Regarding the limitations of Spinoza's definition of jealousy
- In the Ethics, Spinoza gives the following order of proof for his definition of
jealousy. He gives three people. We can hypothetically call them John,
Mary and Roberto.
He begins with John and Mary. John loves Mary, and thus seeks Mary's
approval. But if he finds out that Mary likes Roberto, his feeling of approval
will be checked by the image of Roberto who Mary has joined to herself.
The Ethics instructs John to turn his mind to God's infinite mind, and stop
imagining himself to be at the center of the world, and the world about
But my question is this:
If John did do as the Ethics instructs, and really let go of his jealousy,
wouldn't Mary and Roberto find him attractive, and start the entire process
all over again? Is this a solution? Or just a vicious circle?