- The Oxford Handbook of Spinoza
- Commonly Cited English Translations
- The Virtues of Geometry
- From Maimonides to Spinoza: Three Versions of an Intellectual Transition
- Spinoza and Descartes
- The Building Blocks of Spinoza’s Metaphysics: Substance, Attributes, and Modes
- But Why Was Spinoza a Necessitarian?
- The Principle of Sufficient Reason in Spinoza
- Spinoza and the Philosophy of Science: Mathematics, Motion, and Being
- Representation, Misrepresentation, and Error in Spinoza’s Philosophy of Mind
- Finite Subjects in the Ethics: Spinoza on Indexical Knowledge, the First Person, and the Individuality of Human Minds
- Spinoza on Skepticism
- The Highest Good and Perfection in Spinoza
- Spinoza on Mind
- The Intellectual Love of God
- The Metaphysics of Affects or the Unbearable Reality of Confusion
- Spinoza’s Unorthodox Metaphysics of the Will
- Spinoza’s Philosophy of Religion
- Spinoza’s Political Philosophy
- Leibniz’s Encounter with Spinoza’s Monism, October 1675 to February 1678
- Playing with Fire: Hume, Rationalism, and a Little Bit of Spinoza
- Kant and Spinoza Debating the Third Antinomy
- “Nothing Comes from Nothing”: Judaism, the Orient, and Kabbalah in Hegel’s Reception of Spinoza
- Nietzsche and Spinoza: Enemy-Brothers
- Spinoza’s Afterlife in Judaism and the Task of Modern Jewish Philosophy
- Spinoza’s Relevance to Contemporary Metaphysics
- Literary Spinoza
Abstract and Keywords
Spinoza was of course a necessitarian. But what motivated him to embrace such a troublesome view? This article first recounts the structure of Spinoza’s necessitarianism, recounting the roles of the attributes and infinite modes. It then explores various ways to interpret Spinoza’s claim that all things are necessitated: does that include only actual things? Can there be said to be any nonactual possibles? Finally, the chapter argues that Spinoza’s goals in ethics and in philosophy of religion could have been achieved without necessitarianism and that it was in fact Spinoza’s exceptionally high threshold for explanation that led him to adopt necessitarianism.
Charlie Huenemann is Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University.
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