Spinoza’s Concept of FreedomJune 26, 2021
Spinoza proceeds from the idea that any decision based on design and will is necessarily based on an event that preceded it.
Approached in this way results in the denial of freedom of the will and the so-called freedom of will. In the history of philosophy, it is not possible to deny freedom in this sense with a strict theoretical judgment as Spinoza. Later, such an approach is seen in a certain interpretation of structuralism, for example in Althusser’s work that presents the subject as a derivative of its structure. Spinoza considers freedom an illusion, moreover, a fantasy. He says that it is because we do not know the reasons for our actions and activities.
According to Spinoza, if a downward flowing water were a thinking being, it would think that it was flowing downwards of its own free will and will. We cannot accept our decision-making situation as freedom from another aspect, because our decisions are formed by the effects of the structure called majority memory, and according to Spinoza, we cannot say that we can dominate memory.
As a result, Spinoza’s understanding of freedom is of course in question, and this understanding is not surprisingly precise and is deeply tied to his logical system. For Spinoza, freedom is the state of conforming to the obligations inherent in one’s own nature. Freedom is the recognition of necessity. This argument comes from the Spinozist system, which necessarily excludes any subject and subjectivity. Since a human being is one of the manifestations of God, the laws that govern everything also govern this single human being, and his decision is, at best, to obey these laws, and there can be no freedom here.
We can say that Spinoza tried to be drawn into the position of a pure and impartial logician while constructing his entire system, and his attitude is particularly evident on freedom. Only that whose actions are determined by itself is free, and it cannot be man, it can only be God. Human activism is mandatory. Accordingly, a free man, according to Spinoza, is a man who is aware of the necessities that determine him and has knowledge of them. In this sense, in his philosophical system, Spinoza defines a free human being who has reached a higher level of perception, can control his emotions, and has a grasp of himself and the world.