more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 4844

[catalogued under 16. Persons / F. Free Will / 5. Against Free Will]

Full Idea

It is not within the free power of the mind to remember or forget a thing at will.

Gist of Idea

The mind is not free to remember or forget anything


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], III Pr 02)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics, Improvement of Understanding, Letters', ed/tr. Elwes,R [Dover 1955], p.134

A Reaction

An interesting little corrective if you were thinking that your total control over you mind proved that you had free will. Once you face up to your lack of control of the memory process, you begin to realise how little of your mind even feels controlled.