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From Bondage to FreedomSpinoza on Human Excellence$
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Michael Lebuffe

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383539.001.0001

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Consciousness and Desire

Consciousness and Desire

(p.130) 7 Consciousness and Desire
From Bondage to Freedom

Michael LeBuffe

Oxford University Press

Spinoza is best regarded, not as a psychological egoist but as a kind of psychological hedonist. Bondage to passion is in part a person's inability to recognize the means to perseverance. It is argued in the chapter, however, that the most severe problem associated with bondage is a failure to recognize that laetitia, or joy, the affect that human minds associate with the ends of their desires, is obtained only where the power of a mind's striving to persevere in being increases. In such cases, we may seek ends altogether different from perseverance. Bondage, then, presents human minds with two tasks: to develop from self-knowledge a conscious desire to persevere in being, and to attain the means the means to perseverance.

Keywords:   bondage, consciousness, egoism, hedonism, joy, perseverance, self-knowledge, striving

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