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Captain James T. Kirk liked reading Spinoza's writings. However, his friend Gary Mitchell considered it to be "longhair stuff." In 2265, shortly after a disastrous encounter with the galactic barrier that gradually mutated Mitchell, he read Spinoza's book The Ethics while confined to the sickbay of the USS Enterprise. During a conversation with Kirk, Mitchell reminiscenced about his time at Starfleet Academy. He remembered Kirk, then a lieutenant, as a "stack of books with legs" and how upperclassmen warned Mitchell that you think or sink in Kirk's class. So, to demonstrate he could think, Mitchell planned a whole campaign for a blonde lab technician to have a romantic relationship with Kirk. As the conversation proceeded, Mitchell implied to Kirk that he was getting "even better ideas" from the text than having set Kirk up with the technician. Finally, Mitchell remarked of Spinoza, "Once you get into him, he's rather simple, though. Childish, almost. I don't agree with him at all." (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")
In 2366, his book The Ethics was listed as the general knowledge file 3069 on philosophy and metaphysics on the library computer of USS Enterprise-D. The android Lal studied the book as part of her instruction into the nature of humanity. (TNG: "The Offspring")