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 Spinoza's Ethica, translation and interpretation

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Pallas
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PostSubject: Spinoza's Ethica, translation and interpretation   Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:31 pm

I will start this book study at Part IV: On human bondage, or the power of affections.
For this subject is closest to the focus of philosophy of the 20th/21st century.
Step by step I will translate and offer a short commentary.
When I do not understand a passage I will formulate a question.

Legenda:

Baruch Spinoza
Pallas

---

DEFINITIONS

I. "As "good" I understand that, of which we know with certainty that it is useful to us.
II. As "evil" [bad, wrong] on the other hand that, of which we know with certainty that it obstructs us, in reach [attain] something good.


Evil is a function of good.
This means, that good and evil are not opposites.

---

III. Particular things I name "coincidental" [occurrent] in so far as we, discerning only their being, find nothing that necessitates their existence, nor necessarily precludes it.
IV. Those particular things I call "possible", in so far as we, discerning the causes that must bring them to be, do not know if they are indeed forced to bring them about.


Coincidence and possibility are functions of different degrees of ignorance.

---

V. As "contradicting affections" I will in the future understand such affections, which pull the man in different directions, even if they are of the same kind, such as lust for splendor and greed, which are both forms of Love. They are not by nature, but by coincidental circumstances contradicting.

Why are lust for splendor and greed contradicting, and if they are, why can the cause of this not be discerned with certainty?

---

VII. As the "goal", for the sake of which [the intention wherewith] we do something, I understand the drive.
VIII. As "virtue" [strength/force] and "potential" [power], I understand the same. In other words: Virtue [strength/force] is, in so far as she pertains to the man, mans being or nature itself, in so far as this possesses the potential [the power] to bring things about, which are completely obtainable from the laws of this nature.


A goal is a thing by which virtue and being are understood.

---

AXIOM

In the world of things there exists no particular thing, which can not be overpowered/surpassed by another thing that is more powerful/stronger.


Every good and evil is overpowered by the existence of the world.







---
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Parodites
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PostSubject: Re: Spinoza's Ethica, translation and interpretation   Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:29 am

In the world of things there exists no particular thing, which can not be overpowered/surpassed by another thing that is more powerful/stronger.
---
I don't quite get your interpretation/commentary of this axiom.


In this axiom Spinoza is indicating that the world is a Heraclitean contest of wills. Because every particular can be overpowered by another particular the universal can only be conceived of as the possible outcome of all possible contestations. Hence the idea of God as a substance with an infinite amount of attributes.



"By God, I mean a being absolutely infinite — that is, a substance consisting in infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality.
Explanation — I say absolutely infinite, not infinite after its kind: for, of a thing infinite only after its kind, infinite attributes may be denied; but that which is absolutely infinite, contains in its essence whatever expresses reality, and involves no negation."



To conceive of morality in a universal rather than particular sense would then necessitate a conception of the good as a theoretical configuration of these attributes, that is, as a particular organization of wills in which the structure of competing forces proves conducive to some force that is operating at the behest of a human agency. That structure is "reason" for Spinoza. Hence he says:

"Individual things are nothing but modifications of the attributes of God, or modes by which the attributes of God are expressed in a fixed and definite manner."


"A body is called finite because we always conceive another greater body. So, also, a thought is limited by another thought, but a body is not limited by thought, nor a thought by body."


When this structure is corrupted and the force which operates for the sake of the human being is oppressed by forces that are "bad," that are inconducive to him, then we have the development of his "unhappy passions," like greed, anger, etc. The Heraclitean image of the world as eternally generating and disintegrating fire is necessitated by this axiom, and the proposition of a purely immanent God of infinite attributes is necessary to uphold universal as opposed to merely particular morality.



 

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Nisus ait, "Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


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from time to time be present.-- Antonin Artaud
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Pallas
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PostSubject: Re: Spinoza's Ethica, translation and interpretation   Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:17 pm

Pallas wrote:
I will start this book study at Part IV: On human bondage, or the power of affections.
For this subject is closest to the focus of philosophy of the 20th/21st century.
Step by step I will translate and offer a short commentary.
When I do not understand a passage I will formulate a question.

Legenda:

Baruch Spinoza
Pallas

---

DEFINITIONS


Here I will intersect.

Quote :
I. "As "good" I understand that, of which we know with certainty that it is useful to us.

Fallacy 1 -
"us"; ???  - a tautological definition around "good". "We are" defined as being the object of "good". Lol. Baruch you old Jew.

Affirmative as hell, but not philosophic enough for me!

Or... am I walking into seven ditches at once?

Quote :
Quote :
II. As "evil" [bad, wrong] on the other hand that, of which we know with certainty that it obstructs us, in reach [attain] something good.

Well how astute, Pallas. And wrong. Oppositions are functions of one another - qua opposition at least!
Evil is a function of the same thing of which good is a function; namely judgment.

"And he saw that it was good" -
Spinoza acts on faith.

And thus comes to the conclusion, as all come who act on faith, that : "it goes by itself" and "it is necessary precisely the way it is, and my will is implicit in that so it is only correct for me to will the world precisely as it is."

All good - but the catch is now - what exactly is left of the will?
Reason has eaten it all from the plate of faith.

Lol.
Faith lever had it to begin with - philosophy is not faith based. We don't "know that we know nothing" - I hate that pedantic nonsense, I hate Socrates - we simply don't know what we don't know, and we don't know to the full extent what we assume - and often what we  do know is hidden from us by our society. Hencde, we have friends in books, and in music and in the gods. (the gods are their temples and the toils and tears of their men and women and the blood of their sacrifces, no supernatural element can be divine as nature is god and god does does not have a supergod above him unless he would create one - but he can't, because nature is not actually a whole and whoever 'god' is, he is fully enslaved to his own nature)

Quote :
III. Particular things I name "coincidental" [occurrent] in so far as we, discerning only their being, find nothing that necessitates their existence, nor necessarily precludes it.

Such a thing does not have "self-valuing". An arbitrary clump of waste.

But few 'things' that we can point are as formless and coincidental and unique as well as unnoticed in their appearance as to match this criterion.

Quote :
IV. Those particular things I call "possible", in so far as we, discerning the causes that must bring them to be, do not know if they are indeed forced to bring them about.

???
The causes we discern that must bring them about dont necessarily need to bring them about?
How then are they discerned?
They aren't - that is what he was hiding behind the word "possible".

'there are things, of which I haven't the faintest clue what they are, and why they are, and when they occur - but all things have their cause, and the Cause of causes is God - this I know!

exactly the same blindsidedness Einstein fell prey to!



Indeed,

"Coincidence and possibility are functions of different degrees of ignorance."

And to what lies behind this ignorance we must not necessarily, that I see, attribute the presumption "god"... yet "nature" is always accurate.

Therefore god does not equal nature.

Quote :
---

V. As "contradicting affections" I will in the future understand such affections, which pull the man in different directions, even if they are of the same kind, such as lust for splendor and greed, which are both forms of Love. They are not by nature, but by coincidental circumstances contradicting.

Juxtaposed, as all phenomena are. And all phenomena are "love" and juxtaposed - all are valuing in terms of self-valuing valuing, valuing a self into being.

Contradicting? Only in part. All contradictions form a unity against complexes that appear on the horizon simply because the cohesive power has been enhanced where symmetry-building tension is built .

The 'lust' for integrity. "Love". The will to experience the entire world in the ways of ones own nature.

Thus I question you further Baruch, my fellow Amsterdammer who has gained such renown as being beyond the religious god... and yet now I am beyond you - and I discern that you havent understood your own God...

even though, in the depths of your philosphizing, you did discover a glimmer of his eye!

Dunamis...
But why not simpy call it "the holy spirit" or "Shekina"?
What is the difference after all?

"the unspeakable motivator inside the "thing""

But I have seen that there is no such thing. There is only the very speakable! In fact, speaking itself is always the naming of this very thing.

All this is a development of my initial question:

"Why are lust for splendor and greed contradicting, and if they are, why can the cause of this not be discerned with certainty?"

Quote :
---

VII. As the "goal", for the sake of which [the intention wherewith] we do something, I understand the drive.
VIII. As "virtue" [strength/force] and "potential" [power], I understand the same. In other words: Virtue [strength/force] is, in so far as she pertains to the man, mans being or nature itself, in so far as this possesses the potential [the power] to bring things about, which are completely obtainable from the laws of this nature.


A goal is a thing by which virtue and being are understood.

For if it were not for the fixation on nature "itself" and "God", you might have made Nietzsche unnecessary - but not before going through the bloody process of ripping the laws of mans nature from the spirit that places him in a predetermined  whole. After all this is precisely what mans nature can not legislate - his own 'existential necessity'. There is none. He just happens to exist, and in these terms, he can partake in several processes at once, all of which are 'wholes', and none of which are perfect.

---

Quote :
AXIOM

In the world of things there exists no particular thing, which can not be overpowered/surpassed by another thing that is more powerful/stronger.

Precisely because there is no whole, this does not follow from the nature of man.

It is possible, but not given.
It is possible that there is a supreme signifier, who, even though he is moved by all things around him, is not disturbed in his nature.


"Every good and evil is overpowered by the existence of the world."

that is just poetry, old Pallas. Very Arcane, I'll grant you that.

It reminds me of the dream I had, about the digging in the hillside, the city structure with the wooden overpasses where the books were sold by the semi-known old ladies. The sex that was in the air and not going to happen. The intimacy on the other side of the bridge. I remember it now, these weeks. What was that all about? America, I think.

See Baruch, it doesnt matter of a man attempts to grasp all that is, he still only grasps himself. You were just an arrogant little kid of a brilliant race, whose messiah complex, as all bright Jewish boys have it (as Ischa Meyer says!) compelled him to show the world what god was made of. Sheer intellectual power, that is what you impressed the goyim with. But not us! God is bigger than nature, because nature doesnt exist. Things have natures, god doesnt. God spills natures like a geysir spills droplets.

If God exists -- but what is existence anyway?

God motivates me - therefore he exists!

Try to refute that, my atheist friends.















---
Part of Fortune



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PostSubject: Re: Spinoza's Ethica, translation and interpretation   Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:37 pm

Parodites wrote:
In the world of things there exists no particular thing, which can not be overpowered/surpassed by another thing that is more powerful/stronger.
---
I don't quite get your interpretation/commentary of this axiom.

Me neither.

Quote :
In this axiom Spinoza is indicating that the world is a Heraclitean contest of wills. Because every particular can be overpowered by another particular the universal can only be conceived of as the possible outcome of all possible contestations. Hence the idea of God as a substance with an infinite amount of attributes.




"By God, I mean a being absolutely infinite — that is, a substance consisting in infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality.
Explanation — I say absolutely infinite, not infinite after its kind: for, of a thing infinite only after its kind, infinite attributes may be denied; but that which is absolutely infinite, contains in its essence whatever expresses reality, and involves no negation."

However, the idea that there is a perfect coherence to the world contradicts the idea of Heraclitean flux.

Quote :
To conceive of morality in a universal rather than particular sense would then necessitate a conception of the good as a theoretical configuration of these attributes, that is, as a particular organization of wills in which the structure of competing forces proves conducive to some force that is operating at the behest of a human agency. That structure is "reason" for Spinoza. Hence he says:

"Individual things are nothing but modifications of the attributes of God, or modes by which the attributes of God are expressed in a fixed and definite manner."


"A body is called finite because we always conceive another greater body. So, also, a thought is limited by another thought, but a body is not limited by thought, nor a thought by body."

There is very much wrong with this, to begin with the notion of finity and infinity and the distinction between thought and body. He annoyingly presumes that we all conceive of bodies as he does. But he didnt know what was to happen int he 20th century. At least Nietzsche didn't concern himself with finity and infinity in terms of physics. It's illogical, the two are the same. Every finite thing is infinite in all the terms that 'infinity' allows. Every 'infinity' that we address is y our very addressing it infinitely finite. And that, but reversed, is why infinity applies to finite things.

Quote :
When this structure is corrupted and the force which operates for the sake of the human being is oppressed by forces that are "bad," that are inconducive to him, then we have the development of his "unhappy passions," like greed, anger, etc. The Heraclitean image of the world as eternally generating and disintegrating fire is necessitated by this axiom, and the proposition of a purely immanent God of infinite attributes is necessary to uphold universal as opposed to merely particular morality.

Which is where it goes wrong, wouldn't you say?






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PostSubject: Re: Spinoza's Ethica, translation and interpretation   Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:36 am

DEFINITIONS

I. "As "good" I understand that, of which we know with certainty that it is useful to us.
II. As "evil" [bad, wrong] on the other hand that, of which we know with certainty that it obstructs us, in reach [attain] something good.


This means, that good and evil are not opposites.


Not many years ago I accepted this thought as a replacement for dualistic thinking regarding 'things in my life'. Useful/useless (to me).


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