m of care – feb 10

lecture by Maxime Rovère on spinoza


The first lecture of this series will be about Spinoza – whom David Graeber gave a top score. It will be delivered by Maxime Rovère and is entitled ‘How can a group be one single philosopher? Spinoza and his friends as an example of collective thinking.’

Maxime Rovère is a philosopher. He has written several books on the philosophy of Spinoza (Méthodes pour exister, 2010, Le clan Spinoza, 2017), whose work he has retranslated in part (Epistolae, 2010, and Ethics, 2021). His work, developed in multidisciplinary essays (How to Deal With Idiots: (and stop being one yourself), 2019, and L’école de la vie, 2020), is a reflection on interactions

on maxime via google:

Maxime Rovere is a philosopher who has dedicated his life to studying the way we interact, through both the history of philosophy (Spinoza and others in the Early Enlightenment) as well as in contemporary ethics, before turning his attention to idiots. ..

via google books [https://books.google.com/books/about/How_to_Deal_With_Idiots.html]:

Maxime Rovere is a philosopher and specialist in Spinoza and the Enlightenment. He is associate-researcher at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Lyon). David Bellos is a translator, and author of Is That a Fish in Your Ear? He teaches French Literature and Comparative Literature at Princeton University.

google doc via mark fuller: collegial intellectualism


notes/quotes from lecture:

m: i’ve been working 20 yrs on the spinoza.. hard to do biography.. because can’t just follow one person thru life.. in the end.. story of complex set of interactions intertwined.. that lead into spinoza philosophy.. the man holding the pen is not only one responsible.. trying to understand interactions that give birth to ideas.. i resis to spinoza circle.. because he is at no center of no circle.. he’s just interacting.. diagrams are fixed and bio paths are mobile.. most influenced by his best friend simon.. who didn’t do anything but leave his wealth to spinoza so that spinoza could just focus on writing.. major issue..

m: question is how can we describe intellectual exchanges so we can account for org’d knowledge

m: screen share.. the mirroring model.. concept of multitude reflects amsterdam society.. this is orthodox marxism.. we have an experience and it’s formual.. ie: colleges.. would bring text .. and people would comment on it.. like what we’re doing.. text and center and people would comment on it.. could say they have precise experience of what a multitude is.. because this group would strive to maintain unity.. but also maintained their diversity.. these strange balance is what you call a multitude

m: on importation from one discipline to another.. ie: claudius suggests a defn should be genetic in geometry.. talking about how you build a triangle.. every defn of geom circle changes.. spinoza reads this idea and imports it into metaphysics and sees what happens.. this exportation is what you do when you’re stricken by and idea in field diff than yours.. so spinoza says.. let’s give the mind a genetic defn.. but it doesn’t work.. it works w the ethics.. because it works w god.. defn should not answer question of what is it.. but how is it produced..

m: the landslide.. or how to undermine the base.. ie: brain anatomy.. mind/body problem.. except in man there is a littel machine can translate.. this gland in the mindset of our brain.. helps in describing passions in a very mechanical way.. not any more about morals/virtues/vices.. but about passions/actions..

m: but (gland in brain) it can’t possibly move.. so can’t have dualism.. so mind/body problem has to be re framed according to this gland.. dualism has to be maintained.. w/o connection of body/mind.. so find out brain couldn’t work as descartes said..

m: he didn’t have a theory to challenge descartes.. he didn’t care about giving an alt theory.. he just saw what was there..

mtg hacked.. so sad..

m: someone working on something totally diff.. ie: anatomy vs philosophy.. so w/o knowing they enter this creative interaction.. not only partially unvoluntarily.. but also creates a gap/breach in the knowledge.. instead of ‘i’ve made a discovery.. this is how brain works’.. rather.. ‘i’ve made a discover.. we don’t know how a brain works’.. famous statement from spinoza.. sometimes most productive is a negated one.. let’s go of something and subs it w a gap.. not with something else..

m: ie: the practical conception of what good is comes from may diff places.. diff conditions converging into a certain conception of behavior.. ie of thinkings: truth comes out of discussion.. ethics has to do w everyday life and not religions.. truth is in what you do .. et al.. drawn together by one/several individuals that want to make them match.. this is where emotions come in.. because if you don’t want them to converge .. they don’t..

m: it’s fundamental to pace the baton to the audience.. whenever you think/write.. that the statement making that link explicitly will be well received.. the theory of influence.. if want to convey a message.. works better if don’t give it directly.. how this will change your life is left to you..

m: what i tried to do today.. is present you with work i’ve been doing for 20 yrs around spinoza.. try to make sure ideas spread not only thru speach.. so i presented the interactions that can be considered as conceptual – where new ideas come about : 1\ importation from one discipline to another 2\ landslide.. take something out of experience.. there’s a gap.. what was a fact is not a fact any more 3\ converging of conceptions.. if love each other.. and diff.. will find ways for convergence.. ie: s tries to work w christ.. because his friends are so keen on jesus.. so important for him to have a theory why jesus is so important to them.. 4\ find a way to make sure your speech is not listened to as being only yours.. not important is what i’m saying.. or what an expert i am on spinoza.. but what can you all take from it..

maxima khailo: listening about spinoza/descartes and how mind works.. made me think of chomsky.. and how primary purpose of language is not for communication but for thinking..

[kenneth in chat – on video of brian eno and david on scenius]

scenius ness.. beyond the monastic self.. et al

m: today s is really loved by neuroscientists.. ie: he says.. yes body thinks.. but you don’t need to know.. and you don’t need a body to have a thought.. doesn’t come from brain and if does.. we have no idea how.. probably comes thru whole body.. idea that thinking is in the brain is really new.. and s was really struggling w it.. basis of this philosophy is grasping thinking w/o having to define what body is doing it.. so can consider language is body you would refer to .. but can also take any kind of body you want.. because what really produces ideas are interactions.. so .. study interactions.. so call it whatever..

nick smaligo: on diff contrasting models.. is there no possibility of novel conceptions.. that are not already existing..

m: good reminder of necessity of being clear.. i think you got it right.. i am precisly trying to describe the emergence of novelty.. but to understand it need to see in which perspective is it innovative.. so need to eval an innovation.. anything that exists need to be understood or make sense

does it? maybe we don’t need to understand.. et al

m: ie: if hear it and doesn’t make sense.. there is noise.. so there is noise between traditions..

what if the noise is the real alive life.. carhart-harris entropy law et al..

m: we all experience this moment when we see a link and others say no.. this idea of a noise/disorder.. that we make emergences out of traditions.. new things created out of noise from interferences..

i think that’s too limiting.. language as control/enclosure.. lit & num as colonialism.. naming the colour.. et al

kenneth cardenas: could we extend this auditory metaphor further.. resonances, et al .. like music.. sound.. to extend that metaphor of sound

m: i think you’re right.. friendship is not necessary.. today top of our image is couple in love.. in amersterdam in cent.. it’s the gathering of philosophers discussing.. ie: no other health than common health.. but shouldn’t make people think can only have interactions in friendship.. you need interferences

m: on the music.. i think you get something.. but i won’t walk too much on that path.. because music very pleasing.. and might take it too far.. i know what i’m saying if i saw it’s noise.. but if say .. it’s a symphony.. don’t know what i mean.. taking it too far.. between silence.. ie: needing to ream 5 yrs in silence.. silence is very alive in unis today.. teachers want to have students learn .. but i also think we need spaces to create creative thinking

donatella and sergey: on affection.. wondering if what you argue 3rd of your models was possible because for them this was friendship.. so not that friendshiop was enabling.. it’s that converging diff things that still can be around same topic.. is the realization of human interaction

m: don’t know if it’s correct.. but i really love it.. not that have previous conditional/emotional cause.. intimacy.. that would produce ideas.. it’s that friendship is there.. same thing w diff category.. they go so far as to call it health and salvation.. this one and same interaction.. something that is alive and creative and have so many and maybe too many lexicons to describe.. it’s an emotional lexicon.. can make it very brainy.. but that’s just the vocab.. in end all one in same movement.. so choosing best vocab to grasp what you’re trying to describe.. ie: s ‘mind and body same thing’.. so can say.. image in head.. i remember my mom.. and can say.. i feel love.. these are attributes of same thing.. s switches category when one is not good enough.. ie: back and forth with mind/body metaphors..

simona: connected in my opinion in imagination.. david said violence makes us stupid because it cuts off complexity that constituted collective imagination

m: yes.. imagination ie: my book.. idiots.. one ch.. why idiots prefer war..

vassily: on philosophy of the heart.. on emotions central place in world of david.. the way you treat philosophy of s is that it’s ethical.. heart as force..

m: toughest question of all.. maybe 1\ heart has been my main discovery why translating s’s ethics.. that was the great discover last yr.. animos (?) central to s philosophy.. s didn’t realize how much of a transversal concept here.. heart as seat of emotions.. where is this in the body.. heart is subject of ideas and moements..

charles on healing and awakening – heart is primarily a listening organ

m: and 2\ force of living.. love.. concept of heart means very idea of existence conveys love.. .. it’s the fundamental basis of what life really is in its effort to persevere.. to s.. this love is everything/everywhere

except to me.. life/love beyond perseverance..

vassily: next event next month on bhaskar

roy bhaskar

[michael r added in chat: Spinoza and emotion/affect – is thinking/memory/intellectual activity organized through are emotional engagement with and position in the world according to Spinoza? How is this different than the Cartesian tradition? But both spinoza and Descartes provide the new scientific ways of thinking/philosophizing. How do you relate/distinguish them?]





m of care – jan 13 – spinoza



museum of care meetings

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