Anthony Kenny over Spinoza – a philosopher I have a very great respect for


Anthony KennyJulian Baggini had eind vorige maand in The Philosophers’s Magazine een interview met Anthony Kenny, “one of the towering figures of late twentieth century British philosophy”.

Kenny zegt daarin ook iets over Spinoza dat ik hier citeer:

“Spinoza, who is a philosopher I have a very great respect for, constantly speaks of deus sive natura – god or nature – and you can either take this as meaning that he took nature as a revelation of God, in which case he’s a kind of god-intoxicated man; or he thinks that all god can mean is nature, and then he’s just adopting a type of reverential attitude towards nature. But I think if you start from the nature end rather than the God end, the history of evolution is not very satisfactorily explained by the total absence of any kind of design – not only evolutionary beings but the cosmological constants and so on. There seems to me to be a difficulty for people who want to say there’s nothing more than the material universe. And I also think in a kind of Spinozistic way that even just nature as it reveals itself in history is something that should provoke our awe and in a way gratitude. So, as it were, instead of starting from the God end and stripping off the clothes and showing that it’s just naked nature, one could start with nature and think that perhaps that deserves some of the reactions that people have made to God.

More recently I have been saying that though I believe religions are not literally true, that they have a great poetic value and that philosophers have not really done enough about reflecting about poetic kinds of meaningfulness and how they fit into science on the one hand, and how one should live one’s life on the other."

Die behoefte aan 'a kind of design' bevalt me niet echt – Spinoza kon zonder – en trouwens hoeveel verbeelding zit er niet in alle orde en 'ontwerp' die we zien? Voor de zgn. 'cosmological constants' (die niet toevallig vaak als 'antropic' worden aangeduid) is er ook geen enkele noodzaak een 'ontwerper' aan te nemen (men kan eruit ook tot mogelijke multi universums komen). Maar ik vind verder wel boeiend wat hij zegt.