Ethics, part 4

Ethics, part 4

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Ethics, part 4 by Benedictus de Spinoza

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Ethics, part 4

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Translated by Elwes.

Book Excerpt

ly know to be a means of approaching more nearly to the type of human nature, which we have set before ourselves; by "bad," that which we certainly know to be a hindrance to us in approaching the said type. Again, we shall that men are more perfect, or more imperfect, in proportion as they approach more or less nearly to the said type. For it must be specially remarked that, when I say that a man passes from a lesser to a greater perfection, or vice versa, I do not mean that he is changed from one essence or reality to another; for instance, a horse would be as completely destroyed by being changed into a man, as by being changed into an insect. What I mean is, that we conceive the thing's power of action, in so far as this is understood by its nature, to be increased or diminished. Lastly, by perfection in general I shall, as I have said, mean reality in other words, each thing's essence, in so far as it exists, and operates in a particular manner, and without paying any regard to its duration

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