Sec. 2: Experiments

SEC. 2: EXPERIMENTS TO CONFIRM THIS SYSTEM

  • Everyone will assent to my conclusion on the transition along related impressions and ideas, because it is an easy and natural principle.
  • We will:
    • make some new experiments on love and hatred, pride and humility and
    • recall observations that I already made.
  • To make these experiments, let us suppose I am with a person who is not my friend nor enemy.
  • Here I have the natural and ultimate object of all these four passions:
    • I am the proper object of pride or humility
    • The other person of love or hatred.
  • Will now regard:
    • the nature of these passions, and
    • their situation with respect to each other.
  • Here are four affections placed in a square or regular connection with, and distance from each other.
    • Pride and humility, love and hatred, are connected by the identity of their object.
    • The object of:
      • pride and humility is self, and
      • love and hatred is some other person.
  • These two lines of communication or connection form two opposite sides of the square.
    • Pride and love are agreeable passions.
    • Hatred and humility are uneasy ones.
  • This similarity of sensation between pride and love, and that between humility and hatred:
    • form a new connection, and
    • are the other two sides of the square.
  • Pride is connected with humility, love with hatred, by their objects or ideas.
    • Pride with love, humility with hatred, by their sensations or impressions.
  • Nothing can produce any of these passions without bearing it a double relation of:
    • ideas to the object of the passion, and
    • sensation to the passion itself.
  • This we must prove by our experiments.

Experiment 1

  • Let us first suppose, there is an object presented to me and the other person, that has no relation of impressions or ideas to any of these passions.
    • Suppose we regard an ordinary stone:
      • belonging to neither of us, and
      • causing no emotion or independent pain and pleasure.
    • Such an object will produce none of these four passions.
  • Let us try it on each of them successively.
  • Let us apply it to love, to hatred, to humility, to pride.
    • None of them ever arises in the smallest degree.
  • Let us change the object as often as we please, provided we still choose one that has none of these two relations.
    • Let us repeat the experiment in all the dispositions the mind is susceptible of.
  • No object will, in any disposition, produce any passion without these relations.

Experiment 2

  • An object that lacks both these relations can never produce any passion.
  • Let us bestow on it only one of these relations and see what will follow.
  • Suppose I regard a stone that belongs to me or my companion.
    • By that means, it acquires a relation of ideas to the object of the passions.
  • To consider the matter a priori, no emotion of any kind can reasonably be expected.
    • For a relation of ideas operates secretly and calmly on the mind.
      • It bestows an equal impulse towards the opposite passions of pride and humility, love and hatred, according as the object belongs to ourselves or others.
      • The opposition of the passions must:
        • destroy both, and
        • leave the mind perfectly free from any emotion.
  • This reasoning a priori is confirmed by experience.
    • Trivial objects that do not cause pain or pleasure, independent of the passion, will never be able to produce pride or humility, love or hatred, by its property or other relations to ourselves or others.

Experiment 3

  • A relation of ideas is alone unable to give rise to these affections.
  • Let us replace this relation of ideas with a relation of impressions by presenting an agreeable or disagreeable object that has no relation to ourself or our companion.
  • To also consider the matter first a priori, we may conclude that the object will have a small but uncertain connection with these passions.
    • For this relation is not a cold and imperceptible one.
      • It does not:
        • have the inconvenience of the relation of ideas.
        • direct us with equal force to two contrary passions which destroy each other by their opposition.
  • We infer that nothing will ever be a steady or durable cause of any passion connected to it merely by a relation of impressions if we consider that:
    • this transition from the sensation to the affection is not forwarded by any principle that produces a transition of ideas.
    • on the contrary, the transition of one impression into the other is contrary to all the principles that cause that kind of transition.
  • Thus, an object which produces pleasure or uneasiness, but has no connection with ourselves or others, may naturally:
    • turn the disposition into pride or love, humility or hatred
    • search for other objects on which it can found these affections by a double relation.
  • But an object which has only one of these relations, though the most advantageous one, can never give rise to any constant and established passion.
  • Fortunately, all this reasoning is exactly conformable to:
    • experience
    • the phenomena of the passions.
  • Suppose I were travelling with a companion through a country new to us both.
    • I may be in good humour with myself and my companion if:
      • the prospects are beautiful
      • the roads agreeable
      • the inns convenient.
    • But as this country has no relation to myself or my friend, it can never be the immediate cause of pride or love.
      • My emotions are merely the overflowings of an elevate or humane disposition, instead of being an established passion.
    • The case is the same where the object produces uneasiness.

Experiment 4

  • We have found that an object can ever cause pride or humility, love or hatred if it has:
    • no relation of ideas or impressions
    • only one relation.
  • Reason alone may convince us, without any further experiment, that whatever has a double relation must necessarily excite these passions, since they must have some cause.
  • Let us renew our experiments and see whether it answers our expectation.
    • I choose an object, such as virtue, that causes a separate satisfaction.
    • I bestow a relation to self on this virtue.
    • I find that pride immediately arises from this disposition.
      • This object bears a double relation to pride.
      • Its idea is related to the idea of self.
      • The self is the object of pride.
    • The self causes a sensation resembling the sensation of pride.
  • I remove first one relation, and then another, to be sure that am not mistaken.
    • I find that each removal:
      • destroys the passion
      • leaves the object perfectly indifferent.
  • I make a further trial.
    • Instead of removing the relation, I only change it for one of a different kind.
    • I suppose the virtue to belong to my companion, not to myself.
    • I immediately perceive the affections wheel to about.
      • They leave pride, where there is only one relation of impressions.
      • They fall to the side of love, where they are attracted by a double relation of impressions and ideas.
    • By repeating the same experiment in changing anew the relation of ideas, I bring the affections back to pride.
    • By a new repetition, I again place them at love or kindness.
  • Being fully convinced of the influence of this relation, I try the effects of the other.
    • By changing virtue for vice, I convert the pleasant impression arising from the former, into the disagreeable one proceeding from the latter.
  • The effect still answers expectation.
    • When vice is placed on another, it excites hatred instead of love, by means of its double relations arising from virtue for the same reason.
  • To continue the experiment, I:
    • change the relation of ideas anew
    • suppose the vice to belong to myself.
  • A subsequent change from hatred to humility follows, as usual.
    • I convert this humility into pride by a new change of the impression.
    • I complete the round.
    • By these changes, I have brought back the passion to that very situation in which I first found it.
  • I alter the object.
  • Instead of vice and virtue, I try beauty and deformity, riches and poverty, power and servitude.
    • Each of these objects runs the circle of the passions in the same way by a change of their relations.
  • The experiment is not diversified in whatever order we proceed, whether through pride, love, hatred, humility, or through humility, hatred, love, pride.
  • Esteem and contempt sometimes arise instead of love and hatred.
    • But these are at the bottom the same passions.
    • These are only diversified by some causes, which we shall explain afterwards.

Experiment 5

  • Let us place the passions and objects in all the different positions they are susceptible of.
  • Let us suppose that:
    • the same person, in previous experiments, is:
      • my son or brother, or
      • united to me by a long and familiar acquaintance.
    • the cause of the passion acquires a double relation of impressions and ideas to this person.
    • Let us see what the effects are of all these complicated attractions and relations.
  • Before we consider what they are in fact, let us determine what they should be, conformable to my hypothesis.
  • As the impression is pleasant or uneasy, love or hatred must arise towards the person who is connected to the impression’s cause by these double relations I have required.
    • The virtue of a brother must make me love him, as his vice or infamy must excite my hatred.
  • I should not expect that the affections would:
    • rest there
    • never transfuse themselves into any other impression.
  • The person is the object of my passion through a double relation.
    • This reasoning leads me to think that the passion will be carried further.
    • The person has a relation of ideas to myself, according to the supposition that the passion, which he is the object of, has a relation of impressions to pride or humility by being agreeable or uneasy.
    • Thus, one of these passions must arise from the love or hatred.
  • I form this reasoning to conform to my hypothesis.
  • I am pleased to find upon trial that everything answers exactly to my expectation.
  • The virtue or vice of a son or brother:
    • excites love or hatred
    • gives rise to pride or humility from a new transition from similar causes.
  • Nothing causes greater vanity than any shining quality in our relations.
    • Nothing mortifies us more than their vice or infamy.
  • This exact conformity of experience to our reasoning is a proof of the solidity of my hypothesis.

Experiment 6

  • This evidence will be strengthened if we:
    • reverse the experiment
    • begin only with a different passion, preserving the same relations.
  • Suppose that instead of the virtue or vice of a son or brother, we place these good or bad qualities on ourselves, without any immediate connection with the son or brother.
    • Experience shows us that by this change of situation:
      • the whole chain is broken
      • the mind is not conveyed from one passion to another, as in the preceding instance.
  • We never love or hate a son or brother for the virtue or vice we discern in ourselves.
    • Though the same qualities in him give us a very sensible pride or humility.
  • The transition from pride or humility to love or hatred is not so natural as from love or hatred to pride or humility.
    • Initially, this might be contrary to my hypothesis.
      • Since the relations of impressions and ideas are precisely the same in both cases.
  • Pride and humility are impressions related to love and hatred.
    • I am related to the person.
    • Like causes must produce like effects.
    • A perfect transition must arise from the double relation, as in all other cases.
  • We may easily solve this difficulty by the following reflections.
  • We are always intimately conscious of ourselves.
  • The ideas of our sentiments and passions must strike us with greater vivacity than those of other persons.
  • But everything that strikes us with vivacity and appears in a strong light:
    • forces itself into our consideration
    • becomes present to the mind on the smallest hint and most trivial relation.
  • When present, it:
    • engages the attention
    • keeps our attention from wandering to other objects, no matter how strong their relation is to our first object.
  • The imagination passes:
    • easily from obscure to lively ideas.
      • Relation here is aided by another principle.
    • with difficulty from lively to obscure ones.
      • Relation here is opposed by another principle.
  • The imagination and passions assist each other in their operations when:
    • their propensities are similar
    • they act on the same object.
  • The mind always has a propensity to pass from a passion to any other passion related to it.
    • This propensity is forwarded when the object of the one passion is related to the propensity of the other.
  • The two impulses:
    • concur with each other
    • render the whole transition smoother and easier.
  • But while the relation of ideas continues the same, its influence in causing a transition of the imagination stops, its influence on the passions must also cease.
    • Since it is entirely dependent on that transition.
  • This is why pride or humility is not transfused into love or hatred with the same ease that love or hatred are changed into the pride and humility.
    • If a person is my brother, I am also his brother.
  • Though the relations are reciprocal, they have very different effects on the imagination.
    • The passage is smooth and open from the consideration of any person related to us to that of ourself.
  • But when the affections are once directed to ourself, the fancy does not pass with the same facility from that object to any other person, how closely so ever connected with us.
    • This easy or difficult transition of the imagination:
      • operates on the passions
      • facilitates or retards their transition.
    • This is a clear proof that:
      • the imagination and the passions are connected together
      • the relations of ideas influence the affections.
  • Even when the relation remains, if its usual effect on the fancy in producing an association or transition of ideas is prevented, its usual effect on the passions, in conveying us from one to another, is prevented in the same way.
  • Some might find a contradiction between this phenomenon and that of sympathy.
    • In sympathy, the mind passes easily from the idea of ourselves to the idea of any other object related to us.
  • But this difficulty will vanish if we consider that in sympathy:
    • our own person is not the object of any passion
    • there is nothing that fixes our attention on ourselves, as in the present case, where we are supposed to be actuated with pride or humility.
  • Independent of the perception of every other object, ourself is in reality nothing.
    • This is why we must turn our view to external objects.
    • It is natural for us to consider most attentively those that resemble us or lie contiguous to us.
  • But when the self is the object of a passion, it is not natural to quit its consideration until the passion is exhausted.
    • In such a case, the double relations of impressions and ideas can no longer operate.

Experiment 7

  • Let us here suppose an identity of passions along with a relation of ideas.
  • A transition of the passions from the one object to the other is here in all reason to be expected.
  • Since the relation of ideas is supposed still to continue, and identity of impressions must produce a stronger connection, than the most perfect resemblance, that can be imagined.
  • If a double relation of impressions and ideas is able to produce a transition from one to the other, much more an identity of impressions with a relation of ideas.
  • When we love or hate anyone, the passions seldom continue within their first bounds.
    • They:
      • extend themselves towards all the contiguous objects
      • include his friends and relations.
  • Nothing is more natural than to bear a kindness to one brother because of our friendship for another, without any further examination of his character.
    • A quarrel with one person gives us a hatred for his whole innocent family.
  • Instances of this kind are everywhere.
  • There is only one difficulty in this experiment.
  • All passions pass easily from one object to another related to it.
  • Yet this transition is made with greater facility, where the more considerable object is first presented, and the lesser follows it, than where this order is reversed, and the lesser takes the precedence.
  • Thus, it is more natural for us to love:
    • the son because of the father, than the father because of the son
    • the servant for the master, than the master for the servant
    • the subject for the prince, than the prince for the subject.
  • We more readily hate a whole family if we have a quarrel with its head, than if we are displeased with a son, servant, or some inferior member.
    • In short, our passions, like other objects, descend with greater facility than they ascend.
  • The difficulty of explaining this phenomenon comes from the fact that the imagination:
    • passes from remote to contiguous objects with more facility than from contiguous to remote
    • changes more easily the less for the greater, than the greater for the less.
  • Whatever has the greatest influence is most noticed.
    • Whatever is most noticed, presents itself most readily to the imagination.
  • We are more apt to over-look what is trivial in any subject than what appears of considerable moment, especially if the considerable one:
    • takes the precedence
    • first engages our attention.
  • When we consider the Jupiter’s satellites, our fancy naturally forms the idea of Jupiter.
    • It is more natural for us to overlook its satellites if we first reflect on Jupiter.
  • The mention of an empire’s provinces conveys our thought to the seat of the empire.
    • But the fancy does not return with the same facility to the consideration of the provinces.
  • The idea of the servant makes us think of the master.
    • The idea of the subject carries our view to the prince.
  • But the same relation does not have an equal influence in conveying us back again.
  • This is the foundation of Cornelia’s reproach to her sons.
    • They should be ashamed she should be more known by the title of the daughter of Scipio than by that of the mother of the Gracchi.
    • She exhorted them to render themselves as illustrious and famous as their grandfather.
    • Otherwise, the people’s imagination, passing from her who was intermediate, and placed in an equal relation to both, would:
      • always leave them
      • denominate her by what was more considerable and of greater moment.
  • This principle is the foundation of the:
    • common custom of making wives bear the name of their husbands
    • ceremony of giving the precedency to those we honour and respect.
  • We can find many other obvious instances to confirm this principle.
  • The fancy finds the same facility in passing from the lesser to the greater, as from remote to contiguous.
    • Why does this easy transition of ideas not assist the transition of passions in the former case, as well as in the latter?
  • The virtues of a friend or brother first produce love, and then pride.
    • Because the imagination passes from remote to contiguous, according to its propensity.
  • Our own virtues do not produce pride first and then love, to a friend or brother.
    • Because the passage in that case would be from contiguous to remote, contrary to its propensity.
  • But the love or hatred of an inferior does not readily cause any passion to the superior, even if that is the imagination’s natural propensity.
  • While the love or hatred of a superior, causes a passion to the inferior, contrary to its propensity.
  • In short, the same facility of transition operates not in the same manner upon superior and inferior as upon contiguous and remote.
  • These two phaenomena appear contradictory, and require some attention to be reconciled.
  • The transition of ideas is here made contrary to the natural propensity of the imagination.
    • The imagination must be overpowered by some stronger principle of another kind.
    • As there is nothing ever present to the mind but impressions and ideas, this principle must necessarily lie in the impressions.
  • Impressions or passions are connected only by their resemblance.
  • Where any two passions place the mind in the same or in similar dispositions, it very naturally passes from the one to the other.
  • A repugnance in the dispositions produces a difficulty in the transition of the passions.
  • But this repugnance may arise from a difference of degree as well as of kind.
  • We do not experience a greater difficulty in passing suddenly from a small degree of love to a small degree of hatred, than from a small to a great degree of either of these affections.
  • When calm or only moderately agitated, a man is so different from himself when disturbed with a violent passion.
    • It is not easy to pass from the one extreme state to the other, without a considerable interval between them.
  • The difficulty is not less, if it be not rather greater, in passing from the strong passion to the weak, than in passing from the weak to the strong, provided that:
    • the one passion on its appearance destroys the other
    • they do not both exist at once.
  • But the case is entirely altered when the passions:
    • unite together
    • actuate the mind at the same time.
  • A weak passion, when added to a strong, does not make so considerable a change in the disposition, as a strong when added to a weak.
    • This is why there is a closer connection between the great degree and the small, than between the small degree and the great.
  • The degree of any passion depends on:
    • the nature of its object
    • an affection directed to a person considerable in our eyes.
      • This affection for such a person fills and possesses the mind much more than one for a person we esteem of less consequence.
  • The contradiction between the propensities of the imagination and passion displays itself.
    • When we turn our thought to a great and a small object, the imagination finds more facility in passing from the small to the great, than from the great to the small.
    • But the affections find a greater difficulty.
  • The affections are a more powerful principle than the imagination.
    • No wonder they prevail over it and draw the mind to their side.
  • A passion directed to the great idea always produces a similar passion towards the lesser idea, when the great and little are related.
    • The idea of the servant conveys our thought most readily to the master.
    • But the hatred or love of the master produces anger or goodwill with greater facility to the servant.
  • The strongest passion in this case takes the precedence.
    • The addition of the weaker passion makes no considerable change on the disposition.
    • The passage is by that means rendered more easy and natural between them.
  • A relation of ideas which ceases to produce its usual effect of facilitating the transition of ideas, also ceases to operate on the passions.
    • We find the same property of the impressions in this experiment.
  • Two different degrees of the same passion are surely related.
    • But if the smaller is first present, it has little or no tendency to introduce the greater.
    • Because the addition of the great to the little, produces a more sensible alteration on the temper, than the addition of the little to the great.
  • These phenomena are convincing proofs of this hypothesis.
  • These proofs will be confirmed if we consider how the mind here reconciles the contradiction between the passions and the imagination.
    • The fancy passes with more facility from the less to the greater, than from the greater to the less.
    • But on the contrary, a violent passion produces more easily a feeble, than that does a violent.
    • In this opposition, the passion in the end prevails over the imagination.
    • but it is commonly by complying with it, and by seeking another quality, which may counter-balance that principle, from whence the opposition arises.
  • When we love the father of a family, we think little of his children or servants.
    • But when they are present with us, the nearness and contiguity:
      • increases their magnitude
      • removes that opposition made by the fancy to the transition of the affections.
  • If the imagination finds a difficulty in passing from greater to less, it finds an equal facility in passing from remote to contiguous.
    • This brings the matter to an equality.
    • It leaves the way open from the one passion to the other.

Experiment 8

  • The transition from love or hatred to pride or humility is easier than from pride or humility to love or hatred.
    • The imagination’s difficulty, in passing from contiguous to remote, is the cause why we do not have any instance of the latter transition of the affections.
  • One exception is when the very cause of the pride and humility is placed in some other person.
    • In that case, the imagination:
      • is necessitated to consider the person
      • cannot possibly confine its view to ourselves.
  • Nothing more readily produces kindness and affection to any person, than his approbation of our conduct and character.
    • As on the other hand, nothing inspires us with a stronger hatred, than his blame or contempt.
  • The original passion is pride or humility.
    • Its object is the self.
  •  This is transfused into love or hatred.
    • Its object is some other person, despite the rule that the imagination passes with difficulty from contiguous to remote.
  • But the transition in this case is not made merely because of the relation between ourselves and the person.
    • It is made because that very person is the real cause of our first passion.
      • Consequently, he is intimately connected with it.
    • It is his approbation that produces pride; and disapprobation, humility.
  • No wonder, the imagination returns with the related passions of love and hatred.
    • This is not a contradiction, but an exception to the rule.
    • It is an exception that arises from the same reason with the rule itself.
  • This exception is a confirmation of the rule.
  • The same principle appears in all eight experiments.
  • Pride and humility, love and hatred are produced by a transition from a double relation of impressions and ideas.
  • An object without a relation (first experiment), or with but one (second and third experiments), never produces either of these passions.
  • The passion (fourth experiment) always varies in conformity to the relation.
  • Where the relation, by any particular circumstance, does not have its usual effect of producing a transition either of ideas or of impressions (Experiment 6), it:
    • ceases to operate on the passions, and
    • does not give rise to pride or love, humility or hatred.
  • This rule still holds even under the appearance of its contrary (Experiments 7 and 8).
  • Relation is frequently experienced to have no effect when a particular circumstance prevents the transition.
    • When that circumstance does not prevent the transition, it arises from some other circumstance which counter-balances it.
  • Thus, the variations, and the variations of these variations, resolve themselves into the general principle.

Words: 4475

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s