Baruch de Spinoza (Benedict de Spinoza, Bento de Espinosa, Benedictus de Spinoza) (1632 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Jewish origin. The breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death. Today, he is considered one of the great rationalists of 17th century philosophy, laying the groundwork for the 18th century Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism. By virtue of his magnum opus, the posthumous Ethics (1677), he is also considered one of Western philosophy's definitive ethicists. Spinoza lived quietly as a lens grinder, turning down rewards and honours throughout his life, including prestigious teaching positions. Spinoza became known in the Jewish community for positions contrary to normative Jewish belief, with critical positions towards the Talmud and other religious texts. Spinoza's philosophy has much in common with Stoicism in as much as both philosophies sought to fulfil a therapeutic role by instructing people how to attain happiness. His other works include: On the Improvement of the Understanding and A Theologico Political Treatise.