Spinoza’s Life: 1677–1802
Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Immediately after Spinoza’s death in 1677 his first biographers framed a life which would play an important part in the eighteenth-century perception of the Dutch philosopher. Bayle’s entry on Spinoza in the Dictionnaire in particular, together with Jelles’s preface to the Opera posthuma, created the image of a philosopher whose dedication to philosophy was unconditional and whose moral behavior was impeccable. Despite the general hostility which Spinoza’s views continued to meet, his life appears to have contributed considerably to the gradual rediscovery of his works during the dying decades of the eighteenth century, most notably in Germany and the Netherlands.