Baruch Spinoza

Most Influential Person Across History

17th century philosopher

Baruch Spinoza's Academic­ Rankings

Baruch Spinoza
Historical Rank
Historical Rank
philosophy Degrees
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  • Philosophy

Why Is Baruch Spinoza Influential?

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According to Wikipedia, Baruch Spinoza was a philosopher of Portuguese-Jewish origin, born in Amsterdam, the Dutch Republic, and mostly known under his Latinized pen name Benedictus de Spinoza. One of the foremost and seminal thinkers of the Enlightenment, modern biblical criticism, and 17th-century Rationalism, including modern conceptions of the self and the universe, he came to be considered "one of the most important philosophers—and certainly the most radical—of the early modern period". He was influenced by Stoicism, Maimonides, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, and a variety of heterodox Christian thinkers of his day. His controversial ideas challenged the divine origin of the Hebrew Bible, the nature of God, and the earthly power wielded by religious authorities, Jewish and Christian alike. He was frequently called an "atheist" by contemporaries, although nowhere in his work does Spinoza argue against the existence of God. His theological studies were inseparable from his thinking on politics; he is grouped with Hobbes, Locke, Leibniz, and Kant, who "helped establish the genre of political writing called secular theology."

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What Are Baruch Spinoza's Academic Contributions?

Baruch Spinoza has made the following academic contributions: