Benedict de Spinoza
Benedict de Spinoza (1632–1677) was a Dutch philosopher who came to be known as one of the great rationalists of the 17th-century. Born into a Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam, Spinoza was excommunicated from this society at age 23. His most famous work, Ethics, was published posthumously; he is also the author of the Theological-Political Treatise, published in 1670. Spinoza's work laid the groundwork for the 18th-century Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, and has influenced such wide-ranging later thinkers as George Eliot, Freidrich Nietzsche, Immanuel Kant, and Albert Einstein.
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