Presenter: Jason Tillett (Confirmation milestone seminar)

The ability to deliberate is supposedly strong evidence for the existence of free will. Contrary to recent scholarly work on Spinoza, I argue that the idea that human beings have the ability to deliberate is a fiction, on Spinoza’s view. Spinozistic analysis of the concept of deliberation helps to show that Spinoza absolutely denies that free will exists. The paper places more emphasis on Spinoza’s substance monism and the role of external causes in explaining human actions than recent discussions of his philosophy. Consequently, the concept of free will or choice will be more clearly distinguishable from Spinoza’s conception of human freedom.