The Ethics [Part III]
Benedict de Spinoza, THE ETHICS
(Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata)
Translated from the Latin by R. H. M. Elwes
PART III: ON THE ORIGIN AND NATURE OF THE EMOTIONS
Most writers on the emotions and on human conduct seem
to be treating rather of matters outside nature than of natural
phenomena following nature's general laws. They appear to
conceive man to be situated in nature as a kingdom within a
kingdom: for they believe that he disturbs rather than follows
nature's order, that he has absolute control over his actions,
and that he is determined solely by himself. They attribute
human infirmities and fickleness, not to the power of nature
in general, but to some mysterious flaw in the nature of man,
which accordingly they bemoan, deride, despise, or, as
usually happens, abuse: he, who succeeds in hitting off
the weakness of the human mind more eloquently or more
acutely than his fellows, is looked upon as a seer. Still there
has been no lack of very excellent men (to whose toil and
industry I confess myself much indebted), who have written
many noteworthy things concerning the right way of life,
and have given much sage advice to mankind. But no one,
so far as I know, has defined the nature and strength of the
emotions, and the power of the mind against them for their
I do not forget, that the illustrious Descartes, though he
believed, that the mind has absolute power over its actions,
strove to explain human emotions by their primary causes,
and, at the same time, to point out a way, by which the mind
might attain to absolute dominion over them. However,
in my opinion, he accomplishes nothing beyond a display
of the acuteness of his own great intellect, as I will show
in the proper place. For the present I wish to revert to
those, who would rather abuse or deride human emotions
than understand them. Such persons will, doubtless think
it strange that I should attempt to treat of human vice and
folly geometrically, and should wish to set forth with rigid
reasoning those matters which they cry out against as
repugnant to reason, frivolous, absurd, and dreadful.
However, such is my plan. Nothing comes to pass in nature,
which can be set down to a flaw therein; for nature is always
the same, and everywhere one and the same in her efficacy
and power of action; that is, nature's laws and ordinances,
whereby all things come to pass and change from one form
to another, are everywhere and always the same; so that
there should be one and the same method of understanding
the nature of all things whatsoever, namely, through nature's
universal laws and rules. Thus the passions of hatred, anger,
envy, and so on, considered in themselves, follow from this
same necessity and efficacy of nature; they answer to certain
definite causes, through which they are understood, and
possess certain properties as worthy of being known as
the properties of anything else, whereof the contemplation
in itself affords us delight. I shall, therefore, treat of the
nature and strength of the emotions according to the same
method, as I employed heretofore in my investigations
concerning God and the mind. I shall consider human
actions and desires in exactly the same manner, as though
I were concerned with lines, planes, and solids.
I. By an 'adequate' cause, I mean a cause through which
its effect can be clearly and distinctly perceived. By an
'inadequate' or partial cause, I mean a cause through which,
by itself, its effect cannot be understood.
II. I say that we 'act' when anything takes place, either
within us or externally to us, whereof we are the adequate
cause; that is (by the foregoing definition) when through
our nature something takes place within us or externally
to us, which can through our nature alone be clearly and
distinctly understood. On the other hand, I say that we
are passive as regards something when that something
takes place within us, or follows from our nature externally,
we being only the partial cause.
III. By 'emotion' I mean the modifications of the body,
whereby the active power of the said body is increased
or diminished, aided or constrained, and also the ideas
of such modifications.
N.B. If we can be the adequate cause of any of these
modifications, I then call the emotion an activity,
otherwise I call it a passion, or state wherein the mind
I. The human body can be affected in many ways, whereby
its power of activity is increased or diminished, and also
in other ways which do not render its power of activity
either greater or less.
N.B. This postulate or axiom rests on Postulate i. and
Lemmas v. and vii., which see after II. xiii.
II. The human body can undergo many changes, and,
nevertheless, retain the impressions or traces of objects
(cf. II. Post. v.), and, consequently, the same images
of things (see note II. xvii.).
I. Our mind is in certain cases active, and in certain cases
passive. In so far as it has adequate ideas it is necessarily
active, and in so far as it has inadequate ideas, it is
>>>>>Proof--In every human mind there are some
adequate ideas, and some ideas that are fragmentary
and confused (II. xl. note). Those ideas which are
adequate in the mind are adequate also in God, inasmuch
as he constitutes the essence of the mind (II. xl. Cor.),
and those which are inadequate in the mind are likewise
(by the same Cor.) adequate in God, not inasmuch as he
contains in himself the essence of the given mind alone,
but as he, at the same time, contains the minds of other
things. Again, from any given idea some effect must
necessarily follow (I. xxxvi.); of this effect God is the
adequate cause (III. Def. i.), not inasmuch as he is
infinite, but inasmuch as he is conceived as affected by
the given idea (II. ix.). But of that effect whereof God
is the cause, inasmuch as he is affected by an idea which
is adequate in a given mind, of that effect, I repeat, the
mind in question is the adequate cause (II. xi. Cor.).
Therefore our mind, in so far as it has adequate ideas
(III. Def. ii.), is in certain cases necessarily active;
this was our first point. Again, whatsoever necessarily
follows from the idea which is adequate in God, not by
virtue of his possessing in himself the mind of one man
only, but by virtue of his containing, together with the
mind of that one man, the minds of other things also,
of such an effect (II. xi. Cor.) the mind of the given man
is not an adequate, but only a partial cause; thus
(III. Def. ii.) the mind, inasmuch as it has inadequate
ideas, is in certain cases necessarily passive; this was
our second point. Therefore our mind, &c. Q.E.D.
inadequate ideas, and, contrariwise, is more or less active
in proportion as it possesses adequate ideas.
II. Body cannot determine mind to think, neither can mind
determine body to motion or rest or any state different
from these, if such there be.
>>>>>Proof--All modes of thinking have for their cause
God, by virtue of his being a thinking thing, and not by
virtue of his being displayed under any other attribute (II.
vi.). That, therefore, which determines the mind to thought
is a mode of thought, and not a mode of extension; that
is (II. Def. i.), it is not body. This was our first point.
Again, the motion and rest of a body must arise from
another body, which has also been determined to a state
of motion or rest by a third body, and absolutely
everything which takes place in a body must spring from
God, in so far as he is regarded as affected by some
mode of extension, and not by some mode of thought
(II. vi.); that is, it cannot spring from the mind, which
is a mode of thought. This was our second point.
Therefore body cannot determine mind, &c. Q.E.D.
*****Note--This is made more clear by what was said
in the note to II. vii., namely, that mind and body are one
and the same thing, conceived first under the attribute of
thought, secondly, under the attribute of extension. Thus
it follows that the order or concatenation of things is identical,
whether nature be conceived under the one attribute or the
other; consequently the order of states of activity and
passivity in our body is simultaneous in nature with the
order of states of activity and passivity in the mind.
The same conclusion is evident from the manner in which
we proved II. xii.
Nevertheless, though such is the case, and though there
be no further room for doubt, I can scarcely believe,
until the fact is proved by experience, that men can be
induced to consider the question calmly and fairly, so firmly
are they convinced that it is merely at the bidding of the
mind, that the body is set in motion or at rest, or performs
a variety of actions depending solely on the mind's will
or the exercise of thought. However, no one has hitherto
laid down the limits to the powers of the body, that is, no
one has as yet been taught by experience what the body
can accomplish solely by the laws of nature, in so far as
she is regarded as extension. No one hitherto has gained
such an accurate knowledge of the bodily mechanism, that
he can explain all its functions; nor need I call attention
to the fact that many actions are observed in the lower
animals, which far transcend human sagacity, and
that somnambulists do many things in their sleep, which
they would not venture to do when awake: these instances
are enough to show, that the body can by the sole laws
of its nature do many things which the mind wonders at.
Again, no one knows how or by what means the mind
moves the body, nor how many various degrees of motion
it can impart to the body, nor how quickly it can move it.
Thus, when men say that this or that physical action has
its origin in the mind, which latter has dominion over the
body, they are using words without meaning, or are
confessing in specious phraseology that they are ignorant
of the cause of the said action, and do not wonder at it.
But, they will say, whether we know or do not know the
means whereby the mind acts on the body, we have, at
any rate, experience of the fact that unless the human mind
is in a fit state to think, the body remains inert. Moreover,
we have experience, that the mind alone can determine
whether we speak or are silent, and a variety of similar
states which, accordingly, we say depend on the mind's
decree. But, as to the first point, I ask such objectors,
whether experience does not also teach, that if the body
be inactive the mind is simultaneously unfitted for
thinking? For when the body is at rest in sleep, the mind
simultaneously is in a state of torpor also, and has no
power of thinking, such as it possesses when the body
is awake. Again, I think everyone's experience will
confirm the statement, that the mind is not at all times
equally fit for thinking on a given subject, but according
as the body is more or less fitted for being stimulated by
the image of this or that object, so also is the mind more
or less fitted for contemplating the said object.
But, it will be urged, it is impossible that solely from
the laws of nature considered as extended substance,
we should be able to deduce the causes of buildings,
pictures, and things of that kind, which are produced
only by human art; nor would the human body, unless
it were determined and led by the mind, be capable of
building a single temple. However, I have just pointed
out that the objectors cannot fix the limits of the body's
power, or say what can be concluded from a consideration
of its sole nature, whereas they have experience of many
things being accomplished solely by the laws of nature,
which they would never have believed possible except
under the direction of mind: such are the actions performed
by somnambulists while asleep, and wondered at by their
performers when awake. I would further call attention
to the mechanism of the human body, which far surpasses
in complexity all that has been put together by human art,
not to repeat what I have already shown, namely, that
from nature, under whatever attribute she be considered,
infinite results follow. As for the second objection, I
submit that the world would be much happier, if men were
as fully able to keep silence as they are to speak.
Experience abundantly shows that men can govern anything
more easily than their tongues, and restrain anything more
easily than their appetites; when it comes about that many
believe, that we are only free in respect to objects which
we moderately desire, because our desire for such can
easily be controlled by the thought of something else
frequently remembered, but that we are by no means free
in respect to what we seek with violent emotion, for our
desire cannot then be allayed with the remembrance of
anything else. However, unless such persons had proved
by experience that we do many things which we afterwards
repent of, and again that we often, when assailed by contrary
emotions, see the better and follow the worse, there would
be nothing to prevent their believing that we are free in all
things. Thus an infant believes that of its own free will it
desires milk, an angry child believes that it freely desires
to run away; further, a drunken man believes that he utters
from the free decision of his mind words which, when he
is sober, he would willingly have withheld: thus, too, a
delirious man, a garrulous woman, a child, and others
of like complexion, believe that they speak from the free
decision of their mind, when they are in reality unable to
restrain their impulse to talk. Experience teaches us no
less clearly than reason, that men believe themselves to be
free, simply because they are conscious of their actions,
and unconscious of the causes whereby those actions are
determined; and, further, it is plain that the dictates of the
mind are but another name for the appetites, and therefore
vary according to the varying state of the body. Everyone
shapes his actions according to his emotion, those who are
assailed by conflicting emotions know not what they wish;
those who are not attacked by any emotion are readily swayed
this way or that. All these considerations clearly show that
a mental decision and a bodily appetite, or determined state,
are simultaneous, or rather are one and the same thing, which
we call decision, when it is regarded under and explained
through the attribute of thought, and a conditioned state, when
it is regarded under the attribute of extension, and deduced
from the laws of motion and rest. This will appear yet more
plainly in the sequel. For the present I wish to call attention
to another point, namely, that we cannot act by the decision
of the mind, unless we have a remembrance of having done
so. For instance, we cannot say a word without remembering
that we have done so. Again, it is not within the free power
of the mind to remember or forget a thing at will. Therefore
the freedom of the mind must in any case be limited to the
power of uttering or not uttering something which it remembers.
But when we dream that we speak, we believe that we speak
from a free decision of the mind, yet we do not speak, or, if we
do, it is by a spontaneous motion of the body. Again, we
dream that we are concealing something, and we seem to act
from the same decision of the mind as that, whereby we keep
silence when awake concerning something we know. Lastly,
we dream that from the free decision of our mind we do
something, which we should not dare to do when awake.
Now I should like to know whether there be in the mind two
sorts of decisions, one sort illusive, and the other sort free?
If our folly does not carry us so far as this, we must necessarily
admit, that the decision of the mind, which is believed to be
free, is not distinguishable from the imagination or memory,
and is nothing more than the affirmation, which an idea, by
virtue of being an idea, necessarily involves (II. xlix.).
Wherefore these decisions of the mind arise in the mind by
the same necessity, as the ideas of things actually existing.
Therefore those who believe, that they speak or keep silence
or act in any way from the free decision of their mind, do
but dream with their eyes open.
III. The activities of the mind arise solely from adequate
ideas; the passive states of the mind depend solely
on inadequate ideas.
>>>>>Proof--The first element, which constitutes the essence
of the mind, is nothing else but the idea of the actually existent
body (II. xi. and xiii.), which (II. xv.) is compounded of many
other ideas, whereof some are adequate and some inadequate
(II. xxix. Cor., II. xxxviii. Cor.). Whatsoever therefore follows
from the nature of mind, and has mind for its proximate cause,
through which it must be understood, must necessarily follow
either from an adequate or from an inadequate idea. But in
so far as the mind (III. i.) has inadequate ideas, it is necessarily
passive: wherefore the activities of the mind follow solely from
adequate ideas, and accordingly the mind is only passive in so
far as it has inadequate ideas. Q.E.D.
*****Note--Thus we see, that passive states are not
attributed to the mind, except in so far as it contains something
involving negation, or in so far as it is regarded as a part of
nature, which cannot be clearly and distinctly perceived
through itself without other parts: I could thus show, that
passive states are attributed to individual things in the same
way that they are attributed to the mind, and that they cannot
otherwise be perceived, but my purpose is solely to treat
of the human mind.
IV. Nothing can be destroyed, except by a cause external to
>>>>>Proof--This proposition is self-evident, for the
definition of anything affirms the essence of that thing, but
does not negative it; in other words, it postulates the essence
of the thing, but does not take it away. So long therefore as
we regard only the thing itself, without taking into account
external causes, we shall not be able to find in it anything
which could destroy it. Q.E.D.
V. Things are naturally contrary, that is, cannot exist in the same
object, in so far as one is capable of destroying the other.
>>>>>Proof--If they could agree together or co-exist in the same
object, there would then be in the said object something which
could destroy it; but this, by the foregoing proposition, is absurd,
therefore things, &c. Q.E.D.
VI. Everything, in so far as it is in itself, endeavours to persist in
its own being.
>>>>>Proof--Individual things are modes whereby the
attributes of God are expressed in a given determinate manner
(I. xxv.Cor.); that is, (I. xxxiv.), they are things which express
in a given determinate manner the power of God, whereby
God is and acts; now no thing contains in itself anything
whereby it can be destroyed, or which can take away its
existence (III. iv.); but contrariwise it is opposed to all that
could take away its existence (III. v.). Therefore, in so far as
it can, and in so far as it is in itself, it endeavours to persist
in its own being. Q.E.D.
VII. The endeavour, wherewith everything endeavours to
persist in its own being, is nothing else but the actual essence
of the thing in question.
>>>>>Proof--From the given essence of any thing certain
consequences necessarily follow (I. xxxvi.), nor have things any
power save such as necessarily follows from their nature as
determined (I. xxix.); wherefore the power of any given thing,
or the endeavour whereby, either alone or with other things,
it acts, or endeavours to act, that is (III. vi.), the power or
endeavour, wherewith it endeavours to persist in its own being,
is nothing else but the given or actual essence of the thing in
VIII. The endeavour, whereby a thing endeavours to persist
in its own being, involves no finite time, but an indefinite time.
>>>>>Proof--If it involved a limited time, which should determine
the duration of the thing, it would then follow solely from that
power whereby the thing exists, that the thing could not exist
beyond the limits of that time, but that it must be destroyed; but
this (III. iv.) is absurd. Wherefore the endeavour wherewith a
thing exists involves no definite time; but, contrariwise, since
(III. iv.) it will by the same power whereby it already exists
always continue to exist, unless it be destroyed by some external
cause, this endeavour involves an indefinite time.
IX. The mind, both in so far as it has clear and distinct ideas, and
also in so far as it has confused ideas, endeavours to persist in its
being for an indefinite period, and of this endeavour it is conscious.
>>>>>Proof--The essence of the mind is constituted by adequate
and inadequate ideas (III. iii.), therefore (III. vii.), both in so far
as it possesses the former, and in so far as it possesses the latter,
it endeavours to persist in its own being, and that for an indefinite
time (III. viii.). Now as the mind (II. xxiii.) is necessarily conscious
of itself through the ideas of the modifications of the body, the mind
is therefore (III. vii.) conscious of its own endeavour.
*****Note--This endeavour, when referred solely to the mind, is
called "will," when referred to the mind and body in conjunction it
is called "appetite"; it is, in fact, nothing else but man's essence,
from the nature of which necessarily follow all those results which
tend to its preservation; and which man has thus been determined
Further, between appetite and desire there is no difference, except
that the term desire is generally applied to men, in so far as they
are conscious of their appetite, and may accordingly be thus defined:
"Desire is appetite with consciousness thereof." It is thus plain from
what has been said, that in no case do we strive for, wish for, long
for, or desire anything, because we deem it to be good, but on the
other hand we deem a thing to be good, because we strive for it,
wish for it, long for it, or desire it.
X. An idea, which excludes the existence of our body, cannot be
postulated in our mind, but is contrary thereto.
>>>>>Proof--Whatsoever can destroy our body, cannot be
postulated therein (III. v.). Therefore neither can the idea of such
a thing occur in God, in so far as he has the idea of our body (II. ix.
Cor.); that is (II. xi., xiii.), the idea of that thing cannot be postulated
as in our mind, but contrariwise, since (II. xi., xiii.) the first element,
that constitutes the essence of the mind, is the idea of the human
body as actually existing, it follows that the first and chief endeavour
of our mind is the endeavour to affirm the existence of our body:
thus, an idea, which negatives the existence of our body, is contrary
to our mind, &c. Q.E.D.
XI. Whatsoever increases or diminishes, helps or hinders the power
of activity in our body, the idea thereof increases or diminishes, helps
or hinders the power of thought in our mind.
>>>>>Proof--This proposition is evident from II. vii. or from II. xiv.
*****Note--Thus we see, that the mind can undergo many changes,
and can pass sometimes to a state of greater perfection, sometimes
to a state of lesser perfection. These passive states of transition
explain to us the emotions of pleasure and pain. By "pleasure"
therefore in the following propositions I shall signify "a passive state
wherein the mind passes to a greater perfection." By "pain" I shall
signify "a passive state wherein the mind passes to a lesser perfection."
Further, the emotion of pleasure in reference to the body and mind
together I shall call "stimulation" (titillatio) or "merriment" (hilaritas),
the emotion of pain in the same relation I shall call "suffering" or
"melancholy." But we must bear in mind, that stimulation and
suffering are attributed to man, when one part of his nature is more
affected than the rest, merriment and melancholy, when all parts
are alike affected. What I mean by desire I have explained in the
note to Prop. ix. of this part; beyond these three I recognize no
other primary emotion; I will show as I proceed, that all other
emotions arise from these three. But, before I go further, I should
like here to explain at greater length Prop. x. of this part, in order
that we may clearly understand how one idea is contrary to another.
In the note to II. xvii. we showed that the idea, which constitutes
the essence of mind, involves the existence of body, so long as
the body itself exists. Again, it follows from what we pointed out
in the Corollary to II. viii., that the present existence of our mind
depends solely on the fact, that the mind involves the actual
existence of the body. Lastly, we showed (II. xvii., xviii. and
Note) that the power of the mind, whereby it imagines and
remembers things, also depends on the fact, that it involves the
actual existence of the body. Whence it follows, that the present
existence of the mind and its power of imagining are removed,
as soon as the mind ceases to affirm the present existence of the
body. Now the cause, why the mind ceases to affirm this
existence of the body, cannot be the mind itself (III. iv.), nor
again the fact that the body ceases to exist. For (by II. vi.)
the cause, why the mind affirms the existence of the body,
is not that the body began to exist; therefore, for the same
reason, it does not cease to affirm the existence of the body,
because the body ceases to exist; but (II. xvii.) this result
follows from another idea, which excludes the present
existence of our body and, consequently, of our mind, and
which is therefore contrary to the idea constituting the essence
of our mind.
XII. The mind, as far as it can, endeavours to conceive those
things, which increase or help the power of activity in the body.
>>>>>Proof--So long as the human body is affected in a mode,
which involves the nature of any external body, the human mind
will regard that external body as present (II. xvii.), and consequently
(II. vii.), so long as the human mind regards an external body as
present, that is (II. xvii. Note), conceives it, the human body is
affected in a mode, which involves the nature of the said external
body; thus so long as the mind conceives things, which increase
or help the power of activity in our body, the body is affected in
modes which increase or help its power of activity (III. Post. i.);
consequently (III. xi.) the mind's power of thinking is for that
period increased or helped. Thus (III. vi., ix.) the mind, as far
as it can, endeavours to imagine such things. Q.E.D.
XIII. When the mind conceives things which diminish or hinder the
body's power of activity, it endeavours, as far as possible, to
remember things which exclude the existence of the first-named
>>>>>Proof--So long as the mind conceives anything of the kind
alluded to, the power of the mind and body is diminished or
constrained (cf. III. xii. Proof); nevertheless it will continue to
conceive it, until the mind conceives something else, which excludes
the present existence thereof (II. xvii.); that is (as I have just shown),
the power of the mind and of the body is diminished, or constrained,
until the mind conceives something else, which excludes the
existence of the former thing conceived: therefore the mind (III. ix.),
as far as it can, will endeavour to conceive or remember the latter.
itself and of the body.
*****Note--From what has been said we may clearly understand
the nature of Love and Hate. "Love" is nothing else but "pleasure
accompanied by the idea of an external cause." We further see,
that he who loves necessarily endeavours to have, and to keep
present to him, the object of his love; while he who hates endeavours
to remove and destroy the object of his hatred. But I will treat of
these matters at more length hereafter.
XIV. If the mind has once been affected by two emotions at the
same time, it will, whenever it is afterwards affected by one of these
two, be also affected by the other.
>>>>>Proof--If the human body has once been affected by two
bodies at once, whenever afterwards the mind conceives one of
them, it will straightway remember the other also (II. xviii.). But
the mind's conceptions indicate rather the emotions of our body
than the nature of external bodies (II. xvi. Cor. ii.); therefore, if
the body, and consequently the mind (III. Def. iii.) has been once
affected by two emotions at the same time, it will, whenever it is
afterwards affected by one of the two, be also affected by the
XV. Anything can, accidentally, be the cause of pleasure, pain,
>>>>>Proof--Let it be granted that the mind is simultaneously
affected by two emotions, of which one neither increases nor
diminishes its power of activity, and the other does either increase
or diminish the said power (III. Post. i.). From the foregoing
proposition it is evident that, whenever the mind is afterwards
affected by the former, through its true cause, which (by hypothesis)
neither increases nor diminishes its power of action, it will be at
the same time affected by the latter, which does increase or
diminish its power of activity, that is (III. xi. note) it will be affected
with pleasure or pain. Thus the former of the two emotions will,
not through itself, but accidentally, be the cause of pleasure or
pain. In the same way also it can be easily shown, that a thing
may be accidentally the cause of desire. Q.E.D.
not the efficient cause of the emotion, we can either love or hate it.
>>>>>Proof--For from this fact alone it arises (III. xiv.), that
the mind afterwards conceiving the said thing is affected with the
emotion of pleasure or pain, that is (III. xi. note), according as
the power of the mind and body may be increased or diminished,
&c.; and consequently (III. xii.), according as the mind may
desire or shrink from the conception of it (III. xiii. Cor.), in other
words (III. xiii. note), according as it may love or hate the same.
*****Note--Hence we understand how it may happen, that we
love or hate a thing without any cause for our emotion being known
to us; merely, as a phrase is, from "sympathy" or "antipathy." We
should refer to the same category those objects, which affect us
pleasurably or painfully, simply because they resemble other
objects which affect us in the same way. This I will show in the
next Prop. I am aware that certain authors, who were the first to
introduce these terms "sympathy" and "antipathy," wished to signify
thereby some occult qualities in things; nevertheless I think we may
be permitted to use the same terms to indicate known or manifest
XVI. Simply from the fact that we conceive, that a given object
has some point of resemblance with another object which is wont
to affect the mind pleasurably or painfully, although the point of
resemblance be not the efficient cause of the said emotions, we
shall still regard the first-named object with love or hate.
>>>>>Proof--The point of resemblance was in the object (by
hypothesis), when we regarded it with pleasure or pain, thus
(III. xiv.), when the mind is affected by the image thereof, it will
straightway be affected by one or the other emotion, and
consequently the thing, which we perceive to have the same point
of resemblance, will be accidentally (III. xv.) a cause of pleasure
or pain. Thus (by the foregoing Corollary), although the point
in which the two objects resemble one another be not the
efficient cause of the emotion, we shall still regard the first-named
object with love or hate. Q.E.D.
XVII. If we conceive that a thing, which is wont to affect us
painfully, has any point of resemblance with another thing which
is wont to affect us with an equally strong emotion of pleasure,
we shall hate the first-named thing, and at the same time we shall
>>>>>Proof--The given thing is (by hypothesis) in itself a cause
of pain, and (III. xiii. note), in so far as we imagine it with this
emotion, we shall hate it: further, inasmuch as we conceive that
it has some point of resemblance to something else, which is wont
to affect us with an equally strong emotion of pleasure, we shall
with an equally strong impulse of pleasure love it (III. xvi.); thus
we shall both hate and love the same thing. Q.E.D.
*****Note--This disposition of the mind, which arises from two
contrary emotions, is called "vacillation"; it stands to the emotions
in the same relation as doubt does to the imagination (II. xliv. note);
vacillation and doubt do not differ one from the other, except as
greater differs from less. But we must bear in mind that I have
deduced this vacillation from causes, which give rise through
themselves to one of the emotions, and to the other accidentally.
I have done this, in order that they might be more easily deduced
from what went before; but I do not deny that vacillation of the
disposition generally arises from an object, which is the efficient
cause of both emotions. The human body is composed
(II. Post. i.) of a variety of individual parts of different nature,
and may therefore (Ax. i. after Lemma iii. after II. xiii.) be
affected in a variety of different ways by one and the same body;
and contrariwise, as one and the same thing can be affected in
many ways, it can also in many different ways affect one and
the same part of the body. Hence we can easily conceive, that
one and the same object may be the cause of many and
XVIII. A man is as much affected pleasurably or painfully
by the image of a thing past or future as by the image of a thing
>>>>>Proof--So long as a man is affected by the image of
anything, he will regard that thing as present, even though it be
non-existent (II. xvii. and Cor.), he will not conceive it as past
or future, except in so far as its image is joined to the image
of time past or future (II. xliv. note). Wherefore the image of
a thing, regarded in itself alone, is identical, whether it be referred
to time past, time future, or time present; that is (II. xvi. Cor.), the
disposition or emotion of the body is identical, whether the image
be of a thing past or future. Q.E.D.
*****Note I.--I call a thing past or future, according as we either
have been or shall be affected thereby. For instance, according
as we have seen it, or are about to see it, according as it has
recreated us, or will recreate us, according as it has harmed us,
or will harm us. For, as we thus conceive it, we affirm its
existence; that is, the body is affected by no emotion which
excludes the existence of the thing, and therefore (II. xvii.) the
body is affected by the image of the thing, in the same way as if
the thing were actually present. However, as it generally happens
that those, who have had many experiences, vacillate, so long as
they regard a thing as future or past, and are usually in doubt about
its issue (II. xliv. note); it follows that the emotions which arise from
similar images of things are not so constant, but are generally
disturbed by the images of other things, until men become assured
of the issue.
*****Note II.--From what has just been said, we understand what
is meant by the terms Hope, Fear, Confidence, Despair, Joy, and
Disappointment. "Hope" is nothing else but "an inconstant pleasure,
arising from the image of something future or past, whereof we do
not yet know the issue." "Fear," on the other hand, is "an inconstant
pain also arising from the image of something concerning which we
are in doubt." If the element of doubt be removed from these
emotions, hope becomes "Confidence" and fear becomes "Despair."
In other words, "Pleasure or Pain arising from the image of
something concerning which we have hoped or feared." Again,
"Joy" is "Pleasure arising from the image of something past whereof
we have doubted the issue." "Disappointment" is "the Pain opposed
XIX. He who conceives that the object of his love is destroyed
will feel pain; if he conceives that it is preserved he will feel pleasure.
>>>>>Proof--The mind, as far as possible, endeavours to
conceive those things which increase or help the body's power
of activity (III. xii.); in other words (III. xii. note), those things
which it loves. But conception is helped by those things which
postulate the existence of a thing, and contrariwise is hindered
by those which exclude the existence of a thing (II. xvii.);
therefore the images of things, which postulate the existence
of an object of love, help the mind's endeavour to conceive
the object of love, in other words (III. xi. note), affect the mind
pleasurably; contrariwise those things, which exclude the existence
of an object of love, hinder the aforesaid mental endeavour; in
other words, affect the mind painfully. He, therefore, who
conceives that the object of his love is destroyed will feel pain,
XX. He who conceives that the object of his hate is destroyed will
also feel pleasure.
>>>>>Proof--The mind (III. xiii.) endeavours to conceive those
things, which exclude the existence of things whereby the body's
power of activity is diminished or constrained; that is (III. xiii.
note), it endeavours to conceive such things as exclude the
existence of what it hates; therefore the image of a thing, which
excludes the existence of what the mind hates, helps the aforesaid
mental effort, in other words (III. xi. note), affects the mind
pleasurably. Thus he who conceives that the object of his hate
is destroyed will feel pleasure. Q.E.D.
XXI. He who conceives, that the object of his love is affected
pleasurably or painfully, will himself be affected pleasurably or
painfully; and the one or the other emotion will be greater or less
in the lover according as it is greater or less in the thing loved.
>>>>>Proof--The images of things (as we showed in III. xix.)
which postulate the existence of the object of love, help the
mind's endeavour to conceive the said object. But pleasure
postulates the existence of something feeling pleasure, so much
the more in proportion as the emotion of pleasure is greater;
for it is (III. xi. note) a transition to a greater perfection; therefore
the image of pleasure in the object of love helps the mental
endeavour of the lover; that is, it affects the lover pleasurably,
and so much the more, in proportion as this emotion may have
been greater in the object of love. This was our first point.
Further, in so far as a thing is affected with pain, it is to that
extent destroyed, the extent being in proportion to the amount
of pain (III. xi. note); therefore (III. xix.) he who conceives,
that the object of his love is affected painfully, will himself be
affected painfully, in proportion as the said emotion is greater
or less in the object of love. Q.E.D.
XXII. If we conceive that anything pleasurably affects some
object of our love, we shall be affected with love towards that
thing. Contrariwise, if we conceive that it affects an object of
our love painfully, we shall be affected with hatred towards it.
>>>>>Proof--He, who affects pleasurably or painfully the object
of our love, affects us also pleasurably or painfully--that is, if we
conceive the loved object as affected with the said pleasure
or pain (III. xxi.). But this pleasure or pain is postulated to come
to us accompanied by the idea of an external cause; therefore
(III. xiii. note), if we conceive that anyone affects an object of
our love pleasurably or painfully, we shall be affected with love
or hatred towards him. Q.E.D.
*****Note--Prop. xxi. explains to us the nature of 'Pity,' which
we may define as 'pain arising from another's hurt.' What term
we can use for pleasure arising from another's gain, I know not.
We will call the 'love towards him who confers a benefit on
another,' 'Approval;' and the 'hatred towards him who injures
another,' we will call 'Indignation.' We must further remark,
that we not only feel pity for a thing which we have loved (as
shown in III. xxi.), but also for a thing which we have hitherto
regarded without emotion, provided that we deem that it resembles
ourselves (as I will show presently). Thus, we bestow approval
on one who has benefited anything resembling ourselves, and,
contrariwise, are indignant with him who has done it an injury.
XXIII. He who conceives, that an object of his hatred is painfully
affected, will feel pleasure. Contrariwise, if he thinks that the said
object is pleasurably affected, he will feel pain. Each of these
emotions will be greater or less, according as its contrary is greater
or less in the object of hatred.
>>>>>Proof--In so far as an object of hatred is painfully affected,
it is destroyed, to an extent proportioned to the strength of the
pain (III. xi. note). Therefore, he (III. xx.) who conceives, that
some object of his hatred is painfully affected, will feel pleasure,
to an extent proportioned to the amount of pain he conceives
in the object of his hatred. This was our first point. Again,
pleasure postulates the existence of the pleasurably affected
thing (III. xi. note), in proportion as the pleasure is greater or
less. If anyone imagines that an object of his hatred is pleasurably
affected, this conception (III. xiii.) will hinder his own endeavour
to persist; in other words (III. xi. note), he who hates will be
painfully affected. Q.E.D.
*****Note--This pleasure can scarcely be felt unalloyed, and
without any mental conflict. For (as I am about to show in Prop.
xxvii.), in so far as a man conceives that something similar to
himself is affected by pain, he will himself be affected in like
manner; and he will have the contrary emotion in contrary
circumstances. But here we are regarding hatred only.
XXIV. If we conceive that anyone pleasurably affects an object
of our hate, we shall feel hatred towards him also. If we
conceive that he painfully affects that said object, we shall feel
love towards him.
>>>>>Proof--This proposition is proved in the same way as III.
xxii., which see.
*****Note--These and similar emotions of hatred are attributable
to 'envy,' which, accordingly, is nothing else but 'hatred, in so far
as it is regarded as disposing a man to rejoice in another's hurt,
and to grieve at another's advantage.'
XXV. We endeavour to affirm, concerning ourselves, and
concerning what we love, everything that we can conceive
to affect pleasurably ourselves, or the loved object.
Contrariwise, we endeavour to negative everything, which
we conceive to affect painfully ourselves or the loved object.
>>>>>Proof--That, which we conceive to affect an object
of our love pleasurably or painfully, affects us also pleasurably
or painfully (III. xxi.). But the mind (III. xii.) endeavours, as
far as possible, to conceive those things which affect us
pleasurably; in other words (II. xvii. and Cor.), it endeavours
to regard them as present. And, contrariwise (III. xiii.), it
endeavours to exclude the existence of such things as affect
us painfully; therefore, we endeavour to affirm concerning
ourselves, and concerning the loved object, whatever we
conceive to affect ourselves, or the love object pleasurably.
XXVI. We endeavour to affirm, concerning that which we hate,
everything which we conceive to affect it painfully; and,
contrariwise, we endeavour to deny, concerning it, everything
which we conceive to affect it pleasurably.
>>>>>Proof--This proposition follows from III. xxiii., as the
foregoing proposition followed from III. xxi.
*****Note--Thus we see that it may readily happen, that a
man may easily think too highly of himself, or a loved object,
and, contrariwise, too meanly of a hated object. This feeling
is called 'pride,' in reference to the man who thinks too highly
of himself, and is a species of madness, wherein a man dreams
with his eyes open, thinking that he can accomplish all things
that fall within the scope of his conception, and thereupon
accounting them real, and exulting in them, so long as he is
unable to conceive anything which excludes their existence,
and determines his own power of action. 'Pride,' therefore,
is 'pleasure springing from a man thinking too highly of himself.'
Again, the 'pleasure which arises from a man thinking too
highly of another' is called 'over-esteem.' Whereas the
'pleasure which arises from thinking too little of a man' is
XXVII. By the very fact that we conceive a thing, which is like
ourselves, and which we have not regarded with any emotion,
to be affected with any emotion, we are ourselves affected with
a like emotion (affectus).
>>>>>Proof--The images of things are modifications of the
human body, whereof the ideas represent external bodies as
present to us (II. xvii.); in other words (II. x.), whereof the
ideas involve the nature of our body, and, at the same time,
the nature of the external bodies as present. If, therefore,
the nature of the external body be similar to the nature of our
body, then the idea which we form of the external body will
involve a modification of our own body similar to the
modification of the external body. Consequently, if we
conceive anyone similar to ourselves as affected by any
emotion, this conception will express a modification of our
body similar to that emotion. Thus, from the fact of
conceiving a thing like ourselves to be affected with any
emotion, we are ourselves affected with a like emotion.
If, however, we hate the said thing like ourselves, we shall,
to that extent, be affected by a contrary, and not similar,
*****Note I--This imitation of emotions, when it is referred
to pain, is called "compassion" (cf. III. xxii. note); when it is
referred to desire, it is called "emulation," which is nothing
else but "the desire of anything, engendered in us by the fact
that we conceive that others have the like desire."
something similar to ourselves, we shall be affected with love
towards him. If, on the other hand, we conceive that he
painfully affects the same, we shall be affected with hatred
>>>>>Proof--This is proved from the last proposition in the
same manner as III. xxii. is proved from III. xxi.
>>>>>Proof--If we could hate it for this reason, we should
rejoice in its pain, which is contrary to the hypothesis.
>>>>>Proof--That, which painfully affects the object of
our pity, affects us also with similar pain (by the foregoing
proposition); therefore, we shall endeavour to recall
everything which removes its existence, or which destroys
it (cf. III. xiii.); in other words (III. ix. note), we shall desire
to destroy it, or we shall be determined for its destruction;
thus, we shall endeavour to free from misery a thing which
we pity. Q.E.D.
*****Note II--This will or appetite for doing good, which
arises from pity of the thing whereon we would confer a
benefit, is called "benevolence," and is nothing else but "desire
arising from compassion." Concerning love or hate towards
him who has done good or harm to something, which we
conceive to be like ourselves, see III. xxii. note.
XXVIII. We endeavour to bring about whatsoever we
conceive to conduce to pleasure; but we endeavour to
remove or destroy whatsoever we conceive to be truly
repugnant thereto, or to conduce to pain.
>>>>>Proof--We endeavour, as far as possible, to conceive
that which we imagine to conduce to pleasure (III. xii.); in
other words (II. xvii.) we shall endeavour to conceive it as far
as possible as present or actually existing. But the endeavour
of the mind, or the mind's power of thought, is equal to, and
simultaneous with, the endeavour of the body, or the body's
power of action. (This is clear from II. vii. Cor. and II. xi.
Cor.). Therefore we make an absolute endeavour for its
existence, in other words (which by III. ix., note, come to the
same thing) we desire and strive for it; this was our first point.
Again, if we conceive that something, which we believed to
be the cause of pain, that is (III. xiii. note), which we hate,
is destroyed, we shall rejoice (III. xx.). We shall, therefore
(by the first part of this proof), endeavour to destroy the
same, or (III. xiii.) to remove it from us, so that we may not
regard it as present; this was our second point. Wherefore
whatsoever conduces to pleasure, &c. Q.E.D.
XXIX. We shall also endeavour to do whatsoever we
conceive men* to regard with pleasure, and contrariwise we
shall shrink from doing that which we conceive men to shrink
[*N.B. By "men" in this and the following propositions, I
mean men whom we regard without any particular emotion.]
>>>>>Proof--From the fact of imagining, that men love or
hate anything, we shall love or hate the same thing (III. xxvii.).
That is (III. xiii. note), from this mere fact we shall feel pleasure
or pain at the thing's presence. And so we shall endeavour to
do whatsoever we conceive men to love or regard with pleasure,
*****Note--This endeavour to do a thing or leave it undone,
solely in order to please men, we call "ambition," especially
when we so eagerly endeavour to please the vulgar, that we
do or omit certain things to our own or another's hurt: in other
cases it is generally called "kindliness." Furthermore I give the
name of "praise" to the "pleasure, with which we conceive the
action of another, whereby he has endeavoured to please us";
but of "blame" to the "pain wherewith we feel aversion to his
XXX. If anyone has done something which he conceives
as affecting other men pleasurably, he will be affected by
pleasure, accompanied by the idea of himself as cause; in
other words, he will regard himself with pleasure. On the
other hand, if he has done anything which he conceives as
affecting others painfully, he will regard himself with pain.
>>>>>Proof--He who conceives, that he affects others
with pleasure or pain, will, by that very fact, himself be
affected with pleasure or pain (III. xxvii.), but, as a man (II.
xix. and xxiii.) is conscious of himself through the modifications
whereby he is determined to action, it follows that he who
conceives, that he affects others pleasurably, will be affected
with pleasure accompanied by the idea of himself as cause; in
other words, he will regard himself with pleasure. And so
"mutatis mutandis" in the case of pain. Q.E.D.
*****Note--As love (III. xiii.) is pleasure accompanied by
the idea of an external cause, and hatred is pain accompanied
by the idea of an external cause; the pleasure and pain in
question will be a species of love and hatred. But, as the terms
love and hatred are used in reference to external objects, we
will employ other names for the emotions now under discussion:
pleasure accompanied by the idea of an external cause we will
style "Honour," and the emotion contrary thereto we will style
"Shame": I mean in such cases as where pleasure or pain
arises from a man's belief, that he is being praised or blamed:
otherwise pleasure accompanied by the idea of an external
cause is called "self-complacency," and its contrary pain is
called "repentance." Again, as it may happen (II. xvii. Cor.)
that the pleasure, wherewith a man conceives that he affects
others, may exist solely in his own imagination, and as (III.
xxv.) everyone endeavours to conceive concerning himself
that which he conceives will affect him with pleasure, it may
easily come to pass that a vain man may be proud and may
imagine that he is pleasing to all, when in reality he may be
an annoyance to all.
XXXI. If we conceive that anyone loves, desires, or hates
anything which we ourselves love, desire, or hate, we shall
thereupon regard the thing in question with more steadfast
love, &c. On the contrary, if we think that anyone shrinks
from something that we love, we shall undergo vacillations
>>>>>Proof--From the mere fact of conceiving that anyone
loves anything we shall ourselves love that thing (III. xxvii.):
but we are assumed to love it already; there is, therefore, a
new cause of love, whereby our former emotion is fostered;
hence we shall thereupon love it more steadfastly. Again,
from the mere fact of conceiving that anyone shrinks from
anything, we shall ourselves shrink from that thing (III. xxvii.).
If we assume that we at the same time love it, we shall then
simultaneously love it and shrink from it; in other words, we
shall be subject to vacillation (III. xvii. note). Q.E.D.
to cause others to love what he himself loves, and to hate what
he himself hates: as the poet* says: "As lover let us share every
hope and every fear: ironhearted were he who should love
what the other leaves."**
[* Ovid, "Amores," II. xix. 4,5]
[** Spinoza transposes the verses: "Speremus pariter, pariter
metuamus amantes; Ferreus est, si quis, quod sinit alter, amat."]
*****Note--This endeavour to bring it about, that our own likes
and dislikes should meet with universal approval, is really ambition
(see III. xxix. note); wherefore we see that everyone by nature
desires (appetere), that the rest of mankind should live according
to his own individual disposition: when such a desire is equally
present in all, everyone stands in everyone else's way, and in
wishing to be loved or praised by all, all become mutually hateful.
XXXII. If we conceive that anyone takes delight in something,
which only one person can possess, we shall endeavour to bring
it about that the man in question shall not gain possession thereof.
>>>>>Proof--From the mere fact of our conceiving that another
person takes delight in a thing (III. xxvii. and Cor.) we shall
ourselves love that thing and desire to take delight therein. But
we assumed that the pleasure in question would be prevented by
another's delight in its object; we shall, therefore, endeavour to
prevent his possession thereof (III. xxviii.). Q.E.D.
*****Note--We thus see that man's nature is generally so
constituted, that he takes pity on those who fare ill, and envies
those who fare well with an amount of hatred proportioned to
his own love for the goods in their possession. Further, we see
that from the same property of human nature, whence it follows
that men are merciful, it follows also that they are envious and
ambitious. Lastly, if we make appeal to Experience, we shall
find that she entirely confirms what we have said; more especially
if we turn our attention to the first years of our life. We find that
children, whose body is continually, as it were, in equilibrium,
laugh or cry simply because they see others laughing or crying;
moreover, they desire forthwith to imitate whatever they see
others doing, and to possess themselves of whatever they
conceive as delighting others: inasmuch as the images of things
are, as we have said, modifications of the human body, or
modes wherein the human body is affected and disposed by
external causes to act in this or that manner.
XXXIII. When we love a thing similar to ourselves we endeavour,
as far as we can, to bring about that it should love us in return.
>>>>>Proof--That which we love we endeavour, as far as we
can, to conceive in preference to anything else (III. xii.). If the
thing be similar to ourselves, we shall endeavour to affect it
pleasurably in preference to anything else (III. xxix.). In other
words, we shall endeavour, as far as we can, to bring it about,
that the thing should be affected with pleasure accompanied by
the idea of ourselves, that is (III. xiii. note), that it should love
us in return. Q.E.D.
XXXIV. The greater the emotion with which we conceive a
loved object to be affected towards us, the greater will be our
>>>>>Proof--We endeavour (III. xxxiii.), as far as we can, to
bring about, that what we love should love us in return: in other
words, that what we love should be affected with pleasure
accompanied by the idea of ourself as cause. Therefore, in
proportion as the loved object is more pleasurably affected
because of us, our endeavour will be assisted. --that is (III. xi.
and note) the greater will be our pleasure. But when we take
pleasure in the fact, that we pleasurably affect something similar
to ourselves, we regard ourselves with pleasure (III. xxx);
therefore the greater the emotion with which we conceive a
loved object to be affected, &c. Q.E.D.
XXXV. If anyone conceives, that an object of his love joins
itself to another with closer bonds of friendship than he himself
has attained to, he will be affected with hatred towards the
loved object and with envy towards his rival.
>>>>>Proof--In proportion as a man thinks, that a loved
object is well affected towards him, will be the strength of
his self-approval (by the last Prop.), that is (III. xxx. note),
of his pleasure; he will, therefore (III. xxviii.), endeavour,
as far as he can, to imagine the loved object as most closely
bound to him: this endeavour or desire will be increased, if
he thinks that someone else has a similar desire (III. xxxi.).
But this endeavour or desire is assumed to be checked by
the image of the loved object in conjunction with the image
of him whom the loved object has joined to itself; therefore
(III. xi. note) he will for that reason be affected with pain,
accompanied by the idea of the loved object as a cause in
conjunction with the image of his rival; that is, he will be
(III. xiii.) affected with hatred towards the loved object
and also towards his rival (III. xv. Cor.), which latter he
will envy as enjoying the beloved object. Q.E.D.
*****Note--This hatred towards an object of love joined
with envy is called "Jealousy," which accordingly is nothing
else but a wavering of the disposition arising from combined
love and hatred, accompanied by the idea of some rival who
is envied. Further, this hatred towards the object of love will
be greater, in proportion to the pleasure which the jealous
man had been wont to derive from the reciprocated love of
the said object; and also in proportion to the feelings he had
previously entertained towards his rival. If he had hated him,
he will forthwith hate the object of his love, because he
conceives it is pleasurably affected by one whom he himself
hates: and also because he is compelled to associate the image
of his loved one with the image of him whom he hates. This
condition generally comes into play in the case of love for a
woman: for he who thinks, that a woman whom he loves
prostitutes herself to another, will feel pain, not only because
his own desire is restrained, but also because, being compelled
to associate the image of her he loves with the parts of shame
and the excreta of another, he therefore shrinks from her.
We must add, that a jealous man is not greeted by his beloved
with the same joyful countenance as before, and this also gives
him pain as a lover, as I will now show.
XXXVI. He who remembers a thing, in which he has once taken
delight, desires to possess it under the same circumstances as
when he first took delight therein.
>>>>>Proof--Everything, which a man has seen in conjunction
with the object of his love, will be to him accidentally a cause of
pleasure (III. xv.); he will, therefore, desire to possess it, in
conjunction with that wherein he has taken delight; in other words,
he will desire to possess the object of his love under the same
circumstances as when he first took delight therein. Q.E.D.
>>>>>Proof--For, in so far as he finds some circumstance to
be missing, he conceives something which excludes its existence.
As he is assumed to be desirous for love's sake of that thing or
circumstance (by the last Prop.), he will, in so far as he conceives
it to be missing, feel pain (III. xix.). Q.E.D.
*****This pain, in so far as it has reference to the absence of
the object of love, is called "Regret."
XXXVII. Desire arising through pain or pleasure, hatred or
love, is greater in proportion as the emotion is greater.
>>>>>Proof--Pain diminishes or constrains a man's power
of activity (III. xi. note), in other words (III. vii.), diminishes or
constrains the effort, wherewith he endeavours to persist in his
own being; therefore (III. v.) it is contrary to the said endeavour:
thus all the endeavours of a man affected by pain are directed
to removing that pain. But (by the definition of pain), in proportion
as the pain is greater, so also is it necessarily opposed to a greater
part of man's power of activity; therefore the greater the pain,
the greater the power of activity employed to remove it; that is,
the greater will be the desire or appetite in endeavouring to
remove it. Again, since pleasure (III. xi. note) increases or aids
a man's power of activity, it may easily be shown in like manner,
that a man affected by pleasure has no desire further than to
preserve it, and his desire will be in proportion to the magnitude
of the pleasure.
Lastly, since hatred and love are themselves emotions of pain
and pleasure, it follows in like manner that the endeavour, appetite,
or desire, which arises through hatred or love, will be greater in
proportion to the hatred or love. Q.E.D.
XXXVIII. If a man has begun to hate an object of his love, so
that love is thoroughly destroyed, he will, causes being equal,
regard it with more hatred than if he had never loved it, and
his hatred will be in proportion to the strength of his former love.
>>>>>Proof--If a man begins to hate that which he had loved,
more of his appetites are put under restraint than if he had never
loved it. For love is a pleasure (III. xiii. note) which a man
endeavours as far as he can to render permanent (III. xxviii.);
he does so by regarding the object of his love as present, and
by affecting it as far as he can pleasurably; this endeavour is
greater in proportion as the love is greater, and so also is the
endeavour to bring about that the beloved should return his
affection (III. xxxiii.). Now these endeavours are constrained
by hatred towards the object of love (III. xiii. Cor. and III. xxiii.);
wherefore the love (III. xi. note) will for this cause also be
affected with pain, the more so in proportion as his love has
been greater; that is, in addition to the pain caused by hatred,
there is a pain caused by the fact that he has loved the object;
wherefore the lover will regard the beloved with greater pain,
or in other words, will hate it more than if he had never loved
it, and with the more intensity in proportion as his former love
was greater. Q.E.D.
XXXIX. He who hates anyone will endeavour to do him an
injury, unless he fears that a greater injury will thereby accrue
to himself; on the other hand, he who loves anyone will, by the
same law, seek to benefit him.
>>>>>Proof--To hate a man is (III. xiii. note) to conceive him
as a cause of pain; therefore he who hates a man will endeavour
to remove or destroy him. But if anything more painful, or, in
other words, a greater evil, should accrue to the hater thereby
--and if the hater thinks he can avoid such evil by not carrying
out the injury, which he planned against the object of his hatred
--he will desire to abstain from inflicting that injury (III. xxviii.),
and the strength of his endeavour (III. xxxvii.) will be greater
than his former endeavour to do injury, and will therefore prevail
over it, as we asserted. The second part of this proof proceeds
in the same manner. Wherefore he who hates another, etc.
*****Note--By "good" I here mean every kind of pleasure,
and all that conduces thereto, especially that which satisfies our
longings, whatsoever they may be. By "evil," I mean every kind
of pain, especially that which frustrates our longings. For I have
shown (III. ix. note) that we in no case desire a thing because we
deem it good, but, contrariwise, we deem a thing good because
we desire it: consequently we deem evil that which we shrink
from; everyone, therefore, according to his particular emotions,
judges or estimates what is good, what is bad, what is better,
what is worse, lastly, what is best, and what is worst. Thus a
miser thinks that abundance of money is the best, and want of
money the worst; an ambitious man desires nothing so much as
glory, and fears nothing so much as shame. To an envious man
nothing is more delightful than another's misfortune, and nothing
more painful than another's success. So every man, according
to his emotions, judges a thing to be good or bad, useful or
useless. The emotion, which induces a man to turn from that
which he wishes, or to wish for that which he turns from, is
called "timidity," which may accordingly be defined as "the fear
whereby a man is induced to avoid an evil which he regards as
future by encountering a lesser evil" (III. xxviii.). But if the evil
which he fears be shame, timidity becomes "bashfulness."
Lastly, if the desire to avoid a future evil be checked by the
fear of another evil, so that the man knows not which to choose,
fear becomes "consternation," especially if both the evils feared
be very great.
XL. He, who conceives himself to be hated by another, and
believes that he has given him no cause for hatred, will hate
that other in return.
>>>>>Proof--He who conceives another as affected with
hatred, will thereupon be affected himself with hatred (III.
xxvii.), that is, with pain, accompanied by the idea of an
external cause. But, by the hypothesis, he conceives no
cause for this pain except him who is his enemy; therefore,
from conceiving that he is hated by some one, he will be
affected with pain, accompanied by the idea of his enemy;
in other words, he will hate his enemy in return. Q.E.D.
*****Note--He who thinks that he has given just cause for
hatred will (III. xxx. and note) be affected with shame; but
this case (III. xxv.) rarely happens. This reciprocation of hatred
may also arise from the hatred, which follows an endeavour to
injure the object of our hate (III. xxxix.). He therefore who
conceives that he is hated by another will conceive his enemy
as the cause of some evil or pain; thus he will be affected with
pain or fear, accompanied by the idea of his enemy as cause;
in other words, he will be affected with hatred towards his
enemy, as I said above.
so far as he conceives that he is an object of hatred, he is
determined to hate his enemy in return. But, by the hypothesis,
he nevertheless loves him: wherefore he will be a prey to
conflicting hatred and love.
motives of hatred, he will forthwith seek to repay the injury in
>>>>>Proof--He who conceives, that another hates him, will
(by the last proposition) hate his enemy in return, and (III. xxvi.)
will endeavour to recall everything which can affect him painfully;
he will moreover endeavour to do him an injury (III. xxxix.).
Now the first thing of this sort which he conceives is the injury
done to himself; he will, therefore, forthwith endeavour to repay
it in kind. Q.E.D.
*****Note--The endeavour to injure one whom we hate is
called "Anger;" the endeavour to repay in kind injury done to
ourselves is called "Revenge."
XLI. If anyone conceives that he is loved by another, and
believes that he has given no cause for such love, he will love
that other in return. (Cf. XIII. xv. Cor., and III. xvi.)
>>>>>Proof--This proposition is proved in the same way as
the preceding one. See also the note appended thereto.
*****Note--If he believes that he has given just cause for the
love, he will take pride therein (III. xxx. and note); this is what
most often happens (III. xxv.), and we said that its contrary
took place whenever a man conceives himself to be hated by
another. (See note to preceding proposition.) This reciprocal
love, and consequently the desire of benefiting him who loves
us (III. xxxix.), and who endeavours to benefit us, is called
"gratitude" or "thankfulness." It thus appears that men are much
more prone to take vengeance than to return benefits.
This is proved in the same way as the first corollary of the
*****Note--If hatred be the prevailing emotion, he will
endeavour to injure him who loves him; this emotion is called
cruelty, especially if the victim be believed to have given no
ordinary cause for hatred.
XLII. He who has conferred a benefit on anyone from motives
of love or honour will feel pain, if he sees that the benefit is
received without gratitude.
>>>>>Proof--When a man loves something similar to himself,
he endeavours, as far as he can, to bring it about that he should
be loved thereby in return (III. xxxiii.). Therefore he who has
conferred a benefit confers it in obedience to the desire, which
he feels of being loved in return; that is (III. xxxiv.) from the hope
of honour or (III. xxx. note) pleasure; hence he will endeavour,
as far as he can, to conceive this cause of honour, or to regard
it as actually existing. But, by the hypothesis, he conceives
something else, which excludes the existence of the said cause
of honour: wherefore he will thereat feel pain (III. xix.). Q.E.D.
XLIII. Hatred is increased by being reciprocated, and can on
the other hand be destroyed by love.
>>>>>Proof--He who conceives, that an object of his hatred
hates him in return, will thereupon feel a new hatred, while the
former hatred (by hypothesis) still remains (III. xl.). But if, on
the other hand, he conceives that the object of hate loves him,
he will to this extent (III. xxxviii.) regard himself with pleasure,
and (III. xxix.) will endeavour to please the cause of his emotion.
In other words, he will endeavour not to hate him (III. xli.), and
not to affect him painfully; this endeavour (III. xxxvii.) will be
greater or less in proportion to the emotion from which it arises.
Therefore, if it be greater than that which arises from hatred,
and through which the man endeavours to affect painfully the
thing which he hates, it will get the better of it and banish the
hatred from his mind. Q.E.D.
XLIV. Hatred which is completely vanquished by love passes
into love: and love is thereupon greater than if hatred had not
>>>>>Proof--The proof proceeds in the same way as Prop.
xxxviii. of this Part: for he who begins to love a thing, which he
was wont to hate or regard with pain, from the very fact of
loving feels pleasure. To this pleasure involved in love is added
the pleasure arising from aid given to the endeavour to remove
the pain involved in hatred (III. xxxvii.), accompanied by the
idea of the former object of hatred as cause.
*****Note--Though this be so, no one will endeavour to hate
anything, or to be affected with pain, for the sake of enjoying
this greater pleasure; that is, no one will desire that he should
be injured, in the hope of recovering from the injury, nor long
to be ill for the sake of getting well. For everyone will always
endeavour to persist in his being, and to ward off pain as far as
he can. If the contrary is conceivable, namely, that a man should
desire to hate someone, in order that he might love him the more
thereafter, he will always desire to hate him. For the strength of
love is in proportion to the strength of the hatred, wherefore the
man would desire, that the hatred be continually increased more
and more, and, for a similar reason, he would desire to become
more and more ill, in order that he might take a greater pleasure
in being restored to health: in such a case he would always
endeavour to be ill, which (III. vi.) is absurd.
XLV. If a man conceives, that anyone similar to himself hates
anything also similar to himself, which he loves, he will hate that
>>>>>Proof--The beloved object feels reciprocal hatred towards
him who hates it (III. xl.); therefore the lover, in conceiving that
anyone hates the beloved object, conceives the beloved thing as
affected by hatred, in other words (III. xiii.), by pain; consequently
he is himself affected by pain accompanied by the idea of the
hater of the beloved thing as cause; that is, he will hate him who
hates anything which he himself loves (III. xiii. note). Q.E.D.
XLVI. If a man has been affected pleasurably or painfully by
anyone, of a class or nation different from his own, and if the
pleasure or pain has been accompanied by the idea of the said
stranger as cause, under the general category of the class or
nation: the man will feel love or hatred, not only to the individual
stranger, but also to the whole class or nation whereto he belongs.
>>>>>Proof--This is evident from III. xvi.
XLVII. Joy arising from the fact, that anything we hate is
destroyed, or suffers other injury, is never unaccompanied by
a certain pain in us.
>>>>>Proof--This is evident from III. xxvii. For in so far as
we conceive a thing similar to ourselves to be affected with pain,
we ourselves feel pain.
*****Note--This proposition can also be proved from the
Corollary to II. xvii. Whenever we remember anything, even
if it does not actually exist, we regard it only as present, and
the body is affected in the same manner; wherefore, in so far
as the remembrance of the thing is strong, a man is determined
to regard it with pain; this determination, while the image of the
thing in question lasts, is indeed checked by the remembrance
of other things excluding the existence of the aforesaid thing,
but is not destroyed: hence, a man only feels pleasure in so
far as the said determination is checked: for this reason the
joy arising from the injury done to what we hate is repeated,
every time we remember that object of hatred. For, as we
have said, when the image of the thing in question, is aroused,
inasmuch as it involves the thing's existence, it determines the
man to regard the thing with the same pain as he was wont to
do, when it actually did exist. However, since he has joined
to the image of the thing other images, which exclude its
existence, this determination to pain is forthwith checked, and
the man rejoices afresh as often as the repetition takes place.
This is the cause of men's pleasure in recalling past evils, and
delight in narrating dangers from which they have escaped.
For when men conceive a danger, they conceive it as still future,
and are determined to fear it; this determination is checked
afresh by the idea of freedom, which became associated with
the idea of the danger when they escaped therefrom:
this renders them secure afresh: therefore they rejoice afresh.
XLVIII. Love or hatred towards, for instance, Peter is destroyed,
if the pleasure involved in the former, or the pain involved in the
latter emotion, be associated with the idea of another cause: and
will be diminished in proportion as we conceive Peter not to have
been the sole cause of either emotion.
>>>>>Proof--This Prop. is evident from the mere definition
of love and hatred (III. xiii. note). For pleasure is called love
towards Peter, and pain is called hatred towards Peter, simply
in so far as Peter is regarded as the cause of one emotion or the
other. When this condition of causality is either wholly or partly
removed, the emotion towards Peter also wholly or in part
XLIX. Love or hatred towards a thing, which we conceive
to be free, must, other conditions being similar, be greater than
if it were felt towards a thing acting by necessity.
>>>>>Proof--A thing which we conceive as free must (I. Def.
vii.) be perceived through itself without anything else. If, therefore,
we conceive it as the cause of pleasure or pain, we shall therefore
(III. xiii. note) love it or hate it, and shall do so with the utmost
love or hatred that can arise from the given emotion. But if the
thing which causes the emotion be conceived as acting by
necessity, we shall then (by the same Def. vii. Part I.) conceive
it not as the sole cause, but as one of the causes of the emotion,
and therefore our love or hatred towards it will be less. Q.E.D.
*****Note--Hence it follows, that men, thinking themselves
to be free, feel more love or hatred towards one another than
towards anything else: to this consideration we must add the
imitation of emotions treated of in III. xxvii., xxxiv., xl. and xliii.
L. Anything whatever can be, accidentally, a cause of hope or
>>>>>Proof--This proposition is proved in the same way as
III. xv., which see, together with the note to III. xviii.
*****Note--Things which are accidentally the causes of hope
or fear are called good or evil omens. Now, in so far as such
omens are the cause of hope or fear, they are (by the definitions
of hope and fear given in III. xviii. note) the causes also of
pleasure and pain; consequently we, to this extent, regard them
with love or hatred, and endeavour either to invoke them as
means towards that which we hope for, or to remove them as
obstacles, or causes of that which we fear. It follows, further,
from III. xxv., that we are naturally so constituted as to believe
readily in that which we hope for, and with difficulty in that which
we fear; moreover, we are apt to estimate such objects above
or below their true value. Hence there have arisen superstitions,
whereby men are everywhere assailed. However, I do not
think it worth while to point out here the vacillations springing
from hope and fear; it follows from the definition of these
emotions, that there can be no hope without fear, and no fear
without hope, as I will duly explain in the proper place. Further,
in so far as we hope for or fear anything, we regard it with love
or hatred; thus everyone can apply by himself to hope and fear
what we have said concerning love and hatred.
LI. Different men may be differently affected by the same object,
and the same man may be differently affected at different times
by the same object.
>>>>>Proof--The human body is affected by external bodies
in a variety of ways (II. Post. iii.). Two men may therefore be
differently affected at the same time, and therefore (by Ax. i.
after Lemma iii. after II. xiii.) may be differently affected by one
and the same object. Further (by the same Post.) the human
body can be affected sometimes in one way, sometimes in another;
consequently (by the same Axiom) it may be differently affected
at different times by one and the same object. Q.E.D.
*****Note--We thus see that it is possible, that what one man
loves another may hate, and that what one man fears another may
not fear; or, again, that one and the same man may love what he
once hated, or may be bold where he once was timid, and so on.
Again, as everyone judges according to his emotions what is good,
what bad, what better, and what worse (III. xxxix. note), it follows
that men's judgments may vary no less than their emotions*, hence
when we compare some with others, we distinguish them solely
by the diversity of their emotions, and style some intrepid, others
timid, others by some other epithet. For instance, I shall call a
man "intrepid," if he despises an evil which I am accustomed to
fear; if I further take into consideration, that, in his desire to injure
his enemies and to benefit those whom he loves, he is not
restrained by the fear of an evil which is sufficient to restrain me,
I shall call him "daring." Again, a man will appear "timid" to me,
if he fears an evil which I am accustomed to despise; and if I
further take into consideration that his desire is restrained by the
fear of an evil, which is not sufficient to restrain me, I shall say
that he is "cowardly;" and in like manner will everyone pass
[*This is possible, though the human mind is part of the divine
intellect, as I have shown in II. xiii. note.]
Lastly, from this inconstancy in the nature of human judgment,
inasmuch as a man often judges things solely by his emotions,
and inasmuch as the things which he believes cause pleasure or
pain, and therefore endeavours to promote or prevent, are often
purely imaginary, not to speak of the uncertainty of things alluded
to in III. xxviii.; we may readily conceive that a man may be at
one time affected with pleasure, and at another with pain,
accompanied by the idea of himself as cause. Thus we can easily
understand what are "Repentance" and "Self-complacency."
"Repentance" is "pain, accompanied by the idea of one's self as
cause;" "Self-complacency" is "pleasure, accompanied by the
idea of one's self as cause," and these emotions are most intense
because men believe themselves to be free (III. xlix.).
LII. An object which we have formerly seen in conjunction with
others, and which we do not conceive to have any property that
is not common to many, will not be regarded by us for so long,
as an object which we conceive to have some property peculiar
>>>>>Proof--As soon as we conceive an object which we have
seen in conjunction with others, we at once remember those
others (II. xviii. and note), and thus we pass forthwith from the
contemplation of one object to the contemplation of another
object. And this is the case with the object, which we conceive
to have no property that is not common to many. For we
thereupon assume that we are regarding therein nothing, which
we have not before seen in conjunction with other objects.
But when we suppose that we conceive an object something
special, which we have never seen before, we must needs say
that the mind, while regarding that object, has in itself nothing
which it can fall to regarding instead thereof; therefore it is
determined to the contemplation of that object only. Therefore
an object, &c. Q.E.D.
*****Note--This mental modification, or imagination of a
particular thing, in so far as it is alone in the mind, is called
"Wonder;" but if it be excited by an object of fear, it is called
"Consternation," because wonder at an evil keeps a man so
engrossed in the simple contemplation thereof, that he has no
power to think of anything else whereby he might avoid the
evil. If, however, the object of wonder be a man's prudence,
industry, or anything of that sort, inasmuch as the said man,
is thereby regarded as far surpassing ourselves, wonder is
called "Veneration;" otherwise, if a man's anger, envy, &c.,
be what we wonder at, the emotion is called "Horror." Again,
if it be the prudence, industry, or what not, of a man we love,
that we wonder at, our love will on this account be the greater
(III. xii.), and when joined to wonder or veneration is called
"Devotion." We may in like manner conceive hatred, hope,
confidence, and the other emotions, as associated with wonder;
and we should thus be able to deduce more emotions than
those which have obtained names in ordinary speech. Whence
it is evident, that the names of the emotions have been applied
in accordance rather with their ordinary manifestations than with
an accurate knowledge of their nature.
To wonder is opposed "Contempt," which generally arises
from the fact that, because we see someone wondering at,
loving, or fearing something, or because something, at first sight,
appears to be like things, which we ourselves wonder at, love,
fear, &c., we are, in consequence (III. xv. Cor. and III. xxvii.),
determined to wonder at, love, or fear that thing. But if from the
presence, or more accurate contemplation of the said thing, we
are compelled to deny concerning it all that can be the cause of
wonder, love, fear, &c., the mind then, by the presence of the
thing, remains determined to think rather of those qualities which
are not in it, than of those which are in it; whereas, on the other
hand, the presence of the object would cause it more particularly
to regard that which is therein. As devotion springs from wonder
at a thing which we love, so does "Derision" spring from contempt
of a thing which we hate or fear, and "Scorn" from contempt of
folly, as veneration from wonder at prudence. Lastly, we can
conceive the emotions of love, hope, honour, &c., in association
with contempt, and can thence deduce other emotions, which are
not distinguished one from another by any recognized name.
LIII. 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
>>>>>Proof--A man does not know himself except through the
modifications of his body, and the ideas thereof (II. xix. and xxiii.).
When, therefore, the mind is able to contemplate itself, it is thereby
assumed to pass to a greater perfection, or (III. xi. note) 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.
For the more he conceives himself as praised by others, the more
he will imagine them to be affected with pleasure, accompanied
by the idea of himself (III. xxix. note); thus he is (III. xxvii.)
himself affected with greater pleasure, accompanied by the idea
of himself. Q.E.D.
LIV. 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 (III. vii.); 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.
LV. When the mind contemplates its own weakness, it feels pain
>>>>>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.). 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 (III. xi. note), it feels
same way as the corollary to III. liii.
*****Note--This pain, accompanied by the idea of our own
weakness, is called "humility;" the pleasure, which springs from
the contemplation of ourselves, is called "self-love" or "self-
complacency." And inasmuch as this feeling is renewed as
often as a man contemplates his own virtues, 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 to one
another. Again, it follows that men are naturally envious (III.
xxiv. note, and III. xxxii. note), 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
(III. liii.), in proportion as his actions display more perfection,
and he conceives them more distinctly -- that is (II. xl. note),
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 (III.
xxviii.) 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.
>>>>>Proof--Envy is a species of hatred (III. xxiv. note) or
(III. xiii. note) pain, that is (III. xi. note), a modification whereby
a man's power of activity, or endeavour towards activity, is
checked. But a man 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,
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.
*****Note--When, therefore, as we said in the note to III. lii.,
we venerate a man, through wonder at his prudence, fortitude,
&c., 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.
LVI. 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,
&c., as there are kinds of objects whereby we are affected.
>>>>>Proof--Pleasure and pain, and consequently the emotions
compounded thereof, or derived therefrom, are passions, or
passive states (III. xi. note); now we are necessarily passive
(III. i.), in so far as we have inadequate ideas; and only in so
far as we have such ideas are we passive (III. iii.); that is, we
are only necessarily passive (II. xl. note), in so far as we conceive,
or (II. xvii. and note) 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; 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, &c.
Thus, there are necessarily as many kinds of pleasure, pain, love,
hatred, &c., 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 (III. ix. note); therefore, according
as a man is affected through external causes by this or that kind
of pleasure, pain, love, hatred, &c., 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, &c., 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.
*****Note--Among the kinds of emotions, which, by the last
proposition, must be very numerous, the chief are "luxury,"
"drunkenness," "lust," "avarice," 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 luxury, drunkenness, lust, avarice, ambition,
&c., we simply mean the immoderate love of feasting, drinking,
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.
LVII. 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 Ax. i. (which
see after Lemma iii. Prop. xiii., Part II.). 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 (III. ix. note); 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 (III.
xi. and note). 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 (III. ix. note); 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, &c.
*****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 very 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 of one only differs in nature from
the joy of another, to the extent that the essence of one differs
from the essence of another. Lastly, it follows from the foregoing
proposition, that there is no small difference between the joy
which actuates, say, a drunkard, and the joy 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.
LVIII. 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.
>>>>>Proof--When the mind conceives itself and its power
of activity, it feels pleasure (III. liii.): now the mind necessarily
contemplates itself, when it conceives a true or adequate idea
(II. xliii). But the mind does conceive certain adequate ideas
(II. xl. note ii.). Therefore it feels pleasure in so far as it is active
(III. i.). 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 (III. ix.); but by such an endeavour
we mean desire (by the note to the same Prop.); therefore,
desire is also attributable to us, in so far as we understand,
or (III. i.) in so far as we are active. Q.E.D.
LIX. 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 (III. xi. and note); therefore, in so far as the mind
feels pain, its power of understanding, that is, of activity, is
diminished or checked (III. i.); 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.)
are attributable to the mind in that condition. Q.E.D.
*****Note--All actions following from emotion, which are
attributable to the mind in virtue of its understanding, I set
down to "strength of character" ("fortitudo"), which I divide
into "courage" ("animositas") and "highmindedness"
("generositas"). By "courage" I mean "the desire whereby
every man strives to preserve his own being in accordance
solely with the dictates of reason." By "highmindedness" I
mean "the desire whereby every man endeavours, solely
under the dictates of reason, 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 highmindedness. Thus temperance, sobriety,
and presence of mind in danger, &c., are varieties of courage;
courtesy, mercy, &c., are varieties of highmindedness.
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, &c. 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, &c.,
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.
DEFINITIONS OF THE EMOTIONS
I. "Desire" is the actual essence of man, in so far as it is conceived,
as determined to a particular activity by some given modification
^^^^^Explanation--We have said above, in the note to
Prop. ix. of this part, that desire is appetite, with consciousness
thereof; further, that appetite is the essence of man, in so far
as it is determined to act in a way tending to promote its own
persistence. But, in the same note, I also remarked that,
strictly speaking, I recognize no distinction between appetite
and desire. For whether a man be conscious of his appetite
or not, it remains one and the same appetite. Thus, in order
to avoid the appearance of tautology, I have refrained from
explaining desire by appetite; but I have take care to define
it in such a manner, as to comprehend, under one head, all
those endeavours of human nature, which we distinguish by
the terms appetite, will, desire, or impulse. I might, indeed,
have said, that desire is the essence of man, in so far as it is
conceived as determined to a particular activity; but from
such a definition (cf. II. xxiii.) it would not follow that the
mind can be conscious of its desire or appetite. Therefore,
in order to imply the cause of such consciousness, it was
necessary to add, "in so far as it is determined by some given
modification," &c. For, by a modification of man's essence,
we understand every disposition of the said essence, whether
such disposition be innate, or whether it be conceived solely
under the attribute of thought, or solely under the attribute
of extension, or whether, lastly, it be referred simultaneously
to both these attributes. By the term desire, then, I here
mean all man's endeavours, impulses, appetites, and volitions,
which vary according to each man's disposition, and are,
therefore, not seldom opposed one to another, according
as a man is drawn in different directions, and knows not
where to turn.
II. "Pleasure" is the transition of a man from a less to a greater
III. "Pain" is the transition of a man from a greater to a less
^^^^^Explanation--I say transition: for pleasure is not
perfection itself. For, if man were born with the perfection
to which he passes, he would possess the same, without the
emotion of pleasure. This appears more clearly from the
consideration of the contrary emotion, pain. No one can
deny, that pain consists in the transition to a less perfection,
and not in the less perfection itself: for a man cannot be
pained, in so far as he partakes of perfection of any degree.
Neither can we say, that pain consists in the absence of a
greater perfection. For absence is nothing, whereas the
emotion of pain is an activity; wherefore this activity can
only be the activity of transition from a greater to a less
perfection--in other words, it is an activity whereby a man's
power of action is lessened or constrained (cf. III. xi. note).
I pass over the definitions of merriment, stimulation, melancholy,
and grief, because these terms are generally used in reference
to the body, and are merely kinds of pleasure or pain.
IV. "Wonder" is the conception (imaginatio) of anything,
wherein the mind comes to a stand, because the particular
concept in question has no connection with other concepts
(cf. III. lii. and note).
^^^^^Explanation--In the note to II. xviii. we showed the
reason, why the mind, from the contemplation of one thing,
straightway falls to the contemplation of another thing, namely,
because the images of the two things are so associated and
arranged, that one follows the other. This state of association
is impossible, if the image of the thing be new; the mind will
then be at a stand in the contemplation thereof, until it is
determined by other causes to think of something else.
Thus the conception of a new object, considered in itself,
is of the same nature as other conceptions; hence, I do not
include wonder among the emotions, nor do I see why I
should so include it, inasmuch as this distraction of the mind
arises from no positive cause drawing away the mind from
other objects, but merely from the absence of a cause,
which should determine the mind to pass from the
contemplation of one object to the contemplation of another.
I, therefore, recognize only three primitive or primary emotions
(as I said in the note to III. xi.), namely, pleasure, pain, and
desire. I have spoken of wonder simply because it is customary
to speak of certain emotions springing from the three primitive
ones by different names, when they are referred to the objects
of our wonder. I am led by the same motive to add a definition
V. "Contempt" is the conception of anything which touches
the mind so little, that its presence leads the mind to imagine
those qualities which are not in it rather than such as are in it
(cf. III. lii. note).
The definitions of veneration and scorn I here pass over, for
I am not aware that any emotions are named after them.
VI. "Love" is pleasure, accompanied by the idea of an external
^^^^^Explanation--This definition explains sufficiently clearly
the essence of love; the definition given by those authors who
say that love is "the lover's wish to unite himself to the loved
object" expresses a property, but not the essence of love; and,
as such authors have not sufficiently discerned love's essence,
they have been unable to acquire a true conception of its
properties, accordingly their definition is on all hands admitted
to be very obscure. It must, however, be noted, that when I
say that it is a property of love, that the lover should wish to
unite himself to the beloved object, I do not here mean by
"wish" consent, or conclusion, or a free decision of the mind
(for I have shown such, in II. xlviii., to be fictitious); neither
do I mean a desire of being united to the loved object when
it is absent, or of continuing in its presence when it is at hand;
for love can be conceived without either of these desires; but
by "wish" I mean the contentment, which is in the lover, on
account of the presence of the beloved object, whereby the
pleasure of the lover is strengthened, or at least maintained.
VII. "Hatred" is pain, accompanied by the idea of an external
^^^^^Explanation--These observations are easily grasped
after what has been said in the explanation of the preceding
definition (cf. also III. xiii. note).
VIII. "Inclination" is pleasure, accompanied by the idea of
something which is accidentally a cause of pleasure.
IX. "Aversion" is pain, accompanied by the idea of something
which is accidentally the cause of pain (cf. III. xv. note).
X. "Devotion" is love towards one whom we admire.
^^^^^Explanation--Wonder (admiratio) arises (as we have
shown, III. lii.) from the novelty of a thing. If, therefore, it
happens that the object of our wonder is often conceived
by us, we shall cease to wonder at it; thus we see, that the
emotion of devotion readily degenerates into simple love.
XI. "Derision" is pleasure arising from our conceiving the
presence of a quality, which we despise, in an object which
^^^^^Explanation--In so far as we despise a thing which we
hate, we deny existence thereof (III. lii. note), and to that
extent rejoice (III. xx.). But since we assume that man hates
that which he derides, it follows that the pleasure in question
is not without alloy (cf. III. xlvii. note).
XII. "Hope" is an inconstant pleasure, arising from the idea
of something past or future, whereof we to a certain extent
doubt the issue.
XIII. "Fear" is an inconstant pain arising from the idea of
something past or future, whereof we to a certain extent
doubt the issue (cf. III. xviii. note).
^^^^^Explanation--From these definitions it follows, that
there is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled
with hope. For he, who depends on hope and doubts
concerning the issue of anything, is assumed to conceive
something, which excludes the existence of the said thing
in the future; therefore he, to this extent, feels pain (cf. III.
xix.); consequently, while dependent on hope, he fears
for the issue. Contrariwise he, who fears, in other words
doubts, concerning the issue of something which he hates,
also conceives something which excludes the existence of
the thing in question; to this extent he feels pleasure, and
consequently to this extent he hopes that it will turn out as
he desires (III. xx.).
XIV. "Confidence" is pleasure arising from the idea of
something past or future, wherefrom all cause of doubt has
XV. "Despair" is pain arising from the idea of something past
or future, wherefrom all cause of doubt has been removed.
^^^^^Explanation--Thus confidence springs from hope, and
despair from fear, when all cause for doubt as to the issue
of an event has been removed: this comes to pass, because
man conceives something past or future as present and
regards it as such, or else because he conceives other things,
which exclude the existence of the causes of his doubt. For,
although we can never be absolutely certain of the issue
of any particular event (II. xxxi. Cor.), it may nevertheless
happen that we feel no doubt concerning it. For we have
shown, that to feel no doubt concerning a thing is not the
same as to be quite certain of it (II. xlix. note). Thus it
may happen that we are affected by the same emotion
of pleasure or pain concerning a thing past or future, as
concerning the conception of a thing present; this I have
already shown in III. xviii., to which, with its note, I refer
XVI. "Joy" is pleasure accompanied by the idea of
something past, which has had an issue beyond our hope.
XVII. "Disappointment" is pain accompanied by the idea
of something past, which has had an issue contrary to our
XVIII. "Pity" is pain accompanied by the idea of evil, which
has befallen someone else whom we conceive to be like
ourselves (cf. III. xxii. note, and III. xxvii. note).
^^^^^Explanation--Between pity and sympathy (misericordia)
there seems to be no difference, unless perhaps that the former
term is used in reference to a particular action, and the latter
in reference to a disposition.
XIX. "Approval" is love towards one who has done good to
XX. "Indignation" is hatred towards one who has done evil to
^^^^^Explanation--I am aware that these terms are employed
in senses somewhat different from those usually assigned. But
my purpose is to explain, not the meaning of words, but the
nature of things. I therefore make use of such terms, as may
convey my meaning without any violent departure from their
ordinary signification. One statement of my method will suffice.
As for the cause of the above-named emotions see III. xxvii.
Cor. i., and III. xxii. note.
XXI. "Partiality" is thinking too highly of anyone because of
the love we bear him.
^^^^^Explanation--Thus partiality is an effect of love, and
disparagement an effect of hatred: so that "partiality" may
also be defined as "love, in so far as it induces a man to
think too highly of a beloved object." Contrariwise,
"disparagement" may be defined as "hatred, in so far as
it induces a man to think too meanly of a hated object."
Cf. III. xxvi. note.
XXIII. "Envy" is hatred, in so far as it induces a man to be
pained by another's good fortune, and to rejoice in another's
^^^^^Explanation--Envy is generally opposed to sympathy,
which, by doing some violence to the meaning of the word,
may therefore be thus defined:
XXIV. "Sympathy" (misericordia) is love, in so far as it
induces a man to feel pleasure at another's good fortune,
and pain at another's evil fortune.
^^^^^Explanation--Concerning envy see the notes to II.
xxiv. and xxxii. These emotions also arise from pleasure
or pain accompanied by the idea of something external, as
cause either in itself or accidentally. I now pass on to other
emotions, which are accompanied by the idea of something
within as a cause.
XXV. "Self-approval" is pleasure arising from a man's
contemplation of himself and his own power of action.
XXVI. "Humility" is pain arising from a man's contemplation
of his own weakness of body or mind.
^^^^^Explanation--Self-complacency is opposed to
humility, in so far as we thereby mean pleasure arising from
a contemplation of our own power of action; but, in so far
as we mean thereby pleasure accompanied by the idea of
any action which we believe we have performed by the free
decision of our mind, it is opposed to repentance, which we
may thus define:
XXVII. "Repentance" is pain accompanied by the idea of
some action, which we believe we have performed by the
free decision of our mind.
^^^^^Explanation--The causes of these emotions we have
set forth in III. li. note, and in III. liii., liv., lv. and note.
Concerning the free decision of the mind see II. xxxv. note.
This is perhaps the place to call attention to the fact, that it is
nothing wonderful that all those actions, which are commonly
called "wrong," are followed by pain, and all those, which are
called "right," are followed by pleasure. We can easily gather
from what has been said, that this depends in great measure
on education. Parents, by reprobating the former class of
actions, and by frequently chiding their children because of
them, and also by persuading to and praising the latter class,
have brought it about, that the former should be associated
with pain and the latter with pleasure. This is confirmed by
experience. For custom and religion are not the same
among all men, but that which some consider sacred others
consider profane, and what some consider honourable others
consider disgraceful. According as each man has been
educated, he feels repentance for a given action or glories
XXVIII. "Pride" is thinking too highly of one's self from
^^^^^Explanation--Thus pride is different from partiality,
for the latter term is used in reference to an external object,
but pride is used of a man thinking too highly of himself.
However, as partiality is the effect of love, so is pride the
effect or property of "self-love," which may therefore be
thus defined, "love of self or self-approval, in so far as it
leads a man to think too highly of himself." To this emotion
there is no contrary. For no one thinks too meanly of
himself because of self-hatred; I say that no one thinks too
meanly of himself, in so far as he conceives that he is
incapable of doing this or that. For whatsoever a man
imagines that he is incapable of doing, he imagines this of
necessity, and by that notion he is so disposed, that he
really cannot do that which he conceives that he cannot do.
For, so long as he conceives that he cannot do it, so long
is he not determined to do it, and consequently so long is
it impossible for him to do it. However, if we consider
such matters as only depend on opinion, we shall find it
conceivable that a man may think too meanly of himself;
for it may happen, that a man, sorrowfully regarding his
own weakness, should imagine that he is despised by all
men, while the rest of the world are thinking of nothing less
than of despising him. Again, a man may think too meanly
of himself, if he deny of himself in the present something
in relation to a future time of which he is uncertain. As,
for instance, if he should say that he is unable to form any
clear conceptions, or that he can desire and do nothing but
what is wicked and base, &c. We may also say, that a man
thinks too meanly of himself, when we see him from excessive
fear of shame refusing to do things which others, his equals,
venture. We can, therefore, set down as a contrary to pride
an emotion which I will call self-abasement, for as from
self-complacency springs pride, so from humility springs
self-abasement, which I will accordingly thus define:
XXIX. "Self-abasement" is thinking too meanly of one's
self by reason of pain.
^^^^^Explanation--We are nevertheless generally
accustomed to oppose pride to humility, but in that case
we pay more attention to the effect of either emotion than
to its nature. We are wont to call "proud" the man who
boasts too much (III. xxx. note), who talks of nothing but
his own virtues and other people's faults, who wishes to
be first; and lastly who goes through life with a style and
pomp suitable to those far above him in station. On the
other hand, we call "humble" the man who too often blushes,
who confesses his faults, who sets forth other men's virtues,
and who, lastly, walks with bent head and is negligent of
his attire. However, these emotions, humility and
self-abasement, are extremely rare. For human nature,
considered in itself, strives against them as much as it can
(see III. xiii., liv.); hence those, who are believed to be
most self-abased and humble, are generally in reality the
most ambitious and envious.
XXX. "Honour" (gloria) is pleasure accompanied by the
idea of some action of our own, which we believe to be
praised by others.
XXXI. "Shame" is pain accompanied by the idea of
some action of our own, which we believe to be blamed
^^^^^Explanation--On this subject see the note to III. xxx.
But we should here remark the difference which exists
between shame and modesty. Shame is the pain following
the deed whereof we are ashamed. Modesty is the fear or
dread of shame, which restrains a man from committing a
base action. Modesty is usually opposed to shamelessness,
but the latter is not an emotion, as I will duly show; however,
the names of the emotions (as I have remarked already)
have regard rather to their exercise than to their nature.
I have now fulfilled the task of explaining the emotions
arising from pleasure and pain. I therefore proceed to
treat of those which I refer to desire.
XXXII. "Regret" is the desire or appetite to possess
something, kept alive by the remembrance of the said thing,
and at the same time constrained by the remembrance
of other things which exclude the existence of it.
^^^^^Explanation--When we remember a thing, we are
by that very fact, as I have already said more than once,
disposed to contemplate it with the same emotion as if it
were something present; but this disposition or endeavour,
while we are awake, is generally checked by the images
of things which exclude the existence of that which we
remember. Thus when we remember something which
affected us with a certain pleasure, we by that very fact
endeavour to regard it with the same emotion of pleasure
as though it were present, but this endeavour is at once
checked by the remembrance of things which exclude the
existence of the thing in question. Wherefore regret is,
strictly speaking, a pain opposed to that of pleasure,
which arises from the absence of something we hate (cf.
III. xlvii. note). But, as the name regret seems to refer
to desire, I set this emotion down, among the emotions
springing from desire.
XXXIII. "Emulation" is the desire of something, engendered
in us by our conception that others have the same desire.
^^^^^Explanation--He who runs away, because he sees
others running away, or he who fears, because he sees
others in fear; or again, he who, on seeing that another man
has burnt his hand, draws towards him his own hand, and
moves his body as though his own were burnt; such an one
can be said to imitate another's emotion, but not to emulate
him; not because the causes of emulation and imitation are
different, but because it has become customary to speak
of emulation only in him, who imitates that which we deem
to be honourable, useful, or pleasant. As to the cause of
emulation, cf. III. xxvii. and note. The reason why this
emotion is generally coupled with envy may be seen from
III. xxxii. and note.
XXXIV. "Thankfulness" or "Gratitude" is the desire or
zeal springing from love, whereby we endeavour to benefit
him, who with similar feelings of love has conferred a benefit
on us. Cf. III. xxxix. note and xl.
XXXV. "Benevolence" is the desire of benefiting one whom
we pity. Cf. III. xxvii. note.
XXXVI. "Anger" is the desire, whereby through hatred we
are induced to injure one whom we hate, III. xxxix.
XXXVII. "Revenge" is the desire whereby we are induced,
through mutual hatred, to injure one who, with similar
feelings, has injured us. (See III. xl. Cor. ii. and note.)
XXXVIII. "Cruelty" or "savageness" is the desire, whereby
a man is impelled to injure one whom we love or pity.
^^^^^Explanation--To cruelty is opposed clemency, which
is not a passive state of the mind, but a power whereby man
restrains his anger and revenge.
XXXIX. "Timidity" is the desire to avoid a greater evil,
which we dread, by undergoing a lesser evil. Cf. III. xxxix.
XL. "Daring" is the desire, whereby a man is set on to do
something dangerous which his equals fear to attempt.
XLI. "Cowardice" is attributed to one, whose desire is
checked by the fear of some danger which his equals dare
^^^^^Explanation--Cowardice is, therefore, nothing else
but the fear of some evil, which most men are wont not to
fear; hence I do not reckon it among the emotions springing
from desire. Nevertheless, I have chosen to explain it
here, because, in so far as we look to the desire, it is truly
opposed to the emotion of daring.
XLII. "Consternation" is attributed to one, whose desire of
avoiding evil is checked by amazement at the evil which he
^^^^^Explanation--Consternation is, therefore, a species
of cowardice. But, inasmuch as consternation arises from
a double fear, it may be more conveniently defined as a
fear which keeps a man so bewildered and wavering, that
he is not able to remove the evil. I say bewildered, in so
far as we understand his desire of removing the evil to be
constrained by his amazement. I say wavering, in so far
as we understand the said desire to be constrained by the
fear of another evil, which equally torments him: whence
it comes to pass that he knows not, which he may avert
of the two. On this subject, see III. xxxix. note, and III.
lii. note. Concerning cowardice and daring, see III. li.
XLIII. "Courtesy," or "deference" (Humanitas seu
modestia), is the desire of acting in a way that should
please men, and refraining from that which should
XLIV. "Ambition" is the immoderate desire of power.
^^^^^Explanation--Ambition is the desire, whereby all the
emotions (cf. III. xxvii. and xxxi.) are fostered and
strengthened; therefore this emotion can with difficulty be
overcome. For, so long as a man is bound by any desire,
he is at the same time necessarily bound by this. "The best
men," says Cicero, "are especially led by honour. Even
philosophers, when they write a book contemning honour,
sign their names thereto," and so on.
XLV. "Luxury" is excessive desire, or even love of living
XLVI. "Intemperance" is the excessive desire and love
XLVII. "Avarice" is the excessive desire and love of riches.
XLVIII. "Lust" is desire and love in the matter of sexual
^^^^^Explanation--Whether this desire be excessive or
not, it is still called lust. These last five emotions (as I have
shown in III. lvi.) have on contraries. For deference is a
species of ambition. Cf. III. xxix. note.
Again, I have already pointed out, that temperance, sobriety,
and chastity indicate rather a power than a passivity of the
mind. It may, nevertheless, happen, that an avaricious, an
ambitious, or a timid man may abstain from excess in eating,
drinking, or sexual indulgence, yet avarice, ambition, and fear
are not contraries to luxury, drunkenness, and debauchery.
For an avaricious man often is glad to gorge himself with
food and drink at another man's expense. An ambitious
man will restrain himself in nothing, so long as he thinks his
indulgences are secret; and if he lives among drunkards
and debauchees, he will, from the mere fact of being
ambitious, be more prone to those vices. Lastly, a timid
man does that which he would not. For though an
avaricious man should, for the sake of avoiding death,
cast his riches into the sea, he will none the less remain
avaricious; so, also, if a lustful man is downcast, because
he cannot follow his bent, he does not, on the ground of
abstention, cease to be lustful. In fact, these emotions are
not so much concerned with the actual feasting, drinking, &c.,
as with the appetite and love of such. Nothing, therefore,
can be opposed to these emotions, but high-mindedness
and valour, whereof I will speak presently.
The definitions of jealousy and other waverings of the mind
I pass over in silence, first, because they arise from the
compounding of the emotions already described; secondly,
because many of them have no distinctive names, which
shows that it is sufficient for practical purposes to have
merely a general knowledge of them. However, it is
established from the definitions of the emotions, which we
have set forth, that they all spring from desire, pleasure, or
pain, or, rather, that there is nothing besides these three;
wherefore each is wont to be called by a variety of names
in accordance with its various relations and extrinsic tokens.
If we now direct our attention to these primitive emotions,
and to what has been said concerning the nature of the
mind, we shall be able thus to define the emotions, in so
far as they are referred to the mind only.
GENERAL DEFINITION OF THE EMOTIONS
Emotion, which is called a passivity of the soul, is a
confused idea, whereby the mind affirms concerning its
body, or any part thereof, a force for existence (existendi
vis) greater or less than before, and by the presence of
which the mind is determined to think of one thing rather
^^^^^Explanation--I say, first, that emotion or passion
of the soul is "a confused idea." For we have shown that
the mind is only passive, in so far as it has inadequate or
confused ideas. (III. iii.) I say, further, "whereby the mind
affirms concerning its body or any part thereof a force for
existence greater than before." For all the ideas of bodies,
which we possess, denote rather the actual disposition of
our own body (II. xvi. Cor. ii.) than the nature of an
external body. But the idea which constitutes the reality
of an emotion must denote or express the disposition of
the body, or of some part thereof, because its power of
action or force for existence is increased or diminished,
helped or hindered. But it must be noted that, when I
say "a greater or less force for existence than before," I
do not mean that the mind compares the present with
the past disposition of the body, but that the idea which
constitutes the reality of an emotion affirms something of
the body, which, in fact, involves more or less of reality
And inasmuch as the essence of mind consists in the fact
(II. xi., xiii.), that it affirms the actual existence of its own
body, and inasmuch as we understand by perfection the
very essence of a thing, it follows that the mind passes to
greater or less perfection, when it happens to affirm
concerning its own body, or any part thereof, something
involving more or less reality than before.
When, therefore, I said above that the power of the mind
is increased or diminished, I merely meant that the mind
had formed of its own body, or of some part thereof, an
idea involving more or less of reality, than it had already
affirmed concerning its own body. For the excellence of
ideas, and the actual power of thinking are measured by
the excellence of the object. Lastly, I have added "by the
presence of which the mind is determined to think of one
thing rather than another," so that, besides the nature of
pleasure and pain, which the first part of the definition
explains, I might also express the nature of desire.
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