more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 4824

[catalogued under 10. Modality / B. Possibility / 5. Contingency]

Full Idea

A thing can in no respect be called contingent, save in relation to the imperfection of our knowledge.

Gist of Idea

We only call things 'contingent' in relation to the imperfection of our knowledge


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], I Pr 33)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics, Improvement of Understanding, Letters', ed/tr. Elwes,R [Dover 1955], p.71

A Reaction

A very good remark. Growing up is largely a realisation of the necessity of human affairs that you thought could be otherwise. (Forgive the pessimism!) As metaphysics, I find this appealing, too.