Ethics of Human Bondage or the Strength of the Emotions  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

In the 1660s, the Dutch philosopher Spinoza writes, in his Ethics of Human Bondage or the Strength of the Emotions (a part of his Ethics), that the term “bondage” relates to the human infirmity in moderating and checking the emotions. That is, according to Spinoza "for, when a man is prey to his emotions, he is not his own master, but lies at the mercy of fortune: so much so, that he is often compelled, while seeing that which is better for him, to follow that which is worse. Why this is so, and what is good or evil in the emotions, I propose to show in this part of my treatise. But, before I begin, it would be well to make a few prefatory observations on perfection and imperfection, good and evil. "

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