Selection from – Political Treatise - Chapter I, Introduction (Page 2)

Spinoza's Words – (men do not act according to reason but from their general nature)

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In our Ethics we showed that men are of necessity liable to passions, and that reason can, indeed, do much to restrain and moderate the passions, but we saw at the same time, that the road, which reason herself points out, is very steep; so that the multitude of men distracted by politics can ever be induced to live according to the bare dictate of reason.

And inasmuch as all men, whether barbarous or civilized, everywhere frame customs, and form some kind of civil state, we must not, therefore, look to proofs of reason for the causes and natural bases of dominion, but derive them from the general nature or position of mankind, as I mean to do in the next chapter.