I.Q. of Famous People


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Baruch Spinoza

Born: 1632
Died: 1677
Nationality: Holland
Description: Philosopher
IQ: 175
Spinoza, Baruch (1632-1677), Dutch rationalist philosopher and religious thinker, considered the most important representative of modern pantheism.

Born to Jewish parents of Spanish and Portuguese origin in Amsterdam, Spinoza receives a solid classical Hebrew education. Later, however, he stands out, of Judaism, after studying physical science and reading the writings of Thomas Hobbes and Renť Descartes. In 1656, he was excommunicated by the rabbis who obtained his banishment from Amsterdam.

For five years, Spinoza remains on the outskirts of the city, earning his life by polishing optical glasses. At that time, he wrote his first book of philosophy, Short Treaty on God, Man and His Felicity, which announced the outline of his philosophical system. The Tractatus theologico-politicus (Theological-political Treaty) and the essay De intellectus emendatione (From reform of understanding) is probably also dating from this period, although the first was published in 1670 and the second in 1677. In 1661, Spinoza moved to Rijnsburg in the vicinity of Leyden, then two or three years later, in Voorburg, near The Hague. Shortly afterwards, as he prepares to move to The Hague city, a chair of philosophy at the University of Heidelberg is offered to him by the palatine elector Charles Louis. But Spinoza declines the offer, fearing that theologians could impose restrictions to his intellectual activity. Spinoza also refuses a pension that Louis XIV offered to provide him, under the condition that he would dedicate one of his works to him.

Spinoza rejects the idea of Providence and free will, and his concept of an impersonal God raises a lot of hostility among his contemporaries. In many ways, his position is unique in the history of philosophy. He doesnít belong to any school and didnít create any new one. If his work is based, more or less, on the thoughts of some of his predecessors, it is distinguished by its originality, even compared to the thought of a Descartes. The thought of Spinoza, which is one of the greatest thinkers of philosophy, is recognized only a century after his death, and if his philosophy didnít lead to a new movement, it can only be compared to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Not only metaphysicians, but also poets such as Goethe, William Wordsworth and Percy Shelley were inspired by the work of Spinoza whose thinking extends into pantheistic poetry.
    
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