Monday, November 7, 2016

630: A personal Spinoza.....

In my previous lecture I already mentioned it. When you ask the question WHY writes Spinoza all this,
then one of the answers, in my opinion is, because he wants to write against all those ideas of rabbis and christian theologians.
I find that an important aspect of Spinoza’s philosophy, because he does something, which was not philosophically fashionable in his time.
He writes to clarify the route to a good life, to live as a virtuous person, the primary goal of philosophy of the Ancient philosophers as I mentioned in a previous lecture.
So you can look at Spinoza’s work from two perspectives. The traditional one is the academic one,
which means extensive analyses of his texts to unearth, what he really meant by this or that theory, statement or concept.
A legitimate scientific and valuable work, but in the case of Spinoza I take another approach. I don’t focus on the books, the literal texts.
Spinoza has come to life for me. I visited his house where he lived from 1661 to 1663. Pictures are here on the wall.
Next week I am going to visit the house of Christiaan Huygens (1629 -1695), mathematician and scientist, in Voorburg.
Spinoza was a close friend of Huygens and has visited that house frequently. Huygens is remembered especially for his wave theory of light and Spinoza grinded lenses, you see.

I focus on the human being, on the person Baruch de Spinoza was, all the more because of the way he lived his life.
Imagine a growing boy, highly intelligent, extremely skilled in logical reasoning, who asks his teachers, well educated and respected rabbis serious questions.
And time and again, where Spinoza seeks knowledge, he gets stifled with the dogmas of a religion and is reprimanded severely.
Ultimately expelled from his community in the most severe and humiliating way. Just imagine such a personal history.
Just try to imagine debating with a Mormon or a Witness of Jehovah and you know the feeling. Spinoza may have had to face such an atmosphere during his whole schooltime.
The reason why I look at Spinoza like this, may be based on the the personal history, that I easily can identify myself with the path Spinoza had followed.
Now I find a materialist explanation of our reality the most plausible and  rational theory too. 
And now Spinoza has to explain, lacking all neuro-scientific knowledge we have today, how matter can have emotions and what their nature is.
Regarding this matter Spinoza has to tackle two serious issues. 

First, he’ll attempt to show, that human beings follow the order of nature. Human beings, on Spinoza’s view, have causal natures 
similar in kind to other ordinary objects, so they ought to be analyzed and understood in the same way as the rest of nature.
Second, Spinoza attempts to show that moral concepts, such as the concepts of good and evil, virtue, and perfection, 
have a basis in human psychology. Just as human beings are no different from the rest of nature, so moral concepts are no different from other concepts.
To convince you, Spinoza gives a detailed account of what he calls the human “affects”, the actions and passions of the human mind.
We’ll do that in a next lecture. For now I follow Gemma’s suggestion to offer you a week of vacation
so that we can escape from the annual annoyance created by switching to Daylight Saving Time in different timezones on different times on this globe.
Thank you… ^_^

The Discussion

[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah good to know
[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): time change always makes trouble
[13:17] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): only one week?^^
[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:17] .: Thank you… ^_^
[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): spring is bad usually
[13:17] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): i have in mnd it was longer
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed it causes a mess so better take a break there maybe
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): me too 2 weeks or so but maybe shorter now
[13:18] herman Bergson: yes Daruma..usually it is two weeks...:-(((
[13:18] Ciska Riverstone: the back change is shorter
[13:18] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): It think Europe starts later than last year.It was never end of October t change timein europe
[13:18] Ciska Riverstone: when I recall It right
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): spring is usually two to three
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): weeks
[13:18] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): ah ok
[13:19] herman Bergson: But Daylight Saving time isn’t the subject of  my talk of today :-)
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:19] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): But first time I have one hour more birthday this year^^
[13:19] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): ok herman;-)
[13:19] herman Bergson: Spinoza is way more interesting to discuss
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so Spinoza believed in psychology
[13:19] herman Bergson: How can you believe in psychology?
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): as a reason for good and evil
[13:20] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): perhaps being interest in
[13:20] herman Bergson: Psychology is the theory about human behavior...and he ha done :-)
[13:20] Alina Gabilondo: i did not understand the question??
[13:20] Alina Gabilondo: believe is psychology
[13:20] herman Bergson: ahh that is what you meant Gemma
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i mean accepted it as a reason  for good or evil ys
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and other emotions
[13:21] herman Bergson: In other words....the concept of good and evil are psychological matters....
[13:21] Laoin Xaris: psychology is what motivates reason for all humans
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its all in the mind and not a work of god or the devil of you do good or bad things you could say
[13:21] Alina Gabilondo: as studies??
[13:21] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): psychology is a way to understand human behavior
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but was it acceptable at that time
[13:22] Alina Gabilondo: i do not think so
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): by philosophers
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): probably not
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:22] herman Bergson: Oh yes....
[13:22] Alina Gabilondo: it is not everywhere acceptable even now
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is what I was talking about
[13:22] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): perhaps it wasn’t called like that. the first steps were made these days.
[13:22] herman Bergson: it was quite common to write about the emotions and passions of man
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but was it the devil
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that caused them
[13:23] herman Bergson: Actually...if you take the Stoics., their main subject WAS human psychology
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah yes
[13:23] herman Bergson: they didnt call it thus...
[13:23] herman Bergson: but human emotions and drives and passions were their field of action
[13:24] herman Bergson: So, the psychology of man has been an issue through the ages
[13:24] herman Bergson: It was not a separate science as it is now...
[13:24] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): I think thats a question of all times. why and how we live, react think and feel i life.
[13:24] Alina Gabilondo: yes that is why comment do u believe
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:25] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): everyone wants to know why.
[13:25] herman Bergson: that came to live with Freud about 1890 or so
[13:25] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): true
[13:25] Laoin Xaris: but that was when they wanted to discover the dysfunction of emotions
[13:25] herman Bergson: But man has always wondered about the question....what drive me...what motivates me to my actions?
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess so
[13:26] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): Asking questions is a human nature i think.  We cannot live without it
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes Laoin....thta was the moment that dysfunctional behavior finally was seen as a disease...
[13:26] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): But asking the right questions is a kind of art^^^
[13:26] herman Bergson: not as being posseded by a demon or so
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I sorry..
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) shouts: so I'm Sorry! i have to poof... see you soon i hope
[13:27] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): bye gema
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu gemma
[13:27] herman Bergson: wow..never seen Gemma poof...fabulous :-)
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): was fast
[13:27] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): lol
[13:28] herman Bergson: now everybody wonders...WHY???? :-))
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
[13:28] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): why gemma poofed away?:)
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cause it looked like i wanted to eat her maybe
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:28] herman Bergson: yes
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i would not do that hehe
[13:28] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): ;-)
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): im a nice demon/zombie
[13:29] herman Bergson: ok..back to business :-)
[13:29] herman Bergson: Any questions left about this lecture?
[13:29] herman Bergson: (No get you a day off :-))
[13:30] CB Axel: So Spinoza wanted to study human behavior and motivation and the church would rather just blame it on the devil?
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its a bit to think about indeed but indeed we have probably always wanted to try to understand ourselves in some way
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): blaming our actions on god or devils and demons however is probably not a really good idea
[13:31] herman Bergson: In a way you could say that indeed CB
[13:31] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): And did Spinoza really make a change?
[13:31] CB Axel: It changed his life. It got him excommunicated.
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hopefully he did
[13:31] herman Bergson: I think he would Daruma...
[13:32] herman Bergson: it is happening today, what he described...
[13:32] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): Yes ok. When someones life changes, also things around him change.
[13:32] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): true herman
[13:32] CB Axel: I'm sure he got a lot of people thinking even if they didn't speak up about their thoughts.
[13:33] herman Bergson: a lot of behavioral disorders are now  said to be caused by bodily processes...
[13:33] herman Bergson: most favourite one is ADHD
[13:33] CB Axel: The religious would just say that those bodily processes are caused by the devil.
[13:34] herman Bergson: His thoughts were feared CB...believe me...
[13:34] Alina Gabilondo: i am sure
[13:34] herman Bergson: therefor we got that nice movie The Exorcist :-))
[13:34] herman Bergson: Loved it :-)
[13:34] CB Axel: It gave me nightmares. °͜°
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ieks
[13:35] CB Axel: Don't watch it alone late at night.
[13:35] herman Bergson: so you loved it too:-))
[13:35] CB Axel: Yeah. Like I love flying zombies. LOL
[13:35] herman Bergson: a sidetrack.....
[13:35] herman Bergson: There was a computer joke....
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa time for some halloween stile films now indeed
[13:35] herman Bergson: listen...
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): style
[13:36] herman Bergson: you got a screen with the text..Look at the dot intensely for 30 seconds....
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: bejiita we watched a Swedish documentary from 1922 in sl 2 weeks ago - that was soo cool
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: it was about witches
[13:36] CB Axel: Shh. I want to hear the computer joke.
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:37] herman Bergson: when you did...all of a sudden that picture of that girl form the exorcist appeared....starteld you like hell :-)
[13:37] herman Bergson: students loved it...
[13:37] CB Axel: I saw that one! I almost wet myself.
[13:37] Laoin Xaris: i saw it with Michael jackson instead
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): accompanied with a 120 db death scream
[13:37] herman Bergson: lol..I cnan imagien CB
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i hate those 'jokes '
[13:39] herman Bergson: Any questions left? :-)
[13:39] CB Axel: Nope
[13:39] herman Bergson: Then it is time for me to go and watch the Exorsist :-)))
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not sure i think i got the hang of all
[13:39] herman Bergson: Class dismissed
[13:39] CB Axel: I love your origami cranes, Laoin. °͜°
[13:39] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): a lot. but we have to find the out by ourselves I guess;-) Psychology is such a big thing
[13:40] Laoin Xaris: ahhhh ty
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: thanx herman

[13:40] Laoin Xaris: :)