Ethica Ordine geometrico demonstrata Epub ´ Ethica

Ethica Ordine geometrico demonstrata [PDF / Epub] ✈ Ethica Ordine geometrico demonstrata ☀ Baruch Spinoza – Buyprobolan50.co.uk Published shortly after his death the Ethics is undoubtedly Spinoza's greatest work an elegant fully cohesive cosmology derived from first principles providing a coherent picture of reality and a guid Published shortly after his death the Ethics is undoubtedly Spinoza's greatest work an elegant fully cohesive cosmology derived from first principles providing a coherent picture of reality and a guide to the meaning of an ethical life Following a logical step by step format it defines in turn the nature of God the mind the emotions human bondage to the emotions and the power of understanding moving from a consideration of the eternal to speculate upon humanity's place in the natural order the nature of freedom and the path to attainable happiness A powerful work of Ethica Ordine PDF or elegant simplicity the Ethics is a brilliantly insightful consideration of the possibility of redemption through intense thought and philosophical reflection The Ethics is presented in the standard translation of the work by Edwin Curley This edition also includes an introduction by Stuart Hampshire outlining Spinoza's philosophy and placing it in context.


About the Author: Baruch Spinoza

Baruch Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher The breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until many years after his death By laying the groundwork for the th century Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism including modern conceptions of the self and arguably the universe he came to be considered one of the great rationalists of th century philosophy His magnum opu.



10 thoughts on “Ethica Ordine geometrico demonstrata

  1. Esteban del Mal Esteban del Mal says:

    If rationality is defined as the capacity to solve problems anticipate conseuences and understand causes of events one would be hard pressed to find its complete realization than in the philosophy of Benedict Spinoza Indeed in his masterwork Ethics Spinoza set out to prove certain theorems which are to be deduced from axioms in the manner of Euclidean geometry Whether or not he was successful in this endeavor has been a matter for over three intervening centuries of scholarship and debate Yet Spinoza anticipated his detractors if not through his philosophy then by answering them explicitly I do not presume to have discovered the best philosophy but I know that I understand the true oneThe book is divided into five parts each part building upon the previous Three essential aspects of his particular stripe of rational thought are first his confidence in the ability of reason to supply us with dependable knowledge epistemology; secondly his conviction that the universe itself is governed by rational law metaphysics; and lastly his certainty that reason is the one acceptable guide to living ethics All that Spinoza asks is that we first take one small leap of ironically enough faith and submit to the notion that everything happens for a reason what philosophers call the principle of sufficient reason and theists call God but we'll come back to that In essence only belief in the intelligibility of the world ourselves included will provide the motivation necessary for pushing through our own limitationsWhile the Ethics progresses in a linear manner it is helpful to first thoroughly acuaint oneself with Spinoza's epistemology by which he establishes his various axioms He proposes that knowledge is derived in three separate yet progressively linked ways knowledge acuired from sense perception is of the lowest level and while of some value is neither completely authentic nor consistent Knowledge at the next level is found in the rational as scientific principles These ideas Spinoza refers to as adeuate ideas considered as such because they are logically related and one can have complete certainty about them in the same way one has complete certainty in the mathematical logic of say six is to three as four is to two Knowledge at the third and highest level Spinoza terms scientific intuition Knowledge at this stage is wholly contingent upon mastery of the previous stage of knowledge the rational which it then enables one to transcend This is the insight that enables one to see possibilities that are beyond the current realm of scientific knowledge One who possesses such intuitive knowledge understands that everything is necessary to the whole of the eternal order of things and as such the universe is rendered as a single absolute system that is governed by rational lawIt is from such an uneuivocal position that Spinoza promotes the tenets of the Ethics His epistemology is inextricably tied to his metaphysics and takes up the first three parts of the treatise wherein he argues that the Universe is cause of itself And it is in the working out of this element of his philosophy that the most distinctive and perhaps most remarkable claims of Spinozism are made Living at the early dawn of the Enlightenment Spinoza felt the need to interpret the nature of God in language sufficient to do justice to the new universe that science was explaining The problem Spinoza perceived is not to prove the existence of God but to find what God is really like His first step was to define the existence of God in such a way as to make it incontrovertible This concept is regarded as substance monism by contemporary philosophers in that there is only one root thing from which all other things stem And it is this root thing which Spinoza alternately calls substance or God He maintains that a there is a substance that has every attribute; b there cannot be two substances that have an attribute in common; c there cannot be a substance that has no attributes and conseuently; d there cannot be two substances As a result this uniuely self determining substance God cannot be produced by anything other than itself As such God is immanent in the rational order of the universe; the rational order which is expressed through the natural world and in human thought If something exists other than God it is either within and dependent upon God in which case it is merely a finite expression of God what Spinoza calls a mode; or it is without God in which case something exists which is not God whereby God is limited and therefore itself finite which is impossible because God has been demonstrated to be infinite A necessary conseuence of this claim is that the only entity exhibiting anything resembling free will in the universe is God because everything else is necessarily dependent upon it or as Spinoza himself puts it God is and acts solely by the necessity of His own nature; He is the free cause of all things As a result everything is determined by the ultimate substance including human behavior Or as Spinoza would have it men believe themselves to be free simply because they are conscious of their actions and unconscious of the causes whereby those actions are determined Great stuff that While it may induce existential panic in most of my literary minded free will sympathetic friends I find it liberatingThe determinism of Spinoza a conseuence of his claim of holism leads into his next claim in the Ethics that the mind and body are really the same thing conceived under the Cartesian attributes of Thought and Extension Because both Thought and Extension must be regarded as two aspects of a single reality but cannot be demonstrated to be two distinct substances under Spinoza's rational universe they must be two attributes of the single substance or what I previously identified as God It therefore follows that God the natural universe as a whole can be conceived as simultaneously a system of extended or material things and a system of thinking or immaterial things As such mind and body expressions of the attributes of Thought and Extension are nothing than different sides of the same coin Even so Spinoza differs with strict materialism in that the identity of the mind doesn't reduce either mind to body or body to mind Spinoza sees the scientific knowledge of the body through reason advancing from rather than opposed to awareness of the body through sense and imagination His rationalism is a conseuence of empiricism not in competition with itWhat is meant then by Spinoza's controversial statement that the mind is the idea of the body is understood as it is related to his epistemological system knowledge born of sensory experience is of a lower order than knowledge of a rational kind Still rational knowledge is not possible without prior empirical experience; as a result the mind as the rational is a necessary and ascendant conseuence of the body as the empirical As such as one ascends the levels of knowledge and one's ideas of the modifications of one's body become logically consistent one can be said to fully understand the causes of these modifications Knowledge based solely on empiricism is then strictly speaking reactive whereas knowledge based upon rationalism is proactive Spinoza uses the example of the sun which one's senses tells one is a disc some few hundred feet from the earth This idea is not false if considered at merely the sensory level of knowledge but is inadeuate at the next level of knowledge in as much as it is demonstrated that the sun is a gigantic star millions of miles awayThe reason Spinoza addresses epistemological and metaphysical uestions in the first place is because he feels that they are a necessary foundation for ethical uestions We must first know our potentialities and our relation to Nature otherwise our ideas about moral philosophy will simply be projections of our imaginations Spinoza understands that the rational laws of science being comprehensive are just as applicable to human life as they are to the physical universe Ethical behavior becomes a matter of applied psychology The virtuous man is not one who lives in accord with moral commandments imposed upon him by some external vengeful authority but the man who acts in accordance with his nature A nature which has been laid bare to himHaving demonstrated that a person's life is determined by forces both external and seemingly unmanageable to it Spinoza endeavors to show in the final parts of his treatise that freedom from the bondage of determinism is really a matter of degree And it is by exercising freedom as he defines it that one acts in an ethical manner By acknowledging that one's life is determined one becomes free in that one is aware of the chain of causation that governs one's actions By achieving adeuate knowledge one understands the eternal; yet one simultaneously comes to understand that one's own nature is distinguished from the whole of things because one recognizes one's separate existence is locked in this time bound conception of ours that promises only incomplete knowledge One is able to transcend this limited knowledge by replacing one's confused notions with the aforementioned adeuate ideasAn example of a confused idea addressed by Spinoza is emotion Our emotions he contends are a result of ignorance We feel strongly because we understand dimly One's emotional reaction to another person is a result of not understanding what makes that person act as he or she does In experiencing the passions one is reacting to external causes and one's conscious life is proceeding at the level of sense perception not at the level of the rational If knowledge of this kind is insufficient so much so is a life that is based on it The free man is conscious of his compulsions and seeks to understand them This is the only freedom one can truly aspire to – not escape from the necessity of one's reality but to understand both it and oneself as a part of itWhen one comes to this understanding good and evil are seen as one's reaction to circumstance not as the eternal nature of things Indeed the concept of good and evil is relative and has nothing to do with that eternal nature Spinoza writes So every man according to his emotions judges a thing to be good or bad useful or useless The solution to such a dilemma is to understand one's relation to the eternal order of things and in so doing one is liberated from the perpetual anxiety of striving against it Things are neither good nor evil in and of themselves they are just necessary to the universe as a whole Coming to this awareness is no simple task but if one extrapolates rationalism in the manner prescribed by Spinoza it is a necessary outgrowth It is only in comprehending the universe that man can rise above it for as the philosopher reminds us The intellectual love of God which arises from the intuitive kind of knowledge is eternal


  2. Ted Ted says:

    3 12 stars Spinoza’s classic is contained in a book I have called The Rationalists Also included are Descartes’ Discourse on Method and Meditations; and Leibniz’s Monadology and Discourse on MetaphysicsHistorical contextview spoilerThese thinkers are called Rationalists because to varying degrees they believed that the important facts about the world could be deduced or worked out by correct thinking without relying much on evidence derived from the senses They form the core phalanx of modern rationalism along with KantDescartes was the earliest of these men 1596 1650 His Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences containing the famous phrase “I think therefore I am” was published in 1637 his Meditations in 1641 The Discourse on Method is usually regarded as one of the earliest treatises laying the foundation for the scientific method hence is an important document in the history of science Yes there is a seeming contradiction between Rationalism and the scientific method which developed as time went on which I can’t explore in this review Suffice it to say that Descartes’ thought was wide ranging enough for him to be regarded as a seminal figure in both of these epistemological pathsLeibniz 1646 1716 born two generations later and contemporaneous with Isaac Newton 1642 1727 is usually credited with independently inventing what we now call the calculus along with Newton; which assures his place in the history of mathematics However apart from mathematics the so called ueen of the Sciences Leibniz played no further role in the history of science view spoilerAccording to Wiki in the high Middle ages theology was called the ueen of the Sciences I think the less said about that the better hide spoiler


  3. Fergus Fergus says:

    LIVE Right and you’ll THINK Right Ethical living gives you a Crystal Clear Mind THIS is Spinoza’s message And it’s so wonderfully trueYou may not grasp the arguments of this book the first time around but come back to it after you’ve put its ideas into practice and you’ll SEENot only that says Spinoza but as he takes us further and further into the strictly Logical Patterns of Nature Nature for him being synonymous with God you’ll embark on a mystical journey into the very nature of the world‘Nuff said But if you buy a copy and it’s dirt cheap and borrow a good analysis of his arguments from your local library you’ll be off and runningYou’ll find this magical world unfolding when you try to be GoodBut for me it was tough to be good in 1969It was a hot sultry summer in our valley and as I read this book my nattering testosterone levels were at their lifetime peak Goes with teen territory of courseBut free for the summer with a uni survey of western philosophy under my belt I was resoluteI set my jaw determinedly and bored a hole through these pages with my concentration And it worked Because of it I was DETERMINED henceforth to lead a Good Life Bless you Baruch Now the world didn’t love my choice of behaviour in fact it objected strenuously as it will always do but having my Mom’s wilful genes I stuck to my gunsAnd now fifty plus years later I am SO glad I did Yes it worked and NOW in my life just like in that Hippie Poster called Desiderata “Doubtless the World is Unfolding as it SHOULD”And that’s as good as it getsAnd if you do good and smile away the pain And this is for darned sure my friends One day you’ll REJOICE BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES


  4. Dario Dario says:

    And it is easy to credit Spinoza with the place of honour in the Cartesian succession; except that he bulges out of that place in all directions there is no living corpse who raises the lid of his coffin so powerfully crying so loudly 'I am not one of yours' Baruch Spinoza the man of joy In under 200 pages Spinoza manages to create a philosophical system that in effect accounts for the entirety of life as we know it More impressive still his writing in The Ethics somehow seems as relevant today as it must have been in the mid 1600s Or perhaps it wasn't? This book seems to anticipate uite completely so much of the Nietzschean project that was taken up a couple of hundred years later and that we still see regarded as being our entry into the postmodern era It is not surprising to learn that Spinoza was exiled in his life by the Jewish community that this book was placed on the Vatican's list of forbidden books and that he was even rejected by his family on account of his radical beliefs this book is still radical Along his metaphysical journey Spinoza among other things casts off the idea of transcendent good and evil rejects the Cartesian dualism of mind vs body denies the transcendence and anthropomorphization of God and posits an ethical system based on joyOne substance with an infinite number of attributes expressed in an infinite number of modes Extension matter is an attribute of God or nature as is thought ideas; we can conceive of God now as ideas through thought now as matter through extension; the substance is the same The mind and body are not two separate things but rather the same thing expressed through different attributes The decisions of the mind are exactly the determinations or appetites of the body Ideas of things are conceived through thought while things are conceived through matter The mind is bodied and the body minded The affections of the body are exactly the ideas of the affections of the mind but insofar as these affections necessarily involve external bodies they can be said to be inadeuate or not fully comprehensible by our body alone These affections are passions The mind however as a part of the divine nature expressed through thought is blessed with the power of reasoning that is of forming adeuate or complete ideas Through the use of reasoning the mind is able to create understanding or understandings of the divine nature and through this reach higher levels of empowerment and affirmationAn affect is an idea of an affection of the body The body is composed of many individuals each of which is itself composed of many individuals and so on; roll the mouse wheel From this it follows that the body and so also the mind can be affected in a great many ways; we do not yet know what a body can do All affects can be generally ascribed to three main affects joy sadness and desire Joy can be described simply as all those affects that increase our power that is our power to act; that  empower us bring us to a higher level of perfection affirm us and aid our ability to act as the manifestations of the divine nature that we are Sad affects are all those that restrain us that diminish or weaken our ability to act and that destroy us Desire is the very essence of man insofar as it represents the appetites of the body or of the individuals that constitute our body that at all times seeks to empower and preserve affirm and aid itself This is the will to power a will to life This is to this day still one of the criteria we use to evaluate the living all living things seek to preserve themselves This as we have just shown is joy itself Anything that seeks to destroy itself is not acting out of an intrinsic property rather anything insofar as it seeks to destroy itself is acting out of weakness of mind that is is being acted upon to such an extent by sad affects that it becomes completely overpowered The man of reason or of understanding seeks at all times affects of joy affects that increase our powerThe beautiful thing about Spinoza's immanent system of ethics an ethics of empowerment and joy is that once we stop subscribing to transcendent morals morals that posit externally determined ideals of 'good' and 'evil' and that punish us externally and internally and render us guilty we start to radiate positivity This is the real charm of The Ethics The we seek to understand ourselves and the world of Godnature around us the greater the ability we can gain to empower ourselves and brings ourselves to joy; the greater our power the greater our ability to act and the greater our ability to empower and preserve the things in our lives that bring us joy Humans are necessarily social beings; we cannot live in isolation and in fact since the moment we were born and certainly even before we have been been acted upon and ourselves acted upon other people These people in our lives from those closest to us to those furthest away have a very real impact on us; they affect us and we them The the people around us are empowered to act well live joyfully and make something of their lives and duration as mind bodies the we are The that everyone else in the world is empowered and brought to joy the we are brought to joy and conversely the that we are empowered the we are able to bring everyone else to joy If each person most seeks their own advantage then men are most useful to one another this is the great lesson the great gift But the fundamental subtext is that we are not alone the empowerment and joy of those around us affects us and we them Spinoza discovers the remarkable knock on effect of positivity hidden away by those who preach evil repentance and sin The man of reason the strong lives by love; he knows that nothing joyous can come from hate or sad affects hate only breeds hate and even compounds it whereas love can only breed love empowerment can only breed empowerment 


  5. Gary Beauregard Bottomley Gary Beauregard Bottomley says:

    The best way to read this book is to listen to it If I were to have read it I would have dwelled excessively on the axioms definitions and propositions and would have missed the forest for the trees Don't worry if you don't get the definition as he gives them You'll be able to pick them up when he uses them latter on Spinoza is an incredibly good writer He will tell you what he's going to tell you tell you and than tell you again He'll say in other words or take this example or other such explanatory statements and amplify what he's been telling you while never being 'prolix' a word he actually uses and I had to look it up It means tediously long winded with wordsI've often heard people make the expression that they believe in the God of Spinoza After having read this book I seriously would doubt them What they've done is focused on the Spinoza formulation that God is Nature and Nature is God and they like the way that sounds but they don't really know how Spinoza gets there or what he means by itThis book is a vibrant defense of Scholasticism Aristotelian thought against Descartes' mind body duality Spinoza creates a system with only one substance God but infinite attributes Two of those attributes are thought and extension body but it's clear that God possess infinitely many God or Substance is the creator of the universe and possess thinking The GodNature NatureGod formulation would be pantheistic But Spinoza goes beyond that and very well could be 'panentheistic' God transcends nature but I can't say for sure based only on this bookSpinoza uses most of the metaphysics of Aristotle He believes God is the efficient cause the mover of the universe but he does not believe in Aristotle's final causes teleology He believes that God is necessary and that the universe is determined because from the necessary existence and therefore essence of God everything must follow from cause and effect ie that Free Will is an illusion Aristotle in his Ethics believes that Free Will does exist but mostly Spinoza and Aristotle seem to agree The concept of 'essence' are essential items in each of their systems Things are only contingent when we don't know enoughOnly the first two sections of the book dealt with God and the Mind The other three sections deal with emotions and our control He'll reach some of the same conclusion that Aristotle reaches in his Nicomachean Ethics Such as our highest virtue is the contemplative virtue and we need to wake up stop being distracted by the petty and focus on the universe and our place in it He'll say we are most divine like when we use our contemplation on higher order mattersAlso I want to mention that his sections on emotions and human bondage were some of the best formulations of psychology I've ever have come across in my readings He'll say that it's our desires and our pains and pleasures which determine our emotional well being The active part of us determines our emotional health and through the passive part is how our passions sneak in Leading a virtuous life is the best We should return hate with love or high mindedness for its own sake He'll even segue into a self help book by saying we should repeat such slogans to ourselves so that when we our prone to hate we will know how to act instead I can't understand why today's self help books don't do as well as Spinoza does within this bookThis book is a relatively easy read It's clear that Hegel grabs major parts from Spinoza in his Phenomenology of Spirit and Hegel is no way as easy to read as this book is Spinoza's attributes are determinants limitations of the infinite Hegel makes all determinants negations of the infinite and gives us his dialectics or movements based on that I did notice that Spinoza uses 'vacillate' in the later parts of his book and it seemed to correlate with Hegel's movements I wish I had read this book before I had read Hegel He would have made sense to me if I hadNever trust the summations you might have heard about this book or any other of the classic philosophical works you may come across They always seem to get it wrong This is a good book to read because Spinoza is such a great writer he's not prolix as my review is he has a genuinely interesting take on the world his psychology sections seem to be as good as any I have ever seen you'll probably learn to be suspicious of the statement I believe in the God of Spinoza because a lot of baggage comes with that statement and the influence his work has had on others becomes obvious and they would be easier to understand if you read this book before reading themA note I enjoyed this book so much I've downloaded his previous book A Theologico Political Treatise for free from LibriVox because it doesn't seem to be available at Audible


  6. Carl Carl says:

    If I were exiled to a desert island imprisoned or otherwise isolated and there were only book of philosophy I could have to read and re read for the rest of my life it would be The Ethics of Spinoza Here Spinoza lays out a complete system that encompasses metaphysics theology physics psychology and ethics Throughout Spinoza is concerned with what it means to be free and what sort of beliefs are worthy of a free human being To be free he insists means not to be a slave not to anyone else and not to your own wishes compulsions fantasies and emotions To be free is to be rational and to be rational is to live the best kind of life for a human being to live I should add also that The Ethics is itself the work of a lonely spirit a spirit who relinuished the claims of community and tradition in order to create a different and better future through the power of philosophy I can think of no better company for my own solitude than the Ethics of Spinoza


  7. Morgan Morgan says:

    Read this book for two reasons Spinoza is mentioned in all my philosophy introduction comics I have and George Eliot was a follower of Spinoza I'll get to that laterFirst off this book might look like a uick read due to it's page numbers but it's actually a difficult read Not only is it not written in a way that's pleasing to my eyes at times it's heavy in subject matter It's mostly about his views on religion pin pointing to a God however there is some math and psychology elements in this book as well I really liked the part on emotionsReligion is a key part of Spinoza's philosophy There is also a debate to exactly what he was religiously At times this book isn't clear We do know that he didn't like organized religion He wasn't religiously Jewish or Christian he was ethnically Jewish though There is some uestion whether or not his God is what most people think of God or if it's a whole other type of God George Eliot was the first person to translate this book into English I haven't read her translation so I can't compare but I have read her views on Spinoza She was evangelical maybe too much before reading him After she realized that she wasn't Christian She uestioned the religion and church too much She eventually turned skeptic and atheist She also became a better writer but that's another storyI on the other hand am an atheist now For a while I was struggling with not agreeing with religion as a whole not just Christianity and the church mostly the Catholic Church which I wasn't part of but it's important to some people around me Reading the Bible last year didn't help me either I though or I was told I'd find peace and meditation reading passages The Bible only seemed to cause me to have anxiety Too much genealogical boasting and contradicting ideas in the Bible for me to agree with I liked it for the poetry and literary background but that about all I can say respectfully As I've mentioned before with Nietzsche and other philosophers I give them credit for helping me with anxiety and seeing I feel free and relaxed without religion and divine rules to followWill this book turn you into a skeptic atheist or pantheists? Maybe or maybe not Depends how much literature influences you I hope this will make you open to skepticism though I believe we have a right to uestion the world around us that's why we have science One thing I know Spinoza was a fan of science logic and reason


  8. Alexander Alexander says:

    Don't be cowed by the metaphysical tail chasing of Books I II and VThe piston huffing steampunk clockwork of Axioms Proofs Scholia and Corollaries can pound the reader's nerves like the mechanized hammer in a belfry Even hardcore Spinozists may differ on how or whether these moving parts all click into place so don't be miffed if you feel you've wandered into some weird Kabbalah seminar MC'd by a Jewy mathlete poking at his graphing calculatorOr perhaps my slow moving brain simply can't keep pace with all the intermeshing gears Essence Substance Attribute Mode Axiom God The musty pageant of scholastic theo jabber hasn't dated well even as Spinoza's aim was full blown demystification the annihilation of orthodox religious doctrine in favor of a wholly naturalized God a logic driven breaking of the vesselsOnce our renegade Cartesian emerges from his empyrean clocktower to engage human nature in Books III IV On the Affects On Human Bondage The Ethics becomes a much nourishing book though again written as if Spock and Commander Data had collaborated on a treatise to map human emotion on a Euclidean grid a visionary Jewbot crunching game theoretic euations in a geometric love letter to God whom he knows will not return said loveSteven Nadler observed that The Ethics is a Rorschach for new readers so this abyss dwelling materialist and ego blasted freewill doubter takes to Spinoza like a lizard to a sunbaked rock The tranuil surge of tautologies rarely provokes a yawn while even the most self evident claims seem slanted in a crisp new light as if the bevy of truths I've come to accept is being ritually crop rotated in freshly composted black earth Compost has a double meaning here as some of Spinoza's notions will have you unholstering your pooper scooper ie the soul dies with the body but the mind partakes of eternity and thus survives in some form Bk V Prop 23 The Ethics is a mixed bag of philosophical tricks despite its systematic aimsThe deep ecology movement in its attempt to mashup Heideggerian phenomenology with pre industrial eco communion and reciprocity with wild spaces has found a partial ancestor in Spinoza's immersive pantheism albeit conferred by a Dutch freethinker who spent most of his life in boarding houses lens grinding workshops libraries taverns and before his excommunication the synagogue What this tells us is that The Ethics has as much to offer the roving city rat as the stinky dreadlocked Greenpeace volunteer even as Spinoza might have dismissed much of today's green movement as empty superstition and unmanly compassion Bk IV Sch 1 Nature may be the source and generative matrix of All but The Ethics still has one foot planted in Pentateuchal Dominion theology With regards to human emotion it has both feet suarely planted We are all bucks to be broken Every passion named and tamedFreud noted that the poets discovered the Unconscious long before he did but Spinoza gave the concept a transgressive breadth and depth shocking to the Powers that Be or the Powers that Were European theocrats reviled him for his sweeping materialist vision of humans as passion inflamed meat puppets a vision that ripples forward to the present moment with discoveries in neurophysiology that bracket perhaps even obliterate our hallowed notions of libertarian self ruleI consider men's affects emotions and properties just like other natural things And of course human affects if they do not indicate man's power at least indicate the power and skill of Nature no less than many other things we wonder at and take pleasure in contemplating Bk IV Prop 57Not that Spinoza's ethics are remotely scientific Rather they tend to seesaw between common sense folk morality and some spicy proto Nietzschean revaluation of all values style critiue particularly in his subtle but derogatory views on pity humility compassion and remorse But throughout the treatise there's a prevailing Vulcan faith in reason as the ultimate metaethical arbiter which pitches Spinoza into a vague dithering scientism without the science a residual Platonism which magically euates knowing things as they truly are with nobility and virtue a fuzzy non seuitur that has plagued philosophy for millennia Things are good only insofar as they aid man to enjoy the life of the mind Bk IV App V Contra Spinoza flat earthers can be sweet people while bookish savants can be callous dicks Freewill is largely kaput in the cosmos of The Ethics By the luck of the draw our constitutional and environmental preconditions some of us will ripen into bravura meticulously carved marionettes whilst others are condemned to be wormeaten Punch Judy sockpuppets stewing in vice superstition and fear I say largely kaput because there's some cognitive dissonance in The Ethics over whether the enlightened Spinozan has achieved a tentative sort of freedom stemming from the veto powers of the superego Hence there can be freedom from the passions but not from causation Spock didn't choose to be Spock et al Those who brazenly declare themselves free are usually the least so since they evade the self deconstructive labor of unwinding the myriad threads of their constitutive origins and experiences So paradoxically Spinoza would hail those who plunge facefirst into the pregnant abyss of determinism as possessing true freedom by which he means a life uncontaminated by the resentment and emotional tumult of our passions and addictions our blistering narcissism and neurotic sense of entitlement But again since we did not design the metaethical Universe which reason is primed to discover and retrofit our values to freedom comes to mean empowerment and joy within our limitations rather than causation trumping liberty In other words some puppets get an eleven stringed guidewire with greased ball socket joints and gyro stabilized swivel torso while the rest of us sock monkeys bob and weave on tangled hanks of rotting yarn The upshot here is that the virtue seeking rationality of the Alpha marionettes compels them to upgrade and enlighten as many of the Betas Gammas Deltas and Epsilons as they can for the community's sum benefit Everyone who is led by reason desires for others also the good he wants for himself Bk IV Prop 73 This radical revolt against Plato's philosopher kings helps make Spinoza a future prince of democratic modernityAt the omega point of enlightenment the true love of God would have us lucky rolling scions of serendipity reason our way to a Taoist aeyrie of universal empathy in the Vulcan embrace of cosmic determinismThe mind is determined to wish for this or that by a cause which has also been determined by a cause and this again by another and so on to infinity This realization teaches us to hate no one to despise no one to mock no one to be angry with no one and to envy no oneSo spaketh the Jewish Buddha of 17th century AmsterdamAll the dismaying when in Book V On Human Freedom Spinoza tumbles off the rails into theobabble mystagoguery and this just a few pages after bashing Descartes for skyhooking occult ualities to prop up the latter's rickety Cogito Pot calls kettle noirStill this is two centuries before the Darwinian upgrade By the lights of his time Spinoza had balls of brass and a suped up frontal lobe The prince of philosophers and patron saint of the brainy dispassionate Outsider


  9. Aasem Bakhshi Aasem Bakhshi says:

    No matter which intellectualreligious background you come from its one text that has the power to change your conception of cosmos Its hard to decide what is awe inspiring Spinoza's God or his Man and that is perhaps the ultimate success of his supreme and elegant egoism


  10. Jon Nakapalau Jon Nakapalau says:

    Another book that I am sure I was not able to fully understand; but Nothing exists from whose nature some effect does not follow Taken from that perspective I am glad to have encountered the writings of this great philosopher


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