Benedict Spinoza, 1632--1677

a.k.a. Baruch Spinoza, Baruch de Spinoza, Benedict de Spinoza, Benedictus de Spinoza, and probably a few other variants. A philosopher of Jewish ancestry and up-bringing, who was born and lived all his life in Holland, and wrote in Scholastic Latin. He was expelled from the synagogue with all the curses available, universally detested for his supposed atheism and blasphemy, and lived quietly, publishingly little, and that reluctantly, as a lens-crafter; by all accounts a perfect saint. He was competent as a natural scientist, distinguished in politics and theology (well, not in his own day...), and one of the greatest philosophers ever. He died, much too soon, of lung-disease.

Currently, his On the Improvement of the Understanding is on-line and complete, and the Ethics is being transcribed, both in the 1883 translation by R. H. M. Elwes. The latter, and far more formidable, work of merit has been undertaken by Prof. Edward A. Beach of the University of Evansville.