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Single Idea 19919

[catalogued under 25. Society / A. State of Nature / 4. Natural Rights / b. Alienating rights]

Full Idea

No one will give up his right to all things, and absolutely no one will keep his promises, except from fear of a greater ill or hope of a greater good.

Gist of Idea

People only give up their rights, and keep promises, if they hope for some greater good

Source

Baruch de Spinoza (Tractatus Theologico-Politicus [1670], 16.06)

A Reaction

I think Locke and Rousseau would agree with this. It is hard to imagine doing anything other than in hope of a greater good. But what to do when your hopes are disappointed?

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Theological-Political Treatise', ed/tr. Israel,Jonathan [CUP 2007], p.198