Baruch Spinoza, Dutch philosopher

Baruch Spinoza, Dutch philosopher

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Caption: Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), Dutch philosopher. Expelled from Holland's Jewish community for his heretical views, Spinoza believed that nothing exists independently except for God, and that everything that exists does so as a part of God. In essence he considered the Universe and Nature to be God, rather than the personalised Judeo- Christian deity. His seminal work, Ethics (1677), outlined these views and has become one of the most important early modern philosophical works. Spinoza supported himself by doing lens- grinding whilst writing his philosophical works, and it was the glass dust he inhaled which caused his premature death at the age of 45.

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