Single Idea 6214

[catalogued under 16. Persons / F. Free Will / 7. Compatibilism]

Full Idea

Liberty and necessity are consistent: as in the water, that hath not only liberty, but a necessity of descending by the channel.

Gist of Idea

Liberty and necessity are consistent, as when water freely flows, by necessity


Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan [1651], II.Ch.XI)

Book Reference

'British Moralists 1650-1800 Vol. 1', ed/tr. Raphael,D.D. [Hackett 1991], p.56

A Reaction

Hume asserts something similar (Idea 2223), but they both miss the point, which is that libertarians about water would have to believe it didn't need to follow gravity, but could refuse to flow. Freedom of will and freedom of action are quite different.

Related Idea

Idea 2223 Liberty is merely acting according to the will, which anyone can do if they are not in chains [Hume]