more correctly Da Costa, Uriel (Gabriel). Born about 1585; died April 1640. Philospher and freethinker.
Acosta was born in Portugal into a Jewish family which had converted to Catholicism; in 1614 he fled to Amsterdam, where he converted to Judaism. In a series of writings, he criticized the rabbinical interpretation of the teaching of Moses and denied the immortality of the soul. In the spirit of deism, Acosta contrasted the existing “pseudoreligion” with a “natural religion” founded on reason and charity. He was twice expelled from the synagogue and, unable to endure the humiliation, ended his life by suicide. His ideas and his fate influenced the formation of Spinoza’s philosophy.
WORKSDie Schriften ... Amsterdam-Heidelberg-London, 1922.
O smertnosti dushi chelovecheskoi i dr. proizv. Introductory essay by I. K. Luppol. Moscow, 1968. (With bibliography.)
REFERENCEBelen’kii, M. S. Tragediia U. Akosty. Moscow, 1968.