Spinoza His Life and Philosophy
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 2004-09-30 edition. Excerpt: ...conscious desire, older than anything to which we now grant the name of life, the primeval and common impulse--" the will to live, the competence to be "--is at length in the sight of all men, as it was for Spinoza's keener vision, the root of all action and of all that makes the world alive. Not that we claim Spinoza as a forerunner of the theory of evolution. He had no materials for anticipating it; and even if he had seemed to prophesy it, the prophecy would have been a guess in the dark. His merit is rather to have abstained, with a singular philosophical tact or instinct, from any prematurely ambitious construction. As his work stands, one does not see that on the face of it his principle of self-conservation is sufliciently connected with the real world: there is a void space between the idea and the facts. But one also sees that the required connexion is wonderfully supplied by Mr. Darwin. The gap has been left open at exactly the right place, and Spinoza had the wisdom to leave it open rather than fill it up inadequately, and the courage to stand by the idea with such light as he had. The practical value of Spinoza's analysis of the passions is, however, to a great extent independent of the general axiom from which he starts. All that is really necessary to be granted is that man has the impulse or instinct of self-preservation, and desires power and fulness of life: and this much it would need some boldness to dispute, however the fact itself may be explicable. Let us see how Spinoza reaches the cardinal definitions of Pleasure and Pain; cardinal because with him Pleasure, Pain, and Desire are the primary elements of which, according to the variety of objects exciting them, all human passions are...
- 189 x 246 x 9mm | 313g
- 13 Sep 2013
- Illustrations, black and white