The Life and Works of Baruch Spinoza

The Life and Works of Baruch Spinoza

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Spinoza was born into a business family in the Netherlands. His family was Jewish, and they had fled Portugal due to the pressures of the Inquisition, first to Nantes and then to Amsterdam (estimated 1622).

He lived in the Netherlands at a time of intense scientific discoveries, religious divisions and conflicts, political changes and philosophical developments. Spinoza’s father made progress in the social as well as business and became the director of the Synagogue and Jewish school in Amsterdam. His family wanted Spinoza to grow up as a Jewish rabbi and provided all kinds of educational opportunities for him to develop in this direction. For this reason, Spinoza learned Hebrew in the Jewish schools and synagogues he attended at an early age, and had the opportunity to learn the works of Jewish and Arab theologians.

It can be said that Spinoza’s strong connection with secular and questioning thought was influenced by his teacher, Manasseh ben Israel (appointed to the Amsterdam Yeshiva in 1638), known as the liberal rabbi, who was at the beginning of the educational process.

Works of Spinoza

– Ethics
– A Brief Review on God, Man and Human Happiness
– Political Studies, (Tractatus Politicus)
– Development of Understanding
– Principles of Descartes Philosophy I and II. Identification of Sections by Benedictus Spinoza by Geometric Method.
– Theological-Political Studies

His works published during Spinoza’s lifetime were his interpretation of Descartes’ Principia Philosophiae (Principles of Philosophy) and his book Theological-Political Treatises. Ethics was a ready but unpublished book, published long after his death. His other books were prepared by his audience, combining his notes and unfinished writings.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook