more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 21871

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / b. Basis of virtue]

Full Idea

The more each one strives, and is able, to seek his own advantage, that is, to preserve his being, the more he is endowed with virtue.

Gist of Idea

The more we strive for our own advantage, the more virtuous we are


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], IV Pr 20)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics', ed/tr. Curley,Edwin [Penguin 1996], p.126

A Reaction

Beth Lord says this is his key ethical idea. Our conatus (striving) is the essence of our nature, and virtue is the perfect expression of our essence. Presumably the destruction of others in competition is also bad for us.

Related Idea

Idea 21872 We seek our own advantage, and virtue is doing this rationally [Spinoza]