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Ethics Ethics by Baruch Spinoza
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Ethics Quotes Showing 1-30 of 63
“Everything excellent is as difficult as it is rare.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means by which their authority is preserved.”
Baruch De Spinoza, Ethics
“Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“A free man thinks of nothing less than of death, and his wisdom is a meditation, not on death, but on life.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“We feel and experience ourselves to be eternal.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“It is the part of a wise man, I say, to refresh and restore himself in moderation with pleasant food and drink, with scents, with the beauty of green plants, with decoration, music, sports, the theater, and other things of this kind, which anyone can use without injury to another.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“Minds, however, are conquered not by arms, but by love and nobility.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“I should attempt to treat human vice and folly geometrically... the passions of hatred, anger, envy, and so on, considered in themselves, follow from the necessity and efficacy of nature... I shall, therefore, treat the nature and strength of the emotion in exactly the same manner, as though I were concerned with lines, planes, and solids.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“The superstitious know how to reproach people for their vices better than they know how to teach them virtues, and they strive, not to guide men by reason, but to restrain them by fear, so that they flee the evil rather than love virtues. Such people aim only to make others as wretched as they themselves are, so it is no wonder that they are generally burdensome and hateful to men.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“No reason compels me to maintain that the body does not die unless it is changed into a corpse. And, indeed, experience seems to urge a different conclusion. Sometimes a man undergoes such changes that I should hardly have said he was the same man.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“Blessedness is not the reward of virtue, but virtue itself.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“Human infirmity in moderating and checking the emotions I name bondage : for, when a man is a prey to his emotions, he is not his own master, but lies at the mercy of fortune : so much so, that he is often compelled, while seeing that which is better for him, to follow that which is worse.”
Benedict de Spinoza, Ethics
“The superstitious, who know how to reprove vices rather than how to teach virtues, and who strive, not to lead people by reason, but to restrain them by fear in such a way that they flee what is bad rather than love the virtues, simply intend all other people to be as miserable as they are, and so it is not surprising that they are for the most part irksome and hateful to human beings.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“The good which every man, who follows after virtue, desires for himself he will also desire for other men...”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“Hatred is increased by being reciprocated, and can on the other hand be destroyed by love.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“A free man thinks of death least of all things, and his wisdom is a meditation not of death but of life.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“Nothing forbids man to enjoy himself, save grim and gloomy superstition”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“Things are not more or less perfect, according as they delight or offend human senses, or according as they are serviceable or repugnant to mankind.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“Most errors consist only in our not rightly applying names to things. For when someone says that the lines which are drawn from the center of a circle to its circumference are unequal, he surely understands (then at least) by a circle something different from what mathematicians understand. Similarly, when men err in calculating they have certain numbers in their mind and different ones on the paper. So if you consider what they have in mind, they really do not err, though they seem to err because we think they have in their mind the numbers which are on the paper. If this were not so, we would not believe that they were erring, just as I did not believe that he was erring whom I recently heard cry out that his courtyard had flown into his neighbor's hen, because what he had in mind seemed sufficiently clear to me.

And most controversies have arisen from this, that men do not rightly explain their own mind, or interpret the mind of the other man badly. For really, when they contradict one another most vehemently, they either have the same thoughts, or they are thinking of different things, so that what they think are errors and absurdities in the other are not.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“He who has a true idea simultaneously knows that he has a true idea, and cannot doubt of the truth of the thing perceived.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“men, in so far as they live in obedience to reason necessarily do only such things as are necessarily good for human nature, and consequently for each individual man.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“The order and connection of ideas in the same as the order and connection of things”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“The idea, which constitutes the actual being of the human mind, is not simple, but compounded of a great number of ideas.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“By reality and perfection I mean the same thing.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“The object of the idea constituting the human mind is the body”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“Superstitious persons, who know better how to rail at vice than how to teach virtue, and who strive not to guide men by reason, but so to restrain them that they would rather escape evil than love virtue, have no other aim but to make others as wretched as themselves. Wherefore it is nothing wonderful, if they be generally troublesome and odious to their fellow man.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“By that which is self-caused, I mean that of which the essence involves existence, or that of which the nature is only conceivable as existent.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“So they will pursue their questions from cause to cause, till at last you take refuge in the will of God—in other words, the sanctuary of ignorance.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“[T]hese instances are enough to show, that the body can by the sole laws of its nature do many things which the mind wonders at.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
“I say expressly, that the mind has not an adequate but only a confused knowledge of itself, its own body, and of external bodies, whenever it perceives things after the common order of nature; that is, whenever it is determined from without, namely, by the fortuitous play of circumstance, to regard this or that; not at such times as it is determined from within, that is, by the fact of regarding several things at once, to understand their points of agreement, difference, and contrast. Whenever it is determined in anywise from within, it regards things clearly and distinctly, as I will show below.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics

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