Baruch Spinoza citations

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Baruch Spinoza

Date de naissance: 24. novembre 1632
Date de décès: 21. février 1677
Autres noms:Baruch de Spinoza

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Baruch Spinoza, également connu sous les noms de Baruch d'Espinoza d'après sa signature, Bento de Espinosa ou Benedictus de Spinoza, né le 24 novembre 1632 à Amsterdam et mort le 21 février 1677 à La Haye, est un philosophe néerlandais d'origine ibérique dont la pensée eut une influence considérable sur ses contemporains et nombre de penseurs postérieurs.

Issu d'une famille juive marrane portugaise ayant fui l'Inquisition, Spinoza fut un héritier critique du cartésianisme. Il prit ses distances vis-à-vis de toute pratique religieuse, mais non envers la réflexion théologique, grâce à ses nombreux contacts interreligieux. Après sa mort, le spinozisme connut une influence durable et fut largement mis en débat. L'œuvre de Spinoza entretient en effet une relation critique avec les positions traditionnelles des religions révélées que constituent le judaïsme, le christianisme et l'islam.

Si sa doctrine repose sur une définition de Dieu, suivie d'une démonstration de son existence et de son unicité et propose une religion rationnelle, Spinoza fut à tort couramment compris comme un auteur athée et irréligieux. En effet, ses conceptions théologiques qui relèvent du panthéisme, mais aussi sa conception historiciste de la rédaction de la Bible, tendent à s'opposer aux dogmes religieux de la transcendance divine et d'une révélation surnaturelle.

Gilles Deleuze le surnommait le « Prince des philosophes », tandis que Nietzsche le qualifiait de « précurseur », notamment en raison de son refus de la téléologie. D'après Hegel, « Spinoza est un point crucial dans la philosophie moderne. L'alternative est : Spinoza ou pas de philosophie. »

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Citations Baruch Spinoza

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„Mais il est des gens qui croient que la fiction est limitée par la fiction, et non par l'intelligence; c'est-à-dire qu'après avoir feint une chose, et avoir affirmé, par un acte libre de la volonté, l'existence de cette chose, déterminée d'une certaine manière dans la nature, il ne nous est plus possible de la concevoir autrement. Par exemple, après avoir feint (pour parler leur langage) que la nature du corps est telle ou telle, il ne m'est plus permis de feindre une mouche infinie; après avoir feint l'essence de l'âme, il ne m'est plus permis d'en faire un carré, etc.
Cela a besoin d'être examiné. D'abord, ou bien ils nient, ou bien ils accordent que nous pouvons comprendre quelque chose. L'accordent-ils; ce qu'ils disent de la fiction, ils devront nécessairement le dire aussi de l'intelligence. Le nient-ils; voyons donc, nous qui savons que nous savons quelque chose, ce qu'ils disent. Or, voici ce qu'ils disent : l'âme est capable de sentir et de percevoir de plusieurs manières, non pas elle-même, non pas les choses qui existent, mais seulement les choses qui ne sont ni en elle-même ni ailleurs : en un mot, l'âme, par sa seule vertu, peut créer des sensations, des idées, sans rapport avec les choses, à ce point qu'ils la considèrent presque comme un dieu. Ils disent donc que notre âme possède une telle liberté qu'elle a le pouvoir et de nous contraindre et de se contraindre elle-même et de contraindre jusqu'à sa liberté elle-même. En effet, lorsque l'âme a feint quelque chose et qu'elle a donné son assentiment à cette fiction, il ne lui est plus possible de se représenter ou de feindre la même chose d'une manière différente; et en outre, elle se trouve condamnée à se représenter toutes choses de façon qu'elles soient en accord avec la fiction primitive. C'est ainsi que nos adversaires se trouvent obligés par leur propre fiction d'accepter toutes les absurdités qu'on vient d'énumérer, et que nous ne prendrons pas la peine de combattre par des démonstrations.“

— Baruch Spinoza
On the Improvement of the Understanding

„I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor!“

— Baruch Spinoza
Context: I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor! I hardly knew Spinoza : that I should have turned to him just now, was inspired by "instinct". Not only is his overtendency like mine — namely, to make all knowledge the most powerful affect — but in five main points of his doctrine I recognize myself; this most unusual and loneliest thinker is closest to me precisely in these matters : he denies the freedom of the will, teleology, the moral world-order, the unegoistic, and evil. Even though the divergencies are admittedly tremendous, they are due more to the difference in time, culture, and science. In summa: my lonesomeness, which, as on very high mountains, often made it hard for me to breathe and make my blood rush out, is now at least a twosomeness. Strange! Friedrich Nietzsche, in a postcard to Franz Overbeck, Sils-Maria (30 July 1881) as translated by Walter Kaufmann in The Portable Nietzsche (1954)

„Of all heroes, Spinoza was Einstein's greatest.“

— Baruch Spinoza
Context: Of all heroes, Spinoza was Einstein's greatest. No one expressed more strongly than he a belief in the harmony, the beauty, and, most of all, the ultimate comprehensibility of nature. John Archibald Wheeler, in "Albert Einstein in Biographical Memoirs Vol. 51, by the National Academy of Sciences

„Through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Bruno's ideas were widely imparted, borrowed, sounded ; almost never, though, with the name Giordano Bruno attached to them.“

— Baruch Spinoza
Context: Through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Bruno's ideas were widely imparted, borrowed, sounded; almost never, though, with the name Giordano Bruno attached to them. Kepler once chided Galileo for omitting his debt to Bruno; yet, we can discern Kepler's own indifference … Later generations would evoke Bruno's writings to the phrase, without quoting or acknowledging him. Recent scholarship on Spinoza, for example, cites Bruno's powerful exertion on his thought about infinity and on his style. Never does Spinoza cite Bruno by name. Bill Kuhns, on the dangers to Spinoza and others, of citing Giordano Bruno as an influence, after his execution as a heretic, in "Giordano Bruno and Marshall McLuhan" in McLuhan Studies Issue 2 (1996) http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/mcluhan-studies/v1_iss2/1_2art5.htm

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„Perfection and imperfection are names which do not differ much from the names beauty and ugliness.“

— Baruch Spinoza
Context: Beauty, my dear Sir, is not so much a quality of the object beheld, as an effect in him who beholds it. If our sight were longer or shorter, or if our constitution were different, what now appears beautiful to us would seem misshapen, and what we now think misshapen we should regard as beautiful. The most beautiful hand seen through the microscope will appear horrible. Some things are beautiful at a distance, but ugly near; thus things regarded in themselves, and in relation to God, are neither ugly nor beautiful. Therefore, he who says that God has created the world, so that it might be beautiful, is bound to adopt one of the two alternatives, either that God created the world for the sake of men's pleasure and eyesight, or else that He created men's pleasure and eyesight for the sake of the world. Now, whether we adopt the former or the latter of these views, how God could have furthered His object by the creation of ghosts, I cannot see. Perfection and imperfection are names which do not differ much from the names beauty and ugliness.<!--p. 382 Letter to Hugo Boxel (Oct. 1674) The Chief Works of Benedict de Spinoza (1891) Tr. R. H. M. Elwes, Vol. 2, Letter 58 (54).

„Nature offers nothing that can be called this man's rather than another's ; but, under nature, everything belongs to all — that is, they have authority to claim it for themselves.“

— Baruch Spinoza
Context: Nature offers nothing that can be called this man's rather than another's; but, under nature, everything belongs to all — that is, they have authority to claim it for themselves. But, under dominion, where it is by common law determined what belongs to this man, and what to that, he is called just who has a constant will to render to every man his own, but he, unjust who strives, on the contrary, to make his own that which belongs to another. Ch. 2, Of Natural Right

„If slavery, barbarism and desolation are to be called peace, men can have no worse misfortune.“

— Baruch Spinoza
Context: If slavery, barbarism and desolation are to be called peace, men can have no worse misfortune. No doubt there are usually more and sharper quarrels between parents and children, than between masters and slaves; yet it advances not the art of household management to change a father's right into a right of property, and count children but as slaves. Slavery, then, and not peace, is furthered by handing the whole authority to one man. Ch. 6, On Monarchy

„Woe to him who in passing should hurl an insult at this gentle and pensive head. He would be punished, as all vulgar souls are punished, by his very vulgarity, and by his incapacity to conceive what is divine.“

— Baruch Spinoza
Context: Woe to him who in passing should hurl an insult at this gentle and pensive head. He would be punished, as all vulgar souls are punished, by his very vulgarity, and by his incapacity to conceive what is divine. This man, from his granite pedestal, will point out to all men the way of blessedness which he found; and ages hence, the cultivated traveler, passing by this spot, will say in his heart, "The truest vision ever had of God came, perhaps, here." Ernest Renan, at the dedication of a statue to Spinoza in 1882, as quoted in The Story of Philosophy (1962) http://caute.net.ru/spinoza/aln/durant.htm by Will Durant

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„Of Bruno, as of Spinoza, it may be said that he was "God-intoxicated."“

— Baruch Spinoza
Context: Of Bruno, as of Spinoza, it may be said that he was "God-intoxicated." He felt that the Divine Excellence had its abode in the very heart of Nature and within his own body and spirit. Indwelling in every dewdrop as in the innumerable host of heaven, in the humblest flower and in the mind of man, he found the living spirit of God, setting forth the Divine glory, making the Divine perfection and inspiring with the Divine love. William Boulting, in Giordano Bruno: His Life, Thought, and Martyrdom (1916) online excerpt http://www.class.uidaho.edu/mickelsen/texts/Bruno's%20Eroici.htm

„Spinoza avers that blessedness comes only from a certain kind of knowledge—specifically, the "knowledge of the union that the mind has with the whole of Nature."“

— Baruch Spinoza
Context: Like Socrates, Spinoza avers that blessedness comes only from a certain kind of knowledge—specifically, the "knowledge of the union that the mind has with the whole of Nature." ... the life of contemplation is also a life within a certain type of community—specifically, a fellowship of the mind. Like Socrates with his circle of debating partners, or Epicurus in his garden with his intellectual companions, Spinoza imagines a philosophical future... upon achieving blessedness for himself, he announces in his first treatise, his first step is "to form a society... so that as many as possible may attain it as easily and as surely as possible." For, "the highest good," he claims, is to achieve salvation together with other individuals "if possible." Matthew Stewart, The Courtier and the Heretic (2006)

„Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.“

— Baruch Spinoza
Context: The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another. Albert Einstein, in The World as I See It (1949) http://books.google.com/books?id=ZpdlRg2IJUcC&pg=PT32&dq=%22en+like+Democritus,+Francis+of+Assisi,+and+Spinoza+are+closely+akin+to+one+another%22&hl=en&ei=-J7LTqqNJaG90AHAir0E&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CGYQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=%22en%20like%20Democritus%2C%20Francis%20of%20Assisi%2C%20and%20Spinoza%20are%20closely%20akin%20to%20one%20another%22&f=false

„He fell well short of mastering the art of demonstration; he had only a mediocre knowledge of analysis and geometry; what he knew best was to make lenses for microscopes.“

— Baruch Spinoza
Context: Regarding Spinoza, whom M. Arnauld has called the most impious and most dangerous man of this century, he was truly an Atheist, [i. e., ] he allowed absolutely no Providence dispensing rewards and punishments according to justice.... The God he puts on parade is not like ours; he has no intellect or will.... He fell well short of mastering the art of demonstration; he had only a mediocre knowledge of analysis and geometry; what he knew best was to make lenses for microscopes. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, letter to Count Ernst von Hessen-Rheinfels (Aug. 14, 1683) in Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: Sämtliche Schriften und Briefe (1923-) II.ii. p. 535, as translated by Matthew Stewart, The Courtier and the Heretic (2006) pp. 228-229.

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