||スピノザにおける偶然性の意義 : 有限者における偶然性と必然性との創造的結合と，その古代および近代エピクロス主義との比較
The Significance of Contingency for Spinoza : The Creative Combination of Contingency with Necessity in Finite Beings and its Comparison to Ancient and Modern Epicureanism
76 , 2016-03-30 , 法政大学文学部
In the first section, we review the outline of Spinoza's project of a naturalistic ethics that does not presuppose any natural teleology. We show that Spinoza's conatus is a non-teleological, inertia-like power (though it is not the same as inertia itself) that plays important roles in hisethical project. We also point out that his project provides several conclusions that are similar to Epicurean hedonist ethics, and this similitude seems to be rooted in their shared non-teleological naturalistic worldview and shared naturalistic view of humanity. In the second section, we begin by analyzing distinct, though related, senses of the concept of contingency in his Ethics. According to Spinoza, "contingent" means "whose causes we are ignorant of." In this sense, contingency amounts to unpredictability, and thus for finite beings,the destiny of each finite being is contingent or unpredictable because of the unpredictability of the course of the "common natural order" on which our destiny depends. On another occasion,Spinoza characterizes our knowledge wiiich depends on the "common natural order" as "fortuitous" with a very negative emphasis. Here, Spinoza shares his negative evaluation of the purposelessness of the natural necessity with teleologists by taking the standpoint of finite individuals that seek naturalistic goodness for their own sake, which is explained by his conatusdoctrine non-teleologically. Doubtlessly, these two overlapping implications of Spinozistic con tingency for finite beings are of a negative or detrimental character, yet it is another Spinozistic conclusion that this unpredictable and fortuitous character of the "common natural order" is the sole source of novelty that can provide finite beings with growth and improvement. This is understandable because such unpredictability and fortuitousness are the very aspects of the divine infinite purpose-free productiveness, and it is here that we find an instance of the creative combination of contingency with necessity in Spinozistic finite beings. In the third section, we find a deeper instance of such a combination of contingency and necessity in the very possibility of the existence of finite complex beings. To make this clear, we look over a few modern Epicurean speculations attempted by La Mettrie and Hume that precedeDarwin. In them we find a combination of: (1) the huge random "trial and error" process done by Nature itself, and (2) the resulting self-subsisting structure. We can find both components in Spinoza's text: (1) Nature is infinitely productive and each individual is contingent in the sense that it does not necessarily exist, and (2) each existent being is self-preserving to some degree. Such considerations solve a puzzling question about Spinoza's theory of complex individuals: namely, why Spinoza does not assign any particular causes that combine constituents into an individual. Lastly, we reconfirm the strong affinity between Spinoza and Epicureans, but notice that there may be disagreement over whether Nature itself is contingent or not.