Spinoza, the Mind/Body, and Technology

Sunday, March 30, 2014
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Hall, Room P071, AUC New Cairo
Event Type
Department of Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy and the Philosophy Club are holding a lecture titled “Spinoza, the Mind/Body, and Technology,” which will be delivered by Nathaniel Bowditch, associate professor of philosophy and dean of the School of Humanitites and Social Sciences.

Nowadays, Baruch Spinoza is usually treated as a significant figure in the narrative of the Western philosophical tradition, one to be interpreted and "made sense of," but not one that has much to say to the contemporary world we occupy. In this lecture, Bowditch argues that this historicist view is mistaken. More specifically, Bowditch argues that Spinoza’s conception of human nature and our modal status within the one substance that he calls "God or nature" is least suggestive when it comes to the issue of our relation to technology. Although Spinoza occasionally expresses ambivalence when it comes the mechanical substituting for or replacing the "free hand" (e.g. Letter 23 to Huygens), his metaphysics entails that technological progress amounts to nothing less than a conatus driven expansion — not metaphorically, but actually — of the mind/body unity that is a human being.

Refreshments will be served.

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