The Simple Ethics by Spinoza Part 3

Propositions 53 to 59

  1. 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.
  1. The mind endeavours to conceive only such things as assert its power of activity.
  1. When the mind contemplates its own weakness, it feels pain thereat.

Corollary= This pain is more and more fostered, if a man conceives that he is blamed by others; this may be proved in the same way as the corollary to 3.53.

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.

Corollary= No one envies the virtue of anyone who is not his equal.

  1. There are as many kinds of pleasure, of pain, of desire, and of every emotion compounded of these, such as vacillations of spirit, or derived from these, such as love, hatred, hope, fear, etc., as there are kinds of objects whereby we are affected.
  1. 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.

Note= 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.

  1. 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.
  1. Among all the emotions attributable to the mind as active, there are none which cannot be referred to pleasure or desire.


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