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language's problem to quincy

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  • Gabriel Leitão
    Hello, Quincy I m sorry for so big delay. I ve been very busy, but this doesn t mean that I m not interesting in a discussion. I m sorry for the erros in my
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 19, 2004
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      Hello, Quincy

      I'm sorry for so big delay. I've been very busy, but this doesn't mean that I'm not interesting in a discussion. I'm sorry for the erros in my english too. I won't can revise them now.

      You ask me about details of the "theory of the language". What can I say concisely? The basic problem is that Spinoza said in the second part of his Ethics (and also in the Intelectus Ementadione) that the first kind of knowledge, the imagination, includes the knowledge for vague experience and the knowledge for signs. Well, we know that the first kind of knowledge is "the only cause of falsity" and that it expresses always inadequate ideas.
      In several moments, along all his work, he says that is very important distinguish ideas, words and images.
      The question is: although he had said that, he just cannot be saying that. It is absolutely necessary that he is meaning that there is a certain use of words that isn't first kind of knowledge. Words must express, at least in some ocasions (for example when he is writing his "Ethics"), the true knowledge, the true philosophy. In this case, they cannot be simple inadequate signs, but a real representation of the world and the thought.

      My research is to present how it is possible, how can the signs leave their false origin and dispose themselves by the order of intelect.
      The first point is: inadequation is not still falsity. Is totaly possible, and Spinoza often says this, that a imagination, although inadequate, doen'st bring with it falsity. In this case, I mean, it has a neutral truth value.
      The second point is to present the crossing toward the second kind of knowledge.

      Of course it is very very resumed. I can explain more detaily if you want and I will be very grateful if you or someone else has something or some indication that I could use.

      Answering your question, my academic area of study is philosphy, but I love languages, literature and music too. And you?
      I'm sorry for this question, but once english is not my native language, my "ears" don't know if "Quincy" is a masculine or female name. Where do you write from?

      bye
      Gabriel
      Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: arqueware
      To: spinoza-ethics@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 3:32 PM
      Subject: [spinoza-ethics] Re: Hi


      Gabriel, i'd be pleased to help you in your research and to 'exchange'
      ideas (and help with your written english as needed ;-)

      you can start by describing the details of this 'theory of the
      language' in order to fuel the discussion. also, your area of study
      (filosofia, lenguas, linguistics) may be helpful to know.

      i have just finished reading Book 1 in detail, and am beginning Book
      2. i would very much like your input.

      quincy

      --- In spinoza-ethics@yahoogroups.com, Gabriel Leitão
      <gabrielgrupos@i...> wrote:
      > Hi, people!
      > My name is Gabriel and I am from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
      > How you will can see, I think my english is not very good, but I
      can read very well.
      >
      > I have a research about Spinoza's Ethics in the Universidade do
      Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). My research is about the second part
      of the Ethics, about a certain "theory of the language", that isn't
      expressed, but that have to exist there.
      > I don't know who exactly are you, what do you do, where do you
      live. I'd like know others people around the world that are
      interesting in Spinozas's thought. Maybe we can change many ideas.
      >
      > You can write to me here in the list, or privately, if you
      prefer. I can read english, german, french, spanish and, of course,
      portuguese.
      >
      > thank you very much
      > Gabriel Leitão
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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    • William Thomas Sherman
      Hello to all, I just recently finished a tract entitled On Form and Desire: An Epistemological Excursion, which some of you may find relevant and of
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 20, 2004
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        Hello to all,

        I just recently finished a tract entitled "On Form and Desire: An
        Epistemological Excursion," which some of you may find relevant and of
        interest.

        You can download it from my website at:

        http://www.angelfire.com/d20/htfh

        Or the text itself at

        http://www.angelfire.com/d20/htfh/formdesire.rtf

        I have to think it is somewhat a work-in-progress so I respectfully welcome corrections and suggestions.

        Sincerely,

        WTS



        --
        William Thomas Sherman
        1604 Nw 70th St.
        Seattle, WA 98117
        206-784-1132
        gunjones1@...

        Home Page: http://www.angelfire.com/d20/htfh



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • ethel jean saltz
        I think what I m thinking and writing about in web groups is this and it has to do with the subject, I think ;) I ve pondered my unique experience. I ve never
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 20, 2004
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          I think what I'm thinking and writing about in web groups is this and it
          has to do with the subject, I think ;)

          I've pondered my unique experience. I've never studied ETHICS with any
          one like myself. I read ETHICS first, then TPT. In the first ETHICS
          group about 10 years ago, I was annoyed because they kept on bringing up
          TPT, which they had previously studied, and let Spinoza's true
          personality be that of TPT. The second time, we read TPT together then
          ETHICS. The same results. It actually hurt my brain. Even though the
          translator of TPT in his intro felt it necessary to give a review of
          ETHICS. These were very educated folks. I will add that both events
          were within the Jewish community, Jewish Community Center and a Reform
          Judaism temple.

          Now take the Abrahamic Faith. I've studied and keyword searched with
          appropriate software all 4, O.T. A. N.T. Q. As a result of participating
          in Talmud Torah and the Yahoo group Ancient Bible History and following
          David Rohl, I find that I prefer to begin the Abrahamic Faith Bible
          (library) with Deuteronomy. Just like my Spinoza experience, this hurts
          others' brains.

          I also have a familiarity with Hebrew. One word in Hebrew requires a
          phrase in English which means the introduction of spaces. Don't you
          think the fact that Spinoza wrote a very popular (in his time) Hebrew
          grammar would be significant? In fact, I would just love to get a
          translation into English of his Hebrew grammar book. Maybe someone will
          do this for a Ph.D.


          >
          > 1. language's problem to quincy
          > From: Gabriel Leitão <gabrielgrupos@...>
          >
          > ________________________________________________________________________


          --
          Ethel Jean Saltz, be-emet oo-ve-ahavah oo-ve-shalom
          I will NOT submit, MMMMMR;) Jews Created God
          Let's discuss the afterlife
          mailto:nietgal@...
        • Terry Neff
          Hello, Gabriel and All, ... This question of words and images involving the first kind of knowledge and how they might relate to the second or even third kinds
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 21, 2004
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            Hello, Gabriel and All,

            >...
            > In several moments, along all his work, he says that is very important
            > distinguish ideas, words and images.
            > The question is: although he had said that, he just cannot be saying
            > that.

            > It is absolutely necessary that he is meaning that there is a certain
            > use of words that isn't first kind of knowledge. Words must express,
            > at least in some ocasions (for example when he is writing his "Ethics"),
            > the true knowledge, the true philosophy. In this case, they cannot be
            > simple inadequate signs, but a real representation of the world and
            > the thought.

            This question of words and images involving the first kind of knowledge
            and how they might relate to the second or even third kinds of knowledge as
            Spinoza defines them leads me to look at just how Spinoza does define the
            various kinds of knowledge:

            ======== E2: PROP. 40, Note 2:
            --From all that has been said above it is clear, that we, in many cases,
            perceive and form our general notions:--

            [First Kind, Imagination:]
            From particular things represented to our intellect fragmentarily,
            confusedly, and without order through our senses (E2P29C); I have settled to
            call such perceptions by the name of knowledge from the mere suggestions of
            experience.

            From symbols, e.g., from the fact of having read or heard certain words we
            remember things and form certain ideas concerning them, similar to those
            through which we imagine things (E2P18N). I shall call both these ways of
            regarding things knowledge of the first kind, opinion, or imagination.

            [Second Kind, Reason:]
            From the fact that we have notions common to all men, and adequate ideas of
            the properties of things (E2P38C, E2P39, E2P39C, and E2P40); this I call
            reason and knowledge of the second kind.

            [Third Kind, Intuition:]
            Besides these two kinds of knowledge, there is, as I will hereafter show, a
            third kind of knowledge, which we will call intuition. This kind of
            knowledge proceeds from an adequate idea of the absolute essence of certain
            attributes of God to the adequate knowledge of the essence of things.

            [An Illustration of all three kinds:]
            I will illustrate all three kinds of knowledge by a single example. Three
            numbers are given for finding a fourth, which shall be to the third as the
            second is to the first. Tradesmen without hesitation multiply the second by
            the third, and divide the product by the first; either because they have not
            forgotten the rule which they received from a master without any proof, or
            because they have often made trial of it with simple numbers, or by virtue
            of the proof of the nineteenth proposition of the seventh book of Euclid,
            namely, in virtue of the general property of proportionals.

            But with very simple numbers there is no need of this. For instance, one,
            two, three, being given, everyone can see that the fourth proportional is
            six; and this is much clearer, because we infer the fourth number from an
            intuitive grasping of the ratio, which the first bears to the second.
            ========

            In the example is he not saying that tradesmen may know how to get the
            correct answer, without necessarily understanding why it is correct, by
            using the first kind of knowledge to repeat a series of steps (the rule)
            which they have received from someone else and that they are able to do so
            either because they remember the rule as a series of words which are
            associated with the manipulations of the given numbers or because they have
            made trial as to how they might manipulate the numbers for a simple case
            where they already know the answer and thereby reconstruct the rule in order
            that they may apply it to the case at hand? I just now did something like
            this myself where I remembered the words "The product of the means equals
            the product of the extremes" and then I took a known case and saw that I
            could derive the rule for finding the unknown. For example 1:2 as 3:6. Here
            I can see that if I multiply 2x3 (named the "means", if memory recalls) and
            1x6 (the "extremes") the results are equal and that further, if any one
            number is not know it can be found by dividing the known product, by the
            known multiplier of the unknown number. So by having remembered the words
            representing one fact, and applying it to a known example, I have
            reconstructed the rule which I can now apply to any similar problem of
            proportionals at hand. Still, I do not necessarily understand why this
            procedure works.

            In this case I knew the answer to the given problem because the motion
            and rest of my senses had previously impressed on my brain the sound and/or
            sight of the words (that is, I heard or read these symbols) --"The product
            of the means equals the product of the extremes"-- and, having been
            previously presented with each of the words ("means", "extremes", "product",
            etc.) and some associated images, I knew (also by the first kind of
            knowledge) how to arrive at the product of two numbers and how to then
            divide that by another number and arrive at the answer. Spinoza says of this
            kind of knowledge in the TEI: "In the same way I know that a dog is a
            barking animal, man a rational animal, and in fact nearly all the practical
            knowledge of life." But I suspect that most of us, even when we read
            Spinoza's writings, more often just assume that we are using the second kind
            of knowledge. I think we would all agree however that a person may read over
            and over the Ethics to the point that they can repeat it back word for word
            and even answer simple questions and yet that is no guarantee that they will
            have any Understanding of what they have read.

            Now, what about the second kind of knowledge? Spinoza says of it "From
            the fact that we have notions common to all men, and adequate ideas of the
            properties of things (E2P38C, E2P39, E2P39C, and E2P40)" Look at the earlier
            propositions he refers to:

            =========
            E2: PROP. 38. Those things, which are common to all, and which are equally
            in a part and in the whole, cannot be conceived except adequately.

            E2: PROP. 38, Corollary.--Hence it follows that there are certain ideas or
            notions common to all men.

            E2: PROP. 39. That, which is common to and a property of the human body and
            such other bodies as are wont to affect the human body, and which is present
            equally in each part of either, or in the whole, will be represented by an
            adequate idea in the mind.

            E2: PROP. 39, Corollary.--Hence it follows that the mind is fitted to
            perceive adequately more things, in proportion as its body has more in
            common with other bodies.

            E2: PROP 40. Whatsoever ideas in the mind follow from ideas which are
            therein adequate, are also themselves adequate.
            =========

            What are these "notions common to all men" and which themselves can only
            be conceived adequately? They are NOT "general notions" as illustrated in
            the first note to Prop. 40 such as "man", "horse", "dog", etc. and of which
            Spinoza says; "We must, however, bear in mind, that these general notions
            are not formed by all men in the same way, but vary in each individual
            according as the point varies, whereby the body has been most often affected
            and which the mind most easily imagines or remembers." Motion and rest are,
            for example, such properties which Spinoza identifies as common to all
            bodies and which "cannot be conceived except adequately" however, we have to
            be careful not to confuse some particular imagination/memory of ours
            involving motion and rest (such as looking out the window at people walking
            by) with the adequate Idea of motion and rest. He said earlier in writing
            about memory (E2P18N): "... I say, secondly, that this association arises
            according to the order and association of the modifications of the human
            body, in order to distinguish it from that association of ideas, which
            arises from the order of the intellect, whereby the mind perceives things
            through their primary causes, and which is in all men the same." These
            notions common to all men and which are conceived adequately are in all men
            the same while the particular imagination/memory of each man differs one
            from another.

            In the example Spinoza used in Note 2 to Prop. 40 above to illustrate
            each of the three kinds of knowledge he referred to "the proof of the
            nineteenth proposition of the seventh book of Euclid" and it seems clear to
            me that he meant this to represent the second kind of knowledge. Notice that
            he refers to the PROOF of this proposition, not the statement of the
            proposition itself. I remembered the statement (well, a form of the
            statement) as "The product of the means equals..." It is stated more closely
            to the original as; "If four numbers are proportional, then the number
            produced from the first and fourth equals the number produced from the
            second and third; and, if the number produced from the first and fourth
            equals that produced from the second and third, then the four numbers are
            proportional." Here is one place you can examine this proposition and its
            proof (a great site by the way!):

            http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/java/elements/elements.html

            Just as in "The Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order", to follow the
            proofs of the propositions in Euclid we are referred back to some earlier
            propositions and their proofs, which we've already examined, and so on to
            other elements clear back to the definitions and axioms and we will find
            that all of these propositions rest on and follow from "notions common to
            all men" and which notions "cannot be conceived except adequately." Now
            again, one could just remember the statement (words) of the nineteenth
            proposition of the seventh book of Euclid and, by the first kind of
            knowledge, without any understanding, arrive at the answer when confronted
            with a problem involving an unknown number in a proportional relation.

            Do you now see the distinction Spinoza points to between words, images,
            and Ideas?

            We might also consider:

            ======= E2: PROP. 44, Corollary 2:
            --It is in the nature of reason to perceive things under a certain form of
            eternity (sub quadam aeternitatis specie).

            Proof.--It is in the nature of reason to regard things, not as contingent,
            but as necessary (E2P44). Reason perceives this necessity of things (E2P41)
            truly--that is (E1A6), as it is in itself. But (E1P16) this necessity of
            things is the very necessity of the eternal nature of God; therefore, it is
            in the nature of reason to regard things under this form of eternity. We may
            add that the bases of reason are the notions (E2P38), which answer to things
            common to all, and which (E2P37) do not answer to the essence of any
            particular thing: which must therefore be conceived without any relation to
            time, under a certain form of eternity.
            =======

            Adequate Ideas do not depend, as words and images do, on some particular
            arrangement of the modifications of our particular body.

            Regards,
            Terry
          • Terry Neff
            Hi Ethel, ... I don t see that a study of Hebrew grammar would help anyone understand Spinoza s Ethics though it might help them follow what he wrote in the
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 21, 2004
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              Hi Ethel,

              >...
              > I also have a familiarity with Hebrew. One word in Hebrew requires a
              > phrase in English which means the introduction of spaces. Don't you
              > think the fact that Spinoza wrote a very popular (in his time) Hebrew
              > grammar would be significant? In fact, I would just love to get a
              > translation into English of his Hebrew grammar book. Maybe someone will
              > do this for a Ph.D.
              >...

              I don't see that a study of Hebrew grammar would help anyone understand
              Spinoza's Ethics though it might help them follow what he wrote in the TPT.
              Of course Spinoza said that he wrote the TPT to help those Philosophers
              "...whose philosophy is hampered by the belief that Reason is a mere
              handmaid to Theology, and whom I seek in this work especially to benefit."

              Anyway, Spinoza's "Hebrew Grammar" has been translated into English by
              Maurice J. Bloom and published by the Philosophical Library, 1964. This
              translation is also included in:

              "Spinoza - Complete Works"
              Translations by Samuel Shirley
              [except for "The Short Treatise" (A. Wolf) and "Hebrew Grammar" (M.J. Bloom,
              as noted above) both of which are also included.]
              Hackett Publishing Company, Inc -(c)2002

              Regards,
              Terry
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