Baruch Spinoza(Benedict Spinoza) “As a teacher of reality, he practiced his own wisdom, and was surely one of the most exemplary human beings ever to have lived.” ~Harold Bloom http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/94/Baruch_Spinoza.jpg
Who Was This Guy? • Born 1632 to Jewish Portuguese parents • Died 1677 of unknown cuase • Influenced by much of Rene Descartes’ work • Lifetime corresponded with the building of the TajMahal • Ottoman Empire at its height (Russia) • Galileo convicted during Spinoza’s lifetime
Major Works • Tractatus Theologic-Politicus • Ethics
God vs Nature& Sense Perception • God and nature are one and the same; like different languages • God is an abstract being that takes no shape, only the space in our minds. • Belief in cause and effect; no random occurrences • No god will smite you since there is no personality to this deity; the perfect balance of the universe is the only concern • We are the cause of our effects • Reality is perfect; however, sense perception is inadequate for perceiving the world or for discovering universal truths • The universe is perfect; there is no right, wrong, good, or evil, only what is • It’s from lack of understand that we perceive right, wrong, etc, and because of this we have emotions • Emotion comes from lack of understanding
Spinoza vs Descartes • Those who agree with Descartes’ views are deemed “Cartesians.” • Descartes’ theories were the starting point for Spinoza • Descartes thought that the mind and body exist as separate entities – Spinoza decided this wasn’t true; he thought they existed a single identity.
Works Cited • Dutton, Blake. “Spinoza, Benedict de.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Jul 7 2005. Loyola University Chicago. Feb 13 2011. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/spinoza/#SSH4b.i> • Great Philosophers. 2002. Oregon State. Feb 11 2011. http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl201/modules/Philosophers/Spinoza/spinoza.html • http://wikipedia.org/BenedictSpinoza