more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 17211

[catalogued under 11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 2. Understanding]

Full Idea

All efforts which we make through reason are nothing but efforts to understand, and the mind, in so far as it uses reason, adjudges nothing as profitable to itself excepting that which conduces to understanding.

Gist of Idea

Understanding is the sole aim of reason, and the only profit for the mind


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], IV Pr 26)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics', ed/tr. White,WH/Stirling,AH [Wordsworth 2001], p.181

A Reaction

I wish philosophers would agree that the aim of their subject is to achieve broad and general understanding of reality - and nothing else. If you want to change the world, that isn't philosophy. If you think understanding is impossible, drop philosophy.

Related Idea

Idea 17212 To understand is the absolute virtue of the mind [Spinoza]