Propositions 1 to 10

September 9, 2015
  1. No positive quality possessed by a false idea is removed by the presence of what is true, in virtue of its being true.
  1. Imagination is an idea which indicates the human body’s present disposition, than the nature of the external body not distinctly, but confusedly. Whence it comes to pass, that the mind is said to err.
  1. We are only passive, in so far as we are apart of Nature, which cannot be conceived by itself without other parts.
  1. The force whereby a man persists in existing is limited, and is infinitely surpassed by the power of external causes.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. An emotion can only be controlled or destroyed by another emotion contrary thereto, and with more power for controlling emotion.
  1. The knowledge of good and evil is nothing else but the emotions of pleasure or pain, in so far as we are conscious thereof.
  1. An emotion, whereof we conceive the cause to be with us at the present time, is stronger than if we did not conceive the cause to be with us.
  1. 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.
  1. An emotion towards that which we conceive as necessary is, when other conditions are equal, more intense than an emotion towards that which possible, or contingent, or non—necessary.
  1. An emotion towards a thing, which we know not to exist at the present time, and which we conceive as possible, is more intense, other conditions being equal, than an emotion towards a thing contingent.
  1. 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.

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