Part 1-4: Pride and Humility

PART 1: PRIDE AND HUMILITY

SEC. 1: DIVISION OF THE SUBJECT

  • All the mind’s perceptions may be divided into impressions and ideas, so the impressions admit of another division into:
    • original, and
    • secondary.
  • This division is the same with the division I used to distinguish them into impressions of sensation and reflection (Book 1, Part 1, Sec. 2).
  • Original impressions are impressions of sensation.
    • These do not have any antecedent perception arising in the soul from:
      • the body’s constitution
      • the animal spirits, or
      • the application of objects to the external organs.
    • These include all:
      • the impressions of the senses, and
      • bodily pains and pleasures.
  • Secondary impressions are reflective impressions.
    • These proceed from some of these original ones immediately or by the interposition of its idea.
    • Theses include the passions and other emotions resembling them.
  • The mind must begin somewhere in its perceptions.
    • The impressions precede their correspondent ideas.
    • There must be some impressions which appear to the soul, without any introduction.
  • These depend on natural and physical causes.
    • Their examination would lead me into the sciences of anatomy and natural philosophy.
      • These are too far from my present subject.
    • I shall confine myself to the secondary or reflective impressions, as arising from:
      • the original impressions, or
      • their ideas.
  • Bodily pains and pleasures are the source of many passions..
    • But they arise originally in the soul or in the body, whichever you want to call it, without any preceding thought or perception.
  • A gout produces a long train of passions, as grief, hope, fear.
    • But it is not derived immediately from any affection or idea.
  • The reflective impressions may be divided into two kinds:
    • the calm
      • The sense of beauty and deformity in action, composition, and external objects.
    • the VIOLENT.
      • The second are the passions of love and hatred, grief and joy, pride and humility.
      • This division is far from being exact.
  • The raptures of poetry and music frequently rise to the greatest height.
    • While those other impressions called passions, may decay into so soft an emotion, as to become imperceptible.
  • In general the passions are more violent than the emotions arising from beauty and deformity, these impressions have been commonly distinguished from each other.
    • The subject of the human mind is so copious and various.
    • I shall take advantage of this vulgar and spacious division, that I may proceed with the greater order.
    • I shall now explain those violent emotions or passions, their nature, origin, causes, and effects.
  • When we take a survey of the passions, there occurs a division of them into direct and indirect.
    • Direct passions mean those that arise immediately from good or evil and pain or pleasure.
      • Examples are desire, aversion, grief, joy, hope, fear, despair and security.
    • Indirect passions mean those from the same principles, but by the conjunction of other qualities.
      • Examples are pride, humility, ambition, vanity, love, hatred, envy, pity, malice, generosity, with their dependants.
  • I cannot presently justify or explain this distinction any further.

SEC. 2: PRIDE, HUMILITY

  • Pride and humility are simple and uniform impressions.
    • We can never give a just definition of them or any of the passions.
  • We can pretend to describe them by enumerating the circumstances that attend them.
  • But the words ‘pride’ and ‘humility’ are of general use.
    • The impressions they represent are the most common of any.
    • Everyone will be able to form a just idea of them, without mistake.
  • This is why I shall immediately enter their examination.
  • Pride and humility are directly contrary, but have the same object.
    • This object is the self or that succession of related ideas and impressions we have an intimate memory and consciousness of.
  • Here, the view always fixes when we are actuated by pride or humility.
    • We feel elated by pride or dejected with humility as our idea of ourself is more or less advantageous.
  • All other objects comprehended by the mind are always considered with a view to ourselves.
    • Otherwise they would never be able to excite these passions or produce the smallest increase or reduction of them.
  • When the self does not enter into the consideration, there is no room for pride or humility.
  • The self is always the object of pride and humility.
    • It can never be their cause, or be sufficient alone to excite them.
  • Pride and humility:
    • are directly contrary
    • have the same common object.
  • If their object were also their cause, it could never produce any degree of the one passion.
    • At the same time, it must excite an equal degree of the other.
    • Opposition and contrariety must destroy both.
  • A man can never be proud and humble at the same time.
    • These take place alternately depending on their reasons.
    • If these two encounter, the stronger one annihilates the other.
      • Only the superior one continues to operate on the mind.
  • But in the present case neither of them could ever become superior.
    • The view of ourself alone is indifferent to pride and humility.
    • If this excited pride and humility, this view:
      • must produce both passions in the very same proportion; or
      • can produce neither.
  • To excite any passion and raise an equal opposing passion at the same time, is immediately to undo what was done.
    • It must leave the mind perfectly calm and indifferent in the end.
  • Therefore, we must distinguish between:
    • the cause and the object of these passions
    • between that idea which excites them, and the idea to which they direct their view, when excited.
  • Pride and humility, being once raised, immediately:
    • turn our attention to ourself
    • regard the self as their ultimate and final object.
  • But there is something needed to further raise them.
    • This something:
      • is peculiar to one of the passions
      • does not produce both in the very same degree.
  • The first idea presented to the mind is the idea of the cause or productive principle.
    • This excites the passion connected with it.
    • When excited, that passion turns our view to another idea which is that of self.
  • Here then is a passion placed between two ideas of which the one produces it, and the other is produced by it.
    • The first idea, therefore, represents the cause.
    • The second idea represents the object of the passion.
  • To begin with the causes of pride and humility.
    • Their most obvious and remarkable property is the vast variety of subjects, on which they may be placed.
  • Pride is caused by:
    • every valuable quality of the mind, imagination, judgment, memory or disposition
    • wit, good-sense, learning, courage, justice, integrity
  • Humility is caused by their opposites.
  • These passions are not confined to the mind.
    • They extend their view to the body.
  • A man may be proud of his beauty, strength, agility, good mein, address in dancing, riding, and of his dexterity in any manual business or manufacture.
    • But this is not all.
  • The passions, looking further, comprehend whatever objects are in the least allied or related to us.
    • Our country, family, children, relations, riches, houses, gardens, horses, dogs, and clothes may become a cause of pride or humility.
  • We should make a new distinction in the causes of the passion, between that quality, which operates, and the subject, on which it is placed.
    • A man is vain of a beautiful house belonging to him or which he built himself.
    • Here the object of the passion is himself.
    • The cause is the beautiful house.
      • This cause again is sub-divided into two:
        • the quality, which operates on the passion
          • The quality is the beauty.
        • the subject in which the quality inheres.
          • The subject is the house, considered as his property or contrivance.
      • Both these parts are essential.
      • The distinction is not vain and chimerical.
  • Beauty in itself never produces any pride or vanity, unless placed on something related to us.
    • The strongest relation alone, without beauty, or something else in its place, has as little influence on pride.
  • These two particulars are easily separated.
    • There is a necessity for their conjunction to produce pride.
  • We should:
    • consider them as component parts of the cause
    • infix in our minds an exact idea of this distinction.

SEC. 3: From Where THESE OBJECTS AND CAUSES ARE DERIVED

  • We have observed a difference between the object of the passions and their cause.
    • We distinguish in the cause the quality, which operates on the passions, from the subject, in which it inheres.
  • We now examine what:
    • determines each of them to be what it is
    • assigns such a particular object, quality, and subject to these affections.
  • Through this, we shall fully understand the origin of pride and humility.
  • These passions are derermined to have the self for their object through a natural and original property.
    • No one can doubt but this property is natural from the constancy and steadiness of its operations.
  • The self is always the object of pride and humility.
    • The passions look beyond, still with a view to ourselves.
    • Otherwise, any person or object cannot have any influence on us.
  • This proceeds from an original quality or primary impulse, if we consider that it is the distinguishing characteristic of these passions.
    • Unless nature had given some original qualities to the mind, it could never have any secondary qualities.
    • In that case, it:
      • would have no foundation for action, nor
      • could ever begin to exert itself.
  • These original qualities:
    • are most inseparable from the soul
    • can be resolved into no other.
  • This quality determines the object of pride and humility.
  • Are the causes that produce the passion as natural as the object it is directed to?
  • Does that vast variety proceed from caprice or from the mind’s constitution?
    • We shall remove this doubt if we:
      • cast our eye on human nature
      • consider that in all nations and ages, the same objects still give rise to pride and humility.
  • Upon the view even of a stranger, we can know what will increase or reduce his passions.
    • If there is any variation in this, it only proceeds from a difference in the men’s tempers and complexions.
      • It is besides very inconsiderable.
  • Can we imagine it possible for:
    • men to ever become entirely indifferent to their power, riches, beauty or personal merit
    • men’s pride and vanity to be unaffected by these advantages?
  • The causes of pride and humility are plainly natural, but they are not original.
    • It is impossible for each of them be adapted to these passions by a:
      • particular provision
      • primary constitution of nature.
  • Beside their prodigious number, many of them:
    • are the effects of art
    • arise partly from the industry
      • Industry produces houses, furniture, clothes.
    • arise partly from the caprice
      • Caprice determines their kinds and qualities.
    • arise partly from the good fortune of men
      • Good fortune frequently contributes to all this
      • It discovers the effects that result from the different mixtures and combinations of bodies.
  • Each of these was not foreseen nor provided for by nature.
  • Every new production of art, which causes pride or humility, is itself not the object of an original principle.
    • This principle did not lay concealed in the soul.
    • It was not brought to light only by accident.
  • Instead, it adapts itself to pride or humility by sharing some general quality that naturally operates on the mind.
  • It is ridiculous to think that:
    • a fine scritoire, created by an inventor, produced pride in the inventor
    • this principle is then different from those which made him proud of handsome chairs and tables.
  • We must conclude that each cause of pride and humility is not adapted to the passions by a distinct original quality.
    • Instead, there are some circumstances common to all of them, which their efficacy depends on.
  • We find in nature that though the effects be many, the principles, from which they arise, are commonly few and simple.
  • It is the sign of an unskillful naturalist to have recourse to a different quality to explain every different operation.
  • How much more must this be true with regard to the human mind?
    • Such a confined a subject may justly be thought incapable of containing such a monstrous heap of principles.
    • These principles would be necessary to excite pride and humility.
    • Each distinct cause would then need to be adapted to pride and humility by a distinct set of principles.
  • Moral philosophy is in the same condition as natural philosophy, with regard to astronomy before Copernicus’ time.
  • The ancients knew of the maxim that nature does nothing in vain.
    • They contrived intricate systems of the heavens which seemed inconsistent with true philosophy.
    • They gave way to something more simple and natural in the end.
  • The following proves that:
    • none of those systems is the just one
    • we want to cover our ignorance of the truth by:
      • a number of falsehoods
      • the invention of a new principle to every new phenomenon, instead of adapting it to the old
    • overloading our hypotheses with a variety of this kind.

SEC. 4: THE RELATIONS OF IMPRESSIONS AND IDEAS

  • We have established two truths without any obstacle or difficulty, that:
    • it is from natural principles this variety of causes excites pride and humility,
    • it is not by a different principle each different cause is adapted to its passion.
  • We shall now enquire how we may:
    • reduce these principles to a lesser number
    • find among the causes something common, on which their influence depends.
  • To do this, we must reflect on certain properties of human nature which have a mighty influence on every operation of the understanding and passions.
    • However, these properties are not commonly insisted on by philosophers.
  • The first of these is the association of ideas.
    • It is impossible for the mind to fix itself steadily on one idea for any considerable time.
    • It cannot by its utmost efforts ever arrive at such a constancy.
  • But however changeable our thoughts may be, they are not entirely without rule and method in their changes.
    • This rule is to pass from one object to what is resembling, contiguous to, or produced by it.
  • When one idea is present to the imagination, any other idea, united by these relations, naturally:
    • follows it
    • enters with more facility by means of that introduction.
  • The second property I shall observe in the human mind is a like association of impressions.
    • All resembling impressions are connected together.
      • No sooner one arises than the rest immediately follow.
  • Grief and disappointment give rise to anger, anger to envy, envy to malice, and malice to grief again, until the whole circle be completed.
    • In like manner our temper, when elevated with joy, naturally throws itself into love, generosity, pity, courage, pride, and the other resembling affections.
  • When actuated by any passion, the mind finds it difficult to confine itself to that passion alone, without any change or variation.
  • Human nature is too inconstant to have such regularity.
    • Changeableness is essential to it.
  • And to what can it so naturally change as to affections or emotions, which are suitable to the temper, and agree with that set of passions, which then prevail?
  • There is an attraction or association among impressions and ideas.
    • Though with this remarkable difference, that ideas are associated by resemblance, contiguity, and causation; and impressions only by resemblance.
  • In the third place, we can observer that:
    • these two kinds of association very much assist and forward each other
    • the transition is more easily made where they both concur in the same object.
  • A man, who is very much discomposed and ruffled by an injury from another, is apt to find 100 subjects of discontent, impatience, fear, and other uneasy passions, especially if he can discover these subjects in the person who injured him.
    • Those principles which forward the transition of ideas concur here with those principles which operate on the passions.
      • Both unite in one action and bestow on the mind a double impulse.
  • Therefore, the new passion must arise with so much greater violence.
    • The transition to it must be rendered so much more easy and natural.
  • According to Addison, an elegant writer:
  • “The fancy:
    • delights in everything that is great, strange, or beautiful
    • is more pleased the more it finds of these perfections in the same object
      • The fancy can receive a new satisfaction with the help of another sense.
  • Any continued sound, as the music of birds, or a fall of waters:
    • awakens every moment the mind of the beholder
    • makes him more attentive to the several beauties of the place, that lie before him.
  • If a fragrancy of perfumes arises, they:
    • heighten the imagination’s pleasure
    • make the colours and verdure of the landschape appear more agreeable
      • The ideas of both senses:
        • recommend each other
        • are pleasanter together than when they enter the mind separately.
  • The different colours of a picture, when they are well disposed:
    • set off one another
    • receive an additional beauty from the advantage of the situation.”
      • (Addison, Spectator 412, final paragraph)
  • This phenomenon shows the:
    • association of impressions and ideas
    • the mutual assistance they lend each other.

Words: 2797

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