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- The things which...are esteemed as the greatest good of
all...can be reduced to these three headings: to wit, Riches, Fame, and Pleasure.
With these three the mind is so engrossed that it cannot scarcely think of any
- Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione, Pt. I, 3 (1677)
Famous quotes from Theological-Political treatise
(1670) - Baruch Spinoza
- Peace is not an absence of war, it is
a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.
- As men's habits of mind differ, so that some more readily embrace
one form of faith, some another, for what moves one to pray may move another to
scoff, I conclude... that everyone should be free to choose for himself the
foundations of his creed, and that faith should be judged only by its fruits.
- Men would never be superstitious, if they could govern all
their circumstances by set rules, or if they were always favoured by fortune:
but being frequently driven into straits where rules are useless, and being often
kept fluctuating pitiably between hope and fear by the uncertainty of fortune’s
greedily coveted favours, they are consequently for the most part, very prone
- I have laboured carefully, not to mock, lament,
or execrate human actions, but to understand them.
quotes from Ethics (1677) - Baruch Spinoza
is, is in God, and without God nothing can be, or be conceived.
- God and all attributes of God are eternal.
- Individual things are nothing
but modifications of the attributes of God, or modes by which the attributes of
God are expressed in a fixed and definite manner.
- Nothing in the universe is contingent, but all things are conditioned to exist
and operate in a particular manner by the necessity of the divine nature.
- Things could not have been brought
into being by God in any manner or in any order different from that which has
in fact obtained.
exists from whose nature some effect does not follow.
- The order and connection of ideas is the same
as the order and connection of things.
- Mind and body are one and the same individual which is conceived now under
the attribute of thought, and now under the attribute of extension.
- He who would distinguish the true from the false must have an adequate
idea of what is true and false.
- He, who has a true idea, simultaneously knows that he has a true idea, and
cannot doubt of the truth of the thing perceived.
- Will and Intellect are one and the same thing.
- Pt. II, prop. 49:
- He that can carp in the most eloquent or
acute manner at the weakness of the human mind is held by his fellows as almost
- Surely human
affairs would be far happier if the power in men to be silent were the same as
that to speak. But experience more than sufficiently teaches that men govern nothing
with more difficulty than their tongues.
- Pride is therefore pleasure arising from a man's thinking too highly of
may easily come to pass that a vain man may become proud and imagine himself pleasing
to all when he is in reality a universal nuisance.
- Self-complacency is pleasure accompanied by
the idea of oneself as cause.
- It therefore comes to pass that everyone is fond of relating his own exploits
and displaying the strength both of his body and his mind, and that men are on
this account a nuisance one to the other.
- I refer those actions which work out the good of the agent to courage, and
those which work out the good of others to nobility. Therefore temperance, sobriety,
and presence of mind in danger, etc., are species of courage; but modesty, clemency,
etc., are species of nobility.
- Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear.
- Pt. III, definition
- So long as a man imagines that
he cannot do this or that, so long is he determined not to do it: and consequently,
so long it is impossible to him that he should do it.
- Pt. III, prop.
- As for the terms good and bad, they
indicate no positive quality in things regarded in themselves, but are merely
modes of thinking, or notions which we form from the comparison of things with
one another. Thus one and the same thing can be at the same time good, bad,
and indifferent. For instance music is good to the melancholy, bad to those
who mourn, and neither good nor bad to the deaf.
- Men will find that they can prepare with mutual aid far more easily what they
need, and avoid far more easily the perils which beset them on all sides, by united
- Avarice, ambition,
lust, etc., are nothing but species of madness.
- He whose honor depends on the opinion of the mob
must day by day strive with the greatest anxiety, act and scheme in order to retain
his reputation. For the mob is varied and inconstant, and therefore if a reputation
is not carefully preserved it dies quickly.
- In refusing benefits caution must be used lest we
seem to despise or to refuse them for fear of having to repay them in kind.
- To give aid to every
poor man is far beyond the reach and power of every man...Care of the poor is
incumbent on society as a whole.
- None are more taken in by flattery than the proud, who wish to be the first
and are not.
are most desirous of honor and glory who cry out the loudest of its abuse and
the vanity of the world.
- We feel and know that we are eternal.
- How would it be possible if salvation were ready to our hand, and could without
great labor be found, that it should be by almost all men neglected? But all
things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.
- If the road I have shown to lead to this is very
difficult, it can yet be discovered. And clearly it must be very hard when it
is so seldom found. For how could it be that it is neglected practically by all,
if salvation were close at hand and could be found without difficulty? But all
excellent things are as difficult as they are rare.
which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise
picture of it.
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