Saturday, February 4, 2017


Spinoza offered an analysis of psychology according to which the most pleasurable emotional states are those that are least affected by external factors.  To let oneself be cast down by things that are outside one's control, or even to be elated by them, is to lead a most unrewarding sort of life.  We can, however, take command of our thoughts, emotions and desires to some extent by bringing them under the sway of reason.  The way to do this is to uncover their causes, for by being conscious of what determines us to act in the way we do, we can transform our mental states into active expressions of ourselves rather than mere effects of our environment.

-Anthony Gottlieb,  The Dream Of Enlightenment:  The Rise Of Modern Philosophy

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