Complete 7 pages APA formatted article: Baruch Spinoza: Philosophical Perspectives. Spinoza was born in 1632 in Amsterdam, Netherlands into a Jewish family (Nadler 2001, p. 10). His early development was characterized by traditional Jewish traditions. These traditions included education in the Torah, giving Spinoza an early background in intellectual subjects. Through Spinoza’s surroundings, most prominently his family life, he was able to learn a number of languages, including Hebrew, Portuguese, Dutch, and French. While Spinoza was a great student he ultimately did not end up pursuing further education in the Jewish tradition. Instead, at the age of 17, he joined his family’s importing business (Nadler 2001, p. 32). While Spinoza’s Jewish studies greatly contributed to his intellectual development, his study of Latin with Francis van den Enden perhaps more prominently shaped his perspectives in philosophy. Van den Enden was a recognized free thinker and a radical democrat whose books were banned for containing information regarding atheism. He is recognized for having introduced Spinoza to the ideas of then formative philosopher Rene Descartes. After Spinoza’s father died, Spinoza began boarding with Van den Enden and began teaching at his boarding school. It was during this period that Spinoza increasingly began to develop his rationalist ideas. Once again Spinoza would return to the family importing business, but after the experience, tremendous hardship would leave it to his younger brother.


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