more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 4864

[catalogued under 18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 3. Emotions]

Full Idea

An emotion is only bad or hurtful, in so far as it hinders the mind from being able to think.

Gist of Idea

An emotion is only bad if it hinders us from thinking


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

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics, Improvement of Understanding, Letters', ed/tr. Elwes,R [Dover 1955], p.251

A Reaction

This sounds sensible. It fits Spinoza's quasi-stoicism that he should be happy with emotion (as natural), but also that true 'living by nature' requires control by reason. Only a wild romantic would think emotion better than judgement as a guide.