• fdrake
    4.7k
    This is what Spinoza agree or disagree with?Eugen

    I think he agrees with that claim. Ideas interact with ideas. Bodies interact with bodies. You don't get causal chains like "this mindless stuff interacts with that mindless stuff and makes a thought", you get causal chains like "this mindless stuff interacts with that mindless stuff and makes more mindless stuff" logical associations of ideas like "this idea interacts with that idea and makes more ideas", and the logical associations mirror the causal chains somehow.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    But I will try to find more answers.Eugen
    Without the right (or adequate) questions you never will.

    I applaud your patience :clap: :100: :fire:

    "All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare." ~Benedictus de Spinoza
  • Eugen
    475
    Let me get this right. So mindless stuff interacting with mindless stuff won't produce mind stuff, and only mind interacting with mind produces more mind, right?
    If that's the case, if I asked Spinoza "What kind of interaction creates consciousness?" And "Why does complexity makes me a conscious thing?" What would he answer?
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    :shade:

    @fdrake
    I can't lie to you about your chances, but... you have my sympathies.
    :sweat:
  • Eugen
    475
    What is complexity?
  • Valentinus
    1.2k
    I have to admit I don't have enough patience and philosophical language to read Spinoza, so I'm asking simple questions and I'm looking for simple answers.Eugen

    If that is the case, why involve Spinoza at all? You have built a room that you have said you can never enter. What relevance can anything that happens in the room be for you?
    You ask for an interpretation made by somebody you listened to somewhere to be disproved. How could one interpretation being more valid than another matter if you place yourself outside of the discussion by a conscious choice?
    You speak of Spinoza being a "panpsychist" as a "generally" accepted point of view. As a matter of academic review, that is not the case. You don't cite the references that gave you this impression. That means you are arguing upon a basis of authority but without even saying what that authority is.

    You clearly have an idea that you want to understand better. Perhaps you should find another way to bring it forward where you can own all the terms.
  • Eugen
    475
    I'm trying and I will use my logic in the simplest way.
  • Valentinus
    1.2k

    Is that a response to my response?
  • Eugen
    475
    I understand 99% of what you
    guys are saying here, but when I'm approaching the final confirmation, I receive a long response telling me I am asking the rong question and that Spinoza is special and hard to understand. Frustrating.

    I wrote sources like Wikipedia and other pretty official so to say. And my issue is not if S was panpsychist or not.
  • Valentinus
    1.2k

    You are the one who put actually reading Spinoza outside of your possible ranges of experience.
  • fdrake
    4.7k
    What kind of interaction creates consciousness?"Eugen

    If you want the type, I've given you some kind of answer to that - the interaction of ideas associated with a body; the human mind = the idea of the human body. If you want the how? As in: give the mechanism of the interaction of ideas which suffices to produce a human mind - for Spinoza? I'll quote at length, but I don't think it will be satisfying to you:

    PROP. XV. The idea, which constitutes the actual being of the human mind, is not simple, but compounded of a great number of ideas.

    Proof.—The idea constituting the actual being of the human mind is the idea of the body (II. xiii.), which (Post. i.) is composed of a great number of complex individual parts. But there is necessarily in God the idea of each individual part whereof the body is composed (II. viii. Coroll.); therefore (II. vii.), the idea of the human body is composed of these numerous ideas of its component parts. Q.E.D.

    PROP. XVI. The idea of every mode, in which the human body is affected by external bodies, must involve the nature of the human body, and also the nature of the external body.

    Proof.—All the modes, in which any given body is affected, follow from the nature of the body affected, and also from the nature of the affecting body (by Ax. i., after the Coroll. of Lemma iii.), wherefore their idea also necessarily (by I. Ax. iv.) involves the nature of both bodies; therefore, the idea of every mode, in which the human body is affected by external bodies, involves the nature of the human body and of the external body. Q.E.D.

    Corollary I.—Hence it follows, first, that the human mind perceives the nature of a variety of bodies, together with the nature of its own.

    Corollary II.—It follows, secondly, that the ideas, which we have of external bodies, indicate rather the constitution of our own body than the nature of external bodies. I have amply illustrated this in the Appendix to Part I.

    PROP. XVII. If the human body is affected in a manner which involves the nature of any external body, the human mind will regard the said external body as actually existing, or as present to itself, until the human body be affected in such a way, as to exclude the existence or the presence of the said external body.

    Proof.—This proposition is self—evident, for so long as the human body continues to be thus affected, so long will the human mind (II. xii.) regard this modification of the body—that is (by the last Prop.), it will have the idea of the mode as actually existing, and this idea involves the nature of the external body. In other words, it will have the idea which does not exclude, but postulates the existence or presence of the nature of the external body; therefore the mind (by II. xvi., Coroll. i.) will regard the external body as actually existing, until it is affected, &c. Q.E.D.
    — Spinoza, Ethics, Part II

    Okay so:

    (1) The mind is the idea of the body.
    (2) And this idea is pretty expansive, it's got a lot of moving parts, as does the body;

    "PROP. XVI. The idea of every mode, in which the human body is affected by external bodies, must involve the nature of the human body, and also the nature of the external body."

    The human mode stays together in all the different aspects, so to speak.

    (3) When those moving parts of the body "move" - be it a body acting as a cause or an idea acting as a pattern generator/logical inference - they bring with them corresponding ideas of the body. (4) Those ideas in their conjunction are "the idea of the body", ie the mind.

    I believe you will find that unsatisfying, because it isn't an answer to the question of "how does human consciousness arise from inanimate matter?", it's an answer to the question of "how does human consciousness arise from the human body?". If you want an answer to the first question, see our previous discussion, if you want an answer to the second, I've given you an extremely abbreviated sketch of it.

    I'll quote again at length:

    PROP. II. Body cannot determine mind to think, neither can mind determine body to motion or rest or any state different from these, if such there be.

    Proof.—All modes of thinking have for their cause God, by virtue of his being a thinking thing, and not by virtue of his being displayed under any other attribute (II. vi.). That, therefore, which determines the mind to thought is a mode of thought, and not a mode of extension; that is (II. Def. i.), it is not body. This was our first point. Again, the motion and rest of a body must arise from another body, which has also been determined to a state of motion or rest by a third body, and absolutely everything which takes place in a body must spring from God, in so far as he is regarded as affected by some mode of extension, and not by some mode of thought (II. vi.); that is, it cannot spring from the mind, which is a mode of thought. This was our second point. Therefore body cannot determine mind, &c. Q.E.D.

    Note.—This is made more clear by what was said in the note to II. vii., namely, that mind and body are one and the same thing, conceived first under the attribute of thought, secondly, under the attribute of extension. Thus it follows that the order or concatenation of things is identical, whether nature be conceived under the one attribute or the other; consequently the order of states of activity and passivity in our body is simultaneous in nature with the order of states of activity and passivity in the mind. The same conclusion is evident from the manner in which we proved II. xii.

    I believe one reason why none of this is landing is that, how to put it, I think you're expecting Spinoza's ideas to be continuous with your own intuitions, whereas learning Spinoza requires learning how to reconfigure those intuitions. There's no substitute for actually doing the work.
  • Valentinus
    1.2k
    There's no substitute for actually doing the work.fdrake

    Yes.
    I thought I already had done a lot of work but you, 108, and Willow of Darkness keep reminding me of aspects I had not considered. I keep having to start all over again.
  • fdrake
    4.7k
    I thought I already had done a lot of work but you, 108, and Willow of Darkness keep reminding me of aspects I had not considered. I keep having to start all over again.Valentinus

    Me too. "The best way to learn a subject is to teach it".
  • Eugen
    475
    The idea constituting the actual being of the human mind is the idea of the body (II. xiii.), which (Post. i.) is composed of a great number of complex individual parts — Spinoza, Ethics, Part II

    Do those complex individual parts contain consciousness?

    In a nutshell:

    Guys, I think I understand 90% of what you're saying.

    A. The Willow Of Darkness and Gregory simply replied that if the hard problem is true, then Spinozism cannot work.

    B. Spinoza does not place much emphasis on consciousness.

    C. Spinoza is about parallelism, so matter does not determine consciousness as it does in materialism - it is not materialism.

    D. However, as 's quote shows, we can draw a parallel and say that the physical body is made up of the interaction of smaller bodies, and the human mind is made up of the interaction of minds.

    Then we can say that consciousness is in fact the result of a complex interaction of minds that, taken individually, are not conscious. In a word, complexity makes the difference between a stone and a man. So there is a threshold between unconscious and consciousness determined by pure complexity.

    Even if it is not correct to ask the hard problem question, I can still ask the following question:

    If we assume for the sake of the argument that it is impossible for the interaction between elements without consciousness to create human consciousness, no matter how complex this interaction is, then can we say that Spinozism is false?
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    If we assume for the sake of the argument that it is impossible for the interaction between elements without consciousness to create human consciousness, no matter how complex this interaction is, then can we say that Spinozism is false?Eugen
    No. Again, wrong question because your assumptions have nothing to do with Spinozism. And besides, metaphysics is noncognitive (re: not truth-claims about matters of fact) so the question is incoherent on its face.
  • Eugen
    475
    So if I were to ask Spinoza ''Why humans are conscious?'' he would say ''They just are", right?
  • Eugen
    475
    He would say ''You are conscious because your body is complex"?
  • Gregory
    2.8k


    Why do you care if the hard problem would have bothered Spinoza, one philosopher at of thousands? Why not read Aristotle or something? Spinoza wrote, as you've been told a million times, that every comes from God. He thinks God has thoughts but he is ambiguous on this because we can't know God. That's it right there! Your concern answered. I don't think anyone on this thread knows what's really bothering you
  • Eugen
    475
    I'm here to talk about philosophy, not about my personal desires, and even if I've already answered you about my motives, you're keep coming back and talk about my person. My person is not relevant here. You said this thread sucks, so I suggest you to leave the things as they are. Maybe I am not coherent and I ask the wrong questions, but I will keep asking until I get what I want.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    I'd expect Spinoza to reply, more or less, with "We'll have to wait for natural science to solve that problem." Anyway, if you won't closely read Spinoza himself, Eugen, then read Looking For Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow and the Feeling Brain by the eminent neuroscientist Antonio Damasio.
  • Gregory
    2.8k
    t I will keep asking until I get what I want.Eugen

    Really? Wow
  • Gregory
    2.8k
    We have bodies (attribute of extension) and thoughts (attribute of thought). All come from God, who may or may not be consciousness (we can't know because it's beyond us). That's the end of that story
  • Eugen
    475
    Dude, that's your opinion. I know your opinion and that of some others who have clearly stated that if the hard problem is true, then Spinozism is false.

    Thank you!
  • Gregory
    2.8k


    Why can't you just admit you can't understand this stuff?
  • Eugen
    475
    I did it many times. That's why I'm keep asking questions. D'ooh
  • Gregory
    2.8k


    I mean admit that you will never understand Spinoza. I mean, all the relevant quotes are given above. Why not switch to Aristotle? Do you have an obsession?
  • Eugen
    475
    Do you have an obsession?Gregory

    Yes.

    I mean admit that you will never understand Spinoza.Gregory

    I don't know the future, maybe I will.

    Thank you for your answers and concerns, but I will stop responding to personal stuff.
  • Gregory
    2.8k


    Ok. It's a free forum. I just don't usually see someone asking the same question so many times on this forum. Anyway I'll go do something else, good luck
  • Eugen
    475

    That's actually interesting. So Spinoza starts from the idea that consciousness just exists and it appears (for some reason) in complex modes. For him, consciousness is just an attribute manifesting in humans.

    But let's assume that one convinced Spinoza that something with no consciousness could not cause consciousness. Would he have admitted that his view is false in this case?

    Thanks for the link, I will read it. I am reading something interesting about my curiosity and I understand it so far.
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