from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An effort, an endeavour, a striving.
  • n. A nisus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A natural tendency inherent in a body to develop itself; an attempt; an effort.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An effort; specifically, a tendency simulating an effort on the part of a plant or an animal to supply a want; a nisus.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Latin noun cōnātus.


  • He took the philosophical idea of a "conatus" - a striving to continue to exist and thereby to preserve one's essence - as his general principle.

    Oz Conservative

  • It also follows that there is a conatus more interior, that is, the conatus to produce uses for the animal kingdom through vegetable growths, since by these animals of every kind are nourished.

    Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom

  • In Spinoza's view, we act virtuously if we act rationally to strive to exist, in accordance with this idea of a "conatus".

    Oz Conservative

  • His concept of "conatus" states that human beings 'natural inclination is to strive toward preserving an essential being and an assertion that virtue / human power is defined by success in this preservation of being by the guidance of reason as one's central ethical doctrine.

    Oz Conservative

  • Leibniz also paid a good deal of attention to Hobbes's views about motion, in particular those about conatus or endeavour, which have application both to physics and to mathematics.

    Thomas Hobbes

  • In her view, the faculty at issue in the production and use of concepts, the understanding, is the power to judge (Vermögen zu Urteilen), which is ultimately a disposition or a conatus to make judgments and to shape how we are affected so that we can make them (Longuenesse 1998: 208, 394).

    Kant's Transcendental Arguments

  • Far from the abolition of individualism and freedom, collective assemblages are the condition for individualism and freedom insofar as the create the space and time whereby it might become possible for me to cultivate and develop myself according to the virtual singularities or tendencies of my own conatus or essence, and by protecting me from my fellow man who might exploit and oppress me.

    Socialism has always been about self-interest

  • An identity-conferring commitment, according to Williams, is ˜the condition of my existence, in the sense that unless I am propelled forward by the conatus of desire, project and interest, it is unclear why I should go on at all.™


  • Statim ac eam contemplatus sum, occidi; oculos a virgine avertere conatus sum, sed illi repugnabant.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Nihil infelicius his, quantus iis timor, quanta dubitatio, quantus conatus, quanta solicitudo, nulla illis a molestiis vacua hora.

    Anatomy of Melancholy


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  • "Thus we use up a considerable amount of our energy in intimidation and seduction, and these two strategies alone ensure the quest for territory, hierarchy and sex that gives life to our conatus."

    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, translated by Alison Anderson, p 97 of the Europa Editions paperback

    September 28, 2012