Each thing as far as it can, and as far as it lies in itself strives [conatur] to persevere in its being.  (EIIIP6)


Desire is man’s very essence (EIIIP95)



In reflecting on Spinoza’s famous propositions in the third part of the Ethics Balibar points to the distinction between desire and the will: ‘The will is the name we give to each [man’s] effort to preserve [himself], when by a fiction we think of the soul [mind] in isolation from the body’, Balibar notes, while desire is inseparable to the soul and the body in Spinoza’s Ethics. The will thus gives a partial and ‘inadequate idea’ of the unity of [man]. (Spinoza and Politics, 105)


In thus bringing together P6 and P95 of the third part of the Ethics , Balibar creates the following synthesis:



‘[man’s] unity is that of a single desire for self-preservation, which is simultaneously expressed through the actions and passions of the soul (that is through sequences of movements and sequences of ideas). These sequences are substantially identical, because they express the same individual essence; but they do so differently, thus expressing the irreducible multiplicity of the order of natural causality’ (106)




Please reference as: Maria Tamboukou (2018) ‘Conatus’,