Since 1999, the Internationale Spinozaprijs Foundation has awarded a biennial prize to internationally renowned thinkers who concern themselves with ethics and society. Eligible are internationally renowned scientists, philosophers and writers who have made their mark researching society’s ethical principles.
The prize consists of a sculpture and a sum of ten thousand Euros. A special publication, which gives an introduction to the laureate’s work, is also presented at the ceremony.
In 2011, it was decided that every year around November 24th, Spinoza’s birth date, a thinker should be honoured.
Within a two-year central theme, attention will be paid to a ´departed´ thinker’s legacy in one year; in the other year, a contemporary thinker’s ideas will be studied.
The ´departed´ thinker will be honoured with an educational introduction created for students in secondary and higher education.
The Spinozalens is named after the most famous philosopher that The Netherlands has ever brought forth: Baruch de Spinoza. In his work, specifically in his magnum opus Ethica, Spinoza was an advocate for values such as reason and tolerance.
The invaluable worth of Spinoza’s thought was certainly not expressed by his income. The permanently destitute philosopher sharpened lenses to generate daily income. Even so, his writings were the centre of attention. Many contemporaries recognised that Spinoza was opening a view towards new fundamental ideas on morals.