Dutch Spinoza documentary featuring MPI director Peter Hagoort awarded the Golden Dolphin
Under the director Robin Lutz, the documentary ‘Spinoza, een vrije denker’ was awarded the Golden Dolphin in the History and Culture category. The documentary zooms into the life of the Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza, who was born in Amsterdam in 1632. While Spinoza's life is hardly familiar to the wider audience, his ideas couldn't be more recent. Spinoza was one of the first thinkers who truly believed that all humans are equal. Based on this equality, he emphasized that every individual should have the right to believe, think and say what she or he likes.
The focus of the documentary is on Spinoza’s main question of who we are and where we could find something that resembles the soul in the human body. MPI director Prof. Peter Hagoort provides neuroscientific insight into this question by focusing on the working mechanisms of the human brain. Hagoort emphasizes the complexity of the 100,000km of connections between the neurons that make up the human brain, and how these connections determine who we are. Hagoort highlights that the questions of where the human soul is or whether humans have a free will can be reduced to the evidence we obtain from neuroscience. Based on this evidence, concepts like free will or the existence of a soul could be explained by the biological underpinnings of the neuronal architecture of the human brain.
The documentary has already been shown in the cinema and was broadcasted on NPO2 multiple times. You can still watch it (only available in Dutch) on the official homepage of NPO2 by following this link.