Selection from – On the Improvement of the Understanding (Page 10)

Spinoza's Words: (intentions for The Improvement of the Intellect)

Having laid down these preliminary rules, I will betake
myself to the first and most important task, namely, the amendment
of the understanding, and the rendering it capable of understanding
things in the manner necessary for attaining our end.

In order to bring this about, the natural order demands that I should here
recapitulate all the modes of perception, which I have hitherto
employed for affirming or denying anything with certainty, so that
I may choose the best, and at the same time begin to know my own
powers and the nature which I wish to perfect.


In the remainder of the book Spinoza goes on to a full discussion of different aspects of perception and ways to distinguish fact from fiction which does not add to our knowledge of his system of philosophy. The book remained unfinished with a long list of notes Spinoza made of topics yet to write about.