What Spinoza’s View of Freedom Should Have Been

Philosophy Research Archives 10:491-499 (1984)
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Abstract

I argue that Spinoza’s view of freedom in Part 5 of the Ethics is not incompatible with his view of determinism in Part 1, as Kolakowski claims, nor is it compatible for the reasons Parkinson, Hampshire, and Naess offer. Spinoza did not work out a clear view of how freedom differs from determinism. Using various resources in Spinoza, I present a view of freedom which is different from both internal or atemporal determinism and external or temporal determinism. Freedom, in the sense of the temporal process by which passive ideas become active, is compatible with both temporal and atemporal determinism.

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