What is so great about Spinoza
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16-12-2013, 04:39 PM
What is so great about Spinoza
So I'm no philosopher but I've heard Spinoza hailed by Hagel, Einstein, and Hitchens.
What's so amazing about him? Should I read his Ethics?

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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17-12-2013, 02:26 AM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2013 04:47 AM by Chippy.)
RE: What is so great about Spinoza
(16-12-2013 04:39 PM)djkamilo Wrote:  So I'm no philosopher but I've heard Spinoza hailed by Hagel, Einstein, and Hitchens.
What's so amazing about him? Should I read his Ethics?

He's a major figure in 17th-Century Western philosophy and is considered one of the main figures of rationalism (to be contrasted with empiricism) along with Descartes and Leibniz.

Spinoza's metaphysics is inconsistent with the entire scientific enterprise (he believed that all facts can be deduced from self-evident axioms) but his ethical system is considered to have good ideas for living a good life by those people that you listed and others.
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17-12-2013, 10:32 AM
RE: What is so great about Spinoza
Thanks Chippy.
Have you read his Ethics? Do you recommend it? Should I read something else instead?

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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17-12-2013, 09:22 PM
RE: What is so great about Spinoza
(17-12-2013 10:32 AM)djkamilo Wrote:  Thanks Chippy.
Have you read his Ethics? Do you recommend it? Should I read something else instead?

No I haven't read it even though I own it. I've read about it but not actually it. We probably both should read it but the issue is where it sits in the ranking of books that ought to be read. I think MacIntyre's After Virtue sits higher in the ranking than Spinoza's Ethics.
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17-12-2013, 09:46 PM
RE: What is so great about Spinoza
(17-12-2013 09:22 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(17-12-2013 10:32 AM)djkamilo Wrote:  Thanks Chippy.
Have you read his Ethics? Do you recommend it? Should I read something else instead?

No I haven't read it even though I own it. I've read about it but not actually it. We probably both should read it but the issue is where it sits in the ranking of books that ought to be read. I think MacIntyre's After Virtue sits higher in the ranking than Spinoza's Ethics.

I wouldn't mind (if you wouldn't mind being fucked about it) for a short list of good philosophy books for a beginner. I've tried to get into a few readings, but either find myself in over my head right away, or bored off my ass. I recently read a bit of Nietzsche, now that motherfucker held my attention. Can't say I agreed with his whole outlook, but he was a writer.

Anyway, a quick list to look into would be cool.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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17-12-2013, 10:05 PM
RE: What is so great about Spinoza
(17-12-2013 09:46 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Anyway, a quick list to look into would be cool.

Do you want an introduction by way of broad overview of philosophy, do you want an introduction to a branch of philosophy or do you want an introduction to a philosophical treatment of some (non-philosophy) topic?
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17-12-2013, 10:20 PM
RE: What is so great about Spinoza
(17-12-2013 10:05 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(17-12-2013 09:46 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Anyway, a quick list to look into would be cool.

Do you want an introduction by way of broad overview of philosophy, do you want an introduction to a branch of philosophy or do you want an introduction to a philosophical treatment of some (non-philosophy) topic?

You're right, it's kind of a broad category isn't it. Rolleyes

I'd like an introduction to the philosophical treatment to......the human condition? (I know, too broad again)

Anything regarding/concerning the struggle b/w theology and intellect.

Anything that attempts to pin down the essence of our existence.

I like stuff that breaks down society and gives you thought as to why we do what we do.

Something like that, if that helps.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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18-12-2013, 10:45 PM
RE: What is so great about Spinoza
(17-12-2013 10:20 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(17-12-2013 10:05 PM)Chippy Wrote:  Do you want an introduction by way of broad overview of philosophy, do you want an introduction to a branch of philosophy or do you want an introduction to a philosophical treatment of some (non-philosophy) topic?

You're right, it's kind of a broad category isn't it. Rolleyes

I'd like an introduction to the philosophical treatment to......the human condition? (I know, too broad again)

Anything regarding/concerning the struggle b/w theology and intellect.

Anything that attempts to pin down the essence of our existence.

I like stuff that breaks down society and gives you thought as to why we do what we do.

Something like that, if that helps.

Still thinking...
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24-12-2013, 12:17 AM (This post was last modified: 24-12-2013 12:55 AM by Chippy.)
RE: What is so great about Spinoza
(17-12-2013 10:20 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Anything that attempts to pin down the essence of our existence.

I like stuff that breaks down society and gives you thought as to why we do what we do.

Something like that, if that helps.

Unfortunately I can't think of any books that cover your concerns so instead I am providing you a video of a plastic bag being blown around by the wind:





The character from American Beauty apparently took much from the plastic bag. I can't get anything out of it. I keep an eye out for litter being blown by the wind to see if it will bring me any sort of revelation or insight but haven't been successful. Perhaps it only works with disposable shopping bags? I once saw a small chip/crisp packet being blown about like that but it never spoke to me or if it did it just said, "I am litter that should be in a bin".

Give the plastic bag video a go. See how you go. Let me know.
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