In philosophy, the concept of The Absolute known as The Ultimate, The Wholly Other, The Supreme Being, The Absolute/Ultimate Reality, other names, is the thing, entity, force, presence, principle, etc. that possesses maximal ontological status, existential ranking, existential greatness, or existentiality. In layman's terms, this is the one that is, in one way or another, the greatest, truest, or most real being. There are many conceptions of The Absolute in various fields and subjects, such as philosophy, spiritual traditions and natural science; the nature of these conceptions can range from "merely" encompassing all physical existence, nature, or reality, to being unconditioned existentially, transcending all concepts and types, categories of being. The Absolute is thought of as causing to come into being manifestations that interact with lower or lesser forms of being; this is either done passively, through emanations, or through avatars and incarnations. These existential manifestations, which themselves can possess transcendent attributes, only contain minuscule or infinitesimal portions of the true essence of The Absolute.
The term itself was not in use in ancient or medieval philosophy, but related to the description of God as Actus purus in scholasticism. It was introduced in modern philosophy, notably by Hegel, for "the sum of all being and potential"; the term has since been adopted in perennial philosophy. There are three general ways of conceiving the Absolute; the Absolute might be the first and greatest being, not a being at all but the "ground" of being, or both the ground of being and a being. In conception one the Absolute is the most intelligible reality, it can be known. For example, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's Absolute Spirit is the most true reality, it is thinkable and exists in the objective world by comprehending everything, including people and world history. In conception two the Absolute might be conceived of as utterly outside of all other reality and hence unintelligible, it can not be spoken about. Plato's Socrates says that "The Form of the Good" is "beyond being", implying that it is beyond thought and normal categories of existence.
St. John of the Cross says: In conception three the Absolute is seen as transcending duality and distinction; this concept of a fundamental reality that transcends or includes all other reality is associated with divinity. While this conception seems contradictory, it has been influential. One way to understand this third conception is to consider the Tao Te Ching; these opening lines distinguish between two Taos. One is the "eternal Tao" and the other "Tao" seems to exist in space and time; the eternal Tao is beyond existence and cannot be named or understood, while the other Tao exists and can be known. The eternal Tao is infinite; the eternal Tao is formless. The eternal Tao is transcendent; the other "Tao" is an attempt to describe the "eternal Tao" in human terms. He continues: In these lines, he further discusses the difference between the two Taos; the eternal Tao is the origin of Heaven and Earth. The "named" Tao, on the other hand, is able to describe specific phenomenons that exist in space and time, hence it is the mother of myriad of things.
He points out that both the "named" and the "nameless" emerge together from the same eternal Tao. This self-contradictory unity, of course, is said to be the mystery to be understood. One or more of these conceptions of the Absolute can be found in various other perspectives; the following is a list of conceptions of the Absolute. Note that the list is ordered alphabetically, but some of the sublists are ordered by historical precedence: General philosophy — God, Conceptions of God, Deity Abrahamic religions — God in Abrahamic religions Alawites — Allah Bahá'í Faith and Bábism — God in the Bahá'í Faith, Báb, He whom God shall make manifest Christianity — God in Christianity, Jehovah Christian theology — Apophatic theology and Cataphatic theology Catholic theology Scholasticism and Thomas Aquinas: Thomism and Thought of Thomas Aquinas — Actus purus, Actus primus Eastern Orthodox theology — Essence–energies distinction Oriental Orthodoxy — Miaphysitism Protestant theology — Five solae Paul Tillich — God Above God Christian philosophy — God in Christianity Nicolas Malebranche — God Christian mysticism — God in Christianity Kimbanguism — Simon Kimbangu Druze — God Islam — God in Islam, Allah Schools of Islamic theology — God in Islam Islamic philosophy — God in Islam Sufism — Haqiqa, Alam-i-HaHoot Judaism — God in Judaism, Tetragrammaton The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah — Yahweh Jewish philosophy — God in Judaism Jewish mysticism / Kabbalah — Ein Sof Mormonism — God in Mormonism Rastafari — Jah Samaritanism — Yahweh Shabakism — Divine Reality Yazdânism — Hâk / Haq Alevism — Haqq-Muhammad-Ali Ishikism — Haqq-Muhammad-Ali Yarsanism — The Divine Essence Yazidis — Melek Taus Acosmism — Unmanifest Adyghe Habze — Theshxwe Akan religion — Anansi Kokuroku Albanian mythology — Perendi Aldous Huxley's — Ground of Being, see The Perennial Philosophy Ancient Canaanite religion — El Ancient Egyptian religion and Egyptian mythology — Ra and assorted aspects, s
Ontology is the philosophical study of being. More broadly, it studies concepts that directly relate to being, in particular becoming, reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, subdivided according to similarities and differences; the compound word ontology combines onto- and -logia. See classical compounds for this type of word formation. While the etymology is Greek, the oldest extant record of the word itself, the New Latin form ontologia, appeared in 1606 in the work Ogdoas Scholastica by Jacob Lorhard and in 1613 in the Lexicon philosophicum by Rudolf Göckel; the first occurrence in English of ontology as recorded by the OED came in a work by Gideon Harvey: Archelogia philosophica nova. Containing Philosophy in general, Metaphysicks or Ontology, Dynamilogy or a Discourse of Power, Religio Philosophi or Natural Theology, Physicks or Natural philosophy, Thomson, 1663.
The word was first used in its Latin form by philosophers based on the Latin roots, which themselves are based on the Greek. Leibniz is the only one of the great philosophers of the 17th century to have used the term ontology; some philosophers, notably in the traditions of the Platonic school, contend that all nouns refer to existent entities. Other philosophers contend that nouns do not always name entities, but that some provide a kind of shorthand for reference to a collection either of objects or of events. In this latter view, instead of referring to an entity, refers to a collection of mental events experienced by a person. Between these poles of realism and nominalism stand a variety of other positions. Principal questions of ontology include: "What can be said to exist?" "What is a thing?" "Into what categories, if any, can we sort existing things?" "What are the meanings of being?" "What are the various modes of being of entities?"Various philosophers have provided different answers to these questions.
One common approach involves dividing the extant subjects and predicates into groups called categories. Such lists of categories differ from one another, it is through the co-ordination of different categorical schemes that ontology relates to such fields as library science and artificial intelligence; such an understanding of ontological categories, however, is taxonomic, classificatory. Aristotle's categories are the ways in which a being may be addressed as a being, such as: what it is how it is how much it is where it is Further examples of ontological questions include: What is existence, i.e. what does it mean for a being to be? Is existence a property? Is existence a genus or general class, divided up by specific differences? Which entities, if any, are fundamental? Are all entities objects? How do the properties of an object relate to the object itself? Do physical properties exist? What features are the essential, as opposed to accidental attributes of a given object? How many levels of existence or ontological levels are there?
And what constitutes a "level"? What is a physical object? Can one give an account of what it means to say that a physical object exists? Can one give an account of what it means to say that a non-physical entity exists? What constitutes the identity of an object? When does an object go out of existence, as opposed to changing? Do beings exist other than in the modes of objectivity and subjectivity, i.e. is the subject/object split of modern philosophy inevitable? Essential ontological dichotomies include: universals and particulars substance and accident abstract and concrete objects essence and existence determinism and indeterminism monism and dualism idealism and materialism Philosophers can classify ontologies in various ways, using criteria such as the degree of abstraction and field of application: Upper ontology: concepts supporting development of an ontology, meta-ontology Domain ontology: concepts relevant to a particular topic, domain of discourse, or area of interest, for example, to information technology or to computer languages, or to particular branches of science Interface ontology: concepts relevant to the juncture of two disciplines Process ontology: inputs, constraints, sequencing information, involved in business or engineering processes Ontology features in the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy from the first millennium BCE.
The concept of guṇa which describes the three properties present in differing proportions in all existing things, is a notable concept of this school. In the Greek philosophical tradition, Parmenides was among the first to propose an ontological characterization of the fundamental nature of existence. In the prologue or proem to his poem On Nature he describes two views of existence. Our opinions about truth must be false and deceitful. Most of western philosophy — including the fundamental concepts of falsifiability — has emerged from this view; this posits that
Karl Marx was a German philosopher, historian, political theorist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, Marx studied law and philosophy at university, he married Jenny von Westphalen in 1843. Due to his political publications, Marx became stateless and lived in exile with his wife and children in London for decades, where he continued to develop his thought in collaboration with German thinker Friedrich Engels and publish his writings, researching in the reading room of the British Museum, his best-known titles are the 1848 pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto, the three-volume Das Kapital. His political and philosophical thought had enormous influence on subsequent intellectual and political history and his name has been used as an adjective, a noun and a school of social theory. Marx's theories about society and politics – collectively understood as Marxism – hold that human societies develop through class struggle. In capitalism, this manifests itself in the conflict between the ruling classes that control the means of production and the working classes that enable these means by selling their labour power in return for wages.
Employing a critical approach known as historical materialism, Marx predicted that, like previous socio-economic systems, capitalism produced internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system: socialism. For Marx, class antagonisms under capitalism, owing in part to its instability and crisis-prone nature, would eventuate the working class' development of class consciousness, leading to their conquest of political power and the establishment of a classless, communist society constituted by a free association of producers. Marx pressed for its implementation, arguing that the working class should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic emancipation. Marx has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, his work has been both lauded and criticised, his work in economics laid the basis for much of the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital, subsequent economic thought.
Many intellectuals, labour unions and political parties worldwide have been influenced by Marx's work, with many modifying or adapting his ideas. Marx is cited as one of the principal architects of modern social science. Marx was born on 5 May 1818 to Henriette Pressburg, he was born at Brückengasse 664 in Trier, a town part of the Kingdom of Prussia's Province of the Lower Rhine. Marx was ethnically Jewish, his maternal grandfather was a Dutch rabbi, while his paternal line had supplied Trier's rabbis since 1723, a role taken by his grandfather Meier Halevi Marx. His father, as a child known as Herschel, was the first in the line to receive a secular education, he became a lawyer and lived a wealthy and middle-class existence, with his family owning a number of Moselle vineyards. Prior to his son's birth, after the abrogation of Jewish emancipation in the Rhineland, Herschel converted from Judaism to join the state Evangelical Church of Prussia, taking on the German forename Heinrich over the Yiddish Herschel.
Non-religious, Heinrich was a man of the Enlightenment, interested in the ideas of the philosophers Immanuel Kant and Voltaire. A classical liberal, he took part in agitation for a constitution and reforms in Prussia, at that time being an absolute monarchy. In 1815, Heinrich Marx began working as an attorney and in 1819 moved his family to a ten-room property near the Porta Nigra, his wife, Henriette Pressburg, was a Dutch Jewish woman from a prosperous business family that founded the company Philips Electronics. Her sister Sophie Pressburg married Lion Philips and was the grandmother of both Gerard and Anton Philips and great-grandmother to Frits Philips. Lion Philips was a wealthy Dutch tobacco manufacturer and industrialist, upon whom Karl and Jenny Marx would often come to rely for loans while they were exiled in London. Little is known of Marx's childhood; the third of nine children, he became the eldest son when his brother Moritz died in 1819. Young Marx and his surviving siblings, Hermann, Louise and Caroline, were baptised into the Lutheran Church in August 1824 and their mother in November 1825.
Young Marx was educated by his father until 1830, when he entered Trier High School, whose headmaster, Hugo Wyttenbach, was a friend of his father. By employing many liberal humanists as teachers, Wyttenbach incurred the anger of the local conservative government. Subsequently, police raided the school in 1832 and discovered that literature espousing political liberalism was being distributed among the students. Considering the distribution of such material a seditious act, the authorities instituted reforms and replaced several staff during Marx's attendance. In October 1835 at the age of 17, Marx travelled to the University of Bonn wishing to study philosophy and literature, but his father insisted on law as a more practical field. Due to a condition referred to as a "weak chest", Marx was excused from military duty when he turned 18. While at the University at Bonn, Marx joined the Poets' Club, a group containing political radicals that were monitored by the police. Marx joined the Trier Tavern Club drinking society, at one point serving as club co-president.
Additionally, Marx was involved in certain disputes, some of which became serious: in August 1836 he took part in a duel with a member of the university's Borussian Korps. Although his grades
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher and an important figure of German idealism. He achieved wide recognition in his day and—while influential within the continental tradition of philosophy—has become influential in the analytic tradition as well. Although Hegel remains a divisive figure, his canonical stature within Western philosophy is universally recognized. Hegel's principal achievement was his development of a distinctive articulation of idealism, sometimes termed absolute idealism, in which the dualisms of, for instance and nature and subject and object are overcome, his philosophy of spirit conceptually integrates psychology, the state, art and philosophy. His account of the master–slave dialectic has been influential in 20th-century France. Of special importance is his concept of spirit as the historical manifestation of the logical concept and the "sublation" of contradictory or opposing factors: examples include the apparent opposition between nature and freedom and between immanence and transcendence.
Hegel has been seen in the 20th century as the originator of the thesis, synthesis triad, but as an explicit phrase it originated with Johann Gottlieb Fichte. Hegel has influenced many writers whose own positions vary widely. Karl Barth described Hegel as a "Protestant Aquinas" while Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote that "all the great philosophical ideas of the past century—the philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche, German existentialism, psychoanalysis—had their beginnings in Hegel." He was born on August 27, 1770 in Stuttgart, capital of the Duchy of Württemberg in southwestern Germany. Christened Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, he was known as Wilhelm to his close family, his father, Georg Ludwig, was Rentkammersekretär at the court of Duke of Württemberg. Hegel's mother, Maria Magdalena Louisa, was the daughter of a lawyer at the High Court of Justice at the Württemberg court, she died of a "bilious fever". Hegel and his father caught the disease, but they narrowly survived. Hegel had Christiane Luise. At the age of three, he went to the German School.
When he entered the Latin School two years he knew the first declension, having been taught it by his mother. In 1776, he entered Stuttgart's gymnasium illustre and during his adolescence read voraciously, copying lengthy extracts in his diary. Authors he read include the poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock and writers associated with the Enlightenment, such as Christian Garve and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, his studies at the Gymnasium were concluded with his Abiturrede entitled "The abortive state of art and scholarship in Turkey". At the age of eighteen, Hegel entered the Tübinger Stift, where he had as roommates the poet and philosopher Friedrich Hölderlin and the philosopher-to-be Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling. Sharing a dislike for what they regarded as the restrictive environment of the Seminary, the three became close friends and mutually influenced each other's ideas. All admired Hellenic civilization and Hegel additionally steeped himself in Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Lessing during this time.
They watched the unfolding of the French Revolution with shared enthusiasm. Schelling and Hölderlin immersed themselves in theoretical debates on Kantian philosophy, from which Hegel remained aloof. Hegel at this time envisaged his future as that of a Popularphilosoph, i.e. a "man of letters" who serves to make the abstruse ideas of philosophers accessible to a wider public. Although the violence of the Reign of Terror in 1793 dampened Hegel's hopes, he continued to identify with the moderate Girondin faction and never lost his commitment to the principles of 1789, which he would express by drinking a toast to the storming of the Bastille every fourteenth of July. Having received his theological certificate from the Tübingen Seminary, Hegel became Hofmeister to an aristocratic family in Bern. During this period, he composed the text which has become known as the Life of Jesus and a book-length manuscript titled "The Positivity of the Christian Religion", his relations with his employers becoming strained, Hegel accepted an offer mediated by Hölderlin to take up a similar position with a wine merchant's family in Frankfurt, to which he relocated in 1797.
Here, Hölderlin exerted an important influence on Hegel's thought. While in Frankfurt, Hegel composed the essay "Fragments on Religion and Love". In 1799, he wrote another essay entitled "The Spirit of Christianity and Its Fate", unpublished during his lifetime. In 1797, the unpublished and unsigned manuscript of "The Oldest Systematic Program of German Idealism" was written, it was written in Hegel's hand, but thought to have been authored by either Hegel, Schelling, Hölderlin, or an unknown fourth person. In 1801, Hegel came to Jena with the encouragement of his old friend Schelling, who held the position of Extraordinary Professor at the University there. Hegel secured a position at the University as a Privatdozent after submitting the inaugural dissertation De Orbitis Planetarum, in
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences
The Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, is a work that presents an abbreviated version of Hegel's systematic philosophy in its entirety, is the only form in which Hegel published his entire mature philosophical system. The fact that the account is exhaustive, that the grounding structures of reality are ideal, that the system is closed makes the Encyclopedia a statement par excellence of absolute idealism. Intended as a pedagogical aid for attendees of his lectures, Hegel revised and extended the Encyclopedia over more than a decade, but stressed its role as a "textbook" in need of elucidation through oral commentary; the 1830 text is available in various English translations with copious additions added posthumously by Hegel's students, deriving from their lecture notes. These additions expand on the text with examples and illustrations, while scholars do not take the Zusätze to be verbatim transcription of Hegel's lectures, their more informal and non-technical style make them good stand-ins for the "necessary oral commentary".
Part I of the work is sometimes referred to as the Lesser Logic to distinguish it from the Greater Logic, the moniker given to Hegel's Science of Logic. The Encyclopedia has three main parts, each of, further subdivided, which together purport to cover all the fundamental aspects of reality, form a closed systematic unity. Science of Logic Being Essence Concept Science of Nature Mechanics Physics Organics Science of Geist Subjective Objective Absolute SpiritHegel is careful to methodically derive each category of reality from its predecessor notion, with the completed system bringing the circle to a close, demonstrating its unity; the work describes the pattern of the Idea as manifesting itself in dialectical reasoning. While some believe that the philosophy of nature and mind are applications of the logic, this is a misunderstanding; the purpose of the Encyclopedia is descriptive: to describe how Geist develops itself and not to apply the dialectical method to all areas of human knowledge, but Spirit is in process of growing, like a seed growing into a mature tree: it passes through stages.
The first stage of Spirit's development is described in the Logic. Thus the Logic presents the categories of thought; these logical categories turn out to be none other than Geist itself. In order to get at what a thing is, we must think about it. No amount of observing will bring us to the essence of things. Thinking and being are equivalent, so logic and metaphysics are equivalent as well; the underlying element of it all is Geist. As Geist works itself out more it reaches the point where it cannot remain as it is; when this stage of its development is completed, Geist "returns" to itself, the emergence of the philosophy of mind. Hegel coined the term "diamond net" in the book, he said, “the entire range of the universal determinations of thought… into which everything is brought and thereby first made intelligible.” In other words, the diamond net of which Hegel speaks are the logical categories according to which we understand our experience, thus making our empirical observations intelligible.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Basic Outline, translated by Klaus Brinkmann, Dandaniel O. Dahlstrom Template:ISBN-10:0521829143English translations of all three parts are available from Oxford University Press, with each part bound as a separate book; the Encyclopaedia Logic: Part 1 of the Encyclopaedia of Philosophical Sciences, trans. T. F. Geraets, W. A. Suchting, H. S. Harris. Philosophy of Nature, trans. Michael John Petry, 3 vols.. Hegel's Philosophy of Mind: Being Part Three of the Encyclopaedia of Philosophical Sciences, trans. William Wallace. Quotations related to Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences at Wikiquote E-text of Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften im Grundrisse E-text of the Wallace Translation of Part Three of the Encyclopaedia Hegel's Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Outline
Giovanni Gentile was an Italian neo-Hegelian idealist philosopher and fascist politician. The self-styled "philosopher of Fascism", he was influential in providing an intellectual foundation for Italian Fascism, ghostwrote part of The Doctrine of Fascism with Benito Mussolini, he was involved in the resurgence of Hegelian idealism in Italian philosophy and devised his own system of thought, which he called "actual idealism" or "actualism", and, described as "the subjective extreme of the idealist tradition". Giovanni Gentile was born in Sicily, he was inspired by Italian intellectuals such as Mazzini, Rosmini and Spaventa from whom he borrowed the idea of autoctisi, "self-construction", but was influenced by the German idealist and materialist schools of thought – namely Karl Marx and Fichte, with whom he shared the ideal of creating a Wissenschaftslehre, a theory for a structure of knowledge that makes no assumptions. Friedrich Nietzsche, influenced him, as seen in an analogy between Nietzsche's Übermensch and Gentile's Uomo Fascista.
In religion he presented himself as a Catholic, emphasised actual idealism's Christian heritage. He won a fierce competition to become one of four exceptional students of the prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, where he enrolled in the Faculty of Humanities. During his academic career, Gentile served in a number of positions, including as: Professor of the History of Philosophy at the University of Palermo. In 1922, Gentile was named Minister of Public Education for the government of Benito Mussolini. In this capacity he instituted the "Riforma Gentile" – a reformation of the secondary school system that had a long-lasting impact on Italian education, his philosophical works included The Theory of Mind as Pure Act and Logic as Theory of Knowledge, with which he defined Actual Idealism, a unified metaphysical system reinforcing his sentiments that philosophy isolated from life, life isolated from philosophy, are but two identical modes of backward cultural bankruptcy. For Gentile, this theory indicated how philosophy could directly influence and penetrate life.
In 1925, Gentile headed two constitutional reform commissions that helped establish the corporate state of Fascism. He would go on to serve as president of the Fascist state's Grand Council of Public Education, gained membership on the powerful Fascist Grand Council. Gentile's philosophical system – the foundation of all Fascist philosophy – viewed thought as all-embracing: no-one could leave his or her sphere of thought, nor exceed his or her thought. Reality was unthinkable, except in relation to the activity by means of which it becomes thinkable, positing that as a unity — held in the active subject and the discrete abstract phenomena that reality comprehends – wherein each phenomenon, when realised, was centered within that unity. Gentile used that philosophic frame to systematize every item of interest that now was subject to the rule of absolute self-identification – thus rendering as correct every consequence of the hypothesis; the resultant philosophy can be interpreted as an idealist foundation for Legal Naturalism.
Giovanni Gentile was described by Mussolini, by himself, as "the philosopher of Fascism". It was first published in 1932, in the Italian Encyclopedia, wherein he described the traits characteristic of Italian Fascism at the time: compulsory state corporatism, Philosopher Kings, the abolition of the parliamentary system, autarky, he wrote the Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals, signed by a number of writers and intellectuals, including Luigi Pirandello, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Giuseppe Ungaretti. Gentile became a member of the Fascist Grand Council in 1925, remained loyal to Mussolini after the fall of the Fascist government in 1943, he supported Mussolini's establishment of the "Republic of Salò", a puppet state of Nazi Germany, despite having criticized its anti-Jewish laws, accepted an appointment in its government. Gentile was the last president of the Royal Academy of Italy. In 1944 a group of anti-fascist partisans, led by Bruno Fanciullacci, murdered the "philosopher of Fascism" as he returned from the prefecture in Florence, where he had been arguing for the release of anti-fascist intellectuals.
Benedetto Croce wrote that Gentile "... holds the honor of having been the most rigorous neo-Hegelian in the entire history of Western philosophy and the dishonor of having been the official philosopher of Fascism in Italy." His philosophical basis for fascism was rooted in his understanding of ontology and epistemology, in which he found vindication for the rejection of individualism, acceptance of collectivism, with the state as the ultimate location of authority and loyalty outside of which individuality had no m
Baruch Spinoza was a Jewish-Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Sephardi origin. By laying the groundwork for the Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, including modern conceptions of the self and the universe, he came to be considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy. Along with René Descartes, Spinoza was a leading philosophical figure of the Dutch Golden Age. Spinoza's given name, which means "Blessed", varies among different languages. In Hebrew, it is written ברוך שפינוזה, his Portuguese name is d'Espinosa. In his Latin works, he used Latin: Benedictus de Spinoza. Spinoza was raised in a Portuguese-Jewish community in Amsterdam, he developed controversial ideas regarding the authenticity of the Hebrew Bible and the nature of the Divine. Jewish religious authorities issued a herem against him, causing him to be shunned by Jewish society at age 23, his books were later put on the Catholic Church's Index of Forbidden Books. Spinoza lived an outwardly simple life as an optical lens grinder, collaborating on microscope and telescope lens designs with Constantijn and Christiaan Huygens.
He turned down rewards and honours including prestigious teaching positions. He died at the age of 44 in 1677 from a lung illness tuberculosis or silicosis exacerbated by the inhalation of fine glass dust while grinding lenses, he is buried in the churchyard of the Christian Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague. Spinoza's magnum opus, the Ethics, was published posthumously in the year of his death; the work opposed Descartes' philosophy of mind–body dualism, earned Spinoza recognition as one of Western philosophy's most important thinkers. In it, "Spinoza wrote the last indisputable Latin masterpiece, one in which the refined conceptions of medieval philosophy are turned against themselves and destroyed entirely". Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said, "The fact is that Spinoza is made a testing-point in modern philosophy, so that it may be said: You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all." His philosophical accomplishments and moral character prompted Gilles Deleuze to name him "the'prince' of philosophers."
Spinoza's ancestors were of Sephardic Jewish descent and were a part of the community of Portuguese Jews that had settled in the city of Amsterdam in the wake of the Portuguese Inquisition, which had resulted in forced conversions and expulsions from the Iberian Peninsula. Attracted by the Decree of Toleration issued in 1579 by the Union of Utrecht, Portuguese converts to Catholicism first sailed to Amsterdam in 1593 and promptly reconverted to Judaism. In 1598, permission was granted to build a synagogue, in 1615 an ordinance for the admission and government of the Jews was passed; as a community of exiles, the Portuguese Jews of Amsterdam were proud of their identity. Although the Portuguese name "de Espinosa" or "Espinosa," spelled with a "z," can be confused with the Spanish "de Espinoza" or "Espinoza," there is no evidence in Spinoza's genealogy that his family came from Espinosa de los Monteros, near Burgos, or from Espinosa de Cerrato, near Palencia, both in Northern Castile, Spain.
Still, this was a common Portuguese conversos family name. Spinoza's father was born a century after the forced conversions in the small Portuguese city of Vidigueira, near Beja in Alentejo; when Spinoza's father Miguel was still a child, Spinoza's grandfather, Isaac de Spinoza, from Lisbon, took his family to Nantes in France. They were expelled in 1615 and moved to Rotterdam, where Isaac died in 1627. Spinoza's father and his uncle Manuel moved to Amsterdam where they resumed the practice of Judaism. Miguel was a successful merchant and became a warden of the synagogue and of the Amsterdam Jewish school, he buried three of his six children died before reaching adulthood. Amsterdam and Rotterdam operated as important cosmopolitan centres where merchant ships from many parts of the world brought people of various customs and beliefs; this flourishing commercial activity encouraged a culture tolerant of the play of new ideas, to a considerable degree sheltered from the censorious hand of ecclesiastical authority.
Not by chance were the philosophical works of both Descartes and Spinoza developed in the cultural and intellectual background of the Dutch Republic in the 17th century. Spinoza may have had access to a circle of friends who were unconventional in terms of social tradition, including members of the Collegiants. One of the people he knew was a brilliant Danish student in Leiden. Benedito de Espinoza was born on 24 November 1632 in the Jodenbuurt in Netherlands, he was the second son of Miguel de Espinoza, a successful, although not wealthy, Portuguese Sephardic Jewish merchant in Amsterdam. His mother, Ana Débora, Miguel's second wife, died. Spinoza's mother tongue was Portuguese, although he knew Hebrew, Dutch French, Latin. Although he wrote in Latin, Spinoza learned the language only late in his youth. Spinoza had a traditional Jewish upbringing, attending the Keter Torah yeshiva of the Amsterdam Talmud Torah congregation headed by the learned and traditional senior Rabbi Saul Levi Morteira.
His teachers included the less traditional Rabbi Manasseh ben Israel, "a man of wide learning and secular interests, a friend of Vossius and Rembrandt". While pre