Editorial Reviews. Review. "This is the most intriguing novel I've read in many a year. Irvin Yalom has created a taut, deeply informative page turner. Irvin Yalom, The Spinoza Problem, Basic Books, , ISBN: Its most obvious denotation is the problem Spinoza's modernistic philosophy. online pdf format The Spinoza Problem: A Novel, ^^pdf download The Spinoza Problem: A Novel, ^^Download Free The Spinoza Problem: A.
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In his new novel The Spinoza Problem, Irvin Yalom imaginatively ex- plores the thought and personality of philosopher Baruch Spinoza. (–), in. First published: 04 March musicmarkup.info x. About. Figures; Related; Information. ePDF PDF. PDF · ePDF PDF · PDF. PDF - The Spinoza Problem. When sixteen-year-old Alfred Rosenberg is called into his headmaster's office for anti-Semitic remarks he made during a school.
Main article: Empirical method A central concept in science and the scientific method is that conclusions must be empirically based on the evidence of the senses. Both natural and social sciences use working hypotheses that are testable by observation and experiment. The term semi-empirical is sometimes used to describe theoretical methods that make use of basic axioms , established scientific laws, and previous experimental results in order to engage in reasoned model building and theoretical inquiry. Philosophical empiricists hold no knowledge to be properly inferred or deduced unless it is derived from one's sense-based experience. For example, John Locke held that some knowledge e. Similarly Robert Boyle , a prominent advocate of the experimental method, held that we have innate ideas. The earliest Western proto-empiricists were the Empiric school of ancient Greek medical practitioners, who rejected the three doctrines of the Dogmatic school , preferring to rely on the observation of phantasiai i.
It fails to fully consider the structure and method of mathematical science , the products of which are arrived at through an internally consistent deductive set of procedures which do not, either today or at the time Mill wrote, fall under the agreed meaning of induction.
But it came to be realized that there is no finite set of statements about actual and possible sense-data from which we can deduce even a single physical-object statement. The translating or paraphrasing statement must be couched in terms of normal observers in normal conditions of observation. There is, however, no finite set of statements that are couched in purely sensory terms and can express the satisfaction of the condition of the presence of a normal observer.
According to phenomenalism, to say that a normal observer is present is to make the hypothetical statement that were a doctor to inspect the observer, the observer would appear to the doctor to be normal. But, of course, the doctor himself must be a normal observer. If we are to specify this doctor's normality in sensory terms, we must make reference to a second doctor who, when inspecting the sense organs of the first doctor, would himself have to have the sense data a normal observer has when inspecting the sense organs of a subject who is a normal observer.
And if we are to specify in sensory terms that the second doctor is a normal observer, we must refer to a third doctor, and so on also see the third man. Ayer , Rudolf Carnap and Hans Reichenbach.
The neopositivists subscribed to a notion of philosophy as the conceptual clarification of the methods, insights and discoveries of the sciences. They saw in the logical symbolism elaborated by Frege — and Bertrand Russell — a powerful instrument that could rationally reconstruct all scientific discourse into an ideal, logically perfect, language that would be free of the ambiguities and deformations of natural language.
This gave rise to what they saw as metaphysical pseudoproblems and other conceptual confusions. By combining Frege's thesis that all mathematical truths are logical with the early Wittgenstein's idea that all logical truths are mere linguistic tautologies , they arrived at a twofold classification of all propositions: the analytic a priori and the synthetic a posteriori.
Any sentence that is not purely logical, or is unverifiable is devoid of meaning. As a result, most metaphysical, ethical, aesthetic and other traditional philosophical problems came to be considered pseudoproblems. In later years, Carnap and Neurath abandoned this sort of phenomenalism in favor of a rational reconstruction of knowledge into the language of an objective spatio-temporal physics. That is, instead of translating sentences about physical objects into sense-data, such sentences were to be translated into so-called protocol sentences, for example, "X at location Y and at time T observes such and such.
By the late s, it had become evident to most philosophers that the movement had pretty much run its course, though its influence is still significant among contemporary analytic philosophers such as Michael Dummett and other anti-realists.
Pragmatism[ edit ] In the late 19th and early 20th century several forms of pragmatic philosophy arose. The ideas of pragmatism, in its various forms, developed mainly from discussions between Charles Sanders Peirce and William James when both men were at Harvard in the s. James popularized the term "pragmatism", giving Peirce full credit for its patrimony, but Peirce later demurred from the tangents that the movement was taking, and redubbed what he regarded as the original idea with the name of "pragmaticism".
Along with its pragmatic theory of truth , this perspective integrates the basic insights of empirical experience-based and rational concept-based thinking.
Charles Sanders Peirce Charles Peirce — was highly influential in laying the groundwork for today's empirical scientific method. Indeed, he concurred with the main ideas of rationalism, most importantly the idea that rational concepts can be meaningful and the idea that rational concepts necessarily go beyond the data given by empirical observation.
In later years he even emphasized the concept-driven side of the then ongoing debate between strict empiricism and strict rationalism, in part to counterbalance the excesses to which some of his cohorts had taken pragmatism under the "data-driven" strict-empiricist view. Among Peirce's major contributions was to place inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning in a complementary rather than competitive mode, the latter of which had been the primary trend among the educated since David Hume wrote a century before.
To this, Peirce added the concept of abductive reasoning. The combined three forms of reasoning serve as a primary conceptual foundation for the empirically based scientific method today. Peirce's approach "presupposes that 1 the objects of knowledge are real things, 2 the characters properties of real things do not depend on our perceptions of them, and 3 everyone who has sufficient experience of real things will agree on the truth about them.
According to Peirce's doctrine of fallibilism , the conclusions of science are always tentative. The rationality of the scientific method does not depend on the certainty of its conclusions, but on its self-corrective character: by continued application of the method science can detect and correct its own mistakes, and thus eventually lead to the discovery of truth". First among these he listed the peripatetic-thomist observation mentioned above, but he further observed that this link between sensory perception and intellectual conception is a two-way street.
That is, it can be taken to say that whatever we find in the intellect is also incipiently in the senses. Hence, if theories are theory-laden then so are the senses, and perception itself can be seen as a species of abductive inference , its difference being that it is beyond control and hence beyond critique—in a word, incorrigible.
This in no way conflicts with the fallibility and revisability of scientific concepts, since it is only the immediate percept in its unique individuality or "thisness"—what the Scholastics called its haecceity —that stands beyond control and correction. Scientific concepts, on the other hand, are general in nature, and transient sensations do in another sense find correction within them. This notion of perception as abduction has received periodic revivals in artificial intelligence and cognitive science research, most recently for instance with the work of Irvin Rock on indirect perception.
James maintained that the empirically observed "directly apprehended universe needs James' "radical empiricism" is thus not radical in the context of the term "empiricism", but is instead fairly consistent with the modern use of the term " empirical ".
His method of argument in arriving at this view, however, still readily encounters debate within philosophy even today. John Dewey — modified James' pragmatism to form a theory known as instrumentalism. The role of sense experience in Dewey's theory is crucial, in that he saw experience as unified totality of things through which everything else is interrelated.
Yalom misses this point, although it is implicit in his formulation of the novelistic situation. Justice and charity, even supposing we can agree on a single definition of what they might be, are incommensurable on the face of it.
This is a fundamental problem. The two criteria or virtues, or values are contrary, although not necessarily contradictory, aspects of what philosophers call the Good. As such there is no rational way to make a 'trade-off' between these two criteria of the Good in any real situation.
Until the two terns can be somehow reconciled, justice and charity remain abstract and ethically sterile. The role of theology is precisely to create such a reconciliation between contrary Goods. It does this not by creating an image of God in human form, but by probing for a 'bigger' criterion of the Good which includes both justice and charity, in the manner say that Relativity Physics includes Newtonian Physics as a special case, or the way in which Euler's Theorem unifies radically different universes of numbers in mathematics.
The image that theology creates, therefore, is not of humanity writ cosmically large, but of individual human beings unified with each other in community. The greater the number of people involved, the more difficult the problem of unification, and the closer one comes to that unachievable asymptote, theologically termed 'God'.
The problem being addressed in theology is precisely that raised as paradox by Yalom: the status of the individual in a community and the status of a community in a larger community.
Theology, done right, doesn't attempt to be interest-free but interest-inclusive. The image created by theological investigation is also, therefore, not that of any random or arbitrary human being but the specific human being called by Emmanuel Levinas the Other.
This Other, whether a person or another community, is the principal locus of divine revelation and, consequently, of the concrete meaning of justice and charity.
More theology, more sweeping up of the refuse that is humanity, not less, is the solution to the Spinoza Problem. Log out of ReadCube. Volume 82 , Issue 1. Please check your email for instructions on resetting your password.
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