2 Strengths and Weaknesses of Spinoza’s Philosophy (Some Student Responses) Geometrical methodLogicalClear definitions and axiomsEffective orderHard to prove wrongView of Human FreedomClear understanding of emotionsView of pity and compassionMethod for controlling emotionsResolution of Mind/Body problemUniversal appeal not based on a particular faithRelevance for everyday lifeGeometrical methodHard to followConfusing logicExtreme rationalismArguments based on his own definitions (circularity?)No room for interpretationHypothetical foundationView that a free person would avoid compassion, pity, humility, repentanceImpossibility of controlling passive emotions and being a perfect beingDeterminism/lack of free willMind/body understanding: mind can affect bodyMysticism
3 Strengths and Weaknesses (My Additions) Practical personal philosophy of life“Ethics of love”Method for peace and powerHolistic visionView of humans as one with nature, not superior to natureOrigin of finite modes? (See E1p23&28)Determinism: No choice/responsibility?Nothing bad in the universe?Problematic view of animals (E4p37s1)Immortality of Mind? (E5p23)
4 Weakness and Strengths (Friedrich Nietzsche) “Not to speak of that hocus-pocus of mathematical form in which, as if in iron, Spinoza encased and masked his philosophy…so as to strike terror into the heart of any assailant which should happen to glance at that invincible maiden the Pallas Athena—how much personal timidity and vulnerability this masquerade of a sick recluse betrays.”Friedrich NiezscheSee p. 92 in The Portable Nietzsche
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