Hierbij verwijs ik in deze kleine serie over 'Big History' en Spinoza? [1, 2, 3] naar een aantal korte video's van Rebecca Newberger Goldstein waarnaar ik in een blog van 26 juni 2010 al eens verwees. Daaruit citeer ik de volgende alinea's
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein: It is surprising how Spinoza has really popped up again. He has been resuscitated, and I keep getting more and more invitations to talk on Spinoza, to publish chapters and anthologies on Spinoza. When I was coming up through graduate school and was a young assistant professor, Spinoza was really out of fashion. You know, he is a metaphysician. He tries to deduce the nature of the world through pure reason. This is very out of fashion and, you know, for good reason actually. We need science. We need empirical evidence. We can’t just use mathematical reasoning to deduce the nature of the world. However, the man’s intuitions were astonishing in so many different fields, in cosmology, in neuroscience and certainly in philosophy. His intuitions, forget the crazy arguments he gives for everything, his intuitions are being vindicated time and time again. You know but of course Einstein is probably the most famous Spinozist. He loved the man. He wrote a terrible poem in German you know that begins, “How much do I love this holy man?” “Words cannot tell.” It’s so there is something about Spinoza that inspires in many and certainly in me a tremendous love.
Well you know he redefines God so that it means something like the final theory of everything, the final theory that we won’t be able to get to. There is a kind of incompleteness theorem in Spinoza that we won’t be able to get to, but know that explanations go all the way down. The world… If we understood what the world was we would see why these laws of nature have to prevail and why the world had to exist the way it does and why it had to exist and that’s his notion of God. It’s really and that’s why a few string theorists have told me after they read my book, “Oh yeah, I’m a Spinozist too.” You know I believe explanation goes all the… You know that story about how it’s turtles all the way down. Well it’s explanation all the way down even though we won’t get to it because the explanations are infinite and we’re finite and that’s Spinoza’s guide.
[Van hier, met transcriptie]