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Single Idea 19916

[catalogued under 25. Society / E. State Functions / 1. The Law / b. Natural law]

Full Idea

The order of nature, under which all human beings are born and for the most part live, prohibits nothing but what no one desires or no one can do; it does not prohibit strife or hatred or anger or anything at all that appetite foments.

Gist of Idea

The order of nature does not prohibit anything, and allows whatever appetite produces


Baruch de Spinoza (Tractatus Theologico-Politicus [1670], 16.04)

A Reaction

This is as vigorous a rejection of natural law as I have met with. It is hard to see on what grounds anyone could disagree, other than hopeful sentiment.

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Theological-Political Treatise', ed/tr. Israel,Jonathan [CUP 2007], p.197

Related Idea

Idea 19928 No one, in giving up their power and right, ceases to be a human being [Spinoza]