BARUCH SPINOZA (/bəˈruːk spɪˈnoʊzə/ ; Dutch: ; born BENEDITO
DE ESPINOSA, Portuguese: ; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677,
later BENEDICT DE SPINOZA) was a Dutch philosopher of Sephardi
/Portuguese origin. By laying the groundwork for the 18th-century
Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism , including modern
conceptions of the self and the universe, he came to be considered
one of the great rationalists of
17th-century philosophy . Along with
René Descartes ,
Spinoza was a leading philosophical figure of the
Dutch Golden Age .
Spinoza's magnum opus ,
Ethics , was published posthumously in 1677.
The work opposed
Descartes ' philosophy on mind–body dualism , and
Spinoza recognition as one of
Western philosophy 's most
important thinkers. In the Ethics, "
Spinoza wrote the last
indisputable Latin masterpiece, and one in which the refined
conceptions of medieval philosophy are finally turned against
themselves and destroyed entirely".
Hegel said, "You are either a
Spinozist or not a philosopher at all." His philosophical
accomplishments and moral character prompted 20th-century philosopher
Gilles Deleuze to name him "the 'prince' of philosophers."
Spinoza's given name, which means "Blessed", varies among different
languages. In Hebrew, it is written ברוך שפינוזה. His
Portuguese name is Benedito "Bento" de Espinosa. In his Latin works,
he used Latin: Benedictus de Spinoza.
Spinoza was raised in a Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam. He
developed highly-controversial ideas regarding the authenticity of the
Hebrew Bible and the nature of the Divine. Jewish religious
authorities issued a herem (חרם) against him, causing him to be
effectively shunned by Jewish society at age 23. His books were also
later put on the Catholic Church's Index of Forbidden Books .
Spinoza lived an outwardly-simple life as a lens grinder, turning
down rewards and honours throughout his life, including prestigious
teaching positions. He died at the age of 44 allegedly of a lung
illness, perhaps tuberculosis or silicosis exacerbated by the
inhalation of fine glass dust while grinding optical lenses. He is
buried in the churchyard of the Christian Nieuwe Kerk in
The Hague .
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Family and community origins
* 1.2 17th-century
* 1.3 Early life
* 1.4 Expulsion from the Jewish community
* 1.5 Later life and career
* 1.7 Lens-grinding and optics
* 1.9 Writings and correspondence
* 2 Philosophy
* 2.1 Substance, attributes, and modes
* 2.2 Ethical philosophy
* 2.3 Spinoza\'s "Ethics"
* 3 History of reception
* 3.1 Pantheist, panentheist, or atheist?
* 3.2 Comparison to Eastern philosophies
* 3.3 Spinoza\'s reception in the 19th and 20th centuries
* 3.4 Spinoza\'s religious criticism and its effect on the
philosophy of language
Spinoza in literature, art, and popular culture
* 4 Bibliography
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 Further reading
* 8 External links
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ORIGINS
Spinoza's ancestors were of Sephardic Jewish descent and were a part
of the community of
Portuguese Jews that had settled in the city of
Amsterdam in the wake of the
Portuguese Inquisition (1536), which had
resulted in forced conversions and expulsions from the Iberian
Spinoza family ("de Espinosa" or "Espinosa" in Portuguese and in
Spanish; it could also be spelled as "de Espinoza" or "Espinoza" in
both languages) probably had its origins in
Espinosa de los Monteros ,
Burgos , or in
Espinosa de Cerrato , near
Palencia , both in
Northern Castile ,
Spain . The family was expelled from
Spain in 1492
and fled to Portugal.
Portugal compelled them to convert to
Catholicism in 1498.
Attracted by the Decree of Toleration issued in 1579 by the Union of
Utrecht , Portuguese "conversos " first sailed to
Amsterdam in 1593
and promptly reconverted to Judaism. In 1598 permission was granted
to build a synagogue, and in 1615 an ordinance for the admission and
government of the Jews was passed. As a community of exiles, the
Portuguese Jews of
Amsterdam were highly proud of their identity.
Spinoza's father was born roughly a century after this forced
conversion in the small Portuguese city of
Vidigueira , near Beja in
Alentejo . When Spinoza's father was still a child, Spinoza's
grandfather, Isaac de Spinoza, who was from
Lisbon , took his family
Nantes in France. They were expelled in 1615 and moved to Rotterdam
, where Isaac died in 1627.
Spinoza's father, Miguel (Michael), and his uncle, Manuel, then moved
Amsterdam where they resumed the practice of Judaism. Miguel was a
successful merchant and became a warden of the synagogue and of the
Amsterdam Jewish school. He buried three wives and three of his six
children died before reaching adulthood.
Rotterdam operated as important cosmopolitan centres
where merchant ships from many parts of the world brought people of
various customs and beliefs. This flourishing commercial activity
encouraged a culture relatively tolerant of the play of new ideas, to
a considerable degree sheltered from the censorious hand of
ecclesiastical authority (though those considered to have gone "too
far" might have gotten persecuted even in the Netherlands). Not by
chance were the philosophical works of both
Descartes and Spinoza
developed in the cultural and intellectual background of the Dutch
Republic in the 17th century.
Spinoza may have had access to a circle
of friends who were unconventional in terms of social tradition,
including members of the
Collegiants . One of the people he knew was
Niels Stensen , a brilliant Danish student in Leiden; others included
Albert Burgh , with whom
Spinoza is known to have corresponded.
Map by Balthasar Florisz van Berckenrode (1625) with the present
location of the
Moses and Aaron church in white, but also the spot
Spinoza grew up.
Spinoza lived where the
Moses and Aaron
Church is located now, and there is strong evidence that he may have
been born there.
Benedito de Espinoza was born on 24 November 1632 in the Jodenbuurt
in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He was the second son of Miguel de
Espinoza, a successful, although not wealthy, Portuguese Sephardic
Jewish merchant in Amsterdam. His mother, Ana Débora, Miguel's
second wife, died when Baruch was only six years old. Spinoza's
mother tongue was Portuguese, although he also knew Hebrew, Spanish,
Dutch, perhaps French, and later Latin. Although he wrote in Latin,
Spinoza learned the language only late in his youth.
Spinoza had a traditional Jewish upbringing, attending the Keter
Torah yeshiva of the
Talmud Torah congregation headed by the
learned and traditional senior Rabbi
Saul Levi Morteira . His teachers
also included the less-traditional Rabbi
Manasseh ben Israel , "a man
of wide learning and secular interests, a friend of Vossius , Grotius
, and Rembrandt ". While presumably a star pupil, and perhaps
considered as a potential rabbi,
Spinoza never reached the advanced
study of the Torah in the upper levels of the curriculum. Instead, at
the age of 17, after the death of his elder brother, Isaac, he cut
short his formal studies in order to begin working in the family
In 1653, at age 20,
Spinoza began studying Latin with Francis van den
Franciscus van den Enden ), a notorious free thinker, former
Jesuit, and radical democrat who likely introduced
scholastic and modern philosophy , including that of Descartes. (A
decade later, in the early 1660s, Van den Enden was considered to be a
Cartesian and atheist , and his books were put on the Catholic Index
of Banned Books .)
Spinoza's father, Miguel, died in 1654 when
Spinoza was 21. He duly
Kaddish , the Jewish prayer of mourning, for eleven months as
required by Jewish law. When his sister Rebekah disputed his
inheritance, he took her to court to establish his claim, won his
case, but then renounced his claim in her favour.
Spinoza adopted the Latin name Benedictus de Spinoza, began boarding
with Van den Enden, and began teaching in his school. Following an
anecdote in an early biography by Johannes Colerus, he is said to
have fallen in love with his teacher's daughter, Clara, but she
rejected him for a richer student. (This story has been discounted on
the basis that Clara Maria van den Enden was born in 1643 and would
have been no more than about 18 years old when
Spinoza left Amsterdam.
In 1671 she married Dirck Kerckring .)
During this period
Spinoza also became acquainted with the
Collegiants , an anti-clerical sect of
Remonstrants with tendencies
towards rationalism , and with the Mennonites who had existed for a
century but were close to the Remonstrants. Many of his friends
belonged to dissident Christian groups which met regularly as
discussion groups and which typically rejected the authority of
established churches as well as traditional dogmas.
Spinoza's break with the prevailing dogmas of Judaism, and
particularly the insistence on non-
Mosaic authorship of the
Pentateuch, was not sudden; rather, it appears to have been the result
of a lengthy internal struggle: "If anyone thinks my criticism is of
too sweeping a nature and lacking sufficient foundation, I would ask
him to undertake to show us in these narratives a definite plan such
as might legitimately be imitated by historians in their chronicles...
If he succeeds, I shall at once admit defeat, and he will be my mighty
Apollo. For I confess that all my efforts over a long period have
resulted in no such discovery. Indeed, I may add that I write nothing
here that is not the fruit of lengthy reflection; and although I have
been educated from boyhood in the accepted beliefs concerning
Scripture, I have felt bound in the end to embrace the views I here
Nevertheless, once branded as a heretic, Spinoza's clashes with
authorities became more pronounced. For example, questioned by two
members of his synagogue,
Spinoza apparently responded that
God has a
body and nothing in scripture says otherwise. He was later attacked
on the steps of the synagogue by a knife-wielding assailant shouting
"Heretic!" He was apparently quite shaken by this attack and for years
kept (and wore) his torn cloak, unmended, as a souvenir.
After his father's death in 1654,
Spinoza and his younger brother
Gabriel (Abraham) ran the family importing business. The business ran
into serious financial difficulties, however, perhaps as a result of
First Anglo-Dutch War
First Anglo-Dutch War . In March 1656,
Spinoza filed suit with the
Amsterdam municipal authorities to be declared an orphan in order to
escape his father's business debts and so that he could inherit his
mother's estate (which at first was incorporated into his father's
estate) without it being subject to his father's creditors. In
addition, after having made substantial contributions to the Talmud
Torah synagogue in 1654 and 1655, he reduced his December 1655
contribution and his March 1656 pledge to nominal amounts (and the
March 1656 pledge was never paid).
Spinoza was eventually able to relinquish responsibility for the
business and its debts to his younger brother, Gabriel, and devote
himself chiefly to the study of philosophy, especially the system
Descartes , and to optics.
EXPULSION FROM THE JEWISH COMMUNITY
On 27 July 1656, the
Talmud Torah congregation of
Amsterdam issued a
writ of cherem (Hebrew: חרם, a kind of ban, shunning, ostracism,
expulsion, or excommunication ) against the 23-year-old Spinoza. The
following document translates the official record of the censure:
The Lords of the ma'amad, having long known of the evil opinions and
acts of Baruch de Espinoza, have endeavoured by various means and
promises, to turn him from his evil ways. But having failed to make
him mend his wicked ways, and, on the contrary, daily receiving more
and more serious information about the abominable heresies which he
practised and taught and about his monstrous deeds, and having for
this numerous trustworthy witnesses who have deposed and born witness
to this effect in the presence of the said Espinoza, they became
convinced of the truth of the matter; and after all of this has been
investigated in the presence of the honourable chachamin , they have
decided, with their consent, that the said Espinoza should be
excommunicated and expelled from the people of Israel. By the decree
of the angels, and by the command of the holy men, we excommunicate,
expel, curse and damn Baruch de Espinoza, with the consent of God,
Blessed be He, and with the consent of all the Holy Congregation, in
front of these holy Scrolls with the six-hundred-and-thirteen precepts
which are written therein, with the excommunication with which Joshua
banned Jericho , with the curse with which Elisha cursed the boys
and with all the curses which are written in the Book of the Law.
Cursed be he by day and cursed be he by night; cursed be he when he
lies down, and cursed be he when he rises up; cursed be he when he
goes out, and cursed be he when he comes in. The Lord will not spare
him; the anger and wrath of the Lord will rage against this man, and
bring upon him all the curses which are written in this book, and the
Lord will blot out his name from under heaven, and the Lord will
separate him to his injury from all the tribes of Israel with all the
curses of the covenant, which are written in the Book of the Law. But
you who cleave unto the Lord
God are all alive this day. We order that
no one should communicate with him orally or in writing, or show him
any favour, or stay with him under the same roof, or within four ells
of him, or read anything composed or written by him. Statue of
Spinoza, near his house on the Paviljoensgracht in
The Hague .
Talmud Torah congregation issued censure routinely, on matters
great and small, so such an edict was not unusual. The language of
Spinoza's censure is unusually harsh, however, and does not appear in
any other censure known to have been issued by the Portuguese Jewish
community in Amsterdam. The exact reason for expelling
Spinoza is not
stated. The censure refers only to the "abominable heresies that he
practised and taught," to his "monstrous deeds," and to the testimony
of witnesses "in the presence of the said Espinoza." There is no
record of such testimony, but there appear to have been several likely
reasons for the issuance of the censure.
First, there were Spinoza's radical theological views that he was
apparently expressing in public. As philosopher and
Steven Nadler puts it: "No doubt he was giving utterance to just those
ideas that would soon appear in his philosophical treatises. In those
Spinoza denies the immortality of the soul; strongly rejects
the notion of a providential God—the
God of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob; and claims that the
Law was neither literally given by
any longer binding on Jews. Can there be any mystery as to why one of
history's boldest and most radical thinkers was sanctioned by an
orthodox Jewish community?"
Amsterdam Jewish community was largely composed of former
"conversos" who had fled from the
Portuguese Inquisition within the
previous century, with their children and grandchildren. This
community must have been concerned to protect its reputation from any
Spinoza lest his controversial views provide the
basis for their own possible persecution or expulsion. There is
little evidence that the
Amsterdam municipal authorities were directly
involved in Spinoza's censure itself. But "in 1619, the town council
expressly ordered to regulate their conduct and ensure that the
members of the community kept to a strict observance of Jewish law."
Other evidence makes it clear that the danger of upsetting the civil
authorities was never far from mind, such as bans adopted by the
synagogue on public wedding or funeral processions and on discussing
religious matters with Christians, lest such activity might "disturb
the liberty we enjoy." Thus, the issuance of Spinoza's censure was
almost certainly, in part, an exercise in self-censorship by the
Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam.
Third, it appears likely that
Spinoza had already taken the
initiative to separate himself from the
Talmud Torah congregation and
was vocally expressing his hostility to Judaism itself. He had
probably stopped attending services at the synagogue, either after the
lawsuit with his sister or after the knife attack on its steps. He
might already have been voicing the view expressed later in his
Theological-Political Treatise that the civil authorities should
suppress Judaism as harmful to the Jews themselves. Either for
financial or other reasons, he had in any case effectively stopped
contributing to the synagogue by March 1656. He had also committed the
"monstrous deed," contrary to the regulations of the synagogue and the
views of some rabbinical authorities (including
Maimonides ), of
filing suit in a civil court rather than with the synagogue
authorities —to renounce his father's heritage, no less. Upon being
notified of the issuance of the censure, he is reported to have said:
"Very well; this does not force me to do anything that I would not
have done of my own accord, had I not been afraid of a scandal."
Thus, unlike most of the censure issued routinely by the Amsterdam
congregation to discipline its members, the censure issued against
Spinoza did not lead to repentance and so was never withdrawn.
After the censure,
Spinoza is said to have addressed an "Apology"
(defence), written in Spanish, to the elders of the synagogue, "in
which he defended his views as orthodox, and condemned the rabbis for
accusing him of 'horrible practices and other enormities' merely
because he had neglected ceremonial observances." This "Apology" does
not survive , but some of its contents may later have been included in
his Theological-Political Treatise. For example, he cited a series of
cryptic statements by medieval Biblical commentator Abraham ibn Ezra
intimating that some apparently anachronistic passages of the
Pentateuch (i.e., "he Canaanite was then in the land," Genesis 12:6,
which ibn Ezra called a "mystery" and exhorted those "who understand
it keep silent") were not of
Mosaic authorship as proof that his own
views had valid historical precedent.
The most remarkable aspect of the censure may be not so much its
issuance, or even Spinoza's refusal to submit, but the fact that
Spinoza's expulsion from the Jewish community did not lead to his
conversion to Christianity.
Spinoza kept the Latin (and so implicitly
Christian) name Benedict de Spinoza, maintained a close association
with the Collegiants, a Christian sect, even moved to a town near the
Collegiants' headquarters, and was buried in a Christian
graveyard—but there is no evidence or suggestion that he ever
accepted baptism or participated in a Christian mass. Thus, by
default, Baruch de Espinoza became the first secular Jew of modern
In September 2012, the Portugees-Israëlietische Gemeente te
Amsterdam asked the chief rabbi of their community Haham Pinchas
Toledano to reconsider the cherem after consulting several Spinoza
experts. However he declined to remove it, citing Spinoza's
"preposterous ideas, where he was tearing apart the very fundamentals
of our religion".
LATER LIFE AND CAREER
Spinoza's house in
Rijnsburg from 1661 to 1663, now a museum
Study room of
Spinoza spent his remaining 21 years writing and studying as a
Spinoza believed in a "Philosophy of tolerance and benevolence" and
actually lived the life which he preached. He was criticized and
ridiculed during his life and afterwards for his alleged atheism.
However, even those who were against him "had to admit he lived a
saintly life". Besides the religious controversies, nobody really had
much bad to say about
Spinoza other than, "he sometimes enjoyed
watching spiders chase flies".
After the cherem, the
Amsterdam municipal authorities expelled
Spinoza from Amsterdam, "responding to the appeals of the rabbis, and
also of the
Calvinist clergy, who had been vicariously offended by the
existence of a free thinker in the synagogue". He spent a brief time
in or near the village of
Ouderkerk aan de Amstel , but returned soon
Amsterdam and lived there quietly for several years,
giving private philosophy lessons and grinding lenses, before leaving
the city in 1660 or 1661.
During this time in Amsterdam,
Spinoza wrote his Short Treatise on
God, Man, and His Well-Being, which he never published in his
lifetime—assuming with good reason that it might get suppressed. Two
Dutch translations of it survive, discovered about 1810."
Spinoza moved around 1660 or 1661 from
Rijnsburg , (near
Leiden ), the headquarters of the Collegiants. In Rijnsburg, he began
work on his Descartes' "Principles of Philosophy" as well as on his
masterpiece, the Ethics. In 1663, he returned briefly to Amsterdam,
where he finished and published Descartes' "Principles of Philosophy,"
the only work published in his lifetime under his own name, and then
moved the same year to
Spinoza continued work on the
Ethics and corresponded
with scientists, philosophers, and theologians throughout Europe. He
also wrote and published his Theological Political Treatise in 1670,
in defence of secular and constitutional government, and in support of
Jan de Witt , the Grand Pensionary of the Netherlands, against the
Stadholder, the Prince of Orange. Leibniz visited
Spinoza and claimed
that Spinoza's life was in danger when supporters of the Prince of
Orange murdered de Witt in 1672. While published anonymously, the
work did not long remain so, and de Witt's enemies characterized it as
"forged in Hell by a renegade Jew and the Devil, and issued with the
knowledge of Jan de Witt." It was condemned in 1673 by the Synod of
the Reformed Church and formally banned in 1674.
LENS-GRINDING AND OPTICS
Spinoza earned a modest living from lens-grinding and instrument
making, yet he was involved in important optical investigations of the
day while living in Voorburg, through correspondence and friendships
Christiaan Huygens and mathematician
Johannes Hudde ,
including debate over microscope design with Huygens, favouring small
objectives and collaborating on calculations for a prospective 40 ft
telescope which would have been one of the largest in Europe at the
time. The quality of Spinoza's lenses was much praised by Christiaan
Huygens, among others. In fact, his technique and instruments were so
esteemed that Constantijn Huygens ground a "clear and bright" 42 ft.
telescope lens in 1687 from one of Spinoza's grinding dishes, ten
years after his death. The exact type of lenses that
Spinoza made are
not known, but very likely included lenses for both the microscope and
telescope. He was said by anatomist
Theodor Kerckring to have produced
an "excellent" microscope, the quality of which was the foundation of
Kerckring's anatomy claims. During his time as a lens and instrument
maker, he was also supported by small but regular donations from close
Spinoza moved to
The Hague where he lived on a small pension
from Jan de Witt and a small annuity from the brother of his dead
friend, Simon de Vries. He worked on the Ethics, wrote an unfinished
Hebrew grammar, began his Political Treatise, wrote two scientific
essays ("On the Rainbow" and "On the Calculation of Chances"), and
began a Dutch translation of the
Bible (which he later destroyed ).
Spinoza chose for his device the Latin word "caute" ("cautiously"),
inscribed beneath a rose, itself a symbol of secrecy. "For, having
chosen to write in a language that was so widely intelligible, he was
compelled to hide what he had written."
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 .
Spinoza met with Leibniz at
The Hague for a discussion of
his principal philosophical work,
Ethics , which had been completed in
1676. This meeting was described in Matthew Stewart 's The Courtier
and the Heretic.
Spinoza's health began to fail in 1676, and he died on 20 February
1677 at the age of 44. His premature death was said to be due to lung
illness, possibly silicosis as a result of breathing in glass dust
from the lenses that he ground. Later, a shrine was made of his home
in The Hague.
Textbooks and encyclopaedias often depict
Spinoza as a solitary soul
who eked out a living as a lens grinder; in reality, he had many
friends but kept his needs to a minimum. He preached a philosophy of
tolerance and benevolence.
Anthony Gottlieb described him as living "a
saintly life." Reviewer M. Stuart Phelps noted, "No one has ever come
nearer to the ideal life of the philosopher than Spinoza." Harold
Bloom wrote, "As a teacher of reality, he practised his own wisdom,
and was surely one of the most exemplary human beings ever to have
lived." According to
The New York Times : "In outward appearance he
was unpretending, but not careless. His way of living was exceedingly
modest and retired; often he did not leave his room for many days
together. He was likewise almost incredibly frugal; his expenses
sometimes amounted only to a few pence a day." Bloom writes of
Spinoza, "He appears to have had no sexual life."
Spinoza also corresponded with
Peter Serrarius , a radical Protestant
and millennarian merchant. Serrarius was a patron to
Spinoza left the Jewish community and even had letters sent and
received for the philosopher to and from third parties.
Serrarius maintained their relationship until Serrarius' death in
1669. By the beginning of the 1660s, Spinoza's name became more
widely known, and eventually
Gottfried Leibniz and Henry Oldenburg
paid him visits, as stated in Matthew Stewart's The Courtier and the
Spinoza corresponded with Oldenburg for the rest of his
WRITINGS AND CORRESPONDENCE
The writings of
René Descartes have been described as "Spinoza's
starting point." Spinoza's first publication was his geometric
exposition (proofs using the geometric method on the model of Euclid
with definitions, axioms, etc.) of Descartes's Parts I and II of
Principles of Philosophy (1663).
Spinoza has been associated with
Descartes as "rationalists" in contrast to "empiricists."
Spinoza engaged in correspondence from December 1664 to June 1665
Willem van Blijenbergh , an amateur
Calvinist theologian, who
Spinoza on the definition of evil . Later in 1665, Spinoza
notified Oldenburg that he had started to work on a new book, the
Theologico-Political Treatise , published in 1670. Leibniz disagreed
Spinoza in his own manuscript "Refutation of Spinoza,"
but he is also known to have met with
Spinoza on at least one occasion
(as mentioned above), and his own work bears some striking
resemblances to specific important parts of Spinoza's philosophy (see:
When the public reactions to the anonymously published
Theologico-Political Treatise were extremely unfavourable to his brand
Spinoza was compelled to abstain from publishing more
of his works. Wary and independent, he wore a signet ring which he
used to mark his letters and which was engraved with a rose and the
word "caute" (Latin for "cautiously").
Ethics and all other works, apart from the Descartes' Principles
of Philosophy and the Theologico-Political Treatise, were published
after his death in the
Opera Posthuma , edited by his friends in
secrecy to avoid confiscation and destruction of manuscripts. The
Ethics contains many still-unresolved obscurities and is written with
a forbidding mathematical structure modelled on Euclid's geometry and
has been described as a "superbly cryptic masterwork."
The opening page of Spinoza's magnum opus,
SUBSTANCE, ATTRIBUTES, AND MODES
Philosophy of Baruch Spinoza
These are the fundamental concepts with which
Spinoza sets forth a
vision of Being, illuminated by his awareness of God. They may seem
strange at first sight. To the question "What is?" he replies:
"Substance, its attributes, and modes". —
Spinoza argued that
God exists and is abstract and impersonal.
Spinoza's view of
God is what
Charles Hartshorne describes as
Spinoza has also been described as an
"Epicurean materialist," specifically in reference to his opposition
to Cartesian mind-body dualism. This view was held by Epicureans
before him, as they believed that atoms with their probabilistic paths
were the only substance that existed fundamentally. Spinoza,
however, 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 . Spinoza's
system imparted order and unity to the tradition of radical thought ,
offering powerful weapons for prevailing against "received authority."
He contended that everything that exists in Nature (i.e., everything
in the Universe) is one
Reality (substance) and there is only one set
of rules governing the whole of the reality which surrounds us and of
which we are part.
God and Nature as two names for the
same reality, namely a single, fundamental substance (meaning "that
which stands beneath" rather than "matter") that is the basis of the
universe and of which all lesser "entities" are actually modes or
modifications, that all things are determined by Nature to exist and
cause effects, and that the complex chain of cause and effect is
understood only in part. His identification of
God with nature was
more fully explained in his posthumously published Ethics. Spinoza's
main contention with Cartesian mind–body dualism was that, if mind
and body were truly distinct, then it is not clear how they can
coordinate in any manner. Humans presume themselves to have free will
, he argues, which is a result of their awareness of appetites that
affect their minds, while being unable to understand the reasons why
they want and act as they do.
Spinoza contends that "Deus sive Natura" is a being of infinitely
many attributes, of which thought and extension are two. His account
of the nature of reality, then, seems to treat the physical and mental
worlds as intertwined, causally related, and deriving from the same
substance. It is important to note here that, in Parts 3 through 4 of
Spinoza describes how the human mind is affected by both
mental and physical factors. He directly contests dualism. The
universal substance emanates both body and mind; while they are
different attributes, there is no fundamental difference between these
aspects. This formulation is a historically significant solution to
the mind–body problem known as neutral monism . Spinoza's system
also envisages a
God that does not rule over the universe by
Providence in which
God can make changes, but a
God which itself is
the deterministic system of which everything in nature is a part.
Spinoza argues that "things could not have been produced by
God in any
other way or in any other order than is the case,"; he directly
challenges a transcendental
God which actively responds to events in
the universe. Everything that has and will happen is a part of a long
chain of cause and effect which, at a metaphysical level, humans are
unable to change. No amount of prayer or ritual will sway God. Only
knowledge of God, or the existence which humans inhabit, allows them
to best respond to the world around them. Not only is it impossible
for two infinite substances to exist (two infinities being absurd),
God—being the ultimate substance—cannot be affected by anything
else, or else it would be affected by something else, and not be the
Spinoza was a thoroughgoing determinist who held that absolutely
everything that happens occurs through the operation of necessity .
For him, even human behaviour is fully determined, with freedom being
our capacity to know we are determined and to understand why we act as
we do. By forming more "adequate" ideas about what we do and our
emotions or affections , we become the adequate cause of our effects
(internal or external), which entails an increase in activity (versus
passivity). This means that we become both more free and more like
Spinoza argues in the Scholium to Prop. 49, Part II. However,
Spinoza also held that everything must necessarily happen the way that
it does. Therefore, humans have no free will. They believe, however,
that their will is free. This illusionary perception of freedom stems
from our human consciousness, experience, and indifference to prior
natural causes. Humans think they are free but they ″dream with
their eyes open″. For Spinoza, our actions are guided entirely by
natural impulses. In his letter to G. H. Schuller (Letter 58), he
wrote: "men are conscious of their desire and unaware of the causes by
which are determined."
This picture of Spinoza's determinism is ever more illuminated
through reading this famous quote in Ethics: ″the infant believes
that it is by free will that it seeks the breast; the angry boy
believes that by free will he wishes vengeance; the timid man thinks
it is with free will he seeks flight; the drunkard believes that by a
free command of his mind he speaks the things which when sober he
wishes he had left unsaid. … All believe that they speak by a free
command of the mind, whilst, in truth, they have no power to restrain
the impulse which they have to speak.″ Thus for
and ethical judgement like choice is predicated on an illusion. For
Spinoza, ″Blame″ and ″Praise″ are non existent human ideals
only fathomable in the mind because we are so acclimatized to human
consciousness interlinking with our experience that we have a false
ideal of choice predicated upon this.
Spinoza's philosophy has much in common with
Stoicism inasmuch as
both philosophies sought to fulfil a therapeutic role by instructing
people how to attain happiness. However,
Spinoza differed sharply from
the Stoics in one important respect: he utterly rejected their
contention that reason could defeat emotion. On the contrary, he
contended, an emotion can only be displaced or overcome by a stronger
emotion. For him, the crucial distinction was between active and
passive emotions, the former being those that are rationally
understood and the latter those that are not. He also held that
knowledge of true causes of passive emotion can transform it to an
active emotion, thus anticipating one of the key ideas of Sigmund
Freud 's psychoanalysis .
Spinoza shared ethical beliefs with ancient Epicureans, in renouncing
ethics beyond the material world, although Epicureans focused more on
physical pleasure and
Spinoza more on emotional wellbeing.
Encapsulated at the start in his Treatise on the Improvement of the
Understanding (Tractatus de intellectus emendatione) is the core of
Spinoza's ethical philosophy, what he held to be the true and final
Spinoza held good and evil to be relative concepts, claiming
that nothing is intrinsically good or bad except relative to a
particularity. Things that had classically been seen as good or evil,
Spinoza argued, were simply good or bad for humans.
in a deterministic universe in which "All things in nature proceed
from certain necessity and with the utmost perfection." Nothing
happens by chance in Spinoza's world, and nothing is contingent .
Given Spinoza's insistence on a completely ordered world where
"necessity" reigns, Good and
Evil have no absolute meaning. The world
as it exists looks imperfect only because of our limited perception.
In the universe anything that happens comes from the essential nature
of objects, or of
God or Nature. According to Spinoza, reality is
perfection. If circumstances are seen as unfortunate it is only
because of our inadequate conception of reality. While components of
the chain of cause and effect are not beyond the understanding of
human reason, human grasp of the infinitely complex whole is limited
because of the limits of science to empirically take account of the
Spinoza also asserted that sense perception, though
practical and useful, is inadequate for discovering truth. His concept
of "conatus " states that human beings' natural inclination is to
strive toward preserving an essential being, and asserts that
virtue/human power is defined by success in this preservation of being
by the guidance of reason as one's central ethical doctrine. According
to Spinoza, the highest virtue is the intellectual love or knowledge
Also in the "Ethics",
Spinoza discusses his beliefs about what he
considers to be the three kinds of knowledge that come with
perceptions. The first kind of knowledge he writes about is the
knowledge of experiences. More precisely, this first type of knowledge
can be known as the knowledge of things that could be “mutilated,
confused, and without order.” Spinoza, Benedict (1677). "Books
1–5". The Ethics. Another explanation of what the first knowledge
can be is that it is the knowledge of dangerous reasoning. Dangerous
reason lacks any type of rationality, and causes the mind to be in a
“passive” state. This type of “passive mind” that Spinoza
writes about in the earlier books of The
Ethics is a state of the mind
in which adequate causes become passions. Spinoza’s second knowledge
involves reasoning plus emotions. He explains that this knowledge is
had by the rationality of any adequate causes that have to do with
anything common to the human mind. An example of this could be
anything that is classified as being of imperfect virtue. Imperfect
virtues are seen as those which are incomplete. Many philosophers,
Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle, would compare imperfect virtue
to pagan virtue.
Spinoza defines the third and final knowledge as the
knowledge of God, which requires rationality and reason of the mind.
In more detail,
Spinoza uses this type of knowledge to join together
the essence of
God with the individual essence. This knowledge is also
formed from any adequate causes that include perfect virtue. Spinoza,
Benedict (1677). "Books 1–5". The Ethics.
In the final part of the "
Ethics ", his concern with the meaning of
"true blessedness", and his explanation of how emotions must be
detached from external causes in order to master them, foreshadow
psychological techniques developed in the 1900s. His concept of three
types of knowledge—opinion, reason, intuition—and his assertion
that intuitive knowledge provides the greatest satisfaction of mind,
lead to his proposition that the more we are conscious of ourselves
and Nature/Universe, the more perfect and blessed we are (in reality)
and that only intuitive knowledge is eternal.
HISTORY OF RECEPTION
PANTHEIST, PANENTHEIST, OR ATHEIST?
Spinozism See also:
Pantheism controversy An
unfavorable engraving depiction of philosopher Spinoza, captioned in
Latin, "A Jew and an Atheist".
It is a widespread belief that
God with the material
universe. He has therefore been called the "prophet" and "prince"
and most eminent expounder of pantheism . More specifically, in a
Henry Oldenburg he states, "as to the view of certain people
that I identify
God with Nature (taken as a kind of mass or corporeal
matter), they are quite mistaken". For Spinoza, our universe (cosmos)
is a mode under two attributes of
Thought and Extension .
infinitely many other attributes which are not present in our world.
According to German philosopher
Karl Jaspers (1883–1969), when
Spinoza wrote in
Deus sive Natura (Latin for '
God or Nature'), Spinoza
God was natura naturans (nature doing what nature does;
literally, 'nature naturing'), not natura naturata (nature already
created; literally, 'nature natured'). Jaspers believed that Spinoza,
in his philosophical system, did not mean to say that
God and Nature
are interchangeable terms, but rather that God's transcendence was
attested by his infinitely many attributes, and that two attributes
known by humans, namely
Thought and Extension, signified God's
God under the attributes of thought and extension
cannot be identified strictly with our world. That world is of course
"divisible"; it has parts. But
Spinoza said, "no attribute of a
substance can be truly conceived from which it follows that the
substance can be divided", meaning that one cannot conceive an
attribute in a way that leads to division of substance. He also said,
"a substance which is absolutely infinite is indivisible" (Ethics,
Part I, Propositions 12 and 13). Following this logic, our world
should be considered as a mode under two attributes of thought and
extension. Therefore, according to Jaspers, the pantheist formula "One
and All" would apply to
Spinoza only if the "One" preserves its
transcendence and the "All" were not interpreted as the totality of
Martial Guéroult (1891–1976) suggested the term "panentheism ",
rather than "pantheism" to describe Spinoza's view of the relation
God and the world. The world is not God, but it is, in a
strong sense, "in" God. Not only do finite things have
God as their
cause; they cannot be conceived without God. However, American
Charles Hartshorne (1897–2000) insisted on
the term Classical
Pantheism to describe Spinoza's view.
Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi published a condemnation of
Spinoza's pantheism, after Gotthold Lessing was thought to have
confessed on his deathbed to being a "Spinozist", which was the
equivalent in his time of being called an atheist . Jacobi claimed
that Spinoza's doctrine was pure materialism, because all Nature and
God are said to be nothing but extended substance . This, for Jacobi,
was the result of Enlightenment rationalism and it would finally end
in absolute atheism.
Moses Mendelssohn disagreed with Jacobi, saying
that there is no actual difference between theism and pantheism. The
issue became a major intellectual and religious concern for European
civilization at the time.
The attraction of Spinoza's philosophy to late 18th-century Europeans
was that it provided an alternative to materialism, atheism, and
deism. Three of Spinoza's ideas strongly appealed to them:
* the unity of all that exists;
* the regularity of all that happens;
* the identity of spirit and nature.
By 1879, Spinoza’s pantheism was praised by many, but was
considered by some to be alarming and dangerously inimical.
God or Nature" (Deus sive Natura) provided a living,
natural God, in contrast to
Isaac Newton 's first cause argument and
the dead mechanism of
Julien Offray de La Mettrie 's (1709–1751)
Man a Machine (L'homme machine). Coleridge and Shelley saw in
Spinoza's philosophy a religion of nature.
Novalis called him the
Spinoza inspired the poet Shelley to write
his essay "
The Necessity of Atheism ".
Spinoza was considered to be an atheist because he used the word
"God" (Deus) to signify a concept that was different from that of
traditional Judeo–Christian monotheism. "
Spinoza expressly denies
personality and consciousness to God; he has neither intelligence,
feeling, nor will; he does not act according to purpose, but
everything follows necessarily from his nature, according to law...."
Thus, Spinoza's cool, indifferent
God is the antithesis to the
concept of an anthropomorphic, fatherly
God who cares about humanity.
According to the
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , Spinoza's God
is an “infinite intellect” (
Ethics 2p11c) — all knowing (2p3),
and capable of loving both himself—and us, insofar as we are part of
his perfection (5p35c). And if the mark of a personal being is that it
is one towards which we can entertain personal attitudes, then we
should note too that
Spinoza recommends amor intellectualis dei (the
intellectual love of God) as the supreme good for man (5p33). However,
the matter is complex.
Spinoza's God does not have free will (1p32c1),
he does not have purposes or intentions (1 appendix), and Spinoza
insists that “neither intellect nor will pertain to the nature of
God” (1p17s1). Moreover, while we may love God, we need to remember
God is really not the kind of being who could ever love us back.
“He who loves
God cannot strive that
God should love him in
Steven Nadler suggests that settling the question of Spinoza's
atheism or pantheism depends on an analysis of attitudes. If pantheism
is associated with religiosity, then
Spinoza is not a pantheist, since
Spinoza believes that the proper stance to take towards
God is not one
of reverence or religious awe, but instead one of objective study and
reason, since taking the religious stance would leave one open to the
possibility of error and superstition.
COMPARISON TO EASTERN PHILOSOPHIES
Similarities between Spinoza's philosophy and Eastern philosophical
traditions have been discussed by many authors. The 19th-century
Theodore Goldstücker was one of the early figures
to notice the similarities between Spinoza's religious conceptions and
Vedanta tradition of India, writing that Spinoza's thought was
... a western system of philosophy which occupies a foremost rank
amongst the philosophies of all nations and ages, and which is so
exact a representation of the ideas of the Vedanta, that we might have
suspected its founder to have borrowed the fundamental principles of
his system from the Hindus, did his biography not satisfy us that he
was wholly unacquainted with their doctrines... We mean the philosophy
of Spinoza, a man whose very life is a picture of that moral purity
and intellectual indifference to the transitory charms of this world,
which is the constant longing of the true
comparing the fundamental ideas of both we should have no difficulty
in proving that, had
Spinoza been a Hindu, his system would in all
probability mark a last phase of the
Max Muller , in his lectures, noted the striking similarities between
Vedanta and the system of Spinoza, saying "the Brahman, as conceived
in the Upanishads and defined by Sankara, is clearly the same as
Helena Blavatsky , a founder of the
Theosophical Society also compared Spinoza's religious thought to
Vedanta, writing in an unfinished essay "As to Spinoza's
Deity—natura naturans—conceived in his attributes simply and
alone; and the same Deity—as natura naturata or as conceived in the
endless series of modifications or correlations, the direct
out-flowing results from the properties of these attributes, it is the
Vedantic Deity pure and simple."
SPINOZA\'S RECEPTION IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES
Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries grew even more interested in
Spinoza, often from a left-wing or
Marxist perspective. Karl Marx
liked Spinoza's account of the universe, interpreting it as
materialistic . Notable philosophers
Louis Althusser , Gilles Deleuze
Antonio Negri and
Étienne Balibar have each drawn upon Spinoza's
philosophy. Deleuze's doctoral thesis, published in 1968, calls him
"the prince of philosophers".
Nietzsche esteemed few philosophers,
but he esteemed Spinoza. However,
Nietzsche never read Spinoza's
works themselves, but learned about
Kuno Fischer 's
History of Modern Philosophy.
George Santayana graduated from college, he published an essay,
"The Ethical Doctrine of Spinoza", in The Harvard Monthly. Later, he
wrote an introduction to Spinoza's
Ethics and "De intellectus
emendatione". In 1932, Santayana was invited to present an essay
(published as "Ultimate Religion") at a meeting at The Hague
celebrating the tricentennial of Spinoza's birth. In Santayana's
autobiography, he characterized
Spinoza as his "master and model" in
understanding the naturalistic basis of morality.
SPINOZA\'S RELIGIOUS CRITICISM AND ITS EFFECT ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF
Ludwig Wittgenstein evoked
Spinoza with the title
(suggested to him by
G. E. Moore
G. E. Moore ) of the English translation of his
first definitive philosophical work,
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus ,
an allusion to Spinoza's
Tractatus Theologico-Politicus . Elsewhere,
Wittgenstein deliberately borrowed the expression sub specie
Spinoza (Notebooks, 1914-16, p. 83). The structure
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus does have some structural
affinities with Spinoza's
Ethics (though, admittedly, not with the
latter's own Tractatus) in erecting complex philosophical arguments
upon basic logical assertions and principles. Furthermore, in
propositions 6.4311 and 6.45 he alludes to a Spinozian understanding
of eternity and interpretation of the religious concept of eternal
life, stating that "If by eternity is understood not eternal temporal
duration, but timelessness, then he lives eternally who lives in the
present." (6.4311) "The contemplation of the world sub specie aeterni
is its contemplation as a limited whole." (6.45)
Leo Strauss dedicated his first book, Spinoza's Critique of Religion,
to an examination of the latter's ideas. In the book, Strauss
Spinoza as part of the tradition of Enlightenment
rationalism that eventually produced Modernity. Moreover, he
Spinoza and his works as the beginning of Jewish Modernity.
Jonathan Israel argued that, from 1650 to 1750, Spinoza
was "the chief challenger of the fundamentals of revealed religion,
received ideas, tradition, morality, and what was everywhere regarded,
in absolutist and non-absolutist states alike, as divinely constituted
SPINOZA IN LITERATURE, ART, AND POPULAR CULTURE
Spinoza has had influence beyond the confines of philosophy.
* On the Chair's table in the Dutch Parliament, Spinoza's Tractatus
theologico-politicus is one of three books thought to be most
representative of the beliefs and ethics of the Dutch people; the
other two are the
Bible and the
* The 19th century novelist
George Eliot produced her own
translation of the Ethics, the first known English translation of it.
Eliot liked Spinoza's vehement attacks on superstition.
* In his autobiography "From My Life: Poetry and
Truth ", Goethe
recounts the way in which Spinoza's
Ethics calmed the sometimes
unbearable emotional turbulence of his youth.
Goethe later displayed
his grasp of Spinoza's metaphysics in a fragmentary elucidation of
some Spinozist ontological principles entitled Study After Spinoza.
Moreover, he cited
Spinoza alongside Shakespeare and
Carl Linnaeus as
one of the three strongest influences on his life and work.
* The 20th century novelist
W. Somerset Maugham alluded to one of
Spinoza's central concepts with the title of his novel Of Human
* In the early
Star Trek episode, "
Where No Man Has Gone Before ",
the antagonist, Gary Mitchell is seen reading Spinoza, and Mitchell's
remark regarding his ease in comprehending
Spinoza implies that his
intellectual capacity is increasing dramatically. The dialogue
indicates that Captain Kirk is familiar with Spinoza's work, perhaps
as part of his studies at
Starfleet Academy .
Albert Einstein named
Spinoza as the philosopher who exerted the
most influence on his world view (Weltanschauung).
Spinoza equated God
(infinite substance) with Nature, consistent with Einstein's belief in
an impersonal deity. In 1929, Einstein was asked in a telegram by
Herbert S. Goldstein whether he believed in God. Einstein
responded by telegram: "I believe in
Spinoza's God who reveals himself
in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a
God who concerns
himself with the fates and actions of human beings."
* Spinoza's pantheism has also influenced environmental theory; Arne
Næss , the father of the deep ecology movement, acknowledged Spinoza
as an important inspiration.
* The Argentine writer
Jorge Luis Borges was greatly influenced by
Spinoza's world view. Borges makes allusions to the philosopher's work
in many of his poems and short stories, as does Isaac Bashevis Singer
in his short story The
Spinoza of Market Street.
* The title character of Hoffman's Hunger, the fifth novel by the
Leon de Winter , reads and comments upon the Tractatus
de Intellectus Emendatione over the course of the novel.
Spinoza has been the subject of numerous biographies and scholarly
Spinoza is an important historical figure in the
where his portrait was featured prominently on the Dutch 1000-guilder
banknote , legal tender until the euro was introduced in 2002. The
highest and most prestigious scientific award of the
named the Spinozaprijs (
Spinoza prize) .
Spinoza was included in a 50
theme canon that attempts to summarise the history of the Netherlands.
* In the sequel to
Eric Flint 's alternate-history novel, 1632 , a
Jewish man and his wife are killed during an attack on Amsterdam,
leaving behind a less-than-year-old son. The identity of the child is
quickly revealed to be the infant
* The 2008 play "New Jerusalem", by
David Ives , is based on the
cherem (ban, shunning, ostracism, expulsion or excommunication) issued
Spinoza by the
Talmud Torah congregation in
Amsterdam in 1656,
and events leading to it. Ives speculates that
excommunicated in order to appease Dutch authorities who threatened to
expel Amsterdam's Jews because of Spinoza's anti-religious activities
amongst the city's Christian community.
* In Bento's Sketchbook (2011), the writer
John Berger combines
extracts from Spinoza, sketches, memoir, and observations in a book
that contemplates the relationship of materialism to spirituality.
According to Berger, what could be seen as a contradiction "is
beautifully resolved by Spinoza, who shows that it is not a duality,
but in fact an essential unity."
Leopold Bloom is shown several times to be an admirer of Spinoza
in James Joyce\'s Ulysses . Thoughts from Spinoza, an anthology, is
represented on Bloom's bookshelf towards the end of the novel.
* c. 1660. Korte Verhandeling van God, de mensch en deszelvs
welstand (A Short Treatise on God, Man and His Well-Being).
Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione (On the Improvement of
Principia philosophiae cartesianae (The Principles of
Cartesian Philosophy, translated by Samuel Shirley, with an
Introduction and Notes by Steven Barbone and Lee Rice, Indianapolis,
1998). Gallica (in Latin).
Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (A Theologico-Political
Tractatus Politicus (unfinished) (PDF version)
* 1677. Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata (The Ethics, finished
1674, but published posthumously)
* 1677. Compendium grammatices linguae hebraeae (Hebrew Grammar).
* Morgan, Michael L. (ed.), 2002. Spinoza: Complete Works, with the
Translation of Samuel Shirley, Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett
Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-87220-620-5 .
* Edwin Curley (ed.), 1985–2016. The Collected Works of Spinoza
(two volumes), Princeton: Princeton University Press.
* Spruit, Leen and Pina Totaro, 2011. The Vatican Manuscript of
Spinoza’s Ethica, Leiden: Brill.
* Biography portal
* Philosophy portal
Criticism of Judaism
Philosophy of Baruch Spinoza
Plane of immanence
Uriel da Costa
* ^ Steven Nadler, Spinoza: A Life, Cambridge University Press,
1999, p. 64.
* ^ Steven Nadler, Spinoza: A Life, Cambridge University Press,
1999, p. 65.
* ^ Steven Nadler,
Spinoza and Medieval Jewish Philosophy,
Cambridge University Press, 2014, p. 27: "
Spinoza attended lectures
and anatomical dissections at the University of Leiden..."
* ^ Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 2: "Through the works of Moses
Maimonides and the commentaries of the Arab Averroës,
have become acquainted with Aristotle."
* ^ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N Anthony Gottlieb. "
Philosophically (review of "Spinoza: A Life" by Steven Nadler)". The
New York Times, Books. 18 July 1999. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
* ^ "Spinoza" entry in
Collins English Dictionary
Collins English Dictionary , HarperCollins
* ^ Yalom, Irvin (21 February 2012). "The
Spinoza Problem". The
Washington Post. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
* ^ Yovel, Yirmiyahu,
Spinoza and Other Heretics: The Adventures of
Princeton University Press , 1992), p. 3
* ^ "Destroyer and Builder". The New Republic. 3 May 2012.
Retrieved 7 March 2013.
* ^ Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 2, p. 26
* ^ A B C Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 32.
* ^ Hegel\'s History of Philosophy. Google Books. Archived from the
original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
* ^ quoted in the translator's preface of Deleuze Expressionism in
* ^ de Spinoza, Benedictus; Hessing, Siegfried (1977). Speculum
Spinozanum, 1677–1977. Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 828. , Snipped
view of page 828
* ^ Magnusson 1990.
* ^ Javier Muguerza in his Desde la perplejidad
* ^ Ben-Menahem, Ari, Historical Encyclopedia of Natural and
Mathematical Sciences, Volume 1 (Springer, 2009), p. 1095.
* ^ Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 15.
* ^ A B C Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 19.
* ^ Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 20. (Scruton states that
only Baruch and Rebekah reached adulthood, but Baruch's younger
brother Gabriel apparently did as well.)
* ^ Israel, J. (1998), The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and
Fall, 1477–1806, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 4, 583, 677,
* ^ De Dijn, Herman, Spinoza: The Way to Wisdom (Purdue University
Press, 1996), pp. 3 & 4.
* ^ Nadler, Steven, Spinoza: A Life (Cambridge University Press,
2001), p. 195.
* ^ Curley, Edwin, "Spinoza's exchange with Albert Burgh," in
Melamed Vaz Dias A.M. & W.G. van der Tak (1932) Spinoza, Merchant
Nadler 2001, ch. 2, p. 27, n. 27, p. 189.
* ^ Frank Mertens, Ghent University (30 June 2009). "Franciscus van
den Enden/Biography". Retrieved 7 October 2011.
* ^ A B Nadler 2001, ch. 1, p. 1.
* ^ A B C D Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 21.
* ^ Strathern, Paul (25 September 1998).
Spinoza in 90 Minutes.
Ivan R. Dee. pp. 24–25. ISBN 978-1-56663-215-7 .
* ^ Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 21; Nadler 2001 ch.2, p. 27,
n. 27, p. 189.
* ^ Johannes Colerus, The Life of Benedict de Spinosa (London:
Benjamin Bragg, 1706), 4.
* ^ Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 20.
* ^ A B Benedictus de Spinoza, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus:
Gebhardt Edition (E.J. Brill 1989), p. 179 (available at
1 edition (23 April 2001), ISBN 978-0-521-00293-6 , p. 120
* ^ Book of
Joshua 6, 26: "And
Joshua adjured them at that time,
saying, Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth
this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his
firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it."
Second Book of Kings 2, 23–24: "And as he was going up by
the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked
him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of
the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare
forty and two children of them.
* ^ Yitzhak Melamed, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Johns
Hopkins University, speaking at an Artistic Director's Roundtable,
Theater J, Washington D.C., 18 March 2012. See also Nadler 2001, ch.
1, p. 7.
* ^ Nadler 2001, ch. 1, p. 2.
* ^ Steven B. Smith, Spinoza's book of life: freedom and redemption
in the Ethics, Yale University Press (1 December 2003), p. xx –
Introduction Google Books
* ^ Steven Nadler, Baruch Spinoza, Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy, First published Fri 29 June 2001; substantive revision Mon
1 December 2008, plato.standord.eu
* ^ Nadler 2001, ch. 2, pp. 17–22.
* ^ Nadler 2001, ch. 2, p. 19.
* ^ Nadler 2001, ch. 2, p. 20.
* ^ See Nadler 2001, ch. 2, pp. 19–21.
* ^ See Nadler 2001, ch. 2, p. 28, n. 28, p. 189.
* ^ Nadler 2001, ch. 2, pp. 25–25.
* ^ A B C D E F Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 22.
* ^ A B Yitzhak Melamed, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Johns
Hopkins University, speaking at an Artistic Director's Roundtable,
Theater J, Washington D.C., 18 March 2012.
* ^ Simon Rocker (August 28, 2014). "Why Baruch
Spinoza is still
excommunicated". The Jewish Chronicle Online.
* ^ A B C GOTTLIEB, ANTHONY. "
God Exists, Philosophically". The New
York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
* ^ Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 23.
* ^ Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 24.
* ^ Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 25.
* ^ Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, pp. 25–26.
* ^ "…he told me he had a strong desire, on the day of the
massacre of Mess. De Witt, to sally forth at night, and put up
somewhere, near the place of the massacre, a paper with the words
Ultimi barbarorum . But his host had shut the house to prevent his
going out, for he would have run the risk of being torn to pieces." (A
Refutation Recently Discovered of
Spinoza by Leibnitz, "Remarks on the
Unpublished Refutation of
Spinoza by Leibnitz," Edinburg: Thomas
Constable and Company, 1855. p. 70. Available on Google Books
* ^ A B C D Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 26.
* ^ Christiaan Huygens, Oeuvres complètes, Letter No. 1638, 11 May
* ^ Christiaan Huygens, aOeuvres complètes, letter to his brother
23 September 1667
* ^ Stephen Nadler, Spinoza: A Life (2001) p. 183
* ^ Christiaan Huygens, Oeuvres complètes, vol. XXII, p. 732,
* ^ Theodore Kerckring, "Spicilegium Anatomicum" Observatio XCIII
* ^ Chauí 1995 (2001 ed.), ch. 1, pp. 30–31: A commentary on
Descartes' work, Principles of Cartesian Philosophy, only work
published under his own name, brought him on an invitation to teach
philosophy at the University of Heidelberg. Spinoza, however, refused,
thinking that it might be demanded the renouncement of his freedom of
thought, for the invite stipulated that all care should be taken to
"not insult the principles of the established religion."
* ^ A B C D Lucas, 1960.
* ^ Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, p. 29.
Special Features (5 December 1926). "Shrine will be made of old
Society That Bears His Name Seeks Fund to Buy Dwelling
of Great Philosopher at
The Hague on the 250th Anniversary of His
Death". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
* ^ Phelps, M. Stuart (21 February 1877). "Spinoza. Oration by M.
Ernest Renan, delivered at the Hague, February 21, 1877 by Translated
by M. Stuart Phelps ".
New Englander and Yale Review Volume 0037 Issue
147 (November 1878). Retrieved 8 September 2009.
* ^ A B C D E F G H I
Harold Bloom (book reviewer) (16 June 2006).
"Deciphering Spinoza, the Great Original -- Book review of "Betraying
Spinoza. The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity." By Rebecca
Goldstein". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
* ^ "How
Spinoza lived". The New York Times. 17 March 1878.
Retrieved 8 September 2009.
* ^ Popkin, Richard H., "
Spinoza de Spinoza" in The Columbia
History of Western Philosophy (Columbia University Press, 1999), p.
* ^ A B Lisa Montanarelli (book reviewer) (8 January 2006).
Spinoza stymies \'God\'s attorney\' -- Stewart argues the secular
world was at stake in Leibniz face off". San Francisco Chronicle.
Retrieved 8 September 2009.
* ^ see Refutation of Spinoza
* ^ Stewart, Matthew, The Courtier and the Heretic (W. W. Norton &
Company, 2006), p. 106.
* ^ Spinoza,
Karl Jaspers p. 9
* ^ A B
Charles Hartshorne and William Reese, "Philosophers Speak
of God," Humanity Books, 1953 ch. 4
* ^ A B Konstan, David (1 January 2016). Zalta, Edward N., ed. The
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Metaphysics Research Lab,
Stanford University. Retrieved 21 February 2017 – via Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Ethics , Part IV, preface: "Deus seu Natura".
* ^ "Baruch Spinoza, "Human Beings are Determined"". Lander.edu.
Retrieved 21 February 2017.
* ^ Baruch Spinoza. Ethics, in Spinoza: Complete Works, trans. by
Samuel Shirley and ed. by Michael L. Morgan (Indianapolis: Hackett
Publishing, 2002), see Part I,
* ^ Ethics, Part I,
* ^ Ethics, Pt. I, Prop. XXXVI, Appendix: "en think themselves free
inasmuch as they are conscious of their volitions and desires, and
never even dream, in their ignorance, of the causes which have
disposed them so to wish and desire."
* ^ Ethics, Part III,
* ^ Roger Scruton, Spinoza, A very Short Introduction, p. 86
* ^ Cook, Vincent. "
Epicurus - Principal Doctrines". Epicurus.net.
Retrieved 21 February 2017.
* ^ Spinoza, Benedict. The Ethics.
* ^ Picton, J. Allanson, "Pantheism: Its Story and Significance",
* ^ Fraser, Alexander Campbell "Philosophy of Theism", William
Blackwood and Sons, 1895, p. 163
* ^ Correspondence of Benedict de Spinoza, Wilder Publications (26
March 2009), ISBN 978-1-60459-156-9 , letter 73
* ^ A B Karl Jaspers,
Spinoza (Great Philosophers), Harvest Books
(23 October 1974), ISBN 978-0-15-684730-8 , pp. 14, 95
* ^ A B Genevieve Lloyd, Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Spinoza
Ethics (Routledge Philosophy Guidebooks), Routledge; 1 edition
(2 October 1996), ISBN 978-0-415-10782-2 , p. 40
* ^ Lange, Frederick Albert (1880). History of
Criticism of its Present Importance, Vol. II. Boston: Houghton,
Osgood, & Co. p. 147. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
* ^ "The
Spinoza Dr. Smith regarded as the most
dangerous enemy of Christianity, and as he announced his conviction
that it had gained the control of the schools, press and pulpit of the
Old World , and was rapidly gaining the same control of the New , his
alarm and indignation sometimes rose to the eloquence of genuine
passion." Memorial of the Rev. Henry Smith, D.D., LL D., Professor of
Sacred Rhetoric and Pastoral
Lane Theological Seminary ,
Consisting of Addresses on Occasion of the Anniversary of the
Seminary, May 8th, 1879, Together with Commemorative Resolutions, p.
* ^ A B Hutchison, Percy (20 November 1932). "Spinoza,
"God-Intoxicated Man"; Three Books Which Mark the Three Hundredth
Anniversary of the Philosopher\'s Birth".
The New York Times .
Retrieved 8 September 2009.
* ^ Frank Thilly, A History of Philosophy, § 47, Holt from
Einstein: The Life and Times Ronald W. Clark, New York: World
Publishing Co., 1971, p. 413; also cited as a telegram to a Jewish
newspaper, 1929, Einstein Archive 33-272, from Alice Calaprice, ed.,
The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
* ^ "
Pantheism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)".
plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
* ^ "Baruch
Spinoza (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)".
Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
* ^ Literary Remains of the Late Professor Theodore Goldstucker, W.
H. Allen, 1879. p. 32.
* ^ The Westminster Review, Volumes 78–79, Baldwin, Cradock, and
Joy, 1862. p. 1862
* ^ Three Lectures on the
Vedanta Philosophy. F. Max Muller.
Kessinger Publishing, 2003. p. 123
* ^ H.P Blavatsky's Collected Writings, Volume 13, pp. 308–10.
* ^ Deleuze, 1968.
* ^ Nietzsche, Friedrich, "FOURTH DIVISION Concerning the
Artists and Authors", in Human, All-Too-Human: Parts One and Two: Pt.
I&II (Dover Philosophical Classics), Kindle Edition (2012-03-15),
Aphorism 157, p. 95.
* ^ Nietzsche, Friedrich, "EIGHTH DIVISION A Glance at the State",
in Human, All-Too-Human: Parts One and Two: Pt. I&II (Dover
Philosophical Classics), Kindle Edition (2012-03-15), Aphorism 475, p.
* ^ Nietzsche, Friedrich, "PART I Miscellaneous Maxims and
Opinions", in Human, All-Too-Human: Parts One and Two: Pt. I
Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650–1750, Oxford, Oxford
University Press, p. 159.
* ^ "Van der Ham biedt Verbeet
Spinoza aan". RTL Nieuws. 5 July
2012. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
* ^ "Goethe: Studie nach
Spinoza – Aufsätze und Rezensionen".
Textlog.de. 30 October 2007. Archived from the original on 13 May
2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
* ^ "Linné on line – What people have said about Linnaeus".
Linnaeus.uu.se. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 2
* ^ "Einstein believes in "Spinoza\'s God"; Scientist Defines His
Faith in Reply, to Cablegram From Rabbi Here. Sees a Divine Order But
Says Its Ruler Is Not Concerned "Wit Fates and Actions of Human
Beings."". The New York Times. 25 April 1929. Retrieved 8 September
* ^ "Einstein\'s Third Paradise, by Gerald Holton". Aip.org.
Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
Spinoza of Market Street and Other ... - Google Books. Google
Books. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May
* ^ "Spinoza\'s First Biography Is Recovered; The oldest biography
of Spinoza. Edited with Translations, Introduction, Annotations, &c.,
by A. Wolf. 196 pp. New York: Lincoln Macveagh. The Dial Press.". The
New York Times. 11 December 1927. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
* ^ Irwin Edman (22 July 1934). "The Unique and Powerful Vision of
Baruch Spinoza; Professor Wolfson\'s Long-Awaited Book Is a Work of
Illuminating Scholarship. (Book review) The Philosophy of Spinoza. By
Henry Austryn Wolfson". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 September
* ^ Cummings, M E (8 September 1929). "Roth Evaluates Spinoza". Los
Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
* ^ "Entoen.nu". Entoen.nu. Archived from the original on 13 May
2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
* ^ Ives 2009.
* ^ Berger, John. Qtd. in Nicholas Wroe, "John Berger: A Life in
Writing." The Guardian online. 23 April 2011.
* ^ Joyce, James (1986). Ulysses. New York: Random House, Inc. pp.
280, 582, etc. ISBN 0-394-74312-1 .
* ^ See G. Licata, "
Spinoza e la cognitio universalis dell'ebraico.
Demistificazione e speculazione grammaticale nel Compendio di
grammatica ebraica", Giornale di Metafisica, 3 (2009), pp. 625–61.
* Albiac, Gabriel, 1987. La sinagoga vacía: un estudio de las
fuentes marranas del espinosismo.
Madrid : Hiperión D.L. ISBN
* Balibar, Étienne , 1985.
Spinoza et la politique ("
politics") Paris: PUF .
* Bennett, Jonathan, 1984. A Study of Spinoza's Ethics. Hackett.
* Boucher, Wayne I., 1999.
Spinoza in English: A Bibliography from
the Seventeenth Century to the Present. 2nd edn. Thoemmes Press.
* Boucher, Wayne I., ed., 1999. Spinoza: Eighteenth and
Nineteenth-Century Discussions. 6 vols. Thoemmes Press.
* Carlisle, Claire. "Questioning Transcendence,
Teleology and Truth"
in Kierkegaard and the Renaissance and Modern Traditions (ed. Jon
Stewart. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2009).
* Chauí, Marilena Espinosa: uma filosofia da liberdade. São Paulo:
Editora Moderna, 1995. 111 pp.
* Damásio, António , 2003. Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and
the Feeling Brain, Harvest Books, ISBN 978-0-15-602871-4
* Deleuze, Gilles , 1968.
Spinoza et le problème de l'expression.
Trans. "Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza" Martin Joughin (New
York: Zone Books).
* ———, 1970. Spinoza: Philosophie pratique. Transl. "Spinoza:
Practical Philosophy ".
* ———, 1990. Negotiations trans. Martin Joughin (New York:
Columbia University Press).
* Della Rocca, Michael. 1996. Representation and the Mind-Body
Problem in Spinoza. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-509562-3
* Garrett, Don, ed., 1995. The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza.
Cambridge Uni. Press.
* Gatens, Moira, and Lloyd, Genevieve, 1999. Collective imaginings :
Spinoza, past and present. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-16570-9 , ISBN
* Goldstein, Rebecca , 2006. Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who
Gave Us Modernity. Schocken. ISBN 978-0-8052-1159-7
* Goode, Francis, 2012. Life of Spinoza. Smashwords edition. ISBN
* Gullan-Whur, Margaret, 1998. Within Reason: A Life of Spinoza.
Jonathan Cape. ISBN 978-0-224-05046-3
* Hampshire, Stuart , 1951.
Spinoza and Spinozism, OUP, 2005 ISBN
* Hardt, Michael , trans., University of Minnesota Press. Preface,
in French, by Gilles Deleuze, available here: "Multitudes Web - 01.
Préface à L\'Anomalie sauvage de Negri". Multitudes.samizdat.net.
Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
* Israel, Jonathan , 2001. The Radical Enlightenment, Oxford: Oxford
* ———, 2006. Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity,
and the Emancipation of Man 1670–1752, (ISBN 978-0-19-927922-7
* Ives 2009: Ives, David, "New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of
Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27,
1656," 2009 (Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York, ISBN
* Kasher, Asa , and Shlomo Biderman. "Why Was Baruch de Spinoza
* Kayser, Rudolf, 1946, with an introduction by
Albert Einstein .
Spinoza: Portrait of a Spiritual Hero. New York: The Philosophical
* Lloyd, Genevieve , 1996.
Spinoza and the Ethics. Routledge. ISBN
978-0-415-10781-5 , ISBN 978-0-415-10782-2
* LeBuffe, Michael. 2010.
Spinoza and Human Freedom. Oxford
* Lucas, P. G., 1960. "Some Speculative and Critical Philosophers",
in I. Levine (ed.), Philosophy (London: Odhams)
* Lovejoy, Arthur O. , 1936. "Plenitude and Sufficient
Leibniz and Spinoza" in his The
Great Chain of Being . Harvard
University Press: 144–82 (ISBN 978-0-674-36153-9 ). Reprinted in
Frankfurt, H. G., ed., 1972. Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays.
* Macherey, Pierre , 1977.
Hegel ou Spinoza, Maspéro (2nd ed. La
* ———, 1994–98. Introduction à l'Ethique de Spinoza. Paris:
* Magnusson 1990: Magnusson, M (ed.), Spinoza, Baruch, Chambers
Biographical Dictionary, Chambers 1990, ISBN 978-0-550-16041-6 .
* Matheron, Alexandre, 1969. Individu et communauté chez Spinoza,
Paris: Minuit .
* Montag, Warren. Bodies, Masses, Power:
Spinoza and his
Contemporaries. (London: Verso, 2002).
* Moreau, Pierre-François, 2003,
Spinoza et le spinozisme, PUF
(Presses Universitaires de France)
* Nadler 1999: Nadler, Steven , Spinoza: A Life, 1999 (Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge England, ISBN 978-0-521-55210-3 ).
* Nadler 2001: Nadler, Steven , Spinoza's Heresy: Immortality and
the Jewish Mind, 2001 (Oxford University Press, Oxford England, New
York NY, reprinted 2004, ISBN 0-19-926887-8 ).
* Nadler 2006: Nadler, Steven , Spinoza's Ethics: An Introduction,
2006 (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge England, ISBN
* Nadler 2011: Nadler, Steven , A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza\'s
Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age, 2011 (Princeton
University Press, Princeton NJ, ISBN 978-0-691-13989-0 ).
* Negri, Antonio , 1991. The Savage Anomaly: The Power of Spinoza's
Metaphysics and Politics.
* ———, 2004. Subversive Spinoza: (Un)Contemporary Variations).
* Popkin, R. H. , 2004.
Spinoza (Oxford: One World Publications)
* Prokhovnik, Raia (2004).
Spinoza and republicanism. Houndmills,
Basingstoke, Hampshire New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0333733908 .
* Ratner, Joseph, 1927. The Philosophy of
Spinoza (The Modern
Library: Random House)
* Scruton 1986: Scruton, Roger , Spinoza: A Very Short Introduction,
1986 (Oxford University Press, Oxford England), 2002 (reprinted as A
Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford England, ISBN
* Stewart, Matthew. The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza
and the Fate of God. 2006. W. W. Norton
* Stolze, Ted and
Warren Montag (eds.), The New Spinoza;
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
* Strauss, Leo. Persecution and the Art of Writing. Glencoe, Ill.:
Free Press, 1952. Reprint. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988.
* ———ch. 5, "How to Study Spinoza's Tractus
Theologico-Politicus;" reprinted in Strauss, Jewish Philosophy and the
Crisis of Modernity, ed. Kenneth Hart Green (Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press,
* ———Spinoza's Critique of Religion. New York: Schocken Books,
1965. Reprint. University of Chicago Press, 1996.
* ———, "Preface to the English Translation" reprinted as
"Preface to Spinoza's Critique of Religion," in Strauss, Liberalism
Ancient and Modern (New York: Basic Books, 1968, 224–59; also in
Strauss, Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity, 137–77).
* Smilevski, Goce. Conversation with SPINOZA. Chicago: Northwestern
University Press, 2006.
* Williams, David Lay. 2010. "
Spinoza and the General Will," The
Journal of Politics, Vol. 72 (April): 341–56.
* Wolfson, Henry A. "The Philosophy of Spinoza". 2 vols. Harvard
* Yalom, I. (2012) The
Spinoza Problem: A Novel. New York: Basic
* Yovel, Yirmiyahu, "
Spinoza and Other Heretics, Vol. 1: The Marrano
of Reason." Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1989.
* Yovel, Yirmiyahu, "
Spinoza and Other Heretics, Vol. 2: The
Adventures of Immanence." Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1989.
* Vinciguerra, Lorenzo
Spinoza in French Philosophy Today.
Philosophy Today, Vol. 53, No. 4, Winter 2009.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: BARUCH SPINOZA
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Wikimedia Commons has media related to BARUCH DE SPINOZA .
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy :