Spinoza’s philosophy, with its insistence that everything has already been determined and none of us has free will, gives rise to a lot of Really Big Questions.
This philosophy isn’t a cure, or at least, it hasn’t been yet. But it is a help. Especially, I find, with things that are far beyond my influence, such as the upcoming election. It’s comforting to find a way to let go of some of that anxiety. And that, at least, is something.
In this series of posts, I’ll take a look at Spinoza’s concept of determinism and attempt to explain how it’s possible to balance it against an innate sense of self insisting we have free will.
It’s not as easy as I had presumed.
I may not know why the caged bird sings. But I sure as hell know why the tethered goldfinch just sits there staring at you. He’s pleading for help. Because if he didn’t have that chain on his ankle, he’d be off flying in search of a plot.
Right-wing alarmists complain that political correctness runs amok. Imagine their despair to learn the Amsterdam Museum banned the phrase “Golden Age.” The reason: the golden years weren’t golden for everyone. But terms like “Golden Age” make history more accessible, and god help us, we need to talk about our history more if we want to change our future.
I’m already itching to start writing the next one. Yes. I said it. There will be a second book in this series — I said it, a series. I’m thinking five books to do it right. Plus maybe extra books on the side for some of the characters. Who knows, maybe ten when all is said and done. The more I research, the more potential I see.
During its Golden Age, the Dutch Republic became a hub of many things: the spice and sugar trade, diamond crafting, master artworks – and optics. Why the Netherlands?