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Article (D-5) Critique spinoziste d'extraits de SAPIENS de Y.N. Harari

Abstract : This article is based on articles (A-0) Presentation of the Spinozist foundations and a series of HSS articles and (B-2) Fundamental premises for any HSS to analyse the following excerpts from Y.N. Harari's SAPIENS (A Brief History of Humanity) : "The Tree of Knowledge", Introduction and legend of Peugeot, "The cogs of industry" (Life on the treadmill) of the "scientific revolution". "The greatest swindle in the history" of "The Agricultural Revolution". "There is no justice in the history" of "The Agricultural Revolution". "Imperial Visions" of "The Unification of Mankind". The "capitalist credo" of the "scientific revolution". Our analysis of SAPIENS is based on the following thesis: affected in multiple ways, humans are infinitely diverse and produce an infinite number of fictions, myths, etc. It is simply a matter of noting the variety of literary wealth. The fictions, myths and other edifices of ideas that are more or less held together are said to be "common" when they have been imposed on everyone in one way or another: adhesion, persuasion, power relations, physical or symbolic violence. To consider the manner, we can reformulate Chantal Mouffe's question ("who decides what is or is not rational?") in the following terms: "who decides what is or is not a common myth? "and complete it with this question: how does a myth impose itself? The SAPIENS book is ambitious when it comes to the history of mankind. It is largely based on the following fundamental premise: the capacity of the human to say and exchange on matters that are not real, i.e. not perceptible by the five senses. These matters that are not real, Y.N. Harari calls them "fictions". These "fictions" or "common myths" would have enabled man to "cooperate successfully" to the extent of "founding cities of tens of thousands of inhabitants and empires of hundreds of millions of people". Among these fictions or myths, the author cites "Legends, myths, gods and religions" but also "human rights, laws, justice, limited liability companies". We take note of this huge difference between man and animal, but we say that another primordial, non-explicit premise underpins SAPIENS: these "fictions" or "common myths" are said to be caused by themselves, or at least not caused by real things. This allows Y.N. Harari to put "gods and religions" as well as "human rights" in the same fictional or mythical bag. This allows him to say that "the power of men relies on collective fictions", whereas many facts would lead one to say that "the power of men relies on dominations and power relations ... to impose certain fictions and not others » in fact. We contest this implicit premise even if many people believe that "gods and religions" do not have real causes but divine causes (e.g. revelations made by an angel, a god becoming man) because we believe that "fictions" such as "human rights, laws, justice, "limited liability companies" proceed from "human" causes. Our thesis, on which this "Spinozist" criticism is based, is that everything that proceeds from the human (ideas, fictions, myths, gods and religions", "human rights, laws, justice, "limited liability companies" or any other human institution, individual or common actions) is pushed by all kinds of affects (desire, fear, anger, revolt or submission, etc.). .) caused by all sorts of affections (hunger, illness, suffering, humiliation, violence, honours, threats, good food and concupiscence, etc., but also imitation of affections (e.g. saying and acting according to our loved ones) and the power of the multitude (e.g. influence of one's neighbourhood, colleagues, opinion, a leader)). We note that "fictions" or "common myths" have enabled and still enable man to have recourse to each other, sometimes hundreds of millions, but without pretending that this recourse is always a "successful cooperation": it can be mutual help but also an association or enrolment under coercion, an association dominated by the most socially strongest affects. Finally, in order to be understandable and to allow successful association, all these "fictions" ("myths, gods and religions", "human rights, laws, justice, "limited liability companies") must be edifices of ideas that are roughly consistent and complete. This is only possible if these edifices of ideas are based on premises, premises driven by the most socially intense affects. Our analysis of the evocation of slavery and the animal industry (paragraph life on the treadmill) is an example of our critical approach: "Just as the transatlantic slave trade was not the result of hate for Africans, it is not animosity that inspires the modern animal industry, but indifference. ». All human actions, particularly those setting up organisations, are driven (inspired) by something and not by nothing ("indifference"): slavery is not "causa sui"! If affects such as hate for Africans or animosity towards animals do not "result" in the slave trade " or the " animal industry ", why mention them at all? It is better to suggest affects that are likely to lead to them, tangible affects and desires of all sorts, e.g. profit motives, desires to enjoy a cheap roast chicken.
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https://hal-univ-evry.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03494654
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 5, 2022 - 6:57:50 PM
Last modification on : Friday, March 4, 2022 - 9:42:01 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 6:16:17 PM

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Andre Moulin. Article (D-5) Critique spinoziste d'extraits de SAPIENS de Y.N. Harari. 2022. ⟨hal-03494654⟩

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