We were inspired to look more closely at some of the key figures that appear in our Little History books by an interaction with a reader on the Little History facebook page. We really liked the idea of finding out what the series has to say about all sorts of ‘remarkable people’, both heroes and villains, and we’re putting together this resource for you to explore. Whether you’re looking for help with your homework (!), or trying to fill a gap in your knowledge, Little History books and their cast of characters have plenty to offer.
1632 – 1677
Baruch Spinoza was a Jewish-Dutch philosopher. His work paved the way for modern biblical criticism and religious philosophers of the Enlightenment. In his most well known work, Ethics, he opposed the mind-body dualism of Descartes and attacked many of the Cartesian principles, such as ‘the mind and body are distinct substances that can affect one another’ and that ‘we must always trust our senses’. Spinoza also questioned the authenticity of the Hebrew Bible in his work, resulting in his exclusion from Jewish society.
We all grow up incessantly asking our parents, teachers and peers ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’. Some people never stop. In the illuminating and very readable A Little History of Philosophy, Nigel Warburton tells us about 40 of the most special questioners a …