The Spinoza Institute, founded in 1998 at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, has been set up for hosting selected research programmes, not only in theoretical physics. Named after scientist and rationalist philosopher Benedictus de Spinoza (1632-1677), the institute aims to stimulate research in physics from a unifying perspective. At present, one programme has been set up: Quantum Gravity, Strings and Supersymmetry. This program largely overlaps with the program Quantum Gravity, Strings and Elementary Particles of the Institute for Theoretical Physics.
Benedictus de Spinoza
Seventeenth century philosopher Benedictus de Spinoza (1632-1677) was the son to Jewish immigrants in the Netherlands. After being expelled from the synagogue for his heretic opinions, he made a living as a lense grinder. A follower of Descartes, he tried to set up his rationalist philo sophical work in a mathematically rigorous form inspired by Euclid's Elements. His works include the Ethica and Tractatus Politicus.
More information on Spinoza's life and work may be found here.