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Citation Information for “Baruch Spinoza, ‘Human Beings are Determined’”

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Archie, Lee C, "Baruch Spinoza, ‘Human Beings are Determined,’" Philosophical Ethics (MONTH DAY, 2006) URL=<>.

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“Spinoza's argument is that when a man acts according to his wishes and desires, and hence does what he want to do without any external compulsion, he acts necessarily in the sense that his conscious desires are his reasons or sufficient conditions for doing what he does. Although it is true, in such a case, that he is not forced or coerced by an external cause, and to that extent has free will, he cannot be said to be free from the necessity of acting according to his wishes and desires. If a man decides not to do anything, then that in itself follows from his desires. No action, therefore is free from the necessity of an explanatory condition. To the extent that our decision to act is not against our will, we do have free will. This does not mean, however, that our behavior has no reason or ‘cause’, and is free in the sense of having no explanation.” S. Paul Kashap, Spinoza and Moral Freedom (New York: SUNY Press, 1987), 169.

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