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Ethics
Benedict de Spinoza/Elwes Part 3

Page 1 of 127

 

Benedict de Spinoza, THE ETHICS
(Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata)
Translated from the Latin by R.  H.  M.  Elwes 

PART III: ON THE ORIGIN AND NATURE OF THE EMOTIONS 

Most writers on the emotions and on human conduct seem
to be treating rather of matters outside nature than of natural
phenomena following nature's general laws.  They appear to
conceive man to be situated in nature as a kingdom within a
kingdom: for they believe that he disturbs rather than follows
nature's order, that he has absolute control over his actions,
and that he is determined solely by himself.  They attribute
human infirmities and fickleness, not to the power of nature
in general, but to some mysterious flaw in the nature of man,
which accordingly they bemoan, deride, despise, or, as
usually happens, abuse: he, who succeeds in hitting off
the weakness of the human mind more eloquently or more

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