Spinoza, Ethics, Part 3

For as long as the image of the thing still remains

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Unformatted text preview: bject of x’s love, thereby imagines z to have hate, which is unpleasure. And consequently (by 21) x has unpleasure which is accompanied by the idea of y regarded as the cause ·of this unpleasure·, which means (by the note on 13) that x will hate y. 46: If someone has been given pleasure or unpleasure by someone of a class or nation different from his own, and this pleasure or unpleasure is accompanied by the idea of that person as its cause, with that person being thought of as belonging to that class or nation, he will love or hate not only that person but everyone of the same class or nation. The demonstration of this is obvious from 16. 47: The pleasure that arises from our imagining that a thing we hate is destroyed or harmed in some way is not devoid of some unpleasure. This is evident from 27. For to the extent that we imagine a thing like us to have unpleasure, we have it too. Note on 47: This proposition can also be demonstrated from the corollary to II17. For as often as we recollect a thing - even if it doesn’t actually exist - we still regard it as present, and the body is in the same state ·as if the thing were present·. So when the man’s memory of the hated thing is strong, he is caused to regard it with unpleasure. For as long as the image of the thing still remains, this push towards unpleasure will remain also (though it maybe hindered by the memory of things that exclude the existence of the hated thing). And so the man has pleasure only to the extent that this push towards hatred is hindered. That is how it comes about that the pleasure arising from the misfortune occurring to the thing we hate is repeated as often as we bring the thing to mind. For, as I have said, the aroused image of this thing involves the existence of the thing, and so it makes the man regard the thing with the same unpleasure as he used to back at the time when it existed. But because the man in question has joined to the image of this hated thing other images that exclude its existence, this push towards unpleasure is immediately hindered, and the man has pleasure again. This happens as often as this sequence of events is repeated. 76 This is also the cause of men’s rejoicing when they recall some evil now past, and why they get pleasure from telling of dangers from which they have been freed. For when they imagine a danger, they regard it as future, and are made to fear it. This push towards fear is hindered anew by the idea of Ÿfreedom, which they have joined to the idea of the danger because they have been Ÿfreed from it. So they are safe again, and have pleasure again. 48: Love or hate for someone (call him Peter) is destroyed if the unpleasure the hate involves, or the pleasure the love involves, is attached to the idea of another cause; and each is lessened to the extent that we imagine that Peter was not the only cause of the pleasure or unpleasure. This is obvious simply from the definitions of love and hate - see the note on 13. For this pleasure (unpleasure) is called love (hatred) of Peter o nly because he is considered to be its cause. If his causal role is taken away or reduced, the affect towards him is also taken away or reduced. 49: Our love for a thing will be greater if we imagine the thing to be free than it would be, other things being equal, if we imagined it to be necessary. And similarly for hate. [The demonstration of this can be put simply. If you love or hate something that you think is necessitated in all its behaviour, your love or hate will be distributed across the thing itself and the causes that make it as it is. But if you imagine it to be free not acted on from outside itself - your love or hate is concentrated entirely on the thing itself, not dissipated by being spread across the thing and its causes.] Note on 49: From this it follows that because men consider themselves to be free they have a greater love or hate towards one another than towards other things. To this is added the imitation of the affects, on which see 27, 34, 40 and 43. 50: Anything whatever can be the accidental cause of hope or fear. This proposition is demonstrated in the same way as 15. Consult it together with the second note on 18. Note on 50: Things that are accidental causes of hope or fear are called good or bad ‘omens’. And these omens, by being causes of hope or fear, are causes of pleasure or unpleasure (see the definitions of ‘hope’ and ‘fear’ in the second note on 18); and so (by the corollary to 15) we love them or hate them, and try (by 28) either to use them as means to the things we hope for or to remove them as obstacles or causes of fear. Furthermore, as follows from 25, we are so constituted by Nature that we easily believe the things we hope for, but believe only with difficulty those we fear, and that we regard such things more or less highly than is just. This is the source of the superstitions by which men everywhere are troubled. For the rest, I don’t think it worth the trouble to set out ·in detail· here the vacillations of mind that stem from hope and fear - since it follows si...
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This note was uploaded on 03/12/2013 for the course PHIL 105 taught by Professor Mendetta during the Spring '13 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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