Learning is never contingent

‘I need five weekly lesson plan books. Not only do I tend to overplan, but I feel more comfortable with contingency plans.’

In Proposition 29, Spinoza states: “In nature, there is nothing contingent, but all things have been determined from the necessity of divine nature to exist and produce an effect in a certain way.” (Spinoza, 1994a, p. 20). This has profound implications for one’s conception of learning; it means that what one learns is never contingent, random, and accidental. What we learn could never have been otherwise. One does not choose one what one learns, but rather one’s learning has been produced ultimately by the divine nature. (See Learning Produces Us)

Journey into Joy

Reflect upon your life. What things do you wish you’d learnt sooner?

Or not learnt at all? Now “re-configure” those regrets, and think that you were meant to learn things, that it could not have been any other way. This is how Spinoza would view these realms of knowledge.

Look at the diagram below, what does it tell us about contingency and learning: