Spinoza, Ethics, Part 3

If on the other hand we imagine him to give that same

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Unformatted text preview: us what pity is, We can define ‘pity’ as unpleasure that has arisen from someone else’s having been harmed. I don’t know what name we should give to the pleasure that arises from someone else’s good. Next, love towards him who has done good to someone else I shall call ‘favour’, and hatred towards him who has done evil to someone else we shall call ‘indignation’. Finally, it should be noted that we don’t pity only things we have loved (as I showed in 21). We will also pity one towards whom we have previously had no affect, provided 66 that we judge him to be Ÿlike us (as I shall show below). Similarly, also we favour him who has benefited someone Ÿlike us, and are indignant at him who has injured someone Ÿlike us. 22: If we imagine someone to give pleasure to something we love, we shall have love towards him. If on the other hand we imagine him to give that same thing unpleasure, we shall have hate towards him. Someone x who gives pleasure (or unpleasure) to something y that we love gives us pleasure (or unpleasure) . . . . (by 21). This pleasure (or unpleasure) of ours is accompanied by the idea of an external cause, ·namely our imagining of x as the cause of y’s affect·. Therefore (by the note on 13) if we imagine that someone gives pleasure (or unpleasure) to something we love, we shall have love (or hate) towards him. 23: Someone who imagines what he hates to have unpleasure will himself have pleasure; whereas if he imagines it to have pleasure he will have unpleasure. Each of these affects will be great or small in proportion as its contrary is great or small in the thing he hates. To the extent that a hated thing has unpleasure, it is destroyed; and the greater the unpleasure, the greater the destruction (by the note on 11). Therefore (by 20) someone who imagines a thing he hates to have unpleasure will himself have pleasure; and the greater the unpleasure he imagines the hated thing to have, the greater his own pleasure.This was the first point. Next, pleasure posits the existence of the pleasurable thing (by the note on 11); and the more so, the greater the pleasure is conceived to be. ·So· if someone imagines him whom he hates to have pleasure, this imagining (by 13) will hinder his own effort ·to stay in existence·. That is (by the note on 11) someone who hates will have unpleasure, etc.. Note on 23: These affects can hardly be unmixed and without any conflict of mind. As I shall show in 27, to the extent that one imagines a thing like oneself to have pleasure (or unpleasure), one must oneself have pleasure (or unpleasure). Hatred - my present topic - is a special case in which the relation between one person’s affect and another’s is the reverse of that. 24: If we imagine someone to give pleasure to something that we hate, we shall have hate towards him also. On the other hand, if we imagine him to give unpleasure to that thing, we shall have love towards him. This proposition is demonstrated in the same way as 22. Note on 24: These and similar affects of hate are related to envy which, therefore, is simply hate that disposes a man to be glad at another’s ill fortune and displeased by his good fortune. 25: We try to affirm, concerning ourselves and what we love, whatever we imagine to bring pleasure to ourselves or what we love. And we try to deny whatever we imagine brings unpleasure to ourselves or what we love. 67 Whatever we imagine brings pleasure or unpleasure to what we love brings pleasure or unpleasure to us also (by 21). But the mind (by 12) tries its utmost to Ÿimagine things that bring us pleasure, that is (by II17 and its corollary) to Ÿregard them as present; and on the other hand (by 13) it tries to exclude the existence of things that bring us unpleasure. So we try to affirm whatever we imagine brings pleasure to ourselves or to what we love, and similarly with denial and unpleasure. 26: We try to affirm, concerning what we hate, whatever we imagine to bring it unpleasure, and we try to deny whatever we imagine to bring it pleasure. This proposition follows from 23, as 25 follows from 21. Note on 26: From these propositions we see that it easily happens that a man thinks more highly than he should of himself and of what he loves, and less highly than he should of what he hates. Thinking too highly of oneself is called ‘pride’. It is a sort of madness, because the man dreams - with open eyes - that he can actually do all the things that he achieves only in his imagination; he regards them as real, and exults in them; and this continues for as long as he can’t imagine things that exclude the existence ·of these achievements· and set limits to his power of acting. Pride, therefore, is pleasure born of the fact that a man thinks more highly of himself than he should. Pleasure born of the fact that a man thinks more highly of someone else than he should is called ‘overestimation’, while pleasure that comes from thinking less highly of someone else than o...
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