31 Dec 2008

Spinoza, Ethics Part 1, Definition 7

by Corry Shores
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the following is quotation; my summary and commentary is in brackets. The Latin text comes last.]

Spinoza, Ethics

Part I "Concerning God"

Definition VII:

VII. That thing is called free, which exists solely by the necessity of its own nature, and of which the action is determined by itself alone. On the other hand, that thing is necessary, or rather constrained, which is determined by something external to itself to a fixed and definite method of existence or action.

[Something is free when it does not depend on anything else and when it acts on its own accord. Something is necessary or constrained when something outside it determines its actions and manner of being.]

From the Latin:

VII. Ea res libera dicitur quæ ex sola suæ naturæ necessitate existit et a se sola ad agendum determinatur. Necessaria autem vel potius coacta quæ ab alio determinatur ad existendum et operandum certa ac determinata ratione.

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