Why Spinoza tells people to try to preserve their being

It is puzzling that Spinoza both urges people to seek to preserve themselves and also holds that, as a matter of fact, people do strive to preserve themselves. I argue that the striving for self-preservation that characterizes all individuals grounds, for Spinoza, the claim that human beings seek only whatever they anticipate will lead to pleasure (laetitia). People desire ends other than self-preservation because they anticipate pleasure in those ends, and Spinoza urges people to seek to preserve themselves because he thinks such desires misguided: the anticipation of pleasure in any end that does not conduce to self-preservation is mistaken
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DOI 10.1515/agph.2004.006
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Eugene Marshall (2010). Spinoza on the Problem of Akrasia. European Journal of Philosophy 18 (1):41-59.

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