Philosophy of healthcare
The philosophy of healthcare is the study of the ethics and people which constitute the maintenance of health for human beings. For the most part, the philosophy of healthcare is best approached as an indelible component of human social structures; that is, the societal institution of healthcare can be seen as a necessary phenomenon of human civilization whereby an individual continually seeks to improve and alter the overall nature and quality of their life. This perennial concern is prominent in modern political liberalism, wherein health has been understood as the foundational good necessary for public life; the philosophy of healthcare is concerned with the following elemental questions: Who requires and/or deserves healthcare? Is healthcare a fundamental right of all people? What should be the basis for calculating the cost of treatments, hospital stays, etc.? How can healthcare best be administered to the greatest number of people? What are the necessary parameters for clinical trials and quality assurance?
Who, if anybody, can decide when a patient is in need of "comfort measures"? However, the most important question of all is'what is health?'. Unless this question is addressed any debate about healthcare will be vague and unbounded. For example, what is a health care intervention? What differentiates healthcare from engineering or teaching, for example? Is health care about'creating autonomy' or acting in people's best interests? Or is it always both? A'philosophy' of anything requires baseline philosophical questions, as asked, for example, by philosopher David Seedhouse; the purpose and meaning of healthcare philosophy is to consolidate the abundance of information regarding the ever-changing fields of biotechnology and nursing. And seeing that healthcare ranks as one of the largest spending areas of governmental budgets, it becomes important to gain a greater understanding of healthcare as not only a social institution, but as a political one. In addition, healthcare philosophy attempts to highlight the primary movers of healthcare systems.
The ethical and/or moral premises of healthcare are intricate. To consolidate such a large segment of moral philosophy, it becomes important to focus on what separates healthcare ethics from other forms of morality, and on the whole, it can be said that healthcare. With that said, healthcare ought to "be treated differently from other social goods" in a society, it is an institution. At some point in every person's life, a decision has to be made regarding one's healthcare. Can they afford it? Do they deserve it? Do they need it? Where should they go to get it? Do they want it? And it is this last question. After weighing all of the costs and benefits of her healthcare situation, the person has to decide if the costs of healthcare outweigh the benefits. More than basic economic issues are at stake in this conundrum. In fact, a person must decide whether or not their life if it is worth salvaging. Of course, in instances where the patient is unable to decide due to medical complications, like a coma the decision must come from elsewhere.
And defining that "elsewhere" has proven to be a difficult endeavor in healthcare philosophy. Whereas bioethics tends to deal with more broadly-based issues like the consecrated nature of the human body and the roles of science and technology in healthcare, medical ethics is focused on applying ethical principles to the field of medicine. Medical ethics has its roots in the writings of Hippocrates, the practice of medicine was used as an example in ethical discussions by Plato and Aristotle; as a systematic field, however, it is a large and new area of study in ethics. One of the major premises of medical ethics surrounds "the development of valuational measures of outcomes of health care treatments and programs. Terms like beneficence and non-maleficence are vital to the overall understanding of medical ethics. Therefore, it becomes important to acquire a basic grasp of the varying dynamics that go into a doctor-patient relationship. Like medical ethics, nursing ethics is narrow in its focus when compared to the expansive field of bioethics.
For the most part, "nursing ethics can be defined as having a two-pronged meaning," whereby it is "the examination of all kinds of ethical and bioethical issues from the perspective of nursing theory and practice." This definition, although quite vague, centers on the practical and theoretical approaches to nursing. The American Nurses Association endorses an ethical code that emphasizes "values" and "evaluative judgments" in all areas of the nursing profession; the importance of values is being recognized in all aspects of healthcare and health research. And since moral issues are prevalent throughout nursing, it is important to be able to recognize and critically respond to situations that warrant and/or necessitate an ethical decision. Balancing the cost of care with the q
Existentialism is the philosophical study that begins with the human subject—not the thinking subject, but the acting, living human individual. It is associated with certain 19th and 20th-century European philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief in that beginning of philosophical thinking. While the predominant value of existentialist thought is acknowledged to be freedom, its primary virtue is authenticity. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has been called "the existential attitude", or a sense of disorientation, confusion, or dread in the face of an meaningless or absurd world. Many existentialists have regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophies, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience. Søren Kierkegaard is considered to have been the first existentialist philosopher, though he did not use the term existentialism, he proposed that each individual—not society or religion—is responsible for giving meaning to life and living it passionately and sincerely, or "authentically".
Existentialism became popular in the years following World War II, thanks to Sartre who read Heidegger while in a POW camp, influenced many disciplines besides philosophy, including theology, art and psychology. The term "existentialism" was coined by the French Catholic philosopher Gabriel Marcel in the mid-1940s. At first, when Marcel applied the term to him at a colloquium in 1945, Jean-Paul Sartre rejected it. Sartre subsequently changed his mind and, on October 29, 1945, publicly adopted the existentialist label in a lecture to the Club Maintenant in Paris; the lecture was published as L'existentialisme est un humanisme, a short book that did much to popularize existentialist thought. Marcel came to reject the label himself in favour of the term Neo-Socratic, in honor of Kierkegaard's essay "On The Concept of Irony"; some scholars argue that the term should be used only to refer to the cultural movement in Europe in the 1940s and 1950s associated with the works of the philosophers Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Albert Camus.
Other scholars extend the term to Kierkegaard, yet others extend it as far back as Socrates. However, the term is identified with the philosophical views of Sartre; the labels existentialism and existentialist are seen as historical conveniences in as far as they were first applied to many philosophers in hindsight, long after they had died. In fact, while existentialism is considered to have originated with Kierkegaard, the first prominent existentialist philosopher to adopt the term as a self-description was Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre posits the idea that "what all existentialists have in common is the fundamental doctrine that existence precedes essence", as scholar Frederick Copleston explains. According to philosopher Steven Crowell, defining existentialism has been difficult, he argues that it is better understood as a general approach used to reject certain systematic philosophies rather than as a systematic philosophy itself. Sartre himself, in a lecture delivered in 1945, described existentialism as "the attempt to draw all the consequences from a position of consistent atheism".
Although many outside Scandinavia consider the term existentialism to have originated from Kierkegaard himself, it is more that Kierkegaard adopted this term from the Norwegian poet and literary critic Johan Sebastian Cammermeyer Welhaven. This assertion comes from two sources; the Norwegian philosopher Erik Lundestad refers to the Danish philosopher Fredrik Christian Sibbern. Sibbern is supposed to have had two conversations in 1841, the first with Welhaven and the second with Kierkegaard, it is in the first conversation that it is believed that Welhaven came up with "a word that he said covered a certain thinking, which had a close and positive attitude to life, a relationship he described as existential". This was brought to Kierkegaard by Sibbern; the second claim comes from the Norwegian historian Rune Slagstad, who claims to prove that Kierkegaard himself said the term "existential" was borrowed from the poet. He believes that it was Kierkegaard himself who said that "Hegelians do not study philosophy'existentially'.
Sartre argued that a central proposition of Existentialism is that existence precedes essence, which means that the most important consideration for individuals is that they are individuals—independently acting and responsible, conscious beings —rather than what labels, stereotypes, definitions, or other preconceived categories the individuals fit. The actual life of the individuals is what constitutes what could be called their "true essence" instead of there being an arbitrarily attributed essence others use to define them. Thus, human beings, through their own consciousness, create their own values and determine a meaning to their life. Although it was Sartre who explicitly coined the phrase, similar notions can be found in the thought of existentialist philosophers such as Heidegger, Kierkegaard: The subjective thinker’s form, the form of his communication, is his style, his form must be just as manifold as are the opposites. The systematic eins, drei is an abstract form that must run into trouble whenever it is to be applied to the concrete.
To the same degree as the subjective thinker is concrete, to the same degree his form must be concretely dialectica
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, between possibility and actuality. The word "metaphysics" comes from two Greek words that, together mean "after or behind or among the natural", it has been suggested that the term might have been coined by a first century CE editor who assembled various small selections of Aristotle’s works into the treatise we now know by the name Metaphysics. Metaphysics studies questions related to what it is for something to exist and what types of existence there are. Metaphysics seeks to answer, in an abstract and general manner, the questions: What is there? What is it like? Topics of metaphysical investigation include existence and their properties and time, cause and effect, possibility. Metaphysics study, conducted using deduction from that, known a priori. Like foundational mathematics, it tries to give a coherent account of the structure of the world, capable of explaining our everyday and scientific perception of the world, being free from contradictions.
In mathematics, there are many different ways. While metaphysics may, as a special case, study the entities postulated by fundamental science such as atoms and superstrings, its core topic is the set of categories such as object and causality which those scientific theories assume. For example: claiming that "electrons have charge" is a scientific theory. There are two broad stances about; the strong, classical view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist independently of any observer, so that the subject is the most fundamental of all sciences. The weak, modern view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist inside the mind of an observer, so the subject becomes a form of introspection and conceptual analysis; some philosophers, notably Kant, discuss both of these "worlds" and what can be inferred about each one. Some philosophers, such as the logical positivists, many scientists, reject the strong view of metaphysics as meaningless and unverifiable. Others reply that this criticism applies to any type of knowledge, including hard science, which claims to describe anything other than the contents of human perception, thus that the world of perception is the objective world in some sense.
Metaphysics itself assumes that some stance has been taken on these questions and that it may proceed independently of the choice—the question of which stance to take belongs instead to another branch of philosophy, epistemology. Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as the core of 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. Identity is a fundamental metaphysical issue. Metaphysicians investigating identity are tasked with the question of what it means for something to be identical to itself, or — more controversially — to something else. Issues of identity arise in the context of time: what does it mean for something to be itself across two moments in time? How do we account for this? Another question of identity arises when we ask what our criteria ought to be for determining identity?
And how does the reality of identity interface with linguistic expressions? The metaphysical positions one takes on identity have far-reaching implications on issues such as the mind-body problem, personal identity and law; the ancient Greeks took extreme positions on the nature of change. Parmenides denied change altogether, while Heraclitus argued that change was ubiquitous: "ou cannot step into the same river twice." Identity, sometimes called Numerical Identity, is the relation that a "thing" bears to itself, which no "thing" bears to anything other than itself. A modern philosopher who made a lasting impact on the philosophy of identity was Leibniz, whose Law of the Indiscernibility of Identicals is still in wide use today, it states that if some object x is identical to some object y any property that x has, y will have as well. Put formally, it states ∀ x ∀ y However, it seems, that objects can change over time. If one were to look at a tree one day, the tree lost a leaf, it would seem that one could still be looking at that same tree.
Two rival theories to account for the relationship between change and identity are perdurantism, which treats the tree as a series of tree-stages, endurantism, which maintains that the organism—the same tree—is present at every stage in its history. Objects appear to us in space and time, while abstract entities such as classes, r
Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness or of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined variously in terms of sentience, qualia, the ability to experience or to feel, having a sense of selfhood or soul, the fact that there is something "that it is like" to "have" or "be" it, the executive control system of the mind. Despite the difficulty in definition, many philosophers believe that there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is; as Max Velmans and Susan Schneider wrote in The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness: "Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness, making conscious experience at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our lives."Western philosophers, since the time of Descartes and Locke, have struggled to comprehend the nature of consciousness and identify its essential properties. Issues of concern in the philosophy of consciousness include whether the concept is fundamentally coherent.
Thanks to developments in technology over the past few decades, consciousness has become a significant topic of interdisciplinary research in cognitive science, with significant contributions from fields such as psychology, anthropology and neuroscience. The primary focus is on understanding what it means biologically and psychologically for information to be present in consciousness—that is, on determining the neural and psychological correlates of consciousness; the majority of experimental studies assess consciousness in humans by asking subjects for a verbal report of their experiences. Issues of interest include phenomena such as subliminal perception, denial of impairment, altered states of consciousness produced by alcohol and other drugs, or spiritual or meditative techniques. In medicine, consciousness is assessed by observing a patient's arousal and responsiveness, can be seen as a continuum of states ranging from full alertness and comprehension, through disorientation, loss of meaningful communication, loss of movement in response to painful stimuli.
Issues of practical concern include how the presence of consciousness can be assessed in ill, comatose, or anesthetized people, how to treat conditions in which consciousness is impaired or disrupted. The degree of consciousness is measured by standardized behavior observation scales such as the Glasgow Coma Scale; the origin of the modern concept of consciousness is attributed to John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, published in 1690. Locke defined consciousness as "the perception of what passes in a man's own mind", his essay influenced the 18th-century view of consciousness, his definition appeared in Samuel Johnson's celebrated Dictionary. "Consciousness" is defined in the 1753 volume of Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopédie, as "the opinion or internal feeling that we ourselves have from what we do." The earliest English language uses of "conscious" and "consciousness" date back, however, to the 1500s. The English word "conscious" derived from the Latin conscius, but the Latin word did not have the same meaning as our word—it meant "knowing with", in other words "having joint or common knowledge with another".
There were, many occurrences in Latin writings of the phrase conscius sibi, which translates as "knowing with oneself", or in other words "sharing knowledge with oneself about something". This phrase had the figurative meaning of "knowing that one knows", as the modern English word "conscious" does. In its earliest uses in the 1500s, the English word "conscious" retained the meaning of the Latin conscius. For example, Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan wrote: "Where two, or more men, know of one and the same fact, they are said to be Conscious of it one to another." The Latin phrase conscius sibi, whose meaning was more related to the current concept of consciousness, was rendered in English as "conscious to oneself" or "conscious unto oneself". For example, Archbishop Ussher wrote in 1613 of "being so conscious unto myself of my great weakness". Locke's definition from 1690 illustrates. A related word was conscientia, which means moral conscience. In the literal sense, "conscientia" means knowledge-with, that is, shared knowledge.
The word first appears in Latin juridical texts by writers such as Cicero. Here, conscientia is the knowledge. René Descartes is taken to be the first philosopher to use conscientia in a way that does not fit this traditional meaning. Descartes used conscientia the way modern speakers would use "conscience". In Search after Truth he says "conscience or internal testimony"; the dictionary meanings of the word consciousness extend through several centuries and several associated related meanings. These have ranged from formal definitions to definitions attempting to capture the less captured and more debated meanings and usage of the wor
Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher and a seminal thinker in the Continental tradition and philosophical hermeneutics, is "widely acknowledged to be one of the most original and important philosophers of the 20th century." Heidegger is best known for his contributions to phenomenology and existentialism, though as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy cautions, "his thinking should be identified as part of such philosophical movements only with extreme care and qualification". Heidegger's membership in and public support for the Nazi Party has been the subject of widespread controversy regarding the extent to which his Nazism influenced his philosophy, his first and best known book and Time, though unfinished, is one of the central philosophical works of the 20th century. In its first part, Heidegger attempted to turn away from "ontic" questions about beings to ontological questions about Being, recover the most fundamental philosophical question: the question of Being, of what it means for something to be.
Heidegger approached the question through an inquiry into the being that has an understanding of Being, asks the question about it, Human being, which he called Dasein. Heidegger argued that Dasein is defined by Care, its engaged and concernful mode of being-in-the-world, in opposition to such Rationalist thinkers as René Descartes who located the essence of man in his thinking abilities. For Heidegger thinking is thinking about things discovered in our everyday practical engagements; the consequence of this is that our capacity to think cannot be the most central quality of our being because thinking is a reflecting upon this more original way of discovering the world. In the second part of his book, Heidegger argues that human being is more fundamentally structured by its Temporality, or its concern with, relationship to time, existing as a structurally open "possibility-for-being", he emphasized the importance of Authenticity in human existence, involving a truthful relationship to our thrownness into a world which we are "always already" concerned with, to our being-towards-death, the Finitude of the time and being we are given, the closing down of our various possibilities for being through time.
Heidegger made critical contributions to philosophical conceptions of truth, arguing that its original meaning was unconcealment, to philosophical analyses of art as a site of the revelation of truth, to philosophical understanding of language as the "house of being." Heidegger's work includes criticisms of technology's instrumentalist understanding in the Western tradition as "enframing", treating all of Nature as a "standing reserve" on call for human purposes. Heidegger is a controversial figure for his affiliation with Nazism, as Rector of the University of Freiburg for 11 months, before his resignation in April 1934, for which he neither apologized nor publicly expressed regret. Heidegger was born in Baden-Württemberg, the son of Johanna and Friedrich Heidegger. Raised a Roman Catholic, he was the son of the sexton of the village church that adhered to the First Vatican Council of 1870, observed by the poorer class of Meßkirch, his family could not afford to send him to university, so he entered a Jesuit seminary, though he was turned away within weeks because of the health requirement and what the director and doctor of the seminary described as a psychosomatic heart condition.
Heidegger was sinewy, with dark piercing eyes. He enjoyed outdoor pursuits, being proficient at skiing. Studying theology at the University of Freiburg while supported by the church he switched his field of study to philosophy. Heidegger completed his doctoral thesis on psychologism in 1914, influenced by Neo-Thomism and Neo-Kantianism, directed by Arthur Schneider. In 1916, he finished his venia legendi with a habilitation thesis on Duns Scotus directed by Heinrich Rickert and influenced by Edmund Husserl's phenomenology. In the two years following, he worked first as an unsalaried Privatdozent served as a soldier during the final year of World War I. In 1923, Heidegger was elected to an extraordinary Professorship in Philosophy at the University of Marburg, his colleagues there included Rudolf Bultmann, Nicolai Hartmann, Paul Natorp. Heidegger's students at Marburg included Hans-Georg Gadamer, Hannah Arendt, Karl Löwith, Gerhard Krüger, Leo Strauss, Jacob Klein, Gunther Anders, Hans Jonas. Following on from Aristotle, he began to develop in his lectures the main theme of his philosophy: the question of the sense of being.
He extended the concept of subject to the dimension of history and concrete existence, which he found prefigured in such Christian thinkers as Saint Paul, Augustine of Hippo and Kierkegaard. He read the works of Wilhelm Dilthey, Max Scheler, Friedrich Nietzsche. In 1927, Heidegger published his main work Sein und Zeit; when Husserl retired as Professor of Philosophy in 1928, Heidegger accepted Freiburg's election to be his successor, in spite of a counter-offer by Marburg. Heidegger remained at Freiburg im Breisgau for the rest of his life, declining a number of offers, including one from Humboldt University of Berlin, his students at Freiburg included Arendt, Günther Anders, Hans Jonas, Karl Löwith, Charles Malik, Herbert Marcuse and Ernst Nolte. Emmanuel Levinas attended his lecture courses during his stay in Freiburg in 1928. Heidegger was elected rector of the University on 21 April 1933, joined the National Socialist German Workers' Part
Philosophy of music
Philosophy of music is the study of "...fundamental questions about the nature of music and our experience of it". The philosophical study of music has many connections with philosophical questions in metaphysics and aesthetics; some basic questions in the philosophy of music are: What is the definition of music? What is the relationship between music and mind? What is the relationship between music and language? What does musical history reveal to us about the world? What is the connection between music and emotions? What is meaning in relation to music? "Explications of the concept of music begin with the idea that music is organized sound. They go on to note that this characterization is too broad, since there are many examples of organized sound that are not music, such as human speech, the sounds non-human animals and machines make." There are many different ways of denoting the fundamental aspects of music which are more specific than "sound": popular aspects include melody, rhythm and timbre.
However, noise music may consist of noise. Musique concrète consists only of sound samples of non-musical nature, sometimes in random juxtaposition. Ambient music may consist of recordings of nature; the arrival of these avant-garde forms of music in the 20th century have been a major challenge to traditional views of music as being based around melodies and rhythms, leading to broader characterizations. There was intense debate over absolute music versus program music during the late Romantic Era. Advocates of the "absolute music" perspective argued that instrumental music does not convey emotions or images to the listener, they claimed that it is non-representational. The idea of absolute music developed at the end of the 18th century in the writings of authors of early German Romanticism, such as Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, Ludwig Tieck and E. T. A. Hoffmann. Adherents of the "program music" perspective believed that music could convey images. One example of program music is Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, in which the fourth movement is the composer's depiction of a story about an artist who poisons himself with opium and is executed.
The majority of opposition to absolute instrumental-based music came from composer Richard Wagner and the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Wagner's works were chiefly programmatic and used vocalization, he said that "Where music can go no further, there comes the word… the word stands higher than the tone." Nietzsche wrote many commentaries applauding the music of Wagner and was in fact an amateur composer himself. Other Romantic philosophers and proponents of absolute music, such as Johann von Goethe saw music not only as a subjective human "language" but as an absolute transcendent means of peering into a higher realm of order and beauty; some expressed a spiritual connection with music. In Part IV of his chief work, The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer said that "music is the answer to the mystery of life; the most profound of all the arts, it expresses the deepest thoughts of life." In "The Immediate Stages of the Erotic, or Musical Erotic", a chapter of Either/Or, Søren Kierkegaard examines the profundity of music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the sensual nature of Don Giovanni.
In his 1997 book How the Mind Works, Steven Pinker dubbed music "auditory cheesecake", a phrase that in the years since has served as a challenge to the musicologists and psychologists who believe otherwise. Among those to note this stir was Philip Ball in his book The Music Instinct where he noted that music seems to reach to the core of what it means to be human: "There are cultures in the world where to say'I'm not musical' would be meaningless," Ball writes, "akin to saying'I'm not alive'." In a filmed debate, Ball suggests that music might get its emotive power through its ability to mimic people and its ability to entice us lies in music's ability to set up an expectation and violate it. In the pre-modern tradition, the aesthetics of music or musical aesthetics explored the mathematical and cosmological dimensions of rhythmic and harmonic organization. In the eighteenth century, focus shifted to the experience of hearing music, thus to questions about its beauty and human enjoyment of music.
The origin of this philosophic shift is sometimes attributed to Baumgarten in the 18th century, followed by Kant. Through their writing, the ancient term aesthetics, meaning sensory perception, received its present-day connotation. In recent decades philosophers have tended to emphasize issues besides enjoyment. For example, music's capacity to express emotion has been a central issue. Aesthetics is a sub-discipline of philosophy. In the 20th century, important contributions were made by Peter Kivy, Jerrold Levinson, Roger Scruton, Stephen Davies. However, many musicians, music critics, other non-philosophers have contributed to the aesthetics of music. In the 19th century, a significant debate arose between Eduard Hanslick, a music critic and musicologist, composer Richard Wagner. Harry Partch and some other musicologists, such as Kyle Gann, have studied and tried to popularize microtonal music and the usage of alternate musical scales. Many modern composers like La Monte Young, Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca paid much attention to a system of tuning called just intonation
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