For Spinoza evidently believes that it is precisely the dear self that anyone who wishes to attain the most perfect good must value above all. In his view, the highest goal of life is, in fact, nothing other than self-esteem. He says this in so many words: "self-esteem," he observes "is really the highest thing we can hope for."To say that we can hope for nothing higher does not entail, to be sure, that we cannot think of anything better; and it might conceivably be that the best we can hope for will turn out not to be an effective antidote to "the hollowness and futility of everything that is ordinarily encountered in daily life." Still, Spinoza does assertunequivocally that, so far as he can see, there is no good superior to self-esteem that it is reasonable for us to seek.
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