Born in 1632, Spinoza is the leading philosopher of the Dutch Golden Age. Having modern views on the universe, Spinoza is among the leading rationalists of 17th century philosophy by criticizing the covenant.
Spinoza, like all other philosophers who could not be understood in his own age, was misunderstood by those around him in his age. Contrary to many other thinkers, he argues that body and soul do not have any superiority over each other, on the contrary, they are parallel.
- “Whatever may be, there is nothing that cannot find a reason for its existence.”
- “Arrogant people like the presence of parasites and sycophants, hate the presence of noble spirits.”
- “If a person begins to hate something he loves in such a way that his love is completely destroyed, since the reason for the feelings is the same, he will hate that thing more than when he had never loved it, and this hate will be the greater the greater his previous love.”
- “Existence is a power, it follows from this that the more reality a thing has, the more it has the power to exist in it.”
- “If a person imagines that someone else is tied to the loved one only with the same bond of friendship under his own hand or with a stronger bond, he will hold grudge against the real beloved and envy the other person.”
- “Reputation has another major drawback, which is that we have to live our lives according to people’s perception; that is, by escaping from the things that people always run away from, by wanting the things they always want.”
- “Nobody has the right to decide what is fair and what is unjust, what is moral and what is immoral.”
- “The less people know about nature, the easier they can make things up.”
- “If the ability of being silent in human beings were as strong as that of speech, of course one could be much happier in human relations.
- “Philosophy is necessary for people not in dealing with the fear of death, but in eliminating the fear of life.”
Spinoza affirms the following: “The most important activity that a human being can achieve is to learn to understand, because to understand is to be free.” In that sentence is reflected one of the reasons why this Dutch philosopher has been considered one of the great rationalists of all time.
In this statement a transcendental value is given to freedom. Likewise, it is asserted that it is born of reason, of understanding. This is contrary to what prevailed in the culture of that time, when talking about freedom was suspect and rejecting religion as little less than an act of madness.