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 ,
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 . 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
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
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
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 of Cartesianism,
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").
The _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
_ The opening page of Spinoza's magnum opus_, _Ethics_
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'),
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
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 immanence. Even
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 "God-intoxicated man".
Spinoza inspired the poet Shelley to
write his essay "
The Necessity of Atheism
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 _, 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
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
_ Tractatus Theologico-Politicus_
Ludwig Wittgenstein evoked
Spinoza with the title
(suggested to him by
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 aeternitatis _ from
Spinoza (_Notebooks, 1914-16_, p. 83). The
structure of his _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,
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_).
God (infinite substance) with Nature, consistent with Einstein's
belief in an impersonal deity. In 1929, Einstein was asked in a
telegram by Rabbi
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
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
* 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_).
* 1662. _
Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione _ (_On the Improvement
of the Understanding_).
* 1663. _
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).
* 1670. _
Tractatus Theologico-Politicus _ (A Theologico-Political
* 1675–76. _
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
God Exists, Philosophically (review of "Spinoza: A Life" by
Steven Nadler)". The New York Times, Books. 18 July 1999. Retrieved 7
* ^ "Spinoza" entry in _
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 Immanence_ (
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
Philosophy: Spinoza_ (1990).
* ^ 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.
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* ^ Scruton 1986 (2002 ed.), ch. 1, pp. 25–26.
* ^ "…he told me he had a strong desire, on the day of the
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