more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 21870

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / f. Good as pleasure]

Full Idea

One and the same thing can, at the same time, be good and bad, and also indifferent. For example, music is good for one who is melancholy, bad for one who is mourning, and neither good nor bad to one who is deaf.

Gist of Idea

Music is good for a melancholic, bad for a mourner, and indifferent to the deaf


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

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics', ed/tr. Curley,Edwin [Penguin 1996], p.115

A Reaction

This sounds neat and obvious, but both the mourner and the deaf person might well acknowledge that music is a good thing, while failing to appreciate it at the time. I accept that a concert was good, even if I didn't attend it.