|E3: DOE. 1. Desire is the actual essence of man, in so far as it is conceived, as determined to a particular activity by some given modification of itself.|
|Explanation.--We have said
above, in the note to Prop 9. of this part
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 taken 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. E2P23) 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, etc. 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.
|Referenced in: E4P15,- E4P18,- E4P19,- E4P21,- E4P37,- E4P59,- E4P61,- E5P26,- E5P28|
|E3: DOE. 2. Pleasure is the transition of a man from a less to a greater perfection.|
|Referenced in: E5P17,- E5P27|
|E3: DOE. 3. Pain is the transition of a man from a greater to a less perfection.|
is not perfection itself.
For, if man were born with the
perfection to which he passes, he would
possess the same, without the
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. E3P11N).
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.
|Referenced in: E4P15,- E4P64,- E5P17|
|E3: DOE. 4. Wonder is the conception (imaginatio) of anything, wherein the mind comes to a stand, because the particular concept [imaginatio] in question has no connection with other concepts [imaginatio] (cf. E3P52 and E3P52N).|
E2P18N 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 [imaginatio] of a new object, considered in itself, is of the same nature as other conceptions [imaginatio]; 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 E3P11N), 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 of contempt.
|Referenced in: E4P59|
|E3: DOE. 5. Contempt is the conception [imaginatio] 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. E3P52N).|
|The definitions of veneration and scorn I here pass over, for I am not aware that any emotions are named after them.|
|E3: DOE. 6. Love is pleasure, accompanied by the idea of an external cause.|
definition explains sufficiently clearly the
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 E2P48, 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.
|Referenced in: E3DOE7,- E4P34N,- E4P44,- E4P57,- E5P2,- E5P15,- E5P17C,- E5P32C|
|E3: DOE. 7. Hatred is pain, accompanied by the idea of an external cause.|
|Explanation.--These observations are easily grasped after what has been said in the explanation of the preceding definition (E3DOE6) (cf. also E3P13CN).|
|Referenced in: E4P34,- E5P2,- E5P17C,- E5P18|
|E3: DOE. 8. Inclination is pleasure, accompanied by the idea of something which is accidentally a cause of pleasure.|
|E3: DOE. 9. Aversion is pain, accompanied by the idea of something which is accidentally the cause of pain (cf. E3P15CN).|
|E3: DOE. 10. Devotion is love towards one whom we admire.|
|Explanation.-- Wonder (admiratio) arises (as we have shown, E3P52) from the novelty of a thing. If, therefore, it happens that the object of our wonder is often conceived [imaginemur] by us, we shall cease to wonder at it; thus we see, that the emotion of devotion readily degenerates into simple love.|
|E3: DOE. 11. Derision is pleasure arising from our conceiving [imaginamur] the presence of a quality, which we despise, in an object which we hate.|
|Explanation.--In so far as we despise a thing which we hate, we deny existence thereof (E3P52N), and to that extent rejoice (E3P20). But since we assume that man hates that which he derides, it follows that the pleasure in question is not without alloy (cf. E3P47N).|
|E3: DOE. 12. Hope is an inconstant pleasure, arising from the idea of something past or future, whereof we to a certain extent doubt the issue.|
|Referenced in: E4P47|
|E3: DOE. 13. Fear is an inconstant pain arising, from the idea of something past or future, whereof we to a certain extent doubt the issue (cf. E3P18N2).|
these definitions it follows, that there is no
unmingled with fear, and no
fear unmingled with
hope. For he, who depends
concerning the issue of anything, is assumed to
conceive [imaginari] something, which excludes the existence of the said thing in the
future; therefore he, to this extent, feels
consequently, while dependent on
fears for the issue.
Contrariwise he, who fears, in other words doubts, concerning the issue of something which he hates, also conceives [imaginatur] 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 (E3P20).
|Referenced in: E4P47,- E4P63|
|E3: DOE. 14. Confidence is pleasure arising from the idea of something past or future, wherefrom all cause of doubt has been removed.|
|E3: DOE. 15. 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 [imaginatur] something past or future as present and regards it as such, or else because he conceives [imaginatur] 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 (E2P31C), 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 (E2P49CN). 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 [imagine] of a thing present; this I have already shown in E3P18, to which, with its note E3P18N1, I refer the reader.|
|E3: DOE. 16. Joy is pleasure accompanied by the idea of something past, which has had an issue beyond our hope.|
|E3: DOE. 17. Disappointment is pain accompanied by the idea of something past, which has had an issue contrary to our hope.|
|E3: DOE. 18. Pity is pain accompanied by the idea of evil, which has befallen someone else whom we conceive [imaginamur] to be like ourselves (cf. E3P22N, and E3P27N1).|
|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.|
|Referenced in: E4P50|
|E3: DOE. 20. Indignation is hatred towards one who has done evil to another.|
|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 E3P27C1, and E3P22N.|
|Referenced in: E4P51N|
|E3: DOE. 21. Partiality is thinking too highly of anyone because of the love we bear him.|
|Referenced in: E4P48|
|E3: DOE. 22. Disparagement is thinking too meanly of anyone, because we hate 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. E3P26N.|
|Referenced in: E4P48|
|E3: DOE. 23. 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 evil fortune.|
|Explanation.-- Envy is generally opposed to sympathy, which, by doing some violence to the meaning of the word, may therefore be thus defined:|
|Referenced in: E5P20|
|E3: DOE. 24. 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 E3P24N and E3P32N. 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.|
|E3: DOE. 25. Self-approval is pleasure arising from a man's contemplation of himself and his own power of action.|
|Referenced in: E4P52,- E5P27,- E5P32,- E5P36CN|
|E3: DOE. 26. 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:|
|Referenced in: E4P53|
|E3: DOE. 27. Repentance is pain accompanied by the idea of some action, which we believe we have performed by the free decision of the mind.|
of these emotions we have set forth in
E3P51N, and in
E3P55C1N. Concerning the
free decision of the mind
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 therein.
|Referenced in: E4P54|
|E3: DOE. 28. Pride is thinking too highly of one's self from self-love.|
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
the effect or property of
self-love, which may
therefore be thus defined, love of self or
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 [imaginatur] 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 [imaginatur] that he cannot do. For, so long as he conceives [imaginatur] 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, etc. 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:
|Referenced in: E4P49,- E4P55,- E4P57|
|E3: DOE. 29. Self-abasement is thinking too meanly of one's self by reason of pain.|
nevertheless generally accustomed to oppose
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 (E3P30N),
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 E3P13 E3P54); hence those, who are believed to be most self-abased and humble, are generally in reality the most ambitious and envious.
|Referenced in: E4P55|
|E3: DOE. 30. Honour [Gloria] is pleasure accompanied by the idea of some action of our own, which we believe [imaginamur] to be praised by others.|
|Referenced in: E4P49,- E4P58,- E5P36CN|
|E3: DOE. 31. Shame is pain accompanied by the idea of some action of our own, which we believe [imaginamur] to be blamed by others.|
this subject see the note to 3 30 E3P30N.
But we should here remark the difference which exists between
Shame is the
following the deed whereof we are ashamed.
the fear or dread of
which restrains a man from committing a
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
I have now fulfilled my task of explaining the emotions arising from pleasure and pain. I therefore proceed to treat of those which I refer to desire.
|E3: DOE. 32. 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
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
though it were present, but this endeavour is at once checked by the
remembrance of things which exclude the existence of the thing in
Wherefore regret is, strictly speaking, a pain opposed to that pleasure, which arises from the absence of something we hate (cf. E3P47N). But, as the name regret seems to refer to desire, I set this emotion down, among the emotions springing from desire.
|E3: DOE. 33. Emulation is the desire of something, engendered in us by our conception [imaginamur] 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 hand 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. E3P27 and E3P27N1. The reason why this emotion is generally coupled with envy may be seen from E3P32 and E3P32N.
|E3: DOE. 34. 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. [E3P39] E3P39N and E3P41N.|
|Referenced in: E4P71|
|E3: DOE. 36. Anger is the desire, whereby through hatred we are induced to injure one whom we hate, E3P39.|
|E3: DOE. 37. Revenge is the desire whereby we are induced, through mutual hatred, to injure one who, with similar feelings, has injured us.|
|(See E3P40C2 and E3P40C2N)|
|E3: DOE. 38. 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.|
|E3: DOE. 39. Timidity is the desire to avoid a greater evil, which we dread, by undergoing a lesser evil. Cf. E3P39N.|
|E3: DOE. 40. Daring is the desire, whereby a man is set on to do something dangerous which his equals fear to attempt.|
|Referenced in: E4P69|
|E3: DOE. 41. Cowardice is attributed to one, whose desire is checked by the fear of some danger which his equals dare to encounter.|
|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.|
|Referenced in: E4P69|
|E3: DOE. 42. Consternation is attributed to one, whose desire of avoiding evil is checked by amazement at the evil which he fears.|
|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 E3P39N, and E3P52N. Concerning cowardice and daring, see E3P51N.|
|E3: DOE. 43. Courtesy, or deference (Humanitas seu modestia), is the desire of acting in a way that should please men, and refraining from that which should displease them.|
|E3: DOE. 44. Ambition is the immoderate desire of power.|
|Explanation.-- Ambition is the desire, whereby all the emotions (cf. E3P27 and E3P31.) 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.|
|E3: DOE. 48. Lust is desire and love in the matter of sexual intercourse.|
be excessive or not, it is still
These last five emotions (as I have shown in E3P56N) have no contraries. For deference is a species of ambition Cf. E3P29N. 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, etc., 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,
|E3: DOE. 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 than another.|
|Explanation.--I say, first,
that emotion or
of the soul is a
For we have shown that the
mind is only
passive, in so far
as it has
or confused ideas. (E3P3)
I say, further, whereby the mind affirms concerning its body or any part thereof a force for existence greater [or less] than before. For all the ideas of bodies, which we possess, denote rather the actual disposition of our own body (E2P16C2) 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, which is possessed by the body, or 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 than before.
And inasmuch as the essence of mind consists in the fact (E2P11 E2P13), 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.
|Referenced in: E4P7,- E4P7C,- E4P8,- E4P9,- E4P14,- E5P3,- E5P4C,- E5P17,- E5P34,- E5P40C|