Spinoza, Ethics, Part 3

I intend to indicate these things by words whose

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: the idea of something - future or past - concerning which the cause of doubting has been removed. 15. Despair is an unpleasure born of the idea of something - future or past - concerning which the cause of doubting has been removed. Explanation: So confidence is born of hope, and despair is born of fear, when the cause of doubt about the thing’s outcome is removed. This ·doubt-free condition· occurs because Ÿa man imagines that the past or future thing is right at hand, and regards it as present, or because Ÿhe imagines other things that exclude the existence of the things that had put him in doubt. For though we can never be certain of the outcome of particular events (by the corollary to II31), it can still happen that we have no doubt about their outcome. As I have shown (see the note on II49), it is one thing not to doubt a thing and another to be certain of it. And so it can happen that the image of a past or future thing gives us the same pleasure or unpleasure as the image of a present thing (as I showed in 18; see also the first note on it). 16. Gladness is pleasure accompanied by the idea of a past thing that has turned out better than we had hoped. 17. Regret is unpleasure accompanied by the idea of a past thing that has turned out worse than we had hoped. 18. Pity is unpleasure accompanied by the idea of an evil that has happened to someone else whom we imagine to be like us. (See the notes on 21 and 27.) Explanation: There seems to be no difference between pity and compassion, except perhaps that ‘pity’ applies to the particular affect - ·the particular episode· - whereas ‘compassion’ refers to the habitual disposition to pity things. 19. Favour is love towards someone who has benefited someone else. 20. Indignation is hate towards someone who has harmed someone else. Explanation: I know that in their common usage these ·two· words mean something else. But my purpose is to explain the nature of things, not the meanings of words. I intend to indicate these things by words whose usual meaning is not entirely opposed to the meanings I want to give them. You have been warned! As for the causes of these ·two· affects, see the first corollary of 27 and the note on 21. 21. Overestimation is thinking too highly of someone, out of love. 22. Scorn is thinking not highly enough of someone, out of hate. Explanation: Overestimation, therefore, is an effect or property of love, and scorn an effect of hate. So ‘overestimation’ can also be defined as love that affects a man so that he thinks too highly of the object of his love. And ‘scorn’ can be defined as hate that affects a man so that doesn’t think highly enough of the object of his hate. See the note on 26. 23. Envy is hate that affects a man so that he has unpleasure from another person’s happiness and rejoices at that person’s misfortune. Explanation: Envy is commonly opposed to compassion, which can therefore . . . . be defined as follows. 87 24. Compassion is love that affects a man so that he is glad at someone else’s good fortune and gets unpleasure from his misfortune. Explanation: Regarding envy, see the notes on 24 and 32. These - ·that is, the affects numbered 4 through 24· - are the affects of pleasure and unpleasure that are accompanied by the idea of an Ÿexternal thing as cause, either ·directly· through itself or accidentally (·see 15·). I now move on to the other affects, which are accompanied by the idea of an Ÿinternal thing as cause. 25. Self-satisfaction is pleasure that a man has from considering himself and his own power of acting. 26. Humility is unpleasure that a man has from considering his own lack of power, his weakness. Explanation: Taking self-satisfaction to be pleasure Ÿarising from our considering our power of acting, it is the opposite of humility. But taking it to be pleasure Ÿaccompanied by the idea of something we think we have done from a free decision of the mind, it is the opposite of repentance, which I define as follows. 27. Repentance is unpleasure accompanied by the idea of some deed we think we have done from a free decision of the mind. Explanation: I have shown the causes of these affects in the note on 51, 53, 54, and 55 and its note. On the free decision of the mind see the note on II35. It isn’t surprising that absolutely all the Ÿacts that are customarily called wrong are followed by unpleasure, and that the Ÿacts customarily called right are followed by pleasure. What I have said above makes it easy to see that this depends chiefly on upbringing. Parents blame Ÿacts of the former kind and scold their children for performing them, and approve and praise acts of the latter kind; which brings it about that unpleasant emotions are joined to the one kind of act, and pleasant ones to the other. Experience itself also confirms ·the role of upbringing in forming moral consciousness·. For people don’t all have the same custom and religion. What is holy for some is unholy for others; what is honourable for some is dishonourable for others. So each individual...
View Full Document

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.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online