Thuistezien 31 — 22.04.2020

Spinoza Sessions 2
James Batcho

(view on youtube to join the chat)

In the second of our new series Spinoza Sessions for Thuistezien, Baruch Gottlieb will be discussing with philosopher, musician and sound designer James Batcho about transcendence and immanence the difference between the Laws of Nature and those of human beings, and some reflections on how Spinoza’s thinking can find expression in the arts, in particularly through storytelling and film making.

‘of Nature all in all is predicated, and that consequently Nature consists of infinite attributes, each of which is perfect in its kind. And this is just equivalent to the definition usually given of God.’ — Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being, Part 1 section II

Spinoza saw his Ethics not merely as a philosophical project, an exposition of the Truth of existence, but also as a political project. He wished to generate a sort of intellectual scaffolding which could serve to stabilise an evolving social body. The Ethics is especially remarkable for the radical openness in its comprehensiveness, what Katja Diefenbach calls the ‘irreducible heterogeneity’ of its immanence.

‘Law should be conceived as something we pass through, a fluid state of composition and decomposition. But instead we treat it as the beginning point of morality and social norms and refer to it to eliminate confusion. Law resonates, and any instance is a resonance of forces or powers.’ — James Batcho ‘Deleuze, 12 Books Later’ What does this mean for Human being? What distinguishes humanity, if anything from the rest of Nature in Spinoza? What about individuality, how does that work? Join us as we discuss these questions and more. As usual the conversation will be streamed live and we will be taking questions from viewers at the end.

James Batcho PhD, is assistant professor in the International School at I-Shou University in Taiwan, where he teaches courses in filmmaking, aesthetics and storytelling. He is the author of two books, the latest titled Terrence Malick’s Unseeing Cinema (2018, Palgrave-Macmillan). He has written for Media Culture & Society, Journal of Sonic Studies, The New Soundtrack, Film-Philosophy, Studies in European Cinema, Cosmos and History, Deleuze & Guattari Studies and Atropos Press. He is currently completing work on his latest book Audibility, a philosophy of hearing and listening.