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Re: Spinoza and Identity

From: Peter Saint-Andre <stpeter@stpeter.im>
Date: Wed, 07 Dec 2011 11:38:43 -0700
Message-ID: <4EDFB2B3.8080503@stpeter.im>
To: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
CC: Jeff Sayre <jeff@sayremedia.com>, "public-xg-webid@w3.org XG" <public-xg-webid@w3.org>
Interesting stuff, but perhaps slightly off-topic here. :) Is there a
www-philosophy list set up at w3.org or elsewhere?

On 12/6/11 4:23 PM, Henry Story wrote:
> 
> On 7 Dec 2011, at 00:11, Jeff Sayre wrote:
> 
>> I cannot determine if Spinoza envisioned a Web of Linked Data, but your
>> email made me think of this thought piece on how Socrates would view the
>> Web.
>>
>> http://bigthink.com/ideas/39407
> 
> yes, French Philosopher Bernard Stiegler has spent the last year in his online course
>   
>   http://pharmakon.fr/wordpress/
> 
> going over Plato's work, and showing in detail the relationship between Socrates and Plato.
> Greek civilisation at the time was in situation of crisis, having slowly moved over 200 years
> from an oral to a fully written tradition which gave rise to the democracy of Athens. 
> Bernard Stiegler will be speaking at the WWW Conference in Lyon http://www2012.wwwconference.org/
> So Socrates never wrote anything, but Plato did, and he wrote in this writing about someone who 
> was always searching not for answers but to push questions back further. Plato then became in the
> Republic an absolutist of ideas.
> 
> It is these ideas that Spinoza started undoing in his Ethics as I understand it. The idea of thoughts
> as abstract objects that are independent of other things coming from Plato is replaced by Spinoza 
> by the fundamentally relational nature of things. 
> 
> But was far as we are concerned in Spinoza's world we are composed of relations and are enmeshed in relations.
> Our identity emerges from this meshing. The Platonist view would be a much more object oriented view on
> could say or perhaps even the beginning of an Ideal view, with Classes existing first, and objects
> second. In Spinoza's view it seems, relations are primary. One could say that the web is a confirmation or 
> application of this philosophy.
> 
> Henry
> 
>>
>>> Is Spinoza the grandfather of the Semantic Web?
>>>
>>> Here is a short presentation by Philosopher Rocco Gangle: "Spinoza,
>>> Language, and Relational Identity"
>>>
>>> http://vimeo.com/9581201
>>>
>>> "Spinoza's philosophy shows how relationality and, in particular, the
>>> human capacity for language provides a model of human personhood in which
>>> individual subjectivity and identity exist only through mutually affective
>>> relations with the world and with others. Spinoza's Ethics offers definite
>>> ways to conceive and to implement interdisciplinary possibilities,
>>> particularly by applying the relational conception of personal identity
>>> more generally to the identities of collectivities and traditions. In this
>>> way, the concept of relational personhood opens out onto a more general
>>> framework for rethinking the constructive relationality of groups,
>>> traditions, disciplines and ways of life."
>>>
>>> On the W3C WebID Incubator Group we have come across exactly this feature
>>> of identity. Your identity is how you are related to other people or
>>> things. Thinking this way leads one down paths were many problems suddenly
>>> just disappear that seemed insurmountable when thinking of things
>>> atomistically.
>>>
>>> See http://webid.info/spec .
>>>
>>> Henry
>>>
>>> Social Web Architect
>>> http://bblfish.net/
>>>
>>>
Received on Wednesday, 7 December 2011 18:39:11 GMT

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