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The Theory Of The Good In Part 4 Of The Ethics

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Chapter Summary

In the work that Spinoza calls The Ethics, ethics in the narrower sense is treated in Parts 3 to 5. The concept of the good is treated in the middle of the parts dedicated to ethics in the narrower sense, in Part 4. The first definition of this part is that of what is meant by "good". This part is about human bondage, so that the theory of the good developed in it is a moment of description of non-freedom. The one who strives considers the desired good only because he desires it. The object of desire is hence only what the desirer believes to be good. Therefore the definition of good in this part diverges from the identification of the good with the object of desire put forth in the third part. The definition reads: "By good I shall understand what we certainly know to be useful to us"..

Keywords: desire; Ethics; human bondage; non-freedom; Spinoza; strives; theory of the good



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