ETHICS. FOURTH PART.


OF MAN'S SLAVERY, OR THE FORCE OF THE PASSIONS.*

PREFACE.

MAN'S impotence to moderate and control his affections or passions I call Slavery. For when man is dominated by these he is not master of himself, but is, as it were, controlled by fate, so that, although seeing and knowing what course is best, yet is he often forced to follow that which is worst. I now propose, in this Fourth Part, to demonstrate the cause of this slavery, and to point out besides what there is of good and evil in the affections or passions. But before entering on the task it will be proper to say a few words on perfection and imperfection, and on good and evil, by way of preface.

He who proposes to construct a certain work, or to do anything, and completes it, may say, and not only himself but any one else who rightly understands or

____________________
*
In the Definitions I., II., and III. and the explanation that follows the latter, in Part III. (see pages 126-7), Spinoza has defined what he understands by Passions. -- TR.

-211-

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  • Of Man's Slavery, or the Force of the Passions 211
  • Appendix. 289
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