more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 4850

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. Final causes]

Full Idea

A cause which is called final is nothing else but human desire, in so far as it is considered as the origin or cause of anything.

Gist of Idea

A final cause is simply a human desire


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], IV Pref)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics, Improvement of Understanding, Letters', ed/tr. Elwes,R [Dover 1955], p.188

A Reaction

A rather vicious swipe at Aristotle! It chimes in with the modern scientific view of the world (mostly associated with Hume), that nature has no intrinsic values or aims. On the large scale, Spinoza is right, but nature can still show us what has value.