more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 12731

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 2. Natural Purpose / c. Purpose denied]

Full Idea

All final causes are nothing but human fictions.

Gist of Idea

Final causes are figments of human imagination


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], IApp)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics', ed/tr. White,WH/Stirling,AH [Wordsworth 2001], p.37

A Reaction

You can see why Spinoza was rather controversial in the late seventeenth century, when he says things as bold as this, even though he is echoing Descartes. The latter's proposal (Idea 12730) is methodological, whereas this idea is metaphysical.

Related Idea

Idea 12730 We will not try to understand natural or divine ends, or final causes [Descartes]