Baruch de Spinoza

Written by Frederick Pollock

Frederick Pollock commenting on the words of Baruch Spinoza, says that Spinoza points out the advantage of being many-sided (as we should now say) in both mind and body, and thereby being apt to receive new impressions and put forth new activities. (35) This is one of the points, in which he (Spinoza) curiously anticipates modern ideas about development and adaptation to one's environment.
He (Spinoza) insists in the strongest terms on the importance of society to man's well-being.

“Society is imperfect” [he says], “but even as it is men get far more good than harm by it. Therefore let satirists laugh at men's affairs as much as they please, let theologians decry them, let misanthropes do their utmost to extol a rude and brutish life; but men will still find that their needs are best satisfied by each other's help, and that the dangers which surround them can be avoided only by joining their strength.” (36)