more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 4845

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / d. Subjective value]

Full Idea

In no case do we strive for, wish for, long for, or desire anything, because we deem it to be good, but on the other hand we deem a thing to be good, because we strive for it, wish for it, long for it, or desire it.

Gist of Idea

We don't want things because they are good; we judge things to be good because we want them


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], III Pr 09)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics, Improvement of Understanding, Letters', ed/tr. Elwes,R [Dover 1955], p.137

A Reaction

Shocking, coming from a leading rationalist philosopher. It sounds more like Hume. Surely rationalism should put our capacity for judgement centre-stage? But Spinoza was a determinist. Is Kantian freedom of judgement required? Deterministic judgement?