Benedictus D Spinoza

Benedictus D Spinoza
BENEDICT DE (BARUCH) SPINOZA was born in Amsterdam, Holland, on November 24, 1632, into a family of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish descent. Given his cultural and religious background, Spinoza was educated in Judaism within the close Amsterdam community. In his mid-twenties, he began to turn away from his religion; after attempting to return Spinoza to the fold, the Amsterdam community expelled him in 1656. To escape these pressures, Spinoza moved to the nearby village of Ouwerkerk in 1660, where he could be close to friends, many of whom belonged to a religious community in the area.

Rather than being schooled at the universities, Spinoza was trained as a skilled craftsman--a grinder of optical lenses. This vocation provided him with a modest living, which permitted ample time for study and for writing on a variety of subjects. One of the early products of these independent intellectual efforts was Spinoza's short work on the philosophy of Rene Descartes (Parts I and II Read More chevron_right