Poetry from 10/2013

28 October 2013

Anthony Quinton and Bryan Magee discuss the ideas of Spinoza and Leibniz

A philosophical discussion between Anthony Quinton (for him, philosophy was "an essentially social undertaking", and dialogue "its bloodstream") and Bryan Magee British broadcaster, politician, poet, and author, best known as a popularizer of philosophy.  In this broadcast they discuss  the ideas of rationalist philosophers Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz.
Anthony Meredith Quinton, Baron Quinton was a philosopher, born 25 March 1925; died 19 June 2010.



27 October 2013

Baruch de Spinoza

Frederick Pollock commenting on the words of Baruch Spinoza, says that Spinoza points out the advantage of being many-sided (as we should now say) in both mind and body, and thereby being apt to receive new impressions and put forth new activities. (35) This is one of the points, in which he (Spinoza) curiously anticipates modern ideas about development and adaptation to one's environment.
He (Spinoza) insists in the strongest terms on the importance of society to man's well-being.

“Society is imperfect” [he says], “but even as it is men get far more good than harm by it. Therefore let satirists laugh at men's affairs as much as they please, let theologians decry them, let misanthropes do their utmost to extol a rude and brutish life; but men will still find that their needs are best satisfied by each other's help, and that the dangers which surround them can be avoided only by joining their strength.” (36)



20 October 2013

Marcus Du Sautoy

In this clip, Marcus Du Sautoy (Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and current Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science) participates in an experiment conducted by John-Dylan Haynes (Professor at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin) that attempts to find the neurological basis for decision making.




16 October 2013

Spinoza as a righteous atheist

Professor Yirmiyahu Yovel – a distinguished public intellectual and recipient of the 2000 Israel Prize for philosophy –  a philosopher involved in the cultural and political field in Israel and abroad. Yovel’s oeuvre includes studies of Kant, Hegel, Spinoza and Nietzsche, alongside opinion pieces written and broadcast, on public issues. His teaching at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the New School for Social Research is complemented by his founding and running the Jerusalem Spinoza Institute.







12 October 2013

Spinoza: Mind of the Modern

A discussion featuring Rebecca Goldstein and Antonio Damasio from Open Source.

At the core of one big conundrum is Spinoza’s formulation (Propositions 14 and 15 in his Ethics) that: “Except God no substance can be granted or conceived,” and “Whatever is, is in God, and nothing can exist or be conceived without God.” To 19th Century Romantics Spinoza seemed a “God-intoxicated man,” fathering a religion of nature. In his time and ours, the hyper-rationalist philosopher who gave the intellect at work a virtually sacramental standing has also been deemed a pantheist and an atheist for “disappearing” God into His natural creation.