influential among French philosophers, especially in restoring to prominence the political dimension of Baruch Spinoza's thought.


Deleuze published two books on Baruch Spinoza and gave numerous lectures on Baruch Spinoza in his capacity as a professor at the University of Paris VIII.


Baruch Spinoza equated God with Nature, consistent with Einstein's belief in an impersonal deity.


Baruch Spinoza is an important historical figure in the Netherlands, where his portrait was featured prominently on the Dutch 1000-guilder banknote, legal tender until the euro was introduced in 2002.


Baruch Spinoza was included in a 50 theme canon that attempts to summarise the history of the Netherlands.


However, the rabbi of the congregation ruled that it should hold, on the basis that he had no greater wisdom than his predecessors, and that Baruch Spinoza's views had not become less problematic over time.