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Baruch Spinoza

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Benedictus de Spinoza (November 24, 1632 – February 21, 1677) was a Jewish-Dutch philosopher.

He is considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy and, by virtue of his magnum opus the Ethics, one of the definitive ethicists.

While at school he developed a lifelong passion for philosophy and in particular the work of Baruch Spinoza (1632-77), which was overridingly concerned with the idea of God's existence. Spinoza was Jewish but was excommunicated as a heretic as a result of his work, and Christians also denounced him as an atheist. At school Lacan hung a diagram of the 'atheist' Spinoza's posthumously published Ethics on his bedroom wall - a clearly subversive act in light of his middleclass Catholic upbringing and a move often interpreted as an early indication of his attitude towards institutions and authority.