Thursday, October 27, 2016

629: Spinoza on Emotions explained in more detail

In my enthusiasm about the text of the introduction to his third chapter of the Ethica “On the Origin and Nature of the Emotions”
I expose the attending people at my previous lecture to the original words of Spinoza  himself by reading them the introduction.
That was too much, especially for not native english speakers. Nevertheless the text was a perfect example of the way Spinoza thinks and write.
So, today I’ll go into more detail with respect to this text and explain to you by means of a few crucial sentences, what Spinoza says.
Before you try to read Spinoza, you first have to know what his basic starting points are.
The first is that he is against the belief in a personal god, in other words against Judaism and Christianity.
The second is, that Spinoza is a materialist: there only is ONE substance. This substance isn’t chaos, but controlled by laws of nature.
Because laws of nature are defined by describing causal relations, everything is caused. We are modes of this one substance and thence subject to the laws of nature too.

Consequently his third starting point is that everything is determined by causal relations, also our actions. That means, there is no free will.

Further we can ask the question:Why is Spinoza writing all this? I see two reasons; his main reason is help people to find the way to a good life or to live good.
This immediately reveals in view of his starting points AGAINST WHO he is writing: the rabbis and christian theologians.
When you keep this in mind reading Spinoza a lot may become easier  to understand, almost obvious.
Let’s put this to the test….. The first sentence of the introduction on “On the Origin and Nature of the Emotions”:
“Most writers on the emotions and on human conduct seem to be treating rather of matters outside nature than of natural phenomena following nature's general laws.”
The whole philosophical program of Spinoza on emotions in one opening statement…..Let’s try to grasp this..
First question: who are those “writers”. Among others definitely those rabbis and theologians.
Why do they treat emotions a “matters outside nature”? That is because they have split up man in a good part and a bad part
and that bad part is his sinful drives, the part that is not created by god but, for instance, by himself by stealing that apple or by a devil.
Against this Spinoza puts the claim that emotions are natural phenomena following nature's general laws.”
 After some remarks on Descartes Spinoza says:
“For the present I wish to revert to those, who would rather abuse or deride human emotions than understand them. 
Such persons will, doubtless think it strange that I should attempt to treat of human vice and folly geometrically,………”

Here he returns to those “writers” and tells us that they do not understand his treating emotions “geometrically”.

The first thing that has to come to mind here is that in Spinoza’s time a revolution was taking place in science: 
physics had adopted mathematics as THE language to describe nature.
Mathematics is a collection of axioms, theorems, propositions, calculations and so on, following the basic rules of logic: a nice rational whole.
When you can apply the mathematical method of geometry to emotions, it only can mean that they are following natural laws too, like other material processes.
And then Spinoza makes his point:……

“However, such is my plan. Nothing comes to pass in nature, which can be set down to a flaw therein;”
In other words….away with all that nonsense of rabbis and theologians…and he goes on:…
“for nature is always the same, and everywhere one and the same in her efficacy and power of action; “
And in order to rub it those “writers” in even more he says:…

“Thus the passions of hatred, anger, envy, and so on, considered in themselves, follow from this same necessity and efficacy of nature; “
In other words passions and emotions can be explained in the same scientific way as all other phenomena in nature, 
because they are part of nature and not some flaw or something outside nature.
I hope this give you a better insight in what Spinoza actually means…. Thank you ^_^

The Discussion

[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hah
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): all is nature
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): totally agree with that
[13:23] herman Bergson: yes
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): EVERYTHING can be expressed using mathemaics, a froof of this is how a computer can simulate any physical or chemical law and computers are 100% mathematical at the core, thats why they are called computers because they calculate
[13:24] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta) handing over computer to son.......
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): does he expect that believing that it  will cause people to not use the passions and emotions then?
[13:25] herman Bergson: No no...
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:25] herman Bergson: What he plans to do is to explain passions and emotions
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: (thank you herman I need to leave for today - have a great day or night everyone )
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well i will wait to see the explanations of them and see what he says to avoiding them
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): goodnight Ciska
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): welterusten
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): gone
[13:27] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): No, I think it is more about allowing causes =, such as emotions to be followed by what Spinoza would label as 'rational'. hatred leds to hatred, love to love, it makes sense to follow those emotions. you can not escape the one substance as much as it is you, so it is a redundant effort to escape emotions
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): love pasion and sex are for ex not sins but basic human needs
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all natural, while the religious people tries to deprive us from what makes us feel good and happy
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I mean "misuse of them
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): by calling it sins
[13:28] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): More complex than that. I think spinoza did rather well without having much of a social life XD
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he had a social life
[13:28] herman Bergson: The idea that Spinoza did not have much of a social life is questionable...
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) whispers: did he keep it separate from his philosophy?
[13:29] herman Bergson: He had no women in his life....true
[13:29] herman Bergson: But he has a loyal group of friends
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): did anyone ever question if he was homosexual?
[13:30] herman Bergson: one of whom even died in jail due to  holding Spinozist ideas
[13:30] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): Very true. I think he liked to keep intimate social circles, having  in deep conversations, but I never took him for much of a party goer.
[13:30] herman Bergson: ^_^
[13:30] herman Bergson: No indeed
[13:30] CB Axel: Introverts don't need to go to parties to socialize.
[13:30] herman Bergson: But I guess that is because he was rather attracted to stoicism...
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): true CB
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it has been mentioned so many times about his friends all being male
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): could not help asking
[13:31] herman Bergson: And he was a man of controlled emotions....
[13:31] herman Bergson: except when the bother de Witt were murdered by the people....
[13:32] herman Bergson: His friend saved in fact his life on that occasion
[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): how?
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): did he see the brothers murdered?
[13:33] herman Bergson: Spinoza had written a pamflet which he wannted to post outside....
[13:33] herman Bergson: Some title as "Extreme barbarians of barbarism....."
[13:34] herman Bergson: If he had done that they definitely would have attacked him too...his friend kept him indoors
[13:34] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): Apparently he tried to date someone but she went for someone else when he was young. He also had a lot to fear about his beliefs and how people would take them. in that sense I think he was driven into appreciating solitude.
[13:34] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): But it's an entire life we're talking about, they are hard to sum up.
[13:34] CB Axel: I can relate to that.
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ahha on the dating
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that happens
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): in fact he was hiding in Den Haag, a larger city then is own village
[13:35] herman Bergson: Probably Beertje....safer there
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hide in plain sight
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i think he wasn’t really safe anywhere
[13:36] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta) is back son gone
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): lol\
[13:36] herman Bergson: At least he died a natural death...
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): glass dust?
[13:36] herman Bergson: yes
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well that is awful too
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): poor man
[13:36] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta) knows very little about Spinoza apart from he fills some of my bookshelves
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): open the books loo
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): :-)
[13:37] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): mmmm goto too many of them
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): tell us what the books say Loo
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): pick a skinny one
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): smiles
[13:37] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): I will
[13:38] herman Bergson: One of the reasons we discuss Spinoza here is that the neuroscientist Antonio Damasio feels close related to Spinoza's ideas on feelings and emotions
[13:38] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): I know more about whom he influenced like marx and others
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i want to hear how his nature is all and all is of nature is different from pantheism
[13:38] herman Bergson: He influenced John Locke and thence the Declaration of independence of the USA
[13:39] herman Bergson: And the Constitution
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is interesting to know
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): although i wish it were clearer that we are not a Christian nation
[13:39] herman Bergson: Locke knew Spinoza's ideas very  well....he had read his works
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Not founded as such
[13:40] herman Bergson: The US is not founded as a christian nation, as far as I know...on the contrary
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): exactly
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but many try to say it IS
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): here i mean
[13:41] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta) nods
[13:41] CB Axel: Many have tried to mold it into a Christian nation.
[13:41] herman Bergson: That nay be caused by the many religious groups that fled from Europe to the New world....
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:41] herman Bergson: and dominated general politics
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Large segment of citizens claim the founding fathers were alllllllll very good Christians
[13:42] herman Bergson: History shows different , I guess
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes it does
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i don’t think they read history
[13:43] herman Bergson: But to get back to the issue today....
[13:43] CB Axel: Most references to God in our mottos, songs, and pledges weren't in there until the cold war.
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): correct
[13:43] herman Bergson: Did my lecture made it more  clear, what SPinoza says than last time? :-)
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thinks so
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i understand what he is saying but want to see how he is going to apply it
[13:44] herman Bergson: An dcould your son approve the content Loo? :-)
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he must have put hours and days and months into his papers
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): son that is
[13:44] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): I think so he is going on about how he influenced democracy in the background
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah there
[13:44] herman Bergson: Very true, Loo
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): too bad he left
[13:45] CB Axel: As I see it, Spinoza was saying what I've been saying here. That everything that happens is because of what happened before all the way back to the beginning of time.
[13:45] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): He is a Master of philosophy his 2nd dissertation was on democracy
[13:45] herman Bergson: He is sometimes even considered the inventor of our system of democracy
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah
[13:45] CB Axel: We have no free will, because nature has determined what we do.
[13:45] herman Bergson: with his pleading for the separation of Religion and State
[13:45] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): No we can influence power and control
[13:45] herman Bergson: and freedom of speech
[13:46] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): He was chucked out of his religion
[13:46] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): being a Jew
[13:46] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): so I guess it would be painful to have your inheritance stripped
[13:46] herman Bergson: Yes, Loo because I used his freedom of speech...
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess you can say this about my cold at the moment, its because every time this time of the year when it gets colder its like bacteria spread more easily and everyone around me gets sick so its unavoidable to not get it
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ohoh
[13:47] herman Bergson: That was not allowed in those days despite of this socalled tolerance in The Netherlands
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): tolerance is relative
[13:47] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta) works in a hospital fat chance of staying healthy
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sleep bej
[13:48] herman Bergson: Yes tolerance is relative...but to which rules Gemma?
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the rules of the time
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): adn culture
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it seems
[13:49] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): On that note me to..... if you want Nath can join us again and I can be possessed by a philosopher?
[13:49] herman Bergson: That is a ratther relativist point of view...:-)
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i will sleep soon indeed, getting back in the shower again a while before though first to warm up a bit. Im freezing at miment
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): moment
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): go to bed
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and the heat is not turned on yet
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and remember Europe changes time this weekend???
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and we do not?
[13:49] herman Bergson: He is always welcome Loo :-)
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes its that time soon again
[13:50] CB Axel: That's right, Gemma.
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): anyway good lecture once again
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:50] herman Bergson: Oh my......two weeks of chaos ahead!
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so class will be one hour earlier i believe
[13:50] CB Axel: One week of unnecessary confusion thanks to the time change.
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): two weeks?
[13:50] CB Axel: Only one.
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): one i think
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): es
[13:50] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): OK I will bring him, he says it is over a year since he studied Spinoza
[13:50] herman Bergson: only one....\o/
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): might be good to have a fall break
[13:51] herman Bergson: Good idea......exactly that week....
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think so
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it never fails
[13:51] Loo Zeta-Ah (loo.zeta): Goodnight all
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): only 22 or so show
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): night all
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh did herman dismiss?
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): beterschap Bejiita
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:52] herman Bergson smiles
[13:52] herman Bergson: I did not !
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i thought   not
[13:52] herman Bergson: ^_^
[13:52] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...:-)))

[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥

628: On the Origin and Nature of the Emotions

Just try to get the picture: psychology didn’t exist, nor psychological research. Traumas  and neuroses…never heard of. 
It is 1670 and there is homo sapiens with his emotions, passions. lust.
Spinoza’s philosophical goal was to offer a kind of instruction to live a good life. One of the main ingredients was insight in your passions and emotions and to control them.
Here you should listen to Spinoza himself. Keep in mind…there only is ONE substance….nature with its laws of physics. 
We are modes of this one substance and thence subject to the laws of nature.
Now I’ll let Spinoza himself talk to you. Look at the picture of his room overhere. Imagine a man with only quill, ink and paper, some candles.No radio, television or computer or internet….
in a world of silence and he writes this as the introduction to his third  chapter of the Ethica “On the Origin and Nature of the Emotions”. When I had read it, I was in awe.
This is Spinoza himself talking to you. Take your time. Throw it in Google Translate, if it may help you understand….. Just read/listen…… 
“Most writers on the emotions and on human conduct seem to be treating rather of matters outside nature than of natural phenomena following nature's general laws. 
They appear to conceive man to be situated in nature as a kingdom within a kingdom: for they believe that he disturbs rather than follows nature's order, 
that he has absolute control over his actions, and that he is determined solely by himself. They attribute human infirmities and fickleness, not to the power of nature in general, 
but to some mysterious flaw in the nature of man, which accordingly they bemoan, deride, despise, or, as usually happens, abuse: 
he, who succeeds in hitting off the weakness of the human mind more eloquently or more acutely than his fellows, is looked upon as a see-er. 
Still there has been no lack of very excellent men (to whose toil and industry I confess myself much indebted), 
who have written many noteworthy things concerning the right way of life, and have given much sage advice to mankind. 
But no one, so far as I know, has defined the nature and strength of the emotions, and the power of the mind against them for their restraint. 
I do not forget, that the illustrious Descartes, though he believed, that the mind has absolute power over its actions, strove to explain human emotions by their primary causes, 
and, at the same time, to point out a way, by which the mind might attain to absolute dominion over them. 
However, in my opinion, he accomplishes nothing beyond a display of the acuteness of his own great intellect, as I will show in the proper place. 
For the present I wish to revert to those, who would rather abuse or deride human emotions than understand them. 
Such persons will, doubtless think it strange that I should attempt to treat of human vice and folly geometrically, 
and should wish to set forth with rigid reasoning those matters which they cry out against as repugnant to reason, frivolous, absurd, and dreadful. 
However, such is my plan. Nothing comes to pass in nature, which can be set down to a flaw therein; for nature is always the same, and everywhere one and the same in her efficacy and power of action; 
that is, nature's laws and ordinances, whereby all things come to pass and change from one form to another, are everywhere and always the same; 
so that there should be one and the same method of understanding the nature of all things whatsoever, namely, through nature's universal laws and rules.
Thus the passions of hatred, anger, envy, and so on, considered in themselves, follow from this same necessity and efficacy of nature; 
they answer to certain definite causes, through which they are understood, and possess certain properties as worthy of being known as the properties of anything else, whereof the contemplation in itself affords us delight. 
I shall, therefore, treat of the nature and strength of the emotions according to the same method, as I employed heretofore in my investigations concerning God and the mind. 
I shall consider human actions and desires in exactly the same manner, as though I were concerned with lines, planes, and solids.”

There is so much to say about his words. We’ll save that for the next lecture…thank you :-))

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Spinoza: Tractatus de emendatione intellectus (1660)
Spinoza: Ethica (1677)
Dan Garrett, (ed.), “Cambridge Companion to Spinoza” (2001)

The Discussion

[13:27] herman Bergson: Bu tthis may be a little touch and hard to understand....
[13:27] herman Bergson: I made a small summary of what Spinoza said....
[13:27] herman Bergson: a sec
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm this was a bit complex indeed
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): google translates this is a rather funny way
[13:28] herman Bergson: Was affraid so Beertje....
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i don't understand it all
[13:28] herman Bergson: the language is rather complex....
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no kidding!
[13:28] herman Bergson: But let me give you the summary
[13:28] herman Bergson: ----------
[13:28] herman Bergson: - Others say emotions are a world of their own for man
- and emotions are weaknesses of man, disturbing his true nature
- many write about the right way of life…
But no one, so far as I know, has defined the nature and strength of the emotions, and the power of the mind against them for their restraint. (Little lie, I think….the Stoics did:-)
( What he accuses Descartes of isn’t clear… primary causes…Have to check up on that)
- Those who see emotions as weaknesses will wonder about me treating them geometrically (by which Spinoza means…within his own metaphysical system)
- Emotions aren’t a flaw  but part of nature
[13:29] herman Bergson: this is what he says....
[13:29] Alina Gabilondo: hmmm
[13:30] herman Bergson: The basic idea is that he says that other writers see emotions as unnatural actually
[13:30] herman Bergson: a flaw in man.....
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:30] Alina Gabilondo: i am afraid i have nothing to comment
[13:30] herman Bergson: and Spinoza then says.....
[13:30] Alina Gabilondo: too different definitions of emotions
[13:30] herman Bergson: I'll show you that emotions are a part of nature
[13:31] herman Bergson: and that is his most interesting point.....
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i think emotions makes us human
[13:31] herman Bergson: he  says....emotions are modes of matter.....of our body....they are physical
[13:32] herman Bergson: no Beertje.....
[13:32] herman Bergson: Also a dog can get angry....have emotions of joy.....
[13:32] Alina Gabilondo: animals have emotions too
[13:32] herman Bergson: so that is not what makes is differ from other parts of nature
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its indeed States (modes) of the mind
[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hmm I parrot even cries when i call him naughty
[13:33] Alina Gabilondo: hahahahah
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:33] herman Bergson: It really might be the case Beertje that the bird has an unpleasant experience when you use  that word....
[13:34] herman Bergson: as it may be associated with small punishments it got in the past when the word was used
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes, true
[13:34] Alina Gabilondo: but in general too??
[13:35] herman Bergson: in geneal too what Alina?
[13:35] Alina Gabilondo: u want to say that emotions are experience result??
[13:35] herman Bergson: emotions are, as Spinoza says, states of the body.....
[13:36] herman Bergson: modes of being
[13:36] herman Bergson: And here comes Antonio Damasio, the neuroscientist......
[13:36] herman Bergson: what makes us human is not emotions....but feelings.....!
[13:37] herman Bergson: I'll not elaborate on this yet, but let me give you one explanation.....
[13:37] herman Bergson: when someone is angry, you can see it in his face.....
[13:37] herman Bergson: a dog shows his teeth....
[13:38] herman Bergson: but Damasio says...there is more...there is a feeling of angry....
[13:38] herman Bergson: Let me put it in another way......
[13:38] Alina Gabilondo: is he modern person??
[13:39] herman Bergson: oh yes....His book Lookin gfor Spinoza is from 2003
[13:39] Alina Gabilondo: aga
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:39] herman Bergson: Just try it yourself.....observe a person.......
[13:40] herman Bergson: look at him and put your face in the same expression as that person.....
[13:40] herman Bergson: You may get the same feeling as that person.....
[13:40] herman Bergson: that is how we understand it empathy...
[13:40] Alina Gabilondo: yes i have heard about this
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): or you get a smash in your face
[13:41] herman Bergson: Just keep your distance beertje :-)
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehe
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako) Gets Hit With a frying pan
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): OW!
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i always do:)
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): OOOOW WHAT HAVE I DONE!
[13:41] Alina Gabilondo: (→∀←) ァハハ八八ノヽノヽノヽノ / /
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:41] herman Bergson: oops....
[13:41] herman Bergson: You're ok Bejiita? :-)
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I think so someone got angry on me it seems
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:43] Alina Gabilondo: Beerje is far
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it works better when I smile on the street..lookingup...:)))everybody is looking up in the sky then:))
[13:43] Alina Gabilondo: i can help
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:43] herman Bergson smiles
[13:43] Alina Gabilondo: teeth are ok??
[13:43] herman Bergson: Think I lost control over my class :-))
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm seems they are not mad at me, there is war in the kitchen behind here somewhere OPPPS! (ducks, there came another pan
[13:44] Alina Gabilondo: we practice emotions
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): smiles
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): !
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:44] herman Bergson: Well...we are ordered to the kitchen, I guess :-)
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed i have heard there is difference between feelings and emotions
[13:45] herman Bergson: Yes there is....
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and i think we had discussed it before long ago
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its familiar
[13:45] herman Bergson: Look at it  this way......
[13:47] herman Bergson: emotions are behavior patterns  which produce feelings....
[13:47] herman Bergson: the  emotions are the material things......all organisms have them to some extend....
[13:47] herman Bergson: but we as humans experience feelings associated with these emotions
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): emotions are what happens inside you (chemical reactions ect) and feelings is what you precieve of those events
[13:48] herman Bergson: yes....
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ah
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sort of
[13:48] herman Bergson: and that is what Damasio does research on....
[13:49] herman Bergson: and that is what attracted him in the work of Spinoza.....
[13:49] herman Bergson: the first one  an donly one in his time who saw emotions as nature...
[13:50] herman Bergson: I understand that the text of Spinoza was perhaps too complex for you since none of you are native english speakers
[13:51] Alina Gabilondo: it is translated to all almost languages
[13:51] herman Bergson: that is true Alina....but we haven't all translations at hand unfortunately
[13:52] herman Bergson: And to be honest....even in your own language....Spinoza isn't easy
[13:52] Alina Gabilondo: i know
[13:52] Alina Gabilondo: i tried to read
[13:52] herman Bergson: But yet...this part IS understandable...can be made understandable....
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he is special for sure
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but I think i get somewhat most of it in general
[13:53] herman Bergson: I'll try to giv ean example next lecture.....
[13:53] Alina Gabilondo: also there are popular texts adjusted for public
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just needed a it time to recompile it
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki
[13:53] herman Bergson: all did well today...:-)
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:54] herman Bergson: SO thank you again for your participation and interest :-)
[13:54] Alina Gabilondo: thank you for lesson Sir!
[13:54] Alina Gabilondo: :)
[13:54] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....^_^
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice again
[13:54] Alina Gabilondo: good night from me!! :))
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu tuesday I guess then
[13:55] herman Bergson: You will...

627: The Determinism of Spinoza

In the previous lecture we paid attention to the problem of Modality, that is, the question whether something necessarily exists or only possibly exists.
When you look at physics, matter seems to exist necessarily. Spinoza used the word Substance. It can take many shapes, but eventually it necessarily exist.
Thinking as a mode of existing of the substance must be necessary too. You can not deny the fact without facing a contradiction. “I do not think” is a thought too.
In my view all these views are the product of our brain. It is a tool and in such considerations  you also experience its limitations.
But all this leads to the next confrontation with our limitations. We all may have asked ourselves once the questions “Where do I come from, Where does the universe come from?”
And we are inclined to say….there has to be some explanation. And science puts indeed a lot of effort in finding the answers.
Thus is born the Principle of Sufficient Reason. It is the expression of our attitude to assume that eventually for everything there has to be a reason or explanation.
A simple formulation of the principle is as follows: For every fact F, there must be a sufficient reason why F is the case.
This looks like a rather intuitive rule. You are easily inclined to accept it. We will not start a debate on the question what is or is not a fact,
but yet we have to answer the question what kind of things require a reason? Do we give a reason for the existence of things only or also for the non-existence of things?
Another question is, of course, what may count as a explanation? A logical deduction? Empirical evidence  or a belief in something?
We run into a big problem: if we accept that everything has an explanation, we end up in an infinite regress…
We have an explanation for A, which explanation is explained by an explanation which is itself explained by ad infinitum….
This would mean, that there are no brute facts, facts that have no explanation. But then at least explain why they do not have an explanation !
Spinoza’s earliest statement of the Principle of Sufficient Reason appears in his first published work, 
the 1663 geometrical exposition of Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy. The eleventh axiom of Part I of the book states:
Nothing exists of which it cannot be asked, what is the cause or reason, why it exists.
Each link in a causal chain is preceded by infinitely many causes and is followed by infinitely many effects. Each link also provides at least part of the explanation for the existence of the following link.
This problem of the infinite regress and the question of a possible first uncaused cause is deeply rooted in the way our brain operates.
The Ancient Greek’s brain operated already like that. Anaximander, one of the earliest of the pre-Socratics, born 610 bce, is usually credited  with being the first to make use of it. 
Due to our necessary condition to understand our reality in terms of causality, our wish to have an explanation for everything, we also invent  an explanation of  all causes, the uncaused cause.
That is where religious thinking comes  from and Spinoza put an end to that by assuming Substance as the uncaused cause.

Spinoza had to accept another serious consequence of his point of view. When EVERYTHING has a cause, can be explained,
then everything is determined by its preceding cause, in other words, whole reality is one determined chain of causes and effects. No room for free will, for instance, then.
Just think it over…..Thank you ^_^

The Discussion

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thinks
[13:25] herman Bergson: Don't keep your thoughts under your hat, Gemma ^_^
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Spinoza accepts uncaused cause
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hard one to swallow
[13:25] herman Bergson: HE had to yes
[13:25] CB Axel: That's what I had been saying weeks ago. We have no free will because the interactions in our brains were started long ago. °͜°
[13:26] CB Axel: Back when we were all stardust.
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm tricky idea indeed
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i can see why most of his writings were kept private
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): for a long time
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but maybe not everything have a root cause and is determined from long back
[13:26] herman Bergson: yes we have a serious problem  here
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it might be just partial
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some things I do might be based on things happening around me. For ex a friend comes to visit saturday since he have some time over
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and thus that determines my cations a bit for that day
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): action
[13:28] herman Bergson: What strikes me in matters like this is that we have no means to solve this problem
[13:28] CB Axel: Yes, Bejiita, but your friend's actions were also set in motions eons ago. Nothing is random.
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:28] herman Bergson: I mean...on the one hand we think in terms of causality....
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): might be but indeed it is impossible to think in a such way
[13:29] herman Bergson: on the other hand we think in terms of begin and end
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and time
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): time is an invention of mankind
[13:30] herman Bergson: I see philosophers struggle with is....and then?
[13:30] herman Bergson: Spinoza got into a lot of problems with his views of absolute determinism
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i guess he did
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): did he solve these problems?
[13:31] herman Bergson: You can spend the rest of your life on studying what is all written about this subject regarding Spinoza....
[13:32] herman Bergson: But also that makes me wonder....
[13:32] herman Bergson: Typically philosopher's thing...
[13:32] herman Bergson: Nobody understands Spinoza (and other philosophers too).....
[13:33] herman Bergson: You get tons of interpretations....
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some things are more complex then we can grasp
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well then we are in good company
[13:33] herman Bergson: I try to see Spinoza as a normal human being.....
[13:34] herman Bergson: living his own life....not as this huge MIND primarily
[13:34] herman Bergson: So I think he was a jewish boy completely done with this Jahweh.....this personal god
[13:35] herman Bergson: and influenced by Descartes he creatded his own materialist philosophy.....
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think so too
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): maybe yes
[13:35] herman Bergson: bending in all directions to prevent being accused of blasphemy and atheism
[13:36] herman Bergson: and yet wishing to propagate his ideas...
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems so for sure
[13:36] herman Bergson: That is my impression of Spinoza
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he had a lot of time to think while he was making lenses, he was working al alone
[13:36] CB Axel: He was born at the wrong time.
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmm
[13:36] herman Bergson: In what sense, CB?
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that could be said of many philosophers who developed new ideas
[13:37] CB Axel: If he had been born now, his ideas wouldn't be considered so dangerous.
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i'm not sure about that
[13:37] herman Bergson: But you also could put it this way....
[13:37] CB Axel: He would be more free to express his ideas and get feedback.
[13:38] herman Bergson: due to the fact that HE had such ideas they are nowadays no longer a danger
[13:38] CB Axel: Yes. As I was saying what I said, that thought did come to me. °͜°
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is what happens
[13:38] CB Axel: Thank you, Spinoza!
[13:38] herman Bergson: :-)
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): new thought appears and all the philosophers think
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): about it
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe yes
[13:39] herman Bergson: In his way Spinoza was rather unique in his time....
[13:40] CB Axel: Some get assassinated. But at least their sacrifice gets us thinking.
[13:40] herman Bergson: tho atheism is of all ages and times of course
[13:40] herman Bergson: And for many the uncaused cause was god of christianity a personal god
[13:41] CB Axel: Ya know, I don't mind if people want to call the uncaused cause god as long as that god doesn't start telling me how to live my life.
[13:42] herman Bergson: I guess we all still have to ponder about necessity of existence and the principle of sufficient reason and causality :-)
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): YES
[13:42] CB Axel: As far as I'm concerned, god can have started the universe, but then he needed to butt out.
[13:42] CB Axel: He caused enough trouble just putting us here. °͜°
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehe
[13:43] herman Bergson: What puzzles me most is the question...Why on earth starts a homo sapiens thinking about some personal creative force?
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): me too a bit
[13:44] herman Bergson: If you take the principle of sufficient reason.....what REASON is there to think along that lines?
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: me not at all ,)
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at that time we needed an explanation
[13:44] herman Bergson: Explain Ciska ....:-)
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: simple psychology
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the problem today is people refuse to give up on religion even there is science and instead use the religion to oppress others to gain power and start wars
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: when you have no idea u take what you see
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: what you see is people and relationships
[13:45] CB Axel: I think we all want to know why something has happened so that maybe we can cause or prevent that something from happening again.
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: then you put the unexplainable in the same pattern
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: and make it bigger
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bet many scientists are very religious
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: hirarchy thinking
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and very scientific
[13:45] herman Bergson: Ahhh yes sure, that is what I assume too....but many take their ideas for can THAT be?
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: that works form caveman on
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): might be but hopefully they dont think about religion as a means of power and to control others
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cause thats where things get nasty
[13:46] bergfrau Apfelbaum: i am happy to be here! thanks stork *blond grins*
[13:46] herman Bergson: No Bejiita....let's stick to psychology of the individual
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): politics and religion for ex dont mix
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very true
[13:46] herman Bergson: Bergie :-)
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): altho many try to make that be
[13:47] bergfrau Apfelbaum: lol
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): as an aside this sim looks terrible!!!!!!!!
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): gets worse very year!!!
[13:48] herman Bergson: The point is.....and other have tried  that already often.....if you explain this behavior which evolves into religious behavior  from still do not convince the religious person, that he lives in phatasies
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no you never can
[13:49] CB Axel: So, Ciska, you feel that people look at their relationships with one another and use that as a basis for looking at everything in the world?
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: thats how it started cb
[13:49] CB Axel: And so they create a personal god.
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: thats how religion started
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: and then it was taken over
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: to control and organize
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: bigger units of people
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: from tribe
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: to bigger tribe
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: to landcapes
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: and such
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): might be
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: it made it possible to suppress people
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: and to gain power for individuals
[13:51] herman Bergson: But even when we assume this is true Ciska....why don't get religious people convinced of it too :-)
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: because of its hierarchy
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: well because peoples ideas of what "God" is change
[13:51] herman Bergson: you mean..when the leaders of the tribe believe, all members of the tribe believe?
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): most of them
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: u can look at it from psychological point of view
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and those that don’t try to leave
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and find another tribe
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: when u are a kid of 5 you do not grasp the concept of quantumphysics
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): or they were not allowed to meave
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: and you need to learn social rules of your surrounding
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i stil dont!!!!!!
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): leave
[13:52] herman Bergson: I did :-)))
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: how do you do that?
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): forget 5
[13:52] CB Axel: Me, too, Gemma!
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: hehehe
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or string theory
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): which is more the going thing
[13:53] herman Bergson: I played guitar as a kid :-)
[13:53] herman Bergson: Well...I guess we aren't going to solve the issue today :-)))
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nope as usual 
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: of course we can use fairy tales instead
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: and we do
[13:53] herman Bergson: So I guess we need another lecture :-)
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: or we use coca cola advertising and we do
[13:54] CB Axel: I consider religion to be a fairy tale.
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: ;)
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: see?
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: yes u can see it like that
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: so the interessting point is
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: what happens to humanity
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: if you stop telling fairy tales
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): btw i am dressed this way because i am working on halloween stories
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): agree CB
[13:54] herman Bergson: Maybe extinct like the dinosaurs one day...
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: is it psychologically possible to live without?
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: and organize us in bigger unites like states?
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: or not
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): actually we stil have some dinos around...... in teh sky
[13:55] CB Axel: Ciska, that's like saying that without god we'll all become murderers, because we need god to give us morals.
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the birds yes
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: no it is not
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: i'm really curious about this world
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: if we do not replace belief
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: and extinct it completely
[13:56] herman Bergson: I agree Ciska...
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: what will happen?
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: for example
[13:56] CB Axel: I'd sure like to try it.
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in some cases religion make us to murderers, look at IS
[13:56] herman Bergson: That fascinates me too
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: the belief in our  economic system is a fairy tale too
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bej they are not religious
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: there is no reality to it
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): they are just using that as a cover
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: just the one we give it
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or a reason to be
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: so that one can be the next to be extincted
[13:57] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe i will make it home in time tuesday
[13:57] herman Bergson: You have to keep in mind that we are still limitied creatures...
[13:57] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we will see
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm might be indeed.
[13:58] herman Bergson: close to the other primates
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: we need to see that we use beliefs to organize our every day lives
[13:58] CB Axel: The economic system is a bit of a fairy tale, but people are experimenting with new models all the time: bitcoin, air b&b, Uber...
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its so complex everything
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: all of us- atheists as well
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: which are fairy tales again
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: because its about relational stuff
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:58] CB Axel: Ciska, we have laws to organize our lives. And we don't need a god to agree to what laws get enacted.
[13:59] Ciska Riverstone: I spent yet another 2 hours of discussing economics with an American friend
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): time to move on
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): herman
[13:59] Ciska Riverstone: who does not seem to grasp the concept that we put worth to stuff
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and all
[13:59] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ***** APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***********
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hugs Gemma
[13:59] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ty herman & Class
[13:59] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma....:-)
[13:59] Ciska Riverstone: take care
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and everyone else
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:59] herman Bergson: Thank you all again.....^_^