Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being:
Part 2, Chapter 02.
- WHAT OPINION, BELIEF, AND CLEAR KNOWLEDGE ARE
We come now to the consideration of the effects of the
different grades of knowledge, of which we spoke in the
preceding chapter, and, in passing as it were, we shall explain
and clear Knowledge are.
The first [kind of knowledge], then, we call
the second Belief,
but the third is what we call
clear Knowledge. [N1]
[Note N1]: B omits this sentence.
We call it Opinion
because it is subject to error, and has no
place when we are sure of anything, but only in those cases
when we are said to guess and to surmise. The second we call
because the things we apprehend only with our reason
are not seen by us, but are only known to us through the
conviction of our understanding that it must be so and not
otherwise. But we call that
clear Knowledge which comes,
not from our being convinced by reasons, but from our feeling
and enjoying the thing itself, and it surpasses the others by far.
After these preliminary remarks let us now turn to their
effects. Of these we say this, namely, that from the first
proceed all the "passions" which are opposed to good reason;
from the second, the good desires; and from the third,
true and sincere Love, with all its offshoots.
We thus maintain that Knowledge is the proximate cause of
all the "passions" in the soul. For we consider it once for all
impossible that any one, who neither thinks nor knows in any
of the preceding ways and modes, should be capable of being
incited to Love or Desire or any other mode of Will.