Sunday, May 10, 2009

36 Benedict Spinoza first I is going to be an interesting one. Dont forget, it has been at least 30 years ago that I paid attention to this philosopher.

And now I have to dig into the literature again to prepare for a lecture. And what did I find? Who was Spinoza....the ultimate rationalist or a man with a mystic vision.

Fortunately I am not the only one who doesnt know how to handle Spinoza. The article in The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a disaster by itself too. may ask...Herman..what is the problem...just tell us about Spinoza and his ideas.

Well....I'll tell you what my problem is...Historically it is those days it was an issue, but I am really finished with these philosophies where God is the explaining factor.

And even worse....Spinoza was in fact a theologian in my opinion. He produces all kinds of elaborate theories about God and reality...and then I think..why spending time on this?

Spinoza was an unorthodox caused him a lot of trouble. He was a peculiar fellow. He earned his living with grinding and polishing lenses. He died of consumption, aggravated by the dust of the lens grinding.

The only interesting thing about Spinoza is that he pulled down god from the skies and said that nature and god are the same as he also said that mind and body are the same thing.

He was an opponent of the dualism: God and the created word. To him they were one. The second great dualism under attack from Spinoza is that of body and mind.

Spinoza has sometimes been presented as primarily continuing and correcting Descartes, but in fact here he is really detaching himself from the Cartesian tradition.

For Spinoza there was just one substance. Spinoza is neither an occasionalist like Malebranche, nor an epiphenomalist who sees mental evenets as the effect of bodily causes, nor an interactionist envisaging reciprocal causality between body and mind.

Body and mind are not causally related at all; they are identical, because thought and extension are two attributes under which one substance is conceived. So maybe we here have the first materialist theory of mind.

Spinoza was a peculiar man. Very well educated. Never married. It is said he had a crush on the daughter of his teacher vanden Enden when he was 23....She declined him in favor of a richer student of her father. be honest..I didnt expect it at all, but philosophically he really is no use to me. Well....we cant be all friends...:-)

The Discussion

[13:22] Herman Bergson: So much on Spinoza..:-)
[13:23] Qwark Allen: :-)
[13:23] AristotleVon Doobie: His only saving grace is that nature and god are one
[13:23] Ze Novikov: How did he deal with evil then?
[13:23] arabella Ella: i'm surprised to see you label him as a materialist, i don't know much about him but i have seen him labelled as an idealist
[13:24] Herman Bergson: Good question Ze....
[13:24] Herman Bergson: I should have asked it myself..:-)
[13:24] hope63 Shepherd: i think you are too harsh with spinoza herman.. at least he tried hard.. and who ties hard can be saved (faust 2.part last scene) lol
[13:24] Garvie Garzo: spinoza denies that there is evil... human misunderstanding of causality
[13:25] Ze Novikov: hmmm
[13:25] Herman Bergson: Labeling Spinoza as a materialist...yes....
[13:25] hope63 Shepherd: ? evil??misunderstanding?
[13:25] Herman Bergson: a materialsit in the mind body issue
[13:25] hope63 Shepherd: explain..
[13:25] AristotleVon Doobie: evil is on purpose
[13:26] AristotleVon Doobie: yes but he believed the mind to be eternal?
[13:26] hope63 Shepherd: and good is an accident?
[13:26] Rasana Destiny: all predetermined
[13:26] AristotleVon Doobie: no such thing as an accident
[13:26] Ze Novikov: exactly then Hope..
[13:27] arabella Ella: but if nature and God are the same thing why do you see him as a materialist?
[13:27] Herman Bergson: Acoording to Spinoza man calls good what gives him pleasure and evil what causes him pain
[13:29] Herman Bergson: Spinoza presupposed the existence ot just one substance...a causa sui
[13:29] Herman Bergson: in other i just there...
[13:30] Herman Bergson: and mind and extension were just attributes of the same substance
[13:30] Ze Novikov: so men cause their own pain?
[13:30] AristotleVon Doobie: mind being substance?
[13:31] Herman Bergson: so in fact he uphold a kind of identity theory tho he didnt had knowledge of semantics
[13:31] arabella Ella: therefore we could call him a monist ... one substance ... but i have doubts about calling him a materialist ... although i don't know enough about him to argue the point
[13:32] Herman Bergson: I agree with you araballa...calling him a materialst might be anachronistic
[13:33] arabella Ella: and wasn't his inclusion of God pretty normal in those days for two reasons ... fear of social repurcussions and fear of the inquisition
[13:33] AristotleVon Doobie: either way religion still has hme miscgided
[13:33] AristotleVon Doobie: misguided
[13:33] Herman Bergson: well that is for sure, but the way he did it was so unorthodox that he got in trouble because of it
[13:34] Alarice Beaumont: because he said god lives in everyone / everything?
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: they are one
[13:34] arabella Ella: but that was the way things went in those days ... you had to be a religious fundamentalist, otherwise u would find yourself in front of the tribunal of the inquisition ... not a nice situation
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: everyting is merely the suff of god, including god
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: stuff
[13:35] Herman Bergson: Yes Alarice...
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: too pagan
[13:35] Herman Bergson: they called him pantheistic...everything is god
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: of course it is, for god is nature
[13:35] Alarice Beaumont: well that doesn't go to well with the churches!
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:36] AristotleVon Doobie: cant make any money that wasy
[13:36] arabella Ella: why do you say he got into trouble herman?
[13:37] Garvie Garzo: he was excommunicated
[13:37] Herman Bergson: He was excommunicated...kicked out of the Seraphin jewish comunity..
[13:37] arabella Ella: erm ok ty
[13:37] Herman Bergson: He even had to move to Voorburg, because he feared for his life
[13:37] arabella Ella: wow interesting
[13:38] Herman Bergson: He was a remarkable man..corresponded with Leibniz for instance
[13:38] Herman Bergson: and more interesting....Leibniz learned a lot from him but never mentions him
[13:38] arabella Ella: he certainly must have had a great mind ... or should i say brain?
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: Have you noticed how Holland plays a big part in these guys lives
[13:38] arabella Ella: why do u think so Aristotle?
[13:39] hope63 Shepherd: ockham fled to munich. usual thing at those ays..
[13:39] Herman Bergson: The size of his brain is unknown, but he had a great mind that is for sure..:-)
[13:39] AristotleVon Doobie: well the several fin refuge there
[13:39] arabella Ella smiles
[13:39] Herman Bergson: Oh yes Aristotle...
[13:39] AristotleVon Doobie: kind of like a haven
[13:39] hope63 Shepherd: or was it another lol
[13:40] hope63 Shepherd: well one did.
[13:40] Herman Bergson: In those days Holland was the only place in Europe where you could speak out, have your books printed...
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: AH
[13:40] Herman Bergson: it still is...:-)
[13:40] arabella Ella: so it was pretty liberal for those days?
[13:40] Herman Bergson: Oh yes it was.....
[13:40] Alarice Beaumont: oh did not know that
[13:40] Rodney Handrick: Liberal...I don't think so...
[13:41] arabella Ella: it still is lol
[13:41] Herman Bergson: To get back at Ze's question about pain...
[13:42] Herman Bergson: I think in Spinoza's opinion pain was caused by external things...
[13:42] Herman Bergson: Man had free will, so he would never would seek pain.
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: unless there were a reason
[13:43] Rasana Destiny: i thought he didnt believe in free will
[13:43] Ze Novikov: so then evil does exist outside the mind as a separate entity..
[13:44] Herman Bergson: There is a kind of determinism in his philosophy, but he believed in free will
[13:44] Garvie Garzo: no ze, there is no way for spin to reconcile a concept like evil
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: the mind is where evil is
[13:45] Herman Bergson: That is too fast Aristotle....
[13:45] Ze Novikov: explain a bit more Garvie
[13:45] Garvie Garzo: should i?
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: evil must be kept caged
[13:46] arabella Ella: but however much evil is caged it still seems to emerge
[13:46] Cailleach Shan: I would like to hear Garvie's explanation
[13:46] Herman Bergson: Evil is defined by the deeds of man.....not by refering to his mind
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: weakness
[13:46] arabella Ella: yes Garvie pls?
[13:46] Garvie Garzo: ok, it'll be BRIEF
[13:46] Herman Bergson: ok Gravie
[13:46] Garvie Garzo: spinoza does not believe in final causes... in things having a purpose
[13:46] Garvie Garzo: everything just is what it is because it cannot be any other way
[13:47] Herman Bergson: yes
[13:47] Alarice Beaumont: yes .. one does not have a free will
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: hmmmm
[13:47] Garvie Garzo: so the only way to understand evil is as something that is nort supposed to be that way, which is a misunderstanding on our part
[13:47] AristotleVon Doobie: hmm hm hmm
[13:47] Cailleach Shan: Yes...
[13:47] Garvie Garzo: because we think in terms of purposes (our own), but evil per se is a logiocal impossibility
[13:48] arabella Ella: do u mean as an aberration of how things should really be?
[13:48] Garvie Garzo: and as herman said earlier, his view is therefore similar to hobbes'
[13:48] Garvie Garzo: we call good what suits us and bad what doesn't
[13:48] Garvie Garzo: period
[13:48] Cailleach Shan: I understood you to mean that 'everything is just the way it is'
[13:48] Ze Novikov: certainly leaves things open to a fatalism..
[13:48] arabella Ella: but garvie didn't hobbes call good what gives us pleasure?
[13:49] Cailleach Shan: It's our interpretation that calls something 'evil'
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: is all things that cause harm....evil
[13:49] Laila Schuman: intent to cause harm
[13:49] Laila Schuman: difference
[13:49] Herman Bergson: You know what I am thinking?
[13:49] Cailleach Shan: Yes Herman
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: or can evil be harmless
[13:49] Garvie Garzo: yes, but the point is that both hobbes and spinoza view good and evil as SUBJECTIVE judgments,
[13:50] Cailleach Shan: I mean 'no Herman' lol
[13:50] Garvie Garzo: not as objective qualities
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:50] arabella Ella: yes garvie re subjective i agree
[13:50] Herman Bergson: I look forward to philosopher 100.....after that I will start a series on the philosophy of ethics
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: they are emotional
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: oh oh
[13:50] Cailleach Shan: Hahaha.... maybe we should cut to the chase Herman.
[13:51] arabella Ella: who is not emotional aristotle? everyone is and we always see things from our own individual perspective too ... subjectively
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: yes
[13:51] Alarice Beaumont: right
[13:52] AristotleVon Doobie: for I am the center of the universe
[13:52] herman Bergson smiles
[13:52] Alarice Beaumont: in your opinion :-)
[13:52] Cailleach Shan: I am completely lost....
[13:52] arabella Ella: Aristotle ... what?
[13:52] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:52] Herman Bergson: you are a centerpoint in this class Aristotle..:-)
[13:52] AristotleVon Doobie: we are all our centers of the universe
13:52] Cailleach Shan: True... Centre Back Ari.
[13:53] Qwark Allen: ehehe
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: sounds like a 4 year ol
[13:53] Rasana Destiny: our individual perspective dictates what is good and evil?
[13:53] arabella Ella: with a name like yours Aristotle, we should all bow our heads when we speak to u
[13:53] arabella Ella: only joking of course
[13:53] AristotleVon Doobie: indeed
[13:53] Laila Schuman: intent
[13:53] AristotleVon Doobie: indeed
[13:53] Cailleach Shan: Hahahahha. we already do...
[13:53] Alarice Beaumont: lol
[13:53] AristotleVon Doobie: lol
[13:53] AristotleVon Doobie: rofl
[13:54] Herman Bergson: Dont pick on Aristotle...:-)
[13:54] AristotleVon Doobie: ty
[13:54] arabella Ella: ok promise we won't ...
[13:54] Herman Bergson: Ok...Spinoza.....Leibniz will be our next guest...
[13:54] AristotleVon Doobie: Descartes' nemisis
[13:55] Herman Bergson: I thank you for this good discussion...
[13:55] arabella Ella: ty herman very interesting today
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: can't wait
[13:55] Ze Novikov: yes ty
[13:55] arabella Ella: i'm afraid i must go ty and bye everyone
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: thank you very much Prof
[13:55] Alarice Beaumont: won't be here sunday.. sorry rl stuff
[13:55] Rasana Destiny: ty
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: bye ara
[13:55] Herman Bergson: Never expected it to be this interesting , arabella

Posted by herman_bergson on 2008-01-17 17:44:42

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