Source: Theologico-Political Treatise - Chapter III - Of the Vocation of the Hebrews, and Whether the Gift of Prophecy was Peculiar to Them

Spinoza's Chapter 3. - everything happens according to natural laws (Page 2)

book coverSpinoza would show that the Hebrews were not special with regard to knowledge or piety but it was something else. But there is something he wants to say first...

I wish in a few words to explain what I mean by the guidance of and help of (Deus sive Natura).

By the help of (Deus sive Natura), I mean the fixed and unchangeable order of nature or the chain of natural events: for I have said before and shown elsewhere that the universal laws of nature, according to which all things exist and are determined, are only another name for the eternal decrees of (Deus sive Natura), which always involve eternal truth and necessity.


A central notion of Spinoza's philosophy is here articulated. All things that happen follow from the power and laws of Nature. When man, as part of Nature, acts to preserve his existence from within his own nature Spinoza calls that action the inward aid of (Deus sive Natura). Whatever contributes to man's existence from the outside he terms the external aid of (Deus sive Natura).