kvond Says: February 14, 2009 at 12:31 am It is not at all clear that under the definitions that Spinoza provides, and despite his love from the PSR, that human beings can indeed hold completely adequate ideas. (For instance Della Rocca and I both argue that this is not possible.)
If human beings cannot hold completely adequate ideas, the status of the propositions and axioms that begin the Ethics themselves cannot be taken to be completely Adequate, and the entire Ethics cannot be seen as vulnerable in exactly the sense that you take its stacked deductions to be.
kvond Says: February 14, 2009 at 1:25 am Spinoza [is] inconsistant in how he characterizes Adequate ideas, but if you take all of his qualifications it does not seem that human beings or any finite being can hold a completely adequate (or any set of them). But this does not mean that he thinks that all ideas are created equal, or their are no means by which we can tell the adequacy of one to that of another.
As you know, he most certainly believes and argues for degrees of adequacy in ideas, and he creates several standards for their measure. He is not only against superstition (though it has served its purpose in history), but also against the generally seen as pernicious effects of “wonder/admiration”, which you can find in his defintions of the affects.
What Spinoza really does is set up the Adequacy of Ideas as a telling asymptotic limit, the closer to which one’s ideas come, the more internally coherent and explanatory of causes they become. What this does for the standing of his deductive arguments is unclear. Ultimately though, his Ethics stands as something that we causally interact with.
kvond Says: February 14, 2009 at 4:46 am Most argue just as you: Spinoza sets a very high standard, and therefore falls to his own standard. The big problem is with identifying whether a finite being can hold a completely adequate idea or not. At many points Spinoza speaks as if they can, but his specific treatment of adequate ideas seems to preclude the possibility. [...]
As for the properness of my interpretation, I have read no commentator who has even considered the possibility that the ideas of the Ethics may themselves be to some degree inadequate. I think though because finite human minds can only hold ideas asymptotical adequate, and we understand that for Spinoza “man is a god to man” the more human beings that hold the ideas of the Ethics, the more adequate they becomes, paritially due to their internal coherence, but also because human beings combine to form a larger, more dynamic and self-causing body.
Really though, I do suspect that it is not so much that Spinoza intented to deduce everything from God or Substance in an ultimate kind of proof, but rather, as Deleuze points out, he wants to get as quickly to God as he can, because one has to start from the breadth of cohension to figure out how other things cohere. This is in keeping with Spinoza’s critique of Descartes optics (and representational conceptions of knowledge).
For Spinoza it is the periphery that grants clarity to anything in the center. Where Descartes wanted to go internally attempting to find some rock truth (in his own version of a pedagogy), Spinoza directs one’s vision to the edges, as wide as possible so one can orient oneself within the topography. This really is the work of his broad conceptions of God and Substance in terms of the power of cohernce and explanation. It isn’t so much deduction, I believe, but a finite being’s attempted orientation, compass-work. He treats his psychology of the affects and theories of sociability in much the same way.
Xenophanes, Penrose, Polanyi - Re: Larger Issues of “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo” Controversy koantum Science, Culture and Integral Yoga Fri 13 Feb 2009 06:52 PM PST
besides ones right to hold the beliefs of ones faith, with regard to coming to a common understanding the metaphysical argument died shortly after the Scopes trial.
It died in the 6th Century BCE, when Xenophanes wrote: “Even if a man were to represent to himself the world exactly as it is, he could not discover that this is the case.”
And finally, note the not so noble appraisal of the human being. Man is no longer the “measure of all things” extolled in the European Renaissance, the source of western civilizational hubris. While the human being in the Mother’s formulation may not be the contemptible worm of Nietzsche, it isn’t too far from that either. The Mother quickly disabuses humanity of its exalted notion of itself. I now read Sri Aurobindo’s passage from ‘The Life Divine’ where he likens us to ‘living laboratories’: [...]
In all three, there is the notion of the self-exceeding of man. The human being has to exceed himself, because from the viewpoint of the imperfection of nature, humanity is as faulted as the animal, the worm is to the human being and it is to set our sights on that kind of goal that Nietzsche is calling us through the voice of Zarathustra. But Nietzsche’s call is going out to the will of man. It is not a simple call to the ego – it is not a call to titanism as has been popularly supposed, it is a call to sacrifice, to vastness, it is a call to the formation of the gods within us. The overman according to Nietzsche is like the gods of the Greek classical heritage. It is Nietzsche’s allergy towards the Christian tradition that makes him deny god, but it is in the becoming of god or of the gods in human guise that his message lies. But it ends here.
- What apart from the human will is there to lead us to this goal?
- If we are hardly more evolved than the worm or the animal in most of our nature, what hope do we have except for willing something which is faulted into existence in our drive upwards?
If we look at Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s texts, we see there one critical element which is missed out by Nietzsche. They are not talking about the human will attaining to the superman. They are talking about the human being as the site where the superman is formed by agents other than the human. In both cases they use the term ‘Nature’ to indicate this extra-human agency. What is it that they mean by “Nature”? Evidently, if there is something which ties these uses of the word to some common ground, we have to think of “Nature” as the evolutionary force in a conscious form, the evolutionary will. Science, Culture and Integral Yoga 11:29 AM
Heidegger depicts Nietzsche as someone who anticipated his journey, by breaking from a God-centered theological conversation, one that both figures considered passé. Like Nietzsche, Heidegger bequeaths to posterity an austere fatalism, which he claims to be finding in pre-Socratic Greek musings about the nature of being. Like Nietzsche, he insists that a wrong turn had been taken by abandoning an earlier Greek attitude toward the mystery of being for what became with Socrates rationalism and a rationally accessible theology.
For the present I may tell this much that it's still humanly (with normal human mind) impossible to ascertain the roles and works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. It's because from the perspective of mental consciousness -if one goes on explaining their work -it would be extremely complicated. I am referring those pedantic persons who love to discuss on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. We should have only one effort-and that is not to understand them mentally. ASPIRATION
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