donderdag 7 juni 2018

Louis Russell‏ schreef boekje met een stevige titel: “Spinoza’s Science. The Ethics of Knowledge” - #spinoza

Louis Russell‏ gaf in eigen beheer via Amazon een klein boekje uit met een best pittige titel, zo liet hij in een tweet weten:
Louis Russell‏, Spinoza's Science: The Ethics of Knowledge.  Independently published (June 1, 2018) - 54 pages
Of we er veel van kunnen verwachten en of de titel misschien niet teveel belooft, vraag ik me af als je van z’n Inleiding kennis neemt die zich via Amazon laat lezen en die ik hier binnenhaal:

In his famous work, Ethics Demonstrated in Geometric Order, Baruch Spinoza invites the philosopher to explore the possibility of pure intellectual joy as a way of human life. This book serves as a philosophical introduction to the best of Spinoza's offerings in the Ethics: namely, how the performance of Spinozist science itself constitutes the acme of human achievement. In a short space, I shall trace Spinoza's trifold distinction between kinds of knowledge, then uncover the ethical conclusions one must necessarily draw should Spinoza's premises be taken as acceptable.

Having studied Spinoza for some time, I have at different moments confronted different aspects of the same dominant strain in his thinking: this line of force concerns the ethical implications of what we think we know, what we do know, and what we can know, if only we exercise our reason. This undercurrent in the Ethics does not simply tie knowledge to ethics but sets the grasping of a certain kind of knowledge—intuitive science—equal to the human being's highest ethical calling. But any confrontation with this line of thought outside the graduate seminar, outside the Latin language, outside of Spinoza's basic premise for his normative prescriptions—the pursuit of an active, constant joy that arises necessarily from a rational engagement with lived experience—hazards to yield more of the confusion and frustration that Spinoza labored to cure than that persistent joy he labored to inculcate in his readers. The purpose of this book is to condense this dominant strain of his thinking in a way that will assist with either an academic or a personal reading of the Ethics, an aim which will conceptually focus the reader's attention on the proverbial forest, as well as its most beautiful trees.

This is largely a book about knowledge, or how Spinoza marries knowing with being, and further how he thinks of being as the foundation of ethics. In order to present a clear and contrastive account of how Spinoza conceives of knowledge (cognitio), we must first understand how things go wrong for us knowers. This going wrong, Spinoza calls 'the first kind of knowledge'. Yet, like the Ethics itself, statements about the strengths of Spinozism will require a preliminary backdrop that fills Spinoza's key concepts in with content. Before speaking about Spinoza's epistemological theses, I must begin with a discussion of his method and its place in the history of philosophy.

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