How relevant is Spinoza for systems theory

181 Community and society in the light of Spinoza's philosophy1 I examine the topic at the intersection of two methodological approaches that arise from the background of my previous scientific work. On the one hand, this takes place on the background of a largely elaborated subject theory, using the approaches of cultural-historical theory (Vygotskij, Lurija, Leont'ev) and their systematic connection with various theoretical approaches of developmental and personality psychology, which have previously been unconnected and which in a common background theory had to be homogenized (cf. Jantzen, 1987, 1990, 1991). Through Vygotsky I came across Spinoza's philosophy, within which Vygotsky sees the systematic point of reference for the possibility of a developed scientific psychology. Second: The so-called Singer Debate has been taking place in the Federal Republic for about four years, during which the right to life of severely disabled people was put up for discussion. In dealing with the arguments presented there, I tried to understand what the conditions of the possibility for this debate are from an inner-philosophical point of view. In other words, I came across the question of how specific expressions of ethics are related to constructions of philosophy as a whole. I am currently investigating this in a lecture, based on Spinoza's philosophy and contrasting or supporting by using Kant, Hegel, Bergson, to name a few important names. So these are the two starting points from which I approach the subject. 1 lecture at the 1st Bergkirchen workshop of the Spinoza Society, May 1993. 182 II Disability and Field of Power As a deciphering method I use the constructivist method presented by Spinoza himself in the treatise on the improvement of the understanding (TIE), in which object and tool have to mutually change their function in the process of gaining knowledge (1977, p. 14), i.e. a method that examines a systematic relationship between the individual aspects of the overall system and (as Vygotskij, 1985 worked out in more detail) the respective theory is also examined from the point of view of the other theory. So I read my previous theoretical results from the point of view of Spinoza and these in turn based on my own theory of the subject area, which is based on Vygotsky. Against this background, it seems to me that the most important text for our question about the relationship between community and society in the light of Spinoza's philosophy is the fourth part of Ethics (1989). After the ontology is laid out in Part I of Ethics, which describes the space of objectively possible knowledge, in Parts II and III, with the theory of knowledge and the theory of affects, the theoretical prerequisites are created in order to be able to use real people in real social relationships Possibility of reflecting on their becoming rational. And this is exactly what Part IV undertakes. Part IV of ethics thus brings epistemology (as a theory of cognition) together with the theory of affects, by first describing the subjective space of imagination or, better, the subjective space-time, which - Thought strictly in the horizon of the present - variable is related to the transformation of the present into the possible future through the recourse to the past and its variability is also determined by the affective limits of its knowledge occupied by the subject. On the level of the imagination of the individual subject, psychic space-time is further determined by the unimaginability of time sequences that are far ahead and far back. These limitations and distortions of the subjective space of imagination can only be removed at the level of reason, in that sub specie aeternitates reason penetrates and reconstructs this process of imagination and thus homogenizes the space of knowledge. This would be inferred from the epistemology of the second part of ethics and from the treatise on the improvement of the understanding. But what 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 183 Community and society in the light of Spinoza's philosophy is the condition of the possibility that reason for this is even able and thus can reach the truth? In my opinion, this condition of possibility is recorded in Proposition 14, Part IV of Ethics, namely that the true knowledge of good and bad cannot inhibit an affect (on the level of the subjective space-time of the imagination, which has been dealt with up to then), provided that it is true, "but only insofar as it is viewed as affect." That is, cognitive truth and affective certainty coincide in the act of becoming rational. I paraphrase this with Hegel's remarks from Aesthetics on the relationship between beauty and truth. What is true is the idea "as it is as an idea according to its general principle and as such" (HW 13, p. 151), that is, in the coincidence of the adequacy of the idea and the existence of its object under the aspect of the action, according to Spinoza ( Ethics, Book 3). The mental affect, which, under the aspect of action, inhibits the affects of passions (Book 3, Definitions 2-3 and 3), can be deciphered as joy in the context of Spinoza's theory. Hegel identifies it in the context of truth and beauty as follows: “The truth that is as such also exists. Since it is immediately for consciousness in its external existence, and the concept remains immediately in unity with its external appearance, the idea is not only true, but beautiful. The beautiful is thereby determined as the sensual shining of the idea "(ibid.). It can be assumed that Spinoza thinks these connections in a comparable way. Such a theoretical decipherment also provides a key to the Theological Political Treatise (TTP), insofar as it is shown here without the knowledge of the second kind (as an analytical reconstruction of truth through reason) being understood as developed for the mass of the population, In such a constitutive act, which Spinoza calls moral certainty (TTP, chap. 15, p. 227), the knowledge of truth sub specie aeternitatis comes about. Since I have recognized "love your neighbor" as the only commandment and thus obedience to God is determined as the observance of this commandment, i.e. sub specie aeternitatis, at the same time, against ideological bondage, there is a hindrance and field of power by the worldly powers, which to entice others (role of false prophets, role of ceremonies, etc.) insofar as they act against the natural rights of people. Such natural rights do not appear directly, of course, but are mediated via divine law, which only begins in the social condition through an "express covenant" (TTP, chap. 16, p. 245) and via the "law of the state". Both find their limit in the effective natural power of human existence, more on that later. Now back to the affective-cognitive construction of theorem 14 in Part IV of Ethics, which is therefore extremely important for the new understanding of the role of religion in the TTP. However, this thought is of paramount importance in another respect as well. Since the order of ideas corresponds to the order of things (Proposition 7, Part II of Ethics), the transition between these orders must be thought and in the transition itself there must be criteria for truth. Truth can only exist where common terms are possible (ibid., Proposition 39 and 40). Common terms are only possible if the same regularities exist in other things as in myself. In my work, I am reflected in the things in the world and consequently also in the things that have the most in common with me, i.e. in other people. In this recursive, mutual development, in mirroring my activity in its effect on things - and in relation to people we could also say in dialogue - I reveal the truth to myself (through ideal construction) by acting from an adequate cause and Learn to avoid activities for inadequate causes. As a basis for this process, the modes of joy, sadness and desire are available to me as a form (Ethics, Part II, Principle 3) to give the content of the ideas the unity of truth. In this respect, an adequate interpretation of theorem 14 in Part IV of Ethics is also the key to your overall understanding. These considerations must be taken into account when we continue to follow the explanations of the fourth part. In the first 14 theorems of this part, the subjective imagination is spanned - that's how I spoke. It is a similar room as Bergson had in mind. It is characterized by duration and fluctuation. In the following theorems, starting with theorem 15, the fate of desires is attempted to be determined on this background, which result from different affects and which, by adhering to the 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 185 Community and society in the light of Spinoza's philosophy to fix objects, thus (to follow Leont'ev, 1979) in this way become motifs. What is the fate of desires as representational motifs in this room? This is the subject of the investigation. In the pursuit of this fate of desires it becomes clear at the same time that this space is thought of as self-organized by the Conatus, provided with an arrow of time. Here, too, there is a correspondence with Bergson's thinking, which defines this aspect with the category of elan vital (cf. Deleuze, 1989). Furthermore, there is a parallel to Leont'ev's category of meaning, which, as the affective dimension underlying the activity, produces the meanings in the confrontation with the objectivity of the world, as the objective side of the activity, and the actions about the activity (need-relevant side of the activity ) constituted (see Jantzen, 1994, chapter 4). Against this background, how does Spinoza arrive at a theory of community? First of all, since the common terms lead to the truth and the spirit itself, if it has adequate ideas, is happy, we can be happy about nothing more than that we recognize what has the greatest degree of communion with us. But these are other people - and especially if they live according to the guidance of reason (ethics, part IV, 35 and following sentence 1). In the treatise on the improvement of the understanding it is to be read, “The highest good, however, is to arrive at the fact that one may partake of such a nature with other individuals. But what kind of nature this nature is, we shall show at the appropriate place, namely that it is the knowledge of unity that connects the spirit with the whole of nature ”(TIE, p. 7). The "summum bonum" is thus determined as the knowledge of the unifying unity of the spirit, which we can share with all of nature, with other individuals. This idea is taken up again in Ethics (Part IV, Proposition 18) with the comment: “Therefore nothing is more useful to man than man; I say nothing more valuable, people can wish for the preservation of their being, than that everyone agrees on everything in such a way that the souls and bodies of all together form, as it were, a single soul and a single body We hereby point to a key point for understanding Spinoza's philosophy. I will try to decipher it as follows. Even if it is not possible for me to do it together with all people, I am still able to reach the summum bonum on the path of perfecting my personality by reasoning (insofar as this is affect!) Of God's love for people ( and thus to me!) as God's love for himself I will also partake of my self-love (cf. the arguments in Part V). God is not understood here as a construction that has been shifted into the hereafter, but, like everything that exists, as a sphere of meaning that exists strictly in the horizon of the present, in the fullness of being. So both as a present expression of the history of the entire universe (ethics, part I, 18 as well as in 10 note 2 the reference that there is "no before and no after" in the eternal) and as a condition of the possibility of the fullness of the good Relationships that are accessible to me (Ethics, Part V, see also Jantzen, 1994, p. 177 and Chapter 12). In the same way, thought under the condition of underdeveloped concepts, I can participate in the reality of God in religion. By the religious and political leaders, however, the act of truth can be falsified through imagination, i.e. through mere knowledge of hearsay and the wrong terms associated with it, but it is possible to gain moral certainty and thus to individual truth and to fundamental reference to the other To come to people with the recognition of "love your neighbor as yourself!", A recognition that must necessarily constitute truth and affect at the same time (cf. also Jantzen, 1994, chap. 10). This, then, is the space within which the problem of community is to be examined with Spinoza. And in this space both the aspired and realized community of individuals among one another as well as the community in society are to be examined. Now Spinoza is realist enough to recognize that a community is absolutely impossible for everyone in this way, as considered so far (i.e. regulated exclusively from the standpoint of reason or through true belief in God), is reserved for the golden age. There are differentiated relationships between the natural enmity of people, recorded in the Political Treatise (TP) with regard to Hobbes' way of thinking, and a universal community (both are - in Bergson's sense - "pure concepts"). In reality there arises 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 187 Community and society in the light of Spinoza's philosophy Enmity in the bosom of community and community in Shot of enmity (cf. the doctrine of affect in Part III of Ethics and the analysis of the Hebrew state in the TTP). In reality there is an empirical diversity of intermediate stages between enmity and universal community, in the mutual balancing of which human life could be secured in the best possible way. While the Political Treatise examines the conditions of possibility in the state, in the constitution, in the sphere of positive law, the explanations in Part IV, Theorem 31 of Ethics, together with its proofs and comments, prove to be the clarification of the community side of this process as highly significant. Spinoza uses the term "mutual help" (note 2), a term that can later also be found in Kropotkin, as the basic term for the needs of people drawn to different sides by their affects. The balancing of these contradictions between people in order to ensure peaceful coexistence, on the one hand, requires state constitution and, on the other hand, is specified by Spinoza in three ways as follows, a specification that throws light on his ideas of the inner dimensions of the community. Based on the analysis of sensible action, three types of desires are listed that lead to a friendly, sensible, and therefore really communal life. 1. It is first of all the idea of ​​God. I have already stated that this means the (affective-cognitive) reflection (sub specie aeternitatis) of my being as a possible human being in the (common) terms that others give me and together with others. 2. Then there is the desire to do others good, which arises from a life guided by reason and which Spinoza calls a sense of duty. I consider the translation of »pietas« with »sense of duty« (Meiner edition) to be more appropriate than with »piety« (Kröner edition, as well as Reclam / Leipzig), since the dialectic of »love your neighbor as yourself« and the only obedience owed to God from this, it is already determined that piety contains a certain duty, namely love of one's neighbor. 188 II Hindrance and Field of Power Since for Spinoza sensible action is ultimately determined from the desire to act as the striving, i.e. from the laws of our nature, we can for all actions to which we are determined by an affect, which is a passion, can be determined by reason even without it (cf. Ethics Part IV, Proposition 59 in conjunction with Proposition 41–58). But this only (see above) insofar as the rational knowledge itself is to be viewed as an affect (cf.Part V of ethics insofar as the dimension of the sense of duty as the basis of morality, laid out under the term pietas, is completely different from that in Kant's duty ethics (cf. on his duty ethics in particular Schulte, 1991). 3. Finally, Note 1 to Proposition 37, Part IV of Ethics mentions respectability as a desire that induces people to make friends with others. I refer here to the common etiological root of honor and dignity. So it is about problems of mutual recognition in human relationships, a problematic of philosophy that was later taken up by Hegel, Sartre, Lévinas, and especially by Buber, among others. How does Spinoza manage to think about the transition to community and society as they actually exist? First a note: Spinoza does not argue without discussing and further developing the theory of the body in Part IV of Ethics. The process of becoming rational under social conditions also has its criteria and prerequisites in the mutual relations of the body. This determines the benefits of education and openness to learning (Part IV, Proposition 38). On the other hand, the body's mutual relationships between rest and movement determine what is perceived as "good" or "bad". Understanding the body as a place in which social experience is inscribed and which, according to the logic of affects, simultaneously behaves for itself, enables systematic references to Bourdieu's theory of habitus. The historically possible relationships of the body through social norms and morality on the one hand form the background of every new experience as subjective socialization that has taken place up to now, but are at the same time and on the other hand mediated through their internal contradictions the starting point of the activity and consequently always subjective socialization (cf. also Brandes & Mies, 1988). 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 189 Community and society in the light of Spinoza's philosophy What is now essential for our further considerations is Spinoza's definition that a Community "which by virtue of its laws and its power of self-development" is called the "state" and those who are protected by their rights are called "citizens" (Ethics, Part IV, Paragraph 38, Note 2). At this point we do not need to discuss in detail how Spinoza defines the "state" in detail, since here I want to illuminate the relationship between community and society. But when we use the various draft constitution in the Political Treatise to see how Spinoza seeks a careful balance between the institutions within society and asks again and again how peace in the community can be secured in each case, this indicates a mutual penetration between individuals and the state in the plant of the dimensions of society and community. On the one hand, an institutional doctrine is being developed that fills out the social whole from the standpoint of the state through the development of an interaction of institutions corresponding to state unity and peace. On the other hand, community doctrine asks about the possibility of community in and through the institutions, which is based on the dimensions developed in the criticism of religion as well as on the principles of the good life, as Spinoza understands them. So there is a deeply dialectical understanding that we can decipher as the constitution of social conditions in the horizon of the present (cf.Negri, 1982) in the ever renewed clash of natural law and natural law (qua inevitability of the nature of individuality and community) versus social law and social law (of course not in such a way that Spinoza's old doctrine of natural law remains in any way; cf. Walther, 1985). On the one hand, the citizens secure their existence by means of a constitutional treaty in which they give their natural right based on natural power as civil right as power in the hands of the state; on the other hand, this very state can violate those natural rights that are called the right to life, which no one can claim (as well as a number of other dimensions such as freedom of thought and affects) remain in place. In this respect, the "horizon of war" protruding from natural law is constantly present in civil rights (cf. Negri, 1982). In this relationship between citizens in the state, whose formulation as positive law forms the "soul of the state" (TP, Chapter 10, § 9) - and Spinoza knows this as a realist - there is fear and respect at the same time necessary. "The great crowd is terrible if they are not afraid" (Ethics, Part IV, Proposition 54, note), but at the same time the crowd is also capable of respect, for example through the religious foundation. This dialectic needs to be balanced. And that is why the state must lead individuals to act as if in a spirit (TP, chap. 2, § 16). But it cannot be this "in a spirit" (of reason) which has already been named as utopia, as a wish (Ethics, Part IV, Proposition 18, note), because this is only possible in the "golden age", i.e. not really possible (TP, chap. 1, § 5). Consequently, thinking of the internal unity of the state as "quasi as in a spirit" must take account of this dialectic insofar as affects and actions of different kinds justify the unity (cf. the relationship between respect and fear, but also that in the main clauses 15ff. of the appendix to Part IV of Ethics named further dimensions of such a unit). In philosophy, in the penetration of reason, the various contradictions can be conveyed (this is the line of argument in ethics). The insight into the necessary preservation of law becomes here at the same time a prerequisite for thinking about resistance. Against the background of a necessary and lasting unity, Spinoza must also think highly critically of the relationship between mass and leader, and this is precisely where his criticism begins. In my opinion, however, this is not a criticism that generally excludes the masses' capacity for knowledge (so Yovel, 1985), but primarily a criticism of their limited opportunities to build up and maintain respect without religious foundation (cf. also Jantzen, 1994, chapter 10 ). And it would certainly be extremely advantageous for every state if the masses act "as if in a spirit" not only out of fear but also out of respect. The previous considerations have extremely interesting consequences for the problem of ethics, and I would like to return to these consequences based on my initial questions. On this basis we arrive at clearly different provisions for the relationship between community and social action than those raised by Max Weber. With Max Weber, the individual or community ethics seem to be ethics of convictions, which have to find their absolute limits in responsibility towards the state (ethics of responsibility). Spinoza's design, which is based on the natural necessity of community, without which human life is not possible (and which consequently 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 191 Community and society in the light of Spinoza's philosophy as a natural power influences the social process in the sense of the social constitution contract and is taken into account in positive law), however, shows that the ethics of responsibility owed to the state in turn its outermost limit in the ethics of convictions (as a condition their possibility). The ethics of conviction does not override the ethics of responsibility, but it sets it the most extreme framework against which it must not violate if the state is in danger of disintegration or destruction. In conclusion, this is made clear again with two passages that are not uninteresting in the context of the current Singer debate: On the one hand, that human rights are a natural right for everyone, that every individual has "the highest right to exist," including the "stupid" or "Mentally ill", so in the TTP (chap. 16, p. 233) and on the other hand that freedom of expression finds its limit in the laws of the state and not because of a judgment or an opinion, but because of the act, which contains certain judgments contained insofar as such opinions broke the loyalty that was "praised to the highest authority" (TTP, chap. 30, p. 313). In the current philosophical debate about Singer's theses, it is often pretended that freedom of expression is above all freedoms, and that human rights are rights that have yet to be justified and not rights that have already been founded. With Spinoza, one could show the limit of freedom of expression as a specific problem of balancing individuals and society in order to secure inner peace in a democratic community. In addition, the analysis of the relationship between community and society in Spinoza's traditions shows that an ethic can never go beyond certain natural limits without culminating in barbarism. References Brandes, H. & Mies, T. (1988). Questions about the activity-theoretical conception of the unconscious. In M. Hildebrand-Nilshon & G. Rückriem (eds.), Congress report of the 1st International Congress on Activity Theory, Vol. 3 (pp. 349–359). Berlin / West: University of the Arts. Deleuze, G. (1989). Bergson for an introduction. Hamburg: Junius. Hegel, G. W. F. (1970). Lectures on Aesthetics I. Hegel-Werkausgabe, Vol. 13. Frankfurt / M .: Suhrkamp. Jantzen, W. (1987, 1990). General Disability Education, Vol. I and Vol. II. Weinheim: Beltz. 192 II Disability and Field of Power Jantzen, W. (1991). 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