Spinoza, Baruch / Benedict

(1632-77)
   Together with Descartes and Leibniz, Spinoza was one of the great rationalists of the early-modern period. A grinder of lenses by profession, he was ethnically Jewish, but was expelled from his synagogue in Amsterdam for heresy (he was a pantheist: he believed that there was only one substance, which he said could equally be called 'God' or 'nature'; all other things were only modifications of this). One of his main works was the Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione, the stated aim of which was to discover 'the life of blessedness for man', which necessitated a search for that 'by whose discovery and acquisition I might be put in possession of a joy continuous and supreme to all eternity'. Spinoza called this 'the intellectual love of God', saying that it consisted in a clear understanding of human nature, the universe and the joy essential to humans, which came through realising that we were all just cogs in a deterministic machine. Spinoza's magnum opus, Ethics demonstrated in a geometrical manner, was published immediately after his premature death aged forty-five, and is a system of definitions, axioms and theorems proved in the manner of Euclid. Spinoza agreed with Descartes that there were only two attributes of which we had any knowledge: extension and thought. Whereas Descartes thought that these two attributes were incompatible, Spinoza thought that both of these were possessed by the one substance (God/nature); in other words, God/nature was both an infinite thinking thing and an infinite extended thing (and an infinite number of other things beyond our ken). This implies not only that things we normally think of as unextended, such as God, are actually physical, but also that things we usually think of as unthinking, such as rocks, are actually conscious, since they are but modes of the one substance. Spinoza also translated the Old Testament into Dutch, and his writings on the Old Testament in his Tractatus Theologico-politicus contributed to the rise of the critical-historical approach. Spinoza also thought that religions such as Judaism and Christianity were not primarily repositories of theological truths, but rather disguised commands about how one should live.
   Further reading: Hampshire 1988 and 2005; Spinoza 1925-87, 1985- and 1994

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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  • Spinoza, Baruch (Benedict) De — (1632–77)    Dutch philosopher. Only the bare facts are known of the life of one of the greatest philosophers and intel lects of all time, for he deliberately omitted his personality from his work. His father and grandfather were Marranos who… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • SPINOZA, BARUCH (Bento, Benedictus) DE — (1632–1677), philosopher born in Amsterdam of Portuguese background, who became one of the most important representatives of the rationalist movement in the early modern period. Introduction In the Jewish and National Library in Jerusalem,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Spinoza,Baruch — Spi·no·za (spĭ nōʹzə), Baruch or Benedict 1632 1677. Dutch philosopher and theologian whose controversial pantheistic doctrine advocated an intellectual love of God. His best known work is Ethics (1677). * * * …   Universalium

  • SPINOZA, Baruch (or Benedict) — (1632 1677)    Dutch materialist philosopher who was EXCOMMUNICATED for his free thought by the JEWISH community of Amsterdam. He believed that mastery over NATURE and the perfection of man was the purpose of knowledge. And considered DEMOCRATIC… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Baruch de Spinoza — Baruch Spinoza (um 1665) Baruch de Spinoza, hebräisch: ברוך שפינוזה‎, portugiesisch: Bento de Espinosa, latinisiert: Benedictus de Spinoza (* 24. November 1632 in Amsterdam; † 21. Februar 1677 in Den Haag), war ein nieder …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Baruch Spinoza — Baruch (de) Spinoza Baruch de Spinoza, hebräisch ברוך שפינוזה, portugiesisch Bento de Espinosa, latinisiert: Benedictus de Spinoza (* 24. November 1632 in Amsterdam; † 21. Februar 1677 in Den Haag) war ein niederländischer Philosoph mit …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Spinoza — Baruch (de) Spinoza Baruch de Spinoza, hebräisch ברוך שפינוזה, portugiesisch Bento de Espinosa, latinisiert: Benedictus de Spinoza (* 24. November 1632 in Amsterdam; † 21. Februar 1677 in Den Haag) war ein niederländischer Philosoph mi …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Spinoza — Spinoza, Baruch oder Benedict, einer der bedeutendsten u. einflußreichsten Philosophen der neuern Zeit, geb. am 24. Novbr. 1632 zu Amsterdam, der Sohn einer aus Portugal eingewanderten Judenfamilie, war von Geburt schwächlich aber äußerst… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Baruch Spinoza — Infobox Philosopher region = Western Philosophy era = 17th century philosophy color = #B0C4DE| image size = 200px image caption = name = Baruch de Spinoza birth = November 24, 1632 (Amsterdam, Netherlands) death = February 21, 1677 (The Hague,… …   Wikipedia

  • Benedict de Spinoza — noun Dutch philosopher who espoused a pantheistic system (1632 1677) • Syn: ↑Spinoza, ↑de Spinoza, ↑Baruch de Spinoza • Instance Hypernyms: ↑philosopher …   Useful english dictionary

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