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  • #46
    Spinoza in spite of his forced alienation from Judaism remained true to the Jewsih heritage of believing that the Jews were the first people to discover the role of conscience in humans. They point to their Old Testament as evidence that conscience , or the awreness of right and wrong, of good and evil was their most important contribution to the human species.

    However, the problem arose for Spinoza with other Jews based on his unique understanding of the 'conatus" which is the instinct for self-preservation in man. He argued from that concept to the freedom that man seeks in nature on the whole. Virtue then becomes the knowledge that man has of his necessary place in the natural scheme of things. And, this place was anchored by Spinoza in Nature as the divine theater of God.. Here is where he ran afoul with tradiitional Judaism which does not accept pantheism but instead insists dogmatically on creation being a beginning and not THE beginning of the divine WORD itself who is God. For Judaism the world of Nature is not God as Spinoza holds, and therefore he was censored as a blasphemer and expelled from Judaism in a formal manner from the temple in which he worshipped in Lisbon, Portugal.

    As far as is known, Spinoza remained true to his philosophy based on the role of the conatus in a world wherein all is the divine theater of God's activity and in which God is the sole and only principal actor in that pantheistic drama.
    E.1: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK - V.I. Lenin

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    • #47
      Spinoza was very interesting to read. What do you think of David Hume? Do you agree with this article? Is his philosophy quite a cop-out to not have to answer the harder questions? What do you think?

      Hume Shifts the Burden of Proof

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      • #48
        Hume justifiably a Major Philosopher

        Hume's critic wrote:

        "In that case, "knowledge" would tell us nothing either about the world or about practical results but simply would embody the power relationships that distribute goods according to the race, class, and gender construction built into it."

        This is correct, and it is the basis of my bracketing the entire convoluted criticism of Hume. They, perhaps, unbeknownst to them, have given the scientific socialists the very impluse to pursue the philosophy of communism, since its theories illuminate the path of human practice according to the social relations of the distribution of goods among races, classes (the class struggle) and the place of women and men in terms of their personal comforts which are built within the construction of 'from each according to their work, to each according to their needs'.

        Hume was very helpful in his sceptism in providing philosophical theories that in conjunction with the criticisms of them paved the way to focusing on the social relations of societies which communist philosophy does best.
        E.1: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK - V.I. Lenin

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        • #49
          As for your latest succinct analysis of Hume's contributions to philosophy...

          That leads me to introduce a vital part of the development of socialist thought and philosophy. The French Revolution. The Age of Enlightenment and the beginnings of the analysis of the differentiation between Utopic Socialism without a scientific basis and Scientific Socialism with its well founded dialectical materialism foundation and its ability to give a hard 'structure' to what was previously a fairly loose and fuzzy roadmap to socioeconomic relationships and class struggle.

          In your opinion Eddie, why did utopic socialism even get a chance to exist? I have my own idea but I would really like to hear your explanation. Meanwhile, I liked reading this article about it by Engels.

          Frederick Engels: Socialism, Utopic and Scientific

          I think a careful historical analysis of how France was involved in this Age of Enlightenment and its return to classical traditions vs. theocratic traditions might give us a hint of why Francois Noel Babeuf "Gracchus" was considered the first Communist in the world. Before him what was there? It would be a good idea to outline that next.

          Francois-Noel Babeuf - Britannica Concise

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          • #50
            Utopian Socialism and its Abortion

            "In your opinion Eddie, why did utopic socialism even get a chance to exist?"

            Your question is too broad, and narrowing it down might help in giving my opinion. First, Babeuf was unique and got scientific socialism correct for the first time in the history of ideas. He applied communism to the path of human practice, and avoided any speculative or abstract musings about what needed to be done in order to help the prole, or "sans cullotes", revolution and the building of a communist society. And second, it set the standard for communists to come. And that helped usher in Marx and Engels, with Marx as the father of communist literature with Engels, his brillant assistant,

            Marx rose to the occasion by taking on Proudhon, the most outstanding utopian socialist, IMHO, and refuting flawlessly Proudhon's utopian socialist notions.

            Among other utopian socialists, Robert Owens in England and Charles Fourier in France were anarchists not on the same level as the anarchism of Proudhon who when asked as to what "Property" was -- replied quickly that it was 'Theft'.
            E.1: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK - V.I. Lenin

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