Wednesday, October 12, 2016

626 The Necessary lecture.... on necessity

There is something special in Spinoza’s philosophy and that is the way he looks at modality in relation to what exists.
What does that mean. Modality refers to the way things are. Things exist by necessity or by contingency.
In other words, something could not NOT exists or something exists just coincidently. It can exist and equally it could not.
So we may say that there are two sorts of existent entities: those that exist but could have failed to exist,   
and those that could not have failed to exist. Entities of the first sort are contingent beings; entities of the second sort are necessary beings. 
Philosophers ponder about such things and in Spinoza’s philosophy it is an issue of great importance.
Try to think about it yourself. What could necessity mean…..a necessary being? It can be anything that exists. Can you think of one. This is heavy philosophical stuff.
What makes it the case that they exist necessarily? Is there a grounding for their necessary existence? Do some of them depend on others? 
Believe me, I have quite some trouble to understand the concept of necessity, if you think, that our existence is a continent fact in the universe.
It might help, when you imagine that a necessary being has the quality of following inevitably from logical, physical, or moral laws.
This may be helpful. Now we can say, that for instance follows from the laws of nature, is necessary. I could NOT have been otherwise.
Yes, that’s it. Now you can see that a lot of things in the world around us is based on the fact that some things that are, have to be necessary.
We can not deny these things. If we did, physical science would be impossible. About every process we had to say…..well, it can happen yes, but maybe not, I am not sure.
Now I understand how philosophers can question the necessity of some things to be. It is not about necessary in the sense that we need something, like it is necessary, that we have food,
but necessary in the sense that you can not deny the existence. That is jus impossible, like you can not deny the processes in a nuclear reaction, when you put A and B together in a jar.
Here we learn something new: A + B causes C. Necessity is closely related with causation, another toy of philosophers.
This brings immediately David Hume (1711 - 1776) to mind.Hume shows that experience does not tell us much. 
Of two events, A and B, we say that A causes B when the two always occur together, that is, are constantly conjoined. 
Whenever we find A, we also find B, and we have a certainty that this conjunction will continue to happen.  
Once we realize that “A must bring about B” is tantamount merely to “Due to their constant conjunction, 
we are psychologically certain that B will follow A”, then we are left with a very weak notion of necessity. 
In what way relates this Spinoza?
Just read the first sentence of the article “Spinoza’s Modal Metaphysics” in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Spinoza's views on necessity and possibility, which he claimed were the “principal basis” of his Ethics , have been less than well received by his readers, to put it mildly. 
From Spinoza's contemporaries to our own, readers of the Ethics have denounced Spinoza's views on modality as metaphysically confused at best, ethically nihilistic at worst.”
Let’s look into that next time…. Thank you ^_^

The discussion

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): interesting view for sure of things
[13:26] herman Bergson: necessity is a weird concept...difficult too
[13:27] herman Bergson: it has nothing to do with 'needed'
[13:27] CB Axel: I'm not sure anything is necessary.
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in his sense indeed
[13:27] herman Bergson: it is about the fact that soem things can not be denied
[13:27] ɑsɦℓєɨɢɦ (ashleigh.alderbury): necessary for whom? is that a human centric viewpoint?
[13:27] herman Bergson: that would lead to a contradiction
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but as i get it for ex without elementary particles and the forces of nature nothing could exixt so they are a necessity
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for anything else to be
[13:28] herman Bergson: Not for a person Ashleigh....for logic or laws of nature...
[13:28] CB Axel: One small change in the evolution of the universe could have changed everything that exists.
[13:28] herman Bergson: For instance when a proposition is true you cannot say it is false too...
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): unless you move into quantum physics
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:29] ɑsɦℓєɨɢɦ (ashleigh.alderbury): the thinking sounds somewhat backwards though.
[13:29] CB Axel: So nothing that exists now is necessary. It's entirely contingent on what happened as the universe came into existance.
[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes CB..the big question WHAT applies this kind of necessity
[13:29] CB Axel: Physics
[13:30] herman Bergson: Bu there you have Spinoza CB....
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as I get it Spinoza’s view is somewhat different
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): of what necessity is
[13:30] herman Bergson: you can say that the universe and we are contingent....but matter isnt...
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for s to be there must be matter
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): us
[13:30] herman Bergson: you logically need the existence of matter to be able to say that all its forms are contingent
[13:31] herman Bergson: Thence...substance is necessary for Spinoza
[13:31] CB Axel: I guess, then, that the hydrogen atom is the only necessity. °͜°
[13:31] CB Axel: Not that Spinoza would have known about that.
[13:31] herman Bergson: I would say no CB....
[13:32] herman Bergson: the hydrogin atom is just one manifestation of matter...
[13:32] ɑsɦℓєɨɢɦ (ashleigh.alderbury): you could say that everything that comes after is contingent on everything else that came before. or its a series of events that leads to everything going forward.  there is no chance that creatures that are allergic to oxygen are suddenly going to manifest themselves here.
[13:32] herman Bergson: the concept of substance for Spinoza is one level of abstraction higher
[13:32] CB Axel: So quarks?
[13:33] herman Bergson: you still have to think more abstract CB :-)
[13:33] CB Axel: Maybe energy alone is necessary.
[13:33] herman Bergson: just existence is enough....
[13:34] herman Bergson: As soon as you gonna give this being names like  quark or atom or wood you are talking about modes of being
[13:34] herman Bergson: That is how Spinoza reasons
[13:35] herman Bergson: Thence he can say that there only is ONE substance....
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Spinoza thinks basically of string theory way before its time
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sort of
[13:35] CB Axel: But what is that substance?
[13:35] herman Bergson: He uses the word god for it...or Nature
[13:35] CB Axel: Yes, Bejiita. I think that's it.
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the mode of the string determines if it is a quark, electron or whatever
[13:36] herman Bergson: What is that substance...?
[13:36] herman Bergson: Everything CB
[13:36] ɑsɦℓєɨɢɦ (ashleigh.alderbury): the moment you give something a name, it implies some understanding of it
[13:37] herman Bergson: What Spinoza sees as substance is just an abstract BEING THERE
[13:37] ɑsɦℓєɨɢɦ (ashleigh.alderbury): if you just call it god or nature, it implies something magical or unquantifiable
[13:37] herman Bergson: that is the problem with language.....
[13:38] herman Bergson: God as well as Nature have semantic connotations....
[13:38] herman Bergson: Which are more than just abstract being
[13:39] herman Bergson: You could say...nobody cares about such problems :-)
[13:39] herman Bergson: except philosophers
[13:39] ɑsɦℓєɨɢɦ (ashleigh.alderbury): but calling something god or nature doesn’t really give you any idea wha tit is, what its purpose or necessity. it only points to a point of origin
[13:39] herman Bergson: But that is not really true
[13:40] herman Bergson: I think that would be in line with Spinoza's idea Ashleigh
[13:40] herman Bergson: But also all scientists   assume kinds of necessity...
[13:41] herman Bergson: If we didn’t we only would see a chaos around us
[13:41] herman Bergson: A world that could be and could be not at any time
[13:42] CB Axel: Very Schroedinger
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[[13:43] herman Bergson: Well I think that is a nice conclusion CB :-)
[13:43] herman Bergson: So it may be necessary now to conclude this discussion and dismiss class ^_^
[13:44] CB Axel: lol
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): before we venture into chaos theory!
[13:44] herman Bergson: Thak you for your participation again....
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice
[13:44] CB Axel: Interesting. Thank you, Herman.
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time then
[13:44] CB Axel: See you all on Thursday. °͜°
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:45] herman Bergson: I'll be there :-)
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): me too

No comments:

Post a Comment