more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 4871

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

Full Idea

I say that a thing is free, which exists and acts solely by the necessity of its own nature.

Gist of Idea

A thing is free if it acts only by the necessity of its own nature


Baruch de Spinoza (Letter to G.H. Schaller [1674], 1674.10)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics, Improvement of Understanding, Letters', ed/tr. Elwes,R [Dover 1955], p.390

A Reaction

Of course, this isn't 'freedom' at all, but it seems to exactly right as an account of so-called freedom. In the case of a human being the 'necessity of our own nature' is character, and virtue and vice are the expressions of the necessities of character.