Spinoza, Ethics, Part 3

And these authors didnt even have a clear concept of

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Unformatted text preview: note on it.) Explanation: In the note on II18 I showed the cause why the mind immediately passes from considering one thing to thinking of another - namely because the ·bodily· images of these things are connected with one another, and so ordered that one follows the other. And of course this can’t happen ·for this reason· when the image of the thing is a strange ·and unprecedented· one, ·because there won’t have been any past experience to connect the image of it with any other images·. Rather, the mind will be held by the same thing until other causes make it think of other things. [Spinoza goes on to say that an episode of wondering is in itself just like any other imaging, and that he therefore doesn’t count wonder as an affect. He defends this choice, apparently thinking of the prominent place Descartes give to wonder in his catalogue of ‘passions’.] So as I pointed out in the note on 11, I recognize only three primitive, or primary, ·or basic· affects: pleasure, unpleasure, and desire. I have spoken of wonder only because it has become customary for some writers to give special names to these when they are related to objects we wonder at. For the same reason I shall also add the definition of ‘disdain’. 5. Disdain [see page 77] is an imagining of a thing that makes so little impact on the mind that the its presence moves the mind to imagining what is not in it more than what is. See the note on 52. I omit here the definitions of ‘veneration’ and ‘contempt’ because no affects that I know of derive their names from them. 85 6. Love is a pleasure accompanied by the idea of an external cause. Explanation: This definition explains the essence of love clearly enough. But the definition of those authors who define ‘love’ as the lover’s wish to be united with the object of his love expresses Ÿa property of love, not Ÿits essence. And these authors didn’t ·even· have a clear concept of this property, because they didn’t see clearly enough the essence of love. That is why everyone has found their definition to be quite obscure. Be it noted that when I say that the lover ‘wishes to be united with the object of his love’ I don’t mean by ‘wish’ a consent, or a deliberation of the mind, or a free decision (for I have demonstrated in II48 that this freedom is a fiction). Nor do I mean that the lover wants Ÿto unite with the object of his love when it is absent or wants Ÿto continue in its presence when it is present. For love can be conceived without either of these desires. Rather, by ‘wish’ I mean that the lover gets contentment from the presence of the object of his love, a contentment by which his pleasure is strengthened or at least encouraged. 7. Hate is unpleasure accompanied by the idea of an external cause. Explanation: The things to be noted here can easily be seen from what I have just said in explaining ‘love’. See also the note on 13. 8. Inclination is pleasure accompanied by the idea of a thing that is the accidental cause of the pleasure. 9. Aversion is unpleasure accompanied by the idea of something that is the accidental cause of the unpleasure. On this see the note on 15. 10. Devotion is a love of someone whom we wonder at. Explanation: I showed in 52 that wonder arises from the newness of the thing; so if it happens that we often imagine something that we wonder at ·it will cease to be new to us, and so· we shall cease to wonder at it. This shows that the affect of devotion easily changes into simple love. 11. Mockery is pleasure born of the fact that we imagine something that we disdain in a thing that we hate. Explanation: To the extent that we disdain a thing that we hate, we deny existence to it (see the note on 52), and to that extent we have pleasure (by 20). But since we are supposing that what a man mocks he also hates, it follows that this pleasure is not unalloyed. (See the note on 47.) 12. Hope is an inconstant pleasure, born of the idea of a future or past thing whose outcome we are in some doubt. 13. Fear is an inconstant unpleasure, born of the idea of a future or past thing whose outcome we to some extent doubt. See the note on 18. Explanation: From these definitions it follows that there is no hope without fear and no fear without hope. For someone who is in suspense, hoping for something while being unsure that he will get it, is assumed (from his unsureness) to be imagining something that would exclude the existence of the thing he hopes for; to that extent he has unpleasure (by 19); and so while he is in his suspenseful hope he fears that the thing that ·he imagines· will happen ·and thus that thing he hopes for won’t happen·. Conversely, someone who is in fear - that is, who doubts the outcome of a thing that he hates - also imagines something that excludes the existence of the thing he fears. So (by 86 20) he has pleasure, and thus to that extent he has hope that the ·feared· thing won’t happen. 14. Confidence is a pleasure born of...
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