Monday, September 26, 2016

621: Spinoza's Emendation of the Intellect....

After the years of serious conflicts with the rabbis of the Jewish community in Amsterdam Spinoza must have changed his way of life and attitude.
In 1654 he took over the trade company after the death of his father and ran it together with his brother with little success.
Then in 1656 came his ban and in 1661 he found himself living in Rijnsburg, living a modest and sober life, totally dedicated to philosophy.
He probably was highly motivated to proof, that life was something else than what he had learnt as a boy at the Talmud school of his youth.
This is, I assume, why all his works concern mainly the question about what a meaningful life is, enjoying well-being and happiness.
In his “Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect“  (1660) Spinoza states his intentions thus”
-QUOTE- After experience had taught me that all the usual surroundings of social life are vain and futile; 
seeing that none of the objects of my fears contained in themselves anything either good or bad, except in so far as the mind is affected by them, 
I finally resolved to inquire whether there might be some real good having power to communicate itself, which would affect the mind singly, to the exclusion of all else: 
whether, in fact, there might be anything of which the discovery and attainment would enable me to enjoy continuous, supreme, and unending happiness……. 
I had recognized that the acquisition of wealth, sensual pleasure, or fame, is only a hindrance,….
But love towards a thing eternal and infinite feeds the mind wholly with joy, and is itself unmingled with any sadness, wherefore it is greatly to be desired and sought for with all our strength.  -END QUOTE-
Spinoza’s primary purpose in this work is to develop a theory of knowledge which will enable him to attain the knowledge which is the highest good. 
He conceives that project as requiring a healing and purification of the intellect. To this end he offers a classification of the different ways we can ‘perceive’ things so that he can choose the best.
He enumerates four ways by which he has been lead to affirm something without doubt: (1) because someone has told him so 
(2) because he has come to believe it by random experience 
(3) because he has inferred the essence of a thing from something else (but not adequately); and 
(4) because he has come to perceive the thing through its essence alone or through knowledge of its proximate cause.
Then the Treatise continues testing the four ways of perceiving on their reliability, concluding that only the fourth way passes the test.
Like Descartes Spinoza was looking for a method to obtain clear and distinct ideas, ideas which you could not doubt. 
The typical rationalist approach of his time to define the foundation and cornerstones of science, or in Spinoza’s case of knowledge,
the knowledge to achieve  continuous, supreme, and unending happiness. And for that we need among other things an answer to the question
“Where is the beginning of it all?” Everything had, according to Spinoza, a cause, but this could nothing else but imply a first cause.
And guess what the first cause was in those days. Not our nice big Bang,  what still today leaves us, like in the days of Spinoza with the same question
“What caused the big Bang……?”
Thank you…. feel free to ask your questions or add your ideas to our discussion…

The Discussion

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a previous LHC?
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hhe
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but ours have not mada a big bang, unless we are living in a miniature world compared to that one, small bangs inside all time
[13:21] CB Axel: " towards a thing eternal and infinite..." sounds like he was looking for, or at least expected, a god.
[13:21] herman Bergson: What is an LHC, Bejiita :-)
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed it is strange, something cant just explode out of nothing
[13:21] herman Bergson: Yes Cb a way he was.....
[13:22] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): the large hydron colidor Herman in swiss
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): our beloved large hadron collider
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): your beloved collider bej
[13:22] herman Bergson: I am always puzzled by that human drive to come up with some god(like entity)
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed, its not really logical to me
[13:22] Indigo Lucerne: something like deus ex machina.. god particle from the machine?
[13:23] CB Axel: Really, Bejiita? Isn't science your god?
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah
[13:23] herman Bergson: The main problem is causality....
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess you can say that
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): science however can be prooved wich gods cant
[13:23] CB Axel: Very true. °͜°
[13:23] herman Bergson: We'll get to that later, but the cause and effect chain ask for a beginning
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i have never seen either gods ghosts or santa so I don’t believe in them
[13:24] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): chicken and egg story
[13:24] CB Axel: Exactly, Chantal.
[13:24] CB Axel: Except we know the egg came first.
[13:24] Tonka (tonkadragon): Good meeting you all but rl is calling have a god meeting
[13:24] Indigo Lucerne whispers: mathematics seems to sometimes prove things that are not ;)
[13:24] herman Bergson: it is not a matter of believing Bejiita....
[13:24] Joseph Bard (science24): that's it cahntal
[13:24] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): CB
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but the higgs particle i have seen many prooves of from CERN, and they dont spread rumors and i have seen the data from the accelerator myself
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah  i have to poof soon too
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even if the higgs field theory seem taken out of the air i have seen evidence
[13:25] K.T. Burnett (kayt): So the "what's the beginning of it all" is a question to physicists... how can philosophers possibly assist there?
[13:25] herman Bergson: The problem is that our brain causes us to think interms of cause and effect.....we can not perceive reality in another way....
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so Spinoza father died before his ban
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): what about his mother ?
[13:25] Joseph Bard (science24): weren't you impressed by the order of the data Bejit
[13:26] herman Bergson: Never read a word about his mother, gemma
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I was for sure but it is there
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed where did all begin
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hard to grasp question
[13:26] herman Bergson: Could we stop about your PArticles Bejiita :-)
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even today with all our science and discovery machines
[13:26] herman Bergson: Spinoza wasn't a physicist :-)
[13:26] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Mothers were often not even named in that era, Gemma the documents just say... the housewife of...
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah then
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no but still he also thought of where did all begun
[13:27] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Herman, that's what I'm talking about. Why is he concerned with what is beyond his scope of expertise?
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its a deep question
[13:27] K.T. Burnett (kayt): *Why WAS he concerned, 'xcuse me
[13:27] herman Bergson: as I said...he thought in causal chains of event...
[13:28] herman Bergson: That is a quintessential question Kayt!
[13:28] herman Bergson: The point is...
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): everything need a cause, indeed it is hard to think in other ways even for me I also think often in caue and effect but
[13:28] herman Bergson: especially the Rationalists thought that where there is a WHY there has to be an answer too
[13:29] CB Axel: The understanding of physics was too primitive back then for him to use science as we know it today.
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and yet we still search the same question today all over again
[13:29] herman Bergson: yes CB....that is why his metaphysics is so hard to understand....
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): with all the science
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): still today the beginning of everything question make my head spin,
[13:29] CB Axel: He did the best with what he had to work with, which was his mind and his observations.
[13:29] K.T. Burnett (kayt): So, he thought that since physics could not answer that question - proper abstraction could?
[13:29] herman Bergson: In those days they talked about substance and attribute...
[13:30] herman Bergson: Yes Kayt....
[13:30] K.T. Burnett (kayt): because, well, it seems that he's been thinking in terms of abstraction, a big picture, a lot
[13:30] herman Bergson: Most of his ideas are based on deduction....plain logical reasoning....
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah¨
[13:30] Alina Gabilondo: Is religion metaphysics part of human knowledge??
[13:30] CB Axel: I think he would have been more than happy to use physics to understand the question of where we came from, but the scientific knowledge wasn't advance enough.
[13:31] K.T. Burnett (kayt): while now we know that's something that requires delving into details
[13:31] herman Bergson: what troubles me is tht these logical conclusions then also were interpreted as describing reality
[13:31] Alina Gabilondo: and u said
[13:31] Alina Gabilondo: Spinoza was looking for a method to obtain clear and distinct ideas, ideas which you could not doubt.
[13:31] Alina Gabilondo: which you could not doubt.
[13:31] CB Axel: Yes
[13:31] Alina Gabilondo: this is about religion??
[13:32] herman Bergson: Indeed Aline...he learnt that from Descartes
[13:32] herman Bergson: nono...has nothing to do with religion
[13:32] Alina Gabilondo: just here our member said about God he did see him
[13:32] Alina Gabilondo: **not normal **
[13:32] Alina Gabilondo: hehehehehe sorry gesture no concern here
[13:32] Alina Gabilondo: cincern*
[13:32] Alina Gabilondo: concern :))) right
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): basically we always want to have some explanation for everything
[13:33] herman Bergson: Spinoza eventually postulated the concept of god, but actually in a materialist way...
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even what we cant understand really
[13:33] herman Bergson: God == Nature
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:33] herman Bergson: He denounced the personalised god of the religions of his time
[13:33] CB Axel: It seems to me that the only way religion gets into this is that the rabbis tried to get Spinoza to stop thinking.
[13:33] Alina Gabilondo: all who engaged with religion try to materialize it
[13:34] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): CB
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: god= basic concept behind it all?
[13:34] herman Bergson: True CB
[13:34] K.T. Burnett (kayt): So, like, if we, the humanity, decode EVERYTHING about the nature, we will get to know God, like, personally?
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and Nature is all about physics and chemistry, no magical beings but when you go really deep into it it also get very complex
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: we might find out that god is a concept kt
[13:34] herman Bergson: I don't think so Kayt :-)
[13:34] Alina Gabilondo: ohhh wooow
[13:34] Alina Gabilondo: hehehe
[13:34] Alina Gabilondo: god is withing me and you
[13:34] CB Axel: There is no god to know personally. Nature is god.
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa u can say that KT
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:35] Alina Gabilondo: within*
[13:35] K.T. Burnett (kayt): But there won't be any questions left to ever refer any phenomenon to some vague God's will
[13:35] Alina Gabilondo: look to mirror and see him
[13:35] herman Bergson: December 17th I'll give a presentation for the Science circle....
[13:35] CB Axel: Yes, Alina. That's kind of what I think Spinoza was saying. God is within us all as well as all of nature.
[13:35] Alina Gabilondo: this is metaphysical meaning
[13:35] herman Bergson: title will be "The Redundancy of Atheism"
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa u can say that I guess
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:36] Haven Ditko: Perhaps gettting the very root of  nature,  to its beginning of growth and development, there might be proof of the God he was thinking may exists
[13:36] Joseph Bard (science24): to appreciate the order in its creativity KIT
[13:36] herman Bergson: When I hear you all..I guess you might be interested :-)
[13:36] Alina Gabilondo: why we are here??
[13:36] K.T. Burnett (kayt): I am :D
[13:36] Alina Gabilondo: :)))
[13:37] CB Axel: Unless RL rears its ugly head, I'll be there, Herman. °͜°
[13:37] herman Bergson: Ask Chantal here to my  left...she runs the Scince Circle
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:37] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): will be on the website and be spammed
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:37] Alina Gabilondo: i love spam
[13:37] Indigo Lucerne: hmm, but what if universe/god/everything simply exists (and pre-existed, as even in Big Bang theory) with quantum entanglement between assorted bits and pieces...oneself included.. how would you understand the system in its entirety... being a tiny part of some star stuff off in the corner
[13:37] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): :))) glad to hear that Alina
[13:37] herman Bergson: Spinoza got to the same saying...what we call god is simple reality as it is...
[13:38] K.T. Burnett (kayt): To answer the "How to get to know the God?" question, one has to know the answer to the "What is God"
[13:38] K.T. Burnett (kayt): question
[13:38] CB Axel: I still think that Spinoza may have been a closet atheist and only put god into his ideas to keep from getting into even more trouble with the rabbis.
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:38] K.T. Burnett (kayt): and people define God differently
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:38] CB Axel: Indigo, just because we can't understand it doesn't mean that we shouldn't try. °͜°
[13:38] herman Bergson: Kayt...we first have to analyse the question how we, homo sapiens, got this idea "god" in our brain?
[13:38] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): a wise man said to me once... for science to get a step up... we need to start thinking entirely differently... I think he is right
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): maybe
[13:39] Alina Gabilondo: Spinoza pholosophy lays at feeling happiness and grow till superperson through knowledge
[13:39] Alina Gabilondo: right??
[13:39] Indigo Lucerne: here well, you can definitely study its mecahnics and operation
[13:40] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Well, through the idea of God we explain something that we cannot perceive just yet. As soon as we learn more about the phenomenon, the God component is removed from there. Like, lightning is not God's wrath, but a natural process
[13:40] herman Bergson: Not a super person Alina....just a content person....content and in peace with life
[13:40] K.T. Burnett (kayt): As soon as we know every single thing about nature... God disappears?
[13:40] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Agrees with KT
[13:40] herman Bergson: Good start KAyt ^_^
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:40] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): on your first one
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:40] CB Axel: K.T., or god appears.
[13:40] Alina Gabilondo: the time he lived the only sources of knowledge were religious institutions
[13:40] Joseph Bard (science24): science help us to know god by understanding the random evolution wouldn't lead to that complex order KT
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we use gods as a mean to tey to explain what we reaqlly have no understanding at all of
[13:41] Alina Gabilondo: would be he live now
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and instead make up stuff
[13:41] herman Bergson: No no Alina....
[13:41] Alina Gabilondo: interested will he apply to god??
[13:41] Indigo Lucerne: lightning is Darwin's wrath vs people who insist on golfing in thunderstorms ;)   also vs historical folks with kites
[13:41] CB Axel: I wonder that, too, Alina.
[13:41] herman Bergson: his sources of information were Huygens, philosophers like Descartes and Leibniz...
[13:41] CB Axel: LOL, Indigo.
[13:41] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): hehehe Indigo
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahaaha
[13:41] K.T. Burnett (kayt): lol Indigo
[13:42] CB Axel: All of whom were Christians, Herman.
[13:42] Indigo Lucerne: some things are probably better left as thought experiments
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): maybe
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:42] herman Bergson smiles at CB
[13:42] CB Axel: There was a time I believed that if we figured out all the laws of physics we would then know God.
[13:43] herman Bergson: Yes CB..they all had the urge to put in some god intheir philosophy...
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:43] Alina Gabilondo: hehehe yes it was subconsciousness for each mind God existence
[13:43] CB Axel: I remember thinking when Carl Sagan died, "Now he knows the answers."
[13:43] herman Bergson: Suppose we could CB....and what would have brought us that knowing of god?
[13:43] Alina Gabilondo: each scientists was religiosity even deny it
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: @herman - organizing societies to that broader studies are possible ;)
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there is a new theory of god though, its called ID, intelligent Design, that evolution is so complex only super intelligent aliens can have created us and the laws of nature
[13:44] CB Axel: There is no living god. Just the laws of physics.
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: for more people
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i don’t believe in that really
[13:44] herman Bergson: ma is still imperfect...we still have earthquakes and disasters of the sort....we all can get cancer....what about that god?
[13:44] herman Bergson: man
[13:44] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Something caused all that
[13:44] Alina Gabilondo: there is divine God
[13:44] CB Axel: pfft
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:45] Alina Gabilondo: and from here sl has to stop discussion - bc the most drama comes from politics and religious conversations
[13:45] Alina Gabilondo: hehehehehhe
[13:45] herman Bergson: oh no Bejiita...^_^
[13:45] CB Axel: That never stops us here, Alina.
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): don’t worry, i done believe in that
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:46] Alina Gabilondo: i hope we will not fight
[13:46] Alina Gabilondo: i am pacifist
[13:46] Alina Gabilondo: hehehe
[13:46] herman Bergson: Don't worry Alina..thisis a philosophy class...
[13:46] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Bejiita, so, supposedly, we live in an artificial universe created by something more superior than ourselves?
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:46] CB Axel: I'm also a pacifist, but also an atheist.
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as i get it thats the theory
[13:46] herman Bergson: show good argumetns ina debate or be silent
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): behind the ID concept
[13:47] Indigo Lucerne: perhaps the universe shares something in common with its development model vs LL dev strategy... just throw a bunch of stuff together & see what sticks (or if massive complaints materialize in your cosmic in-box)
[13:47] Alina Gabilondo: u do live in sl
[13:47] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Indigo
[13:47] Alina Gabilondo: virtual universe
[13:47] herman Bergson: Indeed Indigo...:-)
[13:47] herman Bergson: Virtual evolution...:-
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): maybe it is like in men in black, we all live inside a storage box among thousand of others in an office of some alien race
[13:47] CB Axel: LOL, Indigo. The thought of there being a god like LL is frightening,
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:47] Indigo Lucerne: noone objecte dto that galactic bypass through the Earth + solar system... Vogons & all ;)
[13:48] CB Axel: I'd rather remain an atheist than to believe in a LL-like god.
[13:48] Alina Gabilondo: hahahahaahha
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): loool
[13:48] Alina Gabilondo: i do not
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): me too
[13:48] K.T. Burnett (kayt): LMAO CB
[13:48] herman Bergson: But I think we got Spinoza yawning now having lost track of the discussion :-)
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:48] Alina Gabilondo: look higher
[13:48] Alina Gabilondo: heheheh
[13:48] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Spinoza is outdated
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but indeed we have the same questions today as he did
[13:49] CB Axel: Really, K.T.?
[13:49] herman Bergson: So I think it is time to thank you all for your participation
[13:49] CB Axel: Exactly, Bejiita.
[13:49] herman Bergson: At least he is dead Kayt ^_^
[13:49] Haven Ditko: Thank you for your time Herman
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice again, cu tuesday
[13:49] Alina Gabilondo: yes he is if read him from nowdays
[13:49] herman Bergson: Thank you all....:-)
[13:49] Joseph Bard (science24): thank you HERMAN
[13:49] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Well, you won't tell me now that physics will be able to answer less questions than philosophy can, CB?
[13:49] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....
[13:49] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): I know Spinoza was thinking about what made the big bang happen but more closely to home... news on homo sapiens origin
[13:49] Alina Gabilondo: we are here sl residents full of imagination
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): now its time to get some sleep, played golf with work both yesterday and today so a bit tired out now
[13:50] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Thank you Herman, that was great fun!
[13:50] Alina Gabilondo: imagine his life
[13:50] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Thank you Herman, appreciated
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:50] herman Bergson: Feel free to sat here and discuss whatever you like nevertheless
[13:50] CB Axel: Science can at least be proven.
[13:50] Alina Gabilondo: life of society 1600 sth
[13:50] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Right CB
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:50] Indigo Lucerne: remember Bejiita... no thunderstorms
[13:50] K.T. Burnett (kayt): and Spinoza was trying to answer scientific questions via abstraction, bypassing science
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe u can be calm, i keep my high voltage devices off
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:50] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Today, we know this does not work
[13:51] K.T. Burnett (kayt): That's why I claim that he's outdated
[13:51] Alina Gabilondo: but we have to know our roots
[13:51] CB Axel: I don't think he was bypassing science. I just don't think there was enough scientific knowledge for him to use.
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed we have more knowledge today of science, he used what he got then
[13:51] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Well, CB, now that there is, would you return to Spinoza's methods?
[13:51] herman Bergson: Well least in being a materialist he was way ahead of his time
[13:52] CB Axel: Maybe what he knew was outdated, but the way he was trying to find answers, by observation, is not.
[13:52] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you herman & class"!
[13:52] K.T. Burnett (kayt): I get it, Herman
[13:52] Alina Gabilondo: bravo!! CB
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:52] Alina Gabilondo: i agree with you thou you are atheist
[13:52] Alina Gabilondo: hahahaha
[13:52] K.T. Burnett (kayt): But that makes the value of his work more historical than applicable
[13:52] CB Axel: °͜°
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehe
[13:52] Haven Ditko: Have a good day all, see you next time
[13:53] Moose Houston: thank you all
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hugs all
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:53] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Waves
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu
[13:53] Alina Gabilondo: thanks you so much
[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): have a goodnight all..bye bye
[13:53] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Have a lovely one, to everybody leaving!
[13:53] Indigo Lucerne: but also y :essence" alone/// hinting maybe towards those low-level building blocks of reality?
[13:53] herman Bergson: I agree Kayt....
[13:53] CB Axel: K.T., it also is a warning to us not to let religious dogma stop us from thinking for ourselves.
[13:53] herman Bergson: it is about the historical importance of his ideas...not about the applicability
[13:54] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Absolutely CB
[13:54] herman Bergson: His metaphysics is outdated
[13:54] CB Axel: And his physics undeveloped. °͜°
[13:54] herman Bergson: Physics and science wasn't his focus.....
[13:55] herman Bergson: ethics was...well-being was
[13:55] Alina Gabilondo: but without him were not such progressive ideas at that time
[13:55] Indigo Lucerne: interesting later tech though one can base on components as say, Fire + Water
[13:55] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Alina has a point. Spinoza drove it forward, for sure
[13:56] herman Bergson: His ideas were regarded as very dangerous in his time Alina
[13:56] Alina Gabilondo: much later were named such elements
[13:56] K.T. Burnett (kayt): But was there somebody who advanced it?
[13:56] Alina Gabilondo: bc they were progressive that time
[13:56] Alina Gabilondo: not u say out of date
[13:57] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Alina, I say it and I'll repeat it
[13:57] K.T. Burnett (kayt): His work WAS progressive
[13:57] herman Bergson: History had an ambivalent attitude towards Spinoza's ideas...
[13:58] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Was there anybody who kept it up to date, with all the scientific advances?
[13:58] Alina Gabilondo: i did not say opposit sure he was
[13:58] herman Bergson: nobody dared to endorse them, but many quoted him while critizing him....
[13:58] herman Bergson: thus propagating his ideas yet
[13:58] K.T. Burnett (kayt): ROFL Herman
[13:58] K.T. Burnett (kayt): OK, fair enough

Thursday, September 22, 2016

620: Spinoza's motives....

As I told you in the previous lecture, Spinoza did not follow the traditional pathways of the philosophy of his time.
For some reason his philosophical activities weren’t so much a profession, but much more the expression of his way of life.
It makes me think of my personal history. When I was a student of philosophy, I sometimes wonder why I chose to specialise in Analytical philosophy
and for instance not in German or French philosophy. Hadn’t I been reading Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and Sartre with great interest during my high school period?

I even gave a presentation on Kant and German Idealism telling my classmates about Fichte, Schelling and Hegel.

Eventually I came to the conclusion then, that my choice was determined by personality factors. The way Carnap, The Wiener Kreis, Russell looked at the world,
that was what fitted me as a person. And I can tell you, it was not done at the faculty to interpret your personal philosophical choices as psychologically motivated.
But I am convinced, that we live in two worlds: on the one hand there is the world as defined by science.
On the other hand within that context there is your personal worldview expressed in your personal metaphysics.
For Spinoza it can’t have been otherwise. Just imagine how it went. At a young age this highly intelligent boy is confronted with the traditional Jewish education at home and in school.
It is said, that he soon he realized that the Talmud and Torah reveals so much the human spirit ,
that the Holy Scripture of the Jews impossible could be the work of God. He called them inventions of the human imagination.
You can imagine, that this must have made the rabbis of his community rabidly, especially when you respond to that with a bit of arrogance.
Spinoza, about 20 then, had a friend: Juan de Prado. This fellow is well documented in the old archives too and why?

Because he was the same pain in the ass as Spinoza. He derided, according to witnesses, sometimes Jews on their way to the synagogue and  openly demonstrated disrespect for the rabbis.
We have no clue, that tells us whether Spinoza, in his behaviour and deeds, went as far as his friend in overt expressions of contempt for his religion and his church.
Both, Spinoza and Prado , however were banned in 1656 and where Prado’s ban was formulated in rather mild words,
the ban of Spinoza was expressed in terms so incredibly harsh, that the gathered crowd in the synagoge must have shivered and been perplexed.
After his ban Spinoza stayed in Amsterdam, but his behaviour and ideas must have created so much animosity, that in 1657 someone tried to stab him with a poniard.
The attack failed fortunately, but Spinoza thought it wise to leave Amsterdam. There is little known about the period 1657 - 1661.
What is know is, that he wrote “Tractatus de intellectus emendatione” in 1660, a treatise on the improvement of the intellect.
In the treatise Spinoza explains a methodology, which must realize the consciousness of the unity of the soul with the whole of Nature 
by distinguishing clear and distinct ideas from unclear and ambiguous representations and connect them properly with each other.  
Away from, maybe freed from the Jewish community in Amsterdam he expresses in the Tractatus an important starting point of his new life:
I had recognized that the acquisition of wealth, sensual pleasure, or fame, is only a hindrance, so long as they are sought as ends not as means…”
In 1661 Spinoza moved further from Amsterdam and settled in Rijnsburg, less than 20 km from where I live now.
When the weather stays good, I’ll jump on my bike this week and will visit the famous Spinoza House there, which is a small museum.
Thank you…feel free to ask questions or add your thoughts to our discussion… ^_^

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Dan Garrett, (ed.), “Cambridge Companion to Spinoza” (2001)

The Discussion

[13:30] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Thank you, Herman
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:30] Joseph Bard (science24): thank you :)
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): could anyone read the Traktaat? for it was written in Latin ?
[13:30] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Slowly we travel in his footsteps with you
[13:30] CB Axel wonders if there is any religion that encourages or even allows free thinking
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so he recognized the idea of soul
[13:31] Joseph Bard (science24): Good question CB
[13:31] herman Bergson: Nice remark CB, for that is an impossibility
[13:32] herman Bergson: And of course not everyone could read latin....
[13:32] Ondre Baxton: Well... Me thinks I should remain stupid and silent than to speak and remove all doubt.
[13:32] herman Bergson: but those in power in any way could
[13:32] herman Bergson: Why that Ondre?
[13:33] Ondre Baxton: Way over my head...
[13:33] herman Bergson: I dont see anything over your head Ondre?
[13:33] herman Bergson: Yes a name tag :-)
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): you can go back and read the prior lectures on spinoza in the blog
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ot help see how we got to this lecture
[13:34] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Great tip Gemma
[13:34] herman Bergson: Gemma...the soul is a serious issue with Spinoza....!
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Spinoza is an interesting figure that is for sure
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes i saw that
[13:34] Ondre Baxton: Or, much deeper, than I expected...:)
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I hope you find even more inspiration at that museeum
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that should be interesting yes
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe add some tidbits of his life
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:35] herman Bergson: I'll try to take some pictures there :-)
[13:35] herman Bergson: There is a bookcase containing the boks Spinoza possed
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:36] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Looking at Spinoza's story so far... not much changed over the centuries
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): true Chantal
[13:37] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): the places... the religions may have but not the fact it happens
[13:37] herman Bergson: well at least we know that wealth , fame or sensual pleasures can not be the goal in life according to Spinoza
[13:37] K.T. Burnett (kayt): I'll need them past lectures too - cannot quite connect the idea of the soul with the fact that Spinoza claimed that humans are awesome enough on their own to write, er, was it Torah?
[13:37] Chantal (nymf.hathaway):
[13:38] herman Bergson: Thora is the Jewish law, written in sacred books
[13:38] Stranger Nightfire: well there are the contemporary Unitarians
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): analogous to the quoran or bible I guess
[13:38] herman Bergson: yes Bejiita...
[13:39] Stranger Nightfire: and some Buddhists are pretty free from dogma
[13:39] herman Bergson: But in Spinoza's day as bad as the Quran....tons or rules of behaviour
[13:39] CB Axel: Buddhism technically isn't a religion.
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): still among the orthodox
[13:39] herman Bergson: funny you say "some Buddhists are pretty free from dogma" Strnager
[13:40] herman Bergson: As CB says...Buddhism isnt a where come the dogmas from?
[13:42] Stranger Nightfire: well some Branches of Buddhism have incorporated the usual trappings off religion, even a pantheon of gods
[13:42] herman Bergson: ...and the audience was speachless....^_^
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is true
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes I know Stranger...quite amazing actually and so contrary to buddhism
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:43] herman Bergson: Maybe Spinoza could have appreciated true Buddhism...
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): buddhism is about a real person and not a supernatural god
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): very different
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at leasst in my view
[13:43] CB Axel: American Buddhism is different than others.
[13:44] CB Axel: Or so it seems to me.
[13:44] herman Bergson: There exists American Buddhism CB???? :-))))
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or not,  its the same basic concept but different ideas
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there are many americans who practice buddhism yes
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but buddhism indeed seem "nicer" then other religions
[13:44] herman Bergson: Well at least it proofs that beliefs are just beliefs....
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): as a way of life but keep their own religion
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Isn’t Shintoism a type of buddhism?
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Shintoism
[13:45] Joseph Bard (science24): nicer is a relative concept :)
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i dont think so
[13:45] herman Bergson: Shinto is Japanese Bejiita
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bej
[13:46] herman Bergson: No relation to buddhism there
[13:46] herman Bergson: But we are discussing Spinoza here...
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or wait now, in Naruto they use relations to different Japanese gods as means to name their superpowers
[13:46] herman Bergson: a man who almost got killed in Amsterdam!
[13:46] Ondre Baxton: Deity or not to deity - that is the question.
[13:46] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Are there any known "reactions" to what happened to Spinoza? From people in his era
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not to expert on japanese gods though
[13:47] herman Bergson: Yes Ondre...that was the question for Spinoza too!
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i am sure we will find out
[13:47] herman Bergson: And his conclusions caused him to be banned fornm the Jewish community in Amsterdam
[13:47] Stranger Nightfire: I know of people who are catholic priests and also practice and even teach Buddhism
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right stranger
[13:48] CB Axel: Yes. Were the people of Amsterdam outraged by the attempt on Spinoza's life or did they think he had it coming?
[13:48] herman Bergson: Little is know about that Gemma....
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i bet his community saw it as his just rewards
[13:48] CB Axel: The citizens in general, not the Jewish leaders, I mean.
[13:49] herman Bergson: only that the wide robe Spinoza wore prevented serious injury
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i be they did not even know
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bet
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he was just a young jewish kid to them
[13:49] herman Bergson: The fac that he was attack must mean something....
[13:49] CB Axel: Probably not. The Netherlands in the 1600's didn't have Facebook or Twitter.
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:49] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Good point, Gemma... he received attention after he went
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and came back
[13:50] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma and a smart ass and a wise guy and a pain in the ass all together and an arrogant asshole....:-)
[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what did his parents think of his ideas?
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:50] herman Bergson: I really think so....
[13:50] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): oh my Beertje
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:50] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): How do parents feel in such a situation
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i bet they were heartbroken
[13:51] herman Bergson: If you know the wordings of his ban...never shown in history before.....sooooo harsh...
[13:51] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Could you share it with us?
[13:51] herman Bergson: His parents were dead in 1656,,,at least his father
[13:51] herman Bergson: he died in 1654
[13:52] herman Bergson: But  Spinoza must have driven the rabbis insane with his obstinate behaviour and ideas...
[13:52] herman Bergson: Nevertheless....
[13:52] CB Axel: Herman told us what the ban said back in the first of these lectures.
[13:52] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Rocking the boat is unwanted
[13:52] herman Bergson: He tried to sink the boat Chantal !
[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:53] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): I know CB but sometimes people have it available to copy, was hoping it was so
[13:53] herman Bergson: But what makes me wonder....
[13:53] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): heheheh Herman
[13:53] herman Bergson: when you read about his later days....
[13:53] herman Bergson: he seemed to have been quite a gentle person....
[13:54] herman Bergson: He ahd true friends
[13:54] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): his later days are our young-ones right?!
[13:54] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): yes 45 is young
[13:55] herman Bergson: well when he was 30 Chantal....:-)
[13:55] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): ok
[13:55] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): not in 1656 those days people were old in their 40 th
[13:55] herman Bergson: But he had true friends who covered up for him...took care of his manuscripts after his death and got them published...
[13:55] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): yes I wonder how that will have effected, Beertje
[13:56] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Incredible, Herman
[13:57] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): a bit like plato did for socrates
[13:57] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i hope to be here thursday
[13:57] herman Bergson: lecture we'll elaborate on the obsevation that wealth, sensual plesures and fame are not the real goals in life according to Spinoza :-)
[13:57] herman Bergson: So..
[13:57] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hinderences
[13:57] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:57] CB Axel: That will be interesting. I agree with Spinoza on that!
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): me too
[13:58] K.T. Burnett (kayt): When will it be?
[13:58] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for your participation...
[13:58] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:58] Ondre Baxton: Thanks.
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): now on thursday
[13:58] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Thursday at 1
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): same time
[13:58] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...^_^
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu then
[13:58] CB Axel: See you Thursday.
[13:58] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 PM PDT KT
[13:58] Joseph Bard (science24): thank you Herman :)
[13:58] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:58] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:58] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sl time
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bye for now
[13:58] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Thank you very much Herman :)
[13:58] herman Bergson: My pleasure Joseph :-)
[13:58] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is easiest
[13:58] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:58] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:58] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Waves
[13:58] K.T. Burnett (kayt): probably coming here in my exhausted condition was not the wisest decision lol, hoping to be in a better shape for the next lecture
[13:59] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Thank you Herman
[13:59] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Busy schedule huh KT
[13:59] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Mhm, and add cold to that
[13:59] herman Bergson: wow..even a better shape Kayt? :-))
[13:59] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): see you all thursday, have a goodnight
[13:59] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): I will log off, have a good evening, sleep or daytime
[14:00] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Good night Chantal :)
[14:00] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Sleep well KT
[14:00] Joseph Bard (science24): bye everyone :)
[14:00] Joseph Bard (science24): take care
[14:00] Jeanne Valois (jeannevalois): thank all :P
[14:00] Ondre Baxton: take care
[14:01] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Will be on my way too, have a lovely one you two :)
[14:01] herman Bergson: I hope you're ok Kayt :-)
[14:01] K.T. Burnett (kayt): Just exhausted, but thought I'd check your class out for the future :)
[14:02] herman Bergson: You are welcome..:-)