De Tao van Spinoza?


In het verlengde van het blog
over het artikel van Jason Dockstader, wijs ik hier op een
kort artikel van Daan Oostveen, "Spinoza, Daoism and the
mind-body problem." Hij geeft daarin een sumier, maar aardig overzicht van
het mind-body-problem, het zgn. 'hard problem' zoals geformuleerd
door David Chalmers, bekritiseert Dick Swaab's We zijn ons brein,
is met Chalmers van mening dat het zgn. 'neutral monism' met z'n
'aspectionisme' het meest veelbelovend is om de
lichaam-geest-thematiek te bestuderen en behandelt in dat kader kort
Spinoza's aanpak die hij vergelijkt met het Daoisme.

De slotalinea's luiden:

"Daoism offers an answer to
the mind-body problem very much like Spinozas. Just as I equated the
ineffable ontological core of the Spinozist substance to the
ineffable Tao, the infinite attributes are very much like Te
in Daoism. Te is expression of Tao, just as the attributes are
perspectives on substance . Mind and matter are both just ways
of expression. They intertwine incessantly in the power struggle of
nature. None of these expressions are real in the ontological sense.
They are just expressions that arise from nature and will fade away

Like David Chalmers, I believe
that neutral monism is a very strong candidate against the
materialist mainstream. In a time where materialism has been adopted
as the mainstream position, it is important to point out that
materialism is a metaphysical position just as any other. Eastern
philosophy never had much feeling for materialism. It turns out that
Daoism at least can be safely interpreted as a neutral monism. The
understanding of mind in Spinoza, Daoism and other neutral monist
philosophies should be given more attention. We will likely gain more
insight on the mind by leaving the materialist mainstream and
investigate other metaphysical candidates."