Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (July 1, 1646 -- November 14, 1716) Leibniz a German Mathematician, Philosopher, Engineer, Astronomer, Diplomat and an Eminent Grand Master. He is considered as the most rationalist philosopher and one of the great sages of the modern world, one of the greatest renaissance men of Western thought and philosophy. He has made momentous contributions in several fields including mathematics, physics, logic, ethics, law, politics and theology. A list of his significant contributions is almost as long as the list of his endless accomplishments, his visionary Law of Continuity and The Transcendental Law of Homogeneity (TLH) only found clear mathematical implementation in the 20th century. This tells us a great deal why Leibniz wasn't well understood in his early days, and how much ahead of his time he was.As an engineer Leibniz worked on calculating machines, clocks and mining equipment. He also refined the binary number system, which is the foundation of all digital computers and digital technologies of the modern day. In that we can say that Leibniz is the Godfather of the new digital age. In 1671, Leibniz invented a calculating machine which was a major advance in mechanical calculating. The Leibnizian calculator incorporated a new mechanical feature which is a cylinder bearing nine teeth of different lengths which increase in equal amounts around the drum. This concept invention was the spark of all other inventions in the calculating system machinery field. As a mathematician, he not only created a revolutionary work in what is now called topology, but came up with the calculus independently of Newton, and his notation has become the standard which is in use today. As a Philosopher, Leibniz was mostly noted for his optimism and being one of the greatest champions of reason and rationalism. Leibniz concluded that our Universe is the best possible one that a Universal Mind or God could have created.Baruch Spinoza (24 November 1632 -- 21 February 1677)The breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death. By laying the groundwork for the 18th century Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, including modern conceptions of the self and, arguably, the universe, he came to be considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy. His magnum opus, the posthumous Ethics, in which he opposed Descartes's mind--body dualism, has earned him recognition as one of Western philosophy's most important thinkers. In the Ethics, "Spinoza wrote the last indisputable Latin masterpiece, and one in which the refined conceptions of medieval philosophy are finally turned against themselves and destroyed entirely." Philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said of all contemporary philosophers, "You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all."Bryan Magee Series of The Great Philosophers.In 1978, Magee presented for BBC television 15 dialogues with noted philosophers in a series called Men of Ideas. Following an "Introduction to Philosophy" presented by Magee in discussion with Isaiah Berlin, Magee discussed topics like Marxist philosophy, the Frankfurt School, and modern Existentialism in subsequent episodes. Transcripts of the dialogues within the Men of Ideas series are available in published form in the book, Talking Philosophy.Another BBC television series, The Great Philosophers, followed in 1987. In this series, Magee discussed the major historical figures of Western philosophy with fifteen contemporary philosophers. The series covered the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and Descartes, among others, ending with a discussion with John Searle on the philosophy of Wittgenstein. Transcripts of The Great Philosophers are available in published form in a book of the same name. The Story of Thought (also published as The Story of Philosophy) also covers the history of Western philosophy.