Spinoza

J Laari jlaari at cc.jyu.fi
Wed Feb 21 14:03:39 MST 1996


Karl,

would you give us some arguments in favor of your theses? After all,
there are several real hard ones - without any evidence whatsoever.

Yours, Jukka L
----------
Karl:

1. The contrast drawn between Spinoza/Hegel and Kant/Wittgenstein is
simplistic and bears very strong affinities with diamat.

2. There is also the naive assumption that Hegel and Marx constitute a
linear continuity.

3. This idolization of Hegel has an ideological character.

4. It encourages the view that there is an objective philosophy that
embraces in thought reality as a totality.

5. This logically leads to the view that human omniscience and
infallibility are possibilities.

6. This in turn leads to the mistaken view that marxism, continuing the
legacy of Hegel, possesses the absolute authority to declare what is
true and what is false.

7. It is this kind of ideology, diamat, that ideologically guaranteed
Stalinist legitimacy whether in its crude naked form or in the guise of
some petit bourgeois organizations that misleadingly describe themselves
as trotskyist.

[There are different interpretations of Kant's unknowable
thing-in-itself. One interpretation suggests that there can never be
absolute knowledge of reality.]

8. If, as Hegel and dialectical materialism claim, absolute knowledge is
possible it follows then that absolute certainty is also possible.

9. Absolute certainty logically implies that one can never be wrong.
This is the ideological basis of both Stalinism in its many variegated
forms and some forms of Christianity.

10. My view, as a historical materialist as opposed to a dialectical
materialist, is that there can never be absolute knowledge.

11. No matter how developed our knowledge there is always novelty and
contingency. Reality is not subject to closure.


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