On the Improvement of the Understanding [NOOK Book]

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Also contains Ethics, Correspondence, all in excellent R. Elwes translation. Basic works on entry to philosophy, pantheism, exchange of ideas with great contemporaries.
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Overview



Also contains Ethics, Correspondence, all in excellent R. Elwes translation. Basic works on entry to philosophy, pantheism, exchange of ideas with great contemporaries.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486121086
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 420
  • File size: 994 KB

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On the Improvement of the Understanding the Ethics Correspondence


By Benedict De Spinoza, R. H. M. ELWES

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1955 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-12108-6



CHAPTER 1

PART I. CONCERNING GOD.


DEFINITIONS.

I

BY that which is self-caused, I mean that of which the essence involves existence, or that of which the nature is only conceivable as existent.

II. A thing is called finite after its kind, when it can be limited by another thing of the same nature; for instance, a body is called finite because we always conceive another greater body. So, also, a thought is limited by another thought, but a body is not limited by thought, nor a thought by body.

III. By substance, I mean that which is in itself, and is conceived through itself: in other words, that of which a conception can be formed independently of any other conception.

IV. By attribute, I mean that which the intellect perceives as constituting the essence of substance.

V. By mode, I mean the modifications of substance, or that which exists in, and is conceived through, something other than itself.

VI. By God, I mean a being absolutely infinite—that is, a substance consisting in infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality.

Explanation.—I say absolutely infinite, not infinite after its kind: for, of a thing infinite only after its kind, infinite attributes maybe denied; but that which is absolutely infinite, contains in its essence whatever expresses reality, and involves no negation.

VII. That thing is called free, which exists solely by the necessity of its own nature, and of which the action is determined by itself alone. On the other hand, that thing is necessary, or rather constrained, which is determined by something external to itself to a fixed and definite method of existence or action.

VIII. By eternity, I mean existence itself, in so far as it is conceived necessarily to follow solely from the definition of that which is eternal.

Explanation.—Existence of this kind is conceived as an eternal truth, like the essence of a thing, and, therefore, cannot be explained by means of continuance or time, though continuance may be conceived without a beginning or end.


AXIOMS.

I. Everything which exists, exists either in itself or in something else.

II. That which cannot be conceived through anything else must be conceived through itself.

III. From a given definite cause an effect necessarily follows ; and, on the other hand, if no definite cause be granted, it is impossible that an effect can follow.

IV. The knowledge of an effect depends on and involves the knowledge of a cause.

V. Things which have nothing in common cannot be understood, the one by means of the other; the conception of one does not involve the conception of the other.

VI. A true idea must correspond with its ideate or object.

VII. If a thing can be conceived as non-existing, its essence does not involve existence.


PROPOSITIONS.

PROP. I. Substance is by nature prior to its modifications.

Proof.—This is clear from Deff. iii. and v.

PROP. II. Two substances, whose attributes are different, have nothing in common.

Proof.—Also evident from Def. iii. For each must exist in itself, and be conceived through itself ; in other words, the conception of one does not imply the conception of the other.

PROP. III. Things which have nothing in common cannot be one the cause of the other.

Proof.—If they have nothing in common, it follows that one cannot be apprehended by means of the other (Ax. v.), and, therefore, one cannot be the cause of the other (Ax. iv.). Q.E.D.

PROP. IV. Two or more distinct things are distinguished one from the other, either by the difference of the attributes of the substances, or by the difference of their modifications.

Proof.—Everything which exists, exists either in itself or in something else (Ax. i.),—that is (by Deff. iii. and v.), nothing is granted in addition to the understanding, except substance and its modifications. Nothing is, therefore, given besides the understanding, by which several things may be distinguished one from the other, except the substances, or, in other words (see Ax. iv.), their attributes and modifications. Q.E.D.

PROP. V. There cannot exist in the universe two or more substances having the same nature or attribute.

Proof.—If several distinct substances be granted, they must be distinguished one from the other, either by the difference of their attributes, or by the difference of their modifications (Prop. iv.). If only by the difference of their attributes, it will be granted that there cannot be more than one with an identical attribute. If by the difference of their modifications—as substance is naturally prior to its modifications (Prop. i.),—it follows that setting the modifications aside, and considering substance in itself, that is truly, (Deff. iii. and vi.), there cannot be conceived one substance different from another,—that is (by Prop. iv.), there cannot be granted several substances, but one substance only. Q.E.D.

PROP. VI. One substance cannot be produced by another substance.

Proof.—It is impossible that there should be in the universe two substances with an identical attribute, i.e. which have anything common to them both (Prop. ii.), and, therefore (Prop. iii.), one cannot be the cause of another, neither can one be produced by the other. Q.E.D.

Corollary.—Hence it follows that a substance cannot be produced by anything external to itself. For in the universe nothing is granted, save substances and their modifications (as appears from Ax. i. and Deff. iii. and v.). Now (by the last Prop.) substance cannot be produced by another substance, therefore it cannot be produced by anything external to itself. Q.E.D. This is shown still more readily by the absurdity of the contradictory. For, if substance be produced by an external cause, the knowledge of it would depend on the knowledge of its cause (Ax. iv.), and (by Def. iii.) it would itself not be substance.

PROP. VII. Existence belongs to the nature of substance.

Proof.—Substance cannot be produced by anything external (Corollary, Prop. vi.), it must, therefore, be its own cause—that is, its essence necessarily involves existence, or existence belongs to its nature.

PROP. VIII. Every substance is necessarily infinite.

Proof.—There can only be one substance with an identical attribute, and existence follows from its nature (Prop. vii.) ; its nature, therefore, involves existence, either as finite or infinite. It does not exist as finite, for (by Def. ii.) it would then be limited by something else of the same kind, which would also necessarily exist (Prop. vii.) ; and there would be two substances with an identical attribute, which is absurd (Prop. v.). It therefore exists as infinite. Q.E.D.

Note I.—As finite existence involves a partial negation, and infinite existence is the absolute affirmation of the given nature, it follows (solely from Prop. vii.) that every substance is necessarily infinite.

Note II.—No doubt it will be difficult for those who think about things loosely, and have not been accustomed to know them by their primary causes, to comprehend the demonstration of Prop. vii. : for such persons make no distinction between the modifications of substances and the substances themselves, and are ignorant of the manner in which things are produced; hence they attribute to substances the beginning which they observe in natural ob-. jects. Those who are ignorant of true causes, make complete confusion—think that trees might talk just as well as men—that men might be formed from stones as well as from seed ; and imagine that any form might be changed into any other. So, also, those who confuse the two natures, divine and human, readily attribute human passions to the deity, especially so long as they do not know how passions originate in the mind. But, if people would consider the nature of substance, they would have no doubt about the truth of Prop. vii. In fact, this proposition would be a universal axiom, and accounted a truism. For, by substance, would be understood that which is in itself, and is conceived through itself—that is, something of which the conception requires not the conception of anything else; whereas modifications exist in something external to themselves, and a conception of them is formed by means of a conception of the thing in which they exist. Therefore, we may have true ideas of non- existent modifications ; for, although they may have no actual existence apart from the conceiving intellect, yet their essence is so involved in something external to themselves that they may through it be conceived. Whereas the only truth substances can have, external to the intellect, must consist in their existence, because they are conceived through themselves. Therefore, for a person to say that he has a clear and distinct—that is, a true—idea of a substance, but that he is not sure whether such substance exists, would be the same as if he said that he had a true idea, but was not sure whether or no it was false (a little consideration will make this plain); or if anyone affirmed that substance is created, it would be the same as saying that a false idea was true—in short, the height of absurdity. It must, then, necessarily be admitted that the existence of substance as its essence is an eternal truth. And we can hence conclude by another process of reasoning—that there is but one such substance. I think that this may profitably be done at once; and, in order to proceed regularly with the demonstration, we must premise:—

1. The true definition of a thing neither involves nor expresses anything beyond the nature of the thing defined. From this it follows that—

2. No definition implies or expresses a certain number of individuals, inasmuch as it expresses nothing beyond the nature of the thing defined. For instance, the definition of a triangle expresses nothing beyond the actual nature of a triangle: it does not imply any fixed number of triangles.

3. There is necessarily for each individual existent thing a cause why it should exist.

4. This cause of existence must either be contained in the nature and definition of the thing defined, or must be postulated apart from such definition.

It therefore follows that, if a given number of individual things exist in nature, there must be some cause for the existence of exactly that number, neither more nor less. For example, if twenty men exist in the universe (for simplicity's sake, I will suppose them existing simultaneously, and to have had no predecessors), and we want to account for the existence of these twenty men, it will not be enough to show the cause of human existence in general; we must also show why there are exactly twenty men, neither more nor less: for a cause must be assigned for the existence of each individual. Now this cause cannot be contained in the actual nature of man, for the true definition of man does not involve any consideration of the number twenty. Consequently, the cause for the existence of these twenty men, and, consequently, of each of them, must necessarily be sought externally to each individual. Hence we may lay down the absolute rule, that everything which may consist of several individuals must have an external cause. And, as it has been shown already that existence appertains to the nature of substance, existence must necessarily be included in its definition ; and from its definition alone existence must be deducible. But from its definition (as we have shown, Notes ii., iii.), we cannot infer the existence of several substances; therefore it follows that there is only one substance of the same nature. Q.E.D.

PROP. IX. The more reality or being a thing has the greater the number of its attributes (Def. iv.).

PROP. X. Each particular attribute of the one substance must be conceived through itself.

Proof.—An attribute is that which the intellect perceives of substance, as constituting its essence (Def. iv.). and, therefore, must be conceived through itself (Def. iii.). Q.E.D.

Note.—It is thus evident that, though two attributes are, in fact, conceived as distinct—that is, one without the help of the other—yet we cannot, therefore, conclude that they constitute two entities, or two different substances. For it is the nature of substance that each of its attributes is conceived through itself, inasmuch as all the attributes it has have always existed simultaneously in it, and none could be produced by any other; but each expresses the reality or being of substance. It is, then, far from an absurdity to ascribe several attributes to one substance: for nothing in nature is more clear than that each and every entity must be conceived under some attribute, and that its reality or being is in proportion to the number of its attributes expressing necessity or eternity and infinity. Consequently it is abundantly clear, that an absolutely infinite being must necessarily be defined as consisting in infinite attributes, each of which expresses a certain eternal and infinite essence.

If anyone now ask, by what sign shall he be able to distinguish different substances, let him read the following propositions, which show that there is but one substance in the universe, and that it is absolutely infinite, wherefore such a sign would be sought for in vain.

PROP. XI. God, or substance, consisting of infinite attributes, of which each expresses external and infinite essentiality, necessarily exists.

Proof.—If this be denied, conceive, if possible, that God does not exist: then his essence does not involve existence. But this (by Prop. vii.) is absurd. Therefore God necessarily exists.

Another proof.—Of everything whatsoever a cause or reason must be assigned, either for its existence, or for its non-existence—e.g. if a triangle exist, a reason or cause must be granted for its existence; if, on the contrary, it does not exist, a cause must also be granted, which prevents it from existing, or annuls its existence. This reason or cause must either be contained in the nature of the thing in question, or be external to it. For instance, the reason for the non-existence of a square circle is indicated in its nature, namely, because it would involve a contradiction. On the other hand, the existence of substance follows also solely from its nature, inasmuch as its nature involves existence. (See Prop. vii.)

But the reason for the existence of a triangle or a circle does not follow from the nature of those figures, but from the order of universal nature in extension. From the latter it must follow, either that a triangle necessarily exists, or that it is impossible that it should exist. So much is self-evident. It follows therefrom that a thing necessarily exists, if no cause or reason be granted which prevents its existence.

If, then, no cause or reason can be given, which prevents the existence of God, or which destroys his existence, we must certainly conclude that he necessarily does exist. If such a reason or cause should be given, it must either be drawn from the very nature of God, or be external to him —that is, drawn from another substance of another nature. For if it were of the same nature, God, by that very fact, would be admitted to exist. But substance of another nature could have nothing in common with God (by Prop. ii.), and therefore would be unable either to cause or to destroy his existence.

As, then, a reason or cause which would annul the divine existence cannot be drawn from anything external to the divine nature, such cause must perforce, if God does not exist, be drawn from God's own nature, which would involve a contradiction. To make such an affirmation about a being absolutely infinite and supremely perfect, is absurd; therefore, neither in the nature of God, nor externally to his nature, can a cause or reason be assigned which would annul his existence. Therefore, God necessarily exists. Q.E.D.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from On the Improvement of the Understanding the Ethics Correspondence by Benedict De Spinoza, R. H. M. ELWES. Copyright © 1955 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE UNDERSTANDING
Of the ordinary objects of men's desires
Of the true and final good
Certain rules of life
Of the four modes of perception
Of the best mode of perception
"Of the instruments of the intellect, or true ideas"
Answers to objections
First part of method. Distinction of true ideas from fictious ideas
And from false ideas
Of doubt
Of memory and forgetfulness
Mental hindrances from words-and from the popular confusion of ready imagination with distinct understanding
"Second part of method. Its object, the acquisition of clear and distinct ideas"
"It means, good definitions. Conditions of definition"
How to define the understanding
THE ETHICS
PART I. Concerning God
Definitions
Axioms
Prop. I. Substance is by nature prior to its modifications
"Prop. II. Two substances, whose attributes are different have nothing in common"
"Prop. III. Things, which have nothing in common cannot be one the cause of the other"
"Prop IV. Two or more distinct things are distinguished one from the other either by the difference of the attributes of the substances, or by the difference of their modifications"
Prop V. There cannot exist in the universe two or more substances having the same nature or attribute
Prop VI. One substance cannot be produced by another substance
Prop VII. Existence belongs to the nature of substance
Prop VIII. Every substance is necessarily infinite
"Prop IX. The more reality or being a thing has, the greater the number of its attributes"
Prop X. Each partcular attribute of the one substance must be conceived through itself
"Prop. XI God, or substance consisting of infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality, necessarily exists"
"Prop. XII. No attribute of substance can be conceived, from which it would follow that substance can be divided"
Prop. XIII. Substance absolutely infinite is indivisible
Prop. XIV. Besides God no substance can be granted or conceived
"Prop XV. Whatsoever is, is in God, and without God nothing can be, or be conceived"
"Prop XVI. From the necessity of the divine nature must follow and infinite number of things in infinite ways-that is, all things which fall within the sphere of infinite intellect"
Prop XVII. God acts solely by the laws of his own nature and is not constrained by anyone
Prop XVIII. God is the indwelling and not the transient cause of all things
Prop XIX. God and all the attributes of God are eternal
Prop XX. The existence of God and his essence are one and the same
"Prop XXI. All things, which follow from the absolute nature of any attribute of God, must always exist and be infinite, or in other words, are eternal and infinite through the said attribute"
"Prop XXII. Whatever follows from any attribute of God, in so far as it is modified by a modification, which exists necessarily and as infinite through the said attibute, must also exist necessrily and as infinite"
"Prop XXIII. Every mode, which exists both necessarily and as infinite, must necessarily follow either from the absolute nature of some attribute of God, or from an attribute modified by a modification, which exists necessarily and as infinite"
Prop XXIV. The esssence of things produced by God does not involve existence
"Prop XXV. God is the efficient cause not only of the existence of things, but also of their essence"
"Prop XXVI. A thing, which is conditioned to act in a particular manner, has necessarily been thus conditioned by God; and that which has not been conditioned by God cannot condition itself to act"
"Prop XXVII. A thing, which has been conditioned by God to act in a particular way, cannot render itself unconditioned"
Prop XXVIII. Every individual thing, or everything which is finite and has a conditioned existence, cannot exist or be conditioned to act, unless it be conditoned for existence and action by a cause other than iteself, which also is finite and has a conditioned existence ; and likeweise this cause cannot in its turn exist or be conditioned to act, unless it be conditioned for existence and action by another cause, which also is finite and has a conditioned existence, and so on to infinity
"Prop. XXIX. Nothing in the universe is contingent, but all things are conditioned to exist and operate in a particular manner by the necessity of the divine nature"
"Prop. XXX. Intellect, in function finite, or in function infinite, must comprehend the attributes of God and the modifications of God, and nothing else"
"Prop. XXXI. The intellect in function, whether finite or infinite, as will, desire, love, &c., should be referred to passive nature, and not to active nature"
"Prop XXXII. Will cannot be called a free cause, but only a necessary cause"
Prop XXXIII. Things could not have been brought into being by God in any manner or in any order different from that which has in fact obtained
Prop. XXXIV. God's power is identical with his essence
"Prop. XXXV. Whatsoever we conceive to be in the power of God, necessarily exists"
Prop XXXVI. There is no cause from whose nature some effect does not follow
Appendix
Part II. Of the Nature and Origin of the Mind
Preface
Definitions
Axioms
"Prop. I. Thought is an attribute of God, or God is a thinking thing"
"Prop. II. Extension is an attribute of God, or God is an extended thing"
"Prop. III. In God there is necessarily the idea, not only of his essence, but also of all things which necessarily follow from his essence"
"Prop IV. The idea of God, from which an infinite number of things follow in infinite ways, can only be one"
Prop V. The actual being of ideas owns God as its cause, only in so far as he is considered as a thinking thing, not in so far as he is unfolded in any other attribute ; that is, the ideas both of the attributes of God and of particular things do not own as their efficient cause their objects, or the things perceived, but God himself, in so far as he is a thinking thing
"Prop VI. The modes of any given attribute are caused by God, in so far as he is considered through the attribute of which they are modes, and not in so far as he is considered through any other attribute"
Prop VII. The order and connection of ideas is the same as the order and connection of things
"Prop VIII. The ideas of particular things, or of modes, that do not exist, must be comprehended in the infinite idea of God, in the same way as the formal essences of particular things or modes are contained in the attributes of God"
Prop IX. The idea of an individual thing actually existing is caused by God, not in so far as he is infinite, but in so far as he is considered as affected by another idea of a thing actually existing, of which he is the cause, in so far as he is affected by a third idea, and so on to infinity
Prop X. The being of substance does not appertain to the essence of man-in other words substance does not constitute the actual being of man
"Prop XI. The first element which constitutes the actual being of the human mind, is the idea of some particular thing actually existing"
Prop XII. Whatsoever comes to pass in the object of the idea, which constitues the human mind, must be perceived by the human mind, or there will necessarily be an idea in the human mind of the said occurrence. That is, if the object of the idea constituting the human mind be a body, nothing can take place in that body without being perceived by the mind
"Prop XIII. The object of the idea constituting the human mind is the body, in othe words a certain mode of extension which actually exists, and nothing else"
"Digression on the nature of bodies-Axioms I., II. Lemmas I.-III."
"Axiom I., II."
"Definition-Axiom III.-Lemmas IV., V."
"Lemmas VI., VII."
Postulates
"Prop. XIV. The human mind is capable of perceiving a great number of things, and is so, in proportion as its body is capable of receiving a great number of impressions"
"Prop. XV. The idea, which constitutes the actual being of the human mind, is not simple, but compounded of a great number of ideas"
"Prop XVI. The idea of every mode, in which the human body is affected by external bodies, must involve the nature of the human body, and also the nature of the external body"
Prop. XVII. If the human body is affected in a manner which involves the nature of any external body, the human mind will regard the said external body as actually existing, or as present to itself, until the human body be affected in such a way as to exclude the existence of the said external body
"Prop. XVIII. If the human body has once been affected by two or more bodies at the same time, when the mind afterwards imagines any of them, it will straightway remember the others also"
"Prop. XIX. The human mind has no knowledge of the body, and does not know it to exist, save through the ideas of the modification, whereby the body is affected"
"Prop. XX. The idea or knowledge of the human mind is also in God, following in God in the same manner, and being referred to God in the same manner, as the idea or knowledge of the human body"
"Prop XXI. This idea of the mind is united to the mind, in the same way as the mind is united to the body"
"Prop. XXII. The human mind perceives not only the modifications of the body, but also the ideas of such modifications"
"Prop. XXIII. The mind does not know itself, except in so far as it perceives the ideas of the modifications of the body"
Prop. XXIV. The human mind does not involve an adequate knowledge of the parts composing the human body
Prop. XXV. The idea of each modification of the human body does not involve an adequate knowledge of the external body
"Prop. XXVI. The human mind does not perceive any external body as actually existing, except through the ideas of the modifications of its own body"
Prop. XXVII. The idea of each modification of the human body does not involve an adequate knowledge of the human body itself
"Prop. XXVIII. The ideas of the modifications of the human body, in so far as they have reference only to the human mind, are not clear and distinct, but confused"
Prop XXIX. The idea of the idea of each modification of the human body does not involve an adequate knowledge of the human mind
Prop. XXX. We can only have a very inadequate knowledge of the duration or our body
Prop. XXXI. We can only have a very inadequate knowledge of the duration of particular things external to ourselves
"Prop. XXXII. All ideas, in so far as they are referred to God, are true"
"Prop. XXXIII. There is nothing positive in ideas, which causes them to be called false"
"Prop. XXXIV. Every idea, which in us is absolute or adequate and perfect, is true"
"Prop. XXXV. Falsity consists in the privation of knowledge, which inadequate, fragmentary, or confused ideas involve"
"Prop. XXXVI. Inadequate or confused ideas follow by the same necessity, as adequate or clear and distinct ideas"
"Prop. XXXVII. That which is common to all, and is equally in a part and in the whole, does not constitute the essence of any particular thing"
"Prop. XXXVIII. Those things, which are common to all, and are equally in a pat and in the whole, cannot be conceived except adequately"
"Prop. XXXIX. That, which is common to and a property of the human body and such other bodies as are wont to affect the human body, and which is present equally in each part of either or in the whole, will be represented by an adequate idea in the mind"
"Prop. XL. Whatsoever ideas in the mind follow from ideas, which are therein adequate, are also themselves adequate"
"Prop. XLI. Opinion is the only source of falsity, reason and intuition are necessarily true"
"Prop. XLII. Reason and intuition, not opinion, teach us to distinguish the true from the false"
"Prop. XlIII. He who has a true idea, simultaneously knows that he has a true idea, and connot doubt of the truth of the thing perceived"
"Prop. XLIV. It is not in the nature of reason to regard things as contingent, but as necessary"
"Prop. XLV. Every idea of every body, or of every particular thing actually existing, necessarily involves the external and infinite essence of God"
"Prop. XLVI. The knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of God, which every idea involves, is adequate and perfect"
Prop. XLVII. The human mind has as adequate knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of God
"Prop. XLVIII. In the mind there is no absolute or free will ; but the mind is determined to wish this or that by a cause, which has also been determined by another cuase, and this last by another cause, and so on to infinity"
"Prop. XLIX. There is in the mind no volition, or affirmation and negation, save that which an idea, inasmuch as it is an idea, involves"
Part III. On the Origin and Nature of the Emotions
Definitions
Postulates
"Prop. 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 necessarily passive"
"Prop 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"
Prop. III. The activities of the mind arise solely from adequate ideas ; the passsive states of the mind depend solely on inadequate ideas
"Prop. IV. Nothing can be destroyed, except by a cause external to itself"
"Prop. V. Things are naturally contrary, that is cannot exist in the same object, in so far as one is capable of destroying the other"
"Prop. VI. Everything, in so far as it is in itself, endeavours to persist in its own being"
"Prop. VII. The endeavour, wherewith everything endeavours to persist in its own being is nothing else but the actual essence of the thing in question"
"Prop. VIII. The endeavour, whereby a thing endeavours to persist in its being, involves no finite time, but an indefinite time"
"Prop. 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"
"Prop. X. An idea, which excludes the existence of our body cannot be postulated in our mind, but is contrary thereto"
"Prop. 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"
"Prop. XII. The mind, as far as it can, endeavours to conceive those things, which increase or help the power of activity in the body"
"Prop. 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 things"
"Prop. 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 the two, be also affected by the other"
"Prop. XV. Anything can, accidentally, be the cause of pleasure, pain or desire"
Prop. 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
Prop. 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 love it
"Prop. 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 present"
"Prop. 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"
"Prop. XX. He who conceives that the object of his hate is destroyed, will feel pleasure"
Prop. 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
Prop. XXII. If we conceive that anything pleasurably affects some object of our love, we shall be affected with love towwards that thing. Contrariwise, if we conceive that it affects an object of our love painfully, we shall be affected with hatred towards it
Prop. 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
"Prop. XXIV. If we conceive that any one pleasurably affects an object of our hate, we shall feel hatred towards him also. If we conceive that he painfully affects the said object, we shall feel love towards him"
Prop. XXV. We endeavor to affirm, concerning ourselves and concerning what we love, everything that we 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
"Prop. XXVI. We endeavour to affirm, concerning that which we hate, everything which we conceive to affect it painfuly ; and contrariwise, we endeavour to deny concerning it everything which we conceive to affect it pleasurably"
"Prop. 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"
"Prop. 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"
"Prop. 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 from"
Prop. XXX. If any one has done something which he conceives as affecting other men pleasurably, he will be affected by pleasure, accompanied by the idea of himself as a cause ; in other words, he will regard himself with pleasure. On the other hand, if he has done anything which he regards as affecting others painfully, he will regard himself with pain
Prop. XXXI. If we conceive that anyone loves, desires, or hates anything which we 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 vacillation of soul
"Prop. XXXII. If we conceive that anyone takes delight in something, which only one person can posses, we shall endeavour to bring it about, that the man in question shall not gain possession thereof"
"Prop. XXXIII. When we love a thing similar to ourselves, we endeavour, as far as we can, to bring it about, that it should love us in return"
"Prop. XXXIV. The greater the emotion with which we conceive a loved object to be affected towards us, the greater will be our complacency"
"Prop. XXXV. If anyone conceives, that an object of his love joins itself to another with closer bonds of frienship that he himself has attained to, he will be affected with hatred towards the loved object and with envy towards his rival"
"Prop. 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"
"Prop. XXXVII. Desire arising through pain or pleasure, hatred or love, is greater in proportion as the emotion is greater"
Prop. 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
"Prop. 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"
"Prop. 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"
"Prop. XLI. If anyone conceives that he is loved by another, and believes that he has given to cause for such love, he will love that other in return"
"Prop. 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"
"Prop. XLIII. Hatred is increased by being reciprocated, and can on the other hand be destroyed by love"
"Prop. XLIV. Hatred which is completely vanquished by love, passes into love ; and love is thereupon greater, than if hatred had not preceded it "
"Prop. XLV. If a man conceives, that anyone similar to himself hates anything also similar to himself, which he loves he will hate that person"
Prop. 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
"Prop. 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"
Prop. 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
"Prop. 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"
"Prop. L. Anything whatever can be, accidentally, a cause of hope or fear"
"Prop. 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"
Prop. LII. An object, which we have formerly seen in conjunction with others, and 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 to itself
"Prop. 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 activity"
Prop. LIV. The mind endeavours to conceive only such things to assert its power of activity
"Prop. LV. When the mind contemplates its own weakness, it feels pain threat"
Prop. 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
"Prop. 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"
"Prop. 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"
"Prop. LIX. Among all the emotions attributable to the mind as active, there are none which cannot be referred to pleasure or pain"
Definitions of the Emotions
General Definition of the Emotions
Part IV. Of Human Bondage or the Strength of the Emotions
Preface
Definitions
Axiom
Prop. I. No positive quality possessed by a false idea is removed by the presence of what is true in virture of its beings true
"Prop. II We are only passive in so far as we are a part of Nature, which cannot be conceived by itself without other parts"
"Prop. III. The force whereby a man persists in existing is limited, and is infinitely surpassed by the power of external causes"
"Prop. IV. It is impossible, that man should not be a part of Nature, or that he should be capable of undergoing no changes, save such as can be understood through his nature only as their adequate cause"
"Prop. V. The power and increase of every passion, and its persistence in existing are not defined by the power, whereby we ourselves endeavour to persist in existing, but by the power of an external cause compared with our own"
"Prop. VI. The force of any passion or emotion can overcome the rest of a man's activities or power, so that the emotion becomes obstinately fixed to him"
"Prop. VII. An emotion can only be controlled or destroyed by another emotion contrary thereto, and with more power for controlling emotion"
"Prop. VIII. The knowledge of good and evil is nothing else, but the emotions of pleasure or pain, in so far as we are conscious thereof"
"Prop. IX. An emotion, whereof we conceive the cause to be with us at the present time, is stronger than if we did no conceive the cuase to be with us"
Prop. X. Towards something future, which we conceive as close at hand, we are affected more intensely, than if we conceive that its time for existence is separated from the present by a longer interval ; so too by the remembrance of what we conceive to have not long passed away we are affected more intensely, than if we conceive that it has long passed away
"Prop. XI. An emotion towards that which we conceive as necessary is, when other conditions are equal, more intense than an emotion towards that which is possible, or contingent, or non-necessary"
"Prop. XII. An emotion towards a thing, which we know not to exist at the present time, and which we conceive is possible, is more intense, other things being equal, than an emotion towards a thing contingent"
"Prop. XIII. Emotion towards a thing contingent, which we know not to exist in the present, is, other conditions being equal, fainter than an emotion towards a thing past"
"Prop. XIV. A true knowledge of good and evil cannot check any emotion by virtue of being true, but only in so far as it is considered as an emotion"
"Prop. XV. Desire arising form the knowledge of good and evil can be quenched or checked by many other desires arising from the emotions, whereby we are assailed"
"Prop. XVI. Desire arising from the knowledge of good and evil, in so far as such knowledge regards what is future, may be more easily controlled or quenched, than the desire for what is agreeable at the present moment"
"Prop. XVII. Desire arising from the true knowledge of good and evil, in so far as such knowledge is concerned with what is contingent, can be controlled far more easily still, than desire for things that are at present"
"Prop. XVIII. Desire arising from pleasure is other things being equal, stronger than desire arising from pain"
"Prop. XIX. Every man, by the laws of his nature, necessarily desires or shrinks from that which he deems to be goodor bad"
Prop. XX. The more every man endeavours and is able to seek what is useful to him, in other words to preserve his own being, the more is he endowed with virtue ; on the contrary, in proportion as a man neglects to seek what is useful to him, that is, to preserve his own being, he is wanting in power
"Prop. XXI. No one can rightly desire to be blessed, to act rightly, and to live rightly, without at the same time wishing to be, to act, and to live, in other words, to actually exist"
Prop. XXII. No virtue can be conceived as prior to this endeavour to preserve one's own being
Prop. XXIII. Man, in so far as he is determined to a particular action because he has inadequate ideas, cannot be absolutely said to act in obedience to virtue ; he can only be so described, in so far as he is determined for the action, because he understands
Prop. XXIV. To act absolutely in obedience to virture, is in us the same thing as to act, to live, or to preserve one's being (these three terms are identical in meaning) in accordance with the dictate of reason on the basis of seeking what is useful to one's self
Prop. XXV. No one wishes to preserve his being for the sake of anything else
"Prop. XXVI. Whatsoever we endeavor in obedience to reason is nothing further than to understand ; neither does the mind, in so far as it makes use of reason, judge anything to be useful to it, save such things as are conducive to understanding"
"Prop. XXVII. We know nothing to be certainly good or evil, save such things as really conduce to understanding, or such as are able to hinder us from understanding"
"Prop. XXVIII. The mind's highest good is the knowledge of God, and the mind's highest virtue is to know God"
"Prop. XXIX. No individual thing, which is entirely different from our own nature, can help or check our power or activity, and absolutely nothing can do us good or harm, unless it has something in common with our nature"
"Prop. XXX. A thing cannont be bad for us through the quality which it has in common with our nature, but it is bad for us, in so far as it is contrary to our nature"
"Prop. XXXI. In so far as a thing is in harmony with our nature, it is necessarily good"
"Prop. XXXII. In so far as men are a prey to passion, they cannot, in that respect, be said to be naturally in harmony"
"Prop. XXXIII. Men can differ in nature, in so far as they are assailed by those emotions, which are passions or passive states ; and to this extent one and the same man is variable and inconstant"
"Prop. XXXIV. In so far as men are assailed by emotions which are passions, they can be contrary one to another"
"Prop. XXXV. In so far only as men live in obedience to reason, do they always necessarily agree in nature"
"Prop. XXXVI. The highest good of those who follow virtue is common to all, and therefore all can equally rejoice therein"
"Prop. XXXVII. The good, which every man who follows after virtue desires for himself, he will also desire for other men, and so much the more, in proportion as he as a greater knowledge of God"
Prop. XXXVIII. Whatsoever disposes the human body, so as to render it capable of being affected in an increased number of ways, or of affecting external bodies in an increased number of ways, is useful to man ; and is so, in proportion as the body is thereby rendered more capable of being affected or of affecting other bodies in an increased number of ways ; contrariwise, whatsoever renders the body less capable in this respect is hurtful to man
"Prop. XXXIX. Whatsoever brings about the preservation of the proportion of motion and rest, which the parts of the human body mutually possess, is good ; contrariwise, whatsoever causes a change in such proportion is bad"
"Prop. XL. Whatsoever conduces to man's social lfie, or causes men to live together in harmony, is useful, whereas whatsoever brings discord into a State is bad"
"Prop. XLI. Pleasure in itself is not bad but good ; contrariwise, pain in itself is bad"
"Prop. XLII. Mirth cannot be excessive, but is always good ; contrariwise, Melancholy is always bad"
"Prop. XLIII. Stimulation may be excessive
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2004

    SPINOZA APPLIED TO OUR EVERYDAY LIVES

    Our Spinoza Center and Spinoza Gurdjieff Spiritual Workgroup has used this book for over 35 years with the understanding of Gregory Grover to apply Spinoza's ideas to our individual natures and lives. Difficult and inspiring. Our group began in 1919 with Dr. Kettner, Gregorys teacher, and friend of Albert Einstein who said 'my God is the God of Spinoza'. If Spinoza was the 'God intoxicated' individual then Gregory was the 'Spinoza God intoxicated' individual! I think this translation is the most beautiful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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