Spinoza on Ethics
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Tags: podcast

On Baruch Spinoza's Ethics (1677), books 1 and 2.

Time warp to 2010 when Mark, Seth, and Wes recorded this lo-fi burst of energy, made available to you now to kick of our June Spinoza-fest, with two full discussions coming out over the next four weeks on Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. Dylan and Mark have recorded a new introduction connecting the two works.

Our main focus Spinoza's weird, immanent, non-personal conception of God:

God is everything, therefore the world is God as apprehended through some particular attributes, namely insofar as one of his aspects is infinite space (extension, i.e. matter) and insofar as one of his aspects is mind (our minds being chunks or "modes" of the big God mind).

Also, if you're not going to sell out and go for a university position in philosophy, should you instead grind lenses in your attic without adequate ventilation? (Hint: no) Plus, the Amsterdam of yesterday, whose heady aroma drove people to write like Euclid, property dualism rears its ugly head, and Mel Gibson as Rousseau!

One place to read the earlier Spinoza book Mark refers to, A Short Treatise on God, Man, and his Well-Being (1660), is here. The Karen Armstrong book referred to is The Case for God, and at the end Wes recommends Matthew Stewart's The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World. Seth also brings up Giles Deluze's Spinoza: Practical Philosophy. The dumbed down, non-geometric presentation of the Ethics that I talk about is here.

Ep. 25 which continues this discussion is now available for $1 Patreon subscribers: Visit patreon.com/partiallyexaminedlife. Or publicly share this post from our Facebook page that links to this episode before 6/5 and we'll send you the link to ep. 25 via FB messenger (be sure to check "message requests"). PEL Citizens get all of our behind-the-firewall offerings, so that's definitely your best bet. Please support PEL!

End song: "Spiritual Insect," by Mark Lint and the Fake from the album So Whaddaya Think? (2000).

Spinoza picture by Corey Mohler. [reissue ]

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