3

This is a popular Spinoza quote "Nothing in Nature is random...A thing appears random only through the incompleteness of our knowledge." Spinoza, Ethics I. Yet, it is not in Ethics. Can anyone help me trace the origin of this quote?

1 Answer 1

6

Spinoza, Ethics, Part 1:

Prop. XXIX. Nothing in the universe is contingent, but all things are conditioned to exist and operate in a particular manner by the necessity of the divine nature. [Latin: In rerum natura nullum datur contingens sed omnia ex necessitate divinæ naturæ determinata sunt ad certo modo existendum et operandum.]

And Note to Prop. XXXIII.:

a thing can in no respect be called contingent, save in relation to the imperfection of our knowledge. [Latin: At res aliqua nulla alia de causa contingens dicitur nisi respectu defectus nostræ cognitionis.]

3
  • 2
    Current Cambridge translation: "[T]he only reason why a thing is said to be contingent is owing to a failure in our cognition." (Prop. 33 Scholium I)
    – Philip Klöcking
    Mar 20, 2021 at 20:45
  • 1
    Thank you very much. Sometime in the past, the "Nothing in Nature is random" version took off as a free translation, but surely it must refer to Prop. 33. Mar 21, 2021 at 21:08
  • @BalazsAczel If this answers your question, you can accept it by clicking at the tick on the upper left side of the post.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Mar 22, 2021 at 9:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .