|E3: PROP. 53. When the mind regards itself and its own power of activity, it feels pleasure: and that pleasure is greater in proportion to the distinctness wherewith it conceives itself and its own power of activity.
|Proof.--A man does not know himself except through the modifications of his body, and the ideas thereof (E2P19 and E2P23). When, therefore, the mind is able to contemplate itself, it is thereby assumed to pass to a greater perfection, or (E3P11N) to feel pleasure; and the pleasure will be greater in proportion to the distinctness, wherewith it is able to conceive itself and its own power of activity. Q.E.D.
|Referenced in: E3P55C1N,- E3P58,- E3DOE27,- E5P15
|E3: PROP. 53, Corollary.--This pleasure is fostered more and more, in proportion as a man conceives himself to be praised by others.
|For the more he conceives himself as praised by others, the more will he imagine them to be affected with pleasure, accompanied by the idea of himself (E3P29N); thus he is (E3P27) himself affected with greater pleasure, accompanied by the idea of himself. Q.E.D.
|Referenced in: E3P55C1,- E4P52N
|E3: PROP. 54. The mind endeavours to conceive only such things as assert its power of activity.
|Proof.--The endeavour or power of the mind is the actual essence thereof (E3P7); but the essence of the mind obviously only affirms that which the mind is and can do; not that which it neither is nor can do; therefore the mind endeavours to conceive only such things as assert or affirm its power of activity. Q.E.D.
|Referenced in: E3P55,- E3DOE27,- E3DOE29
|E3: PROP. 55. When the mind contemplates its own weakness, it feels pain thereat.
|Proof.--The essence of the mind only affirms that which the mind is, or can do; in other words, it is the mind's nature to conceive only such things as assert its power of activity (last Prop. E3P54). Thus, when we say that the mind contemplates its own weakness, we are merely saying that while the mind is attempting to conceive something which asserts its power of activity, it is checked in its endeavour --in other words (E3P11N), it feels pain. Q.E.D.
|Referenced in: E3DOE27,- E4P53
|E3: PROP. 55, Corollary 1.--This pain is more and more fostered, if a man conceives that he is blamed by others.
|This may be proved in the same way as the corollary to E3P53C.
|Referenced in: E4P52N
| E3: PROP. 55 Corollary 1, Note.
accompanied by the idea of our own weakness, is called
which springs from the contemplation of ourselves,
is called self-love or
And inasmuch as this feeling is
renewed as often as a man contemplates his own
virtue, or his own
power of activity,
it follows that everyone is fond of narrating his own
exploits, and displaying the force both of his body and mind, and also
that, for this reason, men are troublesome one to another.
Again, it follows that men are naturally envious (E3P24N, and E3P32N), rejoicing in the shortcomings of their equals, and feeling pain at their virtues. For whenever a man conceives his own actions, he is affected with pleasure (E3P53), in proportion as his actions display more perfection, and he conceives them more distinctly--that is (E2P40N1), in proportion as he can distinguish them from others, and regard them as something special. Therefore, a man will take most pleasure in contemplating himself, when he contemplates some quality which he denies to others.
But, if that which he affirms of himself be attributable to the idea of man or animals in general, he will not be so greatly pleased: he will, on the contrary, feel pain, if he conceives that his own actions fall short when compared with those of others. This pain (E3P28) he will endeavour to remove, by putting a wrong construction on the actions of his equals, or by, as far as he can, embellishing his own.
It is thus apparent that men are naturally prone to hatred and envy, which latter is fostered by their education. For parents are accustomed to incite their children to virtue solely by the spur of honour and envy.
But, perhaps, some will scruple to assent to what I have said, because we not seldom admire men's virtues, and venerate their possessors. In order to remove such doubts, I append the following corollary.
|Referenced in: E3DOE27,- E4P34,- E4P57N
|E3: PROP. 55, Corollary 2.--No one envies the virtue of anyone who is not his equal.
|Proof.-- Envy is a species of hatred (E3P24N) or (E3P13CN) pain, that is (E3P11N), a modification whereby a man's power of activity, or endeavour towards activity, is checked. But a man [by E3P9N] does not endeavour or desire to do anything, which cannot follow from his nature as it is given; therefore a man will not desire any power of activity or virtue (which is the same thing) to be attributed to him, that is appropriate to another's nature and foreign to his own; hence his desire cannot be checked, [by E3P11N] nor he himself pained by the contemplation of virtue in some one unlike himself, consequently he cannot envy such an one. But he can envy his equal, who is assumed to have the same nature as himself. Q.E.D.
|E3: PROP. 55 Corollary 2, Note. --When, therefore, as we said in the note (E3P52N), we venerate a man, through wonder at his prudence, fortitude, etc., we do so, because we conceive those qualities to be peculiar to him, and not as common to our nature; we, therefore, no more envy their possessor, than we envy trees for being tall, or lions for being courageous.
|E3: PROP. 56. There are as many kinds of pleasure, of pain, of desire, and of every emotion compounded of these, such as vacillations of spirit, or derived from these, such as love, hatred, hope, fear, etc., as there are kinds of objects whereby we are affected.
and consequently the
thereof, or derived therefrom, are
(E3P11N); now we are necessarily
(E3P1), in so far as we have
and only in so far as we have such ideas are we
(E3P3); that is, we are only necessarily
E2P40N2), in so far
as we conceive, or (E2P17 and
E2P17CN) in so far as we are affected
by an emotion,
which involves the nature of our own body, and the nature
of an external body. Wherefore the nature of every
passive state must
necessarily be so explained, that the nature of the object whereby we are
affected be expressed.
Namely, the pleasure, which arises from, say, the object A, involves the nature of that object A, and the pleasure, which arises from the object B, involves the nature of the object B; wherefore these two pleasurable emotions are by nature different, inasmuch as the causes whence they arise are by nature different. So again the emotion of pain, which arises from one object, is by nature different from the pain arising from another object, and, similarly, in the case of love, hatred, hope, fear, vacillation, etc.
Thus, there are necessarily as many kinds of pleasure, pain, love, hatred, etc., as there are kinds of objects whereby we are affected.
Now desire is each man's essence or nature, in so far as it is conceived as determined to a particular action by any given modification of itself (E3P9N); therefore, according as a man is affected through external causes by this or that kind of pleasure, pain, love, hatred, etc., in other words, according as his nature is disposed in this or that manner, so will his desire be of one kind or another, and the nature of one desire must necessarily differ from the nature of another desire, as widely as the emotions differ, wherefrom each desire arose.
Thus there are as many kinds of desire, as there are kinds of pleasure, pain, love, etc., consequently (by what has been shown) there are as many kinds of desire, as there are kinds of objects whereby we are affected. Q.E.D.
|Referenced in: E4P33,- E3P56N
| E3: PROP. 56, Note.
--Among the kinds of emotions,
which, by the last proposition E3P56,
must be very numerous, the chief are
and ambition, being merely
species of love
or desire, displaying the
nature of those emotions
in a manner varying according to the object, with
which they are concerned. For by
ambition, etc., we simply mean
the immoderate love of
venery, riches, and fame.
Furthermore, these emotions, in so far as we distinguish them from others merely by the objects wherewith they are concerned, have no contraries. For temperance, sobriety, and chastity, which we are wont to oppose to luxury, drunkenness, and lust, are not emotions or passive states, but indicate a power of the mind which moderates the last-named emotions.
However, I cannot here explain the remaining kinds of emotions (seeing that they are as numerous as the kinds of objects), nor, if I could, would it be necessary. It is sufficient for our purpose, namely, to determine the strength of the emotions, and the mind's power over them, to have a general definition of each emotion. It is sufficient, I repeat, to understand the general properties of the emotions and the mind, to enable us to determine the quality and extent of the mind's power in moderating and checking the emotions. Thus, though there is a great difference between various emotions of love, hatred, or desire, for instance between love felt towards children, and love felt towards a wife, there is no need for us to take cognizance of such differences, or to track out further the nature and origin of the emotions.
|Referenced in: E3DOE48
|E3: PROP. 57. Any emotion of a given individual differs from the emotion of another individual, only in so far as the essence of the one individual differs from the essence of the other.
|Proof.--This proposition is
evident from E2P13Ab1).
Nevertheless, we will prove it from the
nature of the three primary emotions.
All emotions are attributable to desire, pleasure, or pain, as their definitions above given show. But desire is each man's nature or essence (E3P9N); therefore desire in one individual differs from desire in another individual, only in so far as the nature or essence of the one differs from the nature or essence of the other.
Again pleasure and pain are passive states or passions, whereby every man's power or endeavour to persist in his being is increased or diminished, helped or hindered (E3P11 and E3P11N). But by the endeavour to persist in its being, in so far as it is attributable to mind and body in conjunction, we mean appetite and desire (E3P9N); therefore pleasure and pain are identical with desire or appetite, in so far as by external causes they are increased or diminished, helped or hindered, in other words, they are every man's nature; wherefore the pleasure and pain felt by one man differ from the pleasure and pain felt by another man, only in so far as the nature or essence of the one man differs from the essence of the other; consequently, any emotion of one individual only differs, etc. Q.E.D.
|Referenced in: E3P57N
| E3: PROP. 57, Note.
--Hence it follows, that the
emotions of the animals which are called
irrational (for after learning the origin of mind we cannot doubt that
brutes feel) only differ from man's emotions, to the extent that brute
nature differs from human nature. Horse and man are alike carried away by
the desire of procreation; but the
desire of the former is equine, the
desire of the latter is human.
So also the lusts and
appetites of insects,
fishes, and birds must needs vary according to the several natures. Thus,
although each individual lives content and rejoices in that nature
belonging to him wherein he has his being, yet the life, wherein each is
content and rejoices, is nothing else but the idea, or soul, of the said
individual, and hence the joy [pleasure]
of one only differs in nature from the
of another, to the extent that the
of one differs from the essence
Lastly, it follows from the foregoing proposition [E3P57], that there is no small difference between the joy [pleasure] which actuates, say, a drunkard, and the joy [pleasure] possessed by a philosopher, as I just mention here by the way.
Thus far I have treated of the emotions attributable to man, in so far as he is passive. It remains to add a few words on those attributable to him in so far as he is active.
|Referenced in: E4P37N1
|E3: PROP. 58. Besides pleasure and desire, which are passivities or passions, there are other emotions derived from pleasure and desire, which are attributable to us in so far as we are active.
mind conceives itself and its
power of activity, it
(E3P53): now the mind necessarily contemplates itself,
when it conceives a true or
(E2P43). But the mind does
conceive certain adequate ideas
(E2P40N2). Therefore, it feels
in so far as it conceives
that is, in so far as it is
Again, the mind, both in so far as it has clear and distinct ideas, and in so far as it has confused ideas, endeavours to persist in its own being (E3P9); but by such an endeavour we mean desire (by the note to the same Prop. E3P9N); therefore, desire is also attributable to us, in so far as we understand, or (E3P1) in so far as we are active. Q.E.D.
|Referenced in: E3P59
|E3: PROP. 59. Among all the emotions attributable to the mind as active, there are none which cannot be referred to pleasure or desire.
|Proof.--All emotions can be referred to desire, pleasure, or pain, as their definitions, already given, show. Now by pain we mean that the mind's power of thinking is diminished or checked (E3P11 and E3P11N); therefore, in so far as the mind feels pain, its power of understanding, that is, of activity, is diminished or checked (E3P1); therefore, no painful emotions can be attributed to the mind in virtue of its being active, but only emotions of pleasure and desire, which (by the last Prop. E3P58) are attributable to the mind in that condition. Q.E.D.
|Referenced in: E4P34,- E4P51,- E4P63,- E4P63C,- E5P10N,- E5P18,- E5P18CN,- E5P42
| E3: PROP. 59, Note.
--All actions following from
are attributable to the
mind in virtue of its
I set down to strength of character (fortitudo), which I divide into
(generositas). By courage
I mean the desire
whereby every man strives to
preserve his own being in accordance solely with the dictates of
I mean the desire whereby
every man endeavours, solely
under the dictates of
to aid other men and to unite them to
himself in friendship.
Those actions, therefore, which have regard solely to the good of the agent I set down to courage, those which aim at the good of others I set down to high-mindedness. Thus temperance, sobriety, and presence of mind in danger, etc., are varieties of courage; courtesy, mercy, etc., are varieties of high-mindedness.
I think I have thus explained, and displayed through their primary causes the principal emotions and vacillations of spirit, which arise from the combination of the three primary emotions, to wit, desire, pleasure, and pain. It is evident from what I have said, that we are in many ways driven about by external causes, and that like waves of the sea driven by contrary winds we toss to and fro unwitting of the issue and of our fate.
But I have said, that I have only set forth the chief conflicting emotions, not all that might be given. For, by proceeding in the same way as above, we can easily show that love is united to repentance, scorn, shame, etc. I think everyone will agree from what has been said, that the emotions may be compounded one with another in so many ways, and so many variations may arise therefrom, as to exceed all possibility of computation. However, for my purpose, it is enough to have enumerated the most important; to reckon up the rest which I have omitted would be more curious than profitable.
It remains to remark concerning love, that it very often happens that while we are enjoying a thing which we longed for, the body, from the act of enjoyment, acquires a new disposition, whereby it is determined in another way, other images of things are aroused in it, and the mind begins to conceive and desire something fresh.
For example, when we conceive something which generally delights us with its flavour, we desire to enjoy, that is, to eat it. But whilst we are thus enjoying it, the stomach is filled and the body is otherwise disposed. If, therefore, when the body is thus otherwise disposed, the image of the food which is present be stimulated, and consequently the endeavour or desire to eat it be stimulated also, the new disposition of the body will feel repugnance to the desire or attempt, and consequently the presence of the food which we formerly longed for will become odious. This revulsion of feeling is called satiety or weariness.
For the rest, I have neglected the outward modifications of the body observable in emotions, such, for instance, as trembling, pallor, sobbing, laughter, etc., for these are attributable to the body only, without any reference to the mind. Lastly, the definitions of the emotions require to be supplemented in a few points; I will therefore repeat them, interpolating such observations as I think should here and there be added.
|Referenced in: E4P46,- E4P69,- E4P69CN,- E4P73N