Spinoza: Freedom & Determinism

Spinoza: a determinist philosophy

In the Ethics, Spinoza‘s pantheistic philosophy advocates a “God is defined as all real, all existing” (God is everywhere). Only God is, therefore, free for he alone is the cause of itself, a constituent nature. The man, however, is a kind natured, it is governed by an absolute necessity. If man and his actions are beyond the contingency, freedom becomes an illusion, that Spinoza demonstrate by the example of Peter.

The latter moves in space, unaware of the origin of his movement, believing the cause of his movement:

A stone receives an external cause that pushes a certain momentum, which it will necessarily continue to move after stopping the external pulse. This permanence of stone in its motion is a constraint, not because it is necessary, but because it must be defined by the momentum of external causes, and what is true of the stone, so is any singular object, whatever its complexity, and regardless of the number of possibilities: any singular object, indeed, is necessarily determined by any external cause to exist and act according to a precise and determined.

Design Now, if you wish, as stone, while it continues to move, think and know it makes all the effort possible to continue to move. This stone, certainly, since it is aware that his effort, believe to be free and not persevere in its motion that the only reason she wants. Such is the human freedom that all men boast of which consists in this alone that men are aware of their desires and ignorant of the causes that determine them “(letter to Schuler)

Because man belongs to the reign of Nature itself  God, man is not an island of freedom within an order of necessity, man is not an empire within an empire.


Cite this article as: Tim, "Spinoza: Freedom & Determinism, March 24, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, March 24, 2012, https://www.the-philosophy.com/spinoza-freedom-determism.

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