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Conflicts among Emotions, among Ideas, and among People

Conflicts among Emotions, among Ideas, and among People

Chapter:
(p.141) Chapter 5 Conflicts among Emotions, among Ideas, and among People
Source:
Spinoza and the Cunning of Imagination
Author(s):
Eugene Garver
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226575735.003.0006

In Chapter 5 the cunning of imagination takes the form of akrasia, the specifically human predicament of having knowledge without being able to act on it. if truth doesn’t make us more powerful and more free, then akrasia is a frustrating and painful experience, and so decreases our power. The first place we can see inadequate and adequate ideas, finite and infinite, interacting, is the unhappy condition of reason being overpowered by passive emotions. Truth and power do not line up as we would like. Their correct alignment has to be achieved because it is not a given, and that achievement occupies the final two parts of the Ethics.

Keywords:   sociability, akrasia, power, pleasure, pain

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