philosophy

SPINOZA

COMPLETE WORKS with

Translations by Samuel Shirley

Edited, with Introduction and Notes, by

Michael L. Morgan

Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. Indianapolis I Cambridge

Baruch Spinoza: 1 632-1677

Copyright © 2002 by Hackett Publ ishing Company, Inc.

All righls reserved Printed in the United States of America

08 07 06 05 2 3 4 5 6 7

For further information, please address:

Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. p.o. Box 44937 Indianapolis, IN 46244-0937

www.hackettpubl ish ing.com

Text design by Abigail Coyle and Meera Dash

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publ ication Data

Spinoza, Benedictus de, 1 6 32-1 677. [Works. Engl ish . 2002] Complete works/Spinoza; translated by Samuel Shirley and others;

edited, with introduction and notes, by Michael L. Morgan. p . cm.

Includes bibl iographical references and index. ISBN 0-87220-620-3 (cloth) I. Philosophy. I. Shirley, Samuel, 1 9 1 2- II . Morgan, Michael L., 1 944-

III. Title.

B3958 . S 5 2002 1 99'.492- dc2 1 2002068497

The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences- Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1 984.

€I

Translator's Preface Introduction Chronology Editorial Notes

CONTENTS

Treatise o n the Emendation of the Intellect Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being Principles of Cartesian Ph ilosophy and Metaphysical Thoughts Ethics Theological-Political Treatise Hebrew Grammar Political Treatise The Letters

Index

vii ix

xvii xxi

3 1 108 2 1 3 383 584 676 7 5 5

96 1

TRAN S LATORS P REFAC E

In these translations, I have adhered to the Gebhardt Heidelberg text of 1 926 ex­ cept as noted. Leaving the task of annotation and exposition in the hands of more competent scholars, I shall confine myself in this Preface to a personal odyssey, a sort of voyage around Spinoza.

At Oxford I do not remember that I read anyth ing by Spinoza and very little about him. But that l ittle interested me strangely. So I attended the lectures given by H. H . Joachim, without much understanding. These lectures were delivered in the late afternoon, and as the sun streamed through New College windows onto the gray head of that venerable and beloved figure, it was for me an aesthetic ex­ perience rather than an intellectual enl ightenment.

But the seed was sown. Many years later, being entrusted with the task oflec­ turing to university extension adult classes, I chose Spinoza's Ethics, using the edi­ tion translated by Boyle. That edition was prefaced by an inspiring in troduction by Santayana. But there were a number of passages in the translation that puzzled me, and when I sought out the original Latin in a l ibrary, I found that they were mistranslations. Writing to the publisher, I poin ted out four such passages and pro­ vided my own translations. In due course I received a courteous reply, confirm­ ing my criticisms and promising to incorporate my corrections in the next reprint. A check for £5 was enclosed (it should be remembered that £5 was worth far more in the 1950s than i t is now). The next edition appeared with my corrections.

Now I had tasted - justa s ip- of the heady wine of authorship. Ambition grew; could I not improve on the Boyle translation? My offer to do so was courteously refused by the publisher as commercially unviable.

In 1 972, at the age of 60, I resigned my post as headmaster of a grammar school . G ifted with the abundant leisure of retirement, I turned my mind to a translation ofSpinoza's Ethics. This I duly offered to some respected publ ishers in the United Kingdom. They declined, invariably with courteous regrets, but one of them, for­ tunately, advised me to try Hackett Publ ishing Company in the United States.

So began my long and happy connection with Hackett. My translation of the Ethics came out in 1982. Encouraged by a few laudatory reviews, I turned my at­ tention to the Theological-Political Treatise, a work for which I have a fervent ad­ miration . Thereafter, gently cajoled by Lee Rice, to whom I rema in vastly indebted, I con tinued with the rest of Spinoza's works with the exception of the Hebrew Grammar and the Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being, which was originally written in Dutch. The results are here before you.

vii

viii Translator's Preface

A word on Spinoza's Latinity. This was criticized by some earlier scholars, per­ haps because of h is modest admission in Letter 1 3 , where he seeks the help of h is more accompl ished friends in polishing his hastily composed Principles orCarte­ sian Philosophy. Unsure of h imself as he may have been, he nevertheless suc­ ceeded in forging for himself a powerful l inguistic instrument, wonderfully lucid, devoid of all rhetoric, and with a peculiar charm of its own. I t was an appropriate medium of expression for one who, in much of the Ethics, was nearing the l imits of what it is that can be put into words.

I could not have persisted with the task of translation without a steady convic­ tion of its worthwhileness. To my mind, although Spinoza l ived and thought long before Darwin, Freud, Einstein, and the startl ing impl ications of quantum theory, he had a vision of truth beyond what is normally granted to human beings. He was relentless in pursuit of a goal that was basically ethical and rel igious, ridding h imself of the anthropocentric bias that is inevitably innate in human beings and manifested in their rel igious beliefs. His conclusions did not d ismay him, as they did so many of his contemporaries when they realized the full impl ications. Even Henry Oldenburg, h is correspondent for many years, in h is later letters was ap­ palled when he came to see the full implications of Spinoza's radical th inking. But Spinoza boldly looked reality in the face and, far from being discouraged at what he saw, drew from it a spiritual sustenance, an elevation of mind that sup­ ported him all his life. It is th is aspect ofSpinozism that is captured in the title of Errol Harris' book Salvation from Despair. Such, then, are the considerations, purely personal, that have induced me to undertake this lengthy task.

Finally, while I have never contributed to the rich field of Spinozan exegesis, I venture to share with readers an idea that continues to occur to me, one that may be capable of elaboration by other scholars. Genuine artistic creativity seems to us a mysterious business. Many writers, poets, painters, and composers have tried to indicate, with varying success, what happens in this process. They say that they do not know what they are doing or are about to do. They are, as it were, possessed. My own favorite illustration is Book IV of the Aeneid, where Vergil becomes so absorbed in the creation of h is Dido character that the stammering Aeneas cuts a very unheroic figure; yet he should be the flawless hero, the prototype of his al­ leged descendant Augustus. Can the essence of God be seen as the source of the ill-understood phenomenon that we call artistic creativity? In the "conatus" ofhu­ man beings, a conaius that derives from God's potentia, do we see a shadow, an image, of God's creativity, finding expression most markedly in the process of artis­ tic creativity?

I conclude with a tribute to my wife, who heroically endured for many years my preoccupation with Spinoza.

Samuel Shirley

INTRODUCTION

Reading the works of Spinoza, one can be overwhelmed by a sense of abstract rigor and detachment. They may seem to some readers the product of an almost mechanical mental l ife. This appearance notwithstanding, I am inclined to as­ cribe to Spinoza a romantic set of virtues. He is among thinkers extraordinarily creative and novel ; his thinking is marked by a marvelous intensity and focus; and yet his deepest commitments are to the most embracing unity and sense of com­ prehensiveness that one can find in the tradition of Western philosophy. In short, Spinoza's writings and h is thought are marked by a kind of heroism that is rare and beautiful -even breathtaking.

We are tempted to think that the notion of perspective or points of view, so cru­ cial to the world of art, was not of importance to philosophy until Kant and Ger­ man Ideal ism made it so. Kant, it is said, taught us what metaphYSiCS could and could not accomplish by confining its investigations to the viewpoint of human ex­ perience and then went on to distinguish between the detached point of view of the scientific enquirer and the engaged point of view of the moral agent. From those beginnings, German Idealism and its twentieth-century legacy made the notion of perspective or point of view central to philosophical accounts of human existence and human experience, from Fichte, Schelling, and Kant to Schopen­ hauer and Nietzsche, to Husserl, Heidegger, and beyond. And with this legacy came a series of stmggles, between the natural and the human sciences, between exis­ tentialism and scientific philosophy, between relativism and objectivism, and more.

But perspective was at the center of Spinoza's system. H is th inking shows a pas­ sion for unity and totality, coupled with a scrupulous fidelity to the integrity of the individual particular. There is no parochialism in Spinoza. His commitment to the progress of scientific enquiry into the natural world belied any such l imitation in behalf of his cognitive goals. In every way, in every dimension of our lives, Spinoza saw the common; he saw unity and wholeness. At the same time his allegiance to the univell>ality of the ethical l ife and its virtues did not annul the personal per­ spective of human experience. For him life was always a struggle against our finite l imitations of perspective and particularity. Life was not life without such l imita­ tions, but neither could life be what it could be if we were satisfied with them. The world was of necessity filled with particular objects, but they existed within a Single order. We are among those objects, and our goal is to do what we can, in knowledge and conduct, to l ive with our particularity and yet transcend it. Spinoza was fully aware of the necessity and the complexity of human pell>pective; he knew what it

ix

Introduction

meant to the hopes for scientific knowledge, for the burdens of religious, moral , and political confl ict, and for the possibility of a truly blessed life. In a certain sense, per­ spective is the fulcrum on which all Spinoza's thinking turns.

Spinoza l ived in a world distant from our own. No amount of h istorical deta il and reconstruction can adequately place us in the complex world of Western Europe in the seventeenth century. So much was new and yet so much was old. Spinoza was immersed in all of it, in a world that was, by virtue of its economic and geograph ical situation, at a crossroads. Spinoza knew about rel igious ortho­ doxies and about rel igious reform; he knew about traditional culture and novel­ ties; he knew about old texts and new thinking, abou t the tensions between conservative pol i tical practice and l iberal hopes and aspirations; and he knew about the risks- persecution and possibly death. To him, reason in us was akin to reason in nature; one order permeated everything and enabled us, as rational beings, to understand ourselves and the whole and to l ive peacefully and calmly within it. This was the key to science, to ethics, and to religion. It was the key to all of l ife. It was his goal to show, clarify, explain, and teach it- to the benefit of all humankind.

If the key that unlocked the secrets of possibil ity for us as human beings was unity and totality, the wholeness and order of all things, then the reality that grounded the aspiration to this unity and order was the fact that each of us, as nat­ ural objects and as human beings, was precisely located in that unity and order; each of our places was determined in every way, and we were thereby endowed with a very particular point of view on the whole. In a letter to Henry Oldenburg of November 1 665 (Ep32), as he attempts to clarify the natu re of parts and wholes, Spinoza provides us with a famous image. Each of us is, he tells us, l ike a l ittle worm in the blood. Natu re is l ike the en tire circulatory system or l ike the entire organism; each of us lives within that system or organism, interacting with only a small part of it and experiencing only a very l imited region. Even if we grasp the fact that there is a total system and understand its principles to some degree, our experience is so circumscribed and narrow that we are bound to make mistakes about our understanding of the system and our place in it. Myopia confines our understanding, no matter how we seek to overcome i t. And we do. We aspire to experience every detail, every event, and every item as part of the whole, to see it from the perspective of the whole rather than from our own narrow poin t of view. Our success is l imited; we can free ourselves from prejudices and blindness but only to a degree. We can see ourselves and act in terms of the whole, but only within l imits. Our goal is to free ourselves from the distortions and corruptions of our finitude, to become free, active, and rational . These are all the same, and are aspects of becoming l ike the whole, which is what the tradition dignifies with the title "God" or "divine" or "the H ighest Good."

I do not believe that Spinoza saw th is challenge and th is sort of l ife as an es­ cape from the world. H istory was riddled with strife and confl ict, with prejudice and persecution. Life could be better; i t could be harmonious with nature rather than a struggle with i t. Rel igious and pol itical institutions could be renovated to

Introduction xi

serve human purposes, and human l ife could be refashioned as well . The an­ cient Stoics had understood that l ife in harmony with nature was the best human l ife, and that in order to achieve such harmony, one had to understand nature. Natural philosophy or science was both the h ighest achievement of human rational ity and the key to l iving the best human life. Spinoza, I believe, fully sym­ pathized with the broad strokes of th is program . Like the Stoics, he revered rea­ son and our rational capaci ties. Like them, he saw our reason and the reason in nature as intimately l inked. Like them, he saw natural philosophy as the key to opening the door of the h ighest good and the way through that door as leading to tranquility of spirit, harmony with nature, and peace. To be sure, Spinoza was a modern . Natural ph ilosophy meant the developments and achievements of the new science, conducted in the spirit of Descartes and others, grounded in math­ ematics and a priori reasoning about natural events and causal relations. But if the science was modem and mathematical and the metaphysics constructed as a foundation for that science, the overall role for it and its goals were very simi­ lar to those of the ancient Stoics: un ion with the whole of nature through knowl­ edge of the natural order.

Moreover, Spinoza would call the goal of th is project- the human project­ "blessedness." He did not shy away from religious terminology, the vocabulary of the Judaism and the Christianity with which he was so familiar. Indeed, it is a re­ markable feature of his temperament that his th inking never totally rejected reli­ gious themes, beliefs, and vocabulary as much as it sought to refine and refashion them. One might say th is about virtually all of the great seventeenth-century philosophers, that they did not decisively reject the rel igious world out of which they emerged and in which they l ived. They sought to retool that world, to come to a new understanding of rel igiOUS l ife and to revise rel igiOUS concepts and ter­ minology. Even those, l ike Hobbes and Spinoza, who were censored and vil ified as atheists, did not reject rel igion . More correctly, we, from our perspective, can appreciate their philosophical goals as epistemological, ethical, and rel igiOUS all at once. Spinoza, in these terms, was a religious visionary, a moral innovator, and a philosopher-scientist, not one bu t all . His passion for unity and wholeness made any fragmentation of this conglomerate undesirable, but the reality was that in h is day, given the way that these and other domains ofl ife were lived and experienced, any such fragmentation was quite impossible.

Hence, Spinoza's scientific philosophy and ethics aimed at tranquil ity in a con­ flicted and turbulent world; they did not seek escape from that world but rather a renovation of it. His was a world view for life, not for escape from l ife. It recom­ mended changes in one's behavior and one's beliefs, practices, and institu tions. What i t did not recommend was escape from life. I t was, as he put i t in the Ethics, a meditation on l ife and not on death.

One could seek the perspective of eternity in order to redeem the unavoidable perspective of finitude, but, as l iving and natural beings, we could not escape the latter and, as human beings, we should not avoid the former. This is the gist of Spinoza's philosophy, h is eth ics, and h is rel igion. The key to grasping th is picture

xii Introduction

of our hopes and our realities is reason , that abil ity within us that enables us to understand and make sense of our world and ourselves.

Spinoza presents us with the total ity of his system in one work: the Ethics. He also left us with a prel iminary version of that work, as well as two treatises that consti­ tute introductions to h is philosophy, and writings that are examples of appl ica­ tions of that work- to pol i tics and rel igion. Because these do not completely agree with each other, all of this makes it hard to grasp his ph ilosophical system.

To me Spinoza is remarkable for h is creativity. He was an heir of a philosophi­ cal terminology that came down to the seventeenth century from antiquity, the recovery of ancient philosophies and texts, and its presence in the medieval philo­ sophical tradition. He did not invent terms like "substance," "attribute," "mode," "affect," "essence," "necessity," and "eternity." He was taught the terms, how they were used, what they meant, and more. And he was taught how they figured in the thinking of Descartes, who was, for Spinoza, the bridge between the philosophical tradition and the new philosophy and new science. What Spinoza did was to take the tradition, Descartes' accompl ishment, and h is own passionate commitments and blend them into a new whole, a new worldview. At one level, it is an extension and modification of Cartesian metaphysics; at another, it has its own character and demands a view of the natural order very different from that of Descartes.

Spinoza has a relentless mind. His commitment to reason involves a commit­ ment to consistency and rigor. This is not to say that he does not allow h is reason to leap to conclusions that seem strange and even recalcitrant to us, and i t is not to say that he never makes mistakes. What I mean is that he can be understood as starting with certain concepts whose meanings are clear and correct to him and pushing the consequences of accepting those concepts. He can also be under­ stood as observing what Descartes had achieved and yet as believing that Descartes had fuiled to follow reason to its relentless conclusions because of prej­ udices, biases to which Descartes had clung and which Spinoza saw as distortions. In the case of the concept of substance, for example, Spinoza thought that he and Descartes largely agreed about what substance means, but he thought too that if so, there was no justification for treating minds and bodies as substances. More­ over, if the principle of sufficient reason was foundational for scientific enquiry and if the natural world and even eternal truths were created by God, then a deep contingency would lie at the heart of nature and human knowledge. And even if one were to treat the physical world as a collection of bodies that causally inter­ act and are capable of being understood by scientific enquiry, why exclude the mind and mental occurrences from similar understanding? Is it not only a preju­ dice grounded in traditional theological commitments to isolate the mind or the soul, allow it special privileges, and grant it special features? Is it not more con­ sistent with our understanding of nature, science, and the human good to treat the mind and mental phenomena just as one would treat physical ones and yet to do so in a nonreductivist way-that is, without simply treating mental events as iden tical in some sense with physiological ones?

Introduction xiii

While it may be a bit of a caricature, it is helpful to see Spinoza as seeking a middle ground regarding the treatment of mind, soul, and mental phenomena in a world where the physical sciences are beginning to take shape in new and ex­ citing ways. On the one hand, the Cartesian strategy could be seen as having iso­ lated the mind in order to save the in tegrity of certain theological commitments, such as the belief in free will and in the immortality of the soul. Science could not study the mind and mental phenomena in the same way i t could study the physical world, using mathematical reasoning and applying it to causality, mo­ tion, and so forth. The strategy of materialists l ike Hobbes, on the other hand, could be seen as reducing mental phenomena to physical ones- that is, basically to motions of various kinds-and defining mental processes and experiences in terms of motions of physical bodies. What Spinoza achieves, its problems notwith­ standing, is a middle road. He constructs a view of nature as a whole in which physical events and mental events are both understandable, in which they are re­ lated but separate, and in which the sciences of the physical world and ofthe men­ tal world are related but distinct. I t may be that Kant, Dilthey, and Neo-Kantian developments and later debates abou t the distinction between the natural sci­ ences and the human sciences look l ike they are built on Cartesian foundations; there is also a sense in which they build on Spinozist ones as well. To the degree that the social sciences and psychology are conceived as requiring a scientific treatment of mental phenomena, they are Spinoza's heirs, whether or not that sci­ entific treatment is conceived of as similar to or different from the methodology of the natural sciences. Indeed, there are post-Kantian attempts by Wilfrid Sell­ ars, John McDowell, and others to distinguish the domain of the mental and the "space of reasons" from the physical or the "space of causes." These can even be treated as a development of Spinoza and h is commitment to demystifying the mind and the body and to making both accessible to rational understanding and thereby, in a sense, to human control.

There are two keys to this Spinozist achievement. The first is to conceive of the totality of the natural world as both the sum of all facts- that is, all things in all oftheir determinations-and the ordering force that determines all those facts to be just the ways they are. To conceive of nature as God and as substance gives the natural world the unity and orderl iness that Spinoza believes science aspires to understand and makes it the case that everyth ing we do and are finds its rational place within the totality of nature. The second key to Spinoza's system concerns the "channels" whereby the single ordering force or principle ("God") is the single active causal determining force of all there is, and actually determines things and their states in the world. At the h ighest level, where these "channels" are virtually identical to God or the one and only substance but are nonetheless wholly distinct from each other, Spinoza calls these "attributes" of substance, and while he thinks that in principle the one and only one substance has all the at­ tributes that there are, there are but two that determine the world in which we l ive: thought and extension. In short, all the modes- things and their states-that make up the natural world are modes of though t and extension, and while schol­ ars have debated exactly how the distinction between these attributes should be

xiv Introduction

understood, I believe that what Spinoza means is that we understand the single array of facts in the world by using both the physical sciences and the psycholog­ ical sciences. In the fumous Proposition 7 of Part II of the Ethics and in the schol ium to that proposition, Spinoza indicates j ust th is: that the order and connection of ideas or mental phenomena is one and the same as the order and connection of physical ones. This is a proposition with countless important implications throughout the remainder of the Ethics and Spinoza's system.

As fur as our attempts to understand the world go, then, for Spinoza these at­ tempts are self-contained and comprehensive. All worldly fucts should be exam­ ined and studied in the same way; there is a uniformity to all of nature. Mental modes interact causally with mental modes, and physical modes interact causally with physical modes. But since, strictly speaking, there is just one set of facts in nature, what this means is that these two types of scientific understanding are self-contained. We do not use physical causes to help us understand mental phe­ nomena, nor do we use mental causes to help us understand physical phenom­ ena. Moreover, in a sense the sciences of both physical and mental phenomena apply to all things in the world, and this means that Spinoza must show in what sense even inanimate things have mental or ideational correlates and what dis­ tingUishes animals and most preeminently human beings among worldly things- that is, what we mean when we say they have minds or souls.

I do not mean to suggest that on all these matters Spinoza was clear and lucid throughout his career and never changed his mind. A careful study ofthe early Trea­ tise on the Emendation of the Intellect and Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being, for example, shows how his thinking developed into the shape we find in the Ethics, and we are helped to some degree in understanding how Spinoza's ideas developed by some of the letters in his correspondence. But the basic char­ acter of his thinking, I believe, did not change from the time around h is excom­ munication in 1 656 until his death in 1 677. Throughout h is life Spinoza was always committed to finding a way to unite science, ethics, and religion and to articulating a metaphysical system that would make the whole of nature, human life, and reli­ gious themes comprehensible. His system was an attempt to work out what made nature unified and an ordered whole and then to see what that picture impl ied.

Between the covers of this collection you will find the totality ofSpinoza's writings, all that we now have come to th ink that he left us. If this is a big book, it is also a small one, particularly when compared to the total written corpus of other philoso­ phers, such as Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche. Given Spin­ oza's impact on subsequent Western philosophy and Westem intellectual culture in genernl, so brilliantly surveyed for example in the recent work ofJonathan Israel (Radical Enlightenment [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 200 I J), h is written legacy is surprisingly spare. Nonetheless, its richness is evident everywhere.

Furthermore, the corpus of Spinoza's works contains a fuscinating diversity. There is at its center, of course, the presentation of his system, the Ethics. Begun

Introduction xv

in the early I 660s, th is work was probably completed about 1 674. It is h is lifework, the centerpiece of what came to be known as Spinozism, and one of the great ac­ compl ishments of world philosophy and Westem intellectual culture.

In addition to the Ethics and his philosoph ical system, Spinoza left us what we might call four different introductions to that work and that system. The first is h is handbook on Cartesian philosophy, first composed as a guide to tutoring a stu­ dent in Descartes' Principles of Philosophy and useful for what it shows us about Spinoza's early appreciation of Descartes. The second is h is youthful, unfinished work, the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect. Largely a work on method and definition, th is short essay places Spinoza's project within an ethical context. The third introduction is the unfinished Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being, which is a prel iminary attempt to begin the system and which Spin­ oza set aide when he decided to turn to the early parts of the Ethics. And finally we can treat the anonymous treatise on biblical interpretation and pol itiCS, the Theological-Political Treatise, as an introductory work, insofar as i t seeks to per­ suade those with an affinity for philosophy and science how to read Scripture and understand its central ethical teaching; revise traditional interpretations of no­ tions such as prophecy, law, and miracles; and appreciate the relation between church and state. What we have, then, is a mansion with four entrances, any one of which enables us to en ter the vast complex of Spinoza's world .

Furthermore, Spinoza has given us, in the Theological-Political Treatise and in the unfinished Political Treatise, two examples of how h is system might be appl ied more fully to areas dealt with in only a cursory way in the Ethics, reli­ gion and pol i tics. To be sure, in both cases, there are al ready indications in the Ethics of how Spinoza thinks we should understand rel igious concepts and in­ stitu tions and also poli tical life. Especially in various scholia and in the appen­ dix to Part I , he notes how traditional ideas such as creation, miracles, teleology, and free will must be either revised or j ettisoned altogether. In Part IV of the Ethics, Spinoza sets out the rudiments of his contract theory and of h is views on the foundations and purposes of the state. Finally, in Part V, in the famous final propositions of the work, Spinoza defends and reinterprets what he takes to be the eternity of the mind and the goal of the ethical l ife, an " intellectual love of God" that is blessedness itself, a goal, he says, that is as difficult as it is rare. These indications notwithstanding, the treatises on politics and religion add s ignifi­ cantly to our understanding of how Spinoza's naturalism applies to these do­ mains of human experience.

In Chapter 7 of the Theological-Political Treatise Spinoza describes h is "his­ torical" method for interpreting Scripture. The first requ irement for any respon­ s ible reader is a study of the Hebrew language. Among Spinoza's writings we have an unfinished treatise on Hebrew Grammar, a work that he probably began to write shortly after finishing the Theological-Political Treatise at the request of friends. The Hebrew Grammar gives us a valuable insight into what he thought that study of Hebrew should involve, Spinoza's understanding of Latin grammar and bibl ical Hebrew, and his general approach to intellectual activity- in this case a philological and l ingu istic inqu iry.

xvi Introduction

Lastly, among the writings of Spinoza we are grateful to possess are a sampl ing of his correspondence-letters to him and many by h im. Here we are helped to understand better h is ph ilosophical and rel igious views, but we are also given valuable information about the chronology of h is works, about h is friends and as­ sociates, and about his l ife. Without these letters, we would know less about Spin­ oza the person than we currently do and less too about his thinking.

I would l ike to thank Deborah Wilkes, Jay Hullett, and Frances Hackett for the invitation to edit the first Engl ish collection of Spinoza's works, for their friend­ ship over many years, and for the wonderful contribution to the study of ph iloso­ phy that Hackett Publ ish ing Company has made. Needless to say, we are all in the debt of Samuel Shirley, whose commitment to Spinoza and his writings has provided us with splendid translations and made this volume possible. At Hackett, Meera Dash orchestrated the production of the collection with patience and skil l . I would also l ike to thank Abigail Coyle for helping with the design of the volume. Rondo Keele, Inge Van Der Cruysse, Bieneke Heitjama, and Michal Levy assisted with matters Latin, Dutch, and Hebrew. Lee Rice generously provided an exten­ sive chronology, which we modified for this volume. Joshua Shaw assisted with the proofs; he and Lilian Yahng compiled the bulk of the Index.

There is something inspiring and noble about Spinoza's philosophical think­ ing and his moral vision. An important feature of h is Ethics is its emphasis on rational ity and self-control; we all face the challenges of coping with the worries and the fears that fill our l ives, and yet we go on. We can learn this lesson from Spinoza's works; we can also learn it from life. As this project comes to comple­ tion, I am thankful for those special people who have helped me to learn it- my wife, Audrey, and my daughters, Debbie and Sara.

Michael L. Morgan

C H RONOLOGY

1 5 36 Calvin publ ishes the Institution of the Christian Religion.

1 565 Beginning of the war of independence of the Spanish-Dutch region against Spain .

1 579 The "Union of Utrecht" establishes the United Provinces.

1 594 Publ ication of Socinus' De Christo Servatore.

1 600? The Espinosa family emigrates from Portugal to Nantes and thence to Amsterdam.

1 603 Arminius and Gomar debate at Leiden on the questions of tolerance and freedom of the will.

1 6 1 0 Uytenbogaert, a disciple o f Arminius a n d teacher o f Oldenbarneveldt, publ ishes the Remonstrant Manifesto.

1 6 1 8 The Thirty Years War begins.

1 6 19 The Synod of Dordrecht condemns Arminianism and puts Oldenbarn­ evelt to death . The Collegiant sect is formed. Descartes is a soldier in the army of Maurice of Nassau.

1 628 Descartes is living in Holland.

1 629 18 October: Lodewijk Meyer is baptized at the Old Church in Amster- dam.

1 630 4 November: Johan Bouwmeester is bom in Amsterdam. 1 632 24 November: Birth of Baruch d'Espinosa at Amsterdam. 1 633 Papal condemnation of Galileo, who is placed under house arrest.

Descartes decides not to publ ish Le Monde.

1 638 The founding of the great Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam. Spinoza is registered as a student in the Hebrew school.

1 640 Beginning of the Engl ish civil war.

1 64 1 Descartes' Meditationes de Prima Philo80phia i s published.

1 642 Hobbes publ ishes De Cive.

xvii

xviii Chronology

1 644 Descartes publ ished Principia Philosophiae.

1 647 Descartes' Meditations Metaphysiques is publ ished in French transla- tion.

1 648 The Peace of Munster. Definitive establ ishment of the United Provinces.

1 649 Charles I of England is executed.

1 6 50 1 1 February: Death of Descartes. 6 November: A failed coup d'�tat by Will iam II of Orange. Jan de Witt becomes the Grand Pensioner of the Netherlands.

1 6 5 1 Beginning o f the Anglo-Dutch War. Hobbes publ ishes Leviathan. 30 March: Bouwmeester is enrolled in philosophy courses at the Uni­ versity of Leiden.

1 6 5 3 A decree b y the States General prohibits the publication a n d diffusion of Socinian works and ideas.

1 6 54 End of the Anglo-Dutch War. Spinoza begins to meet with a group of "churchless Christians' (Pieter BaIJing, Jarig Jelles, Jan Rieuwertsz, Fran­ ciscus Van den Enden) in Amsterdam. 19 September: Meyer is enrolled as a student in philosophy at the University of Leiden.

1 6 5 6 27 July: Spinoza i s banished from the Jewish community in Amsterdam. He begins the study of humanities, Latin, philosophy, and theater at the school of the ex-Jesuit Van den Enden. 6 October: Decree of the States of Holland and of Frisia prohibiting the teaching of Cartesian ism.

1 657 The play Philedonius of Van den Enden is produced in Amsterdam. Spin­ oza is still studying with Van den Enden and may also be enrolled at the University of Leiden .

1 6 5 8 27 May: Bouwmeester receives a doctorate in medicine from the Uni­ versity of Leiden. 25 September: Meyer is enrolled in courses in medicine at Leiden. Spinoza begins work on the Treatise on the Emen­ dation of the Intellect (unfinished) .

1 659 Adriaan Koerbagh receives a doctorate in medicine from the University of Leiden.

1 660 Restoration of the Stuarts in England. Spinoza leaves Amsterdam and moves to Rijnsburg, where he is a familiar visitor among Collegiant cir­ cles. He begins work on the Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well­ Being. 19 March: Meyer receives a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Lei den. 20 March: Meyer receives a doctorate in medicine.

1 662 Founding of the Royal Society. Oldenburg is its joint secretary, and Boyle and Newton are charter members. Spinoza completes the first part of the

Chronology xix

(tripartite) Ethics. He begins work on the Principles of Cartesian Philos­ ophy and Metaphysical Thoughts.

1 663 Simon de Vries meets with Spinoza a t a meeting of the "Spinozistic Cir­ cle" in Amsterdam (Ep8). Letters 1 2 and 1 2a from Spinoza to Meyer, the latter concerning the publication of the Principles of Cartesian Philoso­ phy. Spinoza is installed at Voorburg. He there publishes the Principles of Cartesian Philosophy with Metaphysical Thoughts as appendix. 31 July: Spinoza writes to Oldenburg and introduces Petrus Serrarius. 3 August: Spinoza writes to Meyer concerning Meyer's editorship and preface to the Principles of Cartesian Philosophy, which is published several months later.

1 664 Beginning of the (second) Anglo-Dutch War.

1 665 28 January: Spinoza's Letter 2 1 to Blyenbergh on the interpretation of Scripture. Spinoza makes several visits to Amsterdam, where he probably visits with Meyer during March and April. 26 May: The new Amsterdam Theater opens with Meyer as its director. June: Having completed the first drafts of Parts II and III of the (tripartite) Ethics, Spinoza writes to Bouwmeester (Ep28).

1 666 10 June: Spinoza's Letter 37 to Bouwmeester. 1 667 End of the Anglo-Dutch War. Spinoza's Letter 40 to Jelles mentions Isaac

Vossius as a friend.

1 668 Adriaan Koerbagh's Een Blotmlhof is published. The author is con­ demned by ecclesiastical authorities, and imprisoned on 19 July.

1 669 15 October: Adriaan Koerbagh dies in prison. 1 670 Spinoza publ ishes (anonymously and in Latin) the Theological-Political

Treatise: ecclesiastical condemnations follow. Posthumous publication of the Pensees of Pascal.

1 67 1 Spinoza is installed a tThe Hague, where he prevents (possibly at the sug­ gestion of Jan de Witt) the appearance of the vernacular edition of the Theological-Political Treatise (Ep44) .

1 672 Louis XIV invades Holland. The French army occupies Utrecht (May). William I I of Orange becomes stadtholder (July). 20 August: Jan de Witt and his brother are massacred by a mob probably inspired by Calvinist clergy.

1 673 Spinoza decl ines the chair of ph ilosophy at Heidelberg (Ep47, Ep48). Spinoza visits the military camp of the Prince de Conde. 1 3 No- vember: The French occupation of Utrecht ends. 19 July: The States of Holland publ ish a formal condemnation of the Theological­ Political Treatise and "other heretical and atheistic writings; including

xx Chronology

the works of Hobbes and the Socinians. Malebranche publ ishes the Recherche de la Write, which is accused of being of Spinozist inspi­ ration.

1 675 Spinoza completes and circulates the Ethics but decl ines to publish it. He begins work on the Political Treatise. Spinoza writes to G. H. Schuller (Epn) expressing his distrust of Leibniz.

1 676 16 January: The curator of the University of Leiden issues a new prom- ulgation aga inst Cartesianism. The Synod of The Hague orders an inqu iry into the authorship of the Theological-Political Treatise.

1 677 21 February: Death of Spinoza. His friends edit and publ ish the Opera Posthuma and Nagelate Schriften, all of whose contents are condemned by the pol itical authorities and Calvinists the following year.

1 680 22 October: Death of Bouwmeester. 1 687 Newton publ ishes the first edition of the Mathematical Principles of Nat­

ural Philosophy.

1 688 The "Glorious Revolution": Will iam III becomes King of England.

1 689 Locke publishes his Letter on Tolerance and his Essay on Civil Govern­ ment.

1 697 In his Dictionnaire Historique et Critique, Bayle characterizes Spinoza as "un athee de systeme, etrangement vertueux."

1 7 1 0 Leibniz publishes h is Theodicy.

E D ITORIAL NOT E S

A NOTE ON THE TRANSLATIONS

Of the translations included here, all but those of the Short Treatise and the He­ brew Grammar are by Samuel Sh irley. Shirley's Theological-Political Treatise was originally published in 1 989 by Brill and then republished by Hackett Publ ishing first in 1 998 and then recently, in a corrected version, in 200 1 . Shirley's transla­ tions of the Ethics, the Principles of Cartesian Philosophy with Metaphysical Thoughts, the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, the Political Treatise, and The Letters were published by Hackett during the past decade. For this vol­ ume, the editor has revised and edited the notes and made minor changes in the translations, but the bulk of the writing remains as Shirley translated it. For the Short Treatise we have used the translation of A. Wolf first published in 1 9 1 0 ; it has been carefully examined by Bieneke Heitjama and Inge Van Der Cruysse and edited by the editor; Wolf used the older A manuscript of the Short Treatise and presented altemative readings from the B manuscript in notes. We follow h is de­ cisions except in a few cases and provide Spinoza's notes as well as, on some oc­ casions, when important for the reader, altemative versions. In the case of the Hebrew Grammar, we have used the translation of Maurice j . Bloom first pub­ l ished by the Philosophical Library in 1 964. Rondo Keele checked the Bloom translation against the Gebhardt text, and some modifications have been made. The Hebrew texts have been completely revised and corrected using the Geb­ hardt and the French translation of the Hebrew Grammar. In addition, in several cases, the Engl ish has been modified and the translation corrected . An explana­ tion of the system of annotation appears before the first footnote of each work. The Chronology of Spinoza's l ife and times is based on the chronology prepared by Lee Rice for The Letters.

For complete information about Shirley's translations, we direct the reader to the editions of his translations published by Hackett, which also have complete notes and full in troductions by the editors of the separate texts. Of special assis­ tance are the introductions and notes of Steven Barbone and Lee Rice to The Let­ ters and the Political Treatise and those of Seymour Feldman to the Ethics and the Theological-Political Treatise. The best and most comprehensive recent biography ofSpinoza is that of Steven Nadler, Spinoza: A Life (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni­ versity Press, 1 999).

A complete l ist of the translations used for this volume is as follows:

xxi

xxii Editorial Note8

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect and Ethics Spinoza, Baruch . Ethics, Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, and Selected Letters. Translated by Samuel Shirley. Edited and introduced by Seymour Feldman. Indianapolis: Hackett Publ ish ing Company, 1 992.

Short Treatise Spinoza, Baruch. SpinoiZa's Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being. Translated and edited, with an introduction and commentary, by A. Wolf. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1 9 10 .

Principles o f Cartesian Philosophy and Metaphysical Thoughts Spinoza, Baruch. Principles of Cartesian Philosophy with Metaphysical Thoughts and Lodewi;k Meyer's Inaugural Dissertation. Translated by Samuel Shirley with in­ troduction and notes by Steven Barbone and Lee Rice. Indianapol is: Hackett Pub­ l ishing Company, 1 998.

Theologicat-Political Treatise Spinoza, Baruch. Theological-Political Treatise, second edition. Translated by Samuel Shirley. Introduction by Seymour Feld­ man. Indianapolis: Hackett Publ ish ing Company, 200 1 .

Hebrew Grammar Spinoza, Baruch. Hebrew GramTlUlr [Compendium Gram­ matices Linguae-HebraeaeJ. Edited and translated, with an introduction, by Mau­ rice J . Bloom. New York: Philosophical Library, 1 964.

Political Treatise Spinoza, Baruch. Political Treatise. Translated by Samuel Shirley. In troduction and notes by Steven Barbone and Lee Rice. Indianapolis: Hackett Publ ishing Company, 2000.

The Letters Spinoza, Baruch. The Letters. Translated by Samuel Shirley. Intro­ duction and notes by Steven Barbone, Lee Rice, and Jacob Adler. Indianapolis: Hackett Publ ish ing Company, 1995 .

ABBREVIATIONS

Works ofSpinoza CM Metaphysical Thoughts (Cogitata Metaphysica) (CMI 12 i s

Part I , Chapter 2) E Ethics (Ethica) (followed by arabic numeral for part and

in ternal references) Ep Letters (Epistolae) (followed by arabic numeral ) KV Short Treatise (Korte Verhandeling) (KVI 12/3 is Part I , Chap­

ter 2, Paragraph 3)

PPC

TIE

TP

TIP

Editorial Notes xxiii

Principles of Cartesian Philosophy (Principia Philosophiae Cartesianae) (followed by arabic numeral for part and in ter­ nal references) Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect (Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione) (followed by arabic numeral for paragraph) Political Treatise (Tractatus Politicus) (TPI !2 is Chapter I , Paragraph 2 ) Theological-Political Treatise (Tractatus Theologico-Politicus) (followed by chapter and page number)

Works of D es cartes Med PPH Rep

Meditations (followed by arabic numeral) Principles of Philosophy Replies to Ob;ections

Internal References A Article App Appendix Ax Axiom Cor Corollary Def Definition Dem Demonstration Exp Explanation GenSchol General Schol ium Lem Lemma P Proposition Post Postulate Pref Preface Prol Prologue Schol Schol ium

Page numbers, where given for Descartes' Meditations, are from Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, th ird edition, translated by Donald Cress (Indianapol is: Hackett, 1 993) and the Adam-Tannery (AT) edition: Descartes, Oeuvres de Descartes, I I volumes, revised edition, edited by Charles Adam and Paul Tannery (Paris: Vrin 1964--76: reprinted 1996).

TREATI S E ON T H E E MEN DATION

OF T H E INTE LLECT

Scholars agree that the brief Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect (TIE) is the earliest piece of philosophical writing that we have from Spino;ta. It probably dates {rom the period immediately after his excommunication, between 1 657 and 1 660. The treatise is unfinished, and it is likely that Spino;ta set it aside as his work on the more substantial Short Treatise on God, Man, and H is Well­ Being progressed. The latter too was left unifinished. Still, these two works exhibit Spino;ta's first attempts at a philosophical sytem, and while later books, especially the Ethics, correct and extend these early efforts, the two are valuable glimpses of his mature thought.

The TIE is often compared with Descartes' Discourse on Method, first published in 1 636, and the comparison is apt. Indeed, Spino;ta was most likely influenced by Descartes' short introduction to his system. Like the latter, the TIE is an autobiographical work, more personal than most ofSpino;ta's writings. It sets questions of goals and methods in an ethical context and is largely epistemological in content. Descrates' Discourse is itself indebted to Augustine, and he in tum to Plato and Aristotle. In a sense, then, Spino;ta's little work is his protrepticus, his introduction to and apology for the new scientific philosophy, for reason and for the life of reason. It is a sketch for a justification of the philosophical life, reminiscent of the Plato ofPhaedo and Republic and the Aristotle ofNicomachean Ethics X, drawn through the lens of Latin Stoicism.

The immediate autobiographical context for the TIE includes Spino;ta's excommunication in 1 656, his subsequent disengagement from his family's mercantile business and from the Jewish community in Amsterdam, and his more intense involvement with his rationalist, radical friends. By 1 661 Spino;ta was well known as a Cartesian and as a lens grinder skilled at producing optical lenses. He was associated with rational critics of Scripture like Juan de Prado, Isaac La Peyrere, and Uriel da Costa. Spino;za was a member of the circle around Franciscus Van den Enden, a frequent participant in Collegiant meetings, and an expert in Cartesian philosophy. There is reason to believe that Spino;ta's critical spirit and attraction to the revolutionary science of his day were not new. They had been cultivated since his teenage years and came to a head with his public expulsion from the Jewish community. By that time, 27 July 1 656, Spino;ta had been a student and disciple of Van den Enden for some time and an advocate of tolerance, rational critique, and religious freedom. His traditional Jewish

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

education, thorough as it was, had turned, when he was 14 or 1 5 years old, into this new set of commitments. The result was a view of God, nature, and the human good more rational and more universal than the traditional establishment could bear.

By 1 657 Spinoza's exile was at least sufficient to cut him off from his teachers R. Saul Morteira and R. Manasseh ben Israel and to intensify his radical intellectual friendships with thinkers such as Van den Enden, Lodewijk Meyer, Adriaan Koerbagh, Pieter Balling, Simon de Vries, and larig lelles. He probably lived with Van den Enden for a time, for he was the latters prize student, and it was at his school that he had first become acquainted with the philosophy of Descartes and much else. He turned to lens grinding to earn a living, increased his scholarly associations by spending time at the university in Leiden, and frequently attended the meetings of the religiously radical Protestant group, the Collegiants.

The TIE, one might speculate, is the first literary product of this intense activity, hence its rather personal and programmatic qualities. It is a work marked by three significant features. First, in it Spinoza valorizes the life of reason and in particular scientific reason and the attainment of a knowledge of nature. Second, Spinoza distinguishes four modes of cognition, two of which, associated with imagination and sensation, are inadequate and defective, and the remaining two of which, involving deductive reasoning and intuitive reason, are the height of human achievement. Finally, Spinoza discusses the requirements of definition, distinguishing the definition of emmal essences from those of dependent and contingent ones. At this point, the text breaks off. It is a beginning, but only that. Some believe Spinoza abandoned the work when other tasks became more compelling; others, however, believe he left the TIE when he came to doubt the fruitfulness of its method. In years to come, the Ethics would mark a new beginning-working from new principles and in a new way.

M.L.M.

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

NOTICE TO THE READER

(by the Editors of the Opera Posthuma)

This "Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, etc . ," which in its unfinished state we here present to you, dear reader, was written by our author many years ago. He always intended to finish i t, but, distracted by h is other occupations and taken from us by death, he did not succeed in bringing it to the desired conclu­ sion. But since i t contains many excellent and useful things which we are con­ vinced will be of considerable interest to an earnest seeker after truth, we did not wish to deprive you of them. That you may the more readily excuse occasional obscurities and lack of pol ish that appear in places in the text, we have thought it proper that you , too, should be made aware of these circumstances.

TREATISE ON THE EMENDATION

OF THE INTELLECT

AND ON THE WAY BY WHICH IT Is BEST DIRECTED TO THE

TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF THINGS

After experience had taught me the hollowness and futil ity of everyth ing that is ordinarily encountered in daily l ife, and I realised that all the things which were the source and object of my anxiety held nothing of good or evil in themselves save insofar as the mind was influenced by them, I resolved at length to enquire whether there existed a true good, one which was capable of communicating it­ self and could alone affect the mind to the exclusion of all else, whether, in fact, there was something whose discovery and acquisition would afford me a contin­ uous and supreme joy to all eternity.

I say 'I resolved at length: for at first sight i t seemed ill-advised to risk the loss of what was certa in in the hope of something at that time uncertain . I could well see the advantages that derive from honour and wealth, and that I would be forced to abandon their quest if I were to devote myself to some new and different ob­ jective. And if in fact supreme happiness were to be found in the former, I must inevitably fail to attain it, whereas if it did not lie in these objectives and I devoted myself entirely to them, then once again I would lose that highest happiness.

I therefore debated whether it might be possible to arrive at a new guiding prin­ ciple-or at least the sure hope of its atta inment-without changing the manner

4 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

and normal routine of my l ife. This I frequently attempted, but in vain. For the things which for the most part offer themselves in life, and which, to judge from their actions, men regard as the highest good, can be reduced to these three headings: riches, honour, and sensual pleasure. With these three the mind is so distracted that i t is quite incapable of th inking of any other good. With regard to sensual pleasure, the mind is so utterly obsessed by it that it seems as if it were ab­ sorbed in some good, and so is quite prevented from thinking of anything else. But after the enjoyment of th is pleasure there ensues a profound depression which, if i t does not completely inhibit the mind, leads to its confusion and en­ ervation. The pursuit of honour and wealth, too, engrosses the mind to no small degree, especially when the latter is sought exclusively for its own sake,' for it is then regarded as the h ighest good. Even more so is the mind obsessed with hon­ our, for this is always regarded as a good in itself and the ul timate end to which everything is directed. Then again, in both these cases, there is no repentance as in the case of sensual pleasure. The more each of them is possessed, the more our joy is enhanced, and we are therefore more and more induced to increase them both . But if it should come about that our hopes are disappointed, there ensues a profound depression. And finally, honour has this great drawback, that to attain i t we must conduct our lives to sui t other men, avoiding what the masses avoid and seeking what the masses seek.

So when I saw that all these things stood in the way of my embarking on a new course, and were indeed so opposed to it that I must necessarily choose between the one alternative and the other, I was forced to ask what was to my greater ad­ vantage; for, as I have said, I seemed set on losing a certain good for the sake of an uncertain good. But after a l ittle reflection, I first of all realised that if I aban­ doned the old ways and embarked on a new way of l ife, I should be abandoning a good that was by its very nature uncerta in -as we can clearly gather from what has been said - in favour of one that was uncerta in not of its own nature (for I was seeking a permanent good) but only in respect of its attainment. Then persistent meditation enabled me to see that, if only I could be thoroughly resolute, I should be abandoning certain evils for the sake of a certain good. For I saw that my situ­ ation was one of great peril and that I was obliged to seek a remedy with all my might, however uncertain it might be, l ike a sick man suffering from a fatal mal­ ady who, foreseeing certa in death unless a remedy is forthcoming, is forced to seek i t, however uncerta in it be, with all his might, for therein l ies all his hope. Now all those objectives that are commonly pursued not only contribute nothing to the preservation of our being but even h inder it, being frequently the cause of the de­ struction of those who gain possession of them, and invariably the cause of the de-

All notes are Spmoza's.

a This could be ex:plamed more fully and clearly by making a dtsttndion between wealth that is sought for its own sake, for the sake of honour, for sensual pleasure, for health, or for the advancement of the sciences and the arts. But thiS IS reserved for Its proper place, such a detailed mveshgation be� ing inappropnate here.

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

struction of those who are possessed by them b For there are numerous examples of men who have suffered persecution unto death because of their wealth, and also of men who have exposed themselves to so many dangers to acqu ire riches that they have finally paid for their folly with their l ives. Nor are there less nu­ merous examples of men who, to gain or preserve honour, have suffered a most wretched fate. Finally, there are innumerable examples of men who have has­ tened their death by reason of excessive sensual pleasure.

These evils, moreover, seemed to arise from this, that all happiness or unhap­ piness depends solely on the qual ity of the object to wh ich we are bound by love. For strife will never arise on account of that which is not loved; there will be no sorrow if it is l ost, no envy if i t is possessed by another, no fear, no hatred- in a word, no emotional agitation, all of which, however, occur in the case of the love of perishable th ings, such as all those of which we have been speaking. But love 1 0 towards a thing eternal a nd infinite feeds the mind with j oy alone, unmixed with any sadness. This is greatly to be desired, and to be sought with all our might. How­ ever, it was not without reason that I used these words, 'If only I could be earnestly resolute; for although I perceived these things qu ite clearly in my mind, I could not on that account put aside all greed, sensual pleasure, and desire for esteem.

This one thing I could see, that as long as my mind was occupied with these 1 1 thoughts, i t turned away from those other objectives and earnestly applied itself to the quest for a new guiding principle. This was a great comfort to me, for I saw that those evils were not so persistent as to refuse to yield to remedies. And although at first these intermissions were rare and of very brief duration, never­ theless, as the true good becarne rnore and more discernible to me, these inter­ missions became more frequent and longer, especially when I realised that the acquisition of money, sensual pleasure, and esteem is a hindrance only as long as they are sought on their own account, and not as a means to other th ings. If they are sought as means, they will then be under some restriction, and far from being hindrances, they will do much to further the end for which they are sought, as I shall demonstrate in its proper place.

At this point I shall only state briefly what I understand by the true good, and at 1 2 the same time what i s the supreme good. In order that this may be rightly under­ stood, it must be borne in mind that good and bad are only relative terms, so that one and the same thing may be sa id to be good or bad in different respects, j ust l ike the terms perfect and imperfect. Nothing, when regarded in its own nature, can be called perfect or imperfect, especially when we realise that all things that come into being do so in accordance with an eternal order and Nature's fixed laws.

But human weakness fuils to comprehend that order in its thought, and mean- 1 3 while man conceives a human nature much stronger than his own, and sees n o reason why he cannot acquire such a nature. Thus h e i s urged t o seek the means that will bring h im to such a perfection, and all that can be the means of h is at­ taining this objective is called a true good, while the supreme good is to arrive at

b ThiS I S t o be demonstrated a t greater length.

6 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

the en joyment of such a natu re, together with other individuals, if possible. What that nature is we shall show in its proper place; namely, the knowledge of the union which the mind has with the whole of Nature.C

14 This, then, is the end for which I strive, to acquire the nature I have described and to endeavour that many should acquire it along with me. That is to say, my own happiness involves my making an effort to persuade many others to th ink as I do, so that their understanding and their desire should en tirely accord with my understanding and my desire. To bring this about, it is necessary<! ( I ) to under­ stand as much about Nature as suffices for acquiring such a nature, and (2) to es­ tablish such a social order as will enable as many as possible to reach this goal

15 with the greatest possible ease and assurance. Furthermore, (3) attention must be paid to moral philosophy and l ikewise the theory of the education of children ; and since health is of no l ittle importance in attaining this end, (4) the whole sci­ ence of medicine must be elaborated. And since many difficult tasks are rendered easy by contrivance, and we can thereby gain much time and convenience in our daily l ives, (5) the science of mechanics is in no way to be despised.

16 But our first consideration must be to devise a method of emending the intel- lect and of purifying it, as far as is feasible at the outset, so that it may succeed in understanding things without error and as well as possible. So now it will be evi­ dent to everyone that my purpose is to direct all the sciences to one end and goal: to wit (as we have said), the achievement of the h ighest human perfection. Thus everything in the sciences which does nothing to advance us towards our goal must be rejected as poin Uess- in short, all our activities and likewise our thoughts must be directed to th is end.

1 7 But since we have to continue with our l ives while pursuing this end and en- deavouring to bring down the intellect into the right path, our first priority must be to lay down certain rules for l iving, as being good rules. They are as follows:

I . To speak to the understanding of the multitude and to engage in all those activities that do not h inder the attainment of our aim. For we can gain no l i ttle advantage from the mul titude, provided that we accommodate our­ selves as far as possible to their level of understanding. Furthermore, in this way they will give a more favourable hearing to the truth .

2 . To enjoy pleasures j ust so far as suffices to preserve health. 3 . Finally, to seek as much money or any other goods as are sufficient for sus­

taining life and health and for conforming with those social customs that do not conflict with our aim.

18 Having laid down these rules, I shall embark upon the first and most important task, emending the intellect and rendering it apt for the understanding of things

c ThIS is explained more fully In Its proper place.

d Note that here I am only concerned to enumerate the SCiences necessary to our purpose, Without regard to their order .

., In the sciences there IS only one end, to which all rrrust be directed.

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

in a manner appropriate to the achievement of our purpose. To this end our nat­ ural order of exposition requires that I should here recapitulate all the modes of perceiving which I have hitherto employed in confidently affirming or denying something, so that I may select the best of all, and at the same time begin to know my powers and the nature which I desire to perfect.

If [ examine them carefully, they can all be classified under four headings. 19

I . There is the perception we have from hearsay, or from some sign conven­ tionally agreed upon.

2 . There is the perception we have from casual experience; that is, experience that is not determined by intellect, but is so called because it chances thus to occur, and we have experienced nothing else that contradicts it, so that it remains in our minds unchallenged.

3. There is the perception we have when the essence of a th ing is inferred from another thing, but not adequately. This happens either when we infer a cause from some effect' or when an inference is made from some universal which is always accompanied by some property.

4. Finally, there is the perception we have when a th ing is perceived through its essence alone, or through knowledge of its proximate cause.

All these I shall illustrate with examples. By hearsay alone I know the date of my 20 birth, who my parents were, and things of that sort, which I have never doubted. By casual experience I know that I shall die; th is I affirm because I have seen that others l ike me have died, although they have not all lived to the same age nor have they died from the same disease. Again, by casual experience I know that oil has the property of feeding fire, and water of extinguishing it. I know too that a dog is a barking animal and man a rational animal. And it is in this way that I know al­ most everything that is of practical use in life.

We deduce one thing from another as follows. When we clearly perceive that 2 1 we sense such-and-such a body and no other, then from th is, I say, we clearly infer that the soul is united to the body,- a union wh ich is the cause of such-and­ such a sensation. But from thish we cannot positively understand what is that sen­ sation and union. Or, after I have come to know the natu re of vision and realise that it has the property of making us see one and the same thing as smaller at a

f In such a case, we understand nothtng about the cause except what we consider ID the effect. This IS sufficiently evident from the fact that the cause IS then explamed only In very general terms: e.g., Therefore there IS sometlung; therefore there IS some power: etc. Or agam from the fact that the cause is expressed negatively- 'Therefore there IS not thIS, Of that; etc In the second case something clearly concetved IS ascnbed to the cause by reason of the effect, as we shall show by an example. But It IS only the properties, not the particular essence of the thing.

g From this example one can clearly see what I have Just noted. For by thts umon we understand noth­ mg beyond the sensation Itself; that is, the effect from which we inferred a cause of which we have no understanding.

h Such a conclusion, although It be certain, IS not to be relied on Without great caution; for unless we take great care, we shall Immediately fall mto error. When thmgs are conceived In thiS abstract way

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

distance than if we were to see it near at hand, we infer that the sun is bigger than it appears, and other similar instances.

22 Finally, a th ing is perceived through its essence alone when, from the fact that I know someth ing, I know what it is to know someth ing; or, from the fact that I know the essence of the soul, I know that it is united to the body. By the same kind of knowledge we know that two and three are five, and that if two l ines are paral­ lel to a th ird l ine, they are parallel to one another, and so on. But the thing. that I have hitherto been able to know by this kind of knowledge have been very few.

23 For the better understanding of all this, I shall make use of a single example, as follows. Three numbers are given; a fourth number is required, which is to the third as the second to the first. Here tradesmen generally tell us that they know what to do to find the fourth number, for they have not forgotten the procedure which they merely learned without proof from their teachers. Others formulate a universal axiom from their experience with s imple numbers when the fourth number is self-evident, as in the case of the numbers 2, 4, 3 , 6. Here they find that when the second is multipl ied by the third and the product is divided by the first, the answer is 6. Seeing that the same number is produced which they knew to be the proportional number without going through the procedure, they conclude that th is procedure is always a good way to find the fourth proportional . But math-

24 ematicians, because of the force of the demonstration of Proposition 19 of Book 7 of Euclid, know what numbers are proportional to one another from the nature and property of proportion, wh ich tells us that the product of the first and fourth numbers is equal to the product of the second and third. However, they do not see the adequate proportional ity of the given numbers, and if they do see it, they see it not by the force of that proposition but intuitively, without going through any procedure.

25 To choose from these the best mode of perceiving, we should briefly enumer- ate the means necessary to attain our end, as follows:

I . To have an exact knowledge of our nature which we wish to perfect, and at the same time to know as much of the nature of thing. as is necessary.

2 . Therefrom to infer correctly the differences, agreements and oppositions of th ing..

3 . To conceive arigh t the extent to which thing. can, and cannot, be acted upon.

4. To compare this result with the nature and power of man.

From this the highest degree of perfection that man can attain will readily be made manifest.

and not through their true essence, they are at once confused by the lmagmatlon. For to the thmgs that they conceive abstractly, separately, and confusedly, men apply terms which they use to Slglllfy other more farruhar thmgs. Consequently, they lmagme the former thmgs In the same way as they are wont to unagme the thmgs to which they ongmally applied these terms

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect 9

With these considerations in mind, let us see which mode of perceiving we 26 ought to choose.

As to the first mode, i t is self-evident that from hearsay, besides the consider­ able degree of uncertainty therein, we perceive nothing of the essence of the thing, as our example makes clear. And since a thing's individual existence is not known unless its essence is known (as will later be seen), we can clearly infer from this that any degree of certainty that we have from hearsay must be excluded from the sciences. For no one can ever be affected by mere hearsay unless his own un­ derstanding has already preceded it.

As to the second mode, aga in' it cannot be said to contain the idea of the pro- 27 portion which it seeks. Besides its considerable uncerta inty and indefiniteness, no one wil l in this way perceive anything in natural things except their accidents, which are never clearly understood unless their essences are first known. Hence this mode, too, must be excluded.

As for the third mode, we can in some sense say that we have the idea of the 28 thing, and also that we can make inferences without danger of error. Yet it is not in itself the means of our acqu iring our perfection.

Only the fourth mode comprehends the adequate essence of the thing, and is 29 without danger of error. So this is the one we must chiefly adopt. Therefore we shall proceed to explain how it is to be employed, so that we may understand by this kind of knowledge what is unknown, and also may do this as directly as pos­ sible. That is, now that we know what kind of knowledge is necessary for us, we 30 must describe the way and method by which we may come to know by this kind of knowledge the things that are needful to be known.

To th is end, the first point to consider is that th is is not a case of an enquiry extending to infinity. That is, to find the best method of seeking the truth, there is no need of another method for seeking the method of seeking the truth, and there is no need of a th ird method to seek the second method, and so on to in­ finity. For in that way we should never arrive at knowledge of the truth, or indeed at any knowledge. The case is analogous to that of material tools, where the same kind of argument could be employed. To work iron, a hammer is needed, and to have a hammer, it must be made. For th is purpose there is need of another ham­ mer and other tools, and again to get these there is need of other tools, and so on to infinity. In this way one might try to prove, in va in, that men have no power to work iron.

But the fact is that at first, with the tools they were born with, men succeeded, 31 however laboriously and imperfectly, in making some very simple things; and when these were made they made other more complex things with less labour and greater perfection; and thus advancing gradually from the simplest works to the making of tools, and from tools to other works and other tools, they have reached a poin t where they can make very many complex things with l ittle labour. In just

L Here I shall diSCUSS experience at some greater length, and exarrune the method of proceedmg of EmpmclSts and the new philosophers.

10 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

the same way the intellect by its inborn power' makes intellectual tools for itself by which it acquires other powers for other intellectual works: and from these works still other tools-or capacity for further investigation -and thus makes steady progress until it reaches the summit of wisdom.

32 That this is the case with the intellect will readily be seen, provided we un- derstand what is the method of seeking truth, and what are those innate tools which are all the intellect needs for making other tools from them so as to progress further. To demonstrate this I proceed as follows.

33 A true ideal (for we do have a true idea) is someth ing different from its object (ideatum). A circle is one thing, the idea of a circle another. For the idea of a cir­ cle is not something having a circumference and a centre, as is a circle, nor is the idea of a body itself a body. And since it is something different from its ob­ ject, it will also be someth ing intell igible through itself. That is, in respect of its formal essence the idea can be the object of another objective essence, which in turn , regarded in itself, wil l also be something real and intelligible, and so on in­ definitely.

34 For example, Peter is someth ing real. Now the true idea of Peter is the objec- tive essence of Peter and is in itself someth ing real , something entirely different from Peter. So since the idea of Peter is something real, having its own individual essence, it will also be something intelligible, that is, the object of another idea which has in itself objectively everything that the idea of Peter has formally. And in turn the idea of the idea of Peter aga in has its own essence, which can also be the object of another idea, and so on without end. This anyone can experience for h imself when he realises that he knows what Peter is, and also that he knows that he knows, and again that he knows that he knows that he knows, and so on. From this it is evident that, to understand the essence of Peter, it is not necessary to understand the idea of Peter, and far less the idea of Peter. This is no more than to say that, in order to know, I need not know that I know, and far less do I need to know that I know that I know. It is no more necessary than, in order to under­ stand the essence of a triangle, one needs to understand the essence of a triangle, one needs to understand the essence'" of a circle. Indeed, in the case of these ideas it is the other way round; for in order to know that I know, it is necessary that I must first know.

35 Hence it is evident that certainty is nothing else than the objective essence it- self; that is to say, the way in which we become aware of the formal essence is cer­ ta inty itself. And from this again it is evident that for the certa inty of truth no other

J By mborn power I mean that whICh IS not caused I n us by external causes, as I shall later explam In my Philosophy

k Here they are called works. I n my Phtlosophy, I shall explam what they are. I Note that here we shall endeavour to demonstrate not only what has Just been said. but also the

correctness of our procedure so far, and hkewtse other pOints of pnmary Importance

m Note that we are not here inqumng as to how the first objective essence IS innate m us For that tOpiC belongs to the investigation of Nature, where these matters are dealt with more fully and where we also demonstrate that there IS no affirmation Of negation or act of Will apart from the Idea

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect I I

sign is needed but to have a true idea. For, as we have shown, i n order to know, there is no need for me to know that I know. From this, again, it is clear that no one can know what the h ighest certainty is unless he has an adequate idea or the objective essence of some thing. For certa inty and objective essence are the same.

Since truth, then, needs no sign , and to have the objective essences of th ings, 36 or-which is the same thing- their ideas, is enough to remove all doubt, it fol­ lows that the true method does not consist in seeking a sign of truth after acquir- ing ideas; the true method is the path whereby truth itself, or the objective essences of th ings, or ideas (all these mean the same) is to be sought" in proper order.

Again, method must necessarily be discourse about reasoning or intellection. 37 That is, method is not reasoning itself which leads to the understanding of the causes of thing., and far less is it the understanding of the causes of things. It is the understanding of what is a true idea, distinguishing it from other kinds of per­ ception and examining its nature, so that we may thereby come to know our power of understanding and may so tra in the mind that it will understand according to that standard all that needs to be understood, laying down definite rules as a ids, and also ensuring that the mind does not waste its energy on useless pursui ts.

From this we may conclude that method is noth ing but reflexive knowledge, 38 or the idea of an idea; and because there is no idea of an idea unless there is first an idea, there will be no method unless there is first an idea. So a good method will be one which shows how the mind is to be directed according to the standard of a given true idea. Again, since the relation between two ideas is the same as the relation between the formal essences of those ideas, it follows that the reflexive knowledge of the idea of the most perfect Being will be more excellent than the reflexive knowledge of other ideas. That is, the most perfect method will be one which shows how the mind should be directed according to the standard ofa given idea of the most perfect Being.

From this one can readily understand how the mind, as it understands more 39 things, at the same time acquires other tools which fucil itate its further under­ standing. For, as may be gathered from what has been sa id, there must first of all exist in us a true idea as an innate tool, and together with the understanding of this idea there would l ikewise be an understanding of the difference between this perception and all other perceptions. Herein consists one part of our method. And since it is self-evident that the more the mind understands of Nature, the better it understands itself, it clearly follows that this part of our method will become that much more perfect as the mind understands more thing., and will become then most perfect when the mind attends to, or reflects upon, the knowledge of the most perfect Being.

Then again, the more thing. the mind knows, the better i t understands both 40 its own powers and the order of Nature. Now the better it understands its own powers, the more easily it can direct itself and lay down rules for its own guidance; and the better it understands the order of Nature, the more easily it can restrain

n The nature of tius seekmg I n the soui ls explained In my Philosophy

12 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

itself from useless pursu its. And it is in this, as we have said, that the whole of our method consists.

41 Moreover, an idea is situated in the context of thought exactly as is its object in the context of real ity. Therefore, if there were something in Nature having no interrelation with other things, and if there were also granted its objective essence (which must agree entirely with its formal essence), then this idea l ikewise would have no interrelation° with other ideas; that is, we could make no inference re­ garding it. On the other hand, those things that do have interrelation with other things-as is the case with everything that exists in Nature-will be intell igible, and their objective essences will also have that same interrelation; that is, other ideas will be deduced from them, and these in turn will be interrelated with other ideas, and so the tools for further progress will increase. This is what we were en­ deavouring to demonstrate.

42 Furthermore, from the point j ust mentioned - that the idea must entirely agree with its formal essence- it is again evident that, for the human mind to reproduce a faithful image of Nature, it must draw all its ideas from that idea which repre­ sents the source and origin of the whole of Nature, so that th is may l ikewise be­ come the source of other ideas.

43 Here it may seem surprising that, having said that the good method is one which demonstrates how the mind is to be directed according to the standard of a given true idea, I resort to reasoning to prove this poin� which appears to indi­ cate that it is not self-evident. So the question can be raised as to whether our rea­ soning is sound. If our reasoning is sound, we have to begin from a given idea, and since to begin from a given idea is something that needs proving, we ought again to prove the validity of our reasoning, and then again the validity of that rea­ soning, and so on ad infinitum.

44 To this I reply that if anyone in h is investigation of Nature had by some chance advanced in this way- that is, by acquiring other ideas in proper order according to the standard of a given true idea- he would never have doubtedp his own truth (inasmuch as truth, as we have said, reveals its own self), and all would have pro­ gressed smoothly for h im . But since this rarely or never happens, I have been con­ stra ined to posit those guidel ines, so that what we cannot acquire by chance, we may yet acquire by deliberate planning, and also in order to make it clear that, for the val idation of truth and sound reasoning, we need no other instruments than truth and sound reasoning. For it is by sound reasoning that I have validated sound

45 reasoning, and still continue so to do. Furthermore, it is this way of thinking that men usually adopt in their own internal meditations.

That the proper order is rarely employed in the investigation of Nature is due to prejudices whose causes I shall later explain in my Ph ilosophy. A further rea­ son, as I shall later show, is the need for a considerable capacity to make accurate distinctions, a very laborious task. And finally, there is the matter of the human

o To be tnterrelated With other thmgs IS to produce, or be produced by, other things.

P Just as here, too, we do not doubt our truth

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect 1 3

condition, which, a s has al ready been shown, i s h ighly unstable. There are yet other reasons, which we shall not pursue.

If anyone perchance should ask why at the very outset I adopted that arrange- 46 ment in demonstrating the truths of Nature-for does not truth reveal its own self?-I reply by urging him not to reject these things as false because of paradoxes which will occasionally occur here and there. Let him first please to consider the arrangement of our demonstration, and he will then be convinced that we have arrived at the truth. This explains the reason why I began as I did.

But if after this there is some sceptic who still entertains doubt both as to the 47 first truth itself and all the deductions we shall make according to the standard of the first truth, then surely either he is speaking contrary to his own consciousness or else we shall have to declare that there are men whose minds are also bl inded either from birth or by reason of their prejudices, that is, through some accident that has befallen them. For they are not even aware of their own selves. If they af- firm or doubt someth ing, they do not know that they are doubting or affirming. They say that they know nothing, and they say that they are ignorant of this very fact of knowing nothing. And they do not even say this without qualification ; for they are afraid that, in saying they know nothing, they are declaring that they ex- ist, so that in the end they have to maintain silence lest they should perchance say something that has the savour of truth.

Finally, although in matters relating to the usages of l ife and society necessity 48 has compelled them to suppose their existence, to seek their own good and fre­ quently to affirm and deny things on oath, it is quite impossible to discuss the sci­ ences with them. If a proof is presented to them, they do not know whether the argumentation is valid or not. If they deny, grant or oppose, they do not know that they deny, grant or oppose. So they must be regarded as automata, completely lacking in mind.

Let us now return to our theme. Up to the present, we have in the first place 49 establ ished the end to which we strive to direct all our thoughts. Second, we have learned which is the best mode of perception that will help us to attain our per­ fection. Third, we have learned which is the path our mind should first take in order to make a good beginning, and that is, to proceed to its enqu iry by fixed rules, taking as its standard some given true idea. To do this correctly, our method must enable us, fi rst, to distinguish a true idea from all other perceptions and to restrain the mind from those other perceptions; second, to lay down rules for per­ ceiving things unknown according to the aforementioned standard; th ird, to es­ tablish an orderly procedure which will enable us to avoid useless toil. Having discovered this method, we real ised, fourthly, that th is method would be most perfect when we possessed the idea of a most perfect Being. So at the outset th is must be our chief objective, to arrive at the knowledge of such a Being as speed- ily as possible.

Let us then make a beginning with the first part of the method, which is, as we 50 have sa id, to distinguish and separate the true idea from other perceptions, and to keep the mind from confusing false, fictitious, and doubtful ideas with true ideas. Here I intend to dwell on this subject at some length so as to engage my readers

14 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

in the study of so important a topic, and also because there are many who, failing to attend to the distinction between a tme perception and all other perceptions, have come to doubt even their true perceptions. Their condition is l ike that of men who, when they were awake, did not doubt that they were awake, but having once in their dreams-as is often the case-felt certa in that they were wide awake and later found this to be untrue, doubted even their waking experiences. Th is comes about because they have never distinguished between dreaming and being awake.

5 1 But I must first warn the reader that I shall not here be discussing the essence of every perception, explaining it through its proximate cause, for th is pertains to Philosophy. I shall confine myself to discussing what the method demands; that is, what are the circumstances with which the fictitious, the false, and the doubt­ ful perception are concerned, and how we may be delivered from each of them. Let our first inquiry, then, deal with the fictitious idea.

52 Every perception has for its object either a th ing considered as existing or solely the essence of a th ing. Now since in most cases fictions are concerned with thing. considered as existing, I shall deal first with that situation - that is, where the ex­ istence of some action is the sole object of the fiction, and the thing which is sup­ posed to be so acting is comprehensible by intellect, or is posited as such. For example, I make up the idea that Peter, whom I well know, is on h is way home, is coming to visit me, or the l ike. q Here I ask, with what is such an idea concerned? I see that it is concerned only with what is possible, not with what is necessary, nor with what is impossible.

53 I call a th ing impossible if its nature impl ies that it would be a contradiction for it to exist; necessary, if its nature impl ies that it would be a contradiction for it not to exist; and possible, if, by its very nature, neither its existence nor its nonex­ istence impl ies a contradiction, the necessity or impossibil ity of its existence being dependent on causes which are unknown to us while we are assuming its existence. So if its necessity or impossibil ity, which are dependent on external causes, were known to us, i t could not then be for us the subject of any fiction.

54 Hence i t follows that if there is a God, or some omniscient being, such a be- ing cannot engage in any fiction. For in our own case, knowing as I do that I ex­ ist,' my existence or nonexistence cannot be a matter of fiction for me; nor again can I engage in the fiction of an elephant that can pass through the eye of a nee­ dle; nor, knowing the nature of God,' can his existence or nonexistence be a mat-

q See later on what we shall have to say about hypotheses These are clearly understood by us, but the flchon COnsiSts in our saymg that the hypotheses are actually true of the heavenly bodies

r Since a thmg, when once i t IS understood, manifests Itself, we need only an example Without fur­ ther proof. The same IS true of Its contradictory, which needs only to be examined to expose its fal­ sity, as will later become clear when we shall be dISCussing the fichon that concerns essence.

S Note that, although many may say that they doubt the eXistence of God, they have m rrund noth­ Ing but a word, or some fictitious Idea they call God This does not accord With the nature of God, as I shall later demonstrate In Its proper place

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect 1 5

ter of fiction for me. The same appl ies to the Chimera, whose nature implies its nonexistence. From this it is evident, as I have said, that eternal truths do not al­ low of the fiction of which we are here speaking '

But before proceeding further, I must first observe in passing that the differ- 55 ence between the essence of one thing and the essence of another th ing is the same as that which holds between the actual ity or existence of the one thing and the actuality or existence of the other. So if we were to conceive the existence of Adam, for example, under the general category of existence, this would be the same as if1 to conceive his essence, we were to focus our attention on the nature of being, so that we end up by defining Adam as a being. Thus the more gener- ally existence is conceived, the more confusedly it is conceived and the more read- ily it can be ascribed to any one th ing. Conversely, the more singularly existence is conceived, the more clearly i t is then understood, and the less l ikely we are to ascribe it (when we are not attending to the order of Nature) to anything other than the thing itself. This is worth noting.

We must now proceed to consider those cases which are loosely called fictions 56 in common parlance even though we clearly understand that the reality is not as we feign it to be. For example, although I know that the earth is round, nothing prevents my saying to somebody that the earth is a hemisphere, l ike half an or­ ange on a plate, or saying that the sun moves round the earth, and the l ike. If we consider these cases, we shall find nothing that is not consistent with what we have already said, provided that we note that, first, we have occaSionally fallen into er- rors of which we are now conscious; and second, that we can entertain the ficti­ tious idea, or at least the thought, that others have fallen into the same error, or may so do, as we once did. This fiction, I say, is feas ible for us as long as we see no impossibil ity and no necessity therein . So when I say to somebody that the earth is not round, and the like, I do no more than to recall to mind an error which I perchance have made, or into which I might have fallen, and thereafter I feign , or think, that the person to whom I tell th is is as yet a victim of this same error or is capable of falling into i t . As I have said, I can engage in this fiction only as long as I see that no impossibil ity and no necessity l ies therein . For had I understood this to be so, there would have been no room whatsoever for fiction, and it would have to be said that I had done no more than utter words.

I t remains for us now furthermore to consider the kind of suppositions that are 57 made in connection with problems: for these, too, not infrequently involve im­ possibil ities. For example, we may say, "Let us suppose that this burning candle is not now burning," or "Let us suppose that it is burning in some imaginary space where there are no bodies." Such suppositions are qui te commonly made, al­ though the latter example is obviously understood to be impossible. But in such

I r shall also presently demonstrate that eternal truths do not admit of fichon of any kind. By an eter­ nal truth I mean one WhiCh, if it IS affIrmatIve, Will never be able to be negative. Thus It IS a first and eternal truth that 'God IS: but that 'Adam thmks' IS not an eternal truth That 'there is no Chimera' IS an eternal truth, but not that 'Adam does not thtnk '

16 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

cases there is no question of fiction. In the first case I have done no more than re­ call to memory" another candle which was not burning (or I have conceived this candle without a flame), and my thoughts of the latter candle I now transfer to the former, dismissing the flame from my mind. In the second case I merely with­ draw my thoughts from the surrounding bodies so that the mind concentrates its atten tion on the candle alone, regarded in itself. This leads to the conclusion that the candle contains in itself no cause for its own destruction , so that, if there were no surrounding bodies, this candle and l ikewise its flame would remain im­ mutable, or some such conclusion. Here, then , there is no question of fiction; there are really mere assertions,v and no more.

58 Let us now pass on to those fictions which are concerned either with essences alone or with essences combined with some actuality or existence. With regard to these it must especially be noted that, the less the mind understands while yet perceiving more things, the greater its capacity to form fictions; and the more it understands, the less its capacity to form fictions. For example, j ust as we saw above that while we are actually thinking, it cannot be for us a fictional idea that we are th inking or not th inking, so too, when we have come to know the nature of body, we cannot entertain the idea of an infinite fly; or when we have come to know the nature of the soul,w we cannot entertain the idea that it is square­ though anything can be put into words. But as we have sa id, the less men know of Nature, the more easily they can fash ion numerous fictitious ideas, as that trees speak, that men can change instantaneously into stones or springs, that ghosts ap­ pear in mirrors, that something can come from nothing, even that gods can change into beasts or men, and any number of such fantasies.

59 Someone may perhaps think that the l imits of fiction are set by fiction, not by intellection . That is, when I have formed a fictitious idea and then, by some sort of freedom, assented to its existence in reality, th is has the consequence that I can­ not thereafter th ink it in any other way. For instance, when I have engaged in the fiction (to speak as they do) that body has a certain natu re, and of my own free

U Later, when we shall be speakmg of flchons concernmg essences, It will be mantfest that flchon never Invents or presents to the mmd anythmg new, It recalls to mmd only thmgs that are In the brain or the imagmahon, and the mind attends to all these together In a confused way For exam­ ple, the uttering of words and a tree are recalled to memory, and when the mind attends to them In a confused way Without dIStinction, it forms the nohon of a tree speaktng. The same applies to ex­ IStence, especially when, as we have said, It IS conceived lD a very general way as entity. for It IS then liable to be attached to all things that occur together to memory TIllS IS a very important pOint

v ThIS IS also the case With hypotheses which are fonned to explain the regular movements which ac­ cord With celestial phenomena, except that, If the hypotheses are actually applied to the celestial movement, an Inference IS drawn as to the nature of the heavens, which may nevertheless he qUIte different. For one may conceive many other causes to explam these movements.

w It often happens that a man recalls to mind this term 'soul' and at the same time forms some rna­ tenal Image. Now when these two thtngs are presented together in hiS mind, he is prone to think that he Imagines and forms the idea of a matenal soul, fading to distingUIsh between word and re­ ahty. H ere r ask my readers not to be too hasty to refute what I have said, which I hope they wtll re­ frain from domg provided that they pay close attention to the examples, and also to what follows.

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect 1 7

will i convince myself that this i s so in reality, I can no longer enterta in the idea, say, of an infinite fly; and when I have formed an idea of the essence of the soul, I can no longer conceive i t as square, and so forth.

But th is view must be examined. Firs� either they deny or they grant that we 60 have the capacity to understand someth ing. If they grant th is, then it must follow that what they say about fiction also appl ies to intellection. If they deny i t, then let us, who know that we know something, consider what they are saying. They are in fact saying that the soul can be conscious of and perceive, in a variety of ways, not its own self nor things that exist, but only things that are neither in them­ selves nor anywhere at all; that is, the soul can by its unaided power create sensa­ tions or ideas which are not ideas of th ings. So to some extent they are l ikening the soul to God. Further, they are saying that we, or our soul, possess a freedom of such a kind that i t can constrain our own selves, or the soul's self-nay, i t can constrain its own freedom. For after it has formed some fictitious idea and given assent thereto, it cannot th ink it or fash ion i t in any other way, and is even com­ pelled by that fictitious idea to form all its other thoughts so as not to conflict with the original fiction- just as here, too, their own fictitious idea compels them to allow the absurdities which I am here reviewing. We shall waste no time on demonstrations to refute th is nonsense.

But leaving them to their delusions, we shall endeavour to draw from our dis- 61 cussion with them something true and to our purpose, namely, that when the mind attends to a thing that is both fictitious and false by its very nature, so as to ponder over it and achieve understanding, and then deduces from it in proper or- der what is to be deduced, it will easily detect its falsity;x and if the fictitious idea is by its own nature true, when the mind attends to it so as to understand i t, and begins to deduce from it in proper order the conclusions that follow from it, it will proceed smoothly without any interruption - just as we have seen that, in the case of the false fiction just mentioned, the intellect immediately appl ied itself to ex­ posing its absurdity and the absurdities that follow from it.

We need thereIore be in no way apprehensive about engaging in fiction pro- 62 vided that we clearly and distinctly perceive what is really the case. If we were per­ chance to say that men are suddenly changed into beasts, this is a statement of a very general kind, such that there would be in the mind no conception, that is, no idea or connection of subject with predicate. For if there were such, the mind would at that time see the means and causes, the 'how' and the 'why' such a thing took place. Then again, no attention is given to the nature of the subject and predicate.

Furthermore, provided that the first idea is not fictitious and all the other ideas 63 are deduced from i t, the hasty tendency to form fictitious ideas will gradually dis-

x Although I seem to lOfer this from expenence, and someone may deny Its cogency because no proof IS attached, he may take thiS If he wants one. Stnce there can be nothmg to Nature contrary to her laws and all thmgs happen m accordance With her fixed laws, so that defmite effects are produced by deftnlte laws in unalterable sequence, It follows that when the soul concelves a thmg truly, It Will proceed to produce In thought those same effects. See below, where I dISCUSS the false Idea.

18 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

appear. Then again, since a fictitious idea cannot be clear and distinct but only confused, and since all confusion arises from mind's having only partial knowl­ edge of a complete whole or a unity composed of many constituents-failing to distinguish between the known and the unknown, and also attending at the same time without any distinction to the many constituen ts contained in a single th ing- it follows, first, that if the idea is of a th ing completely simple, it can only be clear and distinct. For such a th ing would have to be known not in part, but

64 either wholly or not at all. Secondly, it follows that if a th ing composed of many constituents is divided in thought into all its simplest parts, and attention is given to each part separately, then all confusion will disappear. Thirdly, it follows that a fictitious idea cannot be simple, but is formed by the blending of various con­ fused ideas of various things and actions existing in Nature; or, as better expressed, fiction results from attending at the same time, without assent, to various ideas of this kindX For if fiction were simple, it would be clear and distinct, and conse­ quently true. And if it were formed from the blending of distinct ideas, their com­ position would also be clear and distinct, and therefore true. For example, once we know the nature of a circle and also that of a square, we cannot compound the two and make a square circle, or a square soul and the l ike.

65 Let us then once more sum up briefly and see why we need in no way fear that fiction may be confused with true ideas. For as to the first case we mentioned ear­ l ier, i .e . , when a th ing is clearly conceived, we saw that if the th ing which is clearly conceived, and also its existence, is in itself an eternal truth, we cannot engage in any fiction regarding such a thing. But if the existence of the th ing conceived is not an eternal truth, we need only to ensure that the existence of the th ing is com­ pared with its essence, while at the same time attending to the order of Nature. As to the second case of fiction, which we said to consist in attending simultane­ ously, without assenting, to various confused ideas of various things and actions existing in Nature, we again saw that a completely simple thing cannot be the ob­ ject of fiction, but only of intellect. And the same is true of a composite thing pro­ vided we attend to its s implest component parts. Indeed, these things cannot be the subject of fiction involving any actions that are not true, for at the same time we shall be compelled to consider how and why such a th ing came about.

66 With these matters thus understood, let us now pass on to the investigation of the false idea so as to see with what it is concerned, and how we may guard our­ selves against fall ing into false perceptions. Neither of these objectives will now afford us any difficulty after our investigation of the fictitious idea. For between these ideas there is no difference except that the false idea impl ies assent, that is (as we have already noted) . while the ideas are presented to the mind, there are no causes presented from which it can infer (as in the case of fiction) that they do not arise from things extraneous. It is practically the sarne as dreaming with one's

Y Fichon, considered In dself, does not rrruch differ from dreammg, except that those causes which their senses present to the waktng, from which they infer that those presentations are not presented at that time by thmgs external to them, are not presented In dreammg Now error, as Will soon be mamfest, is dreannng whtle awake, and If it reaches a certain pitch, It is called madness

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect 1 9

eyes open or while wide awake. Therefore the false idea i s l ike the fictitious idea in that it is concerned with, or (as better expressed) has reference to, the existence of a thing whose essence is known, or it is concerned with an essence.

The false idea that has reference to existence is ernended in the same way as the 67 fictitious idea. For if the nature of the known thing impl ies necessary existence, we cannot possibly be deceived regarding the existence of that thing. If the existence of the thing is not an eternal truth (as is its essence) and the necessity or impossi­ bil ity of its existence depends on external causes, then follow the same course which we indicated in our discussion of fiction, for it can be emended in the same way.

As for the kind of false idea that is related to essences, and also to actions, such 68 perceptions are necessarily always confused, being compounded of various con­ fused perceptions of things existing in Nature, as when men are convinced that divinities are present in woods, in images, in animals and other th ings, that there are bodies whose mere composition gives rise to intell igence, that corpses can rea- son, walk and speak, that God can be deceived, and the l ike. But ideas which are clear and distinct can never be false; for ideas of things which are clearly and dis­ tinctly conceived either are absolutely simple or are compounded of absolutely simple ideas- that is, deduced from absolutely simple ideas. But that an ab­ solutely simple idea cannot be false is obvious to everyone, provided that he knows what is truth or understanding, and l ikewise what is falsity.

As to what constitutes the specific charncter of truth, it is certa in that a true 69 thought is distingUishable from a false thought not merely by its extrinsic relation but more particularly by an intrinsic characteristic. If an architect conceives a building in proper fashion, although such a building has never existed nor is ever l ikely to exist, h is thought is nevertheless a true thought, and the thought is the same whether the building exists or not. On the other hand, if someone says, for example, that Peter exists, while yet not knowing that Peter exists, that thought in respect to the speaker is false, or , if you prefer, not true, although Peter really ex- ists. The statement 'Peter exists' is true only in respect of one who knows for cer- tain that Peter exists.

Hence it follows that there is something real in ideas through which the true 70 are d istinguished from the false, and this must now be the subject of our inquiry so that we may possess the best standard of truth (for we have said that we ought to determine our thoughts according to the standard of a given true idea, and method consists in reflexive knowledge) and may get to know the properties of the intellect. N or must we say that the difference between true and false ideas derives from the fact that a true thought is to know things through their first causes­ wherein it would indeed be very different from a false thought as we have ex­ plained it above. For a thought is also said to be true when it involves as its object the essence of some basic principle which is uncaused and is known through it- self and in itself.

Therefore the specific character of a true thought must be in trinsic to the 71 thought itself without reference to other thoughts. Nor does it acknowledge its ob- ject as cause, but must depend on the very power and nature of the intellect. For let us suppose that the intellect has perceived some new entity which has never

20 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

existed, as some conceive the intellect of God before he created things (a per­ ception which obviously could not have arisen from any object) , and that from such a perception it deduces other perceptions in logical order. All those thoughts would be true and would not be determined by any external object, but would de­ pend entirely on the power and nature of the intellect. Therefore that which con­ stitutes the specific character of a true thought must be sought in that very same thought and deduced from the nature of in tellect.

72 So to investigate this question, let us set before us a true idea whose object we are absolutely certain depends on our power of thought, there being no object to it in Nature; for such an idea, as is clear from what has been said, will more eas­ ily enable us to pursue the enquiry we have in view. For example, to form the con­ cept of a sphere, I invent a cause at will, namely, that a semicircle rotates about its centre, and a sphere, as i t were, is produced by this rotation. Now this is, of course, a true idea, and although we know that in Nature no sphere has ever been produced in this way, this is nevertheless a true perception and a very convenient way of forming the concept of a sphere. Now, we should observe that th is per­ ception affirms that a semicircle rotates, an affirmation that would be false were it not conjoined with the concept of a sphere, or else with a cause determining such motion; that is, in short, if this were a completely isolated affirmation . For in that case the mind would not be extending its affirmation to anything beyond the motion of the semicircle, and neither is this contained in the concept of a semicircle nor does it originate from the conception of a cause determining the motion. Therefore the falsity consists solely in this, that something is affirmed of a th ing when i t is not conta ined in the conception we have formed of the thing, as in this case motion or rest is affirmed of the semicircle. Hence it follows that simple thoughts are bound to be true, such as the simple idea of a semicircle, of motion, of quantity, and so on. Whatever of affirmation is contained in these thoughts is coextensive with their concept, and extends no further. Therefore we may form simple ideas at will without any danger of error.

73 It remains, then, only to inquire by what power the mind can form these sim- ple ideas, and what is the extent of this power; for once this is discovered we shall easily see what is the highest knowledge we can attain . It is certa in that this power of the mind does not extend to infinity; for when we affirm of a thing something that is not contained in the concept we form of the thing, this indicates that our perception is defective, or in other words that we have thoughts or ideas that are, as it were, mutilated and fragmentary. For we saw that the motion of the semicir­ cle is false when taken in isolation, but true if it is conjoined with the concept of a sphere, or the concept of some cause determining such motion. Now if it is in the nature of a thinking being, as seems apparently to be the case, to form true or adequate thoughts, it is certain that inadequate ideas arise in us from th is, that we are part of some thinking being, some of whose thoughts constitute our mind in their entirety, and some only in part.

74 But we have yet to consider another case, which was not worth raiSing when deal ing with fiction, and wherein one can go far astray. This happens when cer­ tain things presented in the imagination are also in the intellect, that is, are clearly

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect 2 1

and distinctly conceived. For then, when the distinct is not differentiated from the confused, the result is that certainty, i .e . , a true idea, is mixed up with the nondis­ tinct For example, certa in Stoics perhaps heard the word 'soul; and also that it is immortal , which things they imagined only confusedly. They also imagined, and at the same time understood, that the most subtle bodies penetrate all other bod­ ies and are penetrated by none. Since all these things were presented together in the imagination and were accompanied by the certa inty of this axiom, they forth­ with became convinced that the mind consists of those most subtle bodies, that those most subtle bodies cannot be divided, and so on.

But we are delivered from this error, too, as long as we make an effort to ex- 75 amine all our perceptions according to the standard of a given true idea, being on our guard, as we initially said, against those perceptions that we have from hearsay or from casual experience. In addition, this kind of mistake arises from their con­ ceiving things in too abstract a way; for it is sufficiently clear in itself that what I conceive in its true object I cannot apply to any other object. Finally, this mistake also arises from their fuilure to understand the primary elements of Nature as a whole, so that, proceeding without due order and confusing Natu re with abstrac­ tions (although these are true axioms), they fall into confusion and distort the or- der of Nature. However, if we proceed with the least possible abstraction and begin at the earliest stage from the primary elements-that is, from the source and origin of Nature-we need in no way fear this kind of mistake.

As for our knowledge of the origin of Nature, we need have no fear of confus- 76 ing it with abstractions. For when things are conceived in an abstract way (as is the case with all universals), they always have a wider extension in the intellect than is really possessed by their particular exemplifications existing in Nature. Again, since there are many things in Nature whose difference is so slight as to be hardly perceptible to the intellect, it can easily come about that they are confused if they are conceived in an abstract way. But since, as we shall later see, the origin of Nature can neither be conceived in an abstract or universal way, nor can i t have a wider extension in the intellect than in reality, nor has it any resemblance to things mutable, we need fear no confusion as to its idea, provided we possess the standard of truth as before shown. For th is entity is unique and infinite;z that is, it is total being, beyond which there is no being.'

So much for the false idea. It remains for us to enquire into the doubtful idea, 77 that is, to consider what are the things that can lead us to doubt, and also how that dou bt may be removed. I am speaking of genuine doubt in the mind, not the sort of doubt that we frequently encounter when somebody verbally asserts that he doubts, although he mentally does not doubt. The correction of the latter is not the province of our method; rather does it pertain to an enquiry into obstinacy and its emendation.

Z These are not attnbutes of God, dlSplaymg hIS essence, as I shall make clear in my Philosophy. g This has already been demonstrated above. For IS such a bemg did not eXist, It could never be pro..­

duced, and so the mmd could understand more than Nature could furmsh, which has been shown above to be false

22 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

78 Doubt, then, never arises in the soul through the thing itself which is the ob- ject of doubt. That is, if there should be only one idea in our consciousness, whether true or false, there will be neither doubt nor certainty, but only a certain kind of awareness. For an idea in itself is nothing but a certain awareness. Doubt arises through another idea, wh ich is not so clear and distinct that we can infer from it any certainty as to the thing wh ich is doubted . That is, the idea which causes us to doubt is not clear and distinct. For example, if someone has never been led, whether by experience or in any other way, to reflect upon the decep­ tiveness of the senses, he will never entertain doubt as to whether the sun is greater or smaller than it appears. Hence country folk are frequently surprised when they hear that the sun is much greater than the earth's sphere. But reflection on the deceptiveness of the senses induces doubt.b If, after being in doubt, a man ac­ quires true knowledge of the senses and of the manner whereby through their means distant things are represented, then the doubt is in turn removed.

79 Hence it follows that it is only when we do not have a clear and distinct idea of God that we can cast doubt on our true ideas on the grounds of the possible ex­ istence of some deceiving God who misleads us even in thing. most certain. That is, this can happen only if, attending to the knowledge we have of the origin of all things, we find nothing there to convince us that he is not a deceiver, with the same conviction that we have when, attending to the nature of a triangle, we find that its three angles are equal to two right angles. But if we do possess such knowl­ edge of God as we have of a triangle, all doubt is removed. And just as we can at­ tain such knowledge of a triangle although not knowing for sure whether some arch-deceiver is misleading us, so too can we attain such knowledge of God al­ though not knowing for sure whether there is some arch-deceiver. Provided we have that knowledge, it will suffice, as I have said, to remove all doubt that we may have concerning clear and distinct ideas.

80 Furthermore, if anyone follows the correct procedure, investigating first what should be first investigated without any interruption in the interconnection of things, and ifhe knows how to define problems preCisely before seeking to solve them, he will never have anything but the most certain ideas, that is, clear and distinct ideas. For doubt is nothing but the suspension of judgment in respect of some affirmation or denial which would be made but that someth ing comes to mind which, being outside our understanding, must render imperfect our knowl­ edge of the thing in question. We may therefore conclude that doubt always arises from want of order in the investigation.

8l These are the matters which I promised to set forth in this first part of our Method. But to omit nothing that can advance our knowledge of the intellect and its powers, I shall add a few words on memory and forgetting. Here the most im­ portant point to be considered is that memory is strengthened both by the a id of the intellect and also without its aid. As to the first case, the more intelligible a th ing is, the more easily it is reta ined; the less intelligible, the more easily it is for-

b That IS to say, a man knows that the senses have sometimes deCeived hun. but he knows this only confusedly, for he does not know In what way the senses deceive hIm

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect 2 3

gotten. For example, if [ give someone a l ist of unconnected words, he will find i t much more difficul t to reta in them than if [ were to give him the same words in the form of a story.

It is also strengthened without the a id of the intellect, namely, through the 82 force wherewith the imagination, or what is termed the common sense, is affected by some singular corporeal thing. [ say 'singular: for the imagination is affected by singular things only. For example, if someone reads just one love story, he will reta in it very well as long as he does not read many others of the same kind, for then it flourishes alone in h is imagination. But ifhe reads several of the same kind, he will imagine them all together, and they will easily be confused. [ say 'corpo­ real: for the imagination is affected only by bodies. Since, then, the memory is strengthened not only by the intellect but also independently of the intellect, we may conclude that it is something different from the intellect, and that the intel- lect considered in itself does not involve either memory or forgetting.

What, then, is memory? It is nothing but the sensation of impressions in the 83 brain together with the thought of the determinate durationc of the sensation . This is further demonstrated by recollection, for in this the soul th inks of that sen­ sation , but without the notion of a continuous duration ; and thus the idea of that sensation is not identical with the duration of the sensation, that is, with memory itself The question as to whether the ideas themselves undergo some corruption will be discussed in my Philosophy.

[f this seems qu ite absurd to anyone, it will be enough for our purpose that he should reflect that, the more s ingular a thing is, the more easily it is reta ined, as is evident from the example of the comedy just mentioned. And again, the more intelligible a thing is, the more easily it is reta ined. Hence we cannot fail to re­ tain a thing that is most singular and suffiCiently intell igible.

Thus we have distinguished between the true idea and other perceptions, and 84 we have established that the fictitious, the false, and other ideas have their origin in the imagination, that is, in certain sensations that are (so to speak) fortu i tous and unconnected, arising not from the power of the mind but from external causes1 in accordance as the body, dreaming or waking, receives various motions. Or if you wish, you may here understand by imagination whatever you please, as long as it is something different from the intellect, and the soul has a passive re­ lation to it. It matters not how you understand it, now that we know that it is some­ thing random, and that the soul is passive to it, while we also know how we may be delivered from it with the aid of the intellect. And so let no one be surprised that, without as yet having proved that there is such a th ing as body and other im­ portant matters, I speak of the imagination, the body, and its constitution. For, as

C But tf the duration is mdeterrnmate, the memory of the thmg is imperfect, as each of us seems also to have learned naturally. For It often happens that, to confirm our belief ID what someone IS telling us, we ask when and where It occurred And although ldeas, too, have their own duration m the mnd. Since we are accustomed to deterrmne duration With the help of some measure of motion which also Involves the Inlagmation, we stdl do not see In memory anythmg whlch appertains solely to the mmd

24 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

I have said, it matters not how I understand it, now that I know that it is something random, and so on.

85 But we have demonstrated that a true idea is simple or compounded of simple ideas, and that it shows how and why someth ing is the case, or has been so, and that its ideal effects in the soul correspond to the specific reality of its object. Th is is iden tical with the saying of the ancien ts that true science proceeds from cause to effect, except that, as far as I know, they never conceived the soul, as we are here dOing, as acting according to fixed laws, a sort of spiritual automaton.

86 From these demonstrations, as far as was possible in the initial stages of our en- quiry, we have acquired knowledge of our intellect, and such a standard of the true idea that we no longer fear we may confuse true ideas with false or fictitious ideas. Nor again will we wonder why we understand some things that do not in any way fall within the scope of the imagination , and why there are in the imag­ ination some things that are completely opposed to the in tellect, while there are other th ings wh ich agree with the intellect. For we know that the operations by which imaginings are produced are subject to other laws which are quite differ­ ent from the laws of the intellect, and that in relation to imagining, the soul has only a passive rille.

87 From this we may also see how easily those who have not made a careful dis- tinction between imagination and intellection may fall into grave errors, such as, for instance, that extension must be local ised, that it must be finite, that its parts are really distinct from one another, that it is the first and only foundation of all things, that it occupies more space at one time than at another, and many other beliefs of this kind, all of which are completely opposed to truth, as we shall demonstrate in its proper place.

88 Then again, since words are a part of the imagination - that is, since many of our concepts are formed according to the haphazard composition of words in memory from some disposition of the body- there can be no doubt that words no less than imagination can bring about many grave errors unless we exercise

89 great caution in that respect. Add to th is that words owe their formation to the whim and understanding of the common people, so that they are merely sym­ bols of th ings as they are in the imagination, not in the intellect. This is evident from the fact that men have often devised negative terms for all those th ings that are only in the intellect and not in the imagination (e.g. , incorporeal, infi­ nite, etc . ) , and they also express negatively many things that are really affirma­ tive, and conversely (e.g. , uncreated, independent, infinite, immortal , etc . } .d The reason for th is is that the contraries of these words are much more easily imagined, and so they occurred first to the early generations, and they used them as posi tive terms.

90 Furthermore, we avoid another frequent cause of confusion, one that prevents the intellect from reflecting on itself; viz. , by fa iling to distinguish between imag-

d We affirm and deny many things because the nature of words, not the nature of things, suffers us to do so, and In our tgnorance of the latter, we may easily take the false to be true.

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect 2 5

ination a n d intellection, w e think that the things w e more easily imagine are clearer to us, and we think that we understand what we imagine. Thus we put first what should be pu t later, and so the true order of procedure is reversed and there can be no legitimate conclusion drawn.

To move on in turn to the second part" ofthis Method, I shall first set forth our 91 aim in th is Method, and then the means of attaining it. Our aim, then, is to have clear and distinct ideas, that is, such as originate from pure mind and not from fortuitous motions of the body. Next, so that all ideas may be subsumed under one, we shall endeavour to connect and arrange them in such a manner that our mind, as far as possible, may reproduce in thought the reality of Nature, both as to the whole and as to its parts.

As to the first point, our ul timate aim, as we have already said, requires that a 92 th ing be conceived either through its essence alone or through its proximate cause. That is, if the thing is in itself, or, as is commonly said, self-caused, then it will have to be understood solely through its essence; if the thing is not in itself and needs a cause for its existence, then it must be understood through its proxi­ mate cause. For in fact knowledge of the effect is nothing other than to acquire a more perfect knowledge of the causef

Therefore, as long as we are engaged in an enquiry into real th ings, it will never 93 be permissible for us to draw a conclusion from what is abstract, and we shall take great care not to mix the things that are merely in the intellect with those things that are in reality. The most secure conclusion is to be drawn from some particu- lar affirmative essence, i.e., from a true and legitimate definition . For, starting from universal axioms alone, the intellect cannot descend to particulars, since ax­ ioms are of infinite extension and do not determine the intellect to contemplate one particular th ing rather than another. So the correct path to discovery is to de- 94 velop our th inking from the basis of some given definition, and progress will be more successful and easier as a th ing is better defined. Therefore the whole of this second part of our method hinges on this alone: getting to know the conditions of a good definition, and then devising a way to discover them. I shall therefore first discuss the conditions of definition.

For a definition to be regarded as complete, it must explain the inmost essence 95 of the th ing, and must take care not to substitute for this any of its properties. To explicate this, passing over other examples so as not to appear bent on exposing the errors of others, I shall choose only the example of an abstract thing where the manner of definition is unimportant, a circle, say. If this is defined as a figure in which the l ines drawn from the centre to the circumference are equal , it is obvi-

., The prmclpal rule of this part, as follows from the nrst part, IS to review all the Ideas which we diS­ cover In us as ongmatlng from pure mtellect, so that they may be dlStmgulshed from those we lmag� me. ThIS distinction Will have to be eliCited from the properties of each, that is, lmaginahon and mtellechon.

f Note that this leads to the conclUSIOn that we cannot properly understand anythmg of Nature wlth� out at the same time extending our knowledge of the fust cause, or God.

26 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

ous that such a definition by no means explains the essence of a circle, but only one of its properties. And although, as I have said, th is is a matter ofl ittle impor­ tance when it is a question of figures and other mental constructs, it is neverthe­ less a matter of prime importance when it is a question of physical and real beings. For the properties of things are not understood as long as their essences are not known; and if the latter are neglected, this is bound to distort the inter­ connections made by our intellect which ought to reproduce the interconnec­ tions of Nature, and we shall go fur astray from our goal.

96 So if we are to be delivered from this fault, the following requirements must be satisfied in definition.

I. If the thing be a created thing, the definition , as we have said, must include its proximate cause. For example, according to this rule a circle would have to be defined as follows: a figure described by any line of which one end is fixed and the other movable. This definition clearly includes the proximate cause.

2 . The conception or definition of the thing must be such that all the proper­ ties of the thing, when regarded by itself and not in conjunction with other things, can be deduced from it, as can be seen in the case of this definition of a circle. For from it we clearly deduce that all the l ines drawn from the centre to the circumference are equal.

That this is a necessary requirement of a definition is so self-evident to one who pays attention that i t does not seem worthwhile spending time in demonstrating i t, nor again in showing that according to this second requirement every defini­ tion must be affirmative. I am speaking of intellectual affirmation, disregarding verbal affirmation, which, because of poverty oflanguage, may sometimes be ex­ pressed negatively, although understood affirmatively.

'17 The requirements for the definition of an uncreated thing are as follows:

I . That it should exclude every cause; that is, that the thing should need noth­ ing else for its explanation besides its own being.

2 . That, given the definition ofthe thing, there should remain no room for the question: Does it exist?

3 . That, as far as the mind is concerned, it should contain no substantives that can be put in adjectival form; that is, it should not be explicated through any abstractions.

4. And finally (although it is not really necessary to make this observation) , it is required that all its properties can be deduced from its definition.

All these points are evident if careful attention is paid. 98 I have also stated that the best basis for drawing a conclusion will be a partic-

ular affirmative essence. For the more individual ised an idea is, the more distinct

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect 27

it is, and therefore the clearer it is. Hence our most important task is to seek knowl­ edge of particular things.

As to the ordering of all our perceptions and their proper arrangement and uni- 99 fication, it is required that, as soon as is possible and reason demands, we should ask whether there is a being-and also what kind of being-which is the cause of all things so that its essence represented in thought is also the cause of all our ideas. Then our mind, as we have said, will reproduce Nature as closely as possi- ble; for it will possess in the form of thought the essence, order, and unity of Nature. Hence we can see that it is above all necessary for us always to deduce our ideas from physical things, i .e . , from real beings, advancing, as fur as we can, in accordance with the chain of causes from one real being to another real being, and in such a manner as never to get involved with abstractions and universals, neither inferring something real from them nor inferring them from something real. For in either case the true progress of the intellect is interrupted.

But it should be noted that by the series of causes and real beings I do not here 1 00 mean the series of mutable particular things, but only the series of fixed and eter- nal things. It would be impossible for human l im itation to grasp the series of mu- table particular things, not only because they are innumerable but also because of the infinite number of factors affecting one and the same thing, each of which can be the cause of the existence or nonexistence of the thing. For the existence of mutable particular things has no connection with their essence; that is (as we have said), their existence is not an eternal truth.

But neither is there any need for us to understand their series. For the essences 1 0 1 of particular mutable things are not to be elicited from their series or order of ex­ isting, which would furnish us with nothing but their extrinsic characteristics, their relations, or, at the most, their circumstances. All these are fur from the in- most essence of th ings. This essence is to be sought only from the fixed and eter- nal things, and at the same time from the laws inscribed in these things as in their true codes, which govern the coming into existence and the ordering of all par­ ticular things. Indeed, these mutable particular things depend so intimately and essentially (so to phrase i t) on the fixed things that they can neither be nor be con­ ceived without them. Hence, although these fixed and etemal th ings are singu- lar, by reason of their omnipresence and wide-ranging power they will be to us l ike universals, i .e . , the genera of the definitions of particular mutable things, and the proximate causes of all th ings.

But th is being so, there appears to be no small difficulty to surmount before we 1 02 can arrive at the knowledge of these particular things. For to conceive them all at once is a task far beyond the powers of the human intellect. And, as we have said, the order wherein one thing may be understood before another is not to be sought from their position in the series of existing, nor again from eternal th ings. For in the latter case all these things are by nature simultaneous. Therefore we must re- sort to other aids apart from those employed in understanding the eternal th ings and their laws. However, this is not the appropriate place to give an account of those a ids, nor do we need to do so until we have acquired a sufficient knowledge

28 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

of the eternal things and their infall ible laws, and have gained an understanding of the nature of our senses.

J 03 Before we embark upon an enqu iry into our knowledge of particular th ings, i t will be timely for us to treat of those aids, all of which w ill serve to assist us in knowing how to use our senses and to conduct experiments under fixed rules and proper arrangement, such as will suffice to determine the thing which is the object of our enqu iry. From these we may finally infer what are the laws of eter­ nal th ings that govern the th ing's production, and may ga in an insigh t into its inmost nature, as I shall duly show. Here, to return to our theme, I shall confine my efforts to setting forth what seems necessary to enable us to attain to knowl­ edge of eternal things, and to frame their definitions on the terms previously ex­ plained.

J 04 To achieve this, we must recall what we said earl ier, namely, that when the mind attends to some thought so as to examine it and to deduce from it in proper order what can legitimately be deduced, if i t is false, the mind will detect its fal­ sity; but if it is true, the mind will proceed fruitfully without interruption to de­ duce truths from it. This, I say, is what our purpose requires. For our thoughts cannot be determined on any other foundation.

J 05 If, therefore, we wish to investigate the first of all th ings, there has to be some foundation which may direct our thoughts there. Next, since method is reflexive knowledge itself, the foundation which is to give direction to our thoughts can be nothing other than knowledge of what constitutes the specific reality oftruth, and knowledge of the in tellect, its properties and powers. For when this is acquired, we shall have a foundation from which we shall deduce our thoughts, and a path by wh ich the intellect, according to its capacity, may attain knowledge of eternal things, taking into account, of course, the powers of the intellect.

J 06 But if, as has been demonstrated in the first part, it pertains to the nature of thought to form true ideas, we must here enquire what we understand by the fac­ ulties and power of the intellect. Now since the ch ief part of our Method is to achieve a good understanding of the powers of the intellect and its nature, we are necessarily constrained (through considerations set out in this second part of our

J 07 Method) to deduce these simply from the definition of thought and intellect. But so far we have not had any rules for finding definitions; and since we cannot treat of these rules without knowing the natu re or definition of the intellect and its power, it follows that either the definition of the intellect must be self-evident or we cannot understand anything. But that definition is not absolutely self-evident. Nevertheless, since its properties-l ike everything we have from the intellect­ can be clearly and distinctly perceived only if their nature is known, the defini­ tion of intellect will become self-evident if we attend to its properties that we do understand clearly and distinctly. So let us here enumerate the properties of the intellect, consider them, and begin a discussion of our innate tools.'

J 08 The properties of the intellect which I have chiefly noted and clearly under- stand are as follows:

g See above, section 31

Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect 29

I . That it involves certa inty; that is, it knows that things are in reality as they are contained in the intellect in the form of thought.

2 . That i t perceives some things, or forms some ideas, independently, and some ideas it forms from other ideas. To wit, it forms the idea of quantity independently without attending to other thoughts, but i tforms ideas of mo­ tion only by attending to the idea of quantity.

3 . The ideas that it forms independently express infinity, but determinate ideas are formed from other ideas. For if it perceives the idea of a quantity through a cause, then it determines that idea through the idea of a quantity, as when it perceives that a body is formed from the motion of a plane, a plane from the motion of a l ine, and a line from the motion of a point. These percep­ tions do not serve for the understanding of quantity, but only to determine it. This is evident from the fact that we conceive these quantities as formed, as it were, from motion, whereas motion is not perceived unless quantity is per­ ceived; and again we can prolong the motion to form a l ine of infinite extent, which we could not do if we did not possess the idea of infinite quantity.

4. It forms positive ideas before negative ones. 5. It perceives things not so much under duration as under some form of eter­

nity, and as being of infinite number. Or rather, in its perception of th ings, it attends neither to number nor duration. But when i t imagines things, it perceives them as being of fixed number, with determinate duration and quantity.

6. The clear and distinct ideas that we form seem to follow solely from the ne­ cessity of our nature in such a way as to seem to depend absolutely on our power alone. But with confused ideas the contrary is the case; they are of­ ten formed without our consent.

7. There are many ways in which the mind can determine the ideas that the intellect forms from other ideas. For example, to determine the plane of an ell ipse, the mind supposes that a pencil attached to a string moves about two centres, or alternatively it conceives an infinite number of points always maintaining the same fixed relation to a given straigh t l ine, or a cone cut in an oblique plane so that the angle of inclination is greater than the an­ gle at the vertex of the cone. There are innumerable other ways.

8. Ideas are the more perfect as they express a greater degree of perfection of an object. For we do not admire the architect who has designed a chapel as much as one who has deSigned a splendid temple.

Other things that are referred to thought, such as l ove, joy, and so on, I shall not 1 09 pause to consider; for they are neither relevant to our purpose, nor again can they be conceived unless the intellect is perceived. For if perception is entirely re­ moved, all these are removed.

False and fictitious ideas have nothing posi tive (as we have abundantly shown) 1 1 0 through which they are called false o r fictitious; they are considered a s such only from the defectiveness of our knowledge. Therefore false and fictitious ideas, as

30 Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect

such, can teach us nothing concerning the essence of thought; this is to be sought from those positive properties j ust reviewed. That is, we must now establish some common basis from which these properties necessarily follow; a basis wh ich , when given, necessarily entails these properties, and wh ich , when removed, re­ moves them all.

The rest is lacking.

S HORT TREATI S E ON

GOD , MAN , AN D H I S

WE LL- B E I NG

The Short Treatise on God, Man, and H is Well-Being is the second work of Spinoza's early period. It was probably in hand by 1 662. At the end of a long letter to Henry Oldenburg, largely taken up with Spinoza's comments on scientific points in a recent book by Robert Boyle, Spinoza refers to a "short work" that he has written on the question of the origin of things and a first cause; the letter (Ep6) was written in early 1 662. In addition, there is a reference to a "certain Dutch writing" that speaks of God as the whole universe, written by a Cartesian associated with Van den Enden, among others, in the journal of a Danish visitor to the Low Countries, Olaus Borch; the journal entry is for 3 April 1 662. It is tempting to take this Dutch work to be the Short Treatise, the only work ofSpinoza's written in Dutch. Some scholars also conjecture that the two Dutch versions of the Short Treatise are translations of an original Latin text by Spinoza, now lost.

By 1 662, then, Spinoza had sketched the main lines of the new view-his "philosophy" -about God, the human mind, and nature that he had referred to in the TIE. By this time, he had moved from Amsterdam to Rijnsburg, a small village just outside of Leiden, and enjoyed its relative solitude. Rijnsburg was known for its tolerance, and it was close to the university, where he had met friende and folk of common spiri� Adriaan Koerbagh among them. The Short Treatise, begun in Amsterdam, was continued in this new environment. It is the work of a devoted student of the Cartesian philosophy who was, at the same time, striking out on his own paths.

The structure ofSpinoza's Ethics is already suggested in the Short Treatise. It begins with metaphysics and theology, turns to epistemology and psychology, and ende with ethics and religion. More precisely, Spinoza begins by proving God's existence, eventually discusses the roles of the senses, reason, and the passions in human conduct, and concludes with a eulogy to the life devoted to the love of God, to knowing God and achieving a comprehensive scientific­ philosophical understanding of Nature. Like the earlier TIE, the core of the Short Treatise is an ancient commitment to the life of eudaimonia, an intellectual life that satisfied the scriptural mandate to imitatio dei and the philosophical-Stoic desire for hannonious, natural living. But if the structure is

3 1

32 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

traditionally classical, the core that unites Spino;z;a's classicism with his biblical affinities is the commitment to the identity of God and Nature. Virtually all that is novel in the Short Treatise flows from or at least circulates around this deep belief

Still the treatise leaves this commitment insufficiently grounded, and Spino;z;a came to reali;z;e this deficiency. Central to his naturalism, to his denial of free will, to his account of human emotions and action, the identity of God with Nature is a strong and determinative principle. It demanded justification and clarification beyond what it received, as did other claims, like the account of the difference between thought and extension and hence of the relation between mind and body. The overall character of Spinoza's understanding of religion, metaphysics, nature, and ethics had taken shape, but its fine lineaments needed elaboration. The project occupied him in the quiet ofRijnsburg and the company offriends and colleagues.

M.L.M.

[Title-page in AJ

SHORT TREATISE ON GOD, MAN, AND HIS

WELL-BEING

Previously written in the Latin tongue b y B D . S . for t h e u s e of h i s disciples w h o wanted t o devote

themselves to the study of Ethics and true Philosophy. And now translated into the Dutch language for the use of the Lovers of Truth and

Virtue: so that they who spout so much about it, and put their dirt and filth into the hands of

simpletons as though it were ambergris, may just have their mouths stopped, and cease to profane

what they do not understand: God, themselves, and how to help people to have regard for each other's well-being, and how to heal those whose mind is sick, in a spirit of tenderness and tolerance, after

the example of the Lord Christ, our best Teacher

33

[Title-page in BJ

ETHICA OR MORAL SCIENCE COMPOSED IN Two PARTS

WHICH TREAT I. Of God's Existence, and Attributes

I I . Of Man, with reference to the character and origin of his Passions, the use of his reason in this respect, and the means where by he is educated to his Happiness and supreme freedom

Also an Appendix, containing a brief account of the nature of Substance - as well as that of the human Soul, and its union with th e Body

COMPOSED BY

BENEDICTUS DE SPINOZA

34

CONTENTS

OF THE FOLLOWING Two BOOKS, NAMELY:

THE FIRST BOOK

Treating of God and What Pertains to Him, Contains the Fol lowing Chapters

I . That God Exists II. What God Is

[First Dialogue] [Second Dialogue]

lII. That God Is a Cause of All Th ings IV. On God's Necessary Activity V. On Divine Providence

VI. On Divine Predestination VII. On the Attributes Which Do Not Perta in to God

VIII. On "Natura Naturans" IX. On "Natura Naturata" X. What Good and Evil Are

THE SECOND BOOK

Treating of the Perfection of Man So That He May Be in a Position to Become

United with God

[Preface] I. On Opinion, Bel ief, and Knowledge

II. What Opinion, Bel ief, and Clear Knowledge Are III. The Origin of Passion. Pass ion Arising from Opinion IV. What Comes from Bel ief, and on the Good and Evil of Man V. On Love

VI. On Hatred VII. On Joy and Sorrow

3 5

36 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

VIII. Esteem and Contempt IX. Hope and Fear X. On Remorse and Repentance

XI. On Derision and Jesting XII. On Glory, Shame, and Shamelessness

XIII . On Favour, Gratitude, and Ingratitude XlV. On Grief XV. On the True and the False

XVI. On the Will XVII. On the Distinction between Will and Desire

XVIII . On the Uses of the ForegOing XIX. On Our Happiness XX. Confirmation of the Foregoing

XXI. On Reason XXII. On True Knowledge, Regeneration, Etc.

XXIII. On the Immortality of the Soul XXIV. On God's Love of Man XXV. On Devils

XXVI. On True Freedom

[Appendix I.] On God [Appendix II . ] On the Human Soul

FIRST PART

ON GOD

CHAPTER I

That God Exists

Part I, Chapter I 37

As regards the first, namely, whether there is a Cod, th is, we say, can be proved.

I . In the first place, a priori thus: I. Whatever we clearly and distinctly know to belong to the naturel of a

thing, we can also truly affirm of that thing. Now we can know clearly and distinctly that existence belongs to the nature of Cod; Therefore . . . Otherwise also thus:

2. The essence of things are from all eternity, and unto all eternity shall remain immutable; The existence of Cod is essence; Therefore . . .

I I . A posteriori, thus: If man has an idea of Cod, then Cod2 must exist formaliter; Now, man has an idea of Cod; Therefore . . .

Spinoza's notes are indicated by numerals. Notes tndtcated by letters and enclosed In brackets are those of translator A. Wolf (main annotator for this work) and Michael L. Morgan. 1 Understand the definite nature through which a thing is what It IS, and which can by no means be

removed from it without at the same time destroying that thing: thus, for Instance, it belongs to the essence of a mountain that it should have a valley, or the essence of a mountain is that It has a val­ ley; thiS is truly eternal and irrunutable, and must always be mcluded In the concept of a mountam, even if it never eXisted, or did not exist now.

2 From the definition which follows In chapter 2, namely, that God has infinite attributes, we can prove his existence thus; Whatever we clearly and dlsttnctly see to belong to the nature of a thing, that we can also with truth affirm of that thtng; now to the nature of a being that has Infinite attnb­ utes belongs eXIStence, which IS an attribute; therefore " " " To assert that thiS may well be affirmed of the idea, but not of the thing Itself, IS false; for the Idea does not really consist of the attnbute which belongs to this being, so that that which IS afftrmed is [affirmed] neither of the thing, nor of that which is affirmed of the thing; so that there IS a great difference between the Idea and the Ideaw tum" therefore what IS afftrmed of the thing is not affirmed of the Idea, and Vice veISa

38 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

The first we prove thus:

If there is an idea of God, then the cause thereof must exist {ormaliter, and contain in itself all that the idea has ob;ective; Now there is an idea of God; Therefore _ _ .

In order to prove the first part of this argument we state the following princi- ples, namely:

I. That the number of knowable things is infinite; 2. That a finite understanding cannot apprehend the infinite; 3 . That a finite understanding, unless it is determined by something exter­

nal, cannot through itself know anything; because, just as it has no power to know all things equally, so little also has it the power to begin or to com­ mence to know this, for instance, sooner than that, or that sooner than th is. S ince, then, it can do neither the one nor the other it can know noth ing.

The first (or the major premiss) is proved thus:

If the imagination of man were the sole cause of h is ideas, then it would be impossible that he should be able to apprehend anyth ing, but he can ap­ prehend someth ing; Therefore . . .

The first" is proved by the first principle, namely, that the knowable things are in­ finitely numerous. Also, following the second principle, man cannot know all, be­ cause the human understanding is finite, and if not determined by external things to know this sooner than that, and that sooner than th is, then according to the third principle it should be impossible for it to know anything.'

a [Instead ofthls paragraph B has the followmg: "Again, since accordmg to the [ust principle the know­ able thmgs are mfimte, and accordmg to the second pnnclple the fmite understandmg cannot com­ prehend everythmg, and accordmg to the third pnnclple It has not the power to know thIS sooner than that, and that sooner than this, d would be Impossible for It to know anything, tfit were not de­ termtned thereto by edernal thmgs. -A.W]

3 Further, t o say that thiS Idea I S a ftchon, thIS also I S false: for I t I S ImpossIble t o have thIS [Idea] I f It [the ideatum] does not eXist; thIS IS shown on pages 37-8, and we also add the followmg:

It IS qUite true that when an Idea has fust come to us from a parttcular thmg, and we have gen­ erahsed it in abstracto, then our understandmg may fancy various thmgs about It, and we can add to It many other attnbutes abstracted from other thmgs. But It IS ImpossIble to do this WIthOut a prior knowledge of the thmgs themselves from whIch these abstractions have been made. Once, how­ ever, It IS assumed that thIS Idea [of Codl ls a ftctlon, then all other ideas that we have must be ftc­ hons no less. If thIS IS so, whence comes it that we fmd such a great difference among them? For as regards some we see that It is impossible they should eXISt; e .g., all monsters supposed to be com­ posed of two nahues, such as an antmal that should be both a bird and a horse, and the hke, for which it is ImpossIble to have a place m Nature, which we fmd differently constituted; other iciea3 may, but need not, eXIst; whether, however, they eXIst or do not eXIst, their essence IS always neces­ sary, such is the Idea of a triangle, and that of the love m the soul apart from the body, etc , so that even If I at fust thought that r had lmagmed these, r am nevertheless compelled afterwards to say

Part I, Chapter I 39

From all th is the second point is proved, namely, that the caWle of a man's ideas is not his imagination but some external cause, which compels him to apprehend one thing sooner than another, and it is no other than this, that the thing. whose essentia ob;ectiva is in his understanding exist formaliter, and are nearer to him than other thing., If, then, man has the idea of God, i t is clear that God must exist formaliter, though not eminenter, as there is nothing more real or more ex­ cellent beside or outside him. Now, that man has the idea of God, this is clear, because he knows h is attributes: which attributes cannot be derived from [man 1 h imself, because he is imperfect. And that he knows these attributes is evident from this, namely, that he knows that the infinite cannot be obtained by putting together divers finite parts; that there cannot be two infinites, but only one; that it is perfect and immutable, for we know that noth ing seeks, of itself, its own anni­ h ilation, and also that it cannot change into anything better,5 because it is per-

that they are, and would be, the same no less even If netther I nor anybody had ever thought about them. They are, consequently, not merely lmagmed by me, and rrrust also have outside me a subjec­ tum other than myself, Without which subjectum they cannot be In addition to these there is yet a third idea, and It IS an only one; this one carnes With It necessal)' existence, and not, like the forego­ tog, the mere possihllity of eXIstence" for, 10 the case of those, their essence was mdeed necessary, but not thetr existence, while In Its case, both Its eXistence and its essence are necessary. and It IS nothmg Without them. I therefore see now that the truth, essence, or existence of anythmg never depends on me: for, as was shown with reference to the second kind of Ideas, they are what they are mdependently of me, whether as regards their essence alone, or as regards both essence and existence. I find thIS to be true also, mdeed mtch more so, of thIS third unique Idea; not only does It not depend on me, but on the contrary, he alone rrrust be the sub;ectum of that which I affirm of him. Consequently, ifhe did not eXist, I should not be able to assert anything at all about him, although this can be done in the case of other things, even when they do not eXISt He rrrust also be, mdeed, the sub;ectum of all other things.

From what has been said so far it is clearly manifest that the Idea of infinite attributes m the per­ fect beIng IS no fiction; we shal l, however, still add the follOWIng·

According to the foregoing conSideration of Nature, we have so far not been able to discover more than two attributes only which belong to thIS all-perfect bemg. And these give us nothmg ad­ equate to satisfy us that thiS is all of which thiS perfect being consists, qude the contrary, we find In us a something which openly tells us not only of more, but of mfmite perfect attributes, which must belong to this perfect bemg before he can be said to be perfect And whence comes this Idea of per­ fechon? This something cannot be the outcome of these two [attnbutes]: for two can only yield two, and not an infinity. Whence then? From myself, never; else I must be able to give what I did not possess. Whence, then, but from the mflnlte attributes themselves which tell us that they are, With­ out however tellmg us, at the same time, what they are' for only of two do we know what they are.

4 His attributes, it IS better [to say], because he knows what IS proper to God; for these thIngs [infm­ Ity, perfection, etc.] are no attnbutes of God. Wdhout these, mdeed, God could not be God, but It is not through them [that he IS God] , smce they show nothmg substanttal, but are only hke adJec­ tives which requue substantives or theu explanation

5 The cause of this change would have to be either outSide, or m d. l t cannot be outside, because no substance which, hke thIS, eXists through Itself depends on anythmg outside It; therefore It IS not sub,ect to change through it. Nor can It be m It: because no thmg, rrruch less thiS, desues Its own un­ doing, all undomg comes from outslde.b

b [Agam, that there can be no finite substance is clear from thIS, because m that case it would nec­ essarily have to have somethmg which It had from nothmg: which IS impossible, for whence has It that wherem It dIffers from God7 Certamly not from God, for he has nothmg Imperfect or fl­ mte, etc ' whence, therefore, but from nothmg7 (in B)]

40 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

feet, which it would not be in that case, or also that such a being cannot be sub­ jected to anything outside it, since it is omnipoten t, and so forth .

From all th is, then, it follows clearly that we can prove both a priori and a pos­ teriori that God exists. Better, indeed, a priori. For things which are proved in the latter way [a posteriori] must be proved through their external causes, which is a manifest imperfection in them, inasmuch as they cannot make themselves known through themselves, but only through external causes. God, however, who is the first cause of all th ings, and also the cause of h imself [causa sui], makes himself known through himself. Hence one need not attach much importance to the say­ ing of Thomas Aquinas, namely, that God could not be proved a priori because he, forsooth, has no cause.

CHAPTER II

What God Is

Now that we have proved above that God is, it is time to show what he is. Namely, we say that he is a being of whom all or infinire attributes are predicated,6 of which attributes every one is infinitely perfect in its kind. Now, in order to express our views clearly, we shall premise the four following propositions:

I. That there is no finite substance,' but that every substance must be infi­ nitely perfect in its kind, that is to say, that in the infinite understanding of God no substance can be more perfect than that which already exists in Nature.

2 . That there are not two like substances. 3 . That one substance cannot produce another. 4 . That in the infinite understanding of God there is no other substance than

that which is formaliter in Nature.

6 The reason is thiS, smce Nothing can have no attributes, the All rrrust have all attnbutes, and Just as Nothing has no attnbute because it IS Nothmg, so that which is Something has attnbutes because It is Something. H ence, the more d IS Something,. the more attributes d rrrust have, and consequently God betng the most perfect, and all that IS Anythmg, he IIllst also have infimte, perfect, and all attributes

7 Once we can prove that there can be no Finite Substance, then all substance must without hmlta­ tion belong to the dlvme bemg. We do It thus: 1 . It rrrust either have lunited Itself or some other must have limited It I t could not have done so Itself, because having been infinite it would have had to change Its whole essence. Nor can It be Inruted by another. for thiS agam rrrust be either finite or in­ finite, the former is IInposslble, therefore the latter, therefore It [ I .e . , the other thmg] IS God. He rrrust, then, have made It ftnlte because he lacked either the power or the will [to make It mfmlte] . but the first [suppositIOn] IS contrary to hIS omnipotence, the second IS contrary to hiS goodness. 2. That there can be no finite substance is clear from thiS, namely, that, Ifso, It would necessarily have something which It would have from Nothtng, which is Impossible. For whence can It derive that wherem it differs from God? Certamly not from God, for he has nothmg Imperfect or fmlte, etc. So, whence then but from Nothtng? Therefore there IS no substance other than mfmde. Whence It fol­ lows, that there cannot be two like infinite substances, for to posit such necessitates Inrutahon. And from this, again, it follows that one substance cannot produce another; thus: The cause that we might

Part I, Chapter II 4 1

As regards the first, namely, that there i s no finite substance, etc . , should any one want to maintain the opposite, we would ask the following question, namely, whether th is substance is finite through itself, whether it has made itself thus fi­ nite and did not want to make itselfless finite; or whether i t is thus finite through its cause, which cause either could not or would not give more? The first [alter­ native] is not true, because it is impossible that a substance should have wanted to make itself finite, especially a substance which had come into existence through itself Therefore, I say, it is made finite by its cause, which is necessarily God. Further, if it is finite through its cause, th is must be so either because its cause could not give more, or because it would not give more. That he should not have been able to give more would contradict his omnipotence;8 that he should not have been willing to give more, when he could well do so, savours of ill-will , which is nowise in God, who is all goodness and perfection.

As regards the second, that there are not two like substances, we prove this on the ground that each substance is perfect in its kind; for if there were two al ike they would necessarily l imit one another, and would consequently not be infinite, as we have already shown before.

As to the third, namely, that one substance cannot produce another: should any one again maintain the opposite, we ask whether the cause, which is supposed to produce this substance, has or has not the same attributes as the produced [sub­ stance]. The latter is impossible, because something cannot come from noth ing; there!ore the former. And then we ask whether in the attribute which is presumed to be the cause of th is produced [substance] , there is just as much perfection as in the produced substance, or less, or more. Less, we say, there cannot be, for the

suppose to produce thlS substance must have the same attributeC as the one produced. and also eI­ ther Just as Inlch perfection or more or less. The [ust supposition IS not pOSSible. because there would then be two lIke [substances]. The second also not, because in that case there would be a fi­ mte [substance ] . Nor the third, because somethmg cannot come from notlung.-Moreover. if the finited came from the mfmlte, then the mfmltee would also be fmite, etc. Therefore one substance can not produce another And from this, agam, It follows that all substance must exist "(armaUteT," for if it dId not eXist, there would be no possibility for it to come mto existence

C [B. attnbutes.]

d [B: tnfmite ] ., [B the cause.]

8 To say to thiS that the nature ofths thing required such [limitatlOn1 and that it could not therefore be othenvise, that IS no reply: for the nature ofa thmg can requtre nothtng while It does not exist. Should you say that one may, nevertheless, see what belongs to the nature of a thmg which does not exiSt. that IS true as regards ds eXIStence, but by no means as regards Its essence. And herem hes the dif­ ference between creating and generating To create IS to posit a thmg quo ad essentiam et existen­ tiam slmul [I .e., to give a thing both essence and eXistence], whIle m the case of generation a thing comes forth quo ad existentiam salam [Le., It only recetves eXistence] . And therefore there IS now m Nature no creation but only generatIOn. So that when God creates he creates at once the nature of the thmg wlth the thmg itself He would therefore show 11I-wtll lf(from lack of will, and not of power) he created the thmg m such a way that It should not agree wdh ItS cause m essence and eXistence However, what we here call creation can really not be said ever to have taken place, and it IS only mentioned to mdlcate what we can say about It, If we distinguiSh between creating and generating

42 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

reasons given above. More, also not, we say, because in that case this second one would be finite, which is opposed to what has already been proved by us. Just as much, then; they are therefore al ike, and are two l ike substances, which clearly conflicts with our previous demonstration. Further, that which is created is by no means produced from Nothing, but must necessarily have been produced from something existing. But that something should have come forth from this, and that it should nonetheless have this something even after i t has issued from it, that we cannot grasp with our understanding. Lastly, if we would seek the cause of the substance which is the origin of the thing. which issue from its attribute, then it behoves us to seek also the cause of that cause, and then again the cause of that cause, et sic in infinitum; so that if we must necessarily stop and halt somewhere, as indeed we must, i t is necessary to stop at th is only substance.

As regards the fourth, that there is no substance or attribute in the infinite un­ derstanding of God other than what exists "formaliter" in Nature, this can be, and is, proved by us: ( I ) from the infinite power of God, since in him there can be no cause by which he might have been induced to create one sooner or more than another; (2) from the simpl icity of h is will; (3) because he cannot omit to do what is good, as we shall show afterwards; (4) because it would be impossible for that which does not now exist to come into existence, since one substance cannot pro­ duce another. And, what is more, in that case there would be more infinite sub­ stances not in existence than there are in existence, which is absurd. From all th is i t follows then : that of Nature all in all is predicated, and that consequently Na­ ture consists of infin ite attributes, each of which is perfect in its kind. And this is j ust equivalent to the definition usually given of God.

Against what we have just said, namely, that there is no thing in the infinite un­ derstanding of God but what exists formaliter in Nature, some want to argue in this way: H God has created all, then he can create nothing more; but that he should be able to create nothing more conflicts with his omnipotence; therefore _ _ .

Concerning the first, we admit that God can create noth ing more. And with regard to the second, we say that we own, if God were not able to create all that could be created, then it would conflict with h is omnipotence; but that is by no means the case if he cannot create what is self-contradictory; as it is, to say that he has created all, and also that he should be able to create still more. Assuredly it i s a far greater perfection in God that he has created a l l that was in h is infinite un­ derstanding than if he had not created it, or, as they say, if he had never been able to create it. But why say so much about it? Do they not themselves argue thus,9 or must they not argue thus from God's omniscience: If God is omniscient then he can know nothing more; but that God can know nothing more is incompati­ ble with his perfection; therefore . . . ? But if God has all in h is understanding, and, owing to his infinite perfection, can know noth ing more, well then, why can we not say that he has also created all that he had in h is understanding, and has made i t so that it exists or should exist formaliter in Nature?

9 That IS, whenever we make them argue from this adrrusslon, namely, that God is omniscient, then they cannot but argue thus

PartI, Chapter II 43

Since, then , we know that all al ike is in the infinite understanding of God, and that there is no cause why he should have created this sooner and more than that, and that he could have produced all things in a moment, so let us see, for once, whether we cannot use against them the same weapons which they take up against us; namely, thus:

If God can never create so much that he cannot create more, then he can never create what he can create; but that he cannot create what he can create is self­ contradictory. Therefore . . .

Now the reasons why we said that all these attributes, which are in Nature, are but one s ingle being, and by no means different things (although we can know them clearly and distinctly the one without the other, and the other without an­ other), are these:

1. Because we have found already before that there must be an infinite and perfect being, by which nothing else can be meant than such a being of which all in all must be predicated. Why? [Because 1 to a being which has any essence at­ tributes must be referred, and the more essence one ascribes to it, the more at­ tributes also must one ascribe to i t, and consequently if a being is infinite then its attributes also must be infinite, and this is j ust what we call a perfed being.

2 . Because of the unity which we see everywhere in Nature. If there were dif­ ferent beings in it lO then it would be impossible for them to unite with one an­ other.

3 . Because although, as we have already seen, one substance cannot produce another, and if a substance does not exist it is impossible for it to begin to exist, we see, nevertheless, that in no substance (which we nonetheless know to exist in Nature), when considered separately, is there any necessity to be real, since exis­ tence does not pertain to its separate essence. l l So it must necessarily follow that Nature, wh ich results from no causes, and which we nevertheless know to exist, must necessarily be a perfect being to which existence belongs.

From all that we have so far said it is evident, then, that we posit extension as an attribute of God; and this seems not at all appropriate to a perfect being: for

f [B . an mftnite.] 1 0 That IS, If there were different substances which were not connected In one only betng, then theIr

muon would be impOSSible, because we see clearly that they have nothmg at all in common, it is so With thought and extension of which we nevertheless consist.

1 1 That IS, if no substance can be other than real, and yet eXistence does not follow from its essence, when d IS conSidered by itself, It follows that It is not somethtng independent, but rrrust be some­ thmg, that IS, an attnbute, of another thmg, namely, the one, only, and UnIversal bemg. Or thus: All substance IS real, and when a substance IS considered by Itself Its eXIStence does not follow from Its essence; therefore, no eXISting substance can be known through Itself, but It must belong to somethmg else. That IS, when with our understandmg we conSider "substantial" Thought and ["substantial"] ExtenSion, then we conSider them only In thetr essence and not as eXISting, that IS [we do not conSIder] that their eXIstence necessarily pertams to their essence When, however, we prove [of each] that It IS an attribute of Cad, we thereby prove a prlon that It exISts, and a posteri­ on (as regards extenSIon alone) [we prove Its eXIStence] from the modes whIch must necessanly have it for thetr 8ubjectum

44 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

since extension is divisible, the perfect being would have to consist of parts, and this is altogether inappl icable to God, because he is a simple being. Moreover, when extension is divided it is passive, and with God (who is never passive, and cannot be affected by any other being, because he is the first efficient cause of all) this can by no means be the case.

To this we reply: ( I ) that "part" and "whole" are not true or real entities, but only "thing. of reason; and consequently there are in Naturel 2 neither whole nor parts. (2) A thing composed of different parts must be such that the parts thereof, taken separately, can be conceived and understood one without another. Take, for instance, a clock which is composed of many different wheels, cords, and other things; in it, I say, each wheel, cord, etc. , can be conceived and understood sepa­ rately, without the composite whole being necessary thereto. Similarly also in the case of water, which consists of straight oblong particles, each part thereof can be conceived and understood, and can exist without the whole; but extension, being a substance, one cannot say of it that it has parts, since it can neither diminish nor increase, and no parts thereof can be understood apart, because by its nature it must be infinite. And that i t must be such, follows from this, namely, because if it were not such, but consisted of parts, then i t would not be infinite by its nature, as it is said to be; and i t is impossible to conceive parts in an infinite nature, since by their nature all parts are finite. ' Add to this still : if it consisted of different parts then it should be intell igible that supposing some parts thereof to be annih ilated, extention might remain all the same, and not be annihilated together with the an­ nihilation of some of its parts; this is clearly contradictory in what is infinite by its own nature and can never be, or be conceived, as l imited or finite. Further, as re­ gards the parts in Nature, we maintain that divis ion, as has also been said already before, never takes place in substance, but always and only in the mode of sub-

1 2 In Nature, that IS, In "substantial" ExtenSIOn; for tf thts were divided Its nature and being would be at once annihilated, as lt eXiSts only as mfmde extenSIOn, or, which comes to the same, It exists only as a whole.

But should you say: IS there, in extenSion, no part prior to al l tis modes? I say, certamly not. But you may say, since there IS motion In matter, It rrrust be In some part of matter, for it cannot be In the whole, because this IS tnflmte; and whlther shall tt be moved, when there IS nothmg outSide it? Therefore It rrrust be In a part. My answer is: Mohon alone does not eXist, but only motion and rest together; and thIS IS In the whole, and rrrust be m It, because there is no part In extension. Should you, however, say that there IS, then tell me: If you diVide the whole of extension then, as regards any part which you cut off from it In thought, can you also separate d in nature from all [other] parts; and suppoSing thIS has been done, I ask, what IS there between the part cut offg and the rest? You must say, a vacuum, or another body, or somethmg of extension Itself, there IS no fourth pos­ slbihty The fust wtll not do, because there IS no vacuum, something positive and yet no body; nor the second. because then there would eXISt a mode, which cannot be, sinceh extensIOn as exten­ sIOn is without and pnor to all modes. Therefore the third; and then there is no part but only the whole of extension.'

g [B , separated.]

h [B. therefore.]

I [B: but extenSion one and indiVIsible.]

J [S· because all the parts would have to be infinite by their nature.]

Part I, Chapter II 45

stance. Thus, if I want to divide water, I only divide the mode of substance, and not substance itself. And whether this mode is that of water or something else i t is always the same k

Division, then, or passivity, always takes place in the mode; thus when we say that man passes away or is annihilated, then this is understood to apply to man only insofur as he is such a composite being, and a mode of substance, and not the substance on which he depends.

Moreover, we have already stated, and we shalI repeat it later, that outside God there is nothing at alI , and that he is an Immanent Cause. Now, passivity, when­ ever the agent and the patient are different entities, is a palpable imperfection, be­ cause the patien t must necessarily be dependent on that which has caused the passivity from outside; it has, therefore, no place in God, who is perfect. Further­ more, of such an agent who acts in himself it can never be said that he has the imperfection of a patient, because he is not affected by another; such, for instance, is the case with the understanding, which, as the philosophers also assert, is the cause of its ideas, since, however, it is an immanent cause, what right has one to say that it is imperfect, howsoever frequently it is affected by itself?i lastly, since substance is [ the cause] and the origin of all its modes, it may with far greater righ t be called an agent than a patien t. And with these remarks we consider alI ade­ quately answered .

It is further objected, that there must necessarily be a first cause which sets body in motion, because when at rest i t is impossible for it to set itself in motion. And since it is clearly manifest that rest and motion exist in Nature, these must, they think, necessarily result from an external cause. But i t is easy for us to reply to th is; for we concede that, if body were a th ing existing through itself, and had no other attributes than length, breadth, and depth, then, if it realIy rested there would be in it no cause whereby to begin to move itself; but we have already stated before that Nature is a being of which all attributes are predicated, and th is being so, it can be lacking in nothing wherewith to produce all that there is to be produced.

Having so fur discussed what God is, we shalI say but a word, as it were, about h is attributes: that those which are known to us consist of two only, namely, Thought and Extension; for here we speak only of attributes which might be calIed the proper attributes of God, through which we come to know him [as he is] in h imself, and not [merely] as he acts [towards things] outside h imself. All else, then, that men ascribe to God beyond these two attributes, all that (if it otherwise pertains to h im) must be either an "extraneous denomination;' such as that he ex· ists through himse/(, is Eternal, One, Immutable, etc . , or, I say, has reference to h is activity, such as that he is a cause, predestines, and rules all th ings: all which are properties of God, but give us no information as to what he is. But how and in what manner these attributes can nevertheless have a place in God we shall ex-

k [B . When, therefore, I divide water I do not diVide the substance, but only that mode of the sub­ stance, which substance, however, vanously modified. IS always the same.]

I [B . And although the understandtng, as the philosophers say, IS a cause of its ideas, yet, stDce d IS an Immanent cause, etc J

46 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

plain in the following chapters. But, for the better understanding of this and in further expos ition thereof, we have thought i t well and have decided to add the following arguments consisting of a [Dialogue] .

[First] Dialogue Between the Understanding, Love, Reason, and Desire

loVE: I see, Brother, that both my essence and perfection depend on your per­ fection; and since the perfection of the object which you have conceived is your perfection, wh ile from yours again mine proceeds, so tell me now, I pray you, whether you have conceived such a being as is supremely perfect, not capable of being l imited by any other, and in wh ich I also am comprehended.

UNDERSTANDING: I for my part consider Nature only in its totality as infinite, and supremely perfect, but you, if you have any doubts about i t, ask Reason , she will tell you.

REASON: To me the truth of the matter is indubitable, for if we would l imit Nature then we should, absurdly enough, have to limit i t with a mere Noth ing;m we avoid this absurdity by stating that it is One Eternal Unity, infinite, omnipo­ tent, etc . , that is, that Nature is infinite and that all is contained therein; and the negative of this we call Nothing.

DESIRE: Ah indeed! It is wondrously congruous to suppose that Unity is in keeping with the Difference which I observe everywhere in Nature. But how? I see that thinking substance has nothing in common with extended substance, and that the one l imits [not] the other; and if, in addition to these substances, you want to posit yet a th ird one which is perfect in all respects, then look how you involve yourself in manifest contradictions; for if this th ird one is placed outside the first two, then it is wanting in all the attributes which belong to those two, but this can never be the case with a whole outside of which there is nothing. Moreover if this being is omnipoten t and perfect, then it must be such because it has made itself, and not because another has made it; that, however, which could produce both itself and yet another besides would be even more omnipotent. And lastly, if you call it omniscient then it is necessary that it should know itself; and, at the same time, you must know that the knowledge of oneself alone is less than the knowl­ edge of oneself together with the knowledge of other substances. All these are manifest contradictions. I would, therefore, have advised Love to rest content with what I show her, and to look about for no other things.

LOVE: What now, a dishonourable one, have you shown me but what would result in my immediate ruin. For, if [ had ever united myself with what you have shown me, then from that moment I should have been persecuted by the two arch­ enemies of the human race, namely, Hatred and Remorse, and sometimes also by

m [A and B contmue: moreover under the follOWing attributes, namely. that It IS One, Eternal, infi- nite through itself; we aVOid 1

Part I, Chapter II 47

Oblivion; and therefore I turn again to Reason only to proceed and stop the mouths of these foes.

REASON: What you say, a Desire, that there are different substances, that, I tell you, is false; for I see clearly that there is but One, which exists through itself, and is a support to all other attributes. And if you will refer to the material and the mental as substances, in relation to the modes which are dependent on them, why then, you must also call them modes in relation to the substance on which they depend: for they are not conceived by you as existing through themselves. And in the same way that will ing, feel ing, understanding, loving, etc . , are different modes of that which you call a th inking substance, in which you bring together and unite all these in one,n so I also conclude, from your own proofs, that Both Infinite Ex­ tension and Thought together with all other infinite attributes (or, according to your usage, other substances) are only modes of the One, Eternal, Infinite Being, who exists through himself; and from all these we posit, as stated, An Only One or a Unity outside which nothing can be imagined to be.o

DESIRE: Methinks I see a very great confusion in this argument of yours; for, it seems you will have it that the whole must be something outside of or apart from its parts, which is truly absurd. For all philosophers are unanimous in saying that "whole" is a second notion, and that it is nothing in Nature apart from human thought. Moreover, as I gather from your example, you confuse whole with cause: for, as I say, the whole only consists of and [exists 1 through its parts, and so it comes that you represent the thinking power as a thing on which the Understanding, Love, etc . , depend. But you cannot call i t a Whole, only a Cause of the Effects just named by you.

REASON: I see decidedly how you muster all your friends aga inst me, and that, after the method usually adopted by those who oppose the truth, you are design­ ing to achieve by quibbling what you have not been able to accompl ish with your fallacious reasoning. But you will not succeed in winning Love to your side by such means. Your assertion, then, is, that the cause (since it is the Originator of the effects) must therefore be outside these. But you say this because you only know of the transeunt and not of the immanent cause, which by no means produces any­ thing outside itself, as is exemplified by the Understanding, which is the cause of its ideas. And that is why I called the understanding (insofar as, or because, its ideas depend on itP) a cause; and on the other hand, since it consists of its ideas, a whole: so also God is both an Immanent Cause with reference to his works or crea­ tures, and also a whole, considered {rom the second point of view.

n [A: Al l which you bnng to one, and make one from all these; B: to which you bnng all and make them mto one.]

o [B: . . . One, Eternal, self-subslShng Betng In which all IS one and umted. and outside which Untty nothing can be imagmed to be.]

P [A: It depends on Its Ideas 1

48 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

Second Dialogue Between

Erasmus and Theophilus Relating Partly to the Preceding, Partly to the

Following Second Part

ERASMUS: I have heard you say, Theophilus, that God is a cause of all things, and, at the same time, that he can be no other than an Immanent cause. Now, if he is an immanent cause of all things, how then can you call him a remoteq cause? For, that is impossible in the case of an Immanent cause.

THEoPH ILUs: When I said that God is a remoteq cause, I only said it with ref­ erence to the things [which God has produced mediately, and not with reference to those] which God (without any other conditions beyond his mere existence) has produced immediately; but on no account did I mean to call him a remoteq cause absolutely: as you might also have clearly gathered from my remarks. For, I also said that in some respects we can call him a remote cause.

ERASMUS: I understand now adequately what you want to say; but I note also that you have sa id, that the effect of the immanent cause remains united with its cause in such a way that together they constitute a whole. Now, if this is so, then, methinks, God cannot be an immanent cause. For, if he and that which is pro­ duced by him together form a whole, then you ascribe to God at one time more essence than at another time. I pray you, remove these doubts for me.

THEOPH ILUS: If, Erasmus, you want to extricate yourself from this confusion , then mark well what I am going to tell you now. The essence of a thing does not increase through its union with another thing with which it constitutes a whole; on the contrary, the first remains unchanged. I will give you an illustration, so that you may understand me the better. An image-carver has made from wood various forms after the likeness of the parts of the human body; he takes one of these, which has the form of a human breast, joins it to another, which has the form of a human head, and of these two he makes a whole, which represents the upper part of a human body; would you therefore say that the essence of the head has increased because it has been joined to the breast? That would be erroneous, be­ cause it is the same that it was before. For the sake of greater clearness let me give you another illustration, namely, an idea that I have of a triangle, and another re­ sulting from an extension of one of the angles, which extended or extending an­ gle is necessarily equal to the two interior opposite angles, and so forth. These, I say, have produced a new idea , namely, that the three angles of the triangle are equal to two right angles. This idea is so connected with the first, that it can nei­ ther be, nor be conceived without the same.' Mark well now that although the

q IS . prior·1

r [A continues· And of all Ideas which any one has we make a whole, or (which IS the same) a thing of reason, which we call Understanding ]

Part I, Chapter II 49

new idea is joined to the preceding one, the essence of the preceding idea does not undergo any change in consequence; on the con trary, it remains without the slightest change. The same you may also observe in every idea which produces love in itself th is love in no way adds to the essence of the idea. But why multi­ ply illustrations? since you can see it clearly in the subject wh ich I have been illustrating and which we are discussing now. I have distinctly stated that all at­ tributes, which depend on no other cause, and whose definition requires no genus pertain to the essence of God; and since the created things are not competent to establish an attribute, they do not increase the essence of God, however intimately they become united to him. Add to this, that "whole" is but a thing of Reason, and does not differ from the general except in this alone that the general results from various Disconnected individuals, the Whole, from various United individuals; also in this, that the General only comprises paris of the same kind, but the Whole, parts both the same and different in kind.'

ERASMUS: So far as this is concerned you have satisfied me. But, in addition to th is, you have also said, that the effect of the inner cause cannot perish so long as its cause lasts; th is, I well see, is certa inly true, but if th is is so, then how can God be an inner cause of all things, seeing that many things perish? After your previous distinction you will say, that God is really a cause of the effects which he has fJroduced immediately, without any other conditions except his attributes alone; and that these cannot perish so long as their cause endures; but that you do not call God an inner cause of the effects whose existence does not depend on him immedi­ ately, but which have come into being through some other thing, except insofar as their causes do not operate, and cannot operate, without God, nOT also outside him, and that for this reason also, since they are not produced immediately by God, they can perish. But this does not satisry me. For I see that you conclude, that the human understanding is immortal , because it is a product which God has pro­ duced in himself. Now it is impossible that more than the attributes of God should have been necessary in order to produce such an understanding; for, in order to be a being of such supreme perfection, it must have been created from eternity, just l ike all other things which depend immediately on God. And I have heard you say so, if I am not mistaken. And this being so, how will you reconcile th is without leaving over any difficulties?

THEOPH lLUS: It is true, Erasmus, that the th ings (for the existence of which no other th ing is required, except the attributes of God) which have been created immediately by him have been created from eternity. It is to be remarked, how­ ever, that although in order that a thing may exist there is required a special mod­ ification and a thing beside the attributes of God, for all that, God does not cease to be able to produce a thing immediately. For, of the necessary things which are required to bring things into existence, some are there in order that they should produce the th ing, and others in order that the thing should be capable of being produced. For example, I want to have l ight in a certain room; I kindle a l ight,

s [ 8 . the general results from variOUS unconnected mdlvtduals of the same kmd; but the whole from variOUS connected indiViduals different as well as the same In kmd J

50 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

and this lights up the room through itself; or I open a window [shutter] , now th is act of opening does not itself give l ight, but still i t brings it about that the l ight can enter the room. Likewise in order to set a body in motion another body is required that shalI have alI the motion that is to pass from it to the other. But in order to produce in us an idea of God there is no need for another special th ing that shalI have what is to be produced in us, but only such a body in Nature whose idea is necessary in order to represent God immediately. This you could also have gath­ ered from my remarks: for I said that God is only known through h imself, and not through something else. However, I telI you this, that so long as we have not such a clear idea of God as shalI unite us with him in such a way that it will not let us love anything beside him, we cannot truly say that we are united with God, so as to depend immediately on him. If there is still anyth ing that you may have to ask, leave i t for another time; just now circumstances require me to attend to other matters. Farewell.

ERASMUS: Nothing at present, but I shalI ponder what you have just told me till the next opportunity. God be with you.

CHAPTER III

That God Is a Cause of All Things

We shall now begin to consider those attributes [of God] which we calIed Propia. ] 3 And, first of all, how God is a cause of all things.

Now, we have already said above that one substance cannot produce another; and that God is a being of whom all attributes are predicated; whence it clearly fol­ lows that all other things can by no means be, or be understood, apart from or out­ side him. Wherefore we may say with all reason that God is a cause of all things.

As it is usual to divide the efficient cause in eight divisions, let me, then, in­ quire how and in what sense God is a cause.

First, then, we say that he is an emanative or productive cause of his works; and, insofar as there is activity, an active or operating cause, which we regard as one and the same, because they involve each other.

Secondly, he is an immanent, and not a transeunt cause, since all that he pro­ duces is within h imself, and not outside h im, because there is nothing outside him.

Thirdly, God is a free cause, and not a natural cause, as we shalI make clear and manifest when we come to consider whether God can omit to do what he does, and then it will also be explained wherein true freedom consists.

1 3 The [attributes] followmg are called Propria, because they are only Adjectives, which cannot be understood without theu Substantives. That IS to say, Without them God would indeed be no God, but still d IS not they that constitute God, for they reveal nothmg of the character of a Substance, through whICh alone God eXIsts

Part I, Chapter IV 5 1

Fourthly, God i s a cause through hi1T/1Jelf, and not by accident; th is will become more evident from the discussion on Predestination .

Fifthly, God is a principal cause o{his works which he has created immediately, such as movement in matter, etc . ; in wh ich there is no place for a subsidiary [ in­ strumental ] cause, since this is confined to particular things; as when he dries the sea by means of a strong wind, and so forth in the case of all particular things in Nature.

The subsidiary provoking cause is not [found] in God, because there is nothing outside him to incite him. The predisposing cause, on the other hand, is his per­ fection itself; through it he is a cause of himself, and, consequently, of all other things.

Sixthly, God alone is the first or Initial cause, as is evident from our foregoing proof.

Seventhly, God is also a Universal cause, but only insofar as he produces vari­ ous things; otherwise this can never be predicated of him, as he needs no one in order to produce any results.

Eighthly, God is the proximate cause of the things that are infinite, and im­ mutable, and which we assert to have been created immediately by him, but, in one sense, he is the remote cause of all particular things.

CHAPTER IV

On God's Necessary Activity

We deny that God can omit to do what he does, and we shall also prove it when we treat of Predestination; when we will show that all things necessarily depend on their causes. But, in the second place, this conclusion also follows from the perfection of God; for i t is true, beyond a doubt, that God can make everything just as perfect as it is conceived in his Idea; and just as things that are conceived by him cannot be conceived by him more perfectly than he conceives them, so all things can be made by him so perfect that they cannot come from him in a more perfect condition . Again, when we conclude that God could not have omitted to do what he has done, we deduce this from his perfection; because, in God, it would be an imperfection to be able to omit to do what he does; we do not, how­ ever, suppose that there is a subsidiary provoking cause in God that might have moved him to action, for then he were no God.

But now, again, there is the controversy whether, namely, of all that is in h is Idea, and which he can realise so perfectly, whether, I say, he could omit to re­ alise anything, and whether such an omission would be a perfection in him. Now, we maintain that, since all that happens is done by God, it must therefore neces­ sarily be predetermined by him, otherwise he would be mutable, which would be a great imperfection in him. And as this predetermination by him must be from eternity, in which eternity there is no before or after, it follows irresistibly that God

52 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

could never have predetermined things in any other way than that in which they are determined now, and have been from eternity, and that God could not have been either before or without these determinations. Further, if God should omit to do anyth ing, then he must either have some cause for it, or not; if he has, then it is necessary that he should omit doing it; if he has not, then it is necessary that he should not omit to do it; th is is self-evident. Moreover, in a created th ing it is a perfection to exist and to have been produced by God, for, of all imperfection, nonexistence is the greatest imperfection; and since God desires the welfare and perfection of all things, it would follow that if God desired that a certain thing should not exist, then the welfare and perfection of this th ing must be supposed to consist in its nonexistence, which is self-contradictory. That is why we deny that God can omit to do what he does. Some regard this as blasphemy, and as a bel it­ tl ing of God; but such an assertion results from a misapprehension of what con­ stitutes true freedom; th is is by no means what they think it is, namely, the abil i ty to do or to omit to do something good or evil; but true freedom is only, or no other than [the status of being] the first cause, which is in no way constra ined or coerced by anyth ing else, and wh ich through its perfection alone is the cause of all per­ fection; consequently, if God could omit to do th is, he would not be perfect: for the ability to omit doing some good, or accomplishing some perfection in what he does, can have no place in him, except through defect.

That God alone is the only free cause is, therefore, clear not only from what has just been said, but also from th is, namely, that there is no external cause out­ side him to force or constra in him; all this is not the case with created th ings.

Against this it is argued thus: The good is only good because God wills it, and this being so, he can always bring it about that evil should be good. But such rea­ soning is about as conclusive as if! said: It is because God wills to be God that he is God; therefore it is in h is power not to be God, which is absurdity itself. Fur­ thermore, when people do anything, and they are asked why they do it, their an­ swer is, because it is what justice demands. If the question is then put, why justice, or rather the first cause of all that is just, makes such a demand, then the answer must be, because justice wills it so. But, dear me, I th ink to myself, could Justice really be other than just? By no means, for then it could not be Justice. Those, however, who say that God does all that he does because it is good in it­ self, these, I say, may possibly think that they do not differ from us. But that is far from being the case, since they suppose that there is someth ing before God to which he has duties or obligations, namely, a cause [ through] which [God] de­ s ires that this shall be good, and, again, that that shall be just.

Then comes the further controversy, namely, whether God, supposing all things had been created by h im in some other way from eternity, or had been or­ dered and predetermined to be otherwise than they now are, whether, I say, he would then be just as perfect as he is now. To this it may serve as an answer, that if Nature had, from all eternity, been made different from what it is now, then , from the standpoint of those who ascribe to God will and understanding, it would necessarily follow that God had a different will and a different understanding

PartI , Chapter V 5 3

then, i n consequence of which he would have made i t different; and so we should be compelled to think that God has a different character now from what he had then, and had a different character then from what he has now; so that, if we as­ sume he is most perfect now, we are compelled to say that he would not have been so had he created all things differen tly. All these things, involving as they do pal­ pable absurdities, can in no way be attributed to God, who now, in the past, and unto all eternity, is, has been, and will remain immutable. We prove this also from the definition that we have given of a free cause, wh ich is not one that can do or omit to do anything, but is only such as is not dependent on anything else, so that whatever God does is done and carried into effect by him as the freest cause. If, therefore, he had formerly made things different from what they are now, it would needs follow that he was at one time imperfect, which is false. For, since God is the first cause of all things, there must be someth ing in him, through which he does what he does, and omits not to do it. Since we say that Freedom does not con­ sist in [having the choice of] doing or not doing something, and since we have also shown that that which makes him [God] do anything can be noth ing else than his own perfection , we conclude that, had it not beem that his perfection made him do all this, then the things would not exist, and could not come into existemce, in order to be what they are now. This is just like saying: if God were imperfect them things would be different from what they are now.

So much as regards the first [attribute] ; we shall now pass on to the second at­ tribute, which we call a proprium of God, and see what we have to say about it, and so on to the end.

CHAPTER V

On Divine Providence

The second attribute, which we call a proprium [of God] is his Providence, which to us is nothing else than the striving wh ich we find in the whole of Nature and in individual things to maintain and preserve their own existence. For it is mani­ fest that no thing could, through its own nature, seek its own annihilation, but, on the contrary, that every th ing has in itself a striving to preserve its condition, and to improve itself. Following these definitions of ours we, therefore, posit a gemeral and a special providence. The general [providence] is that through which all things are produced and sustained insofar as they are parts of the whole of Nature. The special providence is the striving of each thing separately to preserve its existence [each thing, that is to say] , considered not as a part of Nature, but as a whole [by itself] . Th is is explained by the following example: All the limbs of man are pro­ vided for, and cared for, insofar as they are parts of man, this is gemeral providence; while special [providence] is the striving of each separnte l imb (as a whole in it­ self, and not as a part of man) to preserve and ma intain its own well-being.

54 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

CHAPTER VI

On Divine Predestination

The third attribute, we say, is divine predestination . \ . We proved before that God cannot omit to do what he does; that he has,

namely, made everything so perfect that it cannot be more perfect. 2. And, at the same time, that without him nothing can be, or be conceived. I t rema ins to be seen now whether there are in Nature any accidental things,

that is to say, whether there are any things which may happen and may also not happen. Secondly, whether there is any thing concerning which we cannot ask why it is.

Now that there are no accidental things we prove thus: That which has no cause to exist cannot possibly exist; that which is accidental has no cause: therefore . . .

The first is beyond all dispute; the second we prove thus: If any thing that is ac­ cidental has a definite and certa in cause why it should exist, then it must neces­ sarily exist; but that it should be both accidental and necessary at the same time, is self-contradictory; Therefore . . .

Perhaps some one will say, that an accidental thing has indeed no definite and certa in cause, but an accidental one. If th is should be so, it must be so ei­ ther in sensu diviso or in sensu composito, that is to say, either the existence of the cause is accidental , and not its being a cause; or it is accidental that a cer­ ta in th ing (which indeed must necessarily exist in Nature) should be the cause of the occurrence of that accidental th ing. However, both the one and the other are false.

For, as regards the first, if the accidental something is accidental because [the existence of] its cause is accidental, then that cause must also be accidental , be­ cause the cause which has produced it is also accidental , et sic in infinitum.

And since it has already been proved, that all things depend on one single cause, this cause would therefore also have to be accidental : which is manifestly false.

As regards the second: if the cause were no more compelled to produce one thing than another, that is, [if the cause were no more compelled] to produce this something than not to produce it, then it would be impossible at once both that it should produce it and that it should not produce it, which is quite contradictory.

Concerning the second [question raised] above, whether there is no thing in Na­ ture about which one cannot ask why it is, this remark of ours shows that we have to inquire through what cause a thing is real; for if this [cause] did not exist it were impossible that the thing should exist. Now, we must look for this cause either in the th ing or outside the thing. If, however, any one should ask for a rule whereby to conduct this inquiry, we say that none whatever seems necessary. For if exis­ tence pertains to the nature of a thing, then it is certain that we must not look out-

Part I, Chapter VI 5 5

side i t for its cause; but i f such i s not the case, then w e must always look outside the thing for its cause. Since, however, the first pertains to God alone, it is thereby proved (as we have already also proved before) that God alone is the first cause of all things. From this it is also evident that this or that will of man (since the exis­ tence of the will does not pertain to its essence) must also have an external cause, by which it is necessarily caused; that this is so is also evident from all that we have said in this chapter; and it will be still more evident when, in the second part, we come to consider and discuss the freedom of man.

Against all this others object: how is it possible that God, who is said to be supremely perfect, and the sole cause, disposer, and provider of all, nevertheless permits such confusion to be seen everywhere in Nature? Also, why has he not made man so as not to be able to sin?

Now, in the first place, it cannot be rightly said that there is confusion in Na­ ture, since nobody knows all the causes of things so as to be able to judge accord­ ingly. Th is objection, however, originates in this kind of ignorance, namely, that they have set up general Ideas, with which, they think, particular things must agree if they are to be perfect. These Ideas, they state, are in the understanding of God, as many of Plato's followers have said, namely, that these general Ideas (such as Rational , Animal , and the l ike) have been created by God; and although those who follow Aristotle say, indeed, that these things are not real things, only things of Reason, they nevertheless regard them frequently as [real ] things, since they have clearly said that his providence does not extend to particular things, but only to kinds; for example, God has never exercised h is providence over Bucephalus, etc. , but only over the whole genus Horse. They say also that God has no knowl­ edge of particular and transient things, but only of the general, which, in their opinion, are imperishable. We have, however, rightly considered th is to be due to their ignorance. For it is precisely the particular things, and they alone, that have a cause, and not the general, because they are nothing.

God then is the cause of, and providence over, particular things only. If par­ ticular things had to conform to some other Nature, then they could not conform to their own , and consequently could not be what they truly are. For example, if God had made all human beings l ike Adam before the fall , then indeed he would only have created Adam, and no Paul nor Peter; but no, it is just perfection in God, that he gives to all things, from the greatest to the least, their essence, or, to express it better, that he has all things perfectly in himself.

As regards the other [objection] , why God has not made mankind so that they should not sin, to this it may serve [as an answer] , that whatever is said about sin is only sa id with reference to us, that is, as when we compare two things with each other, or [consider one thing] from different points of view. For instance, if some­ one has made a clock preCisely in order to strike and to show the hours, and the mechanism quite fulfils the aims of its maker, then we say that it is good, but if it does not do so, then we say that it is bad, notwithstanding that even then it might still be good if only it had been h is intention to make it irregular and to strike at wrong times.

56 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

We say then , in conclusion, that Peter must, as is necessary, conform to the Idea of Peter, and not to the Idea of Man; good and evil, or sin, these are only modes of thought, and by no means thing., or anything that has reality, as we shall very l ikely show yet more fully in what follows. For all things and works which are in Nature are perfect.

CHAPTER VII

On the Attributes Which Do Not Pertain to God

Here we shall take up the consideration ofthose attributes 14 which are commonly attributed to God, but which, nevertheless, do not pertain to him; as also of those through which it is sought to prove the existence of God, though in vain; and also of the rules of accurate definition.

For th is purpose, we shall not trouble ourselves very much about the ideas that people commonly have of God, but we shall only inquire briefly into what the Philosophers can tell us about it Now these have defined God as a being existing through or of himself. cause of all things, Omniscient, Almighty, eternal, simple, infinite, the highest good, of infinite compassion, etc. But before we approach th is inquiry, let us just see what admissions they make to us.

In the first place, they say that it is impossible to give a true or right definition of God, because, according to their opinion, there can be no definition except per genus et differentiam, and as God is not a species of any genus, he cannot be de­ fined rightly, or according to the rules.

In the second place, they say that God cannot be defined, because the defini­ tion must describe the thing itself and also positively; while, according to their standpoint, our knowledge of God cannot be of a positive, but only of a negative kind; therefore no proper definition can be given of God.

They also say, besides, that God can never be proved a priori, because he has no cause, but only by way of probability, or from his effects.

Since by these assertions of theirs they admit sufficiently that their knowledge of God is very little and sligh� let us now proceed to examine their definition.

In the first place, we do not see that they give us in it any attribute or attributes through which it can be known what the th ing (God) is, but only some propria or

1 4 As regards the attnbutes of which God consISts, they are only mfinite substances, each of which must of Itself be mflnttely perfect. That thiS rrrust necessanly be so, we are conVinced by clear and diStinct reasons. It IS true, however, that up to the present only two of all these mfinites are known to us through their own essence; and these are thought and extension. All else that IS commonly ascribed to God is not any attribute of hts, but only certam modes which may be attributed to him either in conslderahon of all. that IS, all hIS attributes, or In conSideratIOn of one attnbute. In con� sideratlon of alL [ It IS said] , for instance, that he IS eternal, self�subsisting, infmlte, cause of all things, Immutable. In consideration of one [ It IS said ] , for mstance, that he IS ommsclent, Wise, etc ., which pertams to thought, and, agam, that he IS ommpresent, hi ls all, etc , whICh pertains to extension.

Part I, Chapter VII 57

properties which do, indeed, belong to a thing, but never explain what the thing is. For although sel(-subsisting, being the ceruse of all things, highest good, eternal and immutable, etc. , are peculiar to God alone, nevertheless, from those proper­ ties we cannot know what that being, to whom these properties pertain, is, and what attributes he has.

It is now also time for us to consider the things which they ascribe to God, and which do no� however, pertain to him, 1 5 such as omniscient, merciful, wise, and so forth, which things, since they are only certain modes of the thinking th ing, and can by no means be, or be understood without the substances whose modes they are, can, consequently, also not be attributed to him, who is a Being subsist­ ing without the aid of anything, and solely through himself

Lastly, they call him the highest good; but if they understand by it something different from what they have already said, namely, that God is immutable, and a cause of all things, then they have become entangled in their own thought, or are unable to understand themselves. This is the outcome of their misconception of good and evil , for they believe that man himself, and not God, is the cause of h is sins and wickedness-which, according to what we have already proved, cannot be the case, else we should be compelled to assert that man is also the cause of himself. However, this will appear yet more evident when we come to consider the will of man.

I t is necessary that we should now unravel their specious arguments wherewith they seek to excuse their ignorance in Theology.

First of all, then , they say that a correct definition must consist of a "genus" and "differentia." Now, although all the Logicians admit this, I do not know where they get it from. And, to be sure, if this must be true, then we can know nothing what­ ever. For if it is through a definition consisting of genus and differentia that we can first get to know a thing perfectly, then we can never know perfectly the highest genus, wh ich has no genus above it. Now then: If the h ighest genus, which is the cause of our knowledge of all other things, is not known, much less, then, can the other things be understood or known which are explained by that genus. How­ ever, since we are free, and do not consider ourselves in any way tied to their as­ sertions, we shall, in accordance with true logic, propose other rules of definition , namely, on the l ines of our division of Nature.

Now we have already seen that the attributes (or, as others call them, sub. stances) are things, or, to express ourselves better and more aptly, [constitute] a being which subsists through itself, and therefore makes itself known and reveals itself through itself.

As to the other th ings, we see that they are but modes of the attributes, without which also they can neither be, nor be understood. Consequently definitions must be of two kinds (or sorts):

l. The first, namely, are those of attributes, which pertain to a self .. ubsisting being, these need no genus, or anyth ing, through which they might be better un-

1 5 That IS to say, when he is conSidered as all that he IS, or wdh regard to all hiS attributes, see on this pomt page 56 n. 14

58 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

derstood or explained: for, since they exist as attributes of a self-subsisting being, they also become known through themselves.

2. The second [kind of definitions] are those [of things] which do not exist through themselves, but only through the attributes whose modes they are, and through which, as their genus, they must be understood.

And this is [all that need be said] concerning their statement about definitions. As regards the other [assertion ] , namely, that God can [not] be known by us ade­ quately, this has been sufficiently answered by D. des Cartes in h is answers to the objections relating to these thing., page 39.

And the third [assertion] , namely, that God cannot be proved a priori, has also already been answered by us. Since God is the cause of himself , it is enough that we prove him through h imself, and such a proof is also much more conclusive than the a posteriori proof, which generally rests only on external causes.

CHAPTER VIII

On Natura Naturans

Here, before we proceed to something else, we shall briefly divide the whole of Nature-namely, into Natura naturans and Natura naturata. By Natura naturans we understand a being that we conceive clearly and distinctly through itself, and without needing anything beside itself (like all the attributes which we have so far described) , that is, God. The Thomists l ikewise understand God by it, but their Natura naturans was a being (so they called it) beyond all substances.

The Natura naturata we shall divide into two, a general, and a particular. The general consists of all the modes which depend immediately on God, of which we shall treat in the following chapter; the partic:ular consists of all the particular things which are produced by the general mode. So that the Natura naturata re­ quires some substance in order to be well understood.

CHAPTER IX

On Natura NatuTata

Now, as regards the general Natura naturata, or the modes, or creations which de­ pend on, or have been created by, God immediately, of these we know no more than two, namely, motion in matter, 16 and the understanding in the thinking thing.

16 Note.-What is here said about motion m matter IS not satd senously. For the Author stili mtends to dIScover the cause thereof, as he has already done to some extent a posten on. But It can stand lust as It IS, because nothing IS based upon d, or dependent thereon [B omits tius note ]

Part I, Chapter X 59

These, then, we say, have been from alI eternity, and to alI eternity will remain immutable. A work truly as great as becomes the greatness of the work-master.

All that specialIy concerns Motion, such as that it has been from all eternity, and to all eternity will remain immutable; that it is infinite in its kind; that it can neither be, nor be understood through itself, but only by means of Extension, -alI th is, I say, since it [Motion] more properly belongs to a treatise on Natural Sci­ ence rather than here, we shall not consider in this place, but we shall only say this about it, that it is a Son, Product, or Effect created immediately by God.

As regards the Understanding in the th inking thing, this, l ike the first, is also a Son, Product, or immediate Creation of God, also created by him from all eternity, and remaining immutable to alI eternity. It has but one function , namely, to un­ derstand clearly and distinctly all things at all times; which produces invariably an infinite or most perfect satisrnction, which cannot omit to do what it does. Al­ though what we have just said is sufficiently self-evident, still , we shall prove it more clearly afterwards in our account of the Mfects of the Soul , and shall there­ fore say no more about i t here.

CHAPTER X

What Good and Evil Are

In order to explain briefly what good and evil are in themselves, we shall begin thus: Some things are in our understanding and not in Nature, and so they are also

only our own creation, and their purpose is to understand things distinctly: among these we include alI relations, which have reference to different things, and these we calI Entia Rationis [ th ings of reason] . Now the question is, whether good and evil belong to the Entia Rationis or to the Entia Realia [real things ] . But since good and evil are only relations, it is beyond doubt that they must be placed among the Entia Rationis; for we never say that something is good except with reference to something else which is not so good, or is not so useful to us as some other thing. Thus we say that a man is bad, only in comparison with one who is better, or also that an apple is bad, in comparison with another which is good or better.

All th is could not possibly be sa id, if that which is better or good, in compari­ son with which it [ the bad] is so calIed, did not exist

Therefore, when we say that something is good, we only mean that it conforms well to the general Idea wh ich we have of such things. But, as we have already said before, the things must agree with their particular Ideas, whose essence must be a perfect essence, and not with the general [Ideas] , since in that case they would not exist.

As to confirming what we have just sa id, the thing is clear to us; but stil l , to conclude our remarks, we will add yet the folIowing proofs:

All things which are in Nature, are either things or actions. Now good and evil are neither things nor actions. Therefore good and evil do not exist in Nature.

60 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

For, if good and evil are things or actions, then they must have their definitions. But good and evil (as, for example, the goodness of Peter and the wickedness of Judas) have no definitions apart from the essence of Judas or Peter, because this alone exists in Nature, and they cannot be defined without their essence. There­ fore, as above- it follows that good and evil are not things or actions which exist in Nature.

SECOND PART

ON MAN AND WHAT PERTAINS TO HIM

PREFACE

Having, in the first part, discoursed on God, and on the universal and infinite things, we shall proceed now, in the second part, to the treatment of particular and finite things; though not of all, since they are innumerable, but we shall only treat of those which concern man; and, in the fill>t place, we shall consider here what man is, insofar as he consists of certain modes (contained in the two attrib­ utes which we have remarked in God). I say of certa in modes, for I by no means think that man, insofar as he consists of spirit, soul , l or body, is a substance. Be­ cause, already at the beginning of this book, we proved ( I ) that no substance can

1. Our soul IS eIther asubstance or a mode, It IS not a substance, because we have alreadyshown that there can be no finite substance; It is therefore a mode.

2. Being a mode, then, It rrrust be such either of "substantial" extension or of "substantial" thought; not of extension, because, etc ; therefore of thought

3. "Substantial" thought, since It cannot be fmde, is infinitely perfect tn Its kind, and an atR tribute of God.

4. Perfect thought ITllst have a Knowledge, Idea, or mode of thought of all and everything that is real, of substances as well as of modes, without exception.

5 . We say, that is real, because we are not speakmg here of a Knowledge, Idea, etc , which com­ pletely knows the nature of all thmgs as mvolved m thetr essence, apart from their mdlvidual eXIs­ tence, but only of the Knowledge, Idea, etc., of the particular thmgs which are constantly coming into existence.

6. This Knowledge, Idea, etc., of each parhcular thmg which happens to be real IS, we say, the soul of this particular thmg.

7. Al l and sundry parhcular things that are real, have become such through motion and rest, and thIS is true of all them does of "subs tan hal" extension which we call bodies.

8. The differences among these result solely from the varying proportions of mohon and rest, through which thiS IS so, and not so-this IS this, and not that.

9. From such proportion of motion and rest comes also the existence of OUT body; of which,

Part II, Preface 6 1

have a beginning; ( 2 ) that one substance cannot produce another; and lastly ( 3 ) , that there cannot be two like substances.

As man has not been in existence from eternity, is finite, and is l ike many men , he can be no substance; so that all that he has of thought are only modes of the at­ tribute thought which we have attributed to God. And, again, all that he has of form, motion, and other things, are likewise [modes] of the other attribute which is attributed by us to God.

And although from this, [namely,] that the nature of man can neither be, nor be understood without the attributes which we ourselves admit to constitute sub­ stance, some try to prove that man is a substance, yet this has no other ground than false suppositions. For, since the nature of matter or body existed before the form of this human body existed, that nature cannot be pecul iar to the human body, because it is clear that during the time when man was not, it could never belong to the nature of man.

And what they set up as a fundamental principle, [namely,] that that pertains to the nature of a thing, without which the thing can neither be, nor be understood, we deny. For we have already shown that without God no thing can be or be understood. That is, God must first be and be understood before these particular things can be and be understood. We have also shown that genera do not belong to the nature of definition, but that only such things as cannot exist without others, can also not be understood without these. This being so, what kind of a rule shall we, then, state, whereby it shall be known what belongs to the nature of a thing?

consequently, no less than of all other thmgs there rrrust be a Knowledge, an Idea, etc ., In the thmkM tog thmg, and hence at once also our 8oul.

10 . ThIS body of ours, however, had a dIfferent proportion of mohon and rest when it was an unborn embryo; and In due course, when we are dead, d wtll have a different proportion agam, nonetheless there was at that time [before our blrthl , and there will be then [after death] an Idea, knowledge, etc., of our body In the thmkmg thmg, Just as there IS now; but by no means the same [idea, etc . ] , since It IS now differently proporhoned as regards mohon and rest.

1 1 To produce, In "substantial" thought, such an Idea, knowledge, mode of thought as ours now IS, what IS required IS, not anybody you please (then It would have to be known dIfferently from what is It), but just such a body havmg thIS proportIon of mohon and rest, and no other: for as the body IS, so lS the Soul, Idea, Knowledge, etc.

1 2 . As soon, then, as a body has and retams this proportIon [which our body has], say e.g., of I to 3 , then that soul and that body wtll be hke ours now are, bemg indeed constantly subJect to change, but to none so great that d wlil exceed the Inruts of 1 to 3; though as ITI1.Ich as it changes, so much also does the soul always change.

1 3 . And thlS change m us, resultmg from other bodies acting upon us, cannot take place With­ out the soul, whIch always changes correspondmgly, becommg aware of the change. And [ the con­ sciousness ofj thlS change IS really what we call feehng.

14. But when other bodies act so violently upon ours that the proportIon of mohon [ to rest] can­ not remain 1 to 3 , that means death, and the anmhdabon of the Soul, smce thiS is only an Idea, Knowledge, etc , of thlS body havmg this proporhon of motion and rest.

15 Still, sInce It [ the soul] lS a mode m the thmkmg substance It could also know, and love this [substance] as well as that of extension, and by umhng With substances (which remain always the same) it could make Itself eternal

62 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

Well , the rule is th is: That belongs to the nature of a thing, without which the thing can neither be, nor be understood; not merely so, however, but in such wise that the judgment must be convertible, that is, that the predicate can neither be, nor be understood without the thing. Of these modes, then, of which man con­ sists, we shall begin to treat at the commencement of the following first chapter.

CHAPTER I

On Opinion, Bel ief, and Knowledge

To begin our consideration of the modes2 of which man consists, we shall state, ( I ) what they are, (2) their effects, and (3) their cause.

As regards the first, let us begin with those that are first known to us: namely, certain ideas or the consciousness of the Imowledge of ourselves, and of the things which are outside us.

Now we get these ideas' ( I ) either merely through belief (which belief arises either from experience, or from hearsay), (2) or, in the second place, we acquire them by way of a true belief, (3) or, thirdly, we have them as the result of clear and distinct conception .

The first i s commonly subject to error. The second and th ird, however, although they differ from one another, can­

not err. To make all this somewhat clearer and more intelligible, we shall give the fol­

lowing illustration taken from the Rule of Three. Some one· has just heard i t said that if, in the Rule of Three, the second num­

ber is multipl ied by the third, and then divided by the first, a fourth number will then be obtained which has the same relation to the third as the second has to the first And notwithstanding the possibil ity that he who put this before h im might have been lying, he still made his calculations accordingly, and he did so without having acquired any more knowledge of the Rule of Three than a bl ind man has of colour, so that whatever he may have said about it, he simply repeated as a par­ rot repeats what it has been taught.

Another,S having a more active in telligence, is not so easily satisfied with mere hearsay, but tests i t by some actual calculations, and when he finds that they agree

Z The modes of which Man consists are ideas, differentiated as OptnlOn, true Belief, and clear and dIStinct Knowledge, produced by obJ ects, each In Its own way.

'3 These ideas of thIS Behef are put first on page 63; here and there they are also called Opinion. which they really are.

4 TIllS one merely forrns an opmton, or, as IS commonlysatd, believes through hearsay only. [8 omits thIS note.]

5 This one thmks or believes not Simply through hearsay, but from expenence. and these are the two kmds ofpeople who have [mere] opinions. [8 orruts thIS note 1

Part II, Chapter II 63

with it, then he gives credence to it. But we have rightly said that th is one also is subject to error; for how can he possibly be sure that h is experience of a few par­ ticulars can serve him as a rule for all?

A third,6 who is not satisfied with hearsay, because it may deceive, nor with ex­ perience of a few particulars, because this cannot possibly serve as a rule, exam­ ines i t in the l ight of true Reason, which, when properly appl ied, has never deceived. This then tells him that on account of the nature of the proportion in these numbers it had to be so, and could not happen otherwise.

A fourth? however, having the clearest knowledge of all, has no need of hearsay, or experience, or the art of reasoning, because by his penetration he sees the proportion in all such calculations immediately.

CHAPTER II

What Opinion, Belief, and Clear Knowledge Are

We come now to the consideration of the effects of the different grades of know 1- edge, of which we spoke in the preceding chapter, and, in passing as it were, we shall explain what Opinion, Belief, and clear Knowledge are.

The first [kind of know led gel , then, we call Opinion, the second Belie{, but the third is what we call clear Knowledge.

We call it Opinion because it is subject to error, and has no place when we are sure of anything, but only in those cases when we are said to guess and to surmise. The second we call Belief, because the things we apprehend only with our reason are not seen by us, but are only known to us through the conviction of our un­ derstanding that it must be so and not otherwise. But we call that clear Knowledge which comes, not from our being convinced by reasons, but from our feel ing and enjoying the thing itself, and it surpasses the others by fur.

After these prel iminary remarks let us now turn to their effects. Of these we say this, namely, that from the first proceed all the "passions" which are opposed to good reason; from the second, the good desires; and from the third, true and sin­ cere Love, with all its offshoots.

We thus maintain that Knowledge is the proximate cause of all the "passions' in the soul . For we consider it once for all impossible that any one, who neither thinks nor knows in any of the preceding ways and modes, should be capable of being incited to Love or Desire or any other mode of Will .

6 TIllS one IS certam through true belief, which can never deceive him, and he IS properly called a believer.

7 But this last one is never [merely] of OpIniOn, nor a [mere] belIever, but sees the thmgs themselves, not through somethmg else, but through the thmgs themselves

64 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

CHAPTER III

The Origin of Passion. Passion Due to Opinion

Here, then, let us see how, as we have said, the passions derive their origin from opinion. To do th is well and intelligently we shall take some special ones, and prove what we say by using these as illustrations.

Let Surprise, then, be the first. This is found in one who knows a thing after the first manner [of Knowledge] ; for, since from a few particulars he draws a con­ clusion which is general, he stands surprised whenever he sees anything that goes against his conclusion;8 l ike one who, having never seen any sheep except with short tails, is surprised at the sheep from Morocco wh ich have long ones. So it is related of a peasant that he had persuaded h imself that beyond h is fields there were no others, but when he happened to miss a cow, and was compelled to go and look for her fur away, he was surprised at the great number of fields that there were beyond h is few acres. And, to be sure, th is must also be the case with many Philosophers who have persuaded themselves that beyond th is field or l ittle globe, on which they are, there are no more [worlds] (because they have seen no others). But surprise is never fel t by him who draws true inferences. This is the first.

The second is Love." Since this arises either from true ideas, or from opinion, or, lastly, from hearsay only, we shall see first how [ i t arises] from opinion, then

8 11us should on no account be taken to mean that a formal mference rrrust always precede aston­ ishment; on the contrary. It eXIsts also Without that, namely, when we tacitly believe that a thmg IS [always] so, and not different from what we are accustomed to see d, hear or think about it, etc. For example, Anstotle says, a dog IS a barking animal, therefore he concludes, whatever barks is a dog, but when a peasant says a dog, he means tacitly lust the same that Anstotle did wdh his deftndion So that when the peasant hears the barktng he says, a dog, and so, If they had heard some other kmd of antmal bark, the peasant, who had drawn no [explicit] mference, would stand just as astontshed as ArIstotle, who had drawn an mference Furthermore, when we become aware of somethmg about which we had never thought before, It IS not really such the like of WhiCh, whether as a whole or m part, we have not known before, only d IS not so constituted m all respects, or we have never been affected by It 10 the same way, etc

a [The substance of the next three paragraphs IS given m the following Simpler order 10 B . The second IS Love. Thls anses either, 1 , from hearsay, or 2, from opmlOn, or 3 , from true ideas. As regards the fust, we generally observe It m the attitude of children to their father. because

their father tells them this or that IS good they mchne towards d, without knowmg anythmg more about it. We see It also m those who, from Love. gIVe their lives for the Fatherland, and also in those who from hearsay about something fall m love With d.

As regards the second, It IS certam that whenever any one sees, or thinks he sees, somethmg good, he IS always mclmed to UDite himself With It, and, for the sake of the good which he discerns therein, he chooses It as the best, outside which he then knows nothmg better or more agreeable Yet If ever It happens (as It mostly does happen 10 these thmgs) that he gets to know somethmg bet-

Part II, Chapter III 65

how [it arises] from [ true] ideas; for the first tends to our ruin, and the second to our supreme happiness; and then [we shall see how it arises] from the last.

A:; regards the first, it is certa in that whenever any one sees, or thinks he sees, something good, he is always inclined to unite h imself with it, and, for the sake of the good which he discerns therein, he chooses i t as the best, outside which he then knows nothing better or more agreeable. Yet if ever it happens (as it mostly does happen in these things) that he gets to know something better than this good at present known to him, then his love changes immediately from the one (first) to the other (second). All this we shall show more clearly when we treat of the freedom of man.

A:; to love from true ideas,9 since this is not the place to speak of it, we shall pass it over now, and speak of the third, and last, namely, the Love that comes from hearsay only. This we generally observe in the attitude of ch ildren to their father: because their father tells them that this or that is good they incl ine towards i� without knowing anything more about it. We see it also in those who from Love give their lives for the Fatherland, and also in those who from hearsay about some­ thing fall in love with it.

Next, Hatred, the exact opposite oflove, arises from error which is the outcome of opinion. For when some one has come to the conclusion that a certain thing is good, and another happens to do something to the detriment of the same th ing, then there arises in him a hatred against the one who did it, and this, as we shall explain afterwards, could never happen if the true good were known . For, in com­ parison with the true good, all indeed that is, or is conceived, is naught but wretchedness itself; and is not such a lover of what is wretched much more de­ serving of pity than of hatred?

Hatred, lastly, comes also from mere hearsay, as we see it in the Turks against Jews and Christians, in the Jews against the Turks and Christians, in the Chris­ tians against the Jews and Turks, etc. For, among all these, how ignorant is the one mul titude of the religion and morals of the others !

Desire. Whether (as some will have it) it consists only in a longing or incl ina­ tion to obtain what is wanting, or (as others will have itlO) to retain the thing. which we already enjoy, it is certa in that it cannot be found to have come upon any one except for an apparent good [sub specie boni] . It is therefore clear that De­ sire, as also Love wh ich we have already discussed, is the outcome of the first kind of knowledge. For if any one has heard that a certa in th ing is good, he feels a long­ ing and incl ination for the same, as may be seen in the case of an invalid who,

ter than this good at present known to hlln, then hIS love changes immediately from the one (fust) to the other (second) All thIS we shall show more clearly when we treat of the freedom of man

As to love from true Ideas, as this IS not the place to speak of it, we shall pass It over for the pres­ ent. [See note 9 below. ]

9 Love that comes from true ideas or clear knowledge IS not considered here, as it IS not the outcome of opinion; see, however, chapter xxii about It.

10 The rust defmthon IS the best, because when the thmg IS enJoyed the desire ceases, the form [of conscIOusness] which then prompts us to retam the thing IS not desire, but a fear of losmg the thing loved.

66 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

through hearing the doctor say that such or such a remedy is good for his ailment, at once longs for the same, and feels a desire for it.

Desire arises also from experience, as may be seen in the practice of doctors, who when they have found a certain remedy good several times are wont to re­ gard it as something unfailing.

All that we have just said of these, the same we can say of all other passions, as is clear to everyone. And as, in what follows, we shall begin to inquire which of them are rational, and which of them are irrational, we shalI leave the subject now, and say no more about it.

What has now been said of these few though most important [passions] can also be said of all others; and with this we conclude the subject of the Passions which arise from Opinion.

CHAPTER IV

What Comes from Belief; and on the Good and Evil of Man

Since we have shown in the preceding chapter how the Passions arise from the error of Opinion, let us now see here the effects of the two other modes of Know­ ing. And first of all, [the effect] of what we have called True Bel ief. I I

This shows us, indeed, what a th ing ought to be, but not what it really is. And this is the reason why it can never unite us with the object of our bel ief I say, then, that i t only teaches us what the thing ought to be, and not what i t is; be­ tween these two there is a great difference. For, as we remarked ii propos of the example taken from the rule of three, when any one can, by the aid of propor­ tion, find a fourth number that shall be related to the third as the second is to the first, then (having used division and multiplication) he can say that the four numbers must be proportional ; and although that is so, he speaks of it nonethe­ less as of a thing that is beyond him. But when he comes to see the proportion in the way which we have shown in the fourth example, then he says with truth that the thing is so, because then it is in him and not beyond him. Let this suf­ fice as regards the first [effect].

1 1 Behef ts 3 strong proof based on Reasons, whereby I am convmced in my rrund that the thmg ts re­ ally, and Just such, outside my understandmg, as I am convinced In my rrund that It IS. I say, a strong proofbased on Reasons, in order thereby to distinguISh It both from OplntOn, which ts always doubt­ ful and hable to error, and from Knowledge which does not consISt In bemg convlDced by Rea­ sons, but in an Immediate union wdh the thtng itself. I say, that the thing is really and just such outside my understanding-really, because reasons cannot deceive me in thIS, for otherwise they would not be different from opinIOn lust such, for It can only tell me what the thmg ought to be, and not what It really is, otherwise It would not be different from Knowmg Outside, for it makes us enJoy mtellectually not what IS m us, but what IS outside us

Part II, Chapter IV 67

The second effect of true bel ief is that it brings us to a clearer understanding, through which we love God, and thus it makes us intellectually aware of the things which are not in us, but outside us.

The third effect is, that it gives us the knowledge of good and evil, and shows us all the passions which should be suppressed. And as we have already said that the passions which come from opinion are l iable to great evil, it is worth the pains to see how these also are sifted out by this second kind of knowledge, so that we may see what is good and what is bad in them.

To do so conveniently, let us, using the same method as before, look at them closely, so that we may know through it wh ich of them should be chosen and which rejected . But, before proceeding to this, let us first state briefly what is the good and evil of man.

We have already said before that all things are necessarily what they are, and that in Nature there is no good and no evil. So that whatever we want man to be [in this respect] must refer to his kind, which is nothing else than a thing of Rea­ son. And when we have conceived in our mind an Idea of a perfect man, it should make us look (when we examine ourselves) to see whether we have any means of attaining to such perfection .

Hence, then, whatever advances us towards perfection, we call good, and, on the contrary, what hinders, or also what does not advance us towards it, bad.

I must therefore, I say, conceive a perfect man, if[ want to assert anything con­ cerning the good and evil of man, because if I were to consider the good and evil of some individual man, say, e.g., of Adam, I should be confusing a real thing (ens reale) with a th ing of Reason (ens Rationis), which must be most scrupulously avoided by an upright Philosopher, for reasons which we shall state in the sequel, or on another occasion. Furthermore, since the destiny of Adam, or of any other individual creature, is not known to us except through the result, so it follows that what we can say even of the destiny of man must be based on the idea which our understanding forms ofa perfect man, 1 2 which destiny, since it is a thing of Rea­ son, we may well know; so also, as already remarked, are good and evil, which are only modes of thinking.

To come gradually to the point: We have already pointed out before how the movement, passions, and activities of the soul arise from ideas, and these ideas we have divided into four kinds, namely, [according as they are based on] mere hearsay, experience, belief, clear knowledge. And from what we have now seen of the effects of all these, it is evident that the fourth, namely, clear knowledge, is the most perfect of all. For opinion often leads us into error. True belief is good only because it is the way to true knowledge, and awakens us to things which are really lovable. So that the final end that we seek, and the highest that we know, is true knowledge. But even this true knowledge varies with the objects that come before it: the better the object is with which it happens to unite itself, so much the bet-

1 2 For from no mdlvidual creature can one derive an Idea that IS perfect; for the perfectIOn of thlS ob­ Ject Itself, [that 1S,J whether It IS really perfect or not, cannot be deduced except from a general per­ fect Idea, or Ens Rationis

68 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

ter also is this knowledge. And, for this reason, he is the most perfect man who is united with God (who is the most perfect being of all ) , and so enjoys him.

Now, in order to find out what is good and bad in the affects or passions, let us, as suggested, take them one by one. And first of all , Surprise. This, since it arises either from ignorance or prejudice, is an imperfection in the man who is subject to this perturbance. I say an imperfection, because, through itself, surprise does not lead to any evil.

CHAPTER V

On Love

Love, which is noth ing else than the enjoyment of a th ing and union therewith, we shall divide according to the qualities of its object, the object, that is, which man seeks to enjoy, and to unite himself with.

Now some objects are in themselves transient; others, indeed, are not transien t by virtue of their cause. There is yet a third that is eternal and imperishable through its own power and might.

The transient are all the particular things which did not exist from all time, or have had a beginning.

The others are all those modesb wh ich we have stated to be the cause of the particular modes.

But the th ird is God, or, what we regard as one and the same, Truth. Love, then, arises from the idea and knowledge that we have of a thing; and ac­

cording as the thing shows itself greater and more gloriOUS, so also is our love greater. In two ways i t is possible to free ourselves from love: either by getting to know

something better, or by discovering that the loved object, which is held by us to be something great and glorious, brings in its train much woe and disaster.

I t is also characteristic of love that we never think of emancipating ourselves from it (as from surprise and other passions); and this for the following two rea­ sons: ( I ) because it is impossible, (2) because it is necessary that we should not be released from the same.

I t is impossible because it does not depend on us, but only on the good and use­ ful which we discern in the object; it is necessary that these should never have be­ come known to us, if we would not or should not love it, and this is not a matter of our free choice, or dependent on us, for if we knew nothing, i t is certain that we should also be nothing.

It is necessary that we should not be released from it, because, owing to the weakness of our nature, we could not exist without enjoying something with which we become united, and from which we draw strength.

b [B: the general modes J

Part II, Chapter V 69

Now which of these three kinds of objects are we to choose or to reject? As regards the traTlllient (since, as remarked, we must, owing to the weakness

of our nature, necessarily love someth ing and become united with it in order to exist) , it is certa in that our nature becomes nowise strengthened through our lov­ ing, and becoming united with , these, for they are weak themselves, and the one cripple cannot carry the other. And not only do they not advance us, but they are even harmful to us. For we have said that love is a union with the ob;ect which OUT understanding ;udges to be good and glorious; and by this we mean such a union whereby both the lover and what is loved become one and the same thing, or to­ gether constitute one whole. He, therefore, is indeed always wretched who is united to transient things. For, since these are beyond his power, and subject to many accidents, it is impossible that, when they are affected, he should be free from these affects. And, consequently, we conclude: If those who love transient things that have some measure of reality are so wretched, how wretched must they be who love honour, riches, and pleasures, which have no reality whatever!

Let this suffice to show us how Reason teaches us to keep away from things so fleeting. For what we have just said shows us clearly the poison and the evil which lurk concealed in the love of these things. But we see this yet incomparably clearer when we observe from what glorious and excellent a good we are kept away through the enjoyment of this.

We said before that the things which are transient are beyond our power. But let us be well understood; we do not mean to say that we are a free cause de­ pending upon nothing else; only when we say that some things are in, others be­ yond our power, we mean by those that are in our power such as we can produce through the order of or together with Nature, of which we are a part; by those which are not in our power, such as, being outside us, are not liable to suffer any change through us, because they are very fur removed from our real essence as thus fashioned by Nature.

To proceed, we come now to the second kind of objects, which though eter­ nal and imperishable, are not such through their own power. However, if we in­ stitute a brief inquiry here, we become immediately aware that these are only mere modes which depend immediately on God. And since the nature of these is such, they cannot be conceived by us unless we, at the same time, have a con­ ception of God. In this, since he is perfect, our Love must necessarily rest. And, to express it in a word, if we use our understanding aright it will be impossible for us not to love God.

The Reasons why, are clear. First of all, because we find that God alone has essence only, and all other things are not essences but modes. And since the modes cannot be rightly understood without the entity on which they immedi­ ately depend; and [as] we have already shown before that if, when loving some­ thing, we get to know a better thing than that which we then love, we always prefer i t immediately, and forsake the first; it follows, therefore, incontrovertibly that when we get to know God, who has all perfection in h imself, we must nec­ essarily love him.

70 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

Secondly, if we use our understanding well in acquiring a knowledge of things, then we must know them in [relation to] their causes. Now then, since God is a first cause of all other things, therefore, from the nature of the case (ex rerum natura), the knowledge of God is, and remains, before the knowledge of all other things: be­ cause the knowledge of all other things must follow from the knowledge of the first cause. And true love results always from the knowledge that the thing is glorious and good. What else, then, can follow but that it can be lavished upon no one more ardently than upon the Lord our God? For he alone is glorious, and a perfect good.

So we see now, how we can make love strong, and also how it must rest only in God.

What more we had still to say about love, we shall bear in mind to say it when we consider the last kind of knowledge. In what follows here we shall inquire, as we promised before, as to which of the passions we are to enterta in, which we are to reject.

CHAPTER VI

On Hatred

Hatred is an inclination to ward off from us that which has caused us some harm. Now it is to be remarked that we perform our actions in two ways, namely, either with or without passion. With passion, as is commonly seen in the [conduct of] masters towards their servants who have done something amiss. Without passion, as is related of Socrates, who, when he was compelled to chastise his slave for [ the latter's own] good, never did so when he felt that he was enraged against his slave.

Now that we see that our actions are performed by us either with, or without passion, we think that it is clear that those things which hinder or have h indered us can be removed, when necessary, without any perturbation on our part. And so, wh ich is better: that we should flee from the things with aversion and hatred, or that, with the strength of reason, we should (for we think it possible) endure them without loss of temper? First of all , it is certain that when we do what we have to do without passion, then no evil can result therefrom. And, since there is no mean between good and evil, we see that, as it is bad to do anything in a pas­ sion, so it must be good to act without it.

But let us examine whether there is any harm in fleeing from things with ha­ tred and aversion.

As regards the hatred which comes from opinion, i t is certain that it should have no place in us, because we know that one and the same thing is good for us at one time, bad for us at another time, as is always the case with medicinal herbs.

It therefore depends, in the end, on whether the hatred arises in us only through opinion, and not also through true reasoning. But to ascertain this prop­ erly we deem it right to explain distinctly what hatred is, and to distinguish it from aversion.

Part II, Chapter VII 7 1

Now I say that Hatred i s a perturbation o f the soul against some one who has done some ill to us willingly and knowingly. But aversion is the perturbation which arises in us against a thing on account of some infirmity or injury which we either know or think is in it by nature. I say, by nature; for when we do not sup­ pose or think that it is so, then, even if we have suffered some hindrance or injury from it, we have no aversion for it, because we may, on the contrary, expect some­ thing useful from it. Thus, when someone is hurt by a stone or a knife, he does not on that account feel any aversion for the same.

After these observations let us now briefly consider the consequences of both of them. From hatred there ensues sorrow; and when the hatred is great, it produces anger, which not only, l ike hatred, seeks to flee from what is hated, but also to an­ nihilate it, when that is practicable: from this great hatred comes also envy. Butfrom aversion there comes a certain sorrow, because we consider ourselves to be deprived of something which, since it is real, must always have its essence and perfection.

From what has just been said i t may be easily understood that, if we use our Reason aright, we can feel no hatred or aversion for anything, because, if we do, we deprive ourselves of that perfection which is to be found in everyth ing. We see l ikewise with our Reason that we can never [ reasonably 1 feel any hatred what­ ever against anybody, because whatsoever exists in Nature, if we entertain any wish about it, then we must always improve it, whether for our sake or for the sake of the thing itself. And since a perfect man is the best thing for us that we know of all that we have around us or before our eyes, it is by far the best both for us and for all people individually that we should at all times seek to educate them to this perfect state. For only then can we reap the greatest benefit from them, and they from us. The means thereto is, to give regard to them always in the manner in which we are constan tly taught and exhorted to do by our good Conscience; for this never prompts us to our undoing, but always to our happi­ ness and well-being.

In conclusion, we say that Hatred and Aversion have in them as many imper­ fections as Love, on the contrary, has perfections. For this always produces im­ provemen� invigoration, and enlargement, which constitute perfection ; while Hatred, on the contrary, always makes for desolation, enervation, and annih ila­ tion, which constitute imperfection itself.

CHAPTER VII

On Joy and SorroW"

Having seen that Hatred and Surprised are such that we may freely say, that they can have no place in those who use their understanding as they should, we shall

C [B. On Desire and Joy J d [B · Hatred and AversIOn 1

72 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

now proceed in the same manner to speak of the other passions. To begin with, Desire and Joy shall come first. Since these arise from the same causes from which love ensues, we shall only say concerning them that we must remember and call to mind what we then said; and with this we leave the subject.

We turn next to Sorrow, of which we may say that it arises only from opinion and imagination which follows therefrom: for it comes from the loss of some good.

Now we have already remarked above, that whatsoever we do should tend to­ wards progress and amelioration. But it is certain that so long as we are sorrowing we render ourselves unfit to act thus; on this account it is necessary that we should free ourselves from it. Th is we can do by th inking of the means whereby we may recover what we have lost, if i t is in our power to do so. If not, [we must reflect] that it is just as necessary to make an end of it, lest we fall a prey to all the miseries and disasters which sorrow necessarily brings in its train. And either course must be adopted with joy; for it is foolish to try to restore and make good a lost good by means of a self-sought and provoked evil.

Lastly, he who uses his understanding aright must necessarily know God first. Now God, as we have shown, is the highest good and all that is good. Hence it fol­ lows incontrovertibly, that one who uses his understanding aright can fall a prey to no sorrow. How should he? Since he finds repose in that good which is all that is good, and in which there is the fulness of all joy and contentment.e

Sorrow, then, comes from opinion or want of understanding, as explained.

CHAPTER VIII

On Esteem and Contempt, Etc.

We shall now proceed to speak of Esteem and Contempt, of Self-respect and Hu­ mil ity, of Conceit and Culpable Humility. We shall take them in the above order, and try to distinguish accurately what is good and what is bad in them.

Esteem and Contempt are fel t insofar as we know a thing to be something great or small, be this great or l ittle thing in us or outside us.

Self-respect does not extend [to anything] outside us, and is only attributed to one who knows the real worth of his perfection, dispassionately and without seek­ ing esteem for himself

Humility is fel t when anyone knows his own imperfection , without regard to the contempt [of others] for h imself, so that Humility does not refer to anything outside the humble man.

Conceit is th is, when someone attributes to himself a perfection which is not to be found in him .

., [8 abridges the paragraph as follows· Lastly, he who uses hiS understanding anght rrrust necessarily know that God IS the first and the htghest; and rest In him as thiS supreme good: whence It follows that, since he fmds therem all ,oy and full contentment, no sorrow can befall him 1

Part II, Chapter IX 73

Culpable humil ity is this, when some one attributes to himself an imperfec­ tion wh ich he has not. I am not speaking of those hypocrites who, without mean­ ing it, humble themselves in order to deceive others; but only of those who really think they have the imperfections which they attribute to themselves.

From these observations i t is sufficiently evident what good and evil there is in each of these passions. For, as regards Self-respect and Humil i ty, these show their excellence through themselves. For we say that the possessor thereof knows h is perfection and imperfection for what it is. And this, according to what Reason teaches us, is the most important th ing for the attainment of our perfection. Be­ cause if we know exactly our powers and perfection, we see thereby clearly what i t is we have to do in order to attain our good end. And, on the other hand, if we know our fault and frailty, then we know what we have to avoid.

As regards Conceit and Culpable Humil ity, the definition of them already shows sufficiently that they arise from a certa in opinion; for we said that it [con­ ceit] is attributed to one who ascribes to h imself a certa in perfection, although he does not possess it, and culpable humil ity is the precise opposite.

From what has just been said i t is evident, then, that just as Self-respect and True Humility are good and salutary, so, on the contrary, Conceit and Culpable Hu­ mility are bad and pernicious. For those [Self-respect and True Humility] not only put their possessor into a very good attitude, but are also, besides, the right ladder by which we may rise to supreme bl iss. But these [Conceit and Culpable Humil­ ity] not only prevent us from attaining to our perfection, but also lead us to utter ruin. Culpable Humility is what prevents us from doing that which we should oth­ erwise have to do in order to become perfect; we see this, for instance, in the case of the Sceptics, who, just because they deny that man can attain to any truth, de­ prive themselves thereof through this very denial . Conceit on the other hand is what makes us undertake things which tend straight to our ruin; as is seen in the case of all those who had the conceit, and have the conceit, that they stood, and stand, wondrously well in the opinion of God, and consequently brave fire and wa­ ter, and thus, avoiding no danger, and filCing every risk, they die most miserably.

As regards Esteem and Contempt, there is no more to be said about them, we have only to recall to memory what we said before about Love.

CHAPTER IX

On Hope and Fear, Etc .

We shall now begin to speak of Hope and Fear, of Confidence , Despair, and Vac­ illation, of Courage, Boldness and Emulation, of Pusillanimity and Timidity, and lastly of Jealousy, and, as is our wont, we shall take them one by one, and then in­ dicate which of these can h inder us, and which can profit us. We shall be able to do all this very easily, if only we attend closely to the thoughts that we can have about a thing that is yet to come, be it good, be it bad.

74 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

The ideas which we have about things have reference either

I. To the things themselves; or, 2 . To the person who has the ideas.

The ideas that we have as regards the thing itself are these, either the thing is re­ garded by us as accidental, that is as something which may come or may not come, or [we think] that it necessarily must come. So much as regards the thing itself.

Next, as regards him who th inks about the thing, the case is th is: he must do something either in order to advance the thing, or in order to prevent it. Now from these thoughts all these passions result as follows: when we think that a certain thing which is yet to come is good and that it can happen, the soul assumes, in consequence of this, that form which we call hope, wh ich is nothing else than a certain kind of joy, though mingled with some sorrow.

And, on the other hand, if we judge that that which may be coming is bad, then that form enters into our soul which we call fear.

If, however, the thing is regarded by us as good, and, at the same time, as some­ thing that necessarily must come, then there comes into the soul that repose which we call confidence; which is a certain joy not mingled with sorrow, as hope is.

But when we think that the thing is bad, and that i t necessarily must come, then despair enters into the soul; which is noth ing else than a certain kind of sorrow.

So fur we have spoken of the passions considered in this chapter, and given pos­ itive definitions of the same, and have thus stated what each of them is; we may now proceed in a converse manner, and define them negatively. We hope that the evil may not come, we fear lest the good should not come, we are confident that the evil will not come, we despair because the good will not come.

Having said this much about the passions insofar as they arise from our thoughts concerning the thing itself, we have now to speak of those which arise from the thoughts relating to him who thinks about the thing; namely:

If something rnust be done in order to bring the thing about, and we come to no decision concerning it, then the soul receives that form which we call vacilla­ tion. But when it makes a manly resolve to produce the thing, and this can be brought about, then that is called courage; and if the thing is difficult to efiect, then that is called intrepidity or bravery.

When, however, sorne one decides to do a thing because another (who had done it first) has met with success, then we call it emulation. Lastly, if any one knows what he must decide to do in order to advance a good thing, and to h inder a bad one, and yet does not do so, then we call it pusillanimity; and when the same is very great, we call it timidity. Lastly, iealousness or ialousie is the anxiety which we feel that we rnay have the sole enjoyrnent and possession of something already acquired.

Since we know now whence these passions originate, it will be very easy for us to show which of them are good, and wh ich are bad.

As regards Hope, Fear, Confidence, Despair, and Jealousy, it is certain that they arise from a wrong opinion. For, as we have already shown above, a l l things

PartII, Chapter X 75

have their necessary causes, and must necessarily happen just as they do happen. And although Confidence and Despa ir seem to have a place in the inviolable or­ der and sequence of causes or to confirm the same, yet (when the truth of the mat­ ter is rightly looked into) that is far from being the case. For Confidence and De­ spair never arise, unless Hope and Fear (from which they derive their being) have preceded them. For example, if any one thinks that something, for which he still has to wait, is good, then he receives that form in his soul which we call Hope; and when he is confident about the acquisition of the supposed good, h is soul gains that repose which we call Confidence. What we are now saying about Con­ fidence, the same must also be sa id about Despair. Bu� according to that which we have said about Love, th is also can have no place in a perfect man: because they presuppose things which, owing to the mutabil ity to which they are subject (as remarked in our account of Love), we must not become attached to; nor (as shown in our account of Hatred) may we even have an aversion to them. The man, however, who persists in these passions is at all times subject to such at­ tachment and aversion.

As regards Vacillation, Pusillanimity, and Timidity, these betray their imper­ fection through their very character and nature: for whatsoever they do to our ad­ vantage comes only negatively from the effects of their nature. For example, some one hopes for something which he thinks is good, although it is not good, yet, ow­ ing to h is Vacillation or Pusillanimity, he happens to lack the courage necessary for its real isation, and so it comes about that he is negatively or by accident saved from the evil which he thought was good. These Passions, therefore, can also have no place whatever in the man who is gu ided by true Reason.

lastly, as regards Courage, Boldness, and Emulation, about these there is noth­ ing else to be said than that which we have already said about Love and Hatred.

CHAPTER X

On Remorse and Repentance

On the present occasion we shall speak, though briefly, about remorse and repen­ tance. These never arise except as the result of rashness; because remorse comes only from this, that we do something about which we are then in doubt whether i t is good, or whether it is bad; and repentance, from this, that we have done some­ thing which is bad.

And since many people (who use their understanding aright) sometimes (be­ cause they lack that habitual readiness which is required in order that the under­ standing may at all times be used aright) go astray, it might perchance be thought that such Remorse and Repentance might soon set them right again, and thence it might be inferred, as the whole world does infer, that they are good. If, however, we will get a proper insight into them, we shall find that they are not only not good, but that they are, on the contrary, pernicious, and that they are consequently

76 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

bad. For it is obvious that we always succeed better through Reason and the love of truth than through remorse and sorrow. They are, therefore, pernicious and bad, because they are a certa in kind of sorrow, which [sorrow] we have already shown above to be injurious, and which, for that reason, we must try to avert as an evil, and consequently we must l ikewise shun and flee from these also, which are l ike it.

CHAPTER XI

On Derision and Jesting

Derision and jesting rest on a false opinion, and betray an imperfection in him who derides and jests.

The opinion on which they rest is false, because it is supposed that he who is derided is the first cause of the effects which he produces, and that they do not necessarily (l ike the other things in Nature) depend on God. They betray an im­ perfection in the Derider; because either that which is derided is such that it is derisible, or it is not such. If it is not such, then it shows bad manners, to deride that which is not to be derided; if it is such, then they [who deride it] show thereby that they recognise some imperfection in that which they deride, which they ought to remedy, not by derision, but much rather by good reasoning.

Laughter does not refer to another, but only to the man who observes some good in himself; and since it is a certain kind of Joy, there is nothing else to be said about it than what has already been said about Joy. I speak of such laughter as is caused by a certain Idea which provokes one to it, and notat all of such laugh­ ter as is caused by the movement of the [vital ] spirits; as to th is (since it has no ref­ erence to good or to evil) we had no intention to speak of it here.

As to Envy, Anger, Indignation, we shall say nothing about them here, but only just refer back to what we have already said above concerning hatred .

C HAPTER XII

On Glory, Shame, and Shamelessness

We shall now also briefly consider glory, shame, and shamelessness. The first is a certain kind of Joy which every one feels in himself whenever he becomes aware that his conduct is esteemed and praised by others, without regard to any other advantage or profit which they may have in view.

Shame is a certa in kind of sorrow which arises in one when he happens to see that his conduct is despised by others, without regard to any other disadvantage or injury that they may have in view.

Part II, Chapter XIII 77

Shamelessness is nothing else than a want, or shaking off, of shame, not through Reason, but either from innocence of shame, as is the case with ch ildren , savage people, etc. , or because, having been held in great contempt, one goes now to any length without regard for anything.

Now that we know these passions, we also know, at the same time, the vanity and imperfection which they have in them. For Glory and Shame are not only of no advantage, because of what we have observed in their definitions, but also (inasmuch as they are based on self-love, and on the opinion that man is the first cause of his action, and therefore deserving of praise and blame) they are perni­ cious and must be rejected.

I will not, however, say that one ought to l ive among men in the same way that one would live away from them, where Glory and Shame have no place; quite the contrary, I admit that we are not only free to utilise them, when we apply them in the service of mankind and for their amelioration, but that we may even do so at the price of curtailing our own (otherwise perfect and legitimate) freedom. For example: if any one wears costly clothes in order to be respected, he seeks a Glory which results from his self-love without any consideration for his fellow-men; but when some one observes that h is wisdom (wherewith he can be of service to h is neighbours) is despised and trampled under foot simply because he is dressed in shabby clothes, then he will do well if (from the motive to help them) he provides himself with clothes to which they cannot take exception, thereby becoming l ike his fellow-man in order that he may win over his fellow-man.

Further, as regards Shamelessness, th is shows itself to be such that in order to see its deformity all that we need is merely its definition, and that will be enough for us.

CHAPTER XIII

On Favour, Gratitude, and Ingratitude

Now follows [ the consideration] of favour, gratitude, and ingratitude. As regards the first two, they are the inclinations which the soul has to wish and to do some good to one's neighbour. I say, to wish, [ this happens] when good is returned to one who has done some good; I say, to do, [ this is the case] when we ourselves have obtained or received some good.

I am well aware that almost all people consider these affects to be good; but, notwithstanding this, I venture to say that they can have no place in a perfect man. For a perfect man is moved to help his fellow-man by sheer necessity only, and by no other cause, and therefore he feels it all the more to be his duty to help the most godless, seeing that his misery and need are so much greater.

Ingratitude is a disregard or shaking off of Gratitude, as Shamelessness is of Shame, and that without any rational ground, but solely as the result either of greed or of immoderate self-love; and that is why it can have no place in a perfect man.

78 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

CHAPTER XIV

On Grief

Grief shall be the last of which we shall speak in our treatment of the passions, and with it we will conclude. Now grief is a certa in kind of sorrow arising from the contemplation of some good which we have lost, and [lost] in such a way that there is no hope of recovering the same. It makes its imperfection so manifest that as soon as we only examine i t we think it bad. For we have already shown above that it is bad to bind and link ourselves to things which may easily, or at some time, fail us, and which we cannot have when we want them. And since i t is a certain kind of sorrow, we have to shun i t, as we have already remarked above, when we were treating of sorrow.

I th ink, now, that I have already shown and proved sufficiently that it is only True Belief or Reason that leads us to the knowledge of good and evil. And so when we come to prove that Knowledge is the first and principal cause' of all these passions, it will be clearly manifest that if we use our understanding and Reason aright, it should be impossible for us ever to fall a prey to one of these passions which we ought to reject. I say our Understanding, because I do not think that Reason alone is competent to free us from all these: as we shall afterwards show in its proper place.

We must, however, note here as an excellent th ing about the passions, that we see and find that all the passions which are good are of such kind and nature that we cannot be or exist without them, and that they belong, as it were, to our essence; such is the case with Love, Desire, and all that pertains to love.

But the case is altogether different with those which are bad and must be rejected by us; seeing that we cannot only exist very well without these, but even that only then, when we have freed ourselves from them, are we really what we ought to be.

To give still greater clearness to all this, i t is useful to note that the foundation of all good and evil is Love bestowed on a certain ob;ect: for if we do not love that object which (nota bene) alone is worthy of being loved, namely, God, as we have said before, but things which through their very character and nature are tran­ s ient, then (since the object is l iable to so many accidents, ay, even to annih ila­ tion) there necessarily results hatred, sorrow, etc . , according to the changes in the object loved . Hatred, when any one deprives him of what he loves. Sorrow, when he happens to lose i t. Glory, when he leans on self-love. Favour and Gratitude, when he does not love his fellow-man for the sake of God.

But, in contrast with all these, when man comes to love God who always

r [B omitted "'cause," but the word seems to have been tDserted recently- perhaps by Van Vlotent as a marginal pencil note suggests. J

Part II, Chapter XV 79

is and remains immutable, then it is impossible for him to fall into th is welter of passions. And for this reason we state it as a fixed and immovable principle that God is the first and only cause of all our good and delivers us from all our evil.

Hence it is also to be noted lastly, that only Love, etc . , are limitless: namely, that as it increases more and more, so also i t grows more excellent, because it is bestowed on an object which is infinite, and can therefore always go on increas­ ing, which can happen in the case of no other thing except this alone. And, maybe, th is will afterwards give us the material from which we shall prove the im­ mortal ity of the soul , and how or in what way this is possible.'

Having so far considered all that the third kind of effect of true belief makes known we shall now proceed to speak, in what follows, of the fourth, and last, ef­ fect which was not stated by us on page 67.

CHAPTER XV

On the True and the False

Let us now examine the true and the false, which indicate to us the fourth, and last, consequence of true bel ief. Now, in order to do this, we shall first state the definitions of Truth and Falsity. Truth is an affirmation (or a denial) made about a certain thing, which agrees with that same thing; and FalSity is an affirmation (or a denial) about a thing, which does not agree with the thing itself. But this be­ ing so, it may appear that there is no difference between the false and the true Idea, or, since the [affirmation or] denial of this or that are mere modes of thought, and [ the true and the false Idea] differ in no other way except that the one agrees with the thing, and the other does not, that they are therefore, not really, but only logically different; and if this should be so, one may justly ask, what advantage has the one from his Truth, and what harm does the other incur through his falsity? And how shall the one know that his conception or Idea agrees with the thing more than the other does? Lastly, whence does i t come that the one errs, and the other does not?

To this it may, in the first place, serve as an answer that the clearest things of all make known both themselves and also what is false, in such a manner that it would be a great folly to ask how we are to become aware of them: for, since they are said to be the clearest of all, there can never be any other clearness through which they might be made clear; it follows, therefore, that truth at once reveals it­ self and also what is false, because truth is made clear through truth , that is through itself, and through it also is falsity made clear; but falsity is never revealed

g [B : And thiS will give us the matenal from which we shall, In the twenty-thud chapter, make out a case for, and prove, the lmmortahty of the SouL]

80 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

and made manifest through itself. So that any one who is in possession of the truth cannot doubt that he possesses it, while one who is sunk in fulsity or in error can well suppose that he has got at the truth ; just as someone who is dreaming can well th ink that he is awake, but one who is actually awake can never th ink that he is dreaming.

These remarks also explain to some extent what we said about God being the Truth, or that the Truth is God himself

Now the reason why the one is more conscious of h is truth than the other is, is because the Idea of [his] affirmation (or denial) entirely agrees with the na­ ture of the th ing, and consequently has more essence. I t may help some to grasp this better if it be observed that Understanding (although the word does not sound l ike it) is a mere or pure pass ivity ; that is, that our soul is changed in such a way that it receives other modes of thought, which it did not have before. Now when someone, in consequence of the whole object having acted upon him, re­ ceives corresponding forms or modes of thought, then it is clear that he receives a totally different feel ing of the form or character of the object than does another who has not had so many causes [acting upon h im] , and is therefore moved to make an affirmation or denial about that thing by a different and slighter action (because he becomes aware of it only through a few, or the less important, of its attributes). From this, then, we see the perfection of one who takes his stand upon Truth, as contrasted with one who does not take his stand upon it. Since the one changes eas ily, while the other does not change easily, it follows there­ from that the one has more stabil ity and essence than the other has: l ikewise, since the modes of thought which agree with the th ing have had more causes [to produce them] they have also more stabil ity and essence in them: and, since they entirely agree with the th ing, it is impossible that they should after a time be made differen t or undergo some change, all the less so because we have al­ ready seen before that the essence of a th ing is unchangeable. Such is not the case with falSity. And with these remarks all the above questions will be suffi­ ciently answered.

CHAPTER XVI

On the Will

Now that we know the nature of Good and Evil , Truth and Falsity, and also wherein the well-being of a perfect man consists, i t is time to begin to examine ourselves, and to see whether we attain to such well-being voluntarily or of ne­ cessity.

To this end it is necessary to inquire what the Will is, according to those who posit a Will , and wherein it is different from Desire. Desire, we have said, is the inclination which the soul has towards something which i t chooses as a good; whence it follows that before our desire incl ines towards something outside, we

Part II, Chapter XVI 8 1

have already inwardly decided that such a thing i s good, and this affirmation, or, stated more generally, the power to affirm and to deny, is called the Will . 13

It thus turns on the question whether our Affirmations are made voluntarily or necessarily, that is, whether we can make any affirmation or denial about a thing without some external cause compelling us to do so. Now we have already shown that a thing which is not explainedh through itself, or whose existence does not pertain to its essence, must necessarily have an external cause; and that a cause which is to produce something must produce it necessarily; it must therefore also follow that each separate act of willing14 this or that, each separate act of affirm-

1 3 Now the Will, regarded as Affirmation or DeelSlOD IS different from true Behef and from Opinion. It dtffers from True Behef 10 this, that It extends also to that which IS not truly good. and this IS so because It lacks that conviction whereby It IS clearly seen that It cannot be otherwise; In the case of true behef there IS, and rrrust be, thIS convlchon, because from It none but good deSIres emanate.

But It also differs from Opinton to thiS, that It can sometimes be qUIte mfalltble and certatn; thiS is not the case With OpiniOn, which consISts In guessmg and supposmg.

So that we can call it Beher Insofar as It can proceed with certamty, and Opinion Insofar as It IS subJect to error.

h [B. which does not exut.] 1 4 It IS certam that each separate volition rrrust have an external cause through which It comes mto

being; for, seeing that eXistence does not pertam to Its essence, its eXistence rrrust necessanly be due to the eXistence of somethmg else

As to the view that the efficient cause thereof IS not an Idea but the human Will Itself, and that the Understandmg IS a cause without which the will can do nothing, so that the Will 10 Its unde­ termined form, and also the Understanding, are not thmgs of Reason, but real entities-so far as I am concerned, whenever I consIder them attentIvely they appear to be universals, and I can at­ tnbute no reahty to them. Even If It be so, however, sttil it rrrust be admttted that Wtlhng IS a mod­ Ification of the Will, and that the Ideas are a mode of the Understandmg, the Understandmg and the Will are therefore necessanly dIStinct, and really dIStinct substances, because [only] substance IS modified, and not the mode Itself. As the soul IS said to direct these two substances, It rrrust be a third substance. All these thmgs are so confused that It is Impossible to have a clear and distinct conception about them. For, since the Idea IS not 10 the Wtll, but 10 the Understandmg, and III consequence of the rule that the mode of one substance cannot pass over IOto the other substance, love cannot arISe 10 the wtll: because to Will something when there is no idea of that thing in the willing power mvolves self-contradIction If you say that the Will, owing to its union With the Un­ derstandIng, also becomes aware of that whICh the UnderstandIng understands, and thus also loves d, one may retort to thiS: but since awareness IS also an apprehension, it IS therefore also a mode of understanding; follOWing the above, however, this cannot be 1 0 the Will , even If Its union [With the Will] were like that of the soul and body. For suppose that the body is umted With the soul, as the philosophers generally maIntaIn, even so the body never feels, nor does the soul become extended.' When they say that the Soul dIrects both the Understandmg and the Will, thIS IS not only mcon­ celwble, but even self-contradictory, because by saymg so they seem to deny that the wIll iS free, WhiCh IS opposed to theu vlew. But, to conclude, I have no IOchnation to adduce all my objections agamst positing a created fmlte substance. I shall only show bnefly that the Freedom of the Will does not In any way accord With such an endunng creation, namely, that the same acttVlty IS re­ qUIred of Cod in order to mamtain a thing 10 eXIStence as to create d, and that otherwtse the thing could not last for a moment; as this IS so, nothmg can be attributed to d. But we rrrust say that Cod has created It lust as d is; for as It has no power to maIntam itself 10 eXistence while It exists, much

, [Aconttnues: For then a Chimera, In which we conceive two substances, ffilght become one, this IS false.]

82 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

ing or denying this or that of a thing, these, I say, must also result from some ex­ ternal cause: so also the definition which we have given of a cause is, that it can­ not be free.

Possibly this will not satisfy some who are accustomed to keep their under­ standing busy with things of Reason more than with Particular things which re­ ally exist in Nature; and, through doing so, they come to regard a thing of Reason not as such, but as a real th ing. For, because man has now th is, now that vol ition , he forms in his soul a general mode which he calls Will , just as from this man and that man he also forms the Idea of man; and because he does not adequately dis­ tinguish the real things from the things of Reason, he comes to regard the things of Reason as things which really exist in Nature, and so he regards h imself as a cause of some things. Th is happens not infrequently in the treatment of the sub­ ject about which we are speaking. For if any one is asked why people want this or that, the answer usually given is, because they have a will. But, since the Will, as we have said, is only an Idea of our willing this or that, and thereIore only a mode of thought, a th ing of Reason, and not a real th ing, nothing can be caused by it; for out of nothing, noth ing comes. And so, as we have shown that the will is not a th ing in Nature, but only in fancy, I also think it unnecessary to ask whether the will is free or not free.

I say this not [only] of will in general, which we have shown to be a mode of though� but also of the particular act of will ing this or that, which act of willing some have identified with affirmation and denial . Now this should be clearly evi­ dent to every one who only attends to what we have already said. For we have said that the understanding is purely passive; it is an awareness, in the soul, of the essence and existence of things; so that it is never we who affirm or deny something of a thing, but it is the thing itself that affirms or denies, in us, something of itself.

Possibly some will not admit this, because it seems to them that they are well able to affirm or to deny of the thing something different from what they know about the thing. But this is only because they have no idea ofthe conception which the soul has ofthe thing apart from or without the words [in which it is expressed] . I t i s quite true that (when there are reasons which prompt u s to do so) we can, i n words o r b y some other means, represent the thing to others differently from what we know it to be; but we can never bring it so far, either by words or by any other means, that we should feel about the things differently from what we feel about them; that is impossible, and clearly so to all who have for once attended to their understanding itself apart from the use of words or other significant signs.

Against th is, however, some perchance may say: If it is not we, but the thing it­ self, that makes the affirmation and denial about itself in us, then nothing can be

less, then, can d produce somethtng by Itself If, therefore, any one should say that the soul produces the volition from Itself, then I ask, by what power? Not by that which has been, for it is no more; also not by that which d has now, for d has none at all whereby it might eXist or last for a stogie moment, because it IS contmuously created anew. Thus, then, as there IS nothing that has any power to mam� tam Itself, or to produce anythmg, there remams nothtng but to conclude that God alone, therefore, is and rrrust be the effiCient cause of all thmgs, and that all acts ofVohhon are determmed by him alone

Part II, Chapter XVII 83

affirmed or denied except what is in agreement with the thing; and consequently there is no falsity. For we have said that fulsity consists in affirming (or denying) aught of a thing which does not accord with that thing; that is, what the thing does not affirm or deny about itself. I th ink, however, that if only we consider well what we have already said about Truth and Falsity, then we shall see at once that these objections have already been sufficiently answered. For we have said that the ob­ ject is the cause of what is affirmed or denied thereof, be it true or false: fulsity arising thus, namely, because, when we happen to know something or a part of an object, we imagine that the object (although we only know very l i ttle of it) nev­ ertheless affirms or denies that of itself as a whole; this takes place mostly in fee­ ble souls, which receive very easily a mode or an idea through a slight action of the object, and make no further affirmation or denial apart from this.

Lastly, i t might also be objected that there are many thing. which we some­ times want and [sometimes also 1 do not want, as, for example, to assert something about a thing or not to assert it, to speak the tru th , and not to speak it, and so forth . But this results from the fuct that Desire is not adequately distinguished from Will . For the Will , according to those who maintain that there is a Will, is only the ac­ tivity of the understanding whereby we affirm or deny something about a th ing, with regard to good or evil . Desire, however, is the disposition of the soul to ob­ tain or to do something for the sake of the good or evil that is discerned therein; so that even after we have made an affirmation or denial about the thing, Desire still remains, namely, when we have ascertained or affirmed that the thing is good; such is the Will , according to their statements, while desire is the incl ination , which we only subsequently feel, to advance it-so that, even according to their own statements, the Will may well exist without the Desire, but not the Desire without the Will , which must have preceded it.

All the activities, therefore, which we have discussed above (since they are car­ ried out through Reason under the appearance of good, or are hindered by Rea­ son under the appearance of evil) can only be subsumed under that incl ination which is called Desire, and by no means under the designation of Will, which is altogether inappropriate.

CHAPTER XVII

On the Distinction between Will and Desire

Now that it is known that we have no free will to make an affirmation or a denial , let us just see what is the correct and true distinction between will and desire, or what may the Will be which was called by the Latins voluntas.

According to Aristotle's definition, Desire appears to be a genus containing two species. For he says that the Will is the longing or inclination which one feels to­ wards that which is or seems good. Whence it appears to me that by Desire (or cu­ piditas) he means any inclination, be it towards good, be it towards evil; but when

84 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

the inclination is only towards what is or appears to be good, or when the man who has such inclination , has it under the appearance of good, then he calls it voluntas or good will; while, if it is bad, that is, when we observe in another an in­ clination towards something which is bad, he calls that voluptas or bad will. So that the inclination of the soul is not something whereby affirmations or denials are made, but only an inclination to obtain someth ing which appears to be good, and' to flee from what appears to be bad.

It, therefore, remains to inquire now whether the Desire is free or not free. In addition to what we have already said, namely, that Desire depends on the idsa of its ob;ects, and that this understanding must have an external cause, and in addi­ tion also to what we have said about the will, it still remains to prove that Desire is not free. Many people, although they see quite well that the knowledge which man has of various thing. is a medium through which his longing or inclination passes over from one thing to another, yet fail to observe what that may be which thus lures the inclination from the one to the other.

However, to show that th is inclination of ours is not of our own free will (and in order to present vividly before our eyes what it is to pass over, and to be drawn, from one thing to another), we shall imagine a child becoming aware of some­ thing for the first time. For example, I hold before him a l i ttle Bell , which pro­ duces a pleasant sound for h is ears, so that he conceives a longing for i t, consider now whether he could really help feel ing this longing or desire. If you say, Yes, then I ask, how, through what cause is this to happen? Certainly not through something which he knows to be better, because this is all that he knows; nor, again, through its appearing to be bad to him, for he knows noth ing else, and this pleasure is the very best that has ever come to h im. But perchance he has the free­ dom to banish from him the longing which he feels; whence it would follow that this longing may well arise in us without our free will, but that all the same we have in us the freedom to banish it from us. This freedom, however, will not bear examination; for what, indeed, might it be that shall be able to annihilate the long­ ing? The longing itself? Surely no, for there is nothing that through its own na­ ture seeks its own undoing. What then might it ultimately be that shall be able to wean h im from h is longing? Nothing else, forsooth, except that in the natural or­ der and course of thing. he is affected by something which he finds more pleas­ ant than the first. And, therefore, just as, when we were considering the Will, we said that the human Will is nothing but this and that Volition, so also man has no other than this and that Desire wh ich is caused by this and that idea;k Desire [in the abstract] is not anything actually existing in Nature, but is only an abstraction from the particular acts of desiring this or that. Desire, then, as i t is not really any-

, [B, or.]

k [B concludes thiS chapter as follows. ! f then we say that Desire is free, d IS lust as if we had said that thiS or that Desire is the cause of Itself, and, already before it eXisted, had brought d about that It should eXISt: which IS absurdity itself and IS ImpOSSible. And DeSire, regarded as a umversal, being nothmg but an abstraction from the particular acts of desmng thIS or that, and, beyond this, not ac­ tually eXisting In Nature, can, as such, also cause nothmg 1

PartII, Chapter XVIII 85

th ing, can also not really cause anything. So that when we say that Desire i s free, it is just as much as if we said that this or that Desire is its own cause- that is, that before it existed it had already arranged that it should exis� which is absurdity it­ self, and cannot be.

CHAPTER XVIII

On the Uses of the Foregoing

Thus we see now that man, being a part o{ the whole o{Nature, on which he de­ pends, and by which also he is governed, cannot of himself do anything for h is happiness and well-being; let us, then, just see what Uses we can derive from these propositions of ours. And this [ is 1 all the more [necessary 1 because we have no doubt that they will appear not a l ittle offensive to some.

In the first place, i t follows therefrom that we are truly servants, aye, slaves, of God, and that it is our greatest perfection to be such necessarily. For, if we were thrown back upon ourselves, and thus not dependent on God, we should be able to accompl ish very l i ttle, or nothing, and that would justly give us cause to lament our lo� especially so in contrast with what we now see, namely, that we are de­ pendent on that wh ich is the most perfect of all, in such a way that we exist also as a part of the whole, that is, of him; and we contribute, so to say, also our share to the realisation of so many skilfully ordered and perfect works, which depend on him.

Secondly, this knowledge brings i t about that we do not grow proud when we have accompl ished someth ing excellent (which pride causes us to come to a standstill , because we think that we are already great, and that we need do noth­ ing further; thereby militating precisely against our own perfection, which con­ sists in this- that we must at all times endeavour to advance further and further); but that, on the contrary, we attribute all that we do to God, who is the first and only cause of all that we accompl ish and succeed in effecting.

Thirdly, in addition to the fact that this knowledge inspires us with a real love of our neighbour, i t shapes us so that we never hate him, nor are we angry with him, but love to help him, and to improve h is condition. All these are the actions of such men as have great perfection or essence.

Fourthly, this knowledge also serves to promote the greatest Common Good, because through it a judge can never side with one party more than with the other, and when compelled to punish the one, and to reward the other, he will do it with a view to help and to improve the one as much as the other.

Fifthly, this knowledge frees us from Sorrow, from Despair, from Envy, from Terror, and other evil passions, which, as we shall presently say, constitute the real hell itself.

Sixthly, this knowledge brings us so far that we cease to stand in awe of God, as others do of the Devil (whom they imagine), lest he should do them harm. For

86 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

why indeed should we fear God, who is the highest good itself, through whom all things are what they are, and also we who live in him?

Seventhly, th is knowledge also bring. us so far that we attribute all to God, love him alone because he is the most glorious and the most perfect, and thus offer ourselves up entirely to him; for these really constitute both the true service of God and our own eternal happiness and bliss. For the sole perfection and the fi­ nal end of a slave and of a tool is th is, that they duly fulfil the task imposed on them. For example, if a carpenter, while doing some work, finds his Hatchet of excellent service, then this Hatchet has thereby attained its end and perfection; but ifhe should think: this Hatchet has rendered me such good service now, there­ fore I shall let it rest, and exact no further service from it, then precisely th is Hatchet would fail of its end, and be a Hatchet no more. Thus also is it with man, so long as he is a part of Nature he must follow the laws of Nature, and this is di­ vine service; and so long as he does th is, it is well with him. But if God should (so to say) will that man should serve him no more, that would be equivalent to de­ priving him of his well-being and annihilating him; because all that he is consists in th is, that he serves God.

CHAPTER XIX

On Our Happiness

Now that we have seen the advantages of this True Belief, we shall endeavour to fulfil the promise we have made, namely, to inquire whether through the knowl­ edge which we already have (as to what is good, what is evil, what truth is, and what falsity is, and what, in general, the uses of all these are) , whether, I say, we can thereby attain to our well-being, namely, the LoVE of God (which we have remarked to be our supreme happiness), and also in what way we can free our­ selves from the passions which we have judged to be bad.

To begin with the consideration of the last, namely, of the l iberation from the passions, I' I say that, if we suppose that they have no other causes than those which we have assigned to them, then, provided only we use our understanding aright, as we can do very easily l6 (now that we have a criterion of truth and fal­ sity), we shall never fall into them.

1 5 All passions which come In confhct with good Reason (as is shown above) anse from OpInIOn All that IS good or bad In them, IS shown to us by True Behef; these, however-both, or either of the two-are not able to free us from them I t is only the thud kmd, namely, True Knowledge, that emancipates from them. And without thiS It IS ImpOSSible that we should ever be set free from them, as Will be shown subsequently (page 93). Might not thiS well be that about which, though under different destgnatlon, others say and write so rrruch? For who does not see how conveniently we can mterpret opinIOn as SID; beltef, as the law which makes sm known, and true knowledge, as grace which redeems us from sm?

1 6 Can do very easily; that IS to say, when we have a thorough knowledge of good and eVil· for then It

Part II, Chapter XIX 87

But what we have now to prove is that they have no other causes; for this, me­ thinks, it is required that we should study ourselves in our entirety, having regard to the body as well as to the spirit.

And first [ we have] to show that in Nature there is a body through whose form and activities we are affected, and thus become aware of it. And the reason why we do th is is, because when we get an insight into the activities of the body and the effects which they produce, then we shall also discover the first and foremost cause of all those passions; and, at the same time, also that through which all those passions might be annihilated. From th is we shall then also be able to see whether it is possible to do such a thing by the aid of Reason. And then we shall also pro­ ceed to speak about our Love of God.

Now to prove that there is a body in Nature, can be no difficult task for us, now that we already know that God is, and what God is; whom we have defined as a be­ ing of infinite attributes, each of which is infinite and perfect. And since extension is an attribute which we have shown to be infinite in its kind, i t must therefore also necessarily be an attribute of that infinite being. And as we have also already demon­ strated that this infinite being exists, it follows at once that this attribute also exists.

Moreover, since we have also proved that outside Nature, which is infinite, there is, and can be, no being, it is clearly manifest that this effect of body through which we become aware [of it] can proceed from nothing else than from exten­ sion itself, and by no means from someth ing else which (as some will have it) has extension in an eminent degree [eminenter]: for (as we have already shown in the first chapter) there is no such thing.

We have to remark, therefore, that all the effects which are seen to depend nec­ essarily on extension must be attributed to this attribute; such as Motion and Rest. For if the power to produce these did not exist in Nature, then (even though it [Nature] might have many other attributes) it would be impossible that these should exist. For if a th ing is to produce something then there must be that in it through which it, rather than another, can produce that something.

What we have just said here about extension, the same we also wish to be re­ garded as though it had been said about thought, and further about all that is.

It is to be observed further, that there is nothing whatever in us, but we have the power to become aware of it so that if we find that there is nothing else in us except the effects of the thinking thing and those of extension, then we may say with certainty that there is nothing else in us.

In order that the workings of both these may be clearly understood, we shall take them up first each by itself only, and afterwards both together; as also the ef­ fects of both the one and the other.

N ow when we consider extension alone, then we become aware of nothing else in i t except Motion and Rest, from which we then discover all the effects that re­ sul t therefrom. And these two l7 modes of body are such that it is impossible for

IS ImpOSSible to be subJect to that from which the passions arISe. because when we know and en­ JOY what IS best, that wh ich IS worst has no power over us.

1 7 Two modes: because Rest IS not Nothing.

88 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

any other th ing to change them, except only themselves. Thus, for example, when a stone l ies still , then it is impossible that i t should be moved by the power of thought or anything else, but [it may] well [be moved] by motion,' as when an­ other stone, having greater motion than this has rest, makes it move. Likewise also the moving stone will not be made to rest except through someth ing else which has less motion. It follows, accordingly, that no mode of thought can bring mo­ tion or rest into a body. In accordance, however, with what we observe in our­ selves, it may well happen that a body wh ich is moving now in one direction may nevertheless turn aside in another direction; as when I stretch out my arm and thereby bring it about that the [vital ] spirits which were already moving in a dif­ ferent direction, nevertheless move now in th is direction, though not always, but according to the disposition of the [vital] spirits, as will be stated presently.

The cause of this can be none other than that the soul, being an Idea of this body, is united with it in such a way that it and this body, thus constituted, together form a whole.

The most important effect of the other or thinking attribute is an Idea of th ings, which is such that, according to the manner in which i t apprehends them, there arises either Love or Hatred, etc. This effect, then, as it impl ies no extension, can also not be attributed to the same, but only to thought, so that, whatever the changes which happen to arise in this mode, their cause must on no account be sought for in extension, but only in the th inking thing. We can see this, for in­ stance, in the case of Love, which, whether it is to be suppressed or whether i t is to be awakened, can only be thus affected through the idea itself, and this hap­ pens, as we have already remarked, either because something bad is perceived to be in the object, or because something better comes to be known .= Now when­ ever these attributes happen to act the one on the other, there results a passivity which one suffers from the other; namely [in the case of extension ] , through the determination of movements which we have the power to direct in whatever di­ rection we please. The process, then, whereby the one comes to be passively affected by the other, is th is: namely, the soul in the body, as has already been re­ marked, can well bring i t about that the [vital ] spirits, which would otherwise move in the one direction, should nevertheless move in the other direction ; and since these [vital ] spirits can also be made to move, and therefore directed, by the body, it may frequently happen that, when the body directs their movements to­ wards one place, while the soul directs them towards another place, they bring about and occasion in us those pecul iar fits of depression which we sometimes feel without knowing the reasons why we have them. For otherwise the reasons are generally well known to us.

Furthermore, the power which the soul has to move the [vital] spirits may well be h indered also either because the motion of the [vital] spirits is much dimin­ ished, or because it is much increased. Diminished, as when, having run much ,

I [B : by the mohon of something else . ]

m [B: either because somethtng good IS perceived In the loved obJ ect, or because somethmg bad is perceived in the hated object.]

Part II, Chapter XIX 89

we bring it about that the [vital ] spirits , owing to this running, impart to the body much more than the usual amount of motion,n and by losing this [motion ] they are necessarily that much weakened; th is may also happen through taking all too l ittle food. Increased, as when, by drinking too much wine or other strong drink, we thereby become either merry or drunk, and bring it about that the soul has no power to control the body.

Having said thus much about the influences which the soul exercises on the body, let us now consider the influences of the body on the soul . The most im­ portant of these, we maintain, is that it causes the soul to become aware of it, and through it also of other bodies. This is effected by Motion and Rest conjointly, and by nothing else: for the body has nothing else than these wherewith to operate; so that whatever else comes to the soul , besides this awareness, cannot be caused through the body. And as the first th ing which the soul gets to know is the body, the result is that the soul loves it so, and becomes united with it. But since, as we have already sa id before, the cause of Love, Hatred, and Sorrow must not be sought for in the body but only in the soul (because all the activities of the body must pro­ ceed from motion and rest), and since we see clearly and distinctly that one love comes to an end as soon as we come to know something else that is better, it fol­ lows clearly from all th is that, If once we get to know God, at least with a knowledge as clear as that with which we also know our body, then we must become united with him even more closely than we are with our body, and be, as it were, released from the body. I say more closely, because we have already proved before that without him we can neither be, nor be known; and this is so because we know and must know him, not through something else, as is the case with all other things, but only through himself, as we have already sa id before. Indeed, we know him better even than we know ourselves, because without him we could not know ourselves at all.

From what we have said so far it is easily gathered which are the chief causes of the passions. For, as regards the Body with its effects, Motion and Rest,O these can­ not affect the soul otherwise except so as to make themselves known to it as objects; and according to the appearances which they present to it, that is according as they appear good or bad, 18 so also is the soul affected by them, and that [happens] not inasmuch as it is a body (for then the body would be the principal cause of the pas-

n [B continues thus: In which they had a strong m -and through-flow which weakened them.]

o [8 adds: or their effects J 1 8 But If It be asked whence comes It that we know that the one IS good, the other bad? Answer Smce

It is the objects which cause us to become aware of them, we are affected by the one differently, In proportion than by the other. Now these by which we are affected most harmoniously (as regards the proportion of motion and rest, of which they consISt) are most agreeable to us, and as they depart more and more from thIS [harmonious proportIOn, they tend to be] most dISagreeable. And hence anses every kmd of feehng of which we become aware, and which, when It acts on our body, as d of­ ten does, through matenal objects, we call Impulses; for instance, a man who is sorrowing can be made to laugh, or be made merry, by bemg tickled, or by drmkmg wme, etc., which [Impulses] the soul becomes mdeed aware of, but does not produce. For, when it operates, the mernments are real and of another kmd, because then It IS no body that operates, but the mtelhgent soul uses the body as a tool, and, consequently, as the soul IS more active in this case, so is the feeling more perfect

90 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

sions), but inasmuch as it is an object l ike all other things, which would also act in the same way if they happened to reveal themselves to the soul in the same way. (By this, however, I do not mean to say that the Love, Hatred, and Sorrow which pro­ ceed from the contemplation of incorporeal things produce the same effects as those which arise from the contemplation of corporeal things; for, as we shall presently say, these have yet other effects according to the nature of the thing through the ap­ prehension ofwhich Love, Hatred, and Sorrow, etc. , are awakened in the soul which contemplates the incorporeal things.) So that, to return to our previous subject, if something else should appear to the soul to be more glorious than the body really is, it is certain that the body would then have no power to produce such effects as it certainly does now. Whence it follows," not alone that the body is not the principal cause of the passions, but also that even if there were in us something else besides what we have just stated to be capable, in our opinion, of producing the passions, such a thing, even if there were such, could likewise affect the soul neither more nor differently than the body does in fact now. For it could never be anything else than such an object as would once for all be different from the soul, and would con­ sequently show itself to be such and no other, as we have likewise stated also of the body. So that we may, with truth, conclude that Love, Hatred, Sorrow, and other passions are produced in the soul in various forms according to the kind of know 1- edge which, from time to time, it happens to have of the thing; and consequently, if once it can come to know the most glorious of all, it should be impossible for any of these passions to succeed in causing it the least perturbation.

CHAPTER XX

Confirmation of the Foregoing

Now, as regards what we have said in the preceding chapter, the following diffi­ culties might be raised by way of objection.

First, if motion is not the cause of the passions then why is i t possible, never­ theless, to banish sorrow by the aid of certa in means, as is often done by means of wine? To this i t serves [as an answer] that a distinction must be made between the soul's awareness, when it first becomes aware of the body, and the judgment which it presently comes to form as to whether it is good or bad for it. 19

Now the soul , being such as just stated, has, as we have already shown before, the power to move the [vital] spirits whithersoever it pleases; but this power may, nevertheless, be taken away from it, as when, owing to other causes [arising out] of the body generally, their form, constituted by certain proportions [of motion

P [A continues thus. not that the body alone IS the prinCipal cause of the passions . . . ; B : that the body alone is not the prinCipal cause of passlons . . . J

1 9 That IS, between understandmg considered generally, and understandmg havmg special regard to the good or eVil of the thmg

Part II, Chapter XX 9 1

and rest] , disappears o r i s changed; and when i t becomes aware o f this [change I in it, there arises sorrow, which varies with the change which the [vital ] spirits un­ dergo. This sorrow results from its love for, and union with, the body '>o

That this is so may be easily deduced from the fact that this sorrow can be alleviated in one of these two ways; either by restoring the [vital ] spirits to their original form that is by relieving him of the pain, or by being persuaded by good reasons to make no ado about this body. The first is temporary, and [ the sorrow] is l iable to return; but the second is eternal, permanent, and unchangeable.

The second objection may be this: as we see that the soul, although it has noth­ ing in common with the body, can yet bring it about that the [vital ] spirits, al­ though they were about to move in one direction, nevertheless move now in the other direction, why should it not also be able to effect that a body which is per­ fectly still and at rest should begin to move itself?21 Likewise, why should it not

20 Man's sorrow IS caused by the thought that some evil IS befallmg him, namely, through the loss of some good; when such a thought IS entertained, the result IS, that the [vital] spirits gather about the heart, and, With the help of other parts, press it together and enclose It, just the reverse of what happens In the case of JOY. Then the soul becomes aware of tillS pressure, and IS pamed. Now what IS It that medicmes or wine effect? ThIS, namely. that by their achon they dnve away the [vdal] spirM Its from the heart, and make foom again, and when the soul becomes aware of thiS, It receives new antmahon, which consists in thiS, that the thought of evil is diverted by the change in the propor­ hon of mohon and rest, which the wme has caused, and It turns to something else m which the understandmg fmds more satisfaction. But thiS cannot be the Immediate effect of the wme on the soul, but only of the wine on the [Vital] spirits.

2 1 Now, there IS no difficulty here as to how the one mode, which is tnfinitelydlfferent from the other, yet acts on the other; for d is a part ofthe whole, smce the soul never eXisted Without the body, nor the body without the soul We arnve at thiS [conclusion] as follows [no page numbers given] :

I . There lS a perfect being, page - . 2. There cannot be two substances, page -. 3. No sub­ stance can have a beg1Ontng, page- . 4. Each IS mfmde m its kind, page -. 5. There rrrust also be an attrtbute of thought, page -. 6. There IS nothmg 10 Nature, but there IS an Idea of It m the thmkmg thing. resulting from its essence and existence 10 conjunction, page - . 7. Consequently, now. 8. Smce thetr essence, Without their eXistence, IS Imphed m the destgnations ofthmgs, there­ fore the Idea of the essence cannot be regarded as somethmg separate, thiS can only be done when there IS both existence and essenc£, because then there IS an object, which before was not For ex­ ample, when the whole wall is white, there IS no thiS or that In, etc 9 Now, this Idea, considered by itself, and apart from all other Ideas, can be no more than a mere Idea of such a thmg, and It cannot be that It has an Idea of such a thing; [add] moreover, that such an Idea, thus regarded, since d IS only a part, can have no very clear and very dIStinct conception of Itself and its object, but only the tlunkmg thmg. which IS the whole of Nature, can have this; for, a part considered with­ out ds whole, cannot, etc 10 Between the Idea and the object there rrrust necessanly be a union, because the one cannot eXist without the other. for there IS no thtng whose Idea is not m the thmk- 109 thmg. and no Idea can eXist unless the thmg also exISts. Furthermore the object cannot change Without the Idea changmg also, and vice versa, so that there IS here no need for a third thing that should bring about the union of soul and body. I t IS to be remarked, however, that we are speaking here of such Ideas which necessarily artse from the eXIStence of the thmgs together with thetr essence tn God; but not of the Ideas which the thmgs now actually present to us, [or] produce m us. There is a great difference between these, for the Ideas 10 God do not arise as they do m us by way of one or more of the senses, which are therefore almost always only Imperfectly affected by them; but from their eXIStence and their essence, Just as they are. My Idea, however, IS not yours, although one and the same thmg produces them in us

92 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

also be able to move in whatever direction it pleases all other bodies wh ich are al­ ready in motion?

But if we recall what we have already sa id before concerning the thinking thing, it can remove this difficul ty for us quite easily. Namely, we then said that although Nature has various attributes, it is, all the same, but one only Being, of which all these attributes are predicated. Besides th is we have also sa id that the thinking thing, too, was but one only th ing in Nature, and is expressed in infi­ nite Ideas, in accordance with the infinite things which exist in Nature; for if the body receives such a mode as, for example, the body of Peter, and again another such as is the body of Paul, the result of this is that there are in the th inking th ing two different Ideas: namely, one idea of the body of Peter, which constitutes the Soul of Peter, and another of [ the body of] Paul, which constitutes the Soul of Paul. Now the thinking thing can well move the body of Peter by means of the Idea of the body of Peter, but not by means of the Idea of the body of Paul; so that the soul of Paul can well move its own body, but by no means that of an­ other, such as that of Peter.22 And for this reason also it cannot move a stone which rests or l ies still : because the stone, again, makes another Idea in the Soul . Hence also it is no less clear that it is impossible that a stone, wh ich is perfectly at rest and still, should be made to move by any mode of thought, for the same reasons as a hove.

The third objection may be this: We seem to be able to see clearly that we can , nevertheless, produce a certain stillness in the body. For, after we have kept mov­ ing our [vital ] spirits for a long time, we find that we are tired; which, assuredly, is nothing else than a certain stillness in the [vital ] spirits brought about by our­ selves. We answer, however, that it is quite true that the soul is a cause of this still­ ness, but only indirectly; for it puts a stop to the movement not directly, but only through other bodies which it has moved, and which must then necessarily have lost as much as they had imparted to the [vital ] spirits. I t is therefore clear on all sides that in Nature there is only one and the same kind of motion .

CHAPTER XXI

On Reason

At present we have to inquire why it happens that sometimes, although we see that a certain thing is good or bad, we nevertheless do not find in us the power ei­ ther to do the good or to abstain from the bad, and sometimes, however, we do indeed [find this power in us]. This we can easily understand if we consider the

22 It IS clear that tn man, because he had a begmDmg, there is to be found no other attnbute than such as eXisted in Nature already before. -And smce he consists of such a body of which there must necessanly be an Idea In the thinkmg thmg, and the I dea must necessartly be umted With the body, therefore we assert Without fear that hiS Soul IS nothmg else than tillS Idea ofhts body In the

Part II, Chapter XXII 93

causes that we assigned to opinions, which we stated to be the causes of al l affects. These, we then sa id, [arise 1 either from hearsay, or from experience. And since all that we find in ourselves has greater power over us than that which comes to us from outside, it certainly follows that Reason can be the cause of the extinction of opinions23 which we have got from hearsay only (and this is so because reason has not l ike these come to us from outside), but by no means of those which we have got from experience. For the power which the th ing itself gives us is always greater than that which we obtain by way of consequence through a second th ing; we noted this difference when speaking of reasoning and of clear understanding, page 62, and we did so with the rule of three as an illustration . For more power comes to us from the understanding of proportion itself, than from the under­ standing of the rule of proportion. And it is for th is reason that we have said so of­ ten that one love may be extinguished by another which is greater, because in say­ ing th is we did not, by any means, intend to refer to desire which does not, l ike love, come from true knowledge, but comes from reasoning.

CHAPTER XXII

On True Knowledge, Regeneration, Etc .

Since, then, Reason has n o power to lead u s to the attainment o f our well-being, it remains for us to inquire whether we can attain it through the fourth, and last, kind of knowledge. Now we have said that this kind of knowledge does not result from someth ing else, but from a direct revelation of the object itself to the un­ derstanding. And if that object is glorious and good, then the soul becomes nec­ essarily united with it, as we have also remarked with reference to our body. Hence

thinkmg thmg And as thiS body has aq mohon and rest (which has its proportion determined, and IS usually altered, through external obJects), and as no alteration can take place In the object with­ out occurring also nnmedlately In the Idea, the result IS that people feel (idea re{lexlvo) , < Now I say, as it has a certain mea3ure or proportion of motion and rest, because no process can take place m the body without these two concurring.

q [B: has a certam measure of . . J r [B : that people have "refleXive" Ideas.]

23 It is all the same whether we use here the word opinion or pasSIOn, and so it is clear why we can­ not conquer by means of Reason those that have come to us through experience, for these are noth­ mg else than an enjoyment of, or Immedtate union With, somethmg that we Judge to be good, and Reason, though It teaches us what is better, does not make us enJoy it. Now that which we enjoy m us cannot be conquered by that which we do not enjoy, and is outside us, as that is which Rea­ son suggests But If these are to be overcome then there rrrust be somethmg that is more powerful, in this way there Will be an enjoyment or Immediate Union wIth somethmg that IS better known and enjoyed than thIS first; and when thiS eXIsts victory IS always assured; or, mdeed, thiS VictOry comes also through tasting an evtl whIch IS recogmsed to be greater than the good that was en­ Joyed, and upon which It follows tmmedtately. Stili , expenence teaches us that thiS evt! does not necessarily always follow thus, for, etc See pages 68, 86

94 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

it follows incontrovertibly that it is th is knowledge which evokes love. So that when we get to know God after this manner then (as he cannot reveal himself, nor become known to us otherwise than as the most glorious and best of all) we must necessarily become united with him. And only in this union, as we have al­ ready remarked, does our blessedness consist.

I do not say that we must know him just as he is, or adequately, for i t is suffi­ cient for us to know him to some extent, in order to be united with him. For even the knowledge that we have of the body is not such that we know it just as it is, or perfectly; and yet, what a union I What a love!

That this fourth [kind of] knowledge, wh ich is the knowledge of God, is not the consequence of something else, but immediate, is evident from what we have proved before, [namely,] that he is the cause of all knowledge that is acquired through itself alone, and through no other thing; moreover, also from this, that we are so united with him by nature that without him we can neither be, nor be known. And for th is reason, since there is such a close union between God and us, it is evident that we cannot know h im except directly.

We shall endeavour to explain, next, th is union of ours with him through na­ ture and love.

We said before that in Nature there can be nothing of which there should not be an Idea in the soul of that same th ing." And according as the th ing is either more or less perfect, so also is the union and the influence of the Idea with the thing, or with God himself, less or more perfect For as the whole of Nature is but one only substance, and one whose essence is infinite, all thing. are united through Nature, and they are united into one [being] , namely, God. And now, as the body is the very first th ing of which our soul becomes aware (because as al­ ready remarked, nothing can exist in Nature, the Idea of which is not in the think­ ing thing, th is Idea being the soul of that thing) so that thing must necessarily be the first cause of the Idea.25

But, as this Idea can by no means find rest in the knowledge of the body with­ out pass ing on to the knowledge of that without which the body and Idea could neither be, nor be understood, so (after knowing it first) it becomes united with it immediately through love. Th is union is better understood, and one may gather what i t must be like, from its action with the body, in which we see how through knowledge of, and feel ing. towards corporeal thing., there arise in us all the ef­ fects which we are constantly becoming aware of in the body, through the move­ ments of the [vital] spirits; and therefore (if once our knowledge and love come to embrace that without which we can neither be, nor be understood, and which

24 This also explains what we said In the fust part, namely, that the inflmte understandmg rrnst eXISt In Nature from all etermty. and why we called It the son of God. For, as God eXisted from etermty, hiS Idea rrrust also be In the thmkmg thmg, that IS, In hnnself from etermty, objective this Idea co­ inCides with hnnself; see page 59.

25 That IS our soul bemg an Idea of the body dertves Its fll'st being from the body, but It IS only a rep­ resentation of the body, both as a whole and m Its parts, to the thinkmg thmg.

Part II, Chapter XXIII 9 5

i s i n no way corporeal) how incomparably greater and more glorious will and must be the kind of effects resulting from this union; for these must necessarily be com­ mensurate with the thing with which it is united. And when we become aware of these excellent effects, then we may say with truth, that we have been born again. For our first birth took place when we were united with the body, through which the activities and movements of the [vi tal ] spirits have arisen; but this our other or second birth will take place when we become aware in us of entirely different effects of love, commensurate with the knowledge of this incorporeal object, and as different from the first as the corporeal is different from the incorporeal , spirit from flesh. And this may, therefore, all the more justly and truly be called Re­ generation , inasmuch as only from this love and union does Eternal and un­ changeable existence ensue, as we shall prove.

CHAPTER XXIII

On the Immortal ity of the Soul

If only we consider attentively what the Soul is, and whence its change and du­ ration originate, then we shall easily see whether it is mortal or immortal.

Now we have said that the Soul is an Idea which is in the thinking thing, aris­ ing from the reality of a thing which exists in Nature. Whence it follows that ac­ cording to the duration and change of the thing, so must also be the duration and change of the Soul. We remarked, at the same time, that the Soul can become united either with the body of which it is the Idea, or with God, without whom it can neither be, nor be known.

From this, then, it can easily be seen, ( I ) that, if it is united with the body alone, and that body happens to perish, then it must perish also; for when it is deprived of the body, which is the foundation of its love, it must perish with it. But (2) if it becomes united with some other thing which is and rema ins unchangeable, then , on the contrary, it must also remain unchangeable and lasting. For, in that case, through what shall it be possible for it to perish?' Not through itself; for as l i ttle as i t could begin to exist through itself when it did not yet exist, so l ittle also can it change or perish through itself, now that it does exist.

Consequently, that th ing which alone is the cause of its existence, must also (when it is about to perish) be the cause of its nonexistence, because it happens to change itself or to perish.

s [8 concludes thiS chapter as follows. For that which alone IS the cause of the eXIStence of a thmg, must also, when It is about to pass away, be the cause of Its noneXIStence, Simply because itself is changing Of passmg away; or that whereof It IS the cause ITllst be able to anmhllate Itself; but as ht­ tie as a thtng can begin to exist through Itself when It does not yet eXist, so little also can It change or perish through itself, now that It does exISt.]

96 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

CHAPTER XXIV

On God's Love of Man

Thus far we have shown sufficiently, we think, what our love of God is, also its consequences, namely, our eternal duration . So we do not think it necessary here to say anything about other things, such as joy in God, peace of mind, etc . , as from what has been said it may easily be seen what there is to or should be said about them. Thus (as we have, so far, only considered our love of God) it still remains to be seen whether there is also a divine love of us, that is, whether God also loves mankind, namely, when they love him. Now, in the first place, we have sa id that to God no modes of thought can be ascribed except those which are in his crea­ tures; therefore, it cannot be said that God loves mankind, much less [can it be said] that he should love them because they love him, or hate them because they hate him. For in that case we should have to suppose that people do so of their own free will, and that they do not depend on a first cause; which we have already before proved to be false. Besides, this would necessarily involve nothing less than a great mutability on the part of God, who, though he neither loved nor hated be­ fore, would now have to begin to love and to hate, and would be induced or made to do so by someth ing supposed to be outside him; but this is absurdity itself.

Still, when we say that God does not love man, this must not be taken to mean that he (so to say) leaves man to pursue his course all alone, but only that because man together with all that is, are in God in such a way, and God consists of all these in such a way, therefore, properly speaking, there can be in him no love for something else: since all form only one thing, which is God himself.

From this it follows also that God gives no laws to mankind so as to reward them when they fulfd them [and to punish them when they transgress them,] or, to state it more clearly, that God's laws are not of such a nature that they could be trans­ gressed. For the regulations imposed by God on Nature, according to which all things come into existence and continue to exist, these, if we will call them laws, are such that they can never be transgressed; such, for instance, is [the law] that the weakest must yield to the strongest, that no cause can produce more than it contains in itself, and the like, which are of such a kind that they never change, and never had a beginning, but all things are subjected and subordinated to them. And, to say briefly something about them: all laws that cannot be transgressed, are divine laws; the reason [is this], because whatsoever happens, is not contrary to, but in accordance with, h is own decision. All laws that can be transgressed are human laws; the reason [ is th is] , because all that people decide upon for their own well­ being does not necessarily, on that account, tend also to the well-being ofthe whole of Nature, but may, on the contrary, tend to the annihilation of many other things.

When the laws of Nature are stronger, the laws of men are made null ; the di­ vine laws are the final end for the sake of which they exist, and not subordinate;

Part II, Chapter XXIV 97

human [laws] are not 26 Still , notwithstanding the fact that men make laws for their own well-being, and have no other end in view except to promote their own well-being by them, this end of theirs may yet (insofar as it is subordinate to other ends which another has in view, who is above them, and lets them act thus as parts of Nature) serve that end [which] coincides with the eternal laws established by God from eternity, and so, together with all others, help to accomplish everything. For example, although the Bees, in all their work and the orderly discipline which they maintain among themselves, have no other end in view than to make cer­ tain provisions for themselves for the winter, still, man who is above them, has an entirely different end in view when he maintains and tends them, namely, to ob­ tain honey for himself. So also [is it with] man, insofar as he is an individual thing and looks no further than his finite character can reach; but, insofar as he is also a part and tool of the whole of Nature, this end of man cannot be the final end of Nature, because she is infinite, and must make use of him, together also with all other things, as an instrument.

Thus far [we have been speaking] of the law imposed by God; it is now to be remarked also that man is aware of two kinds oflaw even in himself;' I mean such a man who uses his understanding aright, and attains to the knowledge of God; and these [ two kinds oflaw] result from his fellowship with God, and from his fel­ lowship with the modes of Nature. Of these the one is necessary, and the other is not. For, as regards the law which results from h is fellowsh ip with God, since he can never be otherwise but must always necessarily be united with him, therefore he has, and always must have before his eyes the laws by which he must l ive for and with God. But as regards the law wh ich results from his fellowship with the modes, since he can separate himself from men, th is is not so necessary.

Now, since we posit such a fellowship between God and men, i t might justly be asked, how God can make h imself known to men, and whether this happens, or could have happened, by means of spoken words, or directly through himself, without using any other thing to do it with.

We answer, not by means of words, in any case; for in that case man must have known the signification of the words before they were spoken to him. For exam­ ple, if God had said to the Israelites, ! am Jehovah your God, then they would have had to know first, apart from these words, that God existed,u before they could be assured thereby that it was he [who was speaking to them] . For they already knew qu ite well then that the voice, thunder and l ightning were not God, although the voice proclaimed that it was God. And the same that we say here about words, we also mean to hold good of all external signs.

26 [8 : The Dlvme Laws are the fmal end for which they eXISt, and are not subordmate. but not so the Human Laws; for when the Laws of Nature are stronger than these they are anmhtlated.]

I [B continues: 1 . In him who uses hIS understanding aright and attams to the knowledge af Cad, these result from hiS fellowship wdh God. 2. Those which result from hiS fellowship With the modes of Nature. J

U [A. dat hy Gad _ [that he was God]; B · dat Gad was [that God eK"ted] ]

98 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

We consider it, therefore, impossible that God should make h imself known to men by means of external signs.

And we consider it to be unnecessary that i t should happen through any other thing than the mere essence of God and the understanding of man; for, as the Un­ derstanding is that in us which must know God, and as it stands in such immedi­ ate union with him that it can neither be, nor be understood without him, it is incontrovertibly evident from this that nothing can ever come into such close touch with the Understanding as God himself can. I t is also impossible to get to know God through something else. I. Because, in that case, such a thing would have to be better known to us than God himself, which is in open confl ict with all that we have hitherto clearly shown, namely, that God is a cause both of our knowledge and of all essence, and that without him all individual things not only cannot exist, but cannot even be understood. 2. Because we can never attain to the knowledge of God through any other thing, the nature of which is necessar­ ily finite, even if it were far better known to us; for how is it possible that we should infer an infinite and l imitless thing from a finite and limited thing? For even if we did observe some effects or work in Nature the cause of which was unknown to us, still it would be impossible for us to conclude from this that there must be in Nature an infinite and limitless thing in order to produce this result. For how can we know whether many causes have concurred in order to produce this, or whether there was only one? Who is to tell us?

We therefore conclude, finally, that, in order to make h imself known to men, God can and need use neither words, nor miracles, nor any other created th ing, but only h imself

CHAPTER XXV

On Devils

We shall now briefly say something about devils, whether they exist or do not ex­ ist, and it is this:

If the Devil is a thing that is once for all opposed to God, and has absolutely nothing from God, then he is precisely identical with Nothing, wh ich we have al­ ready discussed before.

If, with some, we represent him as a thinking thing that absolutely neither wills nor does any good, and so sets h imself, once for all, in opposition to God, then surely he is very wretched, and, if prayers could help, then one ought to pray for his conversion.

But let us just see whether such a wretched thing could even exist for a single moment. And, if we do so, we shall immediately find out that it canno� for what­ ever duration a thing has results entirely from the perfection of the thing, and the more essence and godliness things possess, the more lasting are they: therefore, as the Devil has not the least perfection in him, how should he then, I think to my-

Part II, Chapter XXVI 99

self, be able to exist? Add to th is, that the persistence or duration of a mode of the thinking thing only results from the union in which such a mode is, through love, joined to God. As the precise opposite of this union is supposed in the case of the Devils, they cannot possibly exist.

As, however, there is no necessity whatever why we should posit the existence of Devils, why then should they be posited? For we need not, like others, posit Devils in order to find [in them] the cause of Hatred, Envy, Wrnth, and such-like passions, since we have found this sufficiently, without such fictions.

CHAPTER XXVI

On True Freedom

By the assertion of what precedes we not only wanted to make known that there are no Devils, but also, indeed, that the causes (or, to express it better, what we call Sins) which h inder us in the atta inment of our perfection are in ourselves. We have also shown already, in what precedes, how and in what manner, through reason as also through the fourth kind of knowledge, we must attain to our blessed­ ness, and how the passions which are bad and should be banished must be done away with: not as is commonly urged, namely, that these [passions] must first be subdued before we can attain to the knowledge, and consequently to the love, of God. That would be just l ike insisting that some one who is ignornnt must first forsake his ignorance before he can attain to knowledge. But [ the truth is] th is, that only knowledge can cause the disappearance thereof-as is evident from all that we have said. Similarly, it may also be clearly gathered from the above that without Virtue, or (to express i t better) without the guidance of the Understand­ ing, all tends to ruin, so that we can enjoy no rest, and we live, as it were, outside our element. So that even if from the power of knowledge and divine love there accrued to the understanding not an eternal rest, such as we have shown, but only a temporary one, i t is our duty to seek even this, since this also is such that if once we taste it we would exchange it for nothing else in the world.

This being so, we may, with reason, regard as a great absurdity what many, who are otherwise esteemed as great theologians, assert, namely, that if no eternal life resulted from the love of God, thenv they would seek what is best for themselves: as though they could discover anything better than God! This is just as silly as if a fish (for which, of course, it is impossible to l ive out of the water) were to say: if no eternal life is to follow this life in the water, then I will leave the water for the land; what else, indeed, can they say to us who do not know God?

Thus we see, therefore, that in order to arrive at the truth of what we assert for sure concerning our happiness and repose, we require no other principles except

v [8 continues thus· people would seek and consider pleasures of sense, mernment, and worldly en­ Joyments- as though . J

100 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

only this, namely, to take to heart our own interest, which is very natural in all things. And since we find that, when we pursue sensuousness, pleasures, and worldly thing., we do not find our happiness in them, bu� on the contrary, our ruin, we therefore choose the guidance of our understanding. As, however, th is can make no progress, unless i t has first atta ined to the knowledge and love of God, therefore i t was h ighly necessary to seek this (God); and as (after the fore­ going reflections and considerations) we have discovered that he is the best good of all that is good, we are compelled to stop and to rest here. For we have seen that, outside him, there is nothing that can give us any happiness. And it is a true freedom to be, and to remain, bound with the loving chains of h is love.

Lastly, we see also that reasoning is not the principal thing in us, but only l ike a staircase by which we can climb up to the desired place, or l ike a good genius which, without any fals ity or deception, bring. us tidings of the h ighest good in order thereby to stimulate us to pursue it, and to become united with it; which union is our supreme happiness and bl iss.

So, to bring this work to a conclusion, it remains to indicate briefly what hu­ man freedom is, and wherein it consists. For this purpose I shall make use of these following propositions, as things which are certain and demonstrated.

I. The more essence a thing has, so much more has it also of activity, and so much less of passivity. For i t is certa in that what is active acts through what it has, and that the th ing which is passive is affected through what it has not.

2 . All passivity that passes from non-being to being, or from being to non-being, must result from some external agent, and not from an inner one: because noth­ ing, considered by itself, contains in itself the conditions that will enable it to annih ilate itself when it exists, or to create itself when i t does not exist.

3 . Whatever is not produced by external causes can have nothing in common with them, and can, consequently, be neither changed nor transformed by them.

And from these last two [propositions] I infer the following fourth proposition : 4. The effect of an immanent or inner cause (which is all one to me) cannot

possibly pass away or change so long as th is cause of it remains. For such an ef­ fect, just as it is not produced by external causes, so also it cannot be changed [by them] ; following the third proposition. And since nothing whatever can come to naught except through external causes, it is not possible that this effect should be l iable to perish so long as its cause endures; following the second proposition.

5 . The freest cause of all, and that which is most appropriate to God, is the im­ manent: for the effect of th is cause depends on i t in such a way that it can neither be, nor be understood without it, nor is it subjected to any other cause; it is, more­ over, united with it in such a way that together they form one whole.

Now let us just see what we must conclude from the above propositions. In the first place, then:

I . Since the essence of God is infinite, therefore it has an infinite activity, and an infinite negation of passivity, following the first proposition; and, in conse­ quence of th is, the more that, through their greater essence, things are united with God, so much the more also do they have of activity, and the less of passivity: and so much the more also are they free from change and corruption.

Part II, Chapter XXVI 1 0 1

2 . The true Understanding can never perish; for i n itself i t can have no cause to destroy itself, following the second proposition. And as it did not emanate from external causes, but from God, so it is not susceptible to any change through them, following the third proposition. And since God has produced it immediately and he is only an inner cause, it follows necessarily that it cannot perish so long as this cause of it remains, following the fourth proposition. Now this cause of it is eter­ nal, therefore it is too.

3. All the effects of the true understanding, which are united with it, are the most excellent, and must be valued above all the others; for as they are inner ef­ fects, they must be the most excellent; following the fifth proposition; and, besides this, they are also necessarily eternal, because their cause is such.

4. All the effects which we produce outside ourselves are the rnore perfect, the more they are capable of be corning united with us, so as to constitute one and the sarne nature with us; for in this way they corne nearest to inner effects. For ex­ ample, if I teach my neighbours to love pleasure, glory, avarice, then whether I myself also love these or do not love them, whatever the case rnay be, I deserve to be punished, th is is clear. Not so, however, when the only end that I endeavour to attain is, to be able to taste of union with God, and to bring forth true ideas, and to make these things known also to rny neighbours; for we can all participate equally in this happiness, as happens when it creates in them the same desire that I have, thus causing their will and rnine to be one and the same, constituting one and the same nature, agreeing always in all th ings .'

From all that has been said i t may now be very easily conceived what is human freedorn,27 which I define to be th is: i t is, narnely, a firrn reality which our un­ derstanding acquires through direct union with God, so that it can bring forth ideas in itself, and effects outside itself, in complete harmony with its nature; with­ out, however, its effects being subjected to any external causes, so as to be capable of being changed or transformed by them. Thus it is, at the same time, evident

W [ Instead of the three precedmg paragraphs, B has the following.

2 As (according to Proposition I I ) nothing can be a cause of Its own anmhllatlon, nor, If It IS not the effect of any external cause, can It (accordmg to Proposition I I I ) be changed by such, but (accordmg to ProposItion N) the effect of an mner cause can neither pass away, nor change so long as tillS cause thereof endures; It follows that the true understandmg, SInce it is produced by no ex· ternal cause, but nnmedlately by God, is, through thiS cause, eternal and imrrrutable, can neither perish nor change, but, with d, necessarily remains eternal and lasting.

3 . Smce the mner effects of an m1manent cause (accordtng to ProposItion V) are the most ex­ cellent of all, all the effects of the true understandtng which are umted therewith, must also be val­ ued above all others, and [must] necessanly be eternal With their cause Whence it follows that

4. The more perfect the effects are which we produce outside us, the more capable are they of becoming united With us so as to constitute one and the same nature With us. I t IS thus when, through my umon With God, r conceive true Ideas, and make them known to my neJghboUIs, so that they may hkewlse partiCipate with me tn thlS happtness, and so that there ames in thema de­ sire like mine, maktng their Will one and the same With mine, so that we thus constitute one and the same nahHe, agreeing tn all thmgs.]

27 The selVltude of a thtng conSists tn betng subJected to ex:ternal causes, freedom, on the contrary, tn not betng subJected to them, but freed from them.

102 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

from what has been said, what things there are that are in our power, and are not subjected to any external causes; we have l ikewise also proved here, and that in a different way from before, the eternal and lasting duration of our understanding; and, lastly, which effects it is that we have to value above all others.

So, to make an end of all th is, it only remains for me shIl to say to my friends to whom I write this: Be not astonished at these novelties; for it is very weIl known to you that a th ing does not therefore cease to be true because it is not accepted by many. And also, as the character of the age in which we live is not unknown to you, I would beg of you most earnestly to be very careful about the communi­ cation of these things to others. I do not want to say that you should absolutely keep them to yourselves, but only that if ever you begin to communicate them to anybody, then let no other aim prompt you except only the happiness of your neighbour, being at the same time clearly assured by him that the reward will not disappoint your labour. Lastly, if, on reading this through, you should meet with some difficulty about what I state as certain, I beseech you that you should not therefore hasten at once to refute it, before you have pondered it long enough and thoughtfully enough , and if you do this I feel sure that you will attain to the28 en­ joyment of the fruits of this tree which you promise yourselves.

Axi oms

TEAm: [the end]

APPENDICES

[APPENDIX 1 ]

On Cod

I . Substance is, by its nature, prior to all its modifications. 2 . Things which are different are distinguished either realirer or modaliter. 3. Things which are distinguished realiter either have different attributes, such

as Thought and Extension, or are referred to different attributes, as in the case of Understanding and Motion; one of which belongs to Thought, and the other to Extension.

4. Things which have different attributes, as also the things which belong to different attributes, do not have anything the one of the other.

28 [8 concludes: desired END J

Appendix I 103

5 . That which has not in itself something of another thing, can also not be a cause of the existence of such another thing.

6. I t is impossible that that which is a cause of its elf should have limited itself. 7. That by which the things are sustained is by its nature prior to such things.

PROPOSITION I To no substance that exists can one and the same attribute be ascribed that is as­ cribed to another substance; or (which is the same) in Nature there cannot be two substances, unless they are distinguished realiter.·

Proof If there are two substances, then they are distinct; and consequently (Ax­ iom 2) they are distinguished either realiter or modaliter; not modaliter, for in that case the modes would by their nature be prior to the substance, which is contrary to the first axiom; therefore, realiter; and consequently, what is predicated of the one cannot be predicated of the other, which is what we intended to prove.

PROPOSITION II One substance cannot be the cause of the existence of another substance.

Proof Such a cause cannot contain in itself anything of such an effect (Prop. I) ; because the difference between them is real , and therefore it cannot (Axiom 5) produce it.

PROPOSITION III Every attribute or substance is by nature infinite, and supremely perfect in its kind.

Proof No substance is produced by another (Prop. 2) and consequently, if i t ex­ ists, it is either an attribute of God, or it has been its own cause outside God. If the first, then it is necessarily infinite, and supremely perfect in its kind, such as are all other attributes of God. If the second, then it is also necessarily such be­ cause (Axiom 6) i t could not have limited itself.

PROPOSITION IV To such an extent does existence perta in by nature to the essence of every sub­ stance, that it is impossible to posit in an infinite understanding the Idea of the essence of a substance that does not exist in Nature.

Proof The true essence of an object is something wh ich is realiter different from the Idea of the same object; and this something exists (Axiom 3) either realiter, or is contained in some other thing which exists realiter; from which other thing this essence cannot be distinguished realiter, but only modaliter, such are all the essences of the things which we see, which before they yet existed were already contained in extension, motion, and rest, and when they do exist are not distin-

a [8 . to Nature there cannot be posited two substances of one and the same nature.]

1 04 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

guished from extension realiter, but only modaliter. Moreover, it would involve self-contradiction to suppose that the essence of a substance is con tained thus in some other thing; because in that case it could not be distinguished from this re­ aliter, contrary to the first proposition; also, it could in that case be produced by the subject which contains it, contrary to the second proposition; and lastly, it could not by its nature be infinite and supremely perfect in its kind, contrary to the third proposition. Therefore, as its essence is not contained in any other th ing, it must be a thing that exists through itself.

Corollary Nature is known through itself, and not through any other thing. It consists of infinite attributes every one of them infinite and perfect in its kind; to its essence pertains existence, so that outside it there is no other essence or exis­ tence, and it thus coincides exactly with the essence of God who alone is glorious and blessed.

[ApPENDIX II ]

On the Human Soul

As man is a created finite th ing, etc . , it necessarily follows that what he has of Thought, and what we call the Soul , is a mode of the attribute which we call Thought, and that nothing else except this mode belongs to his essence: so much so that when this mode comes to naught, the soul perishes also, although the above attribute remains unchanged. Similarly as regards what he has of Exten­ sion; what we call Body is nothing else than a mode of the other attribute which we call Extension; when this is destroyed, the human body also ceases to be, al­ though the attribute Extension remains unchanged.

Now in order to understand what this mode is, which we call Soul, and how it derives its origin from the body, and also how its change (only) depends on the body (which to me constitutes the union of soul and body), it must be observed:

I . That the most immediate mode of the attribute which we call thought con­ tains ob;ective the formal essence of all things; so much so, that if one could posit a real thing whose essence was not ob;ective in the above-named attribute, then this would not be infinite, nor supremely perfect in its kind; contrary to what has already been proved in the third proposition. And since, as a matter of fact, Na­ ture or God is one being of which infinite attributes are predicated, and which contains in itself all the essences of created things, it necessarily follows that of all this there is produced in Thought an infinite Idea, which comprehends ob;ective the whole of Nature just as it is realiter.

2. It is to be observed that all the remaining modes, such as Love, Desire, Joy, etc . , derive their origin from this first immediate mode; and that, too, in such wise, that if it did not precede, then there could be no love, desire, nor joy, etc. Whence it clearly follows that the natural love which prompts everything to preserve its body (I mean the mode) cannot have any other origin than in the Idea or the "ob-

Appendix II 1 0 5

jective" essence of such body which i s in the thinking attribute. Further, since for the real existence of an Idea (or "objective" essence) no other thing is required than the thinking attribute and the object (or "formal" essence), it is certain, as we have sa id, that the Idea, or the "objective" essence, is the most immediate ! mode of the thinking attribute. And, consequently, there can be in the thinking attribute no other mode, that should belong to the essence of the soul of every thing, except only the Idea, which must be in the thinking attribute when its ob­ ject exists: for such an idea brings with it the remaining modes of Love, Desire, Joy, etc. Now as the Idea comes from the existence of the object, therefore ac­ cording as the object changes or perishes, so its Idea must change or perish , and such being the case, i t is that which is united with the object.'

Lastly, if we should want to proceed and ascribe to the essence of the soul that through which it can be real, we shall be able to find nothing else than the at­ tribute [Thought] and the object of which we have just been speaking; and nei­ ther of these can belong to the essence of the Soul, as the object has nothing of Thought, and is realiter different from the Soul . And with regard to the attribute, we have also proved already that it cannot pertain to the above-mentioned essence, as appears even more clearly from what we said subsequently; for the at­ tribute as attribute is not united with the object, since it neither changes nor per­ ishes, although the object changes or perishes.

Therefore the essence of the soul consists in this alone, namely, in the exis­ tence of an Idea or "objective" essence in the thinking attribute, arising from the essence of an object which in fact exists in Nature. I say, of an object which in fact exists, etc., without more particulars, so as to include under this not only the modes of extension, but also the modes of all the infinite attributes, which have also each its soul, just as in the case of extension. And in order that this definition may be somewhat more fully understood, it should be borne in mind what I have already said when speaking abou t the attributes, which, I sa id, are not different as regards their existence, for they are themselves the "subjects" of their essences; also that the essence of every one of the modes is contained in the above-named attributes, and, lastly, that all the attributes are attributes of One infinite Being. Wherefore also, in the ninth chapter of the First Part, I called this Idea a creation created immediately by God; since it contains objective the "formal" essence of all things,b without omission or addition. And this is necessarily but one, consider­ ing that all the essences of the attributes, and the essences of the modes compre­ hended in these attributes, are the essence of one only infinite being. But it has still to be remarked that these modes, now under consideration, [even when] none of them exists, are nevertheless equally comprehended in their attributes; and as

1 I call that mode the most unmedtate mode, which, In order to eXISt, requires no other mode in the same attnbute.

a [B . . . . so thiS Idea of It Inlst change or pensh In the same degree or measure of change or anmhl­ lahon, because it is thus umted With the object.]

b [B - . . I called the thlnkmg attribute, or the understandmg In the thmkmg thmg, a son, product, or creation created tnllnedlately by God, since It con tams the "objective" essence of all things

106 Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being

there is no inequality whatever in the attributes, nor yet in the essences of the modes, there can be no particularity in the idea when there is none in Nature. But as soon as ever some of these modes take on their particular existence, and thereby become in some way different from their attributes (because then their particular existence, which they have in the attribute, as the "subject" of their essence), then there shows itself a particularity in the essences of the modes, and consequently in the "objective" essences of these which are necessarily compre­ hended in the Idea.c And this is the reason why we said, in the definition, that the Idead arises from an object, which really exists in Nature. And with this we think we have sufficiently expla ined what kind of a thing the soul is in general, under­ standing by th is expression not only the Ideas which arise from the existence of corporeal modes, but also those which arise from the existence of every mode of the remaining attributes.

But, since we have no such knowledge of the remaining attributes as we have of extension, let us j ust see whether, having regard to the modes of extension, we can discover a more special definition, and one that shall be more appropriate to express the essence of our souls, for this is the real task before us. Now we shall presuppose here, as someth ing already demonstrated, that extension contains no other modes than motion and rest, and that every particular material th ing is noth­ ing else than a certain proportion of motion and rest, so much so indeed that, even if extension contained nothing else except motion only or rest only, then no par­ ticular thing could be shown or exist in the whole of extension; the human body, therefore, is nothing else than a certa in proportion of motion and rest. Now the "objective essence" of this actual ratio of motion and rest which is in the thinking attribute, this (we say) is the soul of the body; so that whenever one of these two modes changes into more or less (motion or rest) the Idea or the soul also changes accordingly. For example, when the [amount of] rest happens to increase, while the [quantity of] motion is diminished, then there is produced thereby that pain or sorrow which we call cold; but if, on the contrary, this [increase] takes place in the [amount of] motion , then there is produced thereby that pain which we call heat. e And so when it happens that the degrees of motion and rest are not equal in all the parts of our body, but that some have more motion and rest than others, there arises therefrom a difference of feel ing (and thence arises the different kind of pain which we feel when we are struck in the eyes or on the hands with a cane). And when it happens that the external causes, which bring about these changes,

C [B- In the Thmkmg Attnbute 1

d [8: the soul, the Idea, or ob,echve essence In the thmkmg attnbute (which IS all one to me) arises . . . J e [8 continues as follows. But if the proporhon of mohon and rest IS not the same m all the parts of

our body, but some of them are provtded wdh more motion or rest than the others, there arises thence a difference of feelmg- such as we expenence when we are struck With a cane in the eyes or on the hands. Moreover, when the external causes happen to be different, and have not all the same effect, there results therefrom a difference of feeling In one and the same part. such as we experi­ ence when the same hand IS struck with a piece of wood or of !fon But when the change which oc- curs In some part restores It to Its previous proportion of mohon and rest, there ariSes 1

Appendix II 107

are different from one another, and have not all the same effect, then there results from this a difference of feel ing in one and the same part (and from this results the difference offeel ing according as one and the same hand is struck with a piece of wood or of iron) . And, again, if the change which occurs in a part restores it to its first proportion of motion and rest, there arises from this that joy which we call repose, pleasurable activity, and cheerfulness. Lastly, now that we have explained what feel ing is, we can easily see how this gives rise to an Idea ref/exiva, or the knowledge of oneself, Experience and Reasoning. And from all this (as also be­ cause our soul is united with God, and is a part of the infinite Idea, arising im­ mediately from God) there can also be clearly seen the origin of clear knowledge, and the immortality of the soul . But, for the present, what we have said must be enough.

P RINC I P LES OF CART E S IAN

P H I LOS OPHY AN D

METAP HYS ICAL THOUGHTS

Spino;ta is often depicted as a solitary rebel. This is a caricature. I n fact, he was one of a group of radical thinkers, deeply involved in the new science and in Cartesian philosophy, who gathered around Franciscus Van den Enden. Others included Lodewi;k Meyer, Johan Bouwmeester, Pieter Balling, Simon de Vries, and Jarig Jelles. Spino;ta participated with others in what was notorious as a Cartesian revolution, the mechanical philosophy. He, like his friends, was committed to determinism, the condition of human passivity, the intellectual love of God, and more.

The Principles of Cartesian Philosophy is the most explicit evidence of Spino;ta's interest and expertise in Descartes. One of two works published by Spino;ta during his lifetime, it appeared in 1 663. While living in Ri;nsburg, Spino;ta acted as a professional tutor, and one of his pupils in Cartesian philosophy was a nineteen-year-old Leiden University student, Johannes Caesarius. According to Spino;ta's friend Lodewijk Meyer in his introduction to the 1 663 edition, Spino;ta's Amsterdam friends had encouraged him to publish the materials on Descartes that he had dictated to Caesarius. In them, Spino;ta had recast Descartes' philosophical thinking into a synthetic or demonstrative form both to clarify Descartes' intentions and to secure the details of the system. The result is a work that reveals as much about Spino;ta's own thinking as it does about Cartesian philosophy. It was, after all, written on the heels of the TIE and during a period in which Spino;ta was still at work on the Short Treatise, fully in the spirit of the rest of his philosophical and scientific enquiries.

Clearly Spino;ta is convinced that mathematics is the exemplary science and that presenting philosophical results in a mathematical or geometrical form best ref/ects their certitude. Descartes' Principles of Ph ilosophy, published in 1 644, was Descartes' attempt to present in this form (that is, synthetically) the views he had come to in the 1 630s-in the Meditations, Discourse, and essays on optics, astronomy, and geometry-in a more discursive or analytic way. Spino;ta's own presentation advances Descartes' achievement. Originally it dealt with Part 2 of Descartes' Principles and the beginning of Part 3. At his friends' request, Spino;ta added a presentation of Part 1 . He did it rather quickly, however, and apologi;ted for its haste.

1 08

Principles of Cartesian Philosophy and Metaphysical Thoughts 109

Spino;z;a was explicit about Caesarius' shortcomings, at least at this early stage in his education; he was after all only nineteen. For this reason, Spino;z;a studiously avoided discussion of his own views which he thought too advanced and for which Caesarius was not yet prepared. His comments on Part 1 and indeed the finished product were, in the end, prepared for his friends and associates and others attuned to the new philosophy. Ostensibly a work of pure exposition and clarification, the published book reveals some differences between Spino;z;a and Descartes as well as Spino;z;a's way of clarifying the point of Cartesian philosophy and science. Like John Rawls' account of Kantian moral philosophy, Principles of Cartesian Ph ilosophy is about both its subject and its author.

When the work was published, Spino;z;a had already moved from Rijnsburg, near Leiden, to the village ofVoorburg, outside The Hague. Shortly after the move, he visited Amsterdam for several weeks in order to prepare the lessons on Descartes for publication. Having spent two weeks writing his account of Part 1 , he arranged Lodewijk Meyer's assistance i n editing the book and writing its preface. Eventually Spino;z;a appended some comments on the metaphysics of Part 1 and his own thought3 on these matters; these were published in an appendix, the "Cogitata Metaphysica," or "Metaphysical Thought3." Meyer was careful in his preface to point out where Spino;z;a differed from Descartes-for example, on mind as a substance and on the freedom of the will. But Meyer was selective; there were many differences of or{!f:mi;z;ation and presentation as well as these central differences in substance.

The Principles of Cartesian Philosophy is an important document for a number of reasons. Spino;z;a's exposition of Cartesian philosophy reflect3 his interest in the details of science as well as in it3 foundations. Second, his own "Cogitata Metaphysica," when compared with his exposition of Part 1 and with his later work, expresses the primary role of God in his thinking and the importance of the modal notions of necessity and contingency and the concept3 of eternity and duration. Finally, the work confirms Spino;z;a's role as an expert in and advocate of Cartesianism and it3 special character as a model of the new philosophy.

M.L.M.

1 1 0 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy and Metaphysical Thoughts

CONTENTS

PRINCIPLES OF CARTESIAN PHILOSOPHY

Preface by Lodewijk Meyer

PART I

Prolegomenon Definitions Axioms Prop. I : We cannot be absolutely certain of anything as long as we

do not know that we exist. Prop. 2: 'I am' must be self-evident. Prop. 3 : 'I am', insofar as the 'I' is a thing consisting of body, is not a

first principle and is not known through itself. Prop. 4: 'I am' cannot be the first known principle except insofar as

we think. Axioms Taken from Descartes Prop. 5: The existence of God is known solely from the

consideration of h is nature. Prop. 6 : The existence of God is proved a posteriori from the mere

fact that the idea of him is in us. Prop. 7 : The existence of God is also proved from the fact that we

ourselves exist while having the idea of him. Prop. 8: Mind and body are distinct in reality. Prop. 9: God is a supremely understanding being. Prop. 10: Whatever perfection is found in God, is from God. Prop. I I : There cannot be more than one God. Prop. 12: All things that exist are preserved solely by the power of

God. Prop. 1 3 : God is supremely truthful, and not at all a deceiver. Prop. 14: Whatever we clearly and distinctly perceive is true. Prop. 1 5 : Error is not anything positive. Prop. 1 6 : God is incorporeal . Prop. 1 7 : God is a completely simple being. Prop. 1 8: God is immutable. Prop. 19: God is eternal . Prop. 20: God has preordained all things from eternity.

Prop. 2 1 : Substance extended in length, breadth, and depth exisls in reality, and we are united to one part of it.

PART 2

Postulate Definitions Axioms Prop. I: Although hardness, weight and the other sensible qualities

may be separated from a body, the nature of the body will nevertheless remain unimpa ired .

Prop. 2: The nature of body or matter cons isis only in extension. Prop. 3 : That there should be a vacuum is a contradiction. Prop. 4: One part of a body does not occupy more space at one time

than at another; and, conversely, the same space does not contain more body at one time than at another.

Prop. 5: There are no atoms. Prop. 6: Matter is indefinitely extended, and the matter of the

heavens and the earth is one and the same. Prop. 7 : No body moves into the place of another body unless at the

same time that other body moves into the place of another body. Prop. 8: When a body moves into the place of another body, at the

same moment of time the place quitted by it is occupied by another body immediately contiguous to it.

Prop. 9: If a circular tube ABC is full of water and is four times as wide at A as at B, then at the time that the water (or any other fluid body) at A begins to move toward B, the water at B will move at four times that speed.

Prop. 10 : The fluid body that moves through the tube ABC (of Prop. 9) receives an indefinite number of degrees of speed .

Prop. I I : The matter that flows through the tube ABC (of Prop. 9) is divided into an indefinite number of particles.

Prop. 1 2 : God is the principal cause of motion. Prop. 1 3 : God still preserves by his concurrence the same quantity

of motion and rest that he originally gave to matter. Prop. 14: Each single th ing, insofur as i t is simple and undivided

and is considered only in ilself, always perseveres in the same state, as fur as in it l ies.

Prop. 1 5 : Every body in motion tends of ilself to continue to move in a straight line, not in a curved line.

Prop. 1 6: Every body that moves in a circle (e.g., a stone in a sl ing) is continuously determined to continue in motion at a tangent to that circle.

Prop. 1 7 : Every body that moves in a circle endeavors to move away from the cen ter of the circle that it describes.

Contents I I I

1 1 2 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy and Metaphysical Thoughts

Prop. 1 8: If a body A moves toward a body B, which is at rest, and B loses noth ing of its state of rest in sp ite of the impetus of body A, then neither will A lose anything of its motion, but will reta in entirely the same quantity of motion that it had before.

Prop. 19 : Motion, regarded in itself, is different from its determination toward a certa in direction; and there is no need for a moving body to be for any time at rest in order that it may travel or be repelled in an opposite direction.

Prop. 20: If a body A collides with a body B and takes i t along with it, A will lose as much of its motion as B acquires from A because of its collision with A.

Prop. 2 1 : If a body A is twice as large as B and moves with equal speed, A will also have twice as much motion as B, or twice as much force for reta ining a speed equal to B's.

Prop. 22: If a body A is equal to a body B, and A is moving at twice the speed of B, the force or motion in A will be twice that in B.

Prop. 23: When the modes of a body are compelled to undergo variation, that variation will always be the least that can be.

Prop. 24, Rule I : If two bodies, A and B, should be completely equal and should move in a straight line toward each other with equal velocity, on colliding with each other they will both be reflected in the opposite direction with no loss of speed.

Prop. 2 5 , Rule 2 : If A and B are unequal in mass, B being greater than A, other conditions being as previously stated, then A alone will be reflected, and each will continue to move at the same speed .

Prop. 26: If A and B are unequal in mass and speed, B being twice the size of A and the motion in A being twice the speed of that in B, other conditions being as before stated, they will both be reflected in the opposite direction, each reta ining the speed that i t possessed.

Prop. 27, Rule 3 : If A and B are equal in mass but B moves a l i ttle faster than A, not only will A be reflected in the opposite direction, but also B will transfer to A half the difference of their speeds, and both will proceed to move in the same direction at the same speed.

Prop. 28, Rule 4: If a body A is completely at rest and is a l ittle larger than B, with whatever speed B moves toward A it will never move A, but will be repelled by A in the opposite direction, reta ining its original motion.

Prop. 29, Rule 5 : If a body A at rest is smaller than B, then however slowly B moves toward A, it will move it along with i t, transferring to it such a part of its motion that both bodies thereafter move at the same speed .

Prop. 30, Rule 6: If a body A at rest were exactly equal to a body B, which is moving toward it, to some degree A would be impelled by B, and to some degree B would be repelled by A in the opposite direction.

Prop. 3 1 , Rule 7: If B and A are moving in the same direction, A more slowly and B following it more quickly so that it finally overtakes A, and if A is bigger than B, but B's excess of speed is greater than A's excess of magnitude, then B will transfer to A so much of its motion that both will thereafter move at the same speed in the same direction. But if, on the other hand, A's excess of magnitude should be greater than B's excess of speed, B would be reflected by it in the opposite direction, retaining all its motion.

Prop. 32: If a body B is surrounded on all sides by particles in motion, which at the same time are impelling it with equal force in all directions, as long as no other cause occurs it will remain unmoved in the same place.

Prop. 33: Body B, under the conditions stated previously, can be moved in any direction by any additional force, however small.

Prop. 34: Body B, under the same conditions as previously, cannot move more quickly than i t is impelled by the external force, even though the particles by which it is surrounded are in much swifter motion.

Prop. 35: When body B is thus moved by an external impulse, it receives the greatest part of its motion from the bodies by which i t is constantly surrounded, and not from the external force.

Prop. 36: If any body (e.g. , our hand) can move in any direction whatsoever with equal motion without offering any resistance to any bodies or meeting with any resistance from any other bodies, then in that space through which it would thus move there must necessarily be as many bodies moving in one direction as there are bodies moving in any other direction, their force of speed being equal to one another's and to that of the hand.

Prop. 37: If a body A can be moved in any direction whatsoever by any force, however small, it must necessarily be surrounded by bodies that are moving at the same speed as one another.

PART 3

Postulate Definitions Axioms Prop. I : The parts into which matter was first divided were not

round but angular. Prop. 2 : The force that brought it about that the particles of matter

should move about their own centers, at the same time brought

Contents 1 1 3

1 14 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy and Metaphysical Thoughts

it about that the angles of the particles should be worn away by coll ision with one another.

METAPHYSICAL THOUGHTS

PART I

Chap. I : Of Real Being, Fictitious Being, and Being of Reason Chap. 2 : What Essence Is, What Existence Is, What Idea Is, and

What Potency Is Chap. 3: Concerning the Necessary, the Impossible, the Possible,

and the Contingent Chap. 4: Of Duration and Time Chap. 5: Of Opposition, Order, Etc. Chap. 6: Of the One, the True, and the Good

PART 2

Chap. I : Of God's Eternity Chap. 2 : Of the Unity of God Chap. 3 : Of the Immeasurableness of God Chap. 4: Of the Immutability of God Chap. 5 : Of the Simpl icity of God Chap. 6: Of the Life of God Chap. 7 : Of God's Intellect Chap. 8: Of God's Will Chap. 9: Of God's Power Chap. 10: Of Creation Chap. I I : Of God's Concurrence Chap. 12: Of the Human Mind

Parts I and IP of Rene Descartes's

THE PRINCIPLES

OF PHILOSOPHY

demonstrated in the geometric manner

by

Benedict de Spinoza of Amsterdam.

To which are added his Metaphysical Thoughts,

in which are briefly explained the more difficult problems that arise in both the

general and the special part of Metaphysics.

Amsterdam. Published by Johannes Rieuwertsz,

in the quarter commonly called The Dirk van Assen-Steeg,

under the sign Martyrologium. 1 663.

Notes Without brackets are Spinoza's. Bracketed notes are those of Steven Barbone and Lee Rice (mam annotators for this work), translator Samuel Shirley, Spmoza's fnend Pieter Ballmg. and Michael L. Morgan. 1 [The frontispiece announces only Parts I and II of the PPC; Part I I I IS not mentioned here.

-5 B IL.R.]

1 1 6 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

PREFACE

To the honest reader, Lodewi jk Meyer gives greetings

It is the unanimous opinion of all who seek wisdom beyond the common lot that the best and surest way to discover and to teach truth is the method used by math­ ematicians in their study and exposition of the sciences, namely, that whereby conclusions are demonstrated from definitions, postulates, and axioms. And in­ deed rightly so. Because all sure and sound knowledge of what is unknown can be el icited and derived only from what is al ready known with certainty, this latter must first be built up from the ground as a solid foundation on which thereafter to construct the entire edifice of human knowledge, if that is not to collapse of its own accord or give way at the slightest blow. That the things familiar to mathe­ maticians under the title of definitions, postulates, and axioms are of this kind can­ not be doubted by anyone who has even the slightest acquaintance with that noble discipl ine. For definitions are merely the perspicuous explanations of the terms and names by which matters under discussion are designated, whereas pos­ tulates and axioms-that is, the common notions of the mind-are statements so clear and lucid that no one who has simply understood the words aright can pos­ sibly refuse assent.

But although this is so, you will find that with the exception of mathematics hardly any branch of learning is treated by th is method. Instead, a totally differ­ ent method is adopted, whereby the entire work is executed by means of defini­ tions and logical divisions interl inked in a chain, with problems and explanations interspersed here and there. For almost all who have appl ied themselves to es­ tabl ishing and setting out the sciences have believed, and many still do believe, that the mathematical method is peculiar to mathematics and is to be rejected as inappl icable to all other branches of learning.

In consequence, nothing of what they produce is demonstrated with conclu­ sive reasoning. They try to advance arguments that depend merely on l ikel ihood and probability, and in this way they thrust before the public a great medley of great books in which you may look in va in for sol idity and certainty. Disputes and strife abound, and what one somehow establishes with trivial arguments of no real weight is soon refuted by another, demol ished and shattered with the same weapons. So where the mind, eager for unshakable truth, had thought to find for its labors a placid stretch of water that it could navigate with safety and success, thereafter atta ining the haven of knowledge for which i t yearned, it finds itself tossed on a stormy sea of opinion, beset on all sides with tempests of dispute, hurled about and carried away on waves of uncerta inty, endlessly, with no hope of ever emerging therefrom.

Yet there have not been lacking some who have thought differently and, tak­ ing pity on the wretched plight of Philosophy, have distanced themselves from this universally adopted and habitual way of treating the sciences and have en-

Part I, Preface 1 1 7

tered upon a new and indeed a n arduous path bristl ing with difficulties, s o a s to leave to posterity the other parts of Ph ilosophy, besides mathematics, demon­ strated with mathematical method and with mathematical certainty. Of these, some have arranged in mathematical order and passed on to the world of letters a ph ilosophy already accepted and customarily taught in the schools, whereas oth­ ers have thus treated a new philosophy, discovered by their own exertions. For a long time, the many who undertook this task met with no success, but at last there arose that brightest star of our age, Rene Descartes. Mter bringing forth by a new method from darkness to l ight whatever had been inaccessible to the ancients, and in addition whatever could be wanting in his own age, he laid the unshak­ able foundations of philosophy on which numerous truths could be built with mathematical order and certainty, as he h imself effectively proved, and as is clearer than the midday sun to all who have paid careful attention to h is writings, for which no praise is too great.

Although the philosophical writings ofth is most noble and incomparable man exhibit the mathematical manner and order of demonstration, yet they are not composed in the style commonly used in Eucl id's Elements and other geometri­ cal works, the style wherein Definitions, Postulates, and Axioms are first enunci­ ated, followed by Propositions and their demonstrations. They are arranged in a very different way, which he calls the true and best way of teach ing, the Analytic way. For at the end of h is "Reply to Second Objections,"2 he acknowledges two modes of conclusive proof. One is by analysis, "which shows the true way by which a th ing is discovered methodically and, as it were, a priori"; the other is by syn­ thesis, "which employs a long series of definitions, postulates, axioms, theorems and problems, so that if any of the conclusions be denied, it can be shown im­ mediately that this is involved in what has preceded, and thus the reader, however reluctant and obstinate, is forced to agree."

However, although both kinds of demonstration afford a certainty that l ies be­ yond any risk of doubt, not everyone finds them equally useful and convenient. There are many who, being quite unacquainted with the mathematical sciences and therefore completely ignorant of the synthetic method in which they are arranged and of the analytic method by which they were discovered, are neither able themselves to understand nor to expound to others the things that are dis­ cussed and logically demonstrated in these books. Consequently, many who, ei­ ther carried away by blind enthusiasm or influenced by the authority of others, have become followers of Descartes have done no more than commit to memory h is opinions and doctrines. When the subject arises in conversation, they can only prate and chatter without offering any proof, as was once and still is the case with the followers of the Peripatetic ph ilosophy. Therefore, to provide them with some assistance, I have often wished that someone, skilled both in the analytic and syn­ thetic arrangement and thoroughly versed in Descartes's writings and expert in his philosophy, should set his hand to th is task, and undertake to arrange in syn-

2 [See AT?, 1 5 5-156; cf the slight variation In the French version at AT9, 1 2 1- 122 J

l i S Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

thetic order what Descartes wrote in analytic order, demonstrating it in the way familiar to geometricians. Indeed, though fully conscious of my incompetence and unfitness for such a task, I have frequently thought of undertaking it myself and have even made a start. But other distractions, which so often claim my at­ tention, have prevented its completion.

I was therefore delighted to hear from our Author that, while teaching Descartes's philosophy to a certain pupil of his, he had dictated to h im the whole of Part II of the Principia and some of Part III, demonstrated in that geometric style, and also the principal and more difficult questions that arise in metaphysics and remain unresolved by Descartes, and that, at the urgent entreaties and plead­ ings of h is friends, he has permitted these to be published as a single work, cor­ rected and ampl ified by himself. So I also commended this same project, at the same time gladly offering my services, if needed, to get this published. Further­ more I urged him - indeed, besought him - to set out Part I of the Principia as well in l ike order to precede the rest, so that the work, as thus arranged from its very beginning, might be better understood and give greater satisfaction . When he saw how reasonable was this proposal, he could not refuse the pleas of a friend and l ikewise the good of the reader. He further entrusted to my care the entire business both of printing and of publ ishing because he l ives in the country far from the city and so cannot give it his personal attention. 3

Such then, honest reader, are the contents of this l ittle book, namely, Parts I and II of Descartes's Principia Philosophiae together with a fragment of Part III, to which we have added, as an appendix, our Author's Cogitata Metaphysica. But when we here say Part I of the Principia, and the book's title so announces, we do not intend it to be understood that everyth ing Descartes says there is here set forth as demonstrated in geometric order. The title derives only from its main contents, and so the ch ief metaphysical themes that were treated by Descartes in his Med­ itations are taken from that book (omitting all other matters that concern Logic and are related and reviewed only in a h istorical way) . To do this more effectively, the Author has transposed word for word almost the entire passage at the end of the "Reply to the Second Set of Objections; which Descartes arranged in geo­ metric order ' He first sets out all Descartes's definitions and inserts Descartes's propositions among his own, but he does not place the axioms immediately after the definitions; he brings them in only after Proposition 4, changing their order so as to make it easier to prove them, and omitting some that he did not require.

Although our Author is well aware that these axioms (as Descartes h imself says in Postulate 7) can be proved as theorems and can even more neatly be classed as propositions, and al though we also asked h im to do this, being engaged in more important affairs he had only the space of two weeks to complete this work, and that is why he could not satisfy his own wishes and ours. He does at any rate add a brief explanation that can serve as a demonstration, postponing for another oc-

3 [It appears from Ep12. however, that Spmoza was able to make corrections to the page proofs J 4 [AT7. 160-170.J

Part I, Preface 1 19

casion a lengthier proof, complete in all respects, with view to a new edition to follow this hurried one. To augment th is, we shall also try to persuade him to com­ plete Part III in its entirety, "Concerning the Visible World" (of which we give here only a fragment, since the Author ended his instruction at th is poin t and we did not wish to deprive the reader of it, l ittle as it is). For this to be properly exe­ cuted, some propositions concerning the nature and property of Fluids will need to be inserted at various places in Part II, and I shall then do my best to persuade the Author to do this at the time. 5

It is not only in setting forth and explaining the Axioms that our Author fre­ quently diverges from Descartes but also in proving the Propositions themselves and the other conclusions, and he employs a logical proof far different from that of Descartes. But let no one take this to mean that he intended to correct the il­ lustrious Descartes in these matters, but that our Author's sole purpose in so do­ ing is to enable him the better to retain his already established order and to avoid increasing unduly the number of Axioms. For the same reason, he has also been compelled to prove many th ings that Descartes propounded without proof, and to add others that he completely omitted.

However, I should l ike it to be particularly noted that in all these writings, in Parts I and II and the fragment of Part III ofthe Principia and also in the Cogitata Metaphysica, our Author has simply given Descartes's opinions and their demon­ strations j ust as they are found in h is writings, or such as should val idly be deduced from the foundations laid by him. For having undertaken to teach h is pupil Descartes's philosophy, h is scruples forbade him to depart in the slightest degree from Descartes's views or to dictate anything that did not correspond with, or was contrary to, his doctrines. Therefore no one should conclude that he here teaches either his own views or only those of which he approves. For although he holds some of the doctrines to be true, and admits that some are his own additions, there are many he rejects as false, holding a very different opinion. 6

Of this sort, to single out one of many, are statements concerning the Will in the Schol ium to Proposition 15 of Part I of the Principia and in Chapter 1 2 , Part II of the Appendix, although they appear to be laboriously and meticulously proved. For he does not consider the Will to be distinct from the Intellect, far less endowed with freedom of that kind. Indeed, in making these assertions, as is clear from Part 4 of the Discourse on Method, the "Second Meditation," and other pas­ sages, Descartes merely assumes, and does not prove, that the human mind is an absolutely th inking substance. Although our Author does indeed admit that there is in Nature a thinking substance, he denies that this constitutes the essence of the human mind.7 He maintains that, j ust as Extension is not determined by any l imits, so Thought, too, is not determined by any l imits. And therefore, j ust as the

5 [ For evidence that Spmoza was developmg hlS own theory of flUids, see Ep6, 78-8 1 . ] 6 [Meyer notes three mam differences: the substantiality o f t he human soul, the dIStinction between

the Will and mtellect, and the freedom to suspend Judgment. Spinoza notes his differences with Descartes, see Ep2, 62-63, Ep2 1 , 1 54-158 J

7 [ef E2Pl l J

120 Principles orear/esian Philosophy

human body is not Extension absolutely, but only as determined in a particular way in accordance with the laws of extended Nature through motion and rest, so too the human mind or soul is not Thought absolutely, but only as determined in a particular way in accordance with the laws of th inking Nature through ideas, and one concludes that this must come into existence when the human body be­ gins to exist. From this definition , he thinks it is not difficult to prove that Will is not distinct from Intellect, far less is it endowed with the freedom that Descartes ascribes to i t. 8 Indeed, he holds that a faculty of affirming and denying is quite fic­ titious, that affirming and denying are nothing but ideas, and that other facul ties such as Intellect, Desire, etc., must be accounted as figments, or at least among those notions that men have formed through conceiving things in an abstract way, such as humanity, stoniness, and other things of that kind.

Here, too, we must not omit to mention that assertions found in some passages, that this or that surpasses human understanding, must be taken in the same sense (Le. , as giving only Descartes's opinion). This must not be regarded as expressing our Author's own view. All such things, he holds, and many others even more sub­ l ime and subtle, can not only be conceived by us clearly and distinctly but can also be expla ined quite satisfactorily, provided that the human intellect can be gUided to the search for truth and the knowledge of things along a path different from that which was opened up and leveled by Descartes. And so he holds that the foundations of the sciences laid by Descartes and the superstructure that he built thereon do not suffice to elucidate and resolve all the most difficul t prob­ lems that arise in metaphysics. Other foundations are required if we seek to raise our intellect to that pinnacle of knowledge.

Finally, to bring my preface to a close, we should l ike our readers to real ize that all that is here treated is given to the public for the sole purpose of searching out and disseminating truth and to urge men to the pursuit of a true and genuine philosophy. And so in order that all may reap therefrom as rich a profit as we sin­ cerely desire for them, before they begin reading we earnestly beg them to insert omitted passages in their proper place and carefully to correct printing errors that have crept in . Some of these are such as may be an obstacle in the way of per­ ceiving the force of the demonstration and the Author's meaning, as anyone will readily gather from looking at them.

8 [Cf EZP411; EZP49 Cor and Schol . ]

Part I, Prolegomenon 1 2 l

THE PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY

DEMONSTRATED IN THE GEOMETRIC MANNER

PART 1

Prolegomenon

Before coming to the Propositions and their Demonstrations, I have thought it helpful to give a concise account as to why Descartes doubted everything, the way in which he laid the solid foundations of the sciences, and finally the means by which he freed h imself from all doubts. I should indeed have arranged all this in mathematical order had I not considered that the prolixity involved in this form of presentation would be an obstacle to the proper understanding of all those things that ought to be beheld at a single glance, as in the case of a picture.

Descartes, then, so as to proceed with the greatest caution in h is enquiry, at­ tempted:

I . to put aside all prejudice, 2 . to discover the foundations on which everything should be bu ilt, 3 . to uncover the cause of error, 4. to understand everything clearly and distinctly.

To achieve his first, second, and third aims, he proceeded to call everything into dou bt, not indeed l ike a Skeptic whose sole aim is to doubt, but to free his mind from all prejudice so that he might finally discover the firm and unshakable foun­ dations of the sciences, which, if they existed, could thus not escape him. For the true principles of the sciences ought to be so clear and certa in that they need no proof, are placed beyond all hazard of doubt, and without them nothing can be demonstrated. These principles, after a lengthy period of doubting, he discovered. Now when he had found them, it was not difficult for him to distinguish true from false, to uncover the cause of error, and so to take precautions against assuming as true and certain what was false and doubtful.

To achieve h is fourth and final aim, that of understanding everything clearly and distinctly, h is ch ief rule was to enumerate the simple ideas out of which all others are compounded and to scrutinize each one separately. For when he could perceive simple ideas clearly and distinctly, he would doubtless understand with the same clarity and distinctness all the other ideas compounded from those sim­ ple ideas. Having thus outlined my program, I shall briefly explain in what man-

122 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

ner he called everything into doubt, discovered the true principles ofthe sciences, and extricated h imself from the difficul ties of doubt.

D oub t C oncerning All Things

First, then, he reviewed all those things he had gathered from h is senses- the sky, the earth, and the l ike, and even his own body-all of wh ich he had hitherto re­ garded as belonging to reality. And he doubted their certainty because he had found that the senses occasionally deceived him, and in dreams he had often been convinced that many things truly existed externally to himself, discovering after­ ward that he had been deluded. And finally there was the fact that he had heard others, even when awake, declare that they felt pain in l imbs they had lost long before 9 Therefore he was able to doubt, not without reason, even the existence of his own body. From all these considerations he could truly conclude that the senses are not a very strong foundation on which to build all science, for they can be called into doubt; certainty depends on other principles of which we can be more sure. Continuing h is enquiry, in the second place he turned to the consid­ eration of all universals, such as corporeal nature in general , its extension, like­ wise its figure, quantity, etc. , and also all mathematical truths. Although these seemed to him more certain than any of the things he had gathered from h is senses, yet he discovered a reason for doubting them . l o For others had erred even concerning these. And there was a particularly strong reason, an ancient bel ief, fixed in h is mind, that there was an all-powerful God who had created him as he was, and so may have caused him to be deceived even regarding those things that seemed very clear to him. I I This, then, is the manner in which he called every­ thing into doubt.

Th e Dis cov ery of th e F ound a ti on of All Sci enc e

Now in order to discover the true principles of the sciences, he proceeded to en­ quire whether he had called into doubt everything that could come within the scope of h is thought; thus he might find out whether there was not perchance still someth ing left that he had not yet doubted. For if in the course of thus doubting he should find someth ing that could not be called into doubt either for any of the previous reasons or for any other reason , he quite rightly considered that this must be established as a foundation on wh ich he could build all h is knowledge. I' And al though he had already, as it seemed, doubted everything-for he had doubted

9 [The fust two arguments are gIven 10 MedI , 1 3- 1 5 (AT?, H�20) and PPH IA4, whereas the thmi is nol given until Med6, 50 (AT7, 76-77) . ]

1 0 ]Med l , 1 5 (ATI, 20).] I I [Med l , 1 5-16 (ATI, 2 1-22).] 1 2 [Med2, 17 (ATI, 24).]

Part I, Prolegomenon 1 2 3

not only what he had gathered from h i s senses bu t also what he had perceived by intellect alone-yet there was still something left to be examined, namely, him­ self who was doing the doubting, not insofar as he consisted of head, hands, and other bodily parts (since he had doubted these) but only insofar as he was doubt­ ing, th inking, etc. Examining this carefully, he realized that he could not doubt it for any of the foregoing reasons. For whether he is dreaming or awake as he thinks, nevertheless he thinks, and is. 1 3 And although others, or even he himself, had erred with regard to other matters; nevertheless, because they were erring, they were. He could imagine no author of h is being so cunning as to deceive him on tha t score; for i t must be granted that he h imself exists as long as it is supposed that he is being deceived. In shor� whatever other reason for doubting be devised, there could be adduced none of such a kind as not at the same time to make him most certain of his existence. Indeed, the more reasons are adduced for doubting, the more arguments are simultaneously adduced to convince him of h is own ex­ istence. So, in whatever direction he turns in order to doubt, he is nevertheless compelled to utter these words: "I doubt, I think, therefore I am."14

Thus, in laying bare this truth, at the same time he also discovered the foun­ dation of all the sciences, and also the measure and rule for all other truths- that whatever is perceived as clearly and distinctly as this, is true. l 5

It is abundantly clear from the preceding that there can be no other founda­ tion for the sciences than th is; everything else can quite easily be called into doubt, but th is can by no means be doubted. However, with regard to th is foun­ dation, it should be particularly noted that the statement, "I doubt, I think, therefore I am," is not a syllogism with the major premise omitted . If i t were a syllogism, the premises should be clearer and better known than the conclusion Therefore I am', and so 'I am' would not be the prime basis of all knowledge. Furthermore, it would not be a certa in conclusion, for its truth would depend on universal premises which the Author had al ready called in to doubt. So 'I think, therefore I am' is a Single independent proposition, equivalent to the fol­ lowing- 'I am, while thinking'.

To avoid confusion in what follows (for this is a matter that must be perceived clearly and distinctly), we must next know what we are. For when this has been clearly and distinctly understood, we shall not confuse our essence with others. In order to deduce this from what has gone before, our Author proceeds as follows.

He recalls to mind all thoughts that he once had about himself, that h is soul is something tenuous l ike the wind or fire or the ether, infused among the denser parts of his body; that his body is better known to him than his soul; and that he perceives the former more clearly and distinctly. l 6 And he realizes that all this is clearly inconsistent with what he has so far understood. For he was able to doubt

" [Med2, 17-18 (An, 24-25) J

1 4 [Med2, 18 (An, 25); Discourse on Method 4 (AT6, 32-33) . 1 1 5 [Spinoza follows the Discourse on Method. rather than the Meditations or PPH, to deriVIng thIS

principle directly from the cogito.] 1 6 [Med2, 18 (An, 25-26) 1

124 Principles orear/esian Philosophy

his body, but not his own essence insofar as he was thinking. Furthermore, he per­ ceived these things neither clearly nor distinctly, and so, in accordance with the requirements of his method, he ought to reject them as false. Therefore, under­ standing that such things could not pertain to him insofar as he was as yet known to himself, he went on to ask what was that, pertaining pecul iarly to his essence, which he had not been able to call into doubt and which had compelled him to conclude h is own existence. Of this kind there were- that he wanted to take pre­ cautions against being deceived, that he desired to understand many th ings, that he doubted everything that he could not understand, that up to this point he af­ firmed one thing only and everything else he denied and rejected as false, that he imagined many things even against his will, and, finally, that he was conscious of many things as proceeding from his senses. Because he could infer his existence with equal certainty from each of these points and could list none of them as be­ longing to the things that he had called into doubt, and finally, because all these things can be conceived under the same attribute, it follows that all these things are true and pertain to h is nature. And so whenever he said, "I think," all the fol­ lowing modes of thinking were understood - doubting, understanding, affirming, denying, willing, non-will ing, imagining, and sensing 17

Here it is important to note the following points, which wi l l prove to be very useful later on when the distinction between mind and body is discussed. F irst, these modes of th inking are clearly and distinctly understood independently of other matters that are still in doubt. Second, the clear and distinct conception we have of them would be rendered obscure and confused if we were to intermingle with them any of the matters of which we are still in doubt.

Liber a ti on fr om All D oub ts

Finally, to achieve certainty about what he had called into doubt and to remove all doubt, he proceeds to enquire into the nature of the most perfect Being, and whether such exists. For when he realizes that there exists a most perfect Being by whose power all things are produced and preserved and to whose nature it is con­ trary that he should be a deceiver, then this will remove the reason for doubting that resulted from h is not knowing the cause of himself. For he will know that the faculty of distinguishing true from false was not given to him by a supremely good and truthful God in order that he might be deceived. And so mathematical truths, or all things that seem to him most evident, cannot be in the least suspect. 18 Then , to remove the other causes for doubting, he goes on to enquire how it comes about that we sometimes err. When he discovered that th is arises from our using our free will to assent even to what we have perceived only confusedly, he was immedi­ ately able to conclude that he can guard against error in the future provided that

1 7 [This enumeration IS taken from Med2, 20 (AT7, 28).J

I S [Med3, 34-35 (ATI, 5 1-52); Med5, 46-47 (AT7, 70-7 1 ) J

Part I, Prolegomenon 1 2 5

he gives assent only t o what he clearly and distinctly perceives. Th is i s something that each individual can easily obtain of himself because he has the power to con­ trol the will and thereby bring it about that it is restrained within the l imits of the intellect. l 9 But since in our earliest days we have been imbued with many preju­ dices from which we are not easily freed, in order that we may be freed from them and accept nothing but what we clearly and distinctly perceive, he goes on to enumerate all the simple notions and ideas from which all our thoughts are com­ pounded and to examine them one by one, so that he can observe in each of them what is clear and what is obscure. For thus he will easily be able to distinguish the clear from the obscure and to form clear and distinct thoughts. So he will easily discover the real distinction between soul and body, and what is clear and what is obscure in the deliverance of our senses, and lastly wherein dreaming differs from waking.2o Thereafter he could no longer doubt that he was awake nor could he be deceived by his senses. Thus he freed h imself from all doubts l isted previously.

However, before I here make an end, I th ink I ought to satisfY those who argue as follows: "Because the existence of God is not self-evident to us, it seems that we can never be certain of anything, nor can it ever be known to us that God exists. For from premises that are uncertain (and we have said that, as l ong as we do not know our own origin), nothing certa in can be concluded."

To remove this difficulty, Descartes replies in the following manner. From the fact that we do not as yet know whether the author of our origin may have created us such as to be deceived even in those matters that appear to us most certain, it by no means follows that we can doubt those things that we understand clearly and distinctly through themselves or through a process of reasoning, that is, as long as we are paying attention to it We can doubt only those things previously demon­ strated to be true, which we may remember when we are no longer attending to the reasoning from which we deduced them, and wh ich we have thus forgotten. Therefore, although the existence of God can be known not through itself but only through something else, we can nevertheless atta in certain knowledge of God's existence provided that we carefully attend to all the premises from which we conclude it See Principia Part I Article 1 3 , and "Reply to Second Objections," No. 3 , and at the end of the "Fifth Meditation."

However, because some do not find this reply satisfactory, I shall give another. When we were speaking previously of the certainty and sureness of our existence, we saw that we concluded i t from the fact that, in whatever direction we turned the mind's eye, we did not find any reason for doubting that did not by that very fact convince us of our existence. This was so whether we were considering our own nature, whether we were imagining the author of our nature to be a cunning deceiver- in short, whatever reason for doubting we invoked, external to our­ selves. Hitherto we had not found this to be so in the case of any other matter. For example, while attending to the nature of a triangle, although we are compelled

1 9 [Med4, 35-42 (ATI, 52...o2).J 20 [Med6, 47-59 (ATI, 71-90) J

126 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

to conclude that its three angles are equal to two right angles, we cannot reach this same conclusion if we suppose that we may be deceived by the author of our nature. Yet this very supposition assured us of our existence with the utmost cer­ tainty. So it is not the case that, wherever we turn the mind's eye, we are com­ pelled to conclude that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles; on the contrary, we find a reason for doubting i t in that we do not possess an idea of God such as to render i t impossible for us to th ink that God is a deceiver. For one who does not possess the true idea of God-which at the moment we sup­ pose we do not possess- may qu ite as easily th ink that his author is a deceiver as th ink that he is not a deceiver, just as one who does not have the idea of a trian­ gle may indifferently think its angles are equal or not equal to two right angles.

Therefore we concede that, except for our existence, we cannot be absolutely certain of anyth ing, however earnestly we attend to its demonstration, as long as we do not have the clear and distinct conception of God that makes us affirm that God is supremely truthful, j ust as the idea we have of a triangle makes us con­ clude that its three angles are equal to two right angles. But we deny that, for th is reason , we cannot attain knowledge of anything. For, as is evident from all that has already been sa id, the whole matter hinges on this alone, that we are able to form such a conception of God as so disposes us that it is not as easy for us to th ink that God is a deceiver as to th ink that he is not a deceiver, a conception that com­ pels us to affirm that he is supremely truthful. When we have formed such an idea, the reason for doubting mathematical truths wil l be removed. For in what­ ever direction we now turn the mind's eye with the purpose of doubting one of these truths, we shall not find anything that itself does not make us conclude that this truth is most certa in, j ust as was the case with regard to our existence.

For example, if after discovering the idea of God we attend to the nature of a triangle, its idea will compel us to affirm that its three angles are equal to two righ t angles, whereas if we attend to the idea of God, this too will compel us to affirm that he is supremely truthful, the author and continuous preserver of our nature, and therefore that he is not deceiving us with regard to this truth. And attending to the idea of God (which we now suppose we have discovered), it will be just as impossible for us to th ink that he is a deceiver as to think, when attending to the idea of a triangle, that its three angles are not equal to two right angles. And just as we can form such an idea of a triangle in spite of not knowing whether the au­ thor of our natu re is deceiving us, so too we can achieve a clear idea of God and set it before us even though also doubting whether the author of our nature is de­ ceiving us in all things. And provided we possess this idea, in whatever way we may have acquired i t, i t will be enough to remove all doubts, as has just now been shown.

So having made these points, I reply as follows to the difficulty that has been raised. It is not as long as we do not know of God's existence (for I have not spo­ ken of that) but as long as we do not have a clear and distinct idea of God, that we cannot be certa in of anything. Therefore, if anyone wishes to argue against me, h is argument will have to be as follows: "We cannot be certain of anything until we have a clear and distinct idea of God. But we cannot have a clear and distinct

Part 1, Delini!io"" 127

idea of God as long as we do not know whether the author of our nature is de­ ceiving us. Therefore, we cannot be certain of anything as l ong as we do not know whether the author of our nature is deceiving us, etc ." To this I reply by conced­ ing the major premise and denying the minor. For we do have a clear and distinct idea of a triangle, although we do not know whether the author of our nature is deceiving us; and granted that we have such an idea of God, as I have just shown at some length, we cannot doubt h is existence or any mathematical truth.

With th is as preface, I now enter upon the work itself

Defini ti ons

I . Under the word Thought, I include all that is in us and of which we are im­ mediately conscious. Thus all operations of the will, intellect, imagination, and senses are thoughts. But I have added ' immediately' so as to exclude those things that are their consequences. For example, voluntary motion has thought for its starting poin t, but in itself it is still not thought.

2 . By the word Idea, I understand the specific form (forma) of a thought, through the immediate perception of which I am conscious of that same thought.

So whenever I express someth ing in words while understanding what I am say­ ing, this very fact makes it certain that there is in me the idea of that which is meant by those words. And so I do not apply the term 'ideas' simply to images de­ picted in the fantasy; indeed I do not here term these 'ideas' at all, insofar as they are depicted in the corporeal fantasy (i .e. , in some part of the bra in) bu t only in­ sofar as they communicate their form to the mind itself when this is directed to­ ward that part of the bra in.

3 . By the objective reality of an idea, I understand the being of that wh ich is presented through the idea, insofar as i t is in the idea. 2 1

In the same way one can speak of 'objective perfection' or 'objective art', etc . For whatever we perceive as being in the objects of ideas is objectively in the ideas themselves.

4. When things are, in themselves, such as we perceive them to be, they are said to be formally in the objects of ideas, and eminently when they are not just such in themselves as we perceive them to be but are more than sufficient to ac­ count fully for our perception .

Note that when I say that the cause contains eminently the perfections of its effect, I mean that the cause contains the perfections of the effect with a higher degree of excellence than does the effect itself See also Axiom 8.

5 . Everyth ing in wh ich there is something that we perceive as immediately in­ hering in a subject, or through which there exists someth ing that we perceive (i .e . , some property, quality or attribute whose real idea is in us), is called substance. For of substance itself, taken precisely, we have no other idea than that it is a th ing

2 1 [ef. Medl, 27-28 (AT7, 40--41 ) J

128 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

in which there exists formally or eminently that something which we perceive (i .e . , that something which is objectively in one of our ideas).

6. Substance in which thought immediately inheres is called Mind (Mens). I here speak of 'Mind' rather than 'Soul' (anima) because the word 'soul' is

equ ivocal, and is often used to mean a corporeal thing. 7 . Substance that is the immediate subject of extension and of acciden ts

that presuppose extension, such as figure, position, and local motion, is called Body.

Whether what is called Mind and what is called Body is one and the same sub­ stance, or two different substances, is something to be enquired into later.

8. Substance that we understand through itself to be supremely perfect, and in which we conceive nothing at all that involves any defect or l imitation of per­ fection, is called God.

9. When we say that something is contained in the nature or conception of some thing, that is the same as saying that it is true of that th ing or can be truly af­ firmed of it. 22

10. Two substances are said to be distinct in reality when each one can exist without the other.

We have here omitted the Postulates of Descartes because in what follows we do not draw any conclusions from them. But we earnestly ask readers to read them through and to th ink them over carefully. 23

Axioms24

1 . We arrive at the knowledge and certainty of some unknown th ing only through the knowledge and certainty of another th ing that is prior to it in certainty and knowledge.

2 . There are reasons that make us doubt the existence of our bodies. This has in fact been shown in the Prolegomenon, and so is here posited as an

axiom. 3 . If we have anything besides mind and body, th is is less known to us than

mind and body.

22 [ In each of the precedmg eight deftmhons a word or phrase has been Italicized to mdicate the de{iniendum, but In this defmltlon and the next there is no text italiCized I t appears reasonable to assume that Def9 has as de{iniendum contained in the nature or conception of some thing and DeflO distinct in reality.j

23 [The seven postulates (AT7, 162-164) or demandes In the French version (AT9, 125-127) are not postulates in the Euclidean sense but are requests from Descartes to hiS readers to ponder carefully what can be doubted, the precedmg defmitions, and especially the dIStinction between clear, diS­ hnct perception and obscure, confused perception.]

24 [The first three axIOms are not taken from Descartes; but Meyer, in h IS preface, has mentIoned that Spmoza would expound Descartes's opimons and demonstrations "just as they are found m hIS wntmgs, or such as should vahdly be deduced from the foundations laId by hIm "]

Part 1, Proposition 4 129

It should be noted that these axioms do not affirm anything about th ings ex­ ternal to us, but only such thing. as we find within ourselves insolilr as we are th inking things.

PROPOSITION 1 We cannot be absolutely certnin of anything as long as we do not know that we exist.

Proof This proposition is self-eviden� for he who absolutely does not know that he is l ikewise does not know that he is a being affirming or denying, that is, that he certa inly affirms or denies.

Here i t should be noted that although we may affirm or deny many things with great certa inty while not attending to the fact that we exist, unless this is presu]>' posed as indubitable, everything could be called into doubt.

PROPOSITION 2 '[ am' must be self-evident.

Proof If th is be denied, it will therefore be known only through something else, the knowledge and certainty of which will be prior in us to the statement 'I am' (Ax. I) . But this is absurd (Prop. I ) . Therefore i t must be self-evident. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 3 '[ am', insofar as the 'I' is a thing consisting of body, is not a first principle and is not known through itself

Proof There are certain thing. that make us doubt the existence of our body (Ax. 2). Therefore (Ax. I) we shall not attain certa inty of this except through the knowledge and certa inty of something else that is prior to it in knowledge and cer­ tainty. Therefore the statement 'I am', insofar as T am a thing consisting of body, is not a first principle and is not known through itself. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 4 '[ am' cannot be the first known principle except insofar as we think. Proof The statement 'I am a corporeal th ing, or a thing consisting of body' is not a first-known principle (Prop. 3), nor aga in am 1 certain of my existence in­ solilr as 1 consist of anything other than mind and body. For if we consist of any­ thing different from mind and body, this is less well known to us than body (Ax. 3) . Therefore 'I am' cannot be the first known thing except insofar as we th ink. Q.E.D.

Corollary From this it is obvious that mind, or a th inking thing, is better known than body.

But for a fuller explanation read Part 1 of the Principia Arts. I I and 1 2 .

Scholium Everyone perceives with the utmost certainty that he affirms, denies, doubts, understands, imagines, etc . , or that he exists as doubting, understanding,

1 30 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

affirming, etc . - in short, as th inking. Nor can this be called into doubt. There­ fore the statement '[ th ink' or '[ am, as thinking' is the unique (Prop. I) and most certain basis of all philosophy. Now in order to achieve the greatest certainty in the sciences, our aim and purpose can be no other than this, to deduce everything from the strongest first prinCiples and to make the inferences as clear and distinct as the first principles from which they are deduced. It therefore clearly follows that we must consider as most certa inly true everyth ing that is equally evident to us and that we perceive with the same clearness and distinctness as the already dis­ covered first principle, and also everyth ing that so agrees with this first principle and so depends on it that we cannot doubt it without also having to doubt this first principle.

But to proceed with the utmost caution in reviewing these matters, at the first stage [ shall admit as equally evident and equally clearly and distinctly perceived by us only those things that each of us observes in himself insofar as he is engaged in th inking. Such are, for example, that he wills th is or that, that he has definite ideas of such-and-such a kind, and that one idea contains in itself more reality and perfection than another-namely, that the one that contains objectively the be­ ing and perfection of substance is far more perfect than one that contains only the objective perfection of some accident, and, finally, that the idea of a supremely perfect being is the most perfect of all. These things, [ say, we perceive not merely with equal sureness and clarity but perhaps even more distinctly; for they affirm not only that we think but also how we think.

Further, we shall also say that those things that cannot be doubted without at the same time casting doubt on this unshakable foundation of ours are also in agreement with this first principle. For example, if anyone should doubt whether something can come from nothing, he will be able at the same time to doubt whether we, as long as we are thinking, are. For if [ can affirm something of noth­ ing- in effect, that nothing can be the cause of something-[ can at the same time and with the same right affirm thought of nothing, and say that [, as long as [ am thinking, am nothing. Because [ find this impossible, it will also be impos­ s ible for me to th ink that something may come from noth ing.

With these considerations in mind, [ have decided at this point to l ist here in order those things that at present seem to us necessary for future progress, and to add to the number of axioms . For these are indeed set forth by Descartes as axioms at the end of his "Reply to the Second Set of Objections," and [ do not aim at greater accuracy than he. However, not to depart from the order we have been pursuing, [ shall try to make them somewhat clearer, and to show how one depends on an­ other and all on this one first principle, '[ am, while th inking', or how their cer­ tainty and reasonableness is of the same degree as that of the first principle.

Axi oms T a k en from D es cartes

4. There are different degrees of reality or being; for substance has more real­ ity than accident or mode, and infinite substance, more than finite substance.

Part I, Axioms Taken /Tom Descartes 1 3 1

Therefore there i s more objective reality i n the idea of substance than i n the idea of accident, and in the idea of infinite substance than in the idea of finite sub­ stance.25"

This axiom is known simply from contemplating our ideas, of whose existence we are certa in because they are modes of th inking. For we know how much real­ ity or perfection the idea of substance affirms of substance, and how much the idea of mode affirms of mode. This being so, we also necessarily real ize that the idea of substance contains more objective reality than the idea of some accident, etc. See Schol ium Prop. 4.

5. A thinking th ing, if it knows of any perfections that it lacks, will immedi­ ately give these to itself, if they are within its power.26

This everyone observes in h imself insofar as he is a thinking thing. Therefore (Schol ium Prop. 4) we are most certain of it. And for the same reason, we are just as certa in of the following:

6. In the idea or concept of every thing, there is contained either possible or necessary existence. (See Axiom 10 , Descartes.)

Necessary existence is contained in the concept of God, or a supremely per­ fect being; for otherwise he would be conceived as imperfect, which is contrary to what is supposed to be conceived . Contingent or possible existence is contained in the concept of a l imited thing.

7. No th ing, nor any perfection of a th ing actually existing, can have noth ing, or a nonexisting thing, as the cause of its existence.

I have demonstrated in the Scholium Prop. 4 that this axiom is as clear to us as is 'I am, when thinking'.

8. Whatever there is of reality or perfection in any thing exists formally or em­ inently in its first and adequate cause.27

By 'eminently' I understand: when the cause contains all the reality of the ef­ fect more perfectly than the effect itself. By 'formally': when the cause contains all the reality of the effect equally perfectly.

This axiom depends on the preceding one. For if it were supposed that there is nothing in the cause, or less in the cause than in the effect, then nothing in the cause would be the cause of the effect. But this is absurd (Ax. 7). Therefore it is not the case that anything whatsoever can be the cause of a certain effect; it must be precisely a thing in which there is eminently or at least formally all the per­ fection that is in the effect.

9. The objective reality of our ideas requires a cause in which that same real­ ity is contained not only objectively but also formally or eminently.28

This axiom, although misused by many, is universally admitted, for when somebody conceives someth ing new, everyone wants to know the cause of this

" [Cf. Med3, 27-28 (AT7, 40-42).J 26 [Cf. Med3, 32-33 (ATI, 48).J

Z7 [Cf. Med3, 28 (ATI, 4O-41 ) . J 28 [Cf. Med3 , 28 (ATI, 41-42) J

1 32 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

concept or idea. Now when they can assign a cause in which is contained for­ mally or eminently as much reality as is contained objectively in that concept, they are satisfied. This is made quite clear by the example of a machine, which Descartes adduces in Art. 17 Part I Principia.29 Similarly, if anyone were to ask whence i t is that a man has the ideas of h is thought and of h is body, no one can fail to see that he has them from h imself, as containing formally everything that h is ideas contain objectively. Therefore if a man were to have some idea that con­ tained more of objective reality than he himself contained of formal reality, then of necessity we should be driven by the natural l ight to seek another cause out­ side the man himself, a cause that contained all that perfection formally or emi­ nently. And apart from that cause no one has ever assigned any other cause that he has conceived so clearly and distinctly.

Furthermore, as for the truth of th is axiom, it depends on the previous ones. By Axiom 4 there are different degrees of reality or being in ideas. Therefore (Ax. 8) they need a more perfect cause in accordance with their degree of perfection . But because the degrees of reality that we observe in ideas are not in the ideas in­ sofar as they are considered as modes of th inking but insornr as one presents sub­ stance and another merely a mode of substance- or, in brief, insornr as they are considered as images of things- hence i t clearly follows that there can be granted no other first cause of ideas than that which, as we have just shown, all men un­ derstand clearly and distinctly by the natural l ight, namely, one in which is con­ tained formally or eminently the same reality that the ideas have objectively. 30

To make this conclusion more clearly understood, I shall illustrate it with one or two examples. If anyone sees some books (imagine one to be that of a distin­ guished philosopher and the other to be that of some trifler) written in one and the same hand, and if he pays no attention to the meaning of the words (i .e . , in­ sofar as they are symbols) but only to the shape of the writing and the order of the letters, he will find no distinction between them such as to compel him to seek different causes for them. They will appear to him to have proceeded from the same cause and in the same manner. But if he pays attention to the meaning of the words and of the language, he will find a considerable distinction between them. He will therefore conclude that the first cause of the one book was very dif­ ferent from the first cause of the other, and that the one cause was in fact more perfect than the other to the extent that the meaning of the language of the two books, or their words considered as symbols, are found to differ from one another.

I am speaking of the first cause of books, and there must necessarily be one al­ though I admit- indeed, I take for granted-that one book can be transcribed from another, as is self-evident.

The same point can also be clearly illustrated by the example of a portra it, let us say, of some prince. If we pay attention only to the materials of which it is made, we shall not find any distinction between it and other portraits such as to compel

2. [Cf. Repl , AD, 104-106.J

30 We are also certam of tius because we expenence I t ourselves insofar as we are thinking. See pre­ ceding Schohum.

Part 1, Proposition 5 13 3

us to look for different causes. Indeed, there will be nothing to prevent us from thinking that it was copied from another l ikeness, and that one again from an­ other, and so ad infinitum. For we shall be qu ite satisfied that there need be no other cause for i ts production. But if we attend to the image insofar as i t is the im­ age of something, we shall immediately be compelled to seek a first cause such as formally or eminently contains what that image contains representatively. I do not see what more need be said to confirm and elucidate this axiom.

10. To preserve a th ing, no lesser cause is required than to produce it in the first place.

From the fact that at this moment we are th inking, i t does not necessarily fol­ low that we shall hereafter be thinking. For the concept that we have of our thought does not involve, or does not contain, the necessary existence of the thought. I can clearly and distinctly conceive the thought even though I suppose it not to exist. 3 1 Now the nature of every cause must contain i n itself o r involve the perfection of its effect (Ax. 8). Hence it clearly follows that there must be someth ing in us or ex­ ternal to us that we have not yet understood, whose concept or nature involves ex­ istence, and that is the reason why our thought began to exist and also continues to exist. For although our thought began to exist, its nature and essence does not on that account involve necessary existence any the more than befure it existed, and so in order to persevere in existing it stands in need of the same force that it needs to begin existing. And what we here say about thought must be said about every th ing whose essence does not involve necessary existence.

I I . Of every thing that exists, it can be asked what is the cause or reason why it exists. See Descartes, Axiom I .

Because to exist is something positive, we cannot say that i t has nothing for its cause (Ax. 7). Therefore we must assign some positive cause or reason why it ex­ ists. And this must be either external (Le., outside the thing itself) or else internal (Le. , included in the nature and definition of the existing thing itself).

The four propositions that follow are taken from Descartes.

PROPOSITION 5 The existence of Cod is known solely {rom the consideration of his nature.

Proof To say that something is contained in the nature or concept of a th ing is the same as to say that it is true of that th ing (Def. 9). But necessary existence is contained in the concept of Cod (Ax. 6). Therefore it is true to say of Cod that there is necessary existence in h im, or that he exists "

Scholium From this proposition there follow many important consequences. Indeed, on this fact alone- that existence perta ins to the nature of Cod, or that the concept of Cod involves necessary existence j ust as the concept of a triangle involves its three angles being equal to two right angles, or that h is existence, just

3 1 This IS something everyone discovers In hnnself, insofar as he IS a thmkmg thmg.

32 [ef. Med5, 43-46 (AT7, 65-69); E 1 P l l Deml; KVlIlIl-2 ]

1 34 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

l ike h is essence, is an eternal truth - depends alrnost all knowledge of the attrib­ utes of God through which we are brought to love of hirn and to the highest blessedness. Therefore it is rnuch to be desired that rnankind should corne round to our opinion on this subject.

I do indeed adrnit that there are sorne prejudices that preven t this frorn being so easily understood by everyone. 3 3 If anyone, rnoved by goodwill and by the sim­ ple love of truth and his own true advantage, comes to look at the matter closely and to reflect on what is contained in the "Fifth Meditation" and the end of "Replies to the First Set of Objections," and also on what we say about Eternity in Chapter I Part 2 of our Appendix, he will undoubtedly understand the matter quite clearly and will in no way be able to doubt whether he has an idea of God (which is, of course, the first foundation of hurnan blessedness). For when he re­ al izes that God is completely different in kind from other things in respect of essence and existence, he will at once see clearly that the idea of God is far dif­ ferent from the ideas of other things. Therefore there is no need to detain the reader any longer on this subject.

PROPOSITION 6 The existence of God is proved a posteriori from the mere fact that the idea of him is in us.

Proof The objective reality of any of our ideas requires a cause in which that same reality is contained not just objectively but formally or eminently (Ax. 9) . Now we do have the idea of God (Defs. 2 and 8), and the objective reality of this idea is not contained in us either formally or eminently (Ax. 4), nor can it be con­ tained in anyth ing other than God himself (Def. 8). Therefore th is idea of God, which is in us, requires God for its cause, and therefore God exists (Ax. 7) .'4

Scholium There are some who deny that they have any idea of God, and yet, as they declare, they worship and love him. And though you were to set before them the definition of God and the attributes of God, you will meet with no more success than if you were to labor to teach a man blind from birth the differences of colors as we see them. However, except to consider them as a strange type of creature halfway between man and beas� we should pay small heed to their words. How else, I ask, can we show the idea of some thing than by giving its definition and explaining its attributes? Because this is what we are doing in the case of the idea of God, there is no reason for us to be concerned over the words of men who deny the idea of God simply on the grounds that they cannot form an image of him in their bra in.

Furthermore, we should note that when Descartes quotes Axiom 4 to show that the objective reality of the idea of God is not contained in us either formally or eminently, he takes for granted that everyone knows that he is not an infinite sub­ stance, that is, supremely intelligent, supremely powerful , etc. , and this he is en-

33 Read Principia Part 1 Art 16 . 34 [ef. Med3, 28-3 1 (AT7, 41J..-45 ) J

Part 1, Proposition 7 13 5

titled to do. For he who knows that he thinks, also knows that he doubts many things and that he does not understand everything clearly and distinctly.

Finally, we should note that it also follows clearly from Definition 8 that there cannot be a number of Gods, but only one God, as we clearly demonstrate in Proposition I I of this Part, and in Part 2 of our Appendix, Chapter 2 .

PROPOSITION 7 The existence of God is also proved {rom the fact that we ourselves exist while having the idea of him.

Proof If I had the force to preserve myself, I would be of such a nature that I would involve necessary existence (Lemma 2) . Therefore (Corollary Lemma I ) m y nature would contain all perfections. But I find i n myself, insofar as I a m a thinking thing, many imperfections-as that I doubt, desire, etc .-and of this I am certa in (Schol ium Prop. 4). Therefore I have no force to preserve myself. Nor can I say that the reason I now lack those perfections is that I now will to deny them to myself, for this would be clearly inconsistent with Lemma I , and with what I clearly find in myself (Ax. 5) .

Further, I cannot now exist, while I am existing, without being preserved ei­ ther by myself- if indeed I have that force-or by someth ing else that does have that force (Axioms 10 and I I ) . But I do exist (Schol ium Prop. 4), and yet I do not have the force to preserve myself, as has just now been proved. Therefore I am preserved by something else. But not by something else that does not have the force to preserve itself (by the same reasoning whereby I have just demonstrated that I am not able to preserve myself). Therefore it must be by something else that has the force to preserve itself; that is (Lemma 2) , someth ing whose nature in­ volves necessary existence; that is (Corollary Lemma I ) , something that contains all the perfections that I clearly understand to pertain to a supremely perfect be­ ing. Therefore a supremely perfect being exists; that is (Def. 8), God exists. Q.E.D.

Scholium To demonstrate this proposition Descartes assumes the following two axioms:

I . That which can effect what is greater or more difficult can also effect what is less.

2 . It is a greater thing to create or (Ax. 1 0) to preserve substance than the at­ tributes or properties of substance.

What he means by these axioms I do not know. For what does he call easy, and what difficult? Nothing is said to be easy or difficult in an absolute sense, but only with respect to its cause. So one and the same th ing can be said at the same time to be easy and difficul t in respect of different causes. 3 5 Now if, of things that can

3 5 Take as only one example the spider, which eaSily weaves a web that men would find vel}' difficult to weave On the other hand, men fmd it qUite easy to do many thmgs that are perhaps ImpoSSible for angels.

1 36 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

be effected by the same cause, he calls those difficult that need great effort and those easy that need less (e.g., the force that can raise fifty pounds can raise twenty­ five pounds twice as easily) then surely the axiom is not absolutely true, nor can he prove from it what he aims to prove. For when he says, "If I had the force to preserve myself, I should also have the force to give myself all the perfections that I lack" (because th is latter does not require as much power) , I would grant him that the strength that I expend on preserving myself could effect many other thing. far more easily had I not needed it to preserve myself, but I deny that, as long as I am using it to preserve myself,36 I can direct it to effecting other th ings however much easier, as can clearly be seen in our example.

And the difficulty is not removed by saying that, because I am a th inking th ing, I must necessarily know whether I am expending all my strength in preserving my­ self, and whether this is also the reason why I do not give myself the other per­ fections. For-apart from the fact that this point is not at issue, but only how the necessity of this proposition follows from this axiom- if I knew this, I should be a greater being and perhaps require greater strength than I have so as to preserve myself in that greater perfection. Again, I do not know whether it is a greater task to create or preserve substance than to create or preserve its attributes. That is, to speak more clearly and in more philosophic terms, I do not know whether a sub­ stance, so as to preserve its attributes, does not need the whole of its virtue and essence with which i t may be preserving itself.

But let us leave this and examine further what our noble Author here intends; that is, what he understands by 'easy' and what by 'difficult'. I do not think, nor can I in any way be convinced, that by 'difficult' he understands that which is im­ p06sible (and therefore cannot be conceived in any way as coming into being), and by 'easy', that which does not imply any contradiction (and therefore can read­ ily be conceived as coming into being) -although in the "Third Meditation" he seems at first glance to mean this when he says: "Nor ought I to th ink that per­ haps those things that I lack are more difficult to acquire than those that are al­ ready in me. For on the contrary it is obvious that it was far more difficult for me, a th inking th ing or substance, to emerge from noth ing than . . . ", etc. 37 Th is would not be consistent with the Author's words nor would i t smack of h is genius. For, passing over the first point, there is no relationship between the possible and the impossible, or between the intell igible and the nonintell igible, just as there is no relationship between something and nothing, and power has no more to do with impossible thing. than creation and generation, with nonentities; so there can be no comparison between them. Besides, I can compare things and understand their relationship only when I have a clear and distinct conception of them all . So I deny that it follows that he who can do the impossible can also do the possi­ ble. What sort of conclusion, I ask, would this be? That if someone can make a square circle, he will also be able to make a circle wherein all the l ines drawn from

36 [I have diverged from the punctuabon of Gebhardt .- S.S . ]

" ICf. Med3, 32-ll (AT7, 48) I

Part 1, Proposition 7 1 3 7

the center to the circumference are equal. Or i f someone can bring i t about that 'nothing' can be acted upon, and can use it as material to produce something, he will also have the power to make someth ing from something. For, as I have said, there is no agreement, or analogy, or comparison or any relationship whatsoever between these things and things l ike these. Anyone can see this, if only he gives a little attention to the matter. Therefore I th ink this quite irreconcilable with Descartes's genius.

But if I attend to the second of the two axioms j ust now stated, i t appears that what he means by 'greater' and 'more difficult' is 'more perfect', and by 1esser' and 'easier', 1ess perfect'. Yet th is, again, seems very obscure, for there is here the same difficulty as before. As before, I deny that he who can do the greater can, at the same time and with the same effort (as must be supposed in the proposition), do the lesser.

Again, when he says: "It is a greater thing to create or preserve substance than its attributes," surely he cannot understand by attributes that which is formally contained in substance and differs from substance itself only by conceptual ab­ straction. For then i t would be the same thing to create substance as to create attributes. Nor again, by the same reasoning, can he mean the properties of sub­ stance which necessarily follow from its essence and definition.

Far less can he mean -and yet he appears to-the properties and attributes of another substance. For instance, if I say that I have the power to preserve myself, a finite th inking substance, I cannot for that reason say that I also have the power to give myself the perfections of infinite substance, which differs totally in essence from my essence. For the force or essence whereby I preserve myself in my being is qui te different in kind from the force or essence whereby absolutely infinite sub­ stance preserves itself, and from which its powers and properties are distinguish­ able only by abstract reason . 38 So even though I were to suppose that I preserve myself, if I wanted to conceive that I could give myself the perfections of ab­ solutely infinite substance, I should be supposing nothing other than this, that I could reduce my entire essence to nothing and create an infinite substance anew. This would be much more, surely, than merely to suppose that I can preserve my­ self, a finite substance.

Therefore, because by the terms 'attributes' or 'properties' he can mean none of these things, there remain only the qual ities that substance itself contains em­ inently (as th is or that thought in the mind, which I clearly perceive to be lacking in me), but not the qual ities that another substance contains eminently (as th is or that motion in extension; for such perfections are not perfections for me, a think­ ing thing, and therefore they are not lacking to me). But then what Descartes wants to prove-that if I am preserving myself, I also have the power to give my­ self all the perfections that I clearly see as pertaining to a most perfect being -can in no way be concluded from this axiom, as is quite clear from what I have said

38 Note that the force by which substance preselVes Itself IS nothtng but lts essence, dlffenng from It only In name. ThiS wtll be a pamcular feature of our dISCussion to the AppendiX, concernmg the power of God

1 38 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

previously. However, not to leave the matter unproved, and to avoid all confusion, I have thought it advisable first of all to demonstrate the following Lemmas, and thereafter to construct on them the proof of Proposition 7.

Lemma I The more perfect a thing is by its own nature, the greater the exis­ tence it involves, and the more necessary is the existence. Conversely, the more a th ing by its own nature involves necessary existence, the more perfect it is.

Proof Existence is contained in the idea or concept of everything (Ax.6). Then let it be supposed that A is a thing that has ten degrees of perfection. I say that its concept involves more existence than if it were supposed to con tain only five de­ grees of perfection. Because we cannot affirm any existence of noth ing (see Schol ium Prop. 4), in proportion as we in thought subtract from its perfection and thereIore conceive it as participating more and more in noth ing, to that extent we also deny the possibil ity of its existence. So if we conceive its degrees of perfec­ tion to be reduced indefinitely to nought or zero, it will contain no existence, or absolutely impossible existence. But, on the other hand, if we increase i ts degrees of perfection indeIinitely, we shall conceive it as involving the utmost existence, and therefore the most necessary existence. That was the first th ing to be proved. Now since these two things can in no way be separated (as is quite clear from Ax­ iom 6 and the whole of Part I of this work), what we proposed to prove in the sec­ ond place clearly follows.

Note I. Although many things are said to exist necessarily solely on the grounds that there is given a cause determined to produce them, it is not of th is that we are here speaking; we are speaking only of that necessity and possibility that fol­ lows solely from consideration of the nature or essence of a th ing, without taking any account of its cause.

Note 2 . We are not here speaking of beauty and other 'perfections', which, out of superstition and ignorance, men have thought fit to call perfections; by per­ fection I understand only reality or being. For example, I perceive that more re­ al ity is contained in substance than in modes or accidents . So I understand clearly that substance contains more necessary and more perfect existence than is con­ tained in accidents, as is well established from Axioms 4 and 6.

Corollary Hence it follows that whatever involves necessary existence is a supremely perfect being, or God.

Lemma 2 The nature of one who has the power to preserve himself involves necessary existence.

Proof He who has the force to preserve himself has also the force to create h im­ self (Ax. 1 0) ; that is (as everyone will readily admit), he needs no external cause to exist, but his own nature alone will be a sufficient cause of his existence, either possibly (Ax. 1 0) or necessarily. But not possibly; for then (through what I have demonstrated with regard to Axiom 10 ) from the fact that he now existed i t would not follow that he would thereafter exist (which is contrary to the hypothesis) . Therefore necessarily; that is, h is nature involves necessary existence. Q.E.D.

Part 1, Proposition 9 1 39

Corollary God can bring about every th ing that we clearly perceive, j ust as we perceive it.

Proof All this follows clearly from the preceding proposition. For there God's existence was proved from the fact that there must exist someone in whom are all the perfections of which there is an idea in us. Now there is in us the idea of a power so great that by him alone in whom it resides there can be made the sky, the earth, and all the other things that are understood by me as possible. There­ fore, along with God's existence, all these th ings, too, are proved of him.

PROPOSITION 8 Mind and body are distinct in reality.

Proof Whatever we clearly perceive can be brought about by God j ust as we per­ ceive it (Corollary Prop. 7). But we clearly perceive mind, that is (Def. 6), a think­ ing substance, without body, that is (Def. 7), without any extended substance (Props. 3 and 4); and conversely we clearly perceive body without mind, as every­ one readily admits. Therefore, at least through divine power, mind can be with­ out body and body without mind. 39

Now substances that can be without one another are distinct in reality (Def. 10) . But mind and body are substances (Defs. 5 , 6, and 7) that can exist with­ out one another, as has j ust been proved. Therefore mind and body are distinct in reality.

See Proposition 4 at the end of Descartes's "Replies to the Second Set of Objections," and the passages in Principia Part I from Arts. 22-29. For I do not think i t worthwhile to transcribe them here.

PROPOSITION 9 God is a supremely understanding being.

Proof If you deny this, then God will understand either nothing or not every­ thing, that is, only some things. But to understand only some things and to be ig­ norant of the rest supposes a l imited and imperfect intellect, which it is absurd to ascribe to God (Def. 8). And that God should understand nothing either indicates a lack of intellection in God -as it does with men who understand noth ing-and involves imperfection (which, by the same definition, cannot be the case with God), or else it indicates that it is incompatible with God's perfection that he should understand someth ing. But because intellection is thus completely denied of God, he will not be able to create any intellect (Ax. 8). Now because intellect is clearly and distinctly perceived by us, God can be its cause (Cor. Prop. 7). There­ fore it is far from true that it is incompatible with God's perfection for him to un­ derstand something. Therefore he is a supremely understanding being. Q.E.D.

Scholium Although it must be granted that God is incorporeal, as is demon­ strated in Prop. 1 6, this must not be taken to mean that all the perfections of ex-

,9 [ef. Med6, 5 1 (ATI, 78).1

140 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

tension are to be withdrawn from him. They are to be withdrawn from him only to the extent that the nature and properties of extension involve some imperfec­ tion. The same point is to be made concerning God's intellection, as is admitted by all who seek wisdom beyond the common run of philosophers, and as will be fully explained in our Appendix Part 2 Chapter 7.

PROPOSITION 1 0 What""er perfection is found in God, is from God.

Proof If you deny th is, suppose that there is in God some perfection that is not from God. It will be in God either from itself, or from something different from God. If frorn itself, it will therefore have necessary existence, not merely possible existence (Lemma 2 Prop. 7} , and so (Corollary Lemma I Prop. 7) it will be sorne­ thing supremely perfect, and therefore (Def. 8) it will be God. So if it be sa id that there is in God someth ing that is frorn itself, at the same time it is said that this is frorn God. Q.E.D. But if i t be frorn someth ing different frorn God, then God can­ not be conceived through himself as supremely perfect, contrary to Definition 8. Therefore whatever perfection is found in God, is from God. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 1 1 There cannot be more than one God.

Proof If you deny this, conceive, if you can, more than one God (e.g., A and B). Then of necessity (Prop. 9) both A and B will have the h ighest degree of under­ standing; that is, A will understand everything, himself and B, and in turn B will understand himself and A. But because A and B necessarily exist (Prop. 5), there­ fore the cause of the truth and the necessity of the idea of B, which is in A, is B; and conversely the cause of the truth and the necessity of the idea of A, which i s in B, i s A. Therefore there will be in A a perfection that i s not from A, and in B a perfection that is not from B. Therefore (Prop. 10) neither A nor B will be a God, and so there cannot be more than one God. Q.E.D.

Here it should be noted that, frorn the mere fact that something of itself in­ volves necessary existence-as is the case with God - it necessarily follows that it is unique. This is something that everyone can see for himself with careful thought, and I could have demonstrated it here, but not in a rnanner as compre­ hensible to all as is done in this proposition.

PROPOSITION 1 2 All things that exist are preserved solely by the power of God.

Proof If you deny this, suppose that sornething preserves itself. Therefore (Lernma 2 Prop. 7) its nature involves necessary existence. Thus (Corollary Lemma I Prop. 7) it would be God, and there would be more than one God, which is absurd (Prop. I I ) . Therefore everything that exists is preserved solely by the power of God. Q.E.D.

Corollary 1 God is the creator of all th ings.

Part 1, Proposition 14 l41

Proof God preserves a l l things (Prop. 1 2); that i s (Ax. 1 0), he has created, and still continuously creates, everyth ing that exists.

Corollary 2 Things of themselves do not have any essence that is the cause of God's knowledge. On the contrary, God is also the cause of things with respect to their essence.

Proof Because there is not to be found in God anything of perfection that is not from God (Prop. 1 0), things of themselves will not have any essence that can be the cause of God's knowledge. On the contrary, because God has created all things wholly, not genernting them from something else (Prop. 12 with Cor. I ) , and because the act of creation acknowledges no other cause but the efficient cause (for this is how I define 'creation'), which is God, it follows that before their creation things were nothing at all, and therefore God was also the cause of their essence. Q.E.D.

It should be noted that this corollary is also evident from the fuct that God is the cause or creator of a II things (Cor. I ) and that the cause must contain in itself all the perfections of the effect (Ax. 8), as everyone can readily see.

Corollary 3 Hence it clearly follows that God does not sense, nor, properly speaking, does he perceive. For h is intellect is not determined by anything exter­ nal to h imself; all things derive from him.

Corollary 4 God is pr ior in causal ity to the essence and existence of things, as clearly follows from Corollaries I and 2 of this Proposition.

PROPOSITION 1 3 God is supremely truthful, and not at all a deceiver. 40

Proof We cannot attribute to God anything in which we find any imperfection (Def. 8); and because (as is self-evident) all deception or will to deceive proceeds only from mal ice or fear, and fear supposes diminished power while malice sup­ poses privation of goodness, no deception or will to deceive is to be ascribed to God, a being supremely powerful and supremely good. On the contrary, he must be said to be supremely truthful and not at all a deceiver. Q.E.D. See "Replies to the Second Set of Objections," No. 4.41

PROPOSITION 1 4 Whatever we clearly and distinctly perceive is true.

40 r have not mcluded this axiom among the axiOms because It was not at all necessary. I had no need of It except for the proof of thiS proposItion alone, and furthermore, as long as I did not know God's eXIStence, I did not Wish to assume as true anythtng more than what I could deduce from the first known thmg. 'I am', as I said in the Scholmm to ProposItion 4. Again, I have not !De luded among my deftnltlons the defmitions of fear and malice because everyone knows them, and I have no need of them except for thiS one proposition.

4 1 [AT7, 142-147.1

142 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

Proof The faculty of distinguishing true from false, which is in us (as everyone can discover in himself, and as is obvious from all that has already been proved) has been created and is continuously preserved by God (Prop. 12 with Cor.), that is, by a being supremely truthful and not at all a deceiver (Prop. 1 3), and he has not bestowed on us (as everyone can discover in h imself) any faculty for holding aloof from, or refusing assent to, those things that we clearly and distinctly per­ ceive. Therefore if we were to be deceived in regard to them, we should be de­ ceived entirely by God, and he would be a deceiver, which is absurd (Prop. 1 3) . So whatever we clearly and distinctly perceive is true. Q.E.D.

Scholium Because those things to which we must necessarily assent when they are clearly and distinctly perceived by us are necessarily true, and because we have a faculty for withholding assent from those things that are obscure or doubtful or are not deduced from the most certain principles-as everyone can see in h im­ self- it clearly follows that we can always take precautions against falling into error and against ever being deceived (a point that will be understood even more clearly from what follows), provided that we make an earnest resolution to affirm nothing that we do not clearly and distinctly perceive or that is not deduced from first principles clear and certain in themselves.

PROPOSITION 1 5 Error is not anything positive.

Proof If error were something positive, it would have as its cause only God, by whom it must be continuously created (Prop. 12 ) . But this is absurd (Prop. 1 3) . Therefore error i s not anyth ing posi tive. Q.E.D.

Scholium Because error is not anything positive in man, it can be nothing else than the privation of the right use of freedom (Schol. Prop. 14) . Therefore God must not be said to be the cause of error, except in the sense in which we say that the absence of the sun is the cause of darkness, or that God, in making a child similar to others except for sight, is the cause of blindness. He is not to be said to be the cause of error in giving us an intellect that extends to only a few things. To understand this clearly, and also how error depends solely on the misuse of the will, and, finally, to understand how we may guard aga inst error, let us recall to mind the modes ofth inking that we possess, namely, all modes of perceiving (sens­ ing, imagining, and pure understanding) and modes of willing (desiring, mislik­ ing, affirming, denying, and doubting); for they can all be subsumed under these two headings.

Now with regard to these modes we should note, first, that insofar as the mind understands things clearly and distinctly and assents to them, it cannot be de­ ceived (Prop. 1 4); nor again can it be deceived insofar as it merely perceives things and does not assent to them. For although I may now perceive a winged horse, it is certain that th is perception contains nothing false as long as I do not assent to

Part 1, Proposition 1 5 143

the truth that there is a winged horse, nor again as long as I doubt whether there is a winged horse. And because to assent is nothing but to determine the will, it follows that error depends only on the use of the will.

To make this even clearer, we should note, secondly, that we have the power to assent not only to those things that we clearly and distinctly perceive but also to those thing. that we perceive in any other way. For our will is not determined by any l imits. Everyone can clearly see this if only he attends to the following point, that if God had wished to make infinite our faculty of understanding, he would not have needed to give us a more extensive fuculty of willing than that which we already possess in order to enable us to assent to all that we understand. That which we already possess would be sufficient for assenting to an infinite number of th ings.42 And in fact experience tells us, too, that we assent to many things that we have not deduced from sure first principles. Furthermore, these considerations make it clear that if the intellect extended as widely as the fuculty of willing, or if the faculty of willing could not extend more widely than the in­ tellect, or if, finally, we could restrict the fuculty of will ing within the l imits of the intellect, we would never fall into error (Prop. 1 4) .

But the first two possibil i ties l ie beyond our power, for they would involve that the will should not be infinite and the intellect created finite. So it remains for us to consider the th ird possibil i ty, namely, whether we have the power to re­ strict our fuculty of willing with in the l imits of the in tellect. Now because the will is free to determine itself, it follows that we do have the power to restrict the fuculty of assenting within the l imits of the intellect, therefore bringing it about that we do not fall in to error. Hence i t is quite manifest that our never being de­ ceived depends entirely on the use of the freedom of the will . That our will is free is demonstrated in Art. 39 Part I of the Principia and in the "Fourth Medi­ tation," and is also shown at some length by me in the last chapter of my Ap­ pendix. And although, when we perceive a thing clearly and distinctly, we cannot refra in from assenting to it, that necessary assent depends not on the weakness but s imply on the freedom and perfection of the will . For to assen t to the tru th is a perfection in us (as is self-evident), and the will is never more per­ fect and more free than when it completely determines itself. Because this can occur when the mind understands someth ing clearly and distinctly, it will nec­ essarily give itself th is perfection at once (Ax. 3). Therefore we by no means understand ourselves to be less free because we are not at all indifferen t in em­ braCing truth . On the con trary, we take i t as certain that the more indifferent we are, the less free we are.

So now it remains only to be expla ined how error is noth ing but privation with respect to man, whereas with respect to God it is mere negation. This will easily be seen if we first observe that our perceiving many thing. besides those that we clearly understand makes us more perfect than if we did not perceive them. Th is

42 [Cf. Mod4, 38 (AD, 56-57). 1

144 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

is clearly established from the fact that, if it were supposed that we could perceive nothing clearly and distinctly but only confusedly, we should possess nothing more perfect than this perceiving things confusedly, nor would anything else be expected of our nature. Furthermore, to assent to th ings, however confused, in­ sofar as it is also a kind of action, is a perfection. This will also be obvious to every­ one if he supposes, as previously, that it is contrary to man's nature to perceive things clearly and distinctly. For then it will become quite clear that it is far bet­ ter for a man to assent to things, however confused, and to exercise his freedom, than to remain always indifferent, that is (as we have j ust shown), at the lowest grade of freedom. And if we also turn our attention to the needs and convenience of human life, we shall find this absolutely necessary, as experience teaches each of us every day.

Therefore, because all the modes of thinking that we possess are perfect in­ sofar as they are regarded in themselves alone, to that extent that which consti­ tutes the form of error cannot be in them. But if we attend to the way in which modes of willing differ from one another, we shall find that some are more per­ fect than others in that some render the will less indifferent (i .e . , more free) than others. Again, we shall also see that, as l ong as we assent to confused things, we make our minds less apt to distinguish true from false, thereby depriving our­ selves of the highest freedom. Therefore to assent to confused th ings, insofar as this is something positive, does not contain any imperfection or the form of error; i t does so only insofar as we thus deprive our own selves of the highest freedom that is within reach of our nature and is within our power. So the imperfection of error will consist entirely merely in the privation of the highest freedom, a pri­ vation that is called error. Now it is called privation because we are deprived of a perfection that is compatible with our nature, and it is called error because it is our own fault that we lack th is perfection, in that we fa il to restrict the will within the l imits of the intellect, as we are able to do. Therefore, because error is noth ing else with respect to man but the privation of the perfect or correct use of freedom, it follows that it does not l ie in any faculty that he has from God, nor again in any operation of his facul ties insofar as th is depends on God." Nor can we say that God has deprived us of the greater intellect that he might have given us and has thereby brought i t about that we could fall into error. For no th ing's nature can demand anything from God, and nothing belongs to a thing except what the will of God has willed to bestow on it. For nothing existed, or can even be conceived, prior to God's will (as is fully explained in our Appendix Part 2 Chapters 7 and 8). Therefore God has not deprived us of a greater intellect or a more perfect faculty of understanding any more than he has deprived a circle of the properties of a sphere, and a circumference of the properties of a spherical surface.

So because none of our faculties, in whatever way it be considered, can point to any imperfection in God, it clearly follows that the imperfection in wh ich the

43 [Med4, 36-39 (ATI, 54-58).J

Part 1, Proposition 19 145

form of error consists is privation only with respect to man. When related to God as its cause, i t can be termed not privation, but only negation.

PROPOSITION 1 6 God is incorporeal.

Proof Body is the immediate subject oflocal motion (Def. 7). Therefore if God were corporeal , he would be divided into parts; and this, since it clearly involves imperfection, it is absurd to affirm of God (Def. 8) .

Another Proof If God were corporeal , he could be divided into parts (Def. 7) . Now either each single part could subsist of itself, or it could not . If the latter, it would be l ike the other things created by God, and thus, l ike every created th ing, i t would be continuously created by the same force by God (Prop. 10 and Ax. I I ) , and would not pertain to God's nature any more than other created things, which is absurd (Prop. 5). But if each S ingle part exists through itself, each single part must also involve necessary existence (Lemma 2 Prop. 7), and consequently each s ingle part would be a supremely perfect being (Cor. Lemma 2 Prop. 7). But th is, too, is absurd (Prop. I I ). Therefore God is incorporeal . Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 1 7 God is a completely simple being.

Proof If God were composed of parts, the parts (as all will readily grant) would have to be at least prior in nature to God, which is absurd (Cor. 4 Prop. 12 ) . There­ fore he is a completely simple being. Q.E.D.

Corollary Hence it follows that God's intelligence, h is will or decree, and h is power are not distinguished from his essence, except by abstract reasoning.

PROPOSITION 1 8 God is immutable.

Proof If God were mutable, he could not change in part, but would have to change with respect to h is whole essence (Prop. 1 7) . But the essence of God ex­ ists necessarily (Props. 5 , 6, and 7) . Therefore God is immutable. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 19 God is eternal.

Proof God is a supremely perfect being (Def. 8), from which it follows that he exists necessarily (Prop. 5 ) . If now we attribute to him limited existence, the l im­ its of h is existence must necessarily be understood, if not by us, at any rate by God himself (Prop. 9), because he has understanding in the highest degree. Therefore God will understand himself (i .e . [Def. 8], a supremely perfect being) as not ex­ isting beyond these limits, which is absurd (Prop. 5 ) . Therefore God has not a l im-

146 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

ited but an infinite existence, which we call eternity. See Chapter I Part 2 of our Appendix. Therefore God is eternal. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 20 God has preordained all things from eternity.

Proof Because God is eternal (Prop. 1 9), h is understanding is eternal, because i t pertains to his eternal essence (Cor. Prop. 1 7) . But h is intellect is not different in reality from h is will or decree (Cor. Prop. 1 7) . Therefore when we say that God has understood things from eternity, we are also saying that he has willed or de­ creed things thus from eternity. Q.E .D.

Corollary From this proposition it follows that God is in the highest degree con­ stant in h is works.

PROPOSITION 2 1 Substance extended in length, breadth, and depth exists in reality, and we are united to one part of it.

Proof That which is extended, as it is clearly and distinctly perceived by us, does not perta in to God's nature (Prop. 1 6). but it can be created by God (Cor. Prop. 7 and Prop. 8). Furthermore, we clearly and distinctly perceive (as everyone can discover in h imself, insofar as he thinks) that extended substance is a sufficient cause for producing in us pleasure, pain , and similar ideas or sensations, which are continually produced in us even against our will . But if we wish to suppose some other cause for our sensations apart from extended substance-say, God or an angel-we immediately destroy the clear and distinct concept that we have. Therefore," as long as we correctly attend to our perceptions so as to allow noth­ ing but what we clearly and distinctly perceive, we shall be altogether inclined, or by no means uninclined, to accept that extended substance is the only cause of our sensations, and therefore to affirm that the extended thing exists, created by God. And in th is we surely cannot be deceived (Prop. 14 with Schol . ) . There­ fore it is truly affirmed that substance extended in length, breadth, and depth ex­ ists. This was the first poin t 4S

Furthermore, among our sensations, which must be produced in us (as we have already proved) by extended substance, we observe a considerable difference, as when I say that I sense or see a tree or when I say that I am thirsty, or in pain, etc. But I clearly see that I cannot perceive the cause of this difference unless I first un­ derstand that I am closely united to one part of matter, and not so to other parts. Because I clearly and distinctly understand this, and I cannot perceive it in any other way, it is true (Prop. 14 with Schol . ) that I am united to one part of matter. This was the second point. We have therefore proved what was to be proved.46

44 See the proof to ProposItion 1 4 and the Schohum to ProposItion 1 5 .

+ > [Cf. Med6, 5 1-52 (AT7, 7�O) J

46 [See Med6, 52-53 (AT7, 80-8 1) . J

Part 2, Defini!io"" 147

Note: Unless the reader here considers h imself only as a th inking th ing, lack­ ing body, and unless he puts aside as prejudices all the reasons that he previously entertained for bel ieving that body exists, his attempts to understand this proof will be in vain.

End of Part 1

THE PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY

P os tula te

DEMONSTRATED IN THE GEOMETRIC MANNER

PART 2

Here the only requirement is that everyone should attend to h is perceptions as ac­ curately as possible, so that he may distinguish what is clear from what is obscure.

Defini ti ons

I . Extension is that which consists of three dimensions. But by extension we do not understand the act of extending, or anything distinct from quantity.

2 . By Substance we understand that which, in order to exist, needs only the concurrence of God.

3 . An atom is a part of matter indivisible by its own nature. 4. The indefinite is that whose bounds, if it has any, cannot be discovered by

human intellect. 5. A vacuum is extension without corporeal substance. 6. Space is to be distinguished from extension only in thought; there is no dif­

ference in reality. Read Art. 10 Part 2 of the Principia. 7. That which in our thinking we understand to be divided is divisible, at least

poten tially. 8. Local motion is the transfer of one part of matter, or of one body, from the

vicinity of those bodies that are immediately contiguous and are regarded as at rest, to the vicinity of other bodies.

This is the definition used by Descartes to explain local motion. To understand this definition correctly, we should consider:

8. 1 . That by a part of matter he understands all that wh ich is transferred to­ gether, although it may in turn consist of many parts .

148 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

8.2 . That, to avoid confusion, in this definition he refers only to that which is constantly in the moving thing in motion, that is, its being transferred. So this should not be confused, as is commonly done by others, with the force or action that effects the transfer. This force or action is commonly thought to be required only for motion and not for rest, an opinion that is plainly wrong. For, as is self­ evident, the same force that is required to impart fixed degrees of motion to a body that is at rest is again required for the withdrawal of those fixed degrees of motion from the same body, and for bringing it entirely to rest. Indeed, this can also be proved by experience, for we use about the same force to propel a boat that is at rest in still water as to hal t it suddenly when i t is moving. In fact, it would be ex­ actly the same, were we not helped in halting the boat by the weight and resist­ ance of the water displaced by it.

8 .3 . That he says that the transfer takes place from the vicinity of contiguous bodies to the vicinity of others, and not from one place to another. For place (as he himself has explained in Art. 1 3 Part 2) is not something real, but depends only on our thought, so that the same body may be said at the same time to change, and not to change, its place. But it cannot be said at the same time to be trans­ ferred, and not to be transferred, from the vicinity of a contiguous body. For only certain definite bodies can, at the same moment of time, be contiguous to the same movable body.

8.4. That he does not say, without qualification, that the transfer takes place from the vicinity of contiguous bodies, but only from the vicinity of con tiguous bodies that are regarded as at rest. For in order that a body A may be moved away from a body B, which is at rest, the same force and action are required on the one side as on the other. Th is is evident in the example of a boat that is sticking to the mud or sand at the bottom of the water. To push it forward, an equal force must be applied to the bot- tom as to the boat. Therefore the force by which bodies are to be moved is ex­ pended equally on the moved body and on the body at rest. The transfer is indeed reciprocal; if the boat is separated from the sand, the sand is also separated from the boat. Therefore, when bodies separate from one another, if we were to attrib­ ute to them without qualification equal motions in opposite directions, refusing to regard one of them as at rest simply on the grounds that there is the same ac­ tion in the one case as in the other, then we should also be compelled to attrib­ ute to bodies that are universally regarded as at rest (e.g., the sand from which the boat is separated) the same amount of motion as to the moving bodies. For, as we have shown, the same action is required on the one side as on the other, and the transfer is reciprocal . But this would be too remote from the normal usages oflan­ guage. However, although those bodies from which other bodies are separated are regarded as at rest and are also spoken of in th is way, we shall remember that every­ thing in the moving body on account of which it is said to move is also in the body at rest.

8. 5 . Finally, that it is also clear from the definition that each body possesses only one motion pecul iar to itself because it is understood to move away only from

Part 2, Axioms 149

one set of bodies contiguous to it and at rest. However, if the moving body forms part of other bodies having other motions, we clearly understand that it can also participate in innumerable other motions. But because it is not easy to understand so many motions at the same time, or even to recognize them all , it will be suffi­ cient to consider in each body that unique motion, which is pecul iar to it. See Art. 31 Part 2 Principia.

9. By a circle of moving bodies we understand only a formation where the last body, in motion because of the impulse of another body, immediately touches the first of the moving bod­ ies, even though the figure formed by all the bodies together through the impulse of a single motion may be very contorted.

Axi oms

I. To nothing there belong no properties.

� ' . .

2. Whatever can be taken away from a thing without impairing its integrity does not constitute the thing's essence. But that whose removal destroys a th ing constitutes its essence.

3. In the case of hardness, our sense indicates to us noth ing else, and we clearly and distinctly understand of it nothing else, than that the parts of hard bodies re­ s ist the movement of our hands.

4. If two bodies approach each other, or move away from each other, they will not thereby occupy more or less space.

5. A part of matter, whether i t gives way or resists, does not thereby lose the na­ ture of body.

6. Motion, rest, figure, and the l ike cannot be conceived without extension. 7. Apart from its sensible qual ities, nothing remains in body but extension and

its affections enumerated in Part I of Principia. 8. Any one space or extension cannot be greater at one time than at another. 9. All extension can be divided, at least in thought. No one who has leamed even the elements of mathematics doubts the truth

of th is axiom. For the space between a tangent and a circle can always be divided by an infinite number of larger circles. The same point is also made obvious by the asymptotes of the hyperbola.

10 . No one can conceive the boundaries of an extension or space without at the same time conceiving other spaces beyond those boundaries, immediately fol­ lowing on that space.

I I . If matter is manifold, and one piece is not in immediate contact with an­ other, each piece is necessarily comprehended within boundaries beyond which there is no matter.

1 2 . The most minute bodies readily give way to the movement of our hands. 1 3 . One space does not penetrate another space, nor is it greater at one time

than at another.

1 50 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

14 . If a hollow pipe A is of the same length as C, and C is twice as wide as A, and if a l iquid passes through pipe A at twice the speed at .df1e:::::: which a l iquid passes through pipe C, the same amount of

.. matter will pass through both pipes in the same space _¥ ) of time. And if in the same time the same amount of mat- ter passes through pipe A as through C, the former will move at twice the speed .

1 5 . Things that agree with a th ird th ing agree with one another; and things that are double a th ird th ing are equal to one another.

1 6. Matter that moves in diverse ways has at least as many parts, divided in ac­ tuality, as there are different degrees of speed to be observed in i t a t the same time.

1 7. The shortest line between two points is a straight l ine. 1 8. If a body A moving from C toward B is repelled by an

opposite impulse, it will move along the same l ine toward C. (i).,.O'-__ ..::B,., 19 . When bodies having opposite motions collide with

each other, they are both- or at least one of them-compelled to undergo some change.

20. A change in any th ing proceeds from a stronger force. 2 1 . When body I moves toward body 2 and pushes it,

if as a result of th is impulse body 8 moves toward body I , then bodies I , 2, 3 , etc . , cannot b e i n a straight l ine, and all eight bodies form a complete circle. See Def. 9.

� V::rm:rf)

Lemma I Where there is extension or space, there is necessarily substance.

Proof Extension or space (Ax. I) cannot be pure nothing. It is therefore an at­ tribute that must be attributed to some thing, but not to God (Prop. 16 Part I ) ; therefore i t must b e attributed t o a thing that needs only the concurrence o f God to exist (Prop. 12 Part I), that is (Def. 2 Part 2), to substance. Q.E.D.

Lemma 2 Rarefaction and condensation are clearly and distinctly conceived by us, although we do not grant that bodies occupy more space in rarefaction than in condensation.

Proof Rarefaction and condensation can be clearly and distinctly conceived from the mere fact that parts of a body may move away from, or toward, one an­ other. Therefore (Ax. 4) they will not occupy either more or less space. For if the parts of a body-say, a sponge-by moving toward one another expel the bodies with which its interstices are filled, this in itself will make that body more dense, and its parts will not thereby occupy less space than before (Ax. 4). And if again the parts move away from one another and the gaps are filled by other bodies, there will be rarefaction, but the parts will not occupy more space. And this, which we clearly perceive with the aid of our senses in the case of a sponge, we can con­ ceive with the unaided intellect in the case of all bodies, although their interstices completely escape human sense-perception. Therefore rarefaction and conden­ sation are clearly and distinctly conceived by us, etc . Q.E .D.

Part 2, Proposition 2 1 5 1

I have thought i t advisable to set out these Lemmas first, s o that the intellect may rid ilself of prejudices concerning space, rarefaction, etc. , and be rendered apt to understand what is to follow.

PROPOSITION 1 Although hardness, weight, and the other sensible qualities may be separated from a body, the nature of the body will nevertheless remain unimpaired.

Proof In the case of hardness-say, of this stone-our sense-perception indi­ cates to us nothing else, and we clearly and distinctly understand noth ing else, than that the paris of hard bodies resist the movement of our hands (Ax. 3). There­ fore (Prop. 14 Part I) hardness also will be nothing else but this. Indeed, if the said body is reduced to the finest powder, its parts will readily give way (Ax. 12 ) ; yet it will not lose the nature of body (Ax. 5 ) . Q.E.D.

In the case of weight and the other sensible qualities, the proof proceeds in the same way.

PROPOSITION 2 The nature of body or matier consists only in extension.

Proof The nature of body is not lost as a result of the loss of sensible qualities (Prop. I Part 2). Therefore these do not constitute its essence (Ax. 2). Therefore nothing is left but extension and ils affections (Ax. 7) . So if extension be taken away, nothing will remain pertaining to the nature of body, and it will be completely an­ nulled. Therefore (Ax. 2) the nature of body consisls only in extension. Q.E.D.

Corollary Space and body do not differ in reality.

Proof Body and extension do not differ in reality (previous Prop.) , and also space and extension do not differ in reality (Def. 6). Therefore (Ax. 1 5 ) space and body do not differ in reality. Q.E.D.

Scholium Although we say that God is everywhere,l it is not thereby admitted that God is extended (i .e . [previous Prop. ] , that God is corporeal). For h is ubiq­ u ity refers only to God's power and h is concurrence whereby he preserves all things, so that God's ubiquity does not refer to body or extension any more than to angels and human souls. But i t should be noted that when we say that his power is every­ where, we do not exclude h is essence; for where his power is, there too is h is essence (Cor. Prop. 1 7 Part I ) . We intend to exclude only bodily nature; that is, we mean that God is everywhere not by a corporeal power but by his divine power or essence, which serves al ike to preserve extension and thinking things (Prop. 1 7 Part I ) . The latter he certa inly could not have preserved if his power, that is, h is essence, were corporeal.

I On this, see a fuller explanation m AppendiX, Part 2, Chapters 3 and 9 .

1 52 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

PROPOSITION 3 That there should be a vacuum is a contradiction.

Proof By a vacuum is understood extension without corporeal substance (Def. 3); that is (Prop. 2 Part 2), body without body, which is absurd.

For a fuller explanation, and to correct prejudice concerning the vacuum, read Articles 17 and 18 Part 2 of the Principia, where it should be particularly noted that bodies between which nothing l ies must necessarily touch one another, and also that to nothing there belong no properties.

PROPOSITION 4 One part of a body does not occupy more space at one time than at another; and, conversely, the same space does not contain more body at one time than at another.

Proof Space and body do not differ in reality (Cor. Prop. 2 Part 2). Therefore when we say that a space is not greater at one time than at another (Ax. 1 3), we are also saying tha t a body cannot be greater (i .e. , occupy more space) at one time than at another, which was our first point. Furthermore, from the fact that space and body do not differ in reality, i t follows that when we say that body cannot oc­ cupy more space at one time than at another, we are also saying that the same space cannot contain more body at one time than at another. Q.E.D.

Corollary Bodies that occupy equal space, say, gold and air, have the same amount of matter or corporeal substance.

Proof Corporeal substance consists not in hardness (e.g., of gold) nor in soft­ ness (e.g. , of air) nor in any of the sensible qualities (Prop. I Part 2), but only in extension (Prop. 2 Part 2). Now because, by hypothesis, there is the same amount of space or (Def. 6) extension in the one as in the other; therefore there will also be the same amount of corporeal substance. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 5 There are no atoms.

Proof Atoms are parts of matter that are, by their own nature, indivisible (Def. 3) . But because the nature of matter consists in extension (Prop. 2 Part 2), which by its own nature is divisible, however small it be (Ax. 9 and Def. 7); therefore however small a part of matter may be, it is by its own nature divisible. That is, there are no atoms, or parts of matter that are by their own nature indivisible. Q.E.D.

Scholium The question of atoms has always been a difficult and complicated one. Some assert that there must be atoms, arguing from the impossibil ity of an in­ finite being greater than another infinite; and if two quantities-say A and its dou­ ble-are infinitely divisible, they can also be divided in actuality into an infinite number of parts by the power of God, who understands their infinitely many parts with a single intuition. Therefore, because one infinite cannot be greater than an-

Part 2, Proposition 6 1 5 3

other infinite, a s has been said, quantity A will b e equal to its double, which i s ab­ surd. Then again, they ask whether half an infinite number is also infinite, and whether i t is even or odd, and other such questions. To all this Descartes replied that we must not reject what comes within the scope of our intellect, and is there­ fore clearly and distinctly conceived, because of other things that exceed our in­ tellect or grasp, and that are therefore only perceived very inadequately by us. Now the infinite and its properties exceed the human intellect because that is by nature finite. And so it would be foolish to reject as false, or to doubt, what we clearly and distinctly conceive concerning space, on the grounds that we do not comprehend the infinite. And for this reason Descartes considers as indefinite those things in which we can see no boundaries, such as the extension of the world, the divisibil­ ity of the parts of matter, etc. Read Art. 26 Part I of the Principia.

PROPOSITION 6 Matter is indefinitely extended, and the matter of the heavens and the earth is one and the same.

Proof I . We cannot imagine the boundaries of extension, that is (Prop. 2 Part 2), of matter, without conceiving other spaces immediately following or beyond them (Ax. 1 0), that is, without conceiving extension or matter (Def. 6) beyond them, and so on indefinitely. This was the first poin t.

2. The essence of matter consists in extension (Prop . 2 Part 2), and this is indefinite (first part of this proof); that is, it cannot be conceived by the human intellect as having any boundaries. Therefore (Ax. I I ) it is not a manifold but everywhere one and the same. That was the second point.

Scholium So far we have been deal ing with the nature or essence of extens ion . The fact that it exists such as we conceive it, created by God, we have proved in the last Proposition of Part I , and from Prop. 1 2 Part I , it follows that it is now pre­ served by the same power by which it was created. Then again, in that same last Proposition of Part I , we proved that, insofar as we are th inking things, we are united to some part of matter, by whose help we perceive that there are in actu­ al ity all those variations whereof, by merely contemplating matter, we know it to be capable. Such are divisibility and local motion or movement of one part from one place to another, which we clearly and distinctly perceive provided that we understand that other parts of matter take the place of those that move. And this division and motion are conceived by us in infin ite ways, and therefore infinite variations of matter can also be conceived. I say that they are clearly and distinctly conceived by us as l ong as we conceive them as modes of extension, not as things distinct in reality from extension, as is fully explained in Principia Part I. And al­ though philosophers have fabricated any number of other motions, because we admit nothing but what we clearly and distinctly conceive, and because we do not clearly and distinctly understand extension to be capable of any motion except lo­ cal motion, nor does any other motion even come within the scope of our imag­ ination, we must not admit any other motion but local motion.

But Zeno, so i t is said, denied local motion and did so for various reasons that

1 54 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

Diogenes the Cynic refuted in his own way, by walking about the school where Zeno was teaching these doctrines and disturbing h is l isteners with h is perambu­ lations. When he saw that he was being held by one of the audience so as to pre­ vent his wanderings, he rebuked him, saying: Why have you thus dared to refute your master's arguments? However, it may be that someone could be deceived by Zeno's arguments into th inking that the senses reveal to us something- in this case, motion - entirely opposed to the intellect, with the result that the mind may be deceived even concerning those th ings that it perceives clearly and distinctly with the aid of the intellect. To prevent th is, I shall here set forth Zeno's principal arguments, showing that they rest only on false prejudices because he had no true conception of matter.

In the first place, then, he is reported to have said that, if local motion were granted, the motion of a body moving with a circular motion at the h ighest speed would be no different from a state of rest. But the latter is absurd; therefore so is

the former. He proves the consequence as follows: A body whose every point remains constantly in the same place is at rest. But all the points of a body moving with a circular motion at the highest speed remain constantly in the same place; therefore, etc. He is said to have explained this by the example of a wheel, say, ABC. If the wheel were to move about its center at a certain speed, point A would complete a circle through B and C more quickly than if it

were to move at a slower speed. So suppose, for example, that it begins to move slowly, and that after an hour it is in the same place from which i t began. Now if i t be supposed that it moves at twice that speed, it will be in the same place from which it began after half an hour; and if at four times the speed, after quarter of an hour. And if we conceive the speed to be infinitely increased and the time to be reduced to moments, then the point A at its highest speed will be at all mo­ ments, or constantly, in the place from which it began to move, and so it always remains in the same place. And what we understand about point A must also be understood about every point of the wheel. Therefore at the highest speed, all points remain constantly in the same place.

Now, in reply, it should be noted that this is an argument directed against mo­ tion's h ighest speed rather than against motion itself. But we shall not here ex­ amine the validity of Zeno's argumen� we shall rather disclose the prejudices whereon all this argument depends insofar as it cla ims to attack motion. In the first place, he supposes that bodies can be conceived to move so quickly that they cannot move more quickly. Secondly, he supposes time to be made up of mo­ ments, just as others have conceived quantity to be made up of indivisible points. Both of these suppositions are false. For we can never conceive a motion so fast that we cannot at the same time conceive a faster. It is con trary to our intel­ lect to conceive a motion so fast, however short be its course, that there can be no faster motion.

And the same holds true in the case of slowness. To conceive a motion so slow that there cannot be a slower, involves a contradiction. And regarding time, too,

Part 2, Proposition 6 1 5 5

which i s the measure o f motion, w e make the same assertion, that i t i s clearly contrary to our intellect to conceive a time other than which there can be none shorter.

To prove all th is, let us follow in Zeno's footsteps. Let us suppose, with him, that a wheel ABC moves about its center at such a speed that the pointA is at every moment in the position A from which it moves. I say that I clearly con­ ceive a speed indefinite ly greater than this, and consequently moments that are infinitely less. For let it be supposed that while the wheel

H {@ o ABC moves about its center, with the help of a belt H it causes another wheel, DEF, half its size, to move about its center. Now because the wheel DEF is sup­ posed to be half the size of the wheel ABC, it is plain that the wheel DEF moves at twice the speed of the wheel ABC, and consequently the point D is at every half­ moment again in the same place from which it began to move. Then if we assign the motion of the wheel DEF to the wheel ABC, DEF will move four times faster than the original speed, and if we again assign this last speed of the wheel DEF to the wheel ABC, then DEF will move eight times as fast, and so ad infinitum.

But this is quite clear merely from the concept of matter. For the essence of matter consists in extension, or ever-divisible space, as we have proved, and there is no motion without space. We have also demonstrated that one part of matter cannot occupy two spaces at the same time; for that would be the same as saying that one part of matter is equal to its double, as is evident from what has already been demonstrated. Therefore if a part of matter moves, i t moves through some space, a space that, however small it is imagined to be, is nevertheless divisible, and consequently so is the time through which the motion is measured. Conse­ quently the duration of that motion, or its time, is divisible, and is so to infinity. Q.E.D.

Let us now proceed to another fallacious problem, said to have been pro­ pounded by Zeno, which is as follows: If a body moves, it moves either in the place in which i t is, or in a place in which it is not. But not in a place in wh ich it is; for if it is in any place, it must be at rest. Nor again in a place in which it is not. There­ fore the body does not move. But this l ine of argument is j ust l ike the previous one, for i t also supposes that there is a time other than which there is no shorter. If we reply that a body moves not in, but from, the place in which i t is to a place in which it is not, he will ask whether it has not been in any intermediate places. We may reply by making a distinction: if by 'has been' he means 'has rested', we deny that it has been in any place while i t was moving; but if by 'has been' is un­ derstood 'has existed', we say that i t has necessarily existed while it was moving. He will again ask where it has existed while it was moving. We may once more re­ ply that if by 'where it has existed' he means 'what place it has stayed in' while it

1 56 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

was moving, we say that it did not stay in any place; but if he means 'what place it has changed', we say that it has changed all those places that he may wish to as­ s ign as belonging to the space through which it was moving. He will go on to ask whether at the same moment of time it could occupy and change its place. To this we finally reply by making the following distinction : If by a moment of time he means a time other than which there can be none shorter, he is asking an un­ intelligible question, as we have adequately shown, and thus one that does not de­ serve a reply. But if he takes time in the sense that I have explained previously (Le. , its true sense), he can never assign a time so short that in it a body cannot occupy and change place, even though the time is supposed to be able to be short­ ened indefinitely; and this is obvious to one who pays sufficient attention. Hence it is quite evident, as we said previously, that he is supposing a time so short that there cannot be a shorter, and so he proves nothing.

Besides these two arguments, there is yet another argument of Zeno's in cir­ culation, which can be read, together with its refutation, in Descartes's Letters Vol. I, penul timate letter. 2

I should l ike my readers here to observe that I have opposed Zeno's reasoning. with my own reasonings, and so I have refuted him by reason, not by the senses, as did Diogenes. For the senses cannot produce for the seeker after truth anything other than the phenomena of Nature, by which he is determined to investigate their causes; they can never show to be false what the intellect clearly and dis­ tinctly grasps as true. This is the view we take, and so this is our method, to demon­ strate our propositions with reasons clearly and distinctly perceived by the intellect, disregarding whatever the senses assert when that seems contrary to reason. The senses, as we have said, can do no more than determine the intellect to enquire into one thing rather than another; they cannot convict the intellect of fulsity when it has clearly and distinctly perceived something.

PROPOSITION 7 No body moves into the place of another body unless at the same time that other body moves into the place of another body.

Proof (See Diagram of Next Proposition) If you deny th is, suppose, if it is pos­ s ible, that a body A moves into the place of a body B, which I suppose to be equal to A and which does not give way from its own place. Therefore the space that contained only B, by hypothesis, now contains A and B, and so contains twice the amount of corporeal substance as i t contained before, which is absurd (Prop. 4 Part 2) . Therefore no body moves into the place of another, . . . etc . Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 8 When a body moves into the place of another body, at the same moment of time the place quitted by it is occupied by another body immediately contiguous to it.

Z [Splnoza probably refers to the Dutch translation of Descartes's letters Brieven, tr J H . Glazemaker, Amsterdam, 166 1 . The letter mentioned IS probably to Clerseiier, JunelJuly 1646, AT4, 445-447 ]

Part 2, Proposition 9 1 5 7

Proof I f a body B moves toward 0, bodies A and C a t the same moment o f time will either move toward each other and touch each other, or they will not. If they move toward each other and touch each other, what we have proposed is granted. If they do not move toward

~ each other and the entire space quitted by B l ies be-tween A and C, then a body equal to B (Cor. Prop. 2 Part B 2 and Cor. Prop. 4 Part 2) l ies between. But, by hypoth- esis, this is not B. Therefore it is another body, which at JJ the same moment of time moves into B's place. And be- cause it moves into B's place at the same moment of time, i t can be none other than that which is immediately contiguous, according to Schol ium Prop. 6 Part 2. For there we demonstrated that there can be no motion from one place to an­ other such that it does not require a time other than which there is always a shorter time. From this it follows that the space of body B cannot be occupied at the same moment of time by another body that would have to move through some space before i t moved into B's space. Therefore only a body immediately contiguous to B moves into its place at the same moment of time. Q.E.D.

Scholium Because the parts of matter are in reality distinct from one another (Art. 61 Principia Part I ) , one can exist without another (Cor. Prop. 7 Part I). and they do not depend on one another. So all those fictions about Sympathy and An­ tipathy must be rejected as false. Furthermore, because the cause of an effect must always be positive (Ax. 8 Part I). i t must never be said that a body moves to avoid there being a vacuum. It moves only through the impulse of another body.

Corollary In every motion, a complete circle of bodies moves at the same time.

Proof At the time when body I moves into the place of body 2, body 2 must move into the place of another body, say, body 3, and so on (Prop. 7 Part 2). Again, at the same moment of t ime as body 1 moves into the place of body 2, the place quitted by body I must be occupied by �. another body (Prop. 8 Part 2) , let us say body 8 or another body immediately contiguous to body I. Because this oc- • • • ' curs only through the impulse of another body (Schol. to this Prop.) . which is here supposed to be body I , all these moving bodies cannot be in the same straight l ine (Ax. 2 1 ) but (Def. 9) form a complete circle. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 9 If a circular tube ABC is full of water and is four times as wide at A as at B, then at the time that the water (or any other fluid body) at A begins to move toward B, the water at B will move at four times that speed.

Proof When all the water a tA moves toward B, the same amount of water must at the same time move into its place from C, which is immediately contiguous to A (Prop. 8 Part 2) . And from B the same amount of water will have

1 58 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

to move into the place of C (same Prop.) . Therefore (Ax. 14) it will move at four times that speed. Q.E.D.

What we say about the circular tube must also apply to al l unequal spaces through which bodies moving at the same time are compelled to pass; for the proof will be the same in the other cases.

Lemma If two semicircles A and B are described about the same center, the space between their circumferences �B �OD will be everywhere the same. But if two semicircles C and D are de- scribed about different centers, the space between their circumferences will be everywhere unequal.

The proof is evident merely from the definition of a circle.

PROPOSITION 1 0 The fluid body that moves through the tube ABC (of Prop. 9) receives an indefinite number of degrees of speed.

Proof The space between A and B is everywhere unequal (previous Lemma). Therefore (Prop. 9 Part 2) the speed at which the fluid body passes through the tube ABC will be unequal at all points. Furthermore, because we conceive in thought an indefinite number of spaces ever smaller and smaller between A and B (Prop. 5 Part 2), we shall also conceive its inequal ities of speed, which are at all points, as indefinite. Therefore (Prop. 9 Part 2) the degrees of speed will be in­ definite in number. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 1 1 The matter that flows through the tube ABC (of Prop. 9) is divided into an indefi­ nite number of particles.

Proof The matter that flows through the tube ABC acquires at the same time an indefinite number of degrees of speed (Prop. 10 Part 2). Therefore (Ax. 16) it has an indefinite number of parts into which it is in reality divided. Q.E.D. Read Arts. 34 and 35 Part 2 of the Principia.

Scholium So far we have been deal ing with the nature of motion. We should now enquire into its cause, wh ich is twofold: ( I ) the primary or general cause, which is the cause of all the motions in the world, and (2) the particular cause, whereby it comes about that individual parts of matter acquire motions that they did not have before. As to the general cause, because we must admit nothing (Prop. 14 Part I and Schol. Prop. 1 5 Part 1 ) 3 but what we clearly and distinctly perceive, and because we clearly and distinctly understand no other cause than God, the creator of matter, it is obvious that no other general cause but God must be ad­ mitted. And what we here say about motion must also be understood about rest.

3 [Here I deVlate from Gebhardt to follow Hubbeling's emendatton. -S .S . ]

Part 2, Proposition 1 5 1 59

PROPOSITION 1 2 God is the principal cause of motion.

Proof See the immediately preceding Schol ium.

PROPOSITION 1 3 God still preserves /ry his concurrence the same quantity of motion and rest that he originally gave to matter.

Proof Because God is the cause of motion and rest (Prop. 12 Part 2), he con­ tinues to preserve them by that same power by which he created them (Ax. 10 Part 1 ) , the quantity also remaining the same as when he first created them (Cor. Prop. 20 Part 1 ) . Q.E.D.

Scholium I . Although in theology it is said that God does many things at h is own good pleasure and with the purpose of displaying his power to men, never­ theless, because those things that depend merely on h is good pleasure are known by no other means than divine revelation, to prevent ph ilosophy from being con­ fused with theology, they are not to be admitted in philosophy, where enquiry is restricted to what reason tells us.

2 . Although motion is nothing but a mode of moving matter, it nevertheless has a fixed and determinate quantity. How this is to be understood will become evident from what follows. Read Art. 36 Part 2 of the Principia.

PROPOSITION 1 4 Each single thing, insofar as i t is simple and undivided and is considered only in it­ self, always perseveres in the same state, as far as in it lies.

Many take this proposition as an axiom, but we shall demonstrate it.

Proof Because everything is in a certain state only by the concurrence of God (Prop. 12 Part 1) and God is in the h ighest degree constant in h is works (Cor. Prop. 20 Part 1 ) , if we pay no attention to any external causes (i.e., particular causes) but consider the th ing only in itself, we must affirm that as far as in it lies, i t always perseveres in the state in which i t is. Q.E.D.

Corollary A body that is once in motion always continues to move unless it is checked by external causes.

Proof This is obvious from the preceding proposition. But to correct prejudice concerning motion, read Arts. 37 and 38 Part 2 of the Principia.

PROPOSITION 1 5 Every body in motion tends of itself to continue to move in a straight line, not in a curved line.

This proposition could well be considered as an axiom, but 1 shall demonstrate i t from the preceding, as follows.

Proof Motion, having only God for its cause (Prop. 12 Part 2), never has of it­ self any force to exist (Ax. 10 Part 1 ) , but at every moment continues, as it were,

1 60 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

to be created by God (by what is demonstrated in connection with the Axiom just cited). Therefore, although we attend only to the nature of the motion, we can never attribute to it, as pertaining to its nature, a duration that can be conceived as greater than another duration. But if it is sa id that i t perta ins to the nature of a moving body to describe by its movement a curve, we should be attributing to the nature of motion a longer duration than when it is supposed to be in the nature of a moving body to tend to continue to move in a straight line (Ax. 1 7) . Now be­ cause (as we have j ust proved) we cannot attribute such duration to the nature of motion, then neither can we posit that it is of the nature of a moving body to con­ tinue to move in a curve; it must continue to move only in a straight l ine. Q.E.D.

Scholium Perhaps many will th ink that this proof is equally effective in show­ ing that it does not pertain to the nature of motion to describe a straight line as in showing that it does not pertain to the nature of motion to describe a curved l ine, and that this is so because there cannot be posited a stra ight line other than which there is no shorter, whether straight or curved, nor any curved l ine other than which there is no shorter curve. However, although I have th is in mind, I never­ theless hold that the proof proceeds correctly, because it concludes what was required to be proved solely from the universal essence of l ines, that is, their es­ sential specific difference, and not from the length of individual l ines, that is, their accidental specific difference. But to avoid making more obscure, by my proof, a thing that is through itself quite clear, I refer my readers to the simple definition of motion, which affirms of motion nothing other than its being the transfer of one part of matter from the vicinity . . . , etc . , to the vicinity of other . . . , etc. So unless we conceive this transfer in its simplest form - that is, as proceeding in a stra ight l ine- we are attach ing to motion something not contained in its essence or definition, and so not pertaining to its nature.

Corollary From this Proposition it follows that every body that moves in a curve is continuously deviating from the line along which it would continue to move of itself, and this is through the force of an external cause (Prop. 14 Part 2) .

PROPOSITION 1 6 Every body that moves in a circle (e.g., a stone in a sling) is continuously determined to continue in motion at a tangent to that eiTcle.

Proof A body that moves in a circle is continuously prevented by an external force from continuing to move in a straight l ine (Cor. previous Prop. ) . If this force ceases, the body will of itself proceed to move in a straight l ine (Prop. 1 5 ) . Fur­ thermore, I say that a body that moves in a circle is determined by an external cause to proceed to move at a tangent to the circle. If you deny this, suppose that a stone at B is determined (e.g., by a sling) to move not along the tangent BD but along another line conceived as drawn without or within the circle from the same point. When the sl ing is supposed to be coming from L toward B, let this l ine be BF. If on the other hand the sling is supposed to be coming from C toward B, let this line be BG. If BH is the line drawn from the center through the circumfer-

Part 2, Proposition 16 1 6 1

ence, which it cuts at B, I understand the angle GBH to be equal to the angle FBH. But if the stone at B is determined to proceed to move toward F by the sl ing moving in a circle from L toward B, then it nec- essarily follows (Ax. 1 8) that when the sling 0 moves with a contrary determination from C to­ ward B, the stone will be determined to proceed to move in line with BF with a contrary determi­ nation and will therefore tend not toward G but toward K. This is contrary to our hypothesis. And because no l ine except a tangent can be drawn through point B making equal adjacent angles, DBH, ABH, with the l ine BH,4 there can be no l ine but a tangent that can preserve the same hypothesis, whether the sl ing moves from L to B or from C to B. And so the stone can tend to move along no line but the tangent. Q.E.D.

AnoIher Proof Instead of a circle,> conceive a hexagon ABH inscribed in a cir­ cle, and a body C at rest on one side, AB. Then conceive tha t a ruler DBE, whose one end I suppose to be fixed at the center D while the other end is free, moves about the center D, continuously cutting the l ine AB. It is eviden t that if the ruler DBE, conceived to move in th is way, meets the body C just when the ruler cuts the line AB at right angles, by its impact the ruler will determine the body C to proceed to move along the l ine FBAG toward G, that is, along the side AB produced indefinitely. But because we have chosen a hexagon at random, the same must be affirmed of any other figure that we conceive can be inscribed in a circle, namely, that when a body C, at rest on one side of the figure, is struck by the ruler DBE just when the ruler cuts that side at right angles, i t will be determined by that ruler to proceed to move along that side produced in­ definitely. Let us conceive, then, instead of a hexagon, a rectilinear figure having an infinite number of s ides- that is, by Archimedes's definition, a circle. It is ev­ ident that, whenever the ruler DBE meets the body C, it always meets it just when it cuts some side of such a f.gure at right angles, and thus will never meet the body C without at the same time determining it to proceed to move along that side pro­ duced indefinitely. And because any side produced in either direction must al­ ways fall outside the figure, that side produced indefinitely will be the tangent to a figure of an infinite number of sides, that is, a circle. If, then, instead of a ruler

4 TIllS IS evident from Proposittons 18 and 19 of Book 3 of the Elements. 5 [Spmoza's diagram is rruslabeled. A rrrust be at the corner of the hexagon between B and G. In this

alternative proof Spinoza substitutes the Archlmedean concept of a cucle for the Euclidean and proVides a duect proof rather than a reductio argument.]

1 62 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

we conceive a sling moving in a circle, this will con tinuously determine the stone to proceed to move at a tangent. Q.E.D.

It should here be noted that both of these proofS can be adapted to any curvi­ l inear figure.

PROPOSITION 1 7 Every body that moves in a circle endeavors to move away {rom the center of the cir­ cle that it describes.

Proof As l ong as a body moves in a circle, it is being compelled by some exter- nal cause; and if this ceases, it at once proceeds to

~ move at a tangent to the circle (previous Prop.) . All the points of this tangent, except that which touches the circle, fall outside the circle (Prop. 16 Book 3 El­ ements) and are therefore further distant from the center. Therefore when a stone moving in a circle in a sl ing EA is at a point A, i t endeavors to continue in a line, all of whose points are farther distant from the center E than any points on the circumference LAB.

And this is nothing other than to endeavor to move away from the center of the circle that it describes. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 1 8 If a body A moves toward a body B, which is at rest, and B loses nothing of its state of rest in spite of the impetus of body A, then neither will A lose anything of its mo­ tion, but will retain entirely the same quantity of motion that it had before.

Proof If you deny this, suppose that body A loses some of its motion without

/I transferring the lost motion to something else, say, to B. • When this happens, there will be in Nature a smaller quan­liP' tity of motion than before, which is absurd (Prop. 1 3 Part 2) . The proof proceeds in the same way with respect to the state

of rest of body B, therefore if the one body does not transfer anything to the other body, B will retain all its rest, and A, all its motion. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 19 Motion, regarded in itself, is different from its determination toward a certain di­ rection; and there is no need for a moving body to be for any time at rest in order that it may travel or be repelled in an opposite direction.

Proof Suppose, as in the preceding proposition, that a body A moves in a straight l ine toward a body B and is prevented by body B from continuing further. There­ fore (preceding Prop.) A will reta in its motion undiminished, and it will not be at rest for even the smallest space of time. However, because it continues to move, it does not move in the same direction as before, for it is supposed to be prevented by B. Therefore, with its motion remaining undiminished and its previous deter-

Part 2, Proposition 22 163

mination lost, it wil l move in the opposite direction, and not any other (see what is said in Chapter 2 Dioptrics). Therefore (Ax. 2) determination does not pertain to the essence of motion but is differen t from it , and a moving body that is repelled is not at rest for any time. Q.E.D.

Corollary Hence it follows that motion is not contrary to motion.

PROPOSITION 20 If a body A collides with a body B and takes i t along with it, A will lose as much of its motion as B acquires from A because of its collision with A. Proof If you deny th is, suppose that B acquires more or less motion from A than A loses. All this difference must be added to or subtracted from the quantity of motion in the whole of Nature, wh ich ...4iif 1M is absurd (Prop. 1 3 Part 2) . Therefore, because body B can ... ., acquire neither more nor less motion, it will acquire j ust as much motion as A loses. Q.E .D .

PROPOSITION 2 1 (See Preceding Diagram) If a body A is twice as large as B and moves with equal speed, A will also have twice as much motion as B, or twice as much force for retaining a speed equal to B s.

PROOF Suppose that instead of A there are two Bs; that is, by hypothesis, one A divided into two equal parts. Each B has a force for remaining in the state in which it is (Prop. 14 Part 2), and th is force is equal in both Bs (by hypothesis). If now these two Bs are j oined together, their speed remaining the same, they will be­ come one A, whose force and quantity will be equal to two Bs, or twice that of one B. Q .E . D.

Note that th is follows simply from the definition of motion. For the greater the moving body, the more the matter that is being separated from other matter. Therefore there is more separation, that is (Def. 8), more motion. See Note 4 re­ garding the definition of motion.

PROPOSITION 22 (See Diagram Prop. 20) If a body A is equal to a body B, and A is moving at twice the speed of B, the force or motion in A will be twice that in B. Proof Suppose that B, when it first acqu ired a certain force of motion has ac­ quired four degrees of speed. If now nothing is added to th is, i t will continue to move (Prop. 14 Part 2) and persevere in its state. Suppose that i t now acquires an additional force from a further impulse equal to the former. As a result, it will ac­ quire another four degrees of speed in addition to the previous four degrees, which i t will also preserve (same Prop .) , that is, i t will move twice as fast (i.e., as fast as A) , and at the same time it will have twice the force (i .e . , a force equal to Ns) . Therefore the motion in A i s twice that of B. Q.E.D.

1 64 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

Note that by force in moving bodies we here understand quantity of motion . This quantity must be greater in equal bodies in proportion to their speed of mo­ tion, insofar as by that speed equal bodies become more separated in the same time from immediately contiguous bodies than if they were to move more slowly. Thus they also have more motion (Def. 8). But in bodies at rest, we understand by force of resistance the quantity of rest. Hence it follows:

Corollary I The more slowly bodies move, the more they participate in rest. For they offer more resistance to more swiftly moving bodies that collide with

them and have less force than they, and they also are less separated from imme­ diately contiguous bodies.

Corollary 2 If a body A moves twice as fast as a body B, and B is twice as great as A, there is the same amount of motion in the greater body B as in the smaller body A, and therefore there is also an equal force.

Proof Let B be twice the size of A, and let A move with twice the speed of B; then let C be half the size of B and move with half the speed of A. Therefore B (Prop. 2 1 Part 2) will have a motion twice that of C, and A (Prop. 22 Part 2) will have a motion twice that of C. Therefore (Ax. 1 5 ) B and A will have equal mo­ tion; for the motion of each is twice that of the third body C. Q.E.D.

Corollary 3 Hence it follows that motion is distinct from speed. For we con­ ceive that, of bodies possessing equal speed, one can have more motion than an­ other (Prop. 21 Part 2), and on the other hand, bodies possessing unequal speed can have equal motion (previous Cor.) . Th is can also be deduced merely from the definition of motion, for it is noth ing but the transfer of one body from the vicinity . . . , etc.

But here it should be noted that this th ird corollary is not inconsistent with the first For we conceive speed in two ways: either insofar as a body is more or less separated in the same time from immediately contiguous bodies (and to that ex­ tent it participates to a greater or lesser degree in motion or rest), or insofar as it describes in the same time a longer or shorter l ine (and to that extent is distinct from motion).

I could here have added other propositions for a fuller explanation of Prop. 14 Part 2 and could have explained the forces of things in any state whatsoever, as we have here done with regard to motion. But it will suffice to read through Art. 43 Part 2 of the Principia and to add only one more proposition, which is neces­ sary for the understanding of what is to follow.

PROPOSITION 2 3 Whcm the modes of a body are compelled to undergo variation, that variation will always be the least that can be.

Proof This proposition follows quite clearly from Prop. 14 Part 2 .

Part 2, Proposition 26 165

PROPOSITION 24, RULE 1 (See Diagram Prop. 20) If two bodies, A and B, should be completely equal and should move in a straight line toward each other with equal velocity, on colliding with each other they will both be reflected in the opposite direction with no loss of speed.

In this hypothesis it is evident that, in order that the contrariety of these two bodies should be removed, either both must be reflected in the opposite direction or the one must take the other along with it For they are contrary to each other only in respect of their determination, not in respect of motion.

Proof When A and B collide, they must undergo some variation (Ax. 1 9) . But because motion is not contrary to motion (Cor. Prop. 19 Part 2), they will not be compelled to lose any of their motion (Ax. 1 9). Therefore there will be change only in determination. But we cannot conceive that only the determination of the one, say B, is changed, unless we suppose that A, by which i t would have to be changed, is the stronger (Ax. 20). But this would be contrary to the hypothesis. Therefore because there cannot be a change of determination in only the one, there will be a change in both, with A's and B's changing course in the opposite direction- but not in any other direction (see what is said in Chap. 2 Dioptrics) ­ and preserving their own motion undiminished. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 25, RULE 2 (See Diagram Prop. 20) If A and B are unequal in mass, B being greater than A, other conditions being as previously stated, then A alone will be reflected, and each will continue to move at the same speed.

Proof Because A is supposed to be smaller than B, it will also have less force than B (Prop. 2 1 Part 2) . But because in this hypothesis, as in the previous one, there is contrariety only in the determination, and so, as we have demonstrated in the previous proposition, variation must occur only in the determination, it will occur only in A and not in B (Ax. 20). Therefore only A will be reflected in the opposite direction by the stronger B, while reta ining its speed undiminished. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 26 (See Diagram Prop. 20) If A and B are unequal in mass and speed, B being twice the size of A and the mo­ tion in A being twice the speed of that in B, other conditions being as before stated, they will both be reflected in the opposite direction, each retaining the speed that it possessed.

Proof When A and B move toward each other, according to the hypothesis, there is the same amount of motion in the one as in the other (Cor. 2 Prop. 22 Part 2). Therefore the motion of the one is not contrary to the motion of the other (Cor. Prop. 19 Part 2), and the forces are equal in both (Cor. 2 Prop. 22 Part 2). Therefore this hypothesis is exactly similar to the hypothesis of Proposition 24 Part 2 and so, according to the same proof, A and B will be reflected in opposite di­ rections, retaining their own motion undiminished. Q.E.D.

1 66 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

Corollary From these three preceding propositions it is clear that to change the determination of one body requires equal force as to change its motion. Hence it follows that a body that loses more than half its determination and more than half its motion undergoes more change than one that l oses all its determination.

PROPOSITION 27, RULE 3 If A and B are equal in mass but B moves a little faster than A, not only will A be reflected in the opposite direction, but also B will transfer to A half the difference of their speeds, and both will proceed to move in the same direction at the same speed.

Proof By hypothesis, A is opposed to B not only by its determination but also by its slowness, insofar as it participates in rest (Cor. I Prop. 22 Part 2) . Therefore, even though it is reflected in the opposite direction and only its determination is changed, not all the contrariety of these two bodies is thereby removed. Hence (Ax. 19) there must be a variation both in determination and in motion. But be­ cause B, by hypothesis, moves faster than A, B will be stronger than A (Prop. 22 Part 2). Therefore a change (Ax. 20) will be produced in A by B, by which it will be reflected in the opposite direction. That was the first point.

Secondly, as long as it moves more slowly than B, A is opposed to B (Cor. I Prop. 22 Part 2) . Therefore a variation must occur (Ax. 1 9) until it does not move more slowly than B. Now in this hypothesis there is no cause strong enough to compel i t to move faster than B. So because it can move neither more slowly nor faster than B when i t is impelled by B, i t will proceed to move at the same speed as B . Again, if B transfers less than half its excess of speed to A, then A will pro­ ceed to move more slowly than B. If it transfers more than half, then A will pro­ ceed to move more quickly than B. But both these possib il i ties are absurd, as we have just demonstrated. Therefore a variation will occur until a point is reached when B has transferred to A half its excess of speed, which B must lose (Prop. 20 Part 2) . And so both will proceed to move with equal speed in the same direction without any contrariety. Q.E.D.

Corollary Hence i t follows that, the greater the speed of a body, the more it is determined to move in the same straight l ine, and conversely, the more slowly it moves, the less i ts determination.

Scholium Lest my readers should here confuse the force of determination with the force of motion, I th ink it advisable to add a few words wherein the force of determination is explained as distinct from the force of motion. Ifbodies A and C are conceived as equal and moving in a straight line toward each other at equal speed, these two bodies (Prop. 24 Part 2) will be reflected in opposite directions, each preserving its own motion undiminished. But if body C is at B, and moving at an oblique angle toward A, it is clear that it is now less determined to move along the line BD or CA. So although it possesses motion equal to A's, yet the force ofC's determination when it moves from directly opposite toward A-a force that is equal to body A's force of determination - is greater than C's force of de­ termination when it moves from B toward A; and it is greater in proportion as the

Part 2, Proposition 28 1 67

l ine BA is greater than the line CA. For in proportion as BA is greater than CA, so much more time does B require (with B and A moving at the same speed, as is here supposed) to be able to move along the line BD or CA, along which it op­ poses the determination of body A. So when C moves from B to meetA at an obl ique angle, it will be determined as if i t were to proceed to move along the line AB' toward B' (which I suppose, it being at a point where the line AB' cuts BC pro­ duced, to be the same distance from C as C is from B). But A, reta ining its original motion and deter- D,---T'l" mination, will proceed to move toward C, and will push body B along with it, because B, as long as it is determined to motion along the diagonal AB' and moves with the same speed as A, requires more time than A to describe by its motion any part of the line AC. And to that extent it is opposed to the determination of body A, which is the stronger. But in order for C's force of determination in moving from B to A, insofar as i t partici­ pates in the direction CA, to be equal to C's force of determination in moving di­ rectly toward A (or, by hypothesis, equal to A's force of determination), B will have to have degrees of motion in excess of A in proportion as the line BA is greater than the l ine CA. And then, when it meets body A at an oblique angle, A will be reflected in the opposite direction toward N and B toward B', both retaining their original motion. But if the excess of B over A is more than the excess of the l ine BA over the l ine CA, then B wil l repel A toward N, and wil l impart to it as much of its motion as will make the ratio of the motions of B to A the same as the ratio of the line BA to the line CA, and, losing as much motion as it has transferred to A, i t will proceed to move in its original direction. For example, if the line AC is to the line AB as I to 2, and the motion of body A is to that of body B as I to 5, then B will transfer to A one degree of its motion and will repel it in the opposite direction, and B with four remaining degrees of motion will continue to move in i ts original direction.

PROPOSITION 28, RULE 4 (See Diagram Prop. 20)6 If a body A is completely at rest and is a little larger than B, with whatever speed B moves toward A it will never move A, but will be repelled by A in the opposite di­ rection, retaining its original motion.

Note7 that the contrariety of these bodies is removed in three ways. ( I ) When one takes the other along with it, and they thereafter proceed to move at the same speed in the same direction. (2) When one is reflected in the opposite direction and the other retains its original rest. (3) When one is reflected in the opposite di­ rection and transfers some of its motion to the other, which was at rest. There can

6 [Corrected from Prop. 27.]

7 [This note and the note Immediately followmg P29 were set In smaller type in the fust edition, m� dlcatmg that they were additions that Spinoza made In proof (see EpI 5) . ]

1 68 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

be no fourth possibil ity (from Prop. 1 3 Part 2) . So we must now demonstrate (by Prop. 23 Part 2) that according to our hypothesis the least change occurs in these bodies.

Proof If B were to move A until they both proceeded to move a t the same speed, it would have to transfer to A as much of its motion as A acqu ires (Prop. 20 Part 2) and would have to lose more than half of its motion (Prop. 2 1 Part 2), and con­ sequently (Cor. Prop. 27 Part 2) more than half of its determination as well . And so (Cor. Prop. 26 Part 2) it would undergo more change than if it were merely to lose its determination. And if A were to lose some of its rest, but not so much that it finally proceeded to move with equal speed with B, then the opposition of these two bodies would not be removed. For A by its slowness, insofar as that partici­ pates in rest, will be opposed to B's speed (Cor. I Prop. 22 Part 2). And so B will still have to be reflected in the opposite direction and will lose all its determina­ tion and part of its motion, which it has transferred to A. Th is, too, is a greater change than if it were merely to lose its determination. Therefore, because the change is only in the determination, in accordance with our hypothesis, it will be the least that there can be in these bodies, and therefore (Prop. 23 Part 2) no other change will occur. Q.E.D.

It should be noted that, in the proof of this proposition and also in the case of other proofs, we have not quoted Prop. 1 9 Part 2, in which it is demonstrated that the whole determination can be changed while yet the motion remains unaltered. Yet attention should be paid to this proposition, so that the force of the proof may be rightly perceived. For in Prop. 23 Part 2 we did not say that the variation will always be the least absolutely, but the least that there can be. But that there can be such a change as we have supposed in this proof, one consisting solely in de­ termination, is evident from Props. 18 and 19 with Cor. Part 2.

PROPOSITION 29, RULE 5 (See Diagram Prop. 30) If a body A at rest is smaller than B, them however slowly B moves toward A, it will move it along with it, transferring to it such a part of its motion that both bodies thereafter move at the same speed. (Read Art. 50 Part 2 of the Principia.)

In this rule as in the previous one, only three cases could be conceived in which this opposition would be removed. But we shall demonstrate that, according to our hypothesis, the least change occurs in these bodies. And so (Prop. 23 Part 2) their variation, too, must occur in this way.

Proof According to our hypothesis B transfers to A (Prop. 21 Part 2) less than half of its motion and (Cor. Prop. 27 Part 2)8 less than half of its determination . Now if B were not to take A along with it but were to be reflected in the opposite direction, it would lose all its determination , and a greater variation would occur (Cor. Prop . 26 Part 2) . And even greater would be the variation if it lost all its de­ termination and at the same time a part of its motion, as is supposed in the third

8 [ I accept Hubbehng's emendahon of 17 to 27.- S.S . ]

Part 2, Proposition 3 1 1 69

case. Therefore the variation, in accordance with our hypothesis, is the least. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 30, RULE 6 If a body A at rest were exactly equal to a body B, which is moving toward it, to some degree A would be impelled by B, and to some degree B would be repelled by A in the opposite direction.

Here again, as in the preceding Prop. , only three cases could be conceived. And so it must be demonstrated that we are here positing the least variation that there can be.

Proof If body B takes body A along with it until both are proceeding to move at the same speed, then there will be the same amount of motion in the one as in the other (Prop. 22 Part 2), and (Cor. Prop. 27 Part 2) B will have to lose half its determination and also (Prop. 20 Part 2) half its motion. But if it is repelled by A in the opposite direction, then it II " will lose all its determination and will retain all its motion (Prop. 18 Part 2) . This variation is equal to the former (Cor. I Prop. 26 Part 2). But neither of these possibil ities can occur. For if A were to retain its own state and could change the determination of B, it would necessarily be stronger than B (Ax. 20), which would be contrary to the hy­ pothesis. And if B were to take A along with it until they were both moving at the same speed, B would be stronger than A, which is also contrary to the hypothesis. Because both of these cases are ruled out, the third case will occur; B will give a slight impulse to A and will be repelled by A. Q.E.D. Read Art. 5 1 Part 2 of the Principia.

PROPOSITION 3 1 , RULE 7 (See Diagram Prop. 30) If B and A are moving in the same direction, A more slowly and B following it more quickly so that it finally overtakes A, and if A is bigger than B, but B's excess of speed is greater than Ns excess of magnitude, then B will transfer to A so much of its mo­ tion that both will thereafter move at the same speed in the same direction. But if. on the other hand, A's excess of magnitude should be greater than B's excess of speed, B would be reflected by it in the opposite direction, retaining all its motion.

Read Art. 52 Part 2 of the Principia. Here again, as in the preceding proposi­ tions, only three cases can be conceived.

Proof Part I . B being supposed to be stronger than A (Props. 21 and 22 Part 2) cannot be reflected in the opposite direction by A (Ax. 20). Therefore, because B is stronger, i t will take A along with i t, and in such a way that they proceed to move at the same speed. For then the least change will occur, as can easily be seen from the preceding propositions.

Part 2 . B being supposed to be less strong than A (Props. 21 and 22 Part 2) can­ not impel A (Ax. 20), nor give it any of its own motion. Thus (Cor. Prop. 14 Part 2) it will retain all its motion, but not in the same direction , for it is supposed to be impeded by A. Therefore (according to Chap. 2 Dioptrics) it will be reflected

170 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

in the opposite direction, not in any other direction, retaining its original motion (Prop. 18 Part 2). Q.E.D.

Note that here and in the preceding propositions we have taken as proved that any body meeting from the opposite direction another body by which it is ab­ solutely impeded from advancing further in the same direction, must be reflected in the opposite direction, not in any other direction. For the understanding of th is, read Chap. 2 Dioptrics.

Scholium Up to this point, to explain the changes of bodies resulting from their impact on each other, we have considered the two bodies as though isolated from all other bodies, that is, without taking into account bodies that surround them on all sides. But now we shall consider their state and their changes wh ile taking into account bodies that surround them on all sides.

PROPOSITION 32 If a body B is surrounded on all sides Iry particles in motion, which at the same time are impelling it with equal force in all directions, as long as no other cause occurs it will remain unmoved in the same place.

Proof This proposition is self-evident. For if it were to move in any direction through the impulse of particles coming from one direction, the particles that move it would be impelling it with greater force than other particles that at the same time are impelling i t in the opposite direction, with no effect (Ax. 20).9 Th is would be contrary to the hypothesis.

PROPOSITION 3 3 Body B , under the conditions stated previously, can be moved i n any direction Iry any additional force, however small.

Proof Because all bodies immediately contiguous to B are in motion (by hy­ pothesis), and B (Prop. 32) remains unmoved, as soon as they touch B they will be reflected in another direction while retaining their original motion (Prop. 28 Part 2). Thus body B is all the time automatically being lefl by immediately con­ tiguous bodies. And so, whatever magnitude is assigned to B, no action is required to separate i t from immediately con tiguous bodies (Note 4 of Def. 8). So any ex­ ternal force striking against i t, however small it is imagined to be, is bound to be greater than the force that B possesses for remaining in the same place (for we have just demonstrated that B possesses no force for adhering to its immediately contiguous bodies), and, when added to the impulse of those particles that to­ gether with it are impell ing B by external force in the same direction, it is also bound to be greater than the force of other particles impelling B in the opposite direction (for, disregarding this external force, the one force was supposed to be equal to the other). Therefore (Ax. 20) body B will be moved in any direction by this external force, however small i t be imagined. Q.E.D.

9 [Here I follow the generally accepted emendation of 29 to 20 - S.S. J

Part 2, Proposition 35 1 7 1

PROPOSITION 3 4 Body B, under the same conditions a s previously, cannot move more quickly than it is impelled by the external force, even though the particles by which it is surrounded are in much swifter motion.

Proof Although the particles that, together with the external force, are impell ing B in the same direction are in much swifter motion than the external force can move B, yet because (by hypothesis) they have no more force than the bodies that are repelling B in the opposite direction, they will use up all the power of their determination merely in resisting these, without imparting any speed to B (Prop. 32 Part 2). Therefore, because no other circumstances or causes are supposed, B will not receive any amount of speed from any cause other than the external force, and therefore (Ax. 8 Part I) i t cannot move more quickly than it is impelled by the external force. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 35 Whcm body B is thus moved by an external impulse, it receives the greatest part of its motion from the bodies by which it is constantly surrounded, and not from the external force.

Proof Even though body B is imagined to be very large, it must be moved by even the smallest impulse (Prop. 33 Part 2) . Let us then conceive B as four times as large as the external body by whose force i t is impelled. Therefore, because both must move at the same speed (preceding Prop.) , there will be four times as much motion in B as in the external body by which it is impelled (Prop. 21 Part 2). Therefore (Ax. 8 Part I ) i t does not have the principal part of its motion from the external cause. And because, apart from this cause, no causes are supposed other than the bodies by which it is constantly surrounded (for B is supposed to be not moving of itself), then i t is only from the bodies by which i t is surrounded (Ax. 7 Part I) that it receives the principal part of its motion, and not from the external cause. Q.E .D.

Note that here we cannot say, as previously, that the motion of particles com­ ing from one direction is required in order to resist the motion of particles com­ ing from the opposite direction. For bodies moving toward each other with equal motion (as these are supposed) are contrary only by determination, 1 O and not by motion (Cor. Prop. 19 Part 2). And so in resisting one another they use up only their determination , and not their motion. Therefore body B can receive no de­ termination, and consequently (Cor. Prop. 27 Part 2) no speed insofar as that is distinct from motion-from adjacent bodies. But it can receive motion; indeed, when the extra force is added, it must necessarily be moved by them, as we have demonstrated in this proposition and as can be clearly seen from the manner of the proof of Proposition 33 .

1 0 See Prop. 24 Part 2, where d IS demonstrated that two bodies, In reslstmg one another, expend their determination, not their mohon

172 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

PROPOSITION 36 If any body (e.g., our hand) can move in any direction whatsoever with equal mo­ tion without offering any resistance to any bodies or meeting with any resistance from any other bodies, then in that space through which it would thus move there must necessarily be as many bodies moving in one direction as there are bodies mov­ ing in any other direction, their force of speed being equal to one another's and to that of the hand.

Proof Any space through which a body can move is bound to be full of bodies (Prop. 3 Part 2). I therefore say that the space through which our hand can thus move is filled with bodies which will move in the manner I have already de­ scribed. For if you deny th is, let them be supposed to be at rest, or to move in a different way. If they are at rest, they will necessarily resist the motion of the hand until its motion is communicated to them (Prop. 14 Part 2) . so that finally they will move together with it in the same direction at the same speed (Prop. 20 Part 2) . But in the hypothesis they are supposed not to resist; therefore these bodies are in motion. Th is was the first poin t to be proved.

Furthermore, they must be moving in all directions. If you deny this, suppose that there is some direction in which they are not moving, say from A toward B . Therefore i f the hand is moving from A toward B, it will necessarily meet moving bodies (by the first part of th is proof), bodies, by your hypothesis, with a determi­ nation different from that of the hand. Therefore they will resist it (Prop. 14 Part 2) until they move along with the hand in the same direction (Prop. 24 and Schol. Prop. 27 Part 2). But, by hypothesis, they do not resist the hand. Therefore they will be moving in all directions. That was the second point.

Again, these bodies will be moving in all directions equaling one another in force of speed. For if they were supposed not to be moving with equal force of

speed, suppose that those that are moving from A toward B are

L not moving with as much force of speed as those that are mov­ ing from A toward C. Therefore if the hand (for it is supposed to be able to move with equal motion in all directions without re-

A sistance) were to move from A toward B with the same speed with which bodies are moving from A toward C, the bodies mov­

ing from A toward B will resist the hand (Prop. 14 Part 2) until they move with a force of speed equal to that of the hand (Prop. 31 Part 2). But this is contrary to the hypothesis. Therefore they will move with equal force of speed in all direc­ tions. That was the third point.

Finally, if the bodies are not moving with the same force of speed as the hand, then the hand will either move more slowly, with less force of speed, or more qUickly, with greater force of speed, than the bodies. If the former, the hand will resist the bodies that are following i t in the same direction (Prop. 31 Part 2) . If the latter, the bodies that the hand is following and with which it is moving in the same direction will resist it (same Prop.) . Each of these is contrary to the hypoth­ esis. Therefore, because the hand can move neither more slowly nor more quickly than the bodies, it will move with the same force of speed as the bodies. Q.E.D.

Part 2, Proposition 37 173

If you ask why I say 'with equal force of speed' and not simply 'with equal speed', read Schol ium Cor. Prop. 27 Part 2 . If you then ask whether the hand, while moving (e.g. , from A toward B), does not resist bodies that are moving at the same time with equal force from B toward A, read Prop. 33 Part 2, from which you will understand that their force is balanced by the force of the bodies moving together with the hand at the same time from A toward B (for, by the third part of this Prop., these two forces are equal).

PROPOSITION 37 If a body A can be moved in any direction whatsoever by any force, however small, it must necessarily be surrounded by bodies that are moving at the same speed as one another.

Proof Body A must be surrounded on all sides by bodies (Prop. 6 Part 2), bod­ ies that are moving equally in all directions. For if they were at rest, body A could not be moved, as is supposed, in any direction whatsoever by any force, however small, but only by such force as could at least be able to move along with itself the bodies immediately contiguous to A @O B Ax. 20 Part 2). Again, if the bodies by which A is surrounded were moving with greater force in one direction than in an- other-say, with greater force from B toward C than from C toward B-then be­ cause it is surrounded on all sides by moving bodies (as we have just now demon­ strated), the bodies moving from B toward C would necessarily take A along with them in the same direction (by what we have demonstrated in Prop. 33) . So it is not any force, however small, that will suffice to move A toward B; it must be ex­ actly such as would counterbalance the excess of motion of the bodies coming from B toward C (Ax. 20). Therefore they must be moving with equal force in all directions. Q.E.D.

Scholium Because this is the case with bodies called flu id, i t follows that fluid bodies are those that are divided into many tiny particles moving with equal force in all directions. And although those particles cannot be seen by any eye, even a lynx's, one must not deny what we have now clearly demonstrated. For from our previously stated Props. 10 and I I , a minuteness of nature such as cannot be de­ termined or attained by any thought, not to say the senses, is sufficiently proved. Furthermore, because it is also well established from what has preceded that bod­ ies resist other bodies merely by their rest, and that we, as our senses indicate, per­ ceive of hardness nothing more than that the parts of hard bodies resist the motion of our hands, we clearly infer that those bodies are hard, all of whose par­ ticles are at rest in close proximity to one another. Read Arts. 54, 5 5 , 56 Part 2 of the Principia.

End of Part 2

1 74 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

THE PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY

DEMONSTRATED IN THE GEOMETRIC MANNER

PART 3

Having thus set forth the most universal principles of natural things, we must now go on to explain what follows from them. However, because the things that fol­ low from these principles exceed all that our mind can ever survey in thought, and because we are not determined by them to consider some in particular rather than others, we should first of all present a brief account of the most important phenomena whose causes we shall here be investigating. But this you have in Arts. 5-1 5 Part 3 of the Principia. And in Arts. 20-43 is set out the hypothesis that Descartes j udges most suitable not only for understanding the phenomena of the heavens but also for seeking out their natural causes.

Then again, because the best way to understand the nature of Plants or Man is to consider in what way they gradually come into existence and are generated from their seeds, we must devise such principles as are the simplest and easiest to know, from which we may demonstrate that the stars, the earth, in short, every­ thing we observe in this visible world, could have arisen as from certain seeds­ al though we may well know that they never did thus arise. For in th is way we shall explain their nature far better than if we were to describe them only as they are now.

I say that we seek principles that are simple and easy to know; for unless they are such, we shall not be in need of them. The only reason why we assign seeds to things is to get to know their natu re more easily and, l ike mathematicians, to ascend from the clearest to the more obscure and from the simplest to the more complex.

Next, we say that the principles we seek are such that we may demonstrate that from them the stars, the earth, etc. , could have arisen . For we do not seek causes that suffice only to explain the phenomena of the heavens, as is the common prac­ tice of astronomers, but such as may also lead us to knowledge of the things on earth. For we hold that everything we observe to happen above the earth should be counted as phenomena of nature. Now to discover these causes, the following are the requirements of a good hypothesis.

1. Considered only in itself, it must not imply any contradiction. 2 . It must be the simplest that can be.

Part 3, Postulate 1 7 5

3 . FoIl owing from (2), it must be very easy t o know. 4. Everyth ing that is observed in the whole of nature must be able to be de­

duced from it.

We have said, finaIly, that it is aIlowable for us to assume a hypothesis from which we can deduce, as from a cause, the phenomena of nature, even though we well know that they did not arise in that way. For th is to be understood, I shaIl make use of the foIl owing example. If someone were to find drawn on a sheet of paper the curved line we call a parabola and wished to enqu ire into its natu re, i t would make no difference whether he were to suppose that the line was first cut from a cone and then imprinted on the paper, or that the line was described as a result of the motion of two straight l ines, or that it arose in some other way, provided that h is supposition enabled him to demonstrate all the properties of a parabola. In­ deed, even though he may know that it originated from the imprinting of a conic section on the paper, he can nevertheless assume any other cause he pleases that seems to him most convenient for explaining all the properties of a parabola. So too, in order to explain the features of nature, we are permitted to assume any hy­ pothesis we please, provided we deduce from it by mathematical inference all the phenomena of nature. And a more important point to note is th is, that there is hardly any assumption we can make from which the same effects cannot be de­ duced-although perhaps with more trouble-from the laws of nature explained previously. For because, by the operation of those laws, matter assumes succes­ sively all the forms of which it is capable, if we consider those forms in due order, we shaIl finally be able to arrive at the form that is the form of this world. So one need fear no error from a false hypothesis.

P os tula te

It is requested that the following be taken for granted. All the matter of which this visible world is composed was in the beginning divided by God into parti­ cles as near as possible equal to one another. These were not spherical because a number of tiny spheres j oined together do not fill a continuous space. These parts were of different shapes and medium size; that is, of a size in termediate be­ tween all those of which the heavens and the stars are now composed. The parts possessed in themselves the same amount of motion as is now found in the world and moved with equal speed. Individually, they moved about their own centers, each independently of the others, so as to compose a flu id body such as we th ink the heavens to be. Many also moved in unison around certain other points, equi­ distant from one another and arranged in the same way as are now the cen ters of the fixed stars. Others, again, moved about a somewhat greater number of other points that are equal to the number of the planets, thus forming as many differ­ en t vortices as there now are stars in the world. See the diagram in Art. 47 Part 3 of the Principia.

176 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

This hypothesis, regarded in itself, impl ies no contradiction, for it ascribes to matter nothing except divisibility and motion, modifications that we have already shown to exist in reality in matter; and because we have shown that matter is boundless, and one and the same in the heavens and on earth, we can suppose these modifications to have been in the whole of matter without any danger of contradiction.

Again, this hypothesis is the simplest because it supposes no inequal ity or dis­ similarity in the particles into which matter was divided in the beginning, nor yet in their motion . From this it follows that this hypothesis is also very easy to know. This is also evident from the fact that by this hypothesis noth ing is supposed to have been in matter except what everyone immediately knows from the mere con­ cept of matter, divisibil ity, and local motion.

That everything observed in nature can be deduced from this hypothesis, we shall try to show as far as possible in actual fact, adopting the following order. F irst, we shall deduce from it the fluidity ofthe heavens, explaining how this is the cause ofl ight. Then we shall proceed to the nature of the sun, and at the same time to what is observed in the fixed stars. After that we shall speak of comets, and lastly of the planets and their phenomena.

Defini ti ons

I . By ecliptic we understand that part of a vortex that, in rotating about its axis, describes the greatest circle.

2 . By poles we understand the parts of a vortex that are farthest away from the ecliptic or that describe the smallest circles.

3. By conatus to motion we understand, not some thought, but that a part of matter is so situated and stirred to motion that i t would in fact be going in some direction if it were not impeded by any cause.

4. By angle we understand whatever in any body projects beyond a spherical shape.

Axi oms

I. A number of small spherical bodies joined together cannot occupy a con­ tinuous space.

2 . A portion of matter divided into angular parts, if its parts are moving about their own centers, requires more space than if its parts were all at rest and all their sides were immediately contiguous to one another.

3 . The smaller a part of matter is, the more easily it is divided by the same force.

4. Parts of matter that are moving in the same direction and in that motion do not withdraw from one another are not in actuality divided.

PROPOSITION 1

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part I, Chapter I 177

The parts into which matter was {irst divided were not round but angular.

Proof All matter was in the beginning divided into equal and similar parts (Pos­ tulate). Therefore (Ax. I and Prop. 2 Part 2) they were not round; and so (Def. 4) they were angular. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION 2 The force that brought it about that the particles of matter should move about their own centers, at the same time brought it about that the angles of the particles should be worn away by collision with one another.

Proof In the beginning, all matter was divided into equal (Postulate) and angu­ lar (Prop. I Part 3) parts. Therefore, if their angles had not been worn away as soon as they began to move about their own centers, then of necessity (Ax. 2) the whole of matter would have had to occupy more space than when it was at rest. But this is absurd (Prop. 4 Part 2). Therefore their angles were worn away as soon as they began to move. Q.E.D.

The rest is lacking.

APPENDIX CONTAINING

METAPHYSICAL THOUGHTS

PART 1

In which are briefly explained the principal questions that commonly arise in the general part of Metaphysics,

with regard to Being and its modifications .'

Chapter 1 Of Real Being, Fictitious Being, and Being of Reason

I shall say noth ing about the definition of th is Science, nor about its subject mat­ ter. My intention here is only to explain matters that are rather obscure and are commonly treated by writers on metaphysics.

I [The end and purpose of thiS Part IS to show that ordmary Logic and Philosophy serve only to exer� cise and strengthen the memory. enabling us to keep In mnd thmgs that are presented to us through

178 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

[Definition of Being. ] Let us begin, then, with Being, by which I understand 'Everything which, when it is clearly and distinctly perceived, we find to exist nec­ essarily or at least possibly.'

[The Chimera, the Fictitious Being and the Being of Reason are not beings. ] From this definition, or, if you prefer, description, it follows that a Chimera, a Fic­ titious Being and a Being of Reason can in no way be classed as beings. For a Chimera, of its own nature, cannot exist. (N.B. By the term 'Chimera', here and in what follows, is to be understood that whose nature involves open contradic­ tion, as is more fully expla ined in Chapter 3.) A Fictitious Being excludes clear and distinct perception, because a man merely according to h is fancy-and not unknowingly, as in the case of the false, but knowingly and wittingly- joins to­ gether what he wants to join and separates what he wants to separate. Finally, a Being of Reason is nothing but a mode of th inking, which serves the more easily to retain, explain, and imagine things that are understood. Here it should be noted that by a mode of th inking we understand, as we explained in Schol. Prop. 1 5 Part I , all modifications of thought, such as intellect, j oy, imagination, etc.

[By what modes of thinking we retain things.] That there are certain modes of th inking that serve to retain things more firmly and more easily, and, when we wish, to recall them to mind or to set them before the mind, is an accepted fact for all those who make use of that well-known rule of memory. By this rule, in or­ der to retain someth ing that is qui te new and impress it on the memory, we have recourse to another th ing, familiar to us, that has something in common with it either in name or in actual ity. Similarly, philosophers have arranged all natural things in fixed classes, to which they have recourse when they encounter some­ thing new. These classes they call genus, species, etc .

[By what modes of thinking we explicate things. ] Again, we have modes ofthink­ ing for expl icating a th ing by determining it in comparison with another th ing. The modes of th inking by which we do this are called time, number, measure, and such others as there are. Of these, time serves to explicate duration, number (discrete quantity), and measure (continuous quantity).

[By what modes of thinking we imagine things. ] Finally, because we are also ac­ customed to depict in our fantasy images of all the things that we understand, it comes about that we imagine nonbeings pOSitively as beings. For the mind, con­ s idered only in itself, because it is a thinking th ing, has no greater power to affirm than to deny. But because to imagine is nothing other than to sense those traces found in the bra in from the motion of the spirits, which is excited in the senses by objects, such a sensing can only be a confused affirmation . Hence it comes about that we imagine as beings all the modes that the mind uses to negate, such as bl indness, extremity or l imit, boundary, and darkness.

[Why beings of reason are not ideas of things, and yet are taken to be such. ] Hence it is evident that these modes of thinking are not ideas of things and can

the senses at random, Without order or connection, and Insofar as we can be affected by them only through the senses; but they do not serve to exercISe the mtellect - P.B.]

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part I, Chapter I 179

in no way be classed as ideas. So they also have no object (ideatum) that exists of necessity or that can exist. The reason why these modes of th inking are taken for ideas of th ings is that they originate and arise so immediately from real beings that they are easily confused with them by those who do not pay careful atten­ tion. Hence they have even given them names as if to s ignifY beings existing out­ side our mind; and these beings, or rather nonbeings, they have called beings of reason .

[Being is wrongly divided into Real Being and Being of Reason. ] And so it i s easy to see how absurd is that division whereby being is divided into real being and be­ ing of reason, for they are dividing being into being and nonbeing, or into being and a mode of thinking. Still , I am not surprised that verbal or grammatical philosophers fall into errors l ike these, for they judge things from words, not words from things.

[In what way a Being of Reason can be termed a mere nothing, and in what way it may be termed Real Being. ] No less absurdly does he speak who says that a be­ ing of reason is not a mere noth ing. For if he seeks outside the intellect what is meant by those words, he will find it is mere noth ing, whereas ifhe understands them as modes of th inking, they are true real beings. For when I ask what is species, I am only enqUiring into the nature of that mode of thinking that is in fact a being and is distinct from another mode of thinking. However, these modes of th inking cannot be termed ideas nor can they be said to be true or false, j ust as love cannot be called true or false, but only good or bad. So when Plato sa id that man is a featherless biped creature,2 he erred no more than those who said that man is a rational creature. For Plato knew no less than others that man is a ra­ tional creature, but he referred man to a certa in class so that, when he wanted to think about man, by having recourse to the class that was easy for him to re­ member, he could immediately come to th ink of man. Indeed, it was Aristotle who was gravely at fault if he thought that by that definition of his he had ade­ quately expla ined human essence. As to whether Plato was right, that is another question; but this is not the place for these matters.

[In the investigation of things Real Beings should not be confused with Beings of Reason. ] From all that has been said already, it is obvious that there is no agreement between real being and the objects (ideata) of a being of reason. Hence it is also easy to see how carefully, in our investigation of things, we must beware of confus­ ing real beings with beings of reason. For it is one thing to enquire into the nature of things, and quite another to enquire into the modes by which we perceive things. If these are confused, we shall not be able to understand either modes of perceiv­ ing or nature itself. Indeed -and this is a point of greatest importance- it will be the cause of our fall ing into grave errors, as has happened to many before us.

[How a Being of Reason and Fictitious Being are to be distinguished. ] It should also be noted that many people confuse a being of reason with a fictitious being, for they think that a fictitious being is also a being of reason because it has no existence

2 [See Plato, Statesman, 266e.]

180 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

oUlliide the mind. But if attention is correctly paid to the definitions just given of being of reason and fictitious being, a considerable difference will be found be­ tween them both from consideration of their cause and also from their own nature without regard to cause. For we defined fictitious being as the connecting of two terms by mere act of will without any gUidance of reason, and therefore a fictitious being can chance to be true. But a being of reason neither depends solely on the will nor does it consist of any terms j oined together, as is quite obvious from the def­ inition . So if someone asks whether a fictitious being is a real being or a being of reason, we should reply by repeating what we have just said, namely, that to divide being into real being and being of reason is a mistake, and so the question as to whether fictitious being is real being or being of reason is based on error. For it pre­ supposes that all being is divided into real being and being of reason.

[The division of Being. ] But let us return to our theme, from which we now seem to have digressed somewhat. From the definition, or, if you prefer, the de­ scription of being already given, it is easy to see that being should be divided into being that exislli necessarily of illi own nature (i .e. , whose essence involves exis­ tence) and being whose essence involves only possible existence. This last is di­ vided into Substance and Mode, whose definitions are given in Arlli. 5 1 , 52 , and 56 of Part I Prine. Philosoph.; so i t is not necessary to repeat them here. But con­ cerning th is division I want only this to be noted, that we expressly say that being is divided into Substance and Mode, not Substance and Accident For Accident is nothing more than a mode of th inking, inasmuch as it denotes only a relation [respectum] . For example, when I say that a triangle moves, motion is not a mode of the triangle, but of the body that moves. So motion is called accident in rela­ tion to the triangle, whereas in relation to body it is a real being or mode. For mo­ tion cannot be conceived without body, though it can without a triangle.

Furthermore, for the better understanding of what has already been said and also of what is to come, we shall try to explain what it is that should be understood by the terms 'essence', 'existence', 'idea', and 'potency'. In so doing we are also motivated by the ignorance of some people who do not recognize any distinction between essence and existence, or, if they do recognize it, they confuse what essence is with what idea is or what potency is. So for their sake and the sake of truth, we shall explain the matter as distinctly as possible in what follows.

Chapter 2 What Essence Is, What Existence Is, What Idea Is, and What Potency Is

So that one may clearly grasp what should be understood by these four terms, it is only necessary to reflect upon what we have sa id about uncreated substance or God, to wit:

[Creatures are in God eminently. ] I. God contains eminently what is to be found formally in created things; that is, God possesses attributes of such a kind

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part I, Chapter 2 l S I

that in them a re contained in a more eminent way all created things. See Part I Ax. 8 and Cor. I Prop. 1 2 . For example, we clearly conceive extension without any existence, and so, because i t has of itself no force to exist, we have demon­ strated that it is created by God (last Prop. of Part I . ) And because there must be at least as much perfection in the cause as in the effect, it follows that all the per­ fections of extension are in God. But because we then saw that an extended thing is of its own nature divisible, that is, it contains imperfection, we therefore could not attribute extension to God (Prop. 16 Part I ) , and so we were compelled to take the view that there is an attribute in God that contains in a more excellent way all the perfections of matter (Schol. Prop. 9 Part I) and that can fulfil the role of matter.

2. God understands himself and all other th ings, too; that is, he also has in himself all things in the form of thought (Prop. 9 Part I ) .

3 . God i s the cause o f all things, a nd he acts from absolute freedom o f will. [What Essence is, what Existence is, what Idea is, what Potency is. ] From this,

therefore, i t can clearly be seen what must be understood by those four th ings. First, that which is essence is nothing other than the way in which created things are comprehended in the attributes of God. That which is idea refers to the man­ ner in which all things are contained in the idea of God in the form of thought. That which is potency has reference only to the potency of God, whereby from absolu te freedom of will he could have created all things not already existing. Fi­ nally, that which is existence is the essence of things outside God when consid­ ered in itself and is attributed to things after they have been created by God.

[These four are distinguished from one another only in creatures.] From this it is evident that these four are distinguished from one another only in created things, but not at all in God. For we do not conceive God to have been in potency in another th ing, and h is existence and h is intellect are not distinguished from h is essence.

[A reply to certain questions concerning Essence. ] From this we can readily re­ ply to the questions that are commonly raised regarding essence. These questions are as follows: whether essence is distinct from existence; if so, whether it is some­ thing different from idea, and if that is the case, whether i t has any being outside the intellect. To this last question we must surely give assent. Now to the first ques­ tion we reply by making this distinction , that in God essence is not distinct from existence, because the former cannot be conceived without the latter, but that in other things essence differs from existence, seeing that it can be conceived with­ out existence. To the second question we say that a thing that is clearly and dis­ tinctly (i .e. , truly) conceived outside the intellect is something different from an idea. But then there is the further question as to whether th is being outside the intellect is self-generated or whether it is created by God. To this we reply that for­ mal essence is not self-generated nor again is it created-for both of these would presuppose that i t is a th ing existing in actual ity-but i t depends on the divine essence alone, in which all things are contained. And so in this sense we agree with those who say that the essences of things are eternal. I t could still be asked how we, not yet understanding the nature of God, understand the essences of

182 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

th ings, because they depend on the nature of God alone, as we have just said. In reply I say that this arises from the fuct that things are already created. If they had not been created, I would entirely agree that it would be impossible to understand them except after an adequate knowledge of the natu re of God, j ust as it is im­ possible- indeed, even less possible- to know the nature of the coordinates of a parabola without yet knowing the nature of a parabola.

[Why in his definition of essence the Author has recourse to the attributes of God. ] Furthermore, it should be noted that although the essences of nonexisting modes are comprehended in their substances, and that which is their essence is in their substances, we have nevertheless chosen to have recourse to God so as to give a general explanation of the essence of modes and substances. Another rea­ son for th is procedure is that the essence of modes has been in their substances only since the creation of the substances, and what we were seeking was the eter­ nal being of essences.

[Why the Author has not reviewed the definitions of others.] In this connection I do not th ink it worthwhile to refute those writers whose views differ from ours, nor again to examine their definitions or descriptions of essence and existence; for we would thus be obscuring what is clear. What can be clearer than our under­ standing of what essence is and what existence is, seeing that we cannot give the definition of anything without at the same time expla ining its essence?

[How the distinction between essence and existence is easily learned. ] Finall y, if any philosopher still doubts whether essence is distinguished from existence in created things, he need not toil away over definitions of essence and existence in order to remove that doubt. For if he merely approaches a sculptor or a wood­ carver, they will show him how they conceive in set order a nonexistent statue and thereafter bring i t into existence for him.

Chapter 3 Concerning the Necessary, the Impossible,

the Possible, and the Contingent

[What is here to be understood by affections.] Now that the nature of being, inso­ fur as it is being, has been explained, we pass on to the explanation of some of its affections. It should be noted that by affections we here understand what else­ where, in Art. 52 Part I Prine. Philosoph., Descartes has termed attributes. For be­ ing, insofar as it is being, does not affect us through itself alone, as substance, and has therefore to be expla ined through some attribute, from which, however, it is distinguished only by reason. Hence I cannot suffiCiently wonder at the subtlety of mind of those who have sought, not without great harm to truth, someth ing that is between being and noth ing. But I shall waste no time in refuting their error, be­ cause they themselves, in struggling to provide definitions of such affections, dis­ appear from sight in their own vain subtlety.

[Definition of affections. ] We shall therefore continue on our way, and we say

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part I, Chapter 3 183

that the affections of being are certain attributes under which we understand the essence or existence of each individual thing, although these attributes are dis­ tinguished from the thing only by reason. I shall here attempt to explain some of these affections (for I do not undertake to deal with them all) and to set them apart from those designations that are not affections of any being. And in the first place I shall deal with the Necessary and the Impossible.

[In how many ways a thing is said to be necessary or impossible. ] There are two ways in which a thing is said to be necessary or impossible, either with respect to its essence or with respect to its cause. With respect to essence we know that God necessarily exists, for his essence cannot be conceived without existence; whereas, with respect to the contradiction involved in its essence, a chimera is incapable of existence. With respect to cause, things (e.g . , material things) are said to be ei­ ther impossible or necessary. For if we have regard only to their essence, we can conceive that clearly and distinctly without existence; therefore they can never ex­ ist through the force and necessity of their essence, but only through the force of their cause, God, the creator of all things. So if it is in the divine decree that a th ing should exist, it will necessarily exist; if not, it will be impossible for it to exist. For it is self-evident that if a thing has no cause for existence- either an in­ ternal or an external cause- it is impossible for it to exist. Now in this second hy­ pothesis a th ing is supposed to be such that i t cannot exist either by force of its own essence-which I understand to be an in ternal cause-or by force of the di­ vine decree, the unique external cause of all th ings. Hence it follows that it is im­ possible for things, as we suppose them to be in the second hypothesis, to exist.

[A Chimera is properly called a verbal being.] Here it should be noted that: I . Because a chimera i s neither i n the intellect nor i n the imagination, we may prop­ erly call it a verbal being, for it can be expressed only in words. For example, we can express a square circle in words, but we cannot in any way imagine it, far less understand it. Therefore a ch imera is noth ing but a word; and so impossibility cannot be counted among the affections of being, for it is mere negation.

[Created things depend on God for their essence and existence. ] 2 . Not only the existence of created things but also, as we shall later on demonstrate with the great­ est certa inty in Part 2, their essence and their nature depend solely on God's de­ cree. Hence it clearly follows that created things have no necessity of themselves; for they have no essence of themselves, nor do they exist of themselves.

[The necessity that is in created things from their cause is either of essence or of existence; but these two are not distinguished in God. ] 3. Finally, the necessity such as is in created things by virtue of their cause is so called either with respect to their essence or with respect to their existence; for these two are distinct in cre­ ated things, the former depending on the eternal laws of nature, the latter on the series and order of causes. But in God, whose essence is not distinguished from h is existence, the necessity of essence is l ikewise not distinguished from the ne­ cessity of existence. Hence it follows that if we were to conceive the entire order of nature, we should find that many things whose nature we clearly and distinctly perceive- that is, whose essence is necessarily such as it is- could in no way ex­ ist. For we should find that the existence of such things in nature is just as much

1 84 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

impossible as we now see it to be impossible that a huge elephant should pass through the eye of a needle, although we clearly perceive the nature of both . Hence the existence of those th ings would be only a ch imera, which we could neither imagine nor understand.

[The Possible and the Contingent are not affections of things. ] So much for ne­ cessity and impossibility, to which I have thought i t advisable to add a few re­ marks concerning the poss ible and the con tingent. For these two are regarded by some as affections of th ings, whereas they are in fact nothing but a failure of our intellect, as I shall clearly show when I explain what is to be understood by these two terms.

[What is the Possible, and what the Contingent. ] A thing is said to be possible when we understand its efficient cause but do not know whether the cause is de­ termined. Hence we can also consider i t as possible, but not as either necessary or impossible. But if we attend s imply to the essence of the thing and not to its cause, we shall call the thing contingent, that is, we shall consider it as midway between God and a chimera, so to speak, because on the side of essence we find in it no ne­ cessity to exist1 as in the case of the divine essence, nor again any inconsistency or impossibil ity, as in the case of a chimera. Now if anyone wishes to call contingent what I call possible, or possible what I call contingent, I shall not oppose him, for it is not my custom to argue about words. It will be enough ifhe grants us that these two are only the defect of our perception, and not anything real.

[The Possible and the Contingent are only the defect of our intellect. ] If anyone wishes to deny this, his error can be demonstrated to him with no trouble. For if he attends to nature and the way it depends on God, he will find nothing con­ tingent in things, that is, noth ing that can either exist or not exist on the part of the thing, or is a real contingency, as i t is commonly called. This is readily ap­ parent from our teaching in Axiom 10 Part I, to wit, that the same force is required in creating a th ing as in preserving i t. So no created thing affects anything by its own force, j ust as no created thing began to exist by its own force. From this it fol­ lows that nothing happens except by the power of the all-creating cause-that is, God-who by h is concurrence at every moment continues to create all th ings. Now because nothing happens except by the divine power alone, it is easy to see that those things that happen do so by the force of God's decree and will. But be­ cause there is in God no inconstancy or variabil ity (by Prop. 18 and Cor. Prop. 20 Part I ) , he must have resolved from eternity to produce those things that he is now producing. And because nothing has a more necessary existence than that which God has decreed should exist, it follows that the necessity to exist has been from eternity in all created things. Nor can we say that those things are contin­ gent because God could have decreed otherwise. For because in eternity there is no when or before or after or any affection of time, i t follows that God never ex­ isted prior to those decrees so as to be able to decree otherwise. 3

3 [ In order that tius proof may be well understood, attention should be given to what IS mdicated In the second part of the AppendiX concerning the Will of God, to wit, that God's will or constant

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part I, Chapter 4 1 8 5

[To reconcile the freedom of our will with God's predestination surpasses human understanding. ] As to the freedom of the human will, which we asserted to be free in Schol. Prop. 1 5 Part I , th is too is preserved by the concurrence of God, nor does any man will or perform anything except what God has decreed from eter­ nity that he should will or perform. How this can be while saving human freedom is beyond our capacity to understand. Yet we must not reject what we clearly per­ ceive because of what we do not know, for if we attend to our nature, we clearly and distinctly understand that we are free in our actions, and that we reach deci­ sions on many th ings simply on account of our will to do so. Again, if we attend to the nature of God, as we have just shown, we clearly and distinctly perceive that all things depend on him, and that nothing exists except that whose existence God has decreed from eternity. But how the human will continues to be created by God at every moment in such a way as to remain free, we do not know. For there are many things that exceed our grasp and that nevertheless we know to have been brought about by God -for example, the real division of matter into indefinite particles, clearly demonstrated by us in Prop. 11 Part 2, although we do not know how that division comes about.

Note that we here take for granted that those two notions, the possible and the contingent, s ignify merely the defectiveness of our knowledge regarding the exis­ tence of a th ing.

Chapter 4 Of Duration and Time

[What is Eternity, Duration, and Time.] From our previous division of being into being whose essence involves existence and being whose essence involves only possible existence, there arises the distinction between eternity and duration . Of eternity we shall speak later at greater length. Here we say only that it is the at­ tribute under which we conceive the infinite existence of God. Duration is the attribute under which we conceive the existence of created things, insofar as they persevere in their actuality. From this it clearly follows that duration is d istin­ guished only by reason from the total existence ofa thing. For as much as you take away from the duration of a th ing, so much you necessarily take away from its ex­ istence. Now in order that duration may be determined, we compare it with the

decree IS understood only when we conceive the thmg clearly and distinctly. For the essence of the thmg, considered In rtself. is nothmg other than God's decree, or his deternnnate wIll . But we are ruso saying that the necessity of eXistence is no different from the necessity of essence (Chapter 9 of Part 2); that is, when we say that God has decreed that the triangle should exist, we are saying nothing other than that God has so arranged the order of nature and of causes that the triangle should necessarily eXISt at a particular time. So if we were to understand the order of causes as es­ tablished by God, we should fmd that the triangle nrust exist at a particular time with the same ne� Cesslty as we now fmd, when we attend to the triangle's nature, that its three angles are equal to two nght angles - P.B I

186 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

duration of other things that have a fixed and determinate motion, and this com­ parison is called time. Therefore time is not an affection of things, but a mere mode of thinking, or, as we have previously called it, a being of reason; for it is a mode of th inking serving to explicate duration. Here with regard to duration we should note something that will be useful to us later when we speak about eter­ nity, to wit, that it is conceived as longer and shorter and as if composed of parts, and, secondly, that i t is an attribute of existence only, not of essence.

Chapter 5 Of Opposition, Order, Etc.

[What are Opposition, Order, Agreement, Difference, Subject, Adjunct, etc . ] From our comparing things with one another there arise certain notions that are nev­ ertheless noth ing outside things themselves but modes of thinking. This is shown by the fact that if we wish to consider them as things having a place outside thought, we immediately render confused the otherwise clear conception we have of them. Such notions are opposition, order, agreement, difference, subjec� ad­ j unct, and any others l ike these. These notions, I say, are quite clearly perceived by us insofur as we conceive them not as something different from the essences of the things that are opposed, ordered, etc . , but merely as modes of th inking whereby we more easily reta in or imagine the things themselves. I therefore do not consider it necessary to speak of them at greater length, but pass on to the terms commonly called transcendental.

Chapter 6 Of the One, the True, and the Good

These terms are considered by almost all metaphysicians as the most general af­ fections of being; for they say that every being is one, true and good even though this may not be in anyone's thought. But we shall see what is to be understood re­ garding these terms when we examine each of them separately.

[What Unity is. ] Let us begin, then, with the first, to wi� the one. They say that this term signifies something real outside the intellect. But they cannot explain what this adds to being, and this is a clear indication that they are confusing beings of reason with real being and are thereby rendering confused that which they clearly understand. But we on our part say that unity is in no way distinct from the thing itself or additional to being and is merely a mode ofthinking whereby we sep­ arate a th ing from other things that are similar to it or agree with it in some respect.

[What plurality is, and in what respect God can be called one, and in what re­ spect unique. ] The opposite of unity is plural ity, which l ikewise obviously adds nothing to things, nor is it anything but a mode of thinking, j ust as we clearly and distinctly understand. Nor do I see what more rema ins to be said regarding a th ing

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part I, Chapter 6 187

so clear, except that here i t should be noted that, insofar as we separate God from other being., he can be said to be one; but insofar as we conceive that there can­ not be more than one of the same nature, he is called unique. In truth, if we wished to look into the matter more rigorously, we might perhaps show that God is only improperly called one and unique. But this question is of l ittle impor­ tance- indeed, it is of no importance- to those who are concerned with thing. rather than words. Therefore we leave this and pass on to the second term, at the same time explaining what the false is.

[What is the true and what the false, both in the common acceptance and ac­ cording to philosophers . ] In order that these two, the true and the false, may be correctly perceived, we shall begin with the meaning of words, from which i t will be evident that these are only the extrinsic marks of thing., and it is only figura­ tively that they are attributed to things. But because it is the common people who first invent words that are then used by philosophers, it seems relevant for one who seeks the original meaning of a word to enquire what it first denoted among com­ mon people, especially when other causes, which might have been derived from the nature of language, are not available for the investigation. The first meaning of true and false seems to have had its origin in storytelling, and the tale was sa id to be true if i t was of something that had occurred in actuality, and false if it was of something that had nowhere occurred. Later, philosophers made use of this sig­ nification to denote the agreement or disagreement of an idea with its object (idea­ tum). Therefore an idea is said to be true if it shows us the thing as it is in itself, false if it shows us the thing otherwise than as it really is. For ideas are merely men­ tal narrations or accounts of nature. And hence these terms came to be appl ied metaphorically to lifeless thing., as when we talk about true or false gold, as if the gold presented before us were telling us something about itself that either is in it­ self or not

[The true is not a transcendental term. ] Therefore those who have held that 'the true' is a transcendental term or an affection of being are quite wrong. For this term can be applied to thing. themselves only improperly, or if you prefer, figu­ ratively.

[The difference between truth and a true idea. ] If you go on to ask what is truth other than a true idea, ask also what is whiteness other than a white body. For the relationship is the same in both cases.

We have already discussed the cause of the true and the cause of the false. So now there remains nothing to be noted, nor would i t have been worthwh ile not­ ing even what we have said if writers had not so tied themselves up in trifles l ike these that they could not then extricate themselves, always looking for a difficulty where there is none.

[What are the properties of truth? Certainty is not in things. ] The properties of truth, or a true idea, are ( I ) that it is clear and distinct, (2) that it removes all doubt, or, in a word, that i t is certa in. Those who look for certainty in thing. themselves are making the same mistake as when they look for truth in thing. themselves. And although we may say that a th ing is uncerta in, we are figuratively taking the ideatum for the idea. In the same way we also call a thing doubtful, unless per-

188 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

chance in this case by uncertainty we mean contingency, or a th ing that causes us uncerta inty or doubt. There is no need to spend more time on these matters, and so we shall proceed to the third term, at the same time explaining what is to be understood by its contrary.

[Good and Bad are only relative tenns. ] A th ing is not said to be either good or bad when considered in isolation, but only in relation to another th ing for which it is useful in ga ining what that thing loves, or contrariwise. Thus each s ingle th ing can be called good or bad at the same time in different respects. For example, the counsel that Achitophel gave to Absalom is called good in Holy Scripture, but it was very bad for David, being contrived for his death 4 And many other things are good, which are not good for all. Thus salvation is good for men, but neither good nor bad for animals or plants, for which i t has no relevance. God indeed is said to be supremely good because he benefits all, by h is concurrence preserving the be­ ing of each individual, than which nothing is more desirable. But no absolute evil exists, as is self-evident.

[Why some have maintained that there is a metaphysical good. ] But those who keep seeking some metaphysical good not qualified by any relation are laboring un­ der a misapprehension, in that they are confusing a distinction of reason with a real or modal distinction . For they are making a distinction between the thing itself and the conatus [striving] to preserve its own being, which every th ing possesses, al­ though they do not know what they mean by conatus. For although the thing and its conatus are distinguished by reason, or rather, by words (and this is the main cause of their error), the two are in no way distinct from one another in reality.

[The distinction between things and the conatus by which they endeavor to per­ severe in their state.] That this may be clearly understood, we shall take an exam­ ple of a very simple kind. Motion has force to persevere in its own state. Th is force is surely nothing else than motion itself, the fact that the natu re of motion is such as i t is. For if ! say that in th is body A there is nothing else than a certain quantity of motion, from this it clearly follows that, as long as I am attending to the body A, I must always say that the body is moving. For if I were to say that it is losing its force of motion, I am necessarily ascribing to it something else beyond what we supposed in the hypothesis, something that is causing i t to l ose its nature. Now if this reasoning seems rather obscure, then let us grant that this conatus to motion is someth ing other than the very laws and nature of motion. Because, then, you suppose this conatus to be a metaphysical good, this conatus will also necessarily have a conatus to persevere in its own being, and this again another conatus, and so ad infinitum. I cannot imagine anything more absurd than this. Now the rea­ son why they make a distinction between the conatus of a th ing and the thing itself is that they feel in themselves a wanting to preserve themselves, and they imagine a similar wanting in each individual th ing.

[Whether God can be called good before things were created. ] However, the question is raised as to whether God could be called good before he created things; and it seems to follow from our definition that God did not possess any

4 [2 Sarrruel l7 - l4 J

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part 2, Chapter I 189

such attribute because we say that a th ing considered in itself alone cannot be called either good or bad. Many will th ink this absurd, but why I do not know. We attribute to God many attributes of this kind that did not belong to him, except potentially, before things were created, as when he is called creator, j udge, mer­ ciful, etc. Therefore arguments l ike th is ought not to be a h indrance to us.

[How perfection may be ascribed in a relative way, and how it may be ascribed absolutely. ] Furthermore, just as good and bad are only relative terms, so too is perfection, except when we take perfection to mean the very essence of a th ing. It is in this sense that we previously said that God possesses infinite perfection, that is, infinite essence or infinite being.

It is not my intention to go farther into these matters. The rest of what concerns the general part of Metaphysics I believe to be sufficiently well known, and there­ fore not worthwhile pursuing any farther.

APPENDIX CONTAINING

METAPHYSICAL THOUGHTS

PART 2

In which are briefly explained the main topics that commonly occur in the special part of Metaphysics,

concerning God, his attributes, and the human mind.'

Chapter 1 Of God's Eternity

[The division of Substance. ] We have already shown that in Nature there is noth­ ing but substances and their modes. So one should not here expect us to say any­ thing about substantial forms and real accidents, for these and thing. of th is type are plainly absurd. We then divided substances into two general kinds, extension and thought, and we divided thought into created thought (i .e . , the human mind) and uncreated thought (i .e . , God). The existence of God we have demonstrated

1 [In thiS section God's eXIStence IS explained In a way quite different from that in which men com­ monly understand It, for they confuse God's eXistence with thetr own, with the result that they umg­ ine God to be somethmg like a man, and they fall to note the true idea of God that they possess, or are qUite unconsciOUS of possessmg It. And so It comes about that they can neither prove nor con­ ceive God's existence either a pnori (I.e., from hIS true defmdion or essence) or a postenorl, from the Idea of him Insofar as d IS lD us. Therefore m thIS sechon we shall try to show as clearly as we can that God's eXistence IS completely different from the existence of created things - P B 1

190 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

more than adequately both a posteriori, from the idea we have of him, and a pri­ ori, from his essence as being the cause of his existence. But because we have treated certain of his attributes more briefly than the importance of the subject requires, we have decided to return to them here, to explain them more fully and also to provide answers to some problems.

[Duration does not pertain to God.] The principal attribute that must be con­ sidered before all others is God's eternity, whereby we explicate h is duration; or rather, to avoid attributing any duration to God, we say that he is eternal. For, as we noted in the first Part, duration is an affection ofthe existence of things, not of their essence; but we cannot attribute any duration to God, whose existence is of his essence. For whoever attributes duration to God is distinguishing his existence from his essence. There are some, however, who ask whether at this moment God has not been in existence longer than when he created Adam; and it seems to them quite clear that this is so, and thus they hold that durntion must in no way be de­ nied to God. But they are guilty of petitio principii, in assuming that God's essence is distinct from his existence. They ask whether God, who existed up to the time of Adam, has not existed over more time between the creation of Adam and our time. Thus they are attributing a longer durntion to God as each day passes, and they as­ sume that he is, as it were, continuously created by h imself. If they did not distin­ gu ish God's existence from h is essence, they could not possibly attribute duration to God, because duration can in no way perta in to the essences of things. For no one will ever say that the essence of a circle or a triangle, insofar as it is an eternal truth, has lasted longer at this moment than at the time of Adam. Furthermore, be­ cause durntion is conceived as longer or shorter, or as consisting of paris, it clearly follows that no durntion can be attributed to God. For because h is being is eternal, that is, there cannot be in it any before or after, we can never attribute duration to God without at the same time destroying the true conception we have of him. That is to say, by attributing durntion to him we would be dividing into parts that wh ich of its own nature is infinite and can never be conceived except as infinite.2

[The reasons why writers hcrve attributed duration to God. ] Now the reasons why writers have thus erred are: ( I ) They have attempted to explain eternity without giving their attention to God, as if eternity could be understood without consid­ eration of the divine essence, or were something other than the divine essence. And this again has arisen because, through poverty oflanguage, we are in the habit of a ttributing eternity even to th ings whose essence is distinct from their existence, as when we say that no contradiction is implied in the world having been in exis­ tence from eternity; and again when we attribute eternity to the essences of things while we conceive the things as not existing; for we then call the essences eternal . (2) They have been attributing duration to things only insofar as they held them to be subject to continuous variation, and not, as is our prnctice, in accordance as their essence is distinguished from their existence. (3) Finally, they have distin­ guished God's essence from h is existence, as is the case with created things.

2 [We are dividmg hiS existence into parts, or conceiving It as diViSible, when we attempt to explicate it through duration See Part 1 , 4 - P RJ

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part 2, Chapter 2 1 9 1

These errors, I say, have led them astray. By reason of the first error they have failed to understand what eternity is, taking it rather to be some kind of duration . The second error made it difficult for them to see the difference between the du­ ration of created things and God's eternity. Finally, because duration is only an affection of existence and they have made a distinction between God's existence and h is essence, the third error has led to their attributing duration to God, as we have already sa id.

[What is Eternity.] But for the better understanding of what eternity is, and how it cannot be conceived without the divine essence, attention must be given to what we have said already, namely, that created thing.- that is, all things besides God -always exist solely by the force or essence of God, and not by their own force. Hence i t follows that the present existence of thing. is not the cause of their future existence. Only God's immutability is the cause, which compels us to say that when God has created a th ing in the first place, he will thereafter continu­ ously preserve it, that is, he will continue the same action of creating it. From this we conclude:

I. That a created th ing can be said to enjoy existence, on the grounds that existence is not of its essence. But God cannot be said to enjoy existence, for God's existence is God himself, just as is his essence. Hence it follows that created things en joy existence, but th is is not so with God.

2 . That all created thing., wh ile enjoying present duration and existence, are entirely lacking in future duration and existence, because this has to be continuously attributed to them, whereas nothing of the sort can be said of their essence. But because God's existence is of his essence, we cannot attribute future existence to him. For the same existence that he would then have must even now be attributed to h im in actual ity; or, to speak more properly, infinite actual existence pertains to God in the same way as infinite actual intellect pertains to him. Now this infinite existence I call eternity, which is to be attributed to God alone and not to any created thing, even though, I say, its duration is without beginning or end.

So much for eternity. Of God's necessity I say noth ing, there being no need now that we have demonstrated his existence from h is essence. Let us proceed, there­ fore, to his un ity.

Chapter 2 Of the Unity of God

We have often wondered at the futile arguments with which writers attempt to prove the unity of God, arguments such as: If one could have created the world, others would have been superfluous; if all thing. work together to the same end, they have been produced by one maker, and other arguments l ike these, drawn

192 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

from the relationship of things or their extrinsic characteristics. So, dismissing all these arguments, we shall here set out our proof as clearly and as briefly as possi­ ble, as follows.

[God is unique.] Among God's attribu tes we have also l isted the highest degree of understanding, adding that he possesses all h is perfection from himself and not from any other source. If you now say that there are more than one God, or supremely perfect beings, these must all necessarily possess understanding in the highest degree. That this may be so, it is not enough that each should understand only himself; for because each must understand all things, he must understand both h imself and the others. From this it would follow that the perfection of the intellect of each one would depend partly on h imself and partly on another. Therefore no one of them can be a supremely perfect being, that is, as we have j ust noted, a being that possesses all its perfection from itself, and not from any other source. Yet we have already demonstrated that God is a most perfect being, and that he exists. So we can now conclude that he exists as one alone; for if more than one God existed, it would follow that a most perfect being has imperfection , which is absurd. 3 So much for the unity of God.

Chapter 3 Of the Immeasurableness of God

[How God is called infinite, and how immeasurable. ] We have previously shown that no being can be conceived as finite and imperfect (i.e., as participating in nothingness) unless we first have regard to the perfect and infinite being, that is, God. So only God must be said to be absolutely infinite, in that we find him to consist in actual fact of infinite perfection. But he can also be said to be immeas­ urable or boundless insofar as we have regard to this point, that there is no being by which God's perfection can be l imited. From this it follows that the infinity of God, in spite of the form of the word, is something most positive; for it is insofar as we have regard to his essence or consummate perfection that we say that he is infinite. But measurelessness is attributed to God only in a relational way; for it does not pertain to God insofar as he is considered absolutely as a most perfect being, but only insofar as he is considered as a first cause that, even though it were most perfect only in relation to secondary beings, would nevertheless be meas­ ureless. For there would be no being, and consequently no being could be con­ ceived, more perfect than he by which he might be l imited or measured. (For a fuller discussion, see Axiom 9 Part I . )

[What is commonly understood by the immeasurableness orGod. ] Yet writers on all sides, in treating of the immeasurableness of God, appear to attribute

3 [Even though thIS proof IS quite convlDcmg. nevertheless It does not explain God's unity. I there� fore suggest to the reader that we conclude the umty afCad more correctly from the nature of his existence, which is not distinguished from God's essence, or which necessanly follows from hIS essence - P.B 1

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part 2, Chapter 3 193

quantity to God. For from this attribute they wish to conclude that God must necessarily be present everywhere, as if they meant that if there were any place where God was not, his quantity would be l imited. This same point is even more clearly apparent from another argument they produce to show that God is infinite or measureless (for they confuse these two terms) and also that he is everywhere. If God, they say, is pure activity, as indeed he is, he is bound to be everywhere and infinite. For if he were not everywhere, then either he cannot be wherever he wants to be, or else (note th is) he must necessarily move about. This clearly shows that they attribute immeasurableness to God insofar as they consider him to be quantitative; for it is from the properties of extension that they derive these arguments for asserting the immeasurableness of God. Nothing could be more absurd.

[Proof that God is everywhere. ] If you now ask how, then, shall we prove that God is everywhere, I reply that we have abundantly demonstrated th is when we showed that nothing can exist even for a moment without being continuously cre­ ated by God at every single moment.

[God's omnipresence cannot be explained. ] Now, for God's ubiqu ity or h is pres­ ence in individual things to be properly understood, we should necessarily have to have a clear insight into the inmost nature of the divine will whereby he cre­ ated things and continuously goes on creating them. Because this exceeds human capacity, i t is impossible to explain how God is everywhere 4

[Some hold, wrongly, that God's immeasurableness is threefold. ] Some claim that God's immeasurableness is threefold-that of h is essence, h is power, and h is presence. But th is is nonsense, for they seem to distinguish between God's essence and his power.

[God's power is not distinct {rom his essence. ] Others, too, have said the same thing more openly, asserting that God is everywhere through power, but not through essence, as if God's power were distinct from all his attributes or his infi­ nite essence. But in fact i t can be noth ing else; for if it were something else, it would either be some creature or something accidental to the divine essence with­ out which the divine essence could be conceived. Both of these alternatives are absurd; for if it were a creature, it would need God's power for its preservation , and this would give rise to an infinite progression. And if it were something acci­ dental, God would not be a most simple being, contrary to what we have demon­ strated previously.

[Nor is his omnipotence. ] Finally, by the immeasurableness of his presence they again seem to mean something besides the essence of God, through which things have been created and are continuously preserved. This is surely a great absurd­ ity, into which they have fallen through confusing God's intellect with human in­ tellect, and frequently comparing his power with the power of kings.

4 [Here it should be noted that when ordmary folk say that God IS over all, they are deplcttng him as the spectator of a play From tins it is evident, as we say at the end of this chapter, that men are COD­ stantly confusing the divine nature with human nature - P RJ

194 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

Chapter 4 Of the Immutability of God

[What change is, and what transformation. ] By 'change' we here understand all the variation that can occur in a subject while the essence of the subject remains as i t was. But this term is also commonly taken in a broader sense to mean the corruption of th ings- not an absolute corruption, but such as also includes gen­ eration following on the corruption, as when we say that peat is changed into ashes, or men into beasts. But to denote this latter meaning philosophers use yet another word- transformation . Here we are speaking only of that change in which there is no transformation of the subject as when we say that Peter has changed his color, or his character, etc.

[In God there can be no transfonnation. ] We must now see whether such changes are appl icable to God, for there is no need to say anything about trans­ formation, now that we have shown that God exists necessarily, that is, that God cannot cease to be, or be transformed into another God. For then he would both cease to be, and also there could be more than one God at the same time. Both of these possibil ities we have shown to be absurd.

[What are the causes of change. ] However, for a clearer understanding of what here remains to be sa id, we must take into consideration that all change proceeds either from external causes, with or without the subject's consent, or from an in­ ternal cause and the subject's free choice. For example, that a man becomes darker, falls ill, grows, and the l ike, all proceed from external causes, the first two against the subject's will, the last in accordance with it. But that he wills, walks, displays anger, etc. , proceed from internal causes.

[God is not changed by something else. ] Now the first-named changes, those that proceed from external causes, cannot possibly apply to God; for he alone is the cause of all things and is not acted on by anyone. Moreover, nothing created has in itself any force to exist, and so far less can it have any force to act on any­ thing outside itself or on its own cause. And although there are many places in Holy Scripture where God has been angry, or sad, etc . , because of the sins of men, in these passages the effect is taken as the cause, just as we also say that the sun is stronger and higher in summer than in winter, although it has not changed its po­ sition or renewed its strength. And that such is often the teaching even of Holy Scripture is to be seen in Isa iah; for he says in chapter 59, verse 2 , when he is re­ buking the people: "Your iniquities separate you from your God."

[Nor again by himself ] Let us therefore proceed and ask whether any change can come about in God from God h imself. We do not grant that there can be such a change in God; indeed, we deny i t completely. For every change that depends on the will is designed to change its subject to a better state, and this cannot apply to a most perfect being. Then again, there can be no such change except for the purpose of avoiding something disadvantageous or of acquiring some good that is lacking. In the case of God there can be no place for either of

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part 2, Chapter 5 19 5

these purposes. Hence we conclude that God i s an immutable being. 5 Note that I have here del iberately omitted the commonly accepted divisions of change, al­ though we have also in a sense covered them. For there was no need to deny them individually of God because in Prop. 16 Part I we have demonstrated that God is incorporeal, and those commonly accepted divisions refer only to changes in matter.

Chapter 5 Of the Simplicity of God

[The threefold distinction between things: real, modal, and a distinction of reason. ] Let us proceed to the simpl icity of God. In order that this attribute of God may be rightly understood, we must recall what Descartes said in Princip. Philosophiae Part I Arts. 48 and 49, to wit, that in Nature there is nothing but substances and their modes, whence in Arts. 60, 6 1 , and 62 he deduces a threefold distinction be­ tween things- real, modal, and a distinction of reason. What is called a real dis­ tinction is that whereby two substances, whether of different or of the same attribute, are distinguished from one another; for example, thought and extension, or the parts of matter. Th is distinction is recognized from the fact that each of the two can be conceived, and consequently can exist, without the help of the other. Modal distinction is of two kinds, that between a mode of substance and the sub­ stance itself, and that between two modes of one and the same substance. The latter we recognize from the fact that, although either mode can be conceived without the help of the other, neither can be conceived without the help of the substance of which they are modes. The former distinction we recognize from the fact that, although the substance can be conceived without its mode, the mode cannot be conceived without the substance. Finally, what is termed a distinction of reason is that which arises between a substance and its attribute, as when du­ ration is distingu ished from extension. And this is also recognized from the fact that such a substance cannot be understood without that attribute.

[How all composition arises, and how many kinds there are. ] All composition arises from these three kinds of distinction. The first composition is that of two or more substances either of the same attribute, as is the case with all composition

5 [Note that thiS can be Inlch more clearly seen If we attend to the nature of God's wtll and h is de­ crees. For, as I shall show In due course, God's will, through which he has created thmgs, is not diS­ tmct from hiS mtellect, through which he understands them. So to say that God understands that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two nght angles is the same as to say that God has willed or decreed that the three angles of a triangle should be equal to two nght angles Therefore, for us to conceive that God can change hiS decrees IS lust as Impossible as to thmk that the three angles of a trtangle are not equal to two rtght angles. Furthermore, the fact that there can be no change In God can also be proved in other ways; but, because we aim at breVity, we prefer not to pursue this further. - P.B.]

196 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

of two or more bodies, or of different attributes, as is the case with man. The sec­ ond composition results from the union of different modes. The th ird composi­ tion is not a composition, but is only conceived by reason as if it were so, in order that a thing may thereby be more easily understood. Whatever is not a composi­ tion of the first two kinds must be said to be simple.

[God is a most simple Being.] It must therefore be shown that God is not a com­ posite thing, from which we can conclude that he is a most simple being; and this we shall easily accomplish. Because it is self-evident that component parts are prior at least by nature to the composite whole, then of necessity those substances from whose coalescence and union God is composed will be prior to God by nature, and each can be conceived through itself without being attributed to God. Again, be­ cause they are necessarily distinct from one another in reality, then necessarily each of them can also exist through itself without the help of the others. And thus, as we have just said, there could be as many Gods as there are substances from which it was supposed that God is composed. For because each can exist through itself, it must exist of itself, and therefore it will also have the force to give itself all the per­ fections that we have shown to be in God, as we have already explained fully in Prop. 7 Part I, where we demonstrated the existence of God. Now because noth­ ing more absurd than this can be said, we conclude that God is not composed of a coalescence and union of substances. That there is also no composition of differ­ ent modes in God is convincingly proved from there being no modes in God. For modes arise from an alteration of substance-see Prine. Part 1 Art. 56. Finally, if someone wishes to imagine another kind of composition, from the essence of thing. and their existence, we by no means oppose h im . But let him remember that we have already sufficiently demonstrated that these two are not distinct in God.

[God's Attributes are distinguished only by Reason. ] Hence we can cl early con­ clude that all the distinctions we make between God's attributes are noth ing other than distinctions of reason, and that they are not distinct from one another in re­ al ity. Understand these distinctions of reason to be such as I have j ust referred to, namely, distinctions that are recognized from the fact that such-and-such a sub­ stance cannot be without that particular attribute. Hence we conclude that God is a most simple being. So now, disregarding the medley of distinctions made by the Peripatetics, we pass on to the life of God.

Chapter 6 Of the Life of God

[What philosophe .. commonly und ... tand by Life. ] For the correct understanding of this attribute, the life of God, it is necessary to explain in general terms what in the case of each individual th ing is meant by its l ife. We shall first examine the opin­ ion of the Peripatetics. By life they understand 'the continuance of the nutritive soul, accompanied by heat' -see Aristotle De Respirat. Book 1 Chapter 8.6 And be-

6 [The reference may be to De respiratione 474325, but see also De anima 4 1 5a23-25 J

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part 2, Chapter 7 197

cause they imagined there to be three souls, the vegetative, the sensitive, and the intellective, which they attribute exclusively to plants, animals, and men, it follows, as they themselves acknowledge, that all else is devoid ofl ife. Even so, they did not venture to say that minds and God are without l ife. Perhaps they were afraid of full ing into the contrary view, that if these were without life, they were dead. So Aristotle in his Metaphysics Book 1 1 Chapter 7 gives yet another definition of l ife, appl icable only to minds, namely, that life is the operation of the intellect, and in this sense he attributes life to God, as one who understands and is pure activity?

However, we shall not spend much effort in refuting these views. For as regards the three souls that they attribute to plants, animals, and men, we have already sufficiently demonstrated that these are nothing but fictions, having shown that in matter there is nothing but mechanical structures and their operations. As to the life of God, I do not know why in Aristotle it should be called activity of in­ tellect rather than activity of will, and the l ike. However, expecting no reply to th is, I pass on to explain, as promised, what l ife is.

[To what things life can be attributed. ] Although this term is often taken in a fig­ urative sense to mean the character of a man, we shall briefly explain only what it denotes in a philosophical sense. It should be noted that ifl ife is also to be attrib­ uted to corporeal things, nothing will be devoid of l ife; but if only to those things wherein soul is united to body, then it must be attributed only to men, and perhaps also to animals, but not to minds or to God. However, because the word 'life' is commonly used in a wider sense, there is no doubt that it should also be attributed to corporeal things not united to minds and to minds separated from body.

[What life is, and what it is in God.] Therefore by l ife we for our part under­ stand the force through which things persevere in their own being. And because that force is different from the things themselves, we quite properly say that things themselves have l ife. But the force whereby God perseveres in h is own being is nothing but his essence, so that those speak best who call God 1 ife.' There are some theologians who hold the opinion that it is for th is reason - that God is l ife and is not distinct from life- that the Jews when they swore an oath used to say "by the l iving Jehovah," and not "by the l ife of Jehovah;' as Joseph, when swear­ ing by Pharaoh's l ife, said "by the l ife of Pharaoh."B

Chapter 7 DrGod's Intellect9

[God is omniscient.] We previously listed among the attributes of God omnis­ cience, which quite obviously perta ins to God because knowledge impl ies per­ fection, and God, as a most perfect being, must not lack any perfection. Therefore

7 [ThIS is probably a reference to Metaphysics XII . VII ( 1072b27-29).] 8 [The reference IS to GenesIs 42. 1 5-16. ]

9 [ From what IS demonstrated I n the next three chapters In which we treat of God's mtellect, hiS will

198 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

knowledge must be attributed to God in the highest degree, that is, a knowledge that does not presume or posit any ignorance or privation of knowledge; for then there would be some imperfection in the attribute itself, that is, in God. From this it follows that God's intellect has never been merely potential, nor does he reach a conclusion by reasoning.

[The objects orGod's knowledge are not things external to God. ] Furthermore, from God's perfection i t also follows that his ideas are not defined, as ours are, by objects that are external to God. On the contrary, the things created by God ex­ ternal to God are determined by God's intellect. (N.B. : From this it clearly fol­ lows that God's intellect, by which he understands created things, and h is will and power, by which he has determined them, are one and the same thing.) For oth­ erwise these objects would have their own nature and essence through themselves and would be prior, at least by nature, to the divine intellect- which is absurd. And because some people have failed to take careful note of this, they have fallen into gross errors. Some have maintained that external to God there is matter, co­ eternal with him and existing of itself, and that God, understanding this matter, has, according to some, merely reduced it to order, and according to others, has in addition impressed forms on it. Others again have maintained that things of their own nature are either necessary or impossible or contingent, and so God knows the latter also as contingent and is quite ignoran t as to whether they exist or not. Finally, others have said that God knows contingent things from their relation to other th ings, perhaps because of his long experience. Besides these er­ rors I could here mention others of th is kind, did I not consider it to be superflu­ ous, because from what has already been said their falsity makes itself apparent.

[The object or God's knowledge is God himself ] Let us therefore return to our theme, that outside God there is no object of his knowledge, but he is himself the object ofh is knowledge, or rather, he is his own knowledge. Those who think that the world is also the object of God's knowledge are much less discerning than those who would maintain that a building constructed by some distinguished ar­ chitect is the object of the arch itect's knowledge. For the builder is forced to seek suitable material outside himself as well, whereas God has not sought any mate­ rial outside himself. Things have been constructed by his intellect or will, both with regard to their essence and their existence.

[How God knows sin, entities or reason, etc. ] The question now arises as to whether God knows evil or sin, entities of reason, and th ings of that kind. We re-

and his power, it follows quite clearly that the essences of things and the necessity of thetr eXistIng from a given cause IS nothing other than God's deterIIDnate will or decree. Therefore God's will is most apparent to us when we conceive things clearly and dtsttnctly. So It IS ndiculous that phtloso­ phers, when they are ignorant of the causes of things, take refuge in the Will of God. We constantly see thiS happening when they say that the thmgs whose causes are unknown to them have come about only from God's good pleasure and absolute decree. The common people, too, have found no stronger proof of God's providence and guidance than that WhiCh they draw from their ignorance of causes. This clearly shows that they have no knowledge whatever of the nature of God's will, at· tributing to him a human will that is truly quite dIStinct from our mtellect. This I conSider to have been the basic cause ofsuperstttion, and perhaps of rrruch roguery - P.B.]

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part 2, Chapter 7 1 99

ply that God must necessarily know those things of which he is the cause, espe­ cially so because they cannot exist even for a moment except with the divine con­ currence. Therefore, because evil and sin have no being in things but only in the human mind when it compares th ings with one another, it follows that God does not know them as separate from human minds. Entities of reason we have said to be modes of th inking, and it is in th is way that they must be understood by God, that is, insofar as we perceive him as preserving and continuing to create the hu­ man mind, in whatever way that is constituted. But we are not saying that God has such modes of thinking in h imself in order that he may more easily retain what he understands. And if only proper attention is given to these few poin ts we have made, no problem can arise concerning God's intellect that cannot quite easily be solved.

[How God knows particular things, and how universals. ] But meanwhile we must not pass over the error made by certain people who maintain that God knows nothing but eternal things such as angels and the heavens, which they suppose to be by their own nature not subject to generation and corruption, but that of th is world he knows nothing but species, these being likewise not subject to genera­ tion and corruption. Such people do indeed seem set on going astray, contriving utter absurdities. For what can be more absurd than to cut off God's knowledge from particular things, which cannot even for a moment be without God's con­ currence? Again, they are maintaining that God is ignorant of really existing things, while ascribing to God knowledge of universals, which have no being nor any essence apart from that of particular things. We, on the other hand, attribute to God knowledge of particular things and deny him knowledge of universals ex­ cept insofar as he understands human minds.

[In God there is only one simple idea. ] Finally, before bringing th is discussion to a close, we ought to deal with the question as to whether there is in God more than one idea or only one most simple idea. To this I reply that God's idea through which he is called omniscient is unique and completely Simple. For in actual fact God is called omniscient for no other reason than that he has the idea of himself, an idea or knowledge that has always existed together with God. For it is nothing but h is essence and could have had no other way of being.

[What is God's knowledge concerning created things.] But God's acquaintance with created th ings cannot be referred to God's knowledge without some impro­ priety; for, if God had so willed, created things would have had a quite different essence, and this could have no place in the knowledge that God has of himself. Still, the question will arise as to whether that knowledge of created things, prop­ erly or improperly so termed, is manifold or only s ingle. However, in reply, this question differs in no way from those that ask whether God's decrees and volitions are several or not, and whether God's omnipresence, or the concurrence whereby he preserves particular th ings, is the same in all things. Conceming these matters, we have already said that we can have no distinct knowledge. However, we know with certa inty that, just as God's concurrence, if it is referred to God's omnipo­ tence, must be no more than one although manifested in various ways in its effects, so too God's vol itions and decrees (for thus we may term h is knowledge

200 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

concerning created things) considered in God are not a plural ity, even though they are expressed in various ways through created things, or rather, in created things. Finally, if we look to the whole of Nature by analogy, we can consider it as a s ingle entity, and consequently the idea of God, or h is decree concerning Natura naturata, will be only one.

Chapter 8 Of God's Will

[We do not know how God's essence, his intellect by which he understands himself. and his will by which he loves himself. are distinguished. ] God's will, by wh ich he wills to love himself, follows necessarily from h is infinite intellect, by which he understands h imself, but how these three are distinguished from one another­ his essence, his intellect by which he understands himself, and h is will by which he wills to love himself- th is we fail to comprehend. We are acquainted with the word 'personality', which theologians commonly use to explain th is matter. But although we know the word, we do not know its meaning, nor can we form any clear and distinct conception of it, although we firmly believe that in the most blessed vision of God, which is promised to the faithful, God will reveal th is to his own.

[God's will and power, as externally manifested, are not distinguished from his intellect. ] Will and power, as externally manifested, are not distinguished from God's intellect, as is now well established from what has preceded. For we have shown that God has decreed not only that things should exist, but also that they should exist with a certa in nature; that is to say, both their essence and existence must have depended on God's will and power. From this we clearly and distinctly perceive that God's intellect and h is power and will, whereby he has created, un­ derstood, and preserves or loves created things, are in no way distinct from one another save only in respect of our thought.

[It is improper to say that God hates some things and loves other things. ] Now when we say that God hates some things and loves other things, th is is sa id in the same sense as when Scripture tells us that the earth will vomit forth men, and other things of that kind. But from Scripture itself i t can be sufficiently inferred that God is not angry with anyone, and that he does not love things in the way that is commonly believed. For th is is in Isaiah, and more clearly in Paul's Epis­ tle to the Romans, Chapter 9: "For the children being not yet born (that is, the sons of Isaac), neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God ac­ cording to election might stand, not of works but of him that calleth, it was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger, etc ." l0 And a l ittle farther on, "There­ fore hath he mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt

1 0 [Romans 9 · 1 1- 12 j

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part 2, Chapter 9 20 I

then say unto me, 'Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted h is will?' Nay but, 0 man, who art thou that replieth against God? Shall the thing formed say unto him who formed it, 'Why has thou made me thus?' Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and an­ other unto dishonor? etc," l l

[Why God admonishes men, why he does not save without admonition, and why the impious are punished.] If you now ask why, then, does God admonish men, to this there is a ready answer: The reason why God has decreed from eternity that he would warn men at a particular time is this, that those whom he has willed to be saved might turn from their ways. If you go on to ask whether God could not have saved them without that warning, we reply that he could have done so. "Why then does he not so save them?" you will perhaps again ask. To th is I shall reply when you have told me why God did not make the Red Sea passable without a strong east wind, and why he does not bring about all particular motions without other motions, and innumerable other things that God does through mediating causes. You will again ask, why then are the impious punished, since they act by their own nature and in accordance with the divine decree. But I reply, it is also as a result of the divine decree that they are punished. And if only those ought to be punished whom we suppose to be sinning from free will alone, why do men try to destroy poisonous snakes? For they sin only from their own natu re, and can do no other.

[Scripture teaches nothing that is opposed to the natural light. ] Finally, what­ ever other passages there are in Holy Scripture that cause uneasiness, this is not the place to explain them. For here the object of our enquiry is confined to what can be attained most certainly by natural reason, and to demonstrate these things clearly is sufficient to convince us that the Holy Book must be teaching the same. For truth is not opposed to truth, nor can Scripture be teaching the nonsense that is commonly supposed. If we were to find in i t anyth ing contrary to the natural l ight, we could refute it with the same freedom with which we refute the Koran and the Talmud. But far be it from us to think that something can be found in Holy Scripture opposed to the l ight of Nature.

Chapter 9 Of God's Power

[How God's omnipotence should be understood. ] That God is omnipotent has al­ ready been suffiCiently demonstrated. Here we shall attempt only to explain in brief how this attribute is to be understood; for many speak of it without proper piety and not according to truth. They say that, by their own nature and not from God's decree, some things are possible, some things impossible, and some things necessary, and that God's omnipotence is concemed only with the possible. We,

I I [Romans 9 ' 18-2 1 ]

202 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

however, who have already shown that all things depend absolutely on God's de­ cree, say that God is omnipotent. But having understood that he has decreed some things from the mere freedom of h is will, and then that he is immutable, we say now that he cannot act against his own decrees, and that th is is impossible s imply because i t is at variance with God's perfection.

[All things are necessary with respect to God's decree. It is wrong to say that some things are necessary in themselves, and other things with respect to his decree. ] But perhaps someone will argue that some things we find necessary only wh ile hav­ ing regard for God's decree, while on the other hand some things we find neces­ sary without regard for God's decree. Take, for example, that Josiah bumed the bones of the idolaters on the altar of Jeroboam. 12 If we attend only to Josiah's wil l , we shall regard the event as a possible one, and in no way having necessarily to happen except from the prophet's having predicted it from God's decree. But that the three angles of a triangle must be equal to two right angles is someth ing that manifests itself.

But surely these people are inventing distinctions in th ings from their own ig­ norance. For if men clearly understood the whole order of Nature, they would find all things to be equally as necessary as are the things treated in mathematics. But because this is beyond the reach of human knowledge, certain things are judged by us as possible and not as necessary. Therefore we must say either that God is powerless-because all things are in actual fact necessary- or that God is all-powerful, and that the necessity we find in things has resulted solely from God's decree.

[If God had made the nature of things other than it is, he would also have had to give us a different intellect. ] Suppose the question is now raised: What if God had decreed things otherwise and had rendered false those things that are now true? Would we still not accept them as quite true? I answer, yes indeed, if God had left us with the nature that he has given us. But he might then, had he so wished, have also given us a natu re-as is now the case-such as to enable us to understand Nature and its laws, as they would have been laid down by God. In­ deed, if we have regard to his fa ithfulness, he would have had to do so. Th is is also evident from the fact, as we have previously stated, that the whole of Natura nat­ urata is nothing but a unique entity, from which i t follows that man is a part of Nature that must cohere with the rest. Therefore from the simpl icity of God's de­ cree it would also follow that if God had created things in a different way, he would l ikewise have also so constituted our nature that we could understand things as they had been created by God. So although we want to retain the same distinc­ tion in God's power as is commonly adopted by philosophell>, we are nevertheless constrained to expound it in a different way.

[The divisions of Gad's power-absolute, ordered, ordinary, and extraordinary. ] We therefore divide God's power into Ordered and Absolute. We speak of God's absolu te power when we consider h is omnipotence without regard to his decrees. We speak of h is ordered power when we have regard to h is decrees.

1 2 [ I Kings 1 3 , 2; 2 Kings 23 ' 16, 20 I

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part 2, Chaptsr /0 203

Then there is a further division into the Ordinary and Extraordinary power of God. His ordinary power is that by which he preserves the world in a fixed order. We mean his extraordinary power when he acts beyond Nature's orders-for ex­ ample, all miracles, such as the ass speaking, the appearance of angels, and the l ike. 13 Yet concerning this latter power we may not unreasonably entertain seri­ ous doubts, because for God to govern the world with one and the same fixed and immutable order seems a greater miracle than if, because of the folly of mankind, he were to abrogate laws that he himself has sanctioned in Nature in the best way and from pure freedom -as nobody can deny unless he is quite blinded. But we shall leave this for the theologians to decide.

Finally, we pass over other questions commonly raised concerning God's power: Does God's power extend to the past? Can he improve on the things that he does? Can he do many other things than he has done? Answers to these ques­ tions can readily be suppl ied from what has already been said.

Chapter 1 0 O{Creation

That God is the creator of all things we have already established; here we shall now try to explain what is to be understood by creation . Then we shall provide so­ lutions as best we can to those questions that are commonly raised regarding cre­ ation. Let us then begin with the first subject.

[What creation is. ] We say that creation is an operation in which no causes con­ cur beyond the efficient cause; or that a created thing is that which presupposes nothing except God for its existence.

[The common definition of creation is reiected. ] Here we should note that: I . We omit the words 'from nothing', which are commonly used by philosophers as if 'noth ing' were the matter from which things were produced. This usage of theirs arises from the fact that, being accustomed in the case of generated things to suppose something prior to them from which they are made, in the case of cre­ ation they were unable to omit the preposition 'from'. The same confusion has befallen them in the case of matter. Seeing that all bodies are in a place and sur­ rounded by other bodies, when they asked themselves where matter as a whole might be, they replied, "In some imaginary space." So there is no doubt that they have not considered 'noth ing' as the negation of all reality but have imagined or pictured it as something real.

[OUT own definition is explained. ] 2. I say that in creation no other causes con­ cur beyond the efficient cause. I might indeed have said that creation denies or excludes all causes beyond the efficient cause. However, I have preferred to say 'concur' so as to avoid having to reply to those who ask whether God in creation did not set before himself an end on account of which he created things. Fur-

" [Numbers ZH8-l l . ]

204 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

thermore, for better explanation, I have added this second definition, that a cre­ ated thing presupposes nothing but God; because if God did set before himself some end, then obviously that end was not extemal to God. For there is nothing extemal to God by which he may be urged to act.

[Accidents and Modes are not created. ] 3 . From this definition i t clearly follows that there is no creation of accidents and modes. For these presuppose a created substance besides God.

[There was no time or duration before creation . ] 4. Finally, neither time nor du­ ration can be imagined before creation; these began along with things. For time is the measure of duration; or rather, i t is noth ing but a mode of th inking. There­ fore it presupposes not j ust some created thing, but, in particular, thinking men. As for duration, it ceases when created things cease to be and begins when cre­ ated things begin to exist -created things, I say, because we have already shown beyond doubt that to God there pertains not duration but eternity. Therefore du­ ration presupposes, or at least posits, created things. Those who imagine duration and time prior to created things labor under the same misconception as those who suppose a space outside matter, as is self-evident. So much for the definition of creation.

[God's action is the same in creating the world and in preserving it. ] Again, there is no need for us to repeat here what we have demonstrated in Axiom 10 Part I , namely, that the same amount o f force is required for the creation of a th ing as for its preservation; that is, God's action in creating the world is the same as in its preservation.

Having noted these points, let us proceed to what we promised in the second place. First, we must ask what is created and what is uncreated; and second, whether what is created could have been created from etemity.

[What created things are.] To the first question we reply, in brief, that the cre­ ated is every th ing whose essence is clearly conceived without any existence, and which is nevertheless conceived through itself: for example, matter, of which we have a clear and distinct conception when we conceive it under the attribute of extension, and which we conceive just as clearly and distinctly whether it exists ar not.

[How God's thought differs from ours. ] But perhaps someone will say that we perceive thought clearly and distinctly without existence, and that we neverthe­ less attribute it to God. To this we reply that we do not attribute to God such thought as is ours, subject to being acted on and confined by the natu re of th ings, but such as is pure activity and thus involving existence, as we have already demonstrated at sufficient length. For we showed that God's intellect and will are not distinct from h is power and his essence, which involves existence.

[There is not something external to God and caetemal with him. ] So because every th ing whose essence does not involve existence must, in order to exist, nec­ essarily be created by God and be con tinuously preserved by the creator as we have already abundantly explained, we shall spend no time in refuting the opin­ ion of those who have maintained that the world, or chaos, or matter stripped of all form, is coetemal with God and thus independent of him. Therefore we must

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part 2, Chaptsr /0 205

pass on to the second question and enquire whether what has been created could have been created from eternity.

[What is here denoted by the phrase 'from eternity'.] For this to be rightly un­ derstood, we must examine th is phrase 'from eternity', for by this we here mean something entirely different from that wh ich we explained previously when we spoke of God's eternity. Here we rnean nothing other than duration without any beginning, or such duration as, even if we were to mul tiply it by many years or tens of thousands of years, and this product again by tens of thousands, we could still never express by any number, however great.

[Proof that there could not have been something created from eternity. ] But that there can be no such duration is clearly demonstrated. For if the world were to go backward again from this point of tirne, it could never have such a duration; there­ fore neither could the world have reached this point of tirne frorn such a begin­ ning. You will perhaps say that for God nothing is impossible; for he is omnipotent, and so can bring about a duration other than which there could be no greater. We reply that God, being omnipotent, will never create a duration other than which a greater cannot be created by h im . For the nature of duration is such thata greater or lesser than a given duration can always be conceived, as is the case with num­ ber. You will perhaps insist that God has been from eternity and so has endured until the present, and thus there is a duration other than which a greater cannot be conceived. But in th is way there is attributed to God a duration consisting of paris, which we have abundantly refuted when we demonstrated that there per­ tains to God not duration, but eternity. Would that men had thoroughly consid­ ered this truth, for then they might very easily have extricated thernselves frorn many argumenls and absurdities, and have given themselves up with the greatest deligh t to the blessed contemplation of th is being.

But let us proceed to answer the argumenls put forward by certa in people, whereby they try to show the possibil ity of such an infinite duration stretching from the past.

[From the fact that God is erernal, it does not follow that his effects can also be from eternity. ] First, then, they assert that the thing produced can be contempora­ neous with ils cause; but because God has been from eternity then h is effecls could also have been produced from eternity. And then they further confirm this by the example of the son of God, who was produced by the father from eternity. But from what has already been said, one can clearly see that they are confusing duration with eternity, and they are attributing to God merely a duration from eternity, as is also clear from the example they cite. For they hold that the same eternity that they ascribe to the son of God is possible for creatures. Again, they imagine time and duration as prior to the foundation of the world, and they seek to establish a dura­ tion without created things, just as others seek to establish an eternity oUlside God. Both these assertions are already shown to be quite remote from the truth . There­ fore we reply that it is quite false that God can communicate his eternity to his crea­ tures, nor is the son of God a creature, but he is, l ike his father, eternal. So when we say that the father has begotten the son from eternity, we mean simply this, that the father has always communicated his eternity to the son.

206 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

[If God acted necessarily, he would not be of infinite potency. ] Secondly, they argue that, when God acts freely, he is no less powerful than when he acts neces­ sarily; but if God acts necessarily, being of infinite potency he must have created the world from eternity. But th is argument, too, can be readily met if we examine its basis. These good people suppose that they can entertain qu ite different ideas of a being of infinite potency. For they conceive God as of infinite potency both when he acts from the necessity of nature and when he acts freely. We, however, deny that God would be of infinite potency if he were to act from the necessity of nature; and this we may well deny-and indeed they have also necessarily to con­ cede it- now that we have demonstrated that the most perfect being acts freely and can be conceived only as unique. Now if they retort that, even if it is impos­ sible it can nevertheless be posited that God, in acting from the necessity of na­ ture, is of infinite potency, we reply that it is no more permissible to suppose this than to suppose a square circle so as to conclude that all the l ines from the cen­ ter to the circumference are not equal. Not to repeat what we said at an earl ier stage, this is well established from what we have just said. For we have just demon­ strated that there can be no duration whose double, or whose greater or lesser, cannot be conceived, and therefore a greater or lesser than a given duration can always be created by God, who acts freely with infinite potency. But if God were to act from the necessity of nature, this would in no way follow, for only that du­ ration, which resulted from his nature, could be produced by him, not an infinite number of other durations greater than the given .

Therefore we thus argue in brief; if God were to create the greatest duration , one so great that he could not create one greater, he would necessarily be dimin­ ish ing his own power. But this latter statement is false, for his power does not dif­ fer from h is essence; therefore, etc. Again, if God were to act from the necessity of nature, he would have to create a duration such that he h imself cannot create a greater. But God, in creating such a duration , is not of infinite potency, for we can always conceive a duration greater than the given. Therefore if God acted from the necessity of nature, he would not be of infinite potency.

[Whence we hcrve the concept of a duration greater than that which belongs to this world. ] At this point someone may find some difficulty in seeing how, since the world was created five thousand years ago (or more, if the calculations of chronologers are correct), we can nevertheless conceive a greater duration, which we have asserted is not intelligible without created things. This difficulty will be easily removed if he takes note that we understand that duration not simply from the contemplation of created things but from the contemplation of the infinite power of God for creation. For creatures cannot be conceived as existing and hav­ ing duration through themselves, but only through the infinite power of God, from which alone they have all their duration. See Prop. 1 2 Part I and its Corollary.

Finally, to waste no time here in answering trivial arguments, these points only are to be noted: the distinction between duration and eternity, and that duration is in no way intell igible without created things, nor eternity without God. When these points have been properly perceived, all arguments can very readily be an­ swered; so we think i t unnecessary to spend any more time on these matters.

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part 2, Chaptsr I I 207

Chapter 1 1 Of God's Concurrence

Little or nothing remains to be said about this attribute, now that we have shown that God continuously creates a th ing as if anew at every moment. From this we have demonstrated that things never have any power from themselves to affect anything or to determine themselves to any action, and that this is the case not only with things outside man but also with the human wil l . Again, we have also repl ied to certain argumen ts concerning this matter; and although many other ar­ guments are frequently produced, I here intend to ignore them, as they princi­ pally belong to theology.

However, there are many who, accepting God's concurrence, interpret it in a sense quite at variance with what we have expounded. To expose their fallacy in the simplest way, it should here be noted, as has previously been demonstrated, that present time has no connection with future time (see Ax. 10 Part I ) , and that this is clearly and distinctly perceived by us. If only proper attention is paid to th is, all their arguments, which may be drawn from philosophy, can be answered with­ out any difficulty.

[How God's (Jreservation is related to his determining things to act. ] Still, so as not to have touched on this problem without profit, we shall in passing reply to the question as to whether something is added to God's preservation when he deter­ mines a thing to act. Now when we spoke about motion, we already hinted at the answer to this question. For we said that God preserves the same quantity of mo­ tion in Nature; therefore if we consider the nature of matter in its entirety, noth­ ing new is added to i t. But with respect to particular things, in a sense it can be said that something new is added to it. Whether this is also the case with spiritual things is unclear, for it is not obvious that they have such mutual interdependence. Fi­ nally, because the parts of duration have no interconnection, we can say that God does not so much preserve things as continue to create them. Therefore, if a man has now a determinate freedom to perform an action, it must be said that God has created him thus at that particular time. Nor can it be objected that the human will is often determined by things external to itself, and that all things in Nature are in turn determined to action by one another; for they are also thus determined by God. No thing can determine the will, nor aga in can the will be determined, except by the power of God alone. But how this is compatible with human free­ dom, or how God can bring this about while preserving human freedom, we con­ fess we do not know, as we have already remarked on many occasions.

[The common division of God's attributes is nominal rather than real. ] This, then, I was resolved to say about the attributes of God, having as yet made no di­ vision of them. The division generally given by writers, whereby they divide God's attributes into the incommunicable and the communicable, to speak the truth , seems a nominal rather than a real division. For God's knowledge i s no more l ike human knowledge than the Dog, the constellation in the sky, is l ike the dog, the barking animal, and perhaps even less so.

208 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

[The Author's own division. ] Our division, however, is as follows. There are some of God's attributes that explicate his essence in action, whereas others, un­ concerned with action, set forth the manner of his existing. Of the latter kind are unity, eternity, necessity, etc . : of the former kind are understanding, will, life, om­ nipotence, etc . This division is quite clear and straightforward and includes all God's attributes.

Chapter 1 2 Of the Human Mind

We must now pass on to created substance, which we have divided into extended and th inking substance. By extended substance we understood matter or corpo­ real substance; by thinking substance we understood only human minds.

[Angels are a sub;ect for theology, not metaphysics. ] Although Angels have also been created, yet, because they are not known by the natural l ight, they are not the concern of metaphysics. For their essence and existence are known only through revelation, and so pertain solely to theology; and because theological knowledge is completely other than, or en tirely different in kind from, natural knowledge, it should in no way be confused with it. So let nobody expect us to say anything about angels.

[The human mind does not derive from something else, but is created by God. Yet we do not know when it is created. ] Let us then return to human minds, con­ cerning which few things now remain to be said. Only I must remind you that we have said noth ing about the time of the creation of the human mind because it is not sufficiently established at what time God creates i t, because it can exist with­ out body. This much is clear, that it does not derive from something else, for this applies only to things that are generated, namely, the modes of some substance. Substance itself cannot be generated, but can be created only by the Omnipotent, as we have sufficiently demonstrated in what has gone before.

[In what sense the human soul is mortal. ] But to add something about its im­ mortal ity, it is quite evident that we cannot say of any created th ing that its nature implies that it cannot be destroyed by God's power; for he who has the power to create a thing has also the power to destroy it. Furthermore, as we have sufficiently demonstrated, no created thing can exist even for a moment by its own nature, but is continuously created by God.

[In what sense the human soul is immortal. ] Yet, although the matter stands so, we clearly and distinctly see that we have no idea by which we may conceive that substance is destroyed, in the way that we do have ideas of the corruption and gen­ eration of modes. For when we contemplate the structure of the human body, we clearly conceive that such a structure can be destroyed; but when we contemplate corporeal substance, we do not equally conceive that i t can be reduced to nothing.

Finally, a philosopher does not ask what God can do from the full extent ofhis power; he j udges the nature of things from those laws that God has imparted to

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part 2, Chaptsr 12 209

them. So he judges to be fixed and sure what is inferred from those laws to be fixed and sure, while not denying that God can change those laws and all other th ings. Therefore we too do not enquire, when speaking of the soul, wha t God can do, but only what follows from the laws of Nature.

[Its immortality is demonstrated. ] Now because i t clearly follows from these laws that substance can be destroyed neither through itself nor through some other created substance-as we have abundantly demonstrated over and over again, unless I am mistaken - we are constrained to maintain from the laws ofNa­ ture that the mind is immortal . And if we look into the matter even more closely, we can demonstrate with the greatest certainty that i t is immortal. For, as we have j ust demonstrated, the immortal ity of the soul clearly follows from the laws ofNa­ ture. Now those laws of Nature are God's decrees revealed by the natural l ight, as is also clearly established from the preceding. Then again, we have also demon­ strated that God's decrees are immutable. From all this we clearly conclude that God has made known to men his immutable will concerning the duration of souls not only by revelation but also by the natural l ight.

[God acts not against Nature but above Nature. How the Author interprets this. ] Nor does it matter if someone objects that God sometimes destroys those natural laws in order to perform miracles. For most of the wiser theologians concede that God never acts contrary to Nature, but above Nature. That is, as I understand it, God has also many laws of operating that he has not communicated to the human intellect; and if they had been communicated to the human intellect, they would be as natural as the rest.

Hence it is quite clearly established that minds are immortal , nor do I see what remains to be said at this point about the human soul in general. Nor yet would anything remain to be said about its specific functioning, if the arguments of cer­ tain writers, trying to make out that they do not see and sense what in fact they do see and sense, did not call upon me to reply to them.

[Why some think the will is not {ree. ] Some th ink they can show that the will is not free but is always determined by something else. And this they think because they understand by will someth ing distinct from soul , someth ing they look on as a substance whose nature consists solely in being indifferent. To remove all con­ fusion, we shall first expl icate the matter, and when this is done we shall easily ex­ pose the fallacies in their arguments.

[What the will is. ] We have said that the human mind is a th inking thing. From this it follows that, merely from its own nature and considered only in itself, i t can do someth ing, to wit, think, that is, affirm and deny. Now these thoughts are ei­ ther determined by things external to the mind or by the mind alone, because it is itself a substance from whose th inking essence many acts of thought can and must follow. Those acts of thought that acknowledge no other cause of themselves than the human mind are called vol i tions. The human mind, insofar as it is con­ ceived as a sufficient cause for producing such acts, is called the will.

[There is will.] That the soul possesses such a power, although not determined by any external things, can most conveniently be explicated by the example of Buridan's ass. For if we suppose that a man instead of an ass is placed in such a

2 1 0 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

state of equ il ibrium, he would have to be considered a most shameful ass, and not a th inking thing, if he were to perish of hunger and thirst. Again, the same con­ clusion is evident from the fact that, as we previously sa id, we even willed to doubt all th ings, and not merely to regard as doubtful but to reject as false those things that can be called into doubt. See Descartes's Princip. Part I Art. 39.

[The will is free.] It should further be noted that although the soul is determined by external things to affirm or deny something, it is nevertheless not so determined as if it were constra ined by the external th ings, but always remains free. For no thing has the power to destroy i ts essence, and therefore what it affirms or denies, i t always affirms or denies freely, as is well expla ined in the "Fourth Meditation." So if anyone asks why the soul wills or does not will this or that, we reply that it is because the soul is a th inking thing, that is, a thing that of its own nature has the power to will and not will, to affirm and deny. For that is what it is to be a think­ ing thing.

[The will should not be confused with appetite. ] Now that these matters have been thus explained, let us look at our opponents' arguments.

I. The first argument is as follows. "If the will can will what is contrary to the final pronouncement of the intellect, if it can want what is contrary to its good as prescribed by the final pronouncement of the intellect, then it will be able to want what is bad for it as such. But this latter is absurd; therefore so is the former." From this argument one can clearly see that they do not understand what the will is. For they are confusing it with the appetite that the soul has when it has affirmed or denied something; and this they have learned from their Master, who defined the will as appetite for what is presented as good. 14 But we say that the will is the af­ firming that such-and-such is good, or the contrary, as we have already abundantly expla ined in our previous discussion concerning the cause of error, which we have shown to arise from the fact that the will extends more widely than the intellect. Now if the mind had not affirmed from its very freedom that such-and-such is good, it would not want anything. Therefore we reply to the argument by grant­ ing that the mind cannot will anything contrary to the final pronouncement of the intellect; that is, the mind cannot will anything insornr as it is supposed not to will i t-for that is what is here supposed when the mind is said to have j udged something to be bad for it, that is, not to have willed it. But we deny that it ab­ solutely cannot have willed that which is bad for i t, that is, cannot have j udged it to be good; for that would be contrary to experience. We judge many things that are bad to be good, and on the other hand many th ings that are good to be bad.

[The will is nothing other than the mind. ] 2. The second argument - or, if you prefer, the first, for so far there has been none- is as follows: "If the will is not de­ termined to will by the final j udgment of the practical intellect, it therefore will determine itself. But the will does not determine itself, because of itself and by its own nature i t is undetermined." From th is they go on to argue as follows: "If the will is of itself and by its own nature uncommitted to willing and not willing, it

1 4 [Their "Master" IS, of course, ArIStotle see Rhetoric 1369a l--4, De Anima 433a2 1-433b5 . J

Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, Part 2, Chaptsr 12 2 1 1

cannot be determined by itself to will. For that which determines must be as much determined as that which it determines is undetermined. But the will considered as determining itself is as much undetermined as is the same will considered as that which is to be determined. For our opponents suppose nothing in the deter­ mining will that is not l ikewise in the will that is either to be determined or that has been determined; nor indeed is it possible for anything to be here supposed. Therefore the will cannot be determined by itself to will. And if it cannot be de­ termined by itself, it must be determined by something else."

These are the very words of Heereboord, Professor of Leiden, by which he clearly shows that by will he understands not the mind itself but someth ing else outside the mind or in the mind, l ike a blank tablet, lacking any thought and ca­ pable of receiving any picture, or rather l ike a balance in a state of equilibrium, which can be pushed in either direction by any weight whatsoever, according to the determination of the additional weight. Or, finally, l ike something that nei­ ther he nor any other mortal can possibly grasp. Now we have just said- indeed, we clearly showed - that the will is nothing but the mind itself, which we call a th inking thing, that is, an affirming and denying thing. And so, when we look only to the nature of mind, we clearly infer that it has an equal power to affirm and to deny; for that, I say, is what i t is to th ink. If therefore, from the fuct that the mind thinks, we infer that it has the power to affirm and deny, why do we seek extrane­ ous causes for the doing of that which follows solely from the nature of the thing?

But, you will say, the mind is not more determined to affirm than to deny, and so you will conclude that we must necessarily seek a cause by which it is deter­ mined. Against th is, I argue that if the mind of itself and by its own nature were determined only to affirm (although it is impossible to conceive this as long as we conceive i t to be a thinking thing), then of i ts own nature alone i t could only af­ firm and never deny, however many causes may concur. But if it be determined neither to affirm nor deny, it will be able to do neither. And finally, if i t has the power to do either, as we have just shown it to have, i t will be able to do either from its own nature alone, unassisted by any other cause. This will be obvious to all those who consider a th inking thing as a th inking thing, that is, who do not separate the attribute of thought from the th inking thing. This is just what our op­ ponents do, stripping the thinking thing of all thought and making i t out to be l ike the prime matter of the Peripatetics.

Therefore I reply to their a rgument as follows, addressing their major premise. If by the will they mean a th ing deprived of all thought, we grant that the will is from i ts own nature undetermined. But we deny that the will is something de­ prived of all thought; on the contrary, we maintain that it is thought, that is, the power both to affirm and to deny; and surely this can mean nothing else than the sufficient cause for both operations. Furthermore, we also deny that if the will were undetermined (i .e . , deprived of all thought), it could be determined by any extraneous cause other than God, through h is infinite power of creation. For to seek to conceive a th inking thing that is without any thought is the same as to seek to conceive an extended thing that is without extension .

2 1 2 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy

[Why philosophers have confused mind with corporeal things. ] Finally, to avoid having to review more arguments here, I merely point out that our opponents, in failing to understand the will and in having no clear and distinct conception of mind, have confused mind with corporeal things. This has arisen for this reason , that the words that they are accustomed to use in referring to corporeal things they have used to denote spiritual things, which they did not understand. For they have been accustomed to apply the word 'undetermined' to those bodies that are in equ ilibrium because they are impelled in opposite directions by equivalent and directly opposed external causes. So when they call the will undetermined, they appear to conceive it also as a body in a state of equil ibrium. And because those bodies have nothing but what they have received from external causes (from which it follows that they must always be determined by an external cause), they think that the same th ing follows in the case of the will. But we have already suf­ ficiently explained how the matter stands, and so we here make an end.

With regard to extended substance, too, we have already sa id enough , and be­ sides these two substances we acknowledge no others. As for real accidents and other qual i ties, they have been disposed of, and there is no need to spend time re­ futing them. So here we lay down our pen.

The End

ETH I C S

Spino;ta prepared to publish the Ethics, the comprehensive account of his philosophical system, in 1 674. The work and its five parts had been completed after over a decade's labor, and after the turmoil of the years since the Short Treatise and the publication of the Principles of Cartesian Ph ilosophy. The time had come but at the advice of friends, Spino;ta felt the danger and the risks too deeply. As he reported to Henry Oldenburg in the fall of 1 675, he was attacked both by theologians and by Cartesians and felt compelled to halt publication (Ep68; see Jonathan Israel, Radical Enl ightenmen� 286-7) . Indeed, the work- one of the classics of Western philosophy-was only finally published in 1 677 after Spino;ta's death, in the Opera Posthuma, edited by his friends and published by Tan Rieuwerts;t. Within a year, on 25 Tune 1 678, it was censored by the States of Holland and West-Friesland as a "profane, atheistic, and blasphemous book."

Some scholars believe that the appendix to the Short Treatise, probably composed in 1 661 or early 1 662, including seven axioms about substance, its attributes, and causality, together with four demonstrations about substance, was already an early version of the mathematically, geometrically organi;ted content of the first book of the Ethics. By late 1 662 or early 1 663, with Spino:za in Rijnsburg, his Amsterdam friends had a copy of an early chapter of Part I "On God." Pieter Balling had delivered it to Simon de Vries, and it soon became the topic of meetings in Amsterdam where it was read and discussed. On and of{, then, {rom 1 661 to 1 674, Spino;ta worked on the Ethics, his magnum opus, paying the promissory note made in the TIE and setting out the details of his philosophical account of nature, mind, and the good life.

By Tune 1 665, Spino;ta seems to have had a complete draft in hand, a work of three parts, most likely following the design of the Short Treatise- "on God, man, and his well-being." Eventually, by 1 675, of course, the Ethics had been revised and expanded, taking on its now famous five-part structure-on God, humankind and human epistemology, the passions, human bondage to the passions, and rational freedom. A Tune 1 665 letter to Tohan Bouwmeester, an Amsterdam friend and associate of Lodewi;k Meyer, suggests that the original Part III was nearly complete and ready to be translated {rom Latin into Dutch, perhaps by Bouwmeester himself (Ep28). This third part contained much of what is found in Parts IV and V of the version we now have. Hence, by the time Spino;ta turned, that autumn of 1 665, to the Theological-Political Treatise, his system was complete.

2 1 3

2 14 Ethics

A remarkable work it was. The Ethics's five parts famCYUSly lay out a system in the style of Euclid's geometry-starting from definitions and axioms and working through theorems or propositions with corollaries, notes or scholia, appendices, and more. The axiomatic style mirrors the system's rationality and exemplifies the way knowledge should be grasped. As the system proceeds from metaphysics through its account of human nature, knowledge, and emotion, to its understanding of human flaws and aspirations, and finally to the ethical goal of human life (a life of freedom and understanding), the work both grounds itself and motivates its readers to conduct their lives according to the best conception of what human life can and should be. In short, Spinoza's magnum opus earns its title.

The book's contents are, in broad terms, well known. Spinoza's is an early modem naturalism, a set of principles underlying a rational, scientific view of religion, nature, psychology, and ethics. In Part I he defines crucial terms such as substance, attribute, mode, eternity, and God. He demonstrates that only one substance, with infinite attributes, exists; it does so necessarily, and every mode that follows from it occurs with precise and necessary determination. This one eternal, necessary, determinate substance is God, and hence nature or the natural world is either identical to it or to certain ways of understanding it. Modes of substance are not properties of substance, as in classical philosophy, but rather things in the world existing in precise states or ways. Modes are manifestations of substance and its attributes, which might be thought of as regulative natural forces.

In Part II, Spinoza introduces the two attributes by which we understand substance and in terms of which substance is manifest to our experience-thought and extension- and builds an account of the mental and physical dimensions of nature. This account leads to a set of propositions about human experience and cognition and, in Part III, of human emotions, feelings, and more, all as the psychological correlates of physical states of the human body. The causal structure of physical bodies, determined by their proportion of motion and rest, and influenced by the lawful interactions of bodies, is correlated with mental states, some cognitive, others affective, in all of nature and in particular in the minds of human beings. Spinoza's psychology is grounded in his physics and in the conception of conatus, the striving of each being to persevere and to manifest its essence; here is the dynamic element in Spinoza's vitalistic conception of nature. In human beings, the conatus takes on certain predictable psychological features. Ultimately, people seek to satisfy desires, feel ;oy and pleasure, and enhance their well-being, and these goals require increasing harmonious activity within nature and the diminishing of the possions, which mark a person's subordination to beings external to it and failure to satisfy its own preservation. This goal requires as complete and perfect a knowledge of nature as one can attain, a knowledge that corresponds in the mind to the maximizing of life­ enhancing physical states on the body's part. Later in the Ethics, Spinoza calls this cognitive goal the "intellectual love of God" or "blessedness," and, in the notorious concluding section of Part V; he associates it with the mind's etemality and thereby with the traditional notion of the immortality of the soul.

Ethics 2 1 5

Within the confines of this naturalistic system, Spino;z;a installs some claims that, even in his own dery, became famous and even notorious. He also took some steps that have remained perplexing, if not confusing. Spino;z;a's natural world, for example, is not created, nor does it permit contingency or the existence of miracles. Furthermore, insofar as extension is an attribute of substance, Spino;z;a's God is physically extended; Spino;z;a could be and was charged with a kind of atheistic materialism. His natural world is also wholly determined and without goals or purposes. While Spino;z;a's God is material, human beings- unities of the physical and psychological-are as necessary and determined as God or nature. For this reason, Spino;z;a denies the existence of free will but not the existence of freedom, which he regards as a feature of actions which are active and rational, performed with a minimum of constraint and external coercion. In this sense, moreover, God is the only perfect being and human life an effort of imitatio deL People are free, to the degree that they love God, understand God, and indeed emulate God, but for Spino;z;a these activities and aspirations are no different from seeking to understand nature and to live in harmony with natural law.

There are many obvious outcomes of this ethic of rational self-discipline and peace of mind. One is a life of democratic republicanism in which all citiuns equally collaborare in a lawful society aimed at enhancing the well-being of all rational citi;z;ens and restraining harmful self-interest in behalf of this goal. In his last years Spino;z;a would tum, out of a sense of urgency, to an elaboration of these political implications.

M.L.M.

2 1 6 Ethics

CONTENTS

I. Concerning God

II . Of the Nature and Origin of the Mind

III . Concerning the Origin and Nature of the Emotions

IV. Of Human Bondage, or the Nature of the Emotions

V. Of the Power of the Intellect, or of Human Freedom

D efini ti ons

PART I

CONCERNING GOD

Part I, Axioms 2 1 7

I . B y that which i s self-caused I mean that whose essence involves existence; or that whose nature can be conceived only as existing.

2. A thing is said to be finite in its own kind [in suo geneTe /lnita] when it can be l imited by another thing of the same nature. For example, a body is said to be finite because we can always conceive of another body greater than it. So, too, a thought is l imited by another thought. But body is not limited by thought, nor thought by body.

3 . By substance I mean that which is in itself and is conceived through itself; that is, that the conception of which does not require the conception of another thing from which i t has to be formed.

4. By attribute I mean that which the intellect perceives of substance as con­ stituting its essence.

5. By mode I mean the affections of substance, that is, that which is in some­ thing else and is conceived through something else.

6. By God I mean an absolutely infinite being, that is, substance consisting of infinite attributes, each of which expresses eternal and infinite essence.

Explication I say "absolutely infinite," not "infinite in its kind." For if a th ing is only infinite in its kind, one may deny that it has infinite attributes. But if a th ing is absolutely infinite, whatever expresses essence and does not involve any nega­ tion belongs to its essence.

7. That thing is said to be free [libeT] which exists solely from the necessity of its own nature, and is determined to action by itself alone. A thing is said to be necessary [necessarius] or rather, constrained [coactus] , if i t is determined by an­ other th ing to exist and to act in a definite and determinate way.

8. By eternity I mean existence itself insofar as i t is conceived as necessarily following solely from the definition of an eternal th ing.

Explication For such existence is conceived as an eternal truth, j ust as is the essence of the th ing, and therefore cannot be explicated through duration or time, even if duration be conceived as without beginning and end.

Axi oms

I. All things that are, are either in themselves or in something else. 2. That which cannot be conceived through another thing must be conceived

through itself.

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

2 1 8 Ethics

3. From a given determinate cause there necessarily follows an effect; on the other hand, if there be no determinate cause, it is impossible that an effect should follow.

4. The knowledge of an effect depends on, and involves, the knowledge of the cause.

5 . Things which have nothing in common with each other cannot be under­ stood through each other; that is, the conception of the one does not involve the conception of the other.

6. A tme idea must agree with that of which it is the idea [ideatum]. 7. If a th ing can be conceived as not existing, its essence does not involve

existence.

PROPOSITION 1 Substance is by nature prior to its affections.

Proof This is evident from Defs. 3 and 5 .

PROPOSITION 2 Two substances having different attributes have nothing in common.

Proof This too is evident from DeE 3; for each substance must be in itself and be conceived through itself; that is, the conception of the one does not involve the conception of the other.

PROPOSITION 3 When things have nothing in common, one cannot be the cause of the other.

Proof If things have nothing in common, then (Ax. 5) they cannot be under­ stood through one another, and so (Ax. 4) one cannot be the cause of the other.

PROPOSITION 4 Two or more distinct things are distinguished from one another either by the differ­ ence of the attributes of the substances or by the difference of the affections of the substances.

Proof All things that are, are either in themselves or in something else (Ax. I ) ; that is (Defs. 3 and 5) , nothing exists external to the intellect except substances and their affections. Therefore, there can be nothing external to the intellect through which several things can be distingu ished from one another except sub­ stances or (which is the same thing) (DeE 4) the attributes and the affections of substances.

PROPOSITION 5 In the universe there cannot be two or more substances of the same nature or at­ tribute.

Proof If there were several such distinct substances, they would have to be dis­ tingUished from one another either by a difference of attributes or by a difference

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

Part I, Proposition 8 2 1 9

o f affections (Pr, 4). If they are distinguished only by a difference of attributes, then it will be gran ted that there cannot be more than one substance of the same at­ tribu te. But if they are distinguished by a difference of affections, then, since substance is by nature prior to its affections (Pr. I) , disregarding therefore its affections and considering su bstance in itself, that is (Def. 3 and Ax. 6), consid­ ering it truly, it cannot be conceived as distinguishable from another substance. That is (Pr. 4), there cannot be several such substances but only one.

PROPOSITION 6 One substance cannot be produced by another substance.

Proof In the universe there cannot be two substances of the same attribute (Pr. 5 ) , that is (Pr. 2), two substances having someth ing in common. And so (Pr. 3) one cannot be the cause of the other; that is, one cannot be produced by the other.

Corollary Hence it follows that substance cannot be produced by anything else. For in the universe there exists nothing but substances and their affections, as is evident from Ax. I and DefS. 3 and 5. But, by Pro 6, it cannot be produced by an­ other substance. Therefore, substance cannot be produced by anything else what­ soever.

Another Proof This can be proved even more readily by the absurdity of the contradictory. For if substance could be produced by something else, the knowl­ edge of substance would have to depend on the knowledge of its cause (Ax. 4), and so (Def. 3) it would not be substance.

PROPOSITION 7 Existence belongs to the nature of substance.

Proof Substance cannot be produced by anything else (Cor. Pr. 6) and is there­ fore self-caused [causa sui ] ; that is (Def. I ) , its essence necessarily involves exis­ tence; that is, existence belongs to its nature.

PROPOSITION 8 Every substance is necessarily infinite.

Proof There cannot be more than one substance having the same attribute (Pr. 5), and existence belongs to the nature of substance (Pr. 7). I t must therefore exist either as finite or as infinite. But it cannot exist as finite, for (Def. 2) it would have to be l imited by another substance of the same nature, and that substance also would have to exist (Pr. 7). And so there would exist two substances of the same attribute, which is absurd (Pr. 5). Therefore, it exists as infinite.

Scholium 1 Since in fact to be finite is in part a negation and to be infinite is the unqualified affirmation of the existence of some nature, i t follows from Propo­ s ition 7 alone that every substance must be infinite.

Scholium 2 I do not doubt that for those who judge things confusedly and are not accustomed to know things through their primary causes it is difficult to grasp

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

220 Ethics

the proof of Proposition 7. Surely, this is because they neither distinguish between the modification of substances and substances themselves, nor do they know how things are produced. And so it comes about that they ascribe to substances a be­ ginning which they see natural things as having; for those who do not know the true causes of things confuse everything. Without any hesitation they imagine trees as well as men talking and stones as well as men being formed from seeds; indeed, any forms whatsoever are imagined to change into any other forms. So too, those who confuse the divine nature with human nature easily ascribe to God human emotions, especially so long as they are ignorant of how the latter are pro­ duced in the mind. But if men were to attend to the nature of substance, they would not doubt at all the truth of Proposition 7; indeed, this Proposition would be an axiom to all and would be ranked among universally accepted truisms. For by substance they would understand that which is in itself and is conceived through itself; that is, that the knowledge of which does not require the knowl­ edge of any other th ing. By modifications they would understand that which is in another thing, and whose conception is formed from the thing in which they are. Therefore, in the case of nonexistent modifications we can have true ideas of them since their essence is included in someth ing else, with the result that they can be conceived through that something else, although they do not exist in actual i ty ex­ ternally to the intellect. However, in the case of substances, because they are con­ ceived only through themselves, their truth extemal to the intellect is only in themselves. So if someone were to say that he has a clear and distinct- that is, a true- idea of substance and that he nevertheless doubts whether such a substance exists, this would surely be just the same as ifhe were to declare that he has a true idea but nevertheless suspects that it may be false (as is obvious to anyone who gives his mind to i t) . Or if anyone asserts that substance is created, he at the same time asserts that a false idea has become true, than which noth ing more absurd can be conceived. So it must necessarily be admitted that the existence of sub­ stance is as much an eternal truth as is its essence.

From here we can derive in another way that there cannot be but one [sub­ stance] of the same nature, and I th ink it worthwhile to set out the proof here. Now to do this in an orderly fash ion I ask you to note:

I. The true definition of each thing involves and expresses nothing beyond the nature of the thing defined. Hence it follows that-

2 . No definition involves or expresses a fixed number of individuals, since it expresses nothing but the nature of the thing defined. For example, the definition of a triangle expresses nothing other than simply the nature of a triangle, and not a fixed number of triangles.

3 . For each individual existent th ing there must necessarily be a definite cause for its existence.

4. The cause for the existence of a th ing must either be contained in the very nature and definition of the existent th ing (in effect, existence belongs to its na­ ture) or must have its being independently of the thing itself.

From these premises it follows that if a fixed number of individuals exist in Na­ ture, there must necessarily be a cause why those individuals and not more or

Part I, Proposition 10 2 2 1

fewer exist. If, for example, in Nature twenty men were t o exist (for the sake of greater clarity I suppose that they exist simultaneously and that no others existed in Nature before them), in order to account for the existence of these twenty men , i t will not be enough for us to demonstrate the cause of human nature in general; i t will furthermore be necessary to demonstrate the cause why not more or fewer than twenty men exist, since (Note 3) there must necessarily be a cause for the ex­ istence of each one. But th is cause (Notes 2 and 3) cannot be contained in the nature of man , since the true definition of man does not involve the number twenty. So (Note 4) the cause of the existence of these twenty men, and conse­ quently of each one, must necessarily be external to each one, and therefore we can reach the unqual ified conclusion that whenever several individuals of a kind exist, there rnust necessarily be an external cause for their existence. Now since existence belong. to the nature of substance (as has already been shown in this Schol iurn) the definition of substance rnust involve necessary existence, and con­ sequently the existence of substance must be concluded solely from its definition. But the existence of several substances cannot follow from the definition of sub­ stance (as I have already shown in Notes 2 and 3). Therefore, from the definition of substance it follows necessarily that there exists only one substance of the same nature, as was proposed.

PROPOSITION 9 The more reality or being a thing has, the more attributes it has.

Proof This is evident frorn Definition 4.

PROPOSITION 1 0 Each attribute of one substance must be conceived through itself

Proof For an attribute is that which intellect perceives of substance as consti­ tuting its essence (Def. 4), and so (Def. 3) it must be conceived through itself.

Scholiurn From this it is clear that although two attributes be conceived as re­ ally distinct, that is, one without the help of the other, still we cannot deduce therefrom that they constitute two entities, or two different substances. For i t is in the natu re of substance that each of its attributes be conceived through itself, since all the attributes it possesses have always been in i t simultaneously, and one could not have been produced by another; but each expresses the reality or being of substance. So i t is by no means absurd to ascribe more than one attribute to one substance. Indeed, nothing in Nature is clearer than that each entity must be conceived under sorne attribute, and the more reality or being it has, the rnore are its attributes which express necessity, or eternity, and infinity. Consequently, nothing can be clearer than this, too, that an absolutely infini te entity must nec­ essarily be defined (Def. 6) as an entity consisting of infinite attributes, each of which expresses a definite essence, eternal and infinite. Now if anyone asks by what mark can we distingu ish between different substances, let him read the fol­ lowing Propositions, which show that in Nature there exists only one substance, absolutely infinite. So this distinguishing rnark would be sought in vain .

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

222 Ethics

PROPOSITION 1 1 God, or substance consisting of infinite attributes, each of which expresses eternal and infinite essence, necessarily exists.

Proof If you deny this, conceive, if you can, that God does not exist. Therefore (Ax. 7), his essence does not involve existence. But th is is absurd (Pr. 7). There­ fore, God necessarily exists.

Second Proof For every thing a cause or reason must be assigned either for its existence or for its nonexistence. For example, if a triangle exists, there must be a reason, or cause, for its existence. If it does not exist, there must be a reason or cause which prevents i t from existing, or which annuls i ts existence. Now this rea­ son or cause must either be contained in the nature of the thing or be external to i t. For example, the reason why a square circle does not exist is indicated by its very nature, in that it involves a contradiction. On the other hand, the reason for the existence of substance also follows from its nature alone, in that it involves ex­ istence (Pr. 7) . But the reason for the existence or nonexistence of a circle or a tri­ angle does not follow from their nature, but from the order of universal corporeal Nature. For i t is from this latter that it necessarily follows that either the triangle necessarily exists at this moment or that its present existence is impossible. This is self-evident, and therefrom it follows that a thing necessarily exists if there is no reason or cause which prevents its existence. Therefore, if there can be no reason or cause which prevents God from existing or which annuls h is existence, we are bound to conclude that he necessarily exists. But if there were such a reason or cause, it would have to be either within God's nature or external to it; that is , i t would have to be in another substance of another nature. For ifit were of the same nature, by that very fact it would be granted that God exists. But a substance of another nature would have nothing in common with God (Pr. 2), and so could neither posit nor annul h is existence. Since, therefore, there cannot be external to God's nature a reason or cause that would annul God's existence, then if in­ deed he does not exist, the reason or cause must necessarily be in God's nature, which would therefore involve a contradiction. But to affirm this of a Being ab­ solutely infinite and in the h ighest degree perfect is absurd. Therefore, neither in God nor external to God is there any cause or reason which would annul his ex­ istence. Therefore, God necessarily exists.

A Third Proof To be able to not exist is weakness; on the other hand, to be able to exist is power, as is self-evident. So if what now necessarily exists is nothing but finite entities, then finite entities are more potent than an absolutely infinite En­ tity-which is absurd. Therefore, either nothing exists, or an absolutely infinite Entity necessarily exists, too. But we do exist, either in ourselves or in something else which necessarily exists (Ax. I and Pr. 7) . Therefore, an absolutely infinite Entity- that is (Def. 6), God - necessarily exists.

Scholium In th is last proof I decided to prove God's existence a posteriori so that the proof may be more easily perceived, and not because God's existence does

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

Part I, Proposition 12 223

not follow a priori from this same basis. For s ince the ability to exist is power, i t follows that the greater the degree of reality that belongs to the nature of a thing, the greater amount of energy it has for existence. So an absolutely infinite Entity or God will have from himself absolutely infinite power to exist, and therefore ex­ ists absolutely.

But perhaps many will not readily find this proof convincing because they are used to considering only such things as derive from external causes. Of these things they observe that those which come qUickly into being-that is, which readily exist- l ikewise readily perish, while things which they conceive as more complex they regard as more difficul t to bring into being- that is, not so ready to exist. However, to free them from these misconceptions I do not need at this point to show what measure of truth there is in the saying, "QUickly come, quickly go; neither need I raise the question whether or not everyth ing is equally easy in re­ spect of Nature as a whole. It is enough to note simply this, that I am not here speaking of things that come into being through external causes, but only of sub­ stances, which (Pr. 6) cannot be produced by any external cause. For whether they consist of many parts or few, things that are brought about by external causes owe whatever degree of perfection or reality they possess entirely to the power of the external cause, and so their existence has its origin solely in the perfection of the external cause, and not in their own perfection. On the other hand, whatever per­ fection substance possesses is due to no external cause; therefore its existence, too, must follow solely from its own nature, and is therefore nothing else but its essence. So perfection does not annul a thing's existence: on the contrary, it posits it; whereas imperfection annuls a thing's existence. So there is nothing of which we can be more certain than the existence of an absolutely infinite or perfect En­ tity; that is, God. For since his essence excludes all imperfection and involves absolute perfection, it thereby removes all reason for doubting his existence and affords the utmost certa inty of it This, I think, must be qu ite clear to all who give a modicum of attention to the matter.

PROPOSITION 1 2 No attribute of substance can be truly conceived from which i t would follow that substance can be divided.

Proof The parts into which substance thus conceived would be divided will ei­ ther retain the nature of substance or they will not. In the first case each part will have to be infinite (Pr. 8) and self-caused (Pr. 6) and consist of a different attrib­ ute (Pr. 5 ) ; and so several substances could be formed from one substance, which is absurd (Pr. 6). Furthermore, the parts would have nothing in common with the whole (Pr. 2), and the whole could exist and be conceived without its parts (Def. 4 and Pro 1 0), the absurdity of which none can doubt. But in the latter case in which the parts wil l not reta in the nature of substance- then when the whole substance would have been divided into equal parts it would lose the nature of substance and would cease to be. Th is is absurd (Pr. 7).

224 Ethics

PROPOSITION 1 3 Absolutely infinite substance is indivisible.

Proof If it were divisible, the parts into which it would be divided will either re­ tain the nature of absolutely infinite substance, or not. In the first case, there would therefore be several substances of the same nature, which is absurd (Pr. 5) . In the second case, absolutely infinite substance can cease to be, which i s also ab­ surd (Pr. l l ) .

Corollary From this it follows that no substance, and consequently no corpo­ real substance, insofar as i t is substance, is divisible.

Scholium The indivisibil ity of substance can be more easily understood merely from the fact that the nature of substance can be conceived only as infinite, and that a part of substance can mean only finite substance, which involves an obvi­ ous contradiction (Pr. 8).

PROPOSITION 1 4 There can be, o r b e conceived, n o other substance but God.

Proof Since God is an absolutely infinite being of whom no attribute ex­ pressing the essence of substance can be denied (Def. 6), and since he neces­ sarily exists (Pr. I I ) , if there were any other substance but God, it would have to be expl icated through some attribute of God, and so there would exist two substances with the same attribute, which is absurd (Pr. 5). So there can be no substance external to God, and consequently no such substance can be con­ ceived. For if it could be conceived, it would have to be conceived necessarily as existing; but this is absurd (by the first part of th is proof). Therefore, no substance can be or be conceived external to God.

Corollary I Hence i t follows qui te clearly that God is one: that is (Def. 6), in the universe there is only one substance, and this is absolutely infinite, as I have already indicated in Schol ium Pro 1 0 .

Corollary 2 It follows that the thing extended and the thing thinking are either attributes of God or (Ax. I) affections of the attributes of God.

PROPOSITION 1 5 Whatever is, is in God, and nothing can be or be conceived without God.

Proof Apartfrom God no substance can be or be conceived (Pr. 1 4) , that is (Def. 3) , something which is in itself and is conceived through itself. Now modes (Def. 5) cannot be or be conceived without substance; therefore, they can be only in the divine nature and can be conceived only through the divine nature. But noth­ ing exists except substance and modes (Ax. I ) . Therefore, nothing can be or be conceived without God.

Scholium Some imagine God in the likeness of man, consisting of mind and body, and subject to passions. But it is clear from what has already been proved

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

Part I, Proposition 1 5 225

how far they stray from the true knowledge of God . These I dismiss, for all who have given any consideration to the divine nature deny that God is corporeal . They find convincing proof of this in the fuct that by body we understand some quantity having length, breadth, and depth, bounded by a definite shape; and nothing more absurd than this can be attributed to God, a being absolutely infinite.

At the same time, however, by other arguments which they try to prove their point, they show clearly that in their th inking corporeal or extended substance is set completely apart from the divine nature, and they assert that it is created by God. But they have no idea from what divine power it could have been created, which clearly shows that they don't know what they are saying. Now I have clearly proved- at any rate, in my judgment (Cor. Pr. 6 and Sch. 2 Pr. 8)- that no sub­ stance can be produced or created by anything else. Furthermore, in Proposition 14 we showed that apart from God no substance can be or be conceived, and hence we deduced that extended su bstance is one of God's infinite attributes.

However, for a fuller explanation I will refute my opponents' arguments, which all seem to come down to this. Firstly, they think that corporeal substance, inso­ far as it is substance, is made up of parts, and so they deny that it can be infinite, and consequently that i t can perta in to God. This they illustrate with many ex­ amples, of which I will take one or two. They say that if corporeal substance is in­ finite, suppose it to be divided into two parts. Each of these parts will be either finite or infinite. If the former, then the infinite is made up of two finite parts, which is absurd. If the latter, then there is an infinite which is twice as great as an­ other infinite, which is also absurd.

Again, if an infinite length is measured in feet, it will have to consist of an in­ finite number of feet; and if it is measured in inches, it will consist of an infinite number of inches. So one infinite number will be twelve times greater than an­ other infinite number.

lastly, iffrom one point in an infinite quantity two l ines, AB and AC, be drawn of fixed and determinate length, and thereafter be produced

B to infinity, it is clear that the distance between B and C con- < tinues to increase and finally changes from a determinate A distance to an indeterminate distance.

As these absurdities follow, they think, from supposing C quantity to be infinite, they conclude that corporeal sub- stance must be finite and consequently cannot pertain to God's essence.

The second argument is also drawn from God's consummate perfection. Since God, they say, is a supremely perfect being, he cannot be that which is acted upon. But corporeal substance, being divisible, can be acted upon . It therefore follows that corporeal substance does not pertain to God's essence.

These are the arguments I find put forward by writers who thereby seek to prove that corporeal substance is unworthy of the divine essence and cannot perta in to it However, the student who looks carefully into these arguments will find that I have already repl ied to them, since they are all founded on the same supposition that material substance is composed of parts, and this I have already shown to be absurd (Pr. 12 and Cor. Pro 1 3) . Again, careful reflection will show that all those

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

226 Ethics

alleged absurdities (if indeed they are absurdities, which is not now under dis­ cussion) from which they seek to prove that extended substance is finite do not at all follow from the supposition that quantity is infinite, but that infinite quantity is measurable and is made up of finite parts. Therefore, from the resultant ab­ surdities no other conclusion can be reached but that infinite quantity is not meas­ urable and cannot be made up of finite parts . And this is exactly what we have already proved (Pr. 1 2) . So the weapon they aimed at us is in fact turned against themselves. If therefore from this "reductio ad absurdum" argument of theirs they still seek to deduce that extended substance must be finite, they are surely just l ike one who, having made the supposition that a circle has the properties of a square, deduces therefrom that a circle does not have a center from which all l ines drawn to the circumference are equal . For corporeal substance, which can be conceived only as infinite, one, and indivisible (Prs. 8, 5, and 1 2 ) they conceive as made up offinite parts, mul tiplex, and divisible, so as to deduce that it is finite. In the same way others, too, having supposed that a l ine is composed of points, can find many arguments to prove that a l ine cannot be infinitely divided. Indeed, it is j ust as ab­ surd to assert that corporeal substance is composed of bodies or parts as that a body is composed of surfaces, surfaces of l ines, and lines of points. This must be ad­ mitted by all who know clear reason to be infall ible, and particularly those who say that a vacuum cannot exist. For if corporeal substance could be so divided that its parts were distinct in reality, why could one part not be annihilated while the others remain joined together as before? And why should all the parts be so fitted together as to leave no vacuum? Surely, in the case of things which are in reality distinct from one another, one can exist without the other and remain in its orig­ inal state. Since therefore there is no vacuum in Nature (of which [more] else­ wherel ) and all its parts must so harmonize that there is no vacuum, it also follows that the parts cannot be distinct in reality; that is, corporeal substance, in­ sofar as it is substance, cannot be divided.

If [ am now asked why we have this natural inclination to divide quantity, I re­ ply that we conceive quantity in two ways, to wit, abstractly, or superficially- in other words, as represented in the imagination - or as substance, which we do only through the intellect. If therefore we consider quantity insofar as we repre­ sent it in the imagination- and this is what we more frequently and readily do­ we find i t to be finite, d ivisible, and made up of parts. But if we consider i t intel­ lectually and conceive it insofar as it is substance-and this is very difficult- then it will be found to be infinite, one, and indivisible, as we have already suffiCiently proved. This will be quite clear to those who can distinguish between the imagi­ nation and the intellect, especially if this point also is stressed, that matter is everywhere the same, and there are no distinct parts in it except insofar as we con­ ceive matter as modified in various ways. Then its parts are distinct, not really but

Notes Without brackets are Spmoza's. Bracketed notes are those of Seymour Feldman (mam annota­ tor for thiS work), translator Samuel Shirley, and Michael L. Morgan.

t [If thiS refers to anythmg In Spinoza's extant works, It rrrust be to his early Descartes's Principles of Philo.ophy II 2-3 - S F J

Part I, Proposition 17 227

only modally. For example, we conceive water to be divisible and to have separate paris insofar as it is water, but not insofar as it is material substance. In this latter respect it is not capable of separation or division. Furthermore, water, qua water, comes into existence and goes out of existence; but qua substance it does not come into existence nor go out of existence [corrumpitur].

I consider that in the above I have also replied to the second argument, since this too is based on the supposition that matter, insofar as it is substance, is divis­ ible and made up of paris. And even though this were not so, I do not know why matter should be unworthy of the divine nature, since (Pr. 1 4) there can be no substance external to God by which i t can be acted upon. All things, I repeat, are in God, and all th ings that come to pass do so only through the laws of God's in­ finite nature and follow through the necessity of his essence (as I shall later show). Therefore, by no manner of reasoning can it be said that God is acted upon by anything else or that extended substance is unworthy of the divine nature, even though it be supposed divisible, as long as it is granted to be eternal and infinite.

But enough of th is subject for the present.

PROPOSITION 1 6 From the necessity of the divine nature there must follow infinite things i n infi­ nite ways [modis] (that is, everything that can come within the scope of infinite intellect).

Proof This proposition should be obvious to everyone who will but consider this point, that from the given definition of any one thing the intellect infers a num­ ber of properties which necessarily follow in fact from the definition (that is, from the very essence of the thing), and the more reality the definition of the thing ex­ presses (that is, the more reality the essence of the thing defined involves), the greater the number ofils properties. Now since divine nature possesses absolutely infinite attributes (Def. 6), of which each one also expresses infinite essence in ils own kind, then there must necessarily follow from the necessity of the divine na­ ture an infinity of things in infinite ways (that is, everything that can come within the scope of the infinite intellect).

Corollary I Hence it follows that God is the efficient cause of all things that can come within the scope of the infinite intellect.

Corollary 2 Secondly, it follows that God is the cause through h imself, not per accidens.

Corollary 3 Thirdly, it follows that God is absolutely the first cause.

PROPOSITION 1 7 God acts solely from the laws of his own nature, constrained by none.

Proof We have just shown that an infinity of things follow, absolutely, solely from the necessity of divine nature, or-which is the same thing-solely from the laws of that same nature (Pr. 16); and we have proved (Pr. 1 5) that nothing can

Lenovo
Highlight

228 Ethics

be or be conceived without God, but that everything is in God. Therefore, there can be nothing external to God by which he can be determined or constrained to act. Thus, God acts solely from the laws of h is own natu re and is constrained by none.

Corollary I Hence it follows, firstly, that there is no cause, except the perfec­ tion of h is nature, which either extrinsically or intrinsically moves God to act.

Corollary 2 It follows, secondly, that God alone is a free cause. For God alone exists solely from the necessity of his own nature (Pr. 1 1 and Cor. 1 Pr. 1 4) and acts solely from the necessity of h is own nature (Pr. 1 7) . So he alone is a free cause (Def. 7).

Scholium Others take the view that God is a free cause because-so they think-he can bring it about that those th ings which we have said follow from h is nature- that is, which are within his power-should not come about; that is, they should not be produced by him. But this is as much as to say that God can bring i t about that it should not follow from the nature of a triangle that its three angles are equal to two right angles, or that from a given cause the effect should not fol­ low, which is absurd.

Furthermore, I shall show later on without the help of th is proposition that nei­ ther intellect nor will pertain to the nature of God. I know indeed that there are many who think they can prove that intellect in the h ighest degree and free will belong to the nature of God; for they say they know of nothing more perfect which they may attribute to God than that which is the h ighest perfection in us. Again, although they conceive of God as having in actual ity intellect in the highest de­ gree, they yet do not believe he can bring about the existence of everything which in actual ity he understands, for they th ink they would thereby be nullifYing God's power. If, they say, he had created everything that is within his intellect, then he would not have been able to create anything more; and this they regard as in­ consistent with God's omnipotence. So they have preferred to regard God as in­ different to everyth ing and as creating noth ing but what he has decided, by some absolute exercise of will, to create. However, I th ink I have shown quite clearly (Pr. 1 6) that from God's supreme power or infinite nature an infinity of thing. in infinite ways- that is, everything-has necessarily flowed or is always following from that same necessity, just as from the nature of a triangle it follows from eter­ nity to eternity that its three angles are equal to two right angles. Therefore, God's omnipotence has from eternity been actual and will remain for eternity in the same actuality. In this way, I submit, God's omnipotence is established as being far more perfect. Indeed my opponents-let us speak frankly-seem to be deny­ ing God's omnipotence. For they are obliged to admit that God understands an infinite number of creatable things which nevertheless he can never create. If this were not so, that is, ifhe were to create all the things that he understands, he would exhaust his omnipotence, according to them, and render h imself imperfect. Thus, to affirm God as perfect they are reduced to having to affirm at the same time that

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

Part I, Proposition 18 229

he cannot bring about everyth ing that is within the bounds of h is power. I cannot imagine anything more absurd than th is, or more inconsisten t with God's om­ nipotence.

Furthermore, I have something here to say about the intellect and will that is usually attributed to God. If intellect and will do indeed pertain to the eternal essence of God, one must understand in the case of both these attributes some­ thing very different from the meaning widely entertained. For the intellect and will that would constitute the essence of God would have to be vastIy different from hu­ man intellect and will, and would have no point of agreement except the name. They could be no more al ike than the celestial constellation of the Dog and the dog that barks. This I will prove as follows. If intellect does pertain to the divine na­ ture, it cannot, l ike man's intellect, be posterior to (as most thinkers hold) or si­ multaneous with the objects of understanding, since God is prior in causality to all things (Cor. I Pro 16) . On the contrary, the truth and formal essence of things is what it is because it exists as such in the intellect of God as an object of thought. Therefore, God's intellect, insornr as it is conceived as constituting God's essence, is in actual fact the cause of things, in respect both of their essence and their exis­ tence. This seems to have been recognized also by those who have asserted that God's intellect, will, and power are one and the same. Since therefore God's in­ tellect is the one and only cause of things, both of their essence and their existence, as we have shown, i t must necessarily be different from them both in respect of essence and existence. For that which is caused differs from its cause preCisely in what it has from its cause. For example, a man is the cause of the existence of an­ other man, but not of the other's essence; for the essence is an eternal truth. So with regard to their essence the two men can be in full agreement, but they must differ with regard to existence; and for that reason ifthe existence of the one should cease, the existence of the other would not thereby cease. But if the essence of the one could be destroyed and rendered rnlse, so too would the essence of the other. Therefore, a th ing which is the cause of the essence and existence of some effect must differ from that effect both in respect of essence and existence. But God's in­ tellect is the cause of the essence and existence of man's intellect. Therefore, God's intellect, insofar as it is conceived as constituting the divine essence, differs from man's intellect both in respect of essence and existence, and cannot agree with it in any respect other than name-which is what I sought to prove. In the matter of will, the proof is the same, as anyone can readily see.

PROPOSITION 1 8 God is the immanent, not the transitive, ceruse of all things.

Proof All things that are, are in God, and must be conceived through God (Pr. 1 5 ) , and so (Cor. I Pr. 1 6) God is the cause of the things that are in him, which is the first point. Further, there can be no substance external to God (Pr. 1 4); that is (Def. 3), a thing which is in itself external to God-which is the second point. Therefore, God is the immanent, not the transitive, cause of all things.

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

230 Ethics

PROPOSITION 1 9 God [is etema/], that is, all the attributes o f God a re eternal.

Proof God is substance (Def. 6) which necessarily exists (Pr. I I ) ; that is (Pr. 7), a thing to whose nature it perta ins to exist, or-and this is the same thing-a thing from whose definition existence follows; and so (Def. 8) God is eternal. Further, by the attributes of God must be understood that which expresses the essence of the Divine substance (Def. 4). that is, that which pertains to substance. It is this, I say, which the attributes themselves must involve. But eternity pertains to the nature of substance (as I have shown in Pr. 7). Therefore, each of the attributes must involve eternity, and so they are all eternal.

Scholium This proposition is also perfectly clear from the manner in which I proved the existence of God (Pr. I I ). From this proof, I repeat, it is obvious that God's existence is, l ike h is essence, an eternal truth. Again, I have also proved God's eternity in another way in Proposition 19 of my Descartes's Principles ofPhi­ losophy, and there is no need here to go over that ground again.

PROPOSITION 20 God's existence and his essence are one and the same.

Proof God and all h is attributes are etemal (Pr. 1 9); that is, each one of his at­ tributes expresses existence (Def. 8). Therefore, the same attributes of God that explicate his eternal essence (Def. 4) at the same time explicate his eternal exis­ tence; that is, that which constitutes the essence of God at the same time consti­ tutes h is existence, and so h is existence and h is essence are one and the same.

Corollary I From this it follows, firstly, that God's existence, like h is essence, is an eternal truth.

Corollary 2 It follows, secondly, that God is immutable; that is, all the attrib­ utes of God are immutable. For if they were to change in respect of existence, they would also have to change in respect of essence (Pr. 10) ; that is-and this is self­ evident- they would have to become rnlse instead of true, which is absurd.

PROPOSITION 2 1 All things that follow from the absolute nature of any attribute of God must have existed always, and as infinite; that is, through the said attribute they are eternal and infinite.

Proof Suppose this proposition be denied and conceive, if you can, that some­ thing in some attribute of God, following from its absolute nature, is finite and has a determinate existence or duration; for example, the idea of God in Thought. Now Thought, being assumed to be an attribute of God, is necessarily infinite by its own nature (Pr. I I ) . However, insofar as it has the idea of God, i t is being sup­ posed as finite. Now (Def. 2) i t cannot be conceived as finite unless it is deter­ mined through Thought itself. But it cannot be determined through Thought itself insornr as Thought constitutes the idea of God, for i t is in that respect that

Lenovo
Highlight

Part I, Proposition 23 2 3 1

Thought is supposed t o be finite. Therefore, i t i s determined through Thought in­ sofar as Thought does not constitute the idea of God, which Thought must nev­ ertheless necessarily exist (Pr. I I ) . Therefore, there must be Thought which does not constitute the idea of God, and so the idea of God does not follow necessarily from its nature insofur as it is absolute Thought. (For it is conceived as constitut­ ing and as not constituting the idea of God.) This is con trary to our hypothesis. Therefore, if the idea of God in Thought, or anything in some attribute of God (it does not matter what is selected, since the proof is universal), follows from the necessity of the absolute nature ofthe attribute, it must necessarily be infinite. That was our first point.

Furthermore, that wh ich thus follows from the necessity of the nature of some attribute cannot have a determinate existence, or duration. If this be denied, sup' pose that there is in some attribute of God a th ing following from the necessity of the nature of the attribute, for example, the idea of God in Thought, and suppose that th is thing either did not exist at some time, or will cease to exist in the future. Now since Thought is assumed as an attribute of God, i t must necessarily exist, and as immutable (Pr. I I and Cor. 2 Pr. 20). Therefore, outside the bounds of the duration of the idea of God (for this idea is supposed at some time not to have ex­ isted, or will at some point cease to exist), Thought will have to exist without the idea of God. But th is is contrary to the hypothesis, for i t is supposed that when Thought is granted the idea of God necessarily follows. Therefore, the idea of God in Thought, or anything that necessarily follows from the absolute nature of some attribute of God, cannot have a determinate existence, but is eternal through that same attribute. That was our second point. Note that the same holds for anything in an attribute of God which necessarily follows from the absolute nature of God.

PROPOSITION 22 What""er follows from some attribute of God, insofar as the attribute is modified by a modification that exists necessarily and as infinite through that same attribute, must also exist both necessarily and as infinite.

Proof This proposition is proved in the same way as the preceding one.

PROPOSITION 2 3 Every mode which exists necessarily and as infinite must have necessarily followed either from the absolute nature of some attribute of God or from some attribute mod­ ified by a modification which exists necessarily and as infinite.

Proof A mode is in something else through which it must be conceived (Oef. 5); that is (Pr. 1 5 ), it is in God alone and can be conceived only through God. Therefore, if a mode is conceived to exist necessarily and to be infinite, both these characteristics must necessarily be inferred or perceived through some attribute of God insofur as that attribute is conceived to express infinity and necessity of ex­ istence, or (and by Oef. 8 this is the same) eternity; that is (Oef. 6 and Pro 1 9), in­ sofur as it is considered absolutely. Therefore, a mode which exists necessarily and as infinite must have followed from the absolute nature of some attribute of God,

232 Ethics

either directly (Pr. 2 1 ) or through the mediation of some modification which fol­ lows from the absolute nature of the attribute; that is (Pr. 22), which exists neces­ sarily and as infinite.

PROPOSITION 24 The essence of things fJrOduced by God does not involve existence.

Proof This is evident from Def. I . For only that whose nature (considered in it­ self) involves existence is self-caused and exists solely from the necessity of its own nature.

Corollary Hence it follows that God is the cause not only of the coming into ex­ istence of th ings but also of their continuing in existence, or, to use a scholastic term, God is the cause of the being of things [essendi rerum]. For whether things exist or do not exist, in reflecting on their essence we real ize that th is essence in­ volves neither existence nor duration. So it is not their essence which can be the cause of either their existence or their duration, but only God, to whose nature alone existence pertains (Cor. I Pr. 14).

PROPOSITION 2 5 God is the efficient cause not only of the existence of things Imt also of their essence.

Proof If this is denied, then God is not the cause of the essence of th ings, and so (Ax. 4) the essence of things can be conceived without God. But this is absurd (Pr. 1 5 ) . Therefore, God is also the cause of the essence of things.

Scholium This proposition follows more clearly from Pro 1 6; for from that proposition i t follows that from the given divine nature both the essence and the existence of things must be inferred. In a word, in the same sense that God is said to be self-caused he must also be said to be the cause of all th ings. This will be even clearer from the following Corollary.

Corollary Particular things are noth ing but affections of the attributes of God, that is, modes wherein the attributes of God find expression in a definite and de­ terminate way. The proof is obvious from Pr. 1 5 and Def. 5 .

PROPOSITION 26 A thing which has been determined to act in a particular way has necessarily been so determined by God; and a thing which has not been determined by God cannot determine itself to act.

Proof That by which things are said to be determined to act in a particular way must necessarily be something positive (as is obvious). So God, from the neces­ s ity of h is nature, is the efficient cause both of its essence and its existence (Prs. 25 and 16 )-which was the first point. From this the second point quite clearly follows as well. For if a th ing which has not been determined by God could de­ termine itself, the first part of this proposition would be false, which, as I have shown, is absurd.

Lenovo
Highlight

Part I, Proposition 28 23 3

PROPOSITION 27 A thing which has been determined by God to act in a particular way cannot ren­ der itself undetermined.

Proof This proposition is evident from Axiom 3 .

PROPOSITION 2 8 Every individual thing, i.e., anything whatever which i s finite and has a determi­ nate existence, cannot exist or be determined to act unless it be determined to exist and to act by another cause which is also finite and has a determinate existence, and this cause again cannot exist or be determined to act unless it be determined to exist and to act by another cause which is also finite and has a determinate exis­ tence, and so ad infinitum.

Proof Whatever is determined to exist and to act has been so determined by God (Pr. 26 and Cor. Pr. 24). But that wh ich is finite and has a determinate ex­ istence cannot have been produced by the absolute natu re of one of God's at­ tributes, for whatever follows from the absolute nature of one of God's attributes is infinite and eternal (Pr. 2 1 ) . It must therefore have followed from God or one of his attribu tes insofar as that is considered as affected by some mode; for noth­ ing exists but substance and its modes (Ax. I and Defs. 3 and 5), and modes (Cor. Pr. 25) are nothing but affections of God's attributes. But neither could a finite and determined th ing have followed from God or one of his attributes insofar as that is affected by a modification which is eternal and infinite (Pr. 22). There­ fore, i t must have followed, or been determined to exist and to act, by God or one of h is attribu tes insofar as it was modified by a modification which is finite and has a determinate existence. That was the first point. Then again th is cause or this mode (the reasoning is the same as in the first part of this proof) must also have been determined by another cause, wh ich is also finite and has a determi­ nate existence, and again this last (the reasoning is the same) by another, and so ad infinitum.

Scholium Since some things must have been produced directly by God (those things, in fact, which necessarily follow from h is absolute nature) and others through the medium of these primary th ings (which other things nevertheless cannot be or be conceived without God), it follows, firstly, that God is absolutely the proximate cause of th ings directly produced by him. 1 say "absolutely" [ab­ solute] , and not "within their own kind" [suo genere] , as some say. For the effects of God can neither be nor be conceived without their cause (Pr. 1 5 and Cor. Pr. 24). It follows, secondly, that God cannot properly be said to be the remote cause of individual things, unless perchance for the purpose of distinguishing these things from th ings which he has produced directly, or rather, th ings which fol­ low from his absolute nature. For by "remote cause" we understand a cause which is in no way conjoined with its effect. But all th ings that a re, are in God, and depend on God in such a way that they can neither be nor be conceived without him.

234 Ethics

PROPOSITION 29 Nothing in nature is contingent, but all things are {rom the necessity of the divine nature determined to exist and to act in a definite way.

Proof Whatever is, is in God (Pr. 1 5 ) . But God cannot be termed a con tingent th ing, for (Pr. I I ) he exists necessarily, not contingently. Again, the modes of the divine nature have also followed from it necessarily, not con tingently (Pr. 1 6) , and that, too, whether insofar as the divine nature is considered absolutely (Pr. 2 1 ) o r insofar as it is considered as determined to act in a definite way (Pr. 27). Furthermore, God is the cause of these modes not only insofar as they simply exist (Cor. Pro 26), but also insofar as they are considered as determined to a particular action (Pr. 26). Now if they are not determined by God (Pr. 26), it is an impossibil ity, not a contingency, that they should determine themselves. On the other hand (Pr. 27), if they are determined by God, it is an impossibil­ ity, not a con tingency, that they should render themselves undetermined. Therefore, all th ings are determined from the necessity of the divine nature not only to exist but also to exist and to act in a definite way. Thus, there is no contingency.

Scholium Before I go any further, I wish to explain at this point what we must understand by "Natura naturans" and "Natura naturata." I should perhaps say not "explain; but "remind the reader," for I consider that it is al ready clear from what has gone before that by "Natura naturans" we must understand that which is in itself and is conceived through itself; that is, the attributes of substance that express eternal and infinite essence; or (Cor. I Pr. 14 and Cor. 2 Pr. 1 7) , God insofar as he is considered a free cause. By "Natura naturata" I understand all that follows from the necessity of God's nature, that is, from the necessity of each one of God's attributes; or all the modes of God's attributes insofar as they are considered as things which are in God and can neither be nor be conceived with­ out God.

PROPOSITION 30 The finite intellect in act or the infinite inmllect in act must comprehend the at­ tributes or God and the affections or God, and nothing else.

Proof A true idea must agree with its object [ideatum] (Ax. 6); that is (as is self­ evident), that which is contained in the intellect as an object of thought must nec­ essarily exist in Nature. But in Nature (Cor. I Pro 1 4) there is but one substance­ God -and no other affections (Pr. 1 5) than those which are in God and that can neither be nor be conceived (Pr. 1 5) without God. Therefore, the finite intellect in act or the infinite intellect in act must comprehend the attributes of God and the affections of God, and nothing else.

PROPOSITION 3 1 The intellect in act, whether it be finite or infinite, as also will, desire, lave, etc., must be related to Natura naturata, not to Natura naturans.

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

Part I, Proposition 33 23 5

Proof By intellect (as is self-evident) we do not understand absolute thought, but only a definite mode of th inking which differs from other modes such as de­ s ire, love, etc . , and so (Def. 5) must be conceived through absolute thought-that is (Pr. 1 5 and Def. 6), an attribute of God which expresses the eternal and infinite essence of thought- in such a way that without this attribute it can neither be nor be conceived; and therefore (Sch. Pr. 29) it must be related to Natura naturata, not to Natura naturans, j ust l ike the other modes of th inking.

Scholium The reason for my here speaking of the intellect in act is not that I grant there can be any intellect in potential ity, but that, wishing to avoid any con­ fusion, I want to confine myself to what we perceive with the utmost clarity, to wit, the very act of understanding, than which nothing is more clearly appre­ hended by us. For we can understand nothing that does not lead to a more per­ fect cognition of the understanding.

PROPOSITION 32 Will cannot be called a free cause, but only a necessary cause.

Proof Will, l ike intellect, is only a definite mode of thinking, and so (Pr. 28) no single volition can exist or be determined to act unless it is determined by another cause, and this cause again by another, and so ad infinitum. Now if will be sup­ posed infinite, it must also be determined to exist and to act by God, not insofar as he is absolutely infinite substance, but insofar as he possesses an attribute which expresses the infinite and eternal essence ofThought (Pr. 2 3) . Therefore, in what­ ever way will is conceived, whether finite or infinite, it requires a cause by which i t is determined to exist and to act; and so (Def. 7) i t cannot be said to be a free cause, but only a necessary or constra ined cause.

Corollary 1 Hence i t follows, firstly, that God does not act from freedom of wil l . Corollary 2 It follows, secondly, that wil l and intellect bear the same relation­ ship to God's nature as motion-and-rest and, absolutely, as all natural phenomena that must be determined by God (Pr. 29) to exist and to act in a definite way. For will, l ike all the rest, stands in need of a cause by wh ich it may be determined to exist and to act in a definite manner. And although from a given will or intellect infinite things may follow, God cannot on that account be said to act from free­ dom of will any more than he can be sa id to act from freedom of motion-and-rest because of what follows from motion-and-rest (for from this, too, infinite things follow). Therefore, will pertains to God's nature no more than do other natural phenomena. It bears the same relationsh ip to God's natu re as does motion-and­ rest and everything else that we have shown to follow from the necessity of the divine nature and to be determined by that divine nature to exist and to act in a definite way.

PROPOSITION 3 3 Things could not have been produced by God i n any other way o r in any other or­ der than is the case.

Lenovo
Highlight

236 Ethics

Proof All things have necessarily followed from the nature of God (Pr. 1 6) and have been determined to exist and to act in a definite way from the necessity of God's nature (Pr. 29). Therefore, if things could have been of a different nature or been determined to act in a different way so that the order of Nature would have been different, then God's nature, too, could have been other than it now is, and therefore (Pr. I I ) th is different nature, too, would have had to exist, and con­ sequently there would have been two or more Gods, which (Cor. I Pr. 14) is ab­ surd. Therefore, things could not have been produced by God in any other way or in any other order than is the case.

Scholium I Since I have here shown more clearly than the midday sun that in things there is absolutely nothing by virtue of which they can be said to be "con­ tingent," I now wish to explain briefly what we should understand by "contin­ gent"; but I must first deal with "necessary" and "impossible." A thing is termed "necessary" either by reason of its essence or by reason of its cause. For a thing's existence necessarily follows either from its essence and definition or from a given efficient cause. Again, it is for these same reasons that a thing is termed "impos­ sible" - that is, either because its essence or definition involves a contradiction or because there is no external cause determined to bring i t into existence. But a thing is termed "con tingen�' for no other reason than the deficiency of our knowl­ edge. For if we do not know whether the essence of a th ing involves a contradic­ tion, or if, knowing full well that its essence does not involve a contradiction, we still cannot make any certain judgment as to its existence because the chain of causes is h idden from us, then that th ing cannot appear to us either as necessary or as impossible. So we term it either "contingenr' or "possible."

Scholium 2 It clearly follows from the above that things have been brought into being by God with supreme perfection, since they have necessarily followed from a most perfect nature. Nor does th is imply any imperfection in God, for it is h is perfection that has constra ined us to make this affirmation. Indeed, from its con­ trary i t would clearly follow (as I have just shown) that God is not supremely per­ fect, because if things had been brought into being in a different way by God, we should have to attribute to God another nature different from that which consid­ eration of a most perfect Being has made us attribute to him.

However, I doubt not that many wil l ridicule this view as absurd and wil l not give their minds to i ts examination, and for this reason alone, that they are in the habit of attributing to God another kind offreedom very differen t from that which we (Def. 7) have assigned to him, that is, an absolute will. Yet I do not doubt that if they were willing to think the matter over and carefully reflect on our chain of proofs they would in the end reject the kind of freedom which they now attribute to God not only as nonsensical but as a serious obstacle to science. It is needless for me here to repeat what was said in the Scholium to Proposition 17. Yet for their sake I shall proceed to show that, even if it were to be granted that will per­ ta ins to the essence of God, it would nevertheless follow from h is perfection that things could not have been created by God in any other way or in any other or­ der. This will readily be shown if we first consider-as they themselves grant-

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

Part I, Proposition 33 237

that on God's decree and will a lone does it depend that each th ing is what i t is. For otherwise God would not be the cause of all th ings. Further, there is the fact that all God's decrees have been sanctioned by God from eternity, for otherwise he could be accused of imperfection and inconstancy. But since the eternal does not admit of "when" or "before" or "after; it follows merely from God's perfec­ tion that God can never decree otherwise nor ever could have decreed otherwise; in other words, God could not have been prior to his decrees nor can he be with­ out them. "But;' they will say, "granted the supposition that God had made a dif­ ferent universe, or that from eternity he had made a different decree concerning Nature and her order, no imperfection in God would follow therefrom." But if they say th is, they will be granting at the same time that God can change his de­ crees. For if God's decrees had been different from what in fact he has decreed regarding Nature and her order- that is, if he had willed and conceived differ­ ently concerning Nature- he would necessarily have had a different intellect and a different will from that which he now has. And if i t is permissible to attribute to God a different intellect and a different will without any change in h is essence and perfection, why should he not now be able to change his decrees concerning created things, and nevertheless remain equally perfect? For h is intellect and will regarding created things and their order have the same relation to his essence and perfection, in whatever manner it be conceived.

Then again, all philosophers whom I have read grant that in God there is no intellect in potential ity but only intellect in act. Now since all of them also grant that his intellect and will are not distinct from his essence, it therefore follows from this, too, that if God had had a different intellect in act and a different will, h is essence too would necessarily have been different Therefore-as I deduced from the beginning - if things had been brought into being by God so as to be differ­ ent from what they now are, God's intellect and will - that is (as is granted), God's essence- must have been different, which is absurd. Therefore, since things could not have been brought into being by God in any other way or order-and it follows from God's supreme perfection that th is is true-surely we can have no sound reason for bel ieving that God did not wish to create al l the things that are in h is intellect through that very same perfection whereby he understands them.

"But;' they will say, "there is in th ings no perfection or imperfection; that which is in them whereby they are perfect or imperfect, and are called good or bad, depends only on the will of God. Accordingly, if God had so willed it he could have brought it about that that which is now perfection should be u tmost imperfection, and vice versa." But what else is this but an open assertion that God, who necessarily understands that which he wills, can by his will bring it about that he should understand things in a way different from the way he un­ derstands them-and this, as I have just shown, is utterly absurd. So I can turn their own argument aga inst them, as follows. All th ings depend on the power of God. For th ings to be able to be otherwise than as they are, God's will, too, would necessarily have to be different But God's will cannot be different (as we have j ust shown most clearly from the consideration of God's perfection) . Therefore, neither can things be different.

238 Ethics

I admit that this view which subjects everything to some kind of indifferent will of God and asserts that everything depends on h is pleasure diverges less from the truth than the view of those who hold that God does everything with the good in mind. For these people seem to posit something extemal to God that does not de­ pend upon him, to which in acting God looks as if it were a model, or to which he a ims, as if it were a fixed target. This is surely to subject God to fate; and no more absurd assertion can be made about God, whom we have shown to be the first and the only free cause of both the essence and the existence of things. So I need not spend any more time in refuting this absurdity.

PROPOSITION 34 God's power is his very essence.

Proof From the sole necessity of God's essence it follows that God is self-caused (Pr. I I ) and the cause of all th ings (Pr. 16 and Cor.) . Therefore, God's power, whereby he and all th ings are and act, is his very essence.

PROPOSITION 3 5 Whatever we conceive to be within God's power necessarily exists.

Proof Whatever is within God's power must be so comprehended in h is essence (Pr. 34) that it follows necessarily from it, and thus necessarily exists.

PROPOSITION 36 Nothing exists from whose nature an effect does not follow.

Proof Whatever exists expresses God's nature or essence in a definite and de­ terminate way (Cor. Pr. 25 ) ; that is (Pr. 34), whatever exists expresses God's power, which is the cause of all th ings, in a definite and determinate way, and so (Pr. 1 6) some effect must follow from it.

APPENDIX

I have now explained the nature and properties of God: that he necessarily exists, that he is one alone, that he is and acts solely from the necessity of his own na­ ture, that he is the free cause of all things and how so, that all things are in God and are so dependent on him that they can neither be nor be conceived without him, and lastly, that all things have been predetermined by God, not from his free will or absolute pleasure, but from the absolute nature of God, h is infinite power. Furthermore, whenever the opportunity arose I have striven to remove prejudices that might hinder the apprehension of my proofs. But since there still remain a considerable number of prejudices, which have been, and still are, an obstacle­ indeed, a very great obstacle- to the acceptance of the concatenation of things in the manner which I have expounded, I have thought it proper at this point to bring these prejudices before the bar of reason.

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

Part I, Appendix 239

Now all the prejudices which I intend to mention here turn on this one point, the widespread belief among men that all things in Nature are l ike themselves in acting with an end in view. Indeed, they hold it as certain that God h imself di­ rects everything to a fixed end; for they say that God has made everything for man's sake and has made man so that he should worship God. So this is the first point I shall consider, seeking the reason why most people are victims of this prejudice and why all are so naturally disposed to accept it Secondly, I shall demonstrate its falSity; and lastly I shall show how it has been the source of misconceptions about good and bad, right and wrong, praise and blame, order and confusion , beauty and ugl iness, and the l ike.

However, it is not appropriate here to demonstrate the origin of these miscon­ ceptions from the nature of the human mind. It will suffice at this point if I take as my basis what must be universally admitted, that all men are born ignorant of the causes of things, that they all have a desire to seek their own advantage, a de­ sire of which they are conscious. From this it follows, firstly, that men believe that they are free, precisely because they are conscious of their vol itions and desires; yet concerning the causes that have determined them to desire and will they do not think, not even dream about, because they are ignorant of them. Secondly, men act always with an end in view, to wit, the advantage that they seek. Hence i t happens that they are always looking only for the final causes of things done, and are satisfied when they find them, having, of course, no reason for further doubt. But if they fail to discover them from some external source, they have no recourse but to turn to themselves, and to reflect on what ends would normally determine them to similar actions, and so they necessarily judge other minds by their own. Further, since they find within themselves and outside themselves a considerable number of means very convenien t for the pursuit of their own ad­ vantage-as, for instance, eyes for seeing, teeth for chewing, cereals and l iving creatures for food, the sun for giving l ight, the sea for breeding fish - the result is that they look on all the things of Nature as means to their own advantage. And realizing that these were found, not produced by them, they come to believe that there is someone else who produced these means for their use. For looking on things as means, they could not believe them to be self-created, but on the anal­ ogy of the means which they are accustomed to produce for themselves, they were bound to conclude that there was some governor or governors of Nature, endowed with human freedom, who have attended to all their needs and made everything for their use. And having no information on the subject, they also had to estimate the character of these rulers by their own, and so they asserted that the gods direct everything for man's use so that they may bind men to them and be held in the highest honor by them. So it came about that every individual devised different methods of worshipping God as he thought fit in order that God should love him beyond others and direct the whole of Nature so as to serve his bl ind cupidity and insatiable greed. Thus it was that this misconception developed into superstition and became deep-rooted in the minds of men, and it was for th is reason that every man strove most earnestly to understand and to explain the final causes of all th ings. But in seeking to show that Nature does noth ing in va in - that is, nothing

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

240 Ethics

that is not to man's advantage- they seem to have shown only th is, that Nature and the gods are as crazy as mankind.

Consider, I pray, what has been the upshot. Among so many of Nature's bless­ ings they were bound to discover quite a number of disasters, such as storms, earthquakes, diseases and so forth, and they mainta ined that these occurred be­ cause the gods were angry at the wrongs done to them by men, or the faults com­ mitted in the course of their wOll>hip. And although daily experience cried out against this and showed by any number of examples that blessings and disasters befull the godly and the ungodly alike without discrimination, they did not on that account abandon their ingrained prejudice. For they found it easier to regard this fact as one among other mysteries they could not undell>tand and thus maintain their innate condition of ignorance rather than to demolish in its entirety the theory they had constructed and devise a new one. Hence they made it axiomatic that the j udgment of the gods is far beyond man's understanding. Indeed, i t is for this reason , and this reason only, that truth might have evaded mankind forever had not Mathematics, which is concerned not with ends but only with the essences and properties of figures, revealed to men a different standard of truth . And there are other causes too- there i s no need to mention them here- which could have made men aware of these widespread misconceptions and brought them to a true knowledge of th ings.

I have thus sufficiently dealt with my fill>t point. There is no need to spend time in going on to show that Nature has no fixed goal and that all final causes are but figments of the human imagination . For I think that this is now quite evident, both from the basic causes from which I have traced the origin of this misconception and from Proposition 16 and the Corollaries to Proposition 32, and in addition from the whole set or proofS I have adduced to show that all things in Nature pro­ ceed from all eternal necessity and with supreme perfection. But I will make th is additional poin t, that th is doctrine of Final Causes tums Nature completely up­ side down, for it regards as an effect that which is in fuct a cause, and vice versa. Again, it makes that which is by nature first to be last; and finally, that which is highest and most perfect is held to be the most imperfect. Omitting the first two points as self-evident, Propositions 2 1 , 22, and 23 make it clear that that effect is most perfect which is directly produced by God, and an effect is the less perfect in proportion to the number of intermediary causes required for its production . But if the things produced directly by God were brought about to enable him to attain an end, then of necessity the last things for the sake of which the earlier things were brought about would excel all others. Aga in, this doctrine negates God's perfection; for if God acts with an end in view, he must necessarily be seek­ ing someth ing that he lacks. And although theologians and metaphysicians may draw a distinction between a purpose arising from want and an assimilative pur­ pose,' they still admit that God has acted in all things for the sake of himself, and

Z [Spmoza alludes here to a late scholastic dlstmchon between two kinds of purposes, or goals: ( 1 ) a purpose that satlSfies some mternal need or lack (fines indigentil1£); and (2) a purpose that alJns to share what one already has With others who lack It (fines assimllationis). In the present case, thIS

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

Part I, Appendix 241

not for the sake of the things to be created. For prior to creation they are not able to point to anything but God as a purpose for God's action. Thus they have to ad­ mit that God lacked and desired those things for the procurement of which he willed to create the means-as is self-evident.

I must not fail to mention here that the advocates of th is doctrine, eager to dis­ play their talent in assigning purpose to things, have introduced a new style of argument to prove their doctrine, i .e . , a reduction, not to the impossible, but to ignorance, thus revealing the lack of any other argument in its fuvor. For example, if a stone falls from the roof on somebody's head and kills him, by this method of arguing they will prove that the stone fell in order to kill the man; for if it had not fallen for this purpose by the will of God, how could so many circumstances (and there are often many coinciding circumstances) have chanced to concur? Perhaps you will reply that the event occurred because the wind was blowing and the man was walking that way. But they will persist in asking why the wind blew at that time and why the man was walking that way at that very time. If you again reply that the wind sprang up at that time because on the previous day the sea had be­ gun to toss after a period of calm and that the man had been invited by a friend, they will again persist-for there is no end to questions- "But why did the sea toss, and why was the man invited for that time?" And so they will go on and on asking the causes of causes, until you take refuge in the will of God - that is, the sanctuary of ignorance. Similarly, when they consider the structure of the human body, they are astonished, and being ignorant of the causes of such skillful work they conclude that it is fashioned not by mechanical art but by divine or super­ natural art, and is so arranged that no one part shall in jure another.

As a result, he who seeks the true causes of miracles and is eager to understand the works of Nature as a scholar, and not just to gape at them l ike a fool, is uni­ versally considered an impious heretic and denounced by those to whom the common people bow down as interpreters of Nature and the gods. For these people know that the dispelling of ignorance would entail the disappearance of that astonishment, which is the one and only support for their argument and for safeguarding their authority. But I will leave this subject and proceed to the third point that I proposed to deal with.

When men become convinced that everything that is created is created on their behalf, they were bound to consider as the most important quality in every individual th ing that which was most useful to them, and to regard as of the h igh­ est excellence all those things by which they were most benefited. Hence they came to form these abstract notions to explain the natures of things: Good, Bad,

dIStinction implIes that when God does something purposively, he acts not to fulfill a need he has, but to benefit creahue5. In their commentaries on the Ethics, both LewIS Robinson and Harty Wolf­ son refer to the seventeenth-century Dutch theologian A. Heereboord as Spinoza's source for this distinction (L. Robinson, Kommentar zu Spinoza's Ethik (Leipzig, 1928), pp. 234-235; H. Wolfson, The PhilooophrofSpinoza (New York, 1969), vol. I, p. 432).

The theologtans dended by Sptnoza hoped to avoid by means of thIS distinction the suggestion that If God acts purposively, he does so because of a need on his part.]

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

242 Ethics

Order, Confusion, Hot, Cold, Beauty, Ugl iness; and since they believed that they are free, the following abstract notions came into being: Praise, Blame, Right, Wrong. The latter I shall deal with later on after I have treated of human nature; at th is point I shall briefly explain the former.

All that conduces to well-being and to the worship of God they call Good, and the contrary, Bad. And since those who do not understand the nature of th ings, but only imagine things, make no affirmative judgments about things themselves and mistake their imagination for intellect, they are firmly convinced that there is order in things, ignorant as they are of things and of their own nature. For when things are in such arrangement that, being presented to us through our senses, we can readily p icture them and thus readily remember them, we say that they are well arranged; if the contrary, we say that they are ill arranged, or confused. And since those things we can readily picture we find pleasing compared with other th ings, men prefer order to confusion, as though order were something in Nature other than what is relative to our imagination. And they say that God has created all things in an orderly way, without real izing that they are thus attributing hu­ man imagination to God -unless perchance they mean that God, out of consid­ eration for the human imagination, arranged all things in the way that men could most easily imagine. And perhaps they will find no obstacle in the fact that there are any number of things that far surpass our imagination, and a considerable number that confuse the imagination because of its weakness.

But I have devoted enough time to th is. Other notions, too, are nothing but modes of imagining whereby the imagination is affected in various ways, and yet the ignorant consider them as important attr ibutes of th ings because they be­ l ieve-as I have said - that all th ings were made on their behalf, and they call a thing's nature good or bad, healthy or rotten and corrupt, according to its effect on them. For instance, if the motion communicated to our nervous system by objects presented through our eyes is conducive to our feel ing of well-being, the objects which are its cause are sa id to be beautiful, whi le the objects which pro­ voke a contrary motion are called ugly. Those things that we sense through the nose are called fragrant or fetid; through the tongue, sweet or bitter, tasty or taste­ less; those that we sense by touch are called hard or soft, rough or smooth, and so on. Finally, those that we sense through our ears are said to give forth noise, sound, or harmony, the last of wh ich has driven men to such madness that they used to believe that even God delights in harmony. There are philosophers who have convinced themselves that the motions of the heavens give rise to harmony. All this goes to show that everyone's judgment is a function of the disposition of his bra in, or rather, that he mistakes for real ity the way h is imagination is affected. Hence it is no wonder -as we should note in passing- that we find so many con­ troversies arising among men, resulting finally in skepticism. For although hu­ man bodies agree in many respects, there are very many differences, and so one man thinks good what another th inks bad; what to one man is well ordered, to another is confused; what to one is pleasing, to another is displeasing, and so forth. I say no more here because th is is not the place to treat at length of th is

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

Part II 243

subject, and also because all are well acquainted with it from experience. Every­ body knows those sayings : "So many heads, so many opinions; "everyone is wise in h is own sight," "brains differ as much as palates; all of which show clearly that men's j udgment is a function of the disposition of the brain, and they are guided by imagination rather than intellect. For if men understood th ings, all that I have put forward would be found, if not attractive, at any rate convincing, as Mathe­ matics attests.

We see therefore that all the notions whereby the common people are wont to expla in Nature are merely modes of imagining, and denote not the nature of any­ thing but only the constitution of the imagination. And because these notions have names as if they were the names of entities existing independently of the imagination I call them "entities of imagination" [entia imaginationis] rather than "entities of reason" [entia rationis] . So all arguments drawn from such notions against me can be easily refuted. For many are wont to argue on the following l ines: If everything has followed from the necessity of God's most perfect nature, why does Nature display so many imperfections, such as rottenness to the point of putridity, nauseating ugl iness, confusion, evil , sin, and so on? But, as I have just pointed out, they are easily refuted. For the perfection of things should be mea­ sured solely from their own nature and power; nor are things more or less perfect to the extent that they please or offend human senses, serve or oppose human in­ terests. As to those who ask why God did not create men in such a way that they should be governed solely by reason, I make only this reply, that he lacked not material for creating all things from the highest to the lowest degree of perfection; or, to speak more accurately, the laws of his nature were so comprehensive as to suffice for the production of everything that can be conceived by an infinite in­ tellect, as I proved in Propos ition 1 6.

These are the misconceptions which I undertook to deal with at this point. Any other misconception of this kind can be corrected by everyone with a l i ttle re­ flection.

PART II

OF THE NATURE AND ORIGIN OF THE MIND

I now pass on to the explication ofthose things that must necessarily have followed from the essence of God, the eternal and infinite Being; not indeed all of them­ for we proved in Proposition 16, Part I that from his essence there must follow in­ finite things in infinite ways- but only those things that can lead us as it were by the hand to the knowledge of the human mind and its utmost blessedness.

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

244 Ethics

Defini ti ons

I . By "body" I understand a mode that expresses in a definite and determinate way God's essence insofar as he is considered as an extended thing. (See Cor. Pro 2 5 , I . )

2. I say that there pertains to the essence of a th ing that which, when granted, the th ing is necessarily posited, and by the annulling of which the thing is neces­ sarily annulled; or that without which the thing can neither be nor be conceived, and, vice versa, that which cannot be or be conceived without the th ing.

3 . By idea I understand a conception of the Mind which the Mind forms be­ cause it is a th inking thing.

Explication I say "conception" rather than "perception" because the term per­ ception seems to indicate that the Mind is passive to its object whereas concep­ tion seems to express an activity of the Mind.

4. By an adequate idea I mean an idea which, insofar as i t is considered in it­ self without relation to its objec� has all the properties, that is, intrinsic charac­ teristics, of a true idea [ideatum].

Explication I say " intrinsic" so as to exclude the extrinsic characteristic-to wit the agreement of the idea with that of which i t is an idea.

5 . Duration is the indefinite continuance of existing.

Explication I say "indefinite" because it can in no wise be determined through the nature of the existing thing, nor again by the thing's efficient cause which nec­ essarily posits, but does not annul, the existence of the thing.

6. By reality and perfection I mean the same th ing. 7. By individual things [res singulares] I mean things that are finite and have

a determinate existence. If several individual things concur in one act in such a way as to be all together the simultaneous cause of one effect, I consider them all , in that respect, as one individual.

Axi oms

I. The essence of man does not involve necessary existence; that is, from the order of Nature it is equally possible that a certain man exists or does not exist.

2 . Man thinks. 3 . Modes of thinking such as love, desire, or whatever emotions are designated

by name, do not occur unless there is in the same individual the idea of the thing loved, desired, etc. But the idea can be without any other mode of thinking.

4. We feel a certain body to be affected in many ways. 5. We do not feel or perceive any individual things except bodies and modes

of th inking. [N .B . : For Postulates, see after Proposition 1 3 . ]

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

Part II, Proposition 3 245

PROPOSITION 1 Thought is an attribute of God; i.e., God is a thinking thing.

Proof Individual thoughts, or this and that thought, are modes expressing the nature of God in a definite and determinate way (Cor. Pr. 2 5 , I) . Therefore, there belongs to God (Def. 5, I) an attribute the conception of which is involved in all individual thoughts, and through which they are conceived. Thought, therefore, is one of God's infinite attributes, expressing the eternal and infinite essence of God (Def. 6, I); that is, God is a th inking thing.

Scholium This Proposition is also evident from the fact that we can conceive of an infinite thinking being. For the more things a thinking being can think, the more reality or perfection we conceive it to have. Therefore, a being that can think infinite things in infinite ways is by virtue of its th inking necessarily infinite. Since therefore by merely considering Thought we conceive an infinite being, Thought is necessarily one of the infinite attributes of God (DeE;. 4 and 6, I) , as we set out to prove.

PROPOSITION 2 Extension is an attribute of God; i.e., God is an extended thing.

Proof This Proposition is proved in the same way as the preceding proposition .

PROPOSITION 3 In God there is necessarily the idea both of his essence and of everything that nec­ essarily follows {rom his essence.

Proof For God can (Pr. l , II) th ink infinite things in infinite ways, or (what is the same thing, by Pro 1 6, I) can form the idea of his own essence and of everything that necessarily follows from it. But all that is in God's power necessarily exists (Pr. 35, I ) . Therefore, such an idea necessarily exists, and only in God (Pr. 1 5 , I) .

Scholium By God's power the common people understand free will and God's right over all th ings that are, which things are therefore commonly cons idered as contingent. They say that God has power to destroy everything and bring it to nothing. Furthermore, they frequently compare God's power with that of kings. But this doctrine we have refuted in Corso I and 2, Pr. 32, I; and in Pr. 1 6, I, we proved that God acts by the same necessity whereby he understands himself; that is, j ust as it follows from the necessity of the divine Nature (as i s universally agreed) that God understands himself, by that same necessity it also follows that God acts infinitely in infinite ways. Again, we showed in Pr. 34, I that God's power is noth­ ing but God's essence in action, and so it is as impossible for us to conceive that God does not act as that God does not exist. Furthermore if one wished to pursue the matter, I could easily show here that the power that common people assign to God is not only a human power (which shows that they conceive God as a man or l ike a man) but also involves negation of power. But I am reluctant to hold forth

246 Ethics

so often on the same subject. I merely request the reader most earnestly to reflect again and again on what we said on this subject in Part I from Proposition 16 to the end. For nobody will rightly apprehend what I am trying to say unless he takes great care not to confuse God's power with a king's human power or right.

PROPOSITION 4 The idea of God, {rom which infinite things follow in infinite ways, must be one, and one only.

Proof Infinite intellect comprehends nothing but the attributes of God and h is affections (Pr. 30, I). But God is one, and one only (Cor. I , Pro 14 , I). Therefore, the idea of God, from which infinite things follow in infinite ways, must be one, and one only.

PROPOSITION 5 The formal being' of ideas recogniiZes God as its cause only insofar as he is consid­ ered as a thinking thing, and not insofar as he is explicated by any other attribute; that is, the ideas both of God's attributes and of individual things recognize as their efficient cause not the things of which they are ideas, that is, the things perceived, but God himself insofar as he is a thinking thing.

Proof This is evident from Pro 3, II. For there our conclusion that God can form the idea of h is own essence and of everything that necessarily follows therefrom was inferred solely from God's being a thinking thing, and not from his being the object of his own idea. Therefore, the formal being of ideas recognizes God as its cause insofar as he is a thinking thing. But there is another proof, as follows. The formal being of ideas is a mode of th inking (as is self-evident); that is (Cor. Pro 2 5 , I ) , a mode which expresses in a definite manner the nature of God insofar a s he i s a thinking thing, and so does no t involve (Pr. 1 0, I) the conception of any other attribute of God. Consequently (Ax. 4, I), it is the effect of no other attribute but thought; and so the formal being of ideas recognizes God as its cause only inso­ far as he is considered as a thinking thing.

PROPOSITION 6 The modes of any attribute have God for their cause only insofar as he is considered under that attribute, and not insofar as he is considered under any other attribute.

Proof Each attribute is conceived through itself independently of any other (Pr. 1 0, I). Therefore, the modes of any attribute involve the conception of their own attribute, and not that of any other. Therefore, they have God for their cause only insofar as he is considered under the attribute of which they are modes, and not insofar as he is considered under any other attribute (Ax. 4, I).

Corollary Hence it follows that the formal being of things that are not modes of thinking does not follow from the nature of God by reason of h is first having

1 [ I e , their eXIStence as Ideas -M L.M ]

Part II, Proposition 7 247

known them; rather, the objects of ideas follow and are inferred from their own attributes in the same way and by the same necessity as we have shown ideas to follow from the attribute of Thought.

PROPOSITION 7 The order and connection of ideas is the same as the order and connection of things.

Proof This is evident from Ax. 4, I; for the idea of what is caused depends on the knowledge of the cause of which it is the effect.

Corollary Hence it follows that God's power of th inking is on par with h is power of acting. That is, whatever follows formally from the infinite nature of God, all this follows from the idea of God as an object of thought in God according to the same order and connection.

Scholium At this poin t, before proceeding further, we should recall to mind what I have demonstrated above-that whatever can be perceived by infinite in­ tellect as constituting the essence of substance pertains entirely to the one sole substance. Consequently, th inking substance and extended substance are one and the same substance, comprehended now under th is attribute, now under that. So, too, a mode of Extension and the idea of that mode are one and the same thing, expressed in two ways. This truth seems to have been gl impsed by some of the Hebrews,2 who hold that God, God's intellect, and the things un­ derstood by God are one and the same. For example, a circle existing in Nature and the idea of the existing circle-which is also in God-are one and the same thing, expl icated through different attributes. And so, whether we conceive Na­ ture under the attribute of Extension or under the attribute of Though t or under any other attribute, we find one and the same order, or one and the same con­ nection of causes- that is, the same th ings following one another. When I said that God is the cause, e.g. , of the idea of a circle only insofar as he is a thinking thing, and of a circle only insofar as he is an extended thing, my reason was sim­ ply this, that the formal being of the idea of a circle can be perceived only through another mode of th inking as its proximate cause, and that mode through another, and so ad infinitum, with the resul t that as long as things are considered as modes of thought, we must expl icate the order of the whole of Nature, or the connec­ tion of causes, through the attribute of Thought alone; and insofar as th ings are considered as modes of Extension, again the order of the whole of Nature must be explicated through the attribute of Extension only. The same appl ies to other attributes. Therefore God, insofar as he consists of infinite attributes, is in fact the cause of th ings as they are in themselves. For the present, I cannot give a clearer explanation.

2 [The reference IS most hkely to Moses Malmomdes. The Guide of tits Perplexed, Part 1 , Chapter 68 -5 F ]

Lenovo
Highlight

248 Ethics

PROPOSITION 8 The ideas of nonexisting individual things or modes must be comprehended in the infinite idea of God in the same way as the fonnal essences of individual things or modes are contained in the attributes of God.

Proof This proposition is obvious from the preceding one, but may be under­ stood more clearly from the preceding Schol ium.

Corollary Hence it follows that as l ong as individual things do not exist except insofar as they are comprehended in the attributes of God, their being as objects of thought- that is, their ideas- do not exist except insofar as the infinite idea of God exists; and when individual things are sa id to exist not only insofar as they are comprehended in the attributes of God but also insofar as they are said to have duration, their ideas also will involve the existence through which they are said to have duration.

Scholium Should anyone want an example for a clearer understanding of th is matter, I can think of none at all that would adequately explicate the point with

which I am here dealing, for it has no parallel. Still, I shall

G try to illustrate it as best I can . The nature of a circle is such that the rectangles formed from the segmen ts of its intersecting chords are equal . Hence an infinite number

D E of equal rectangles a re contained in a circle, but none of them can be said to exist except insofar as the circle ex­ ists, nor again can the idea of any one of these rectangles be said to exist except insofar as it is comprehended in the idea of the circle. Now of this infinite number of inter­

secting chords let two, E and 0, exist. Now indeed their ideas also exist not only insofar as they are merely comprehended in the idea of the circle but also insofar as they involve the existence of those rectangles, with the resul t that they are dis­ tinguished from the other ideas of the other rectangles.

PROPOSITION 9 The idea of an individual thing existing in actuality has God for its cause not in­ sofar as he is infinite but insofar as he is considered as affected by another idea of a thing existing in actuality, of which God is the cause insofar as he is affected by a third idea, and so ad infinitum.

Proof The idea of an individual actually existing thing is an individual mode of th inking distinct from other modes (Cor. and Sch. Pr. 8, II), and so (Pr. 6, II) it has God as its cause only insofar as he is a th inking thing. But not (Pr. 28, I) in­ sofar as he is a th inking thing absolutely, but insofar as he is considered as affected by another definite mode of th inking. And of th is latter God is also the cause in­ sofar as he is affected by another definite mode of th inking, and so ad infinitum. But the order and connection of ideas is the same as the order and connection of causes (Pr. 7, II) . Therefore, an individual idea is caused by another idea; i .e . , God

Part II, Proposition 10 249

insofar as he is considered as affected by another idea. And this last idea is caused by God, insofar as he is affected by yet another idea, and so ad infinitum.

Corollary Whatsoever happens in the individual object of any idea, knowledge of it is in God only insofar as he has the idea of that object.

Proof Whatsoever happens in the object of any idea, the idea of it is in God (Pr. 3, II) not insofar as he is infinite, but insofar as he is considered as affected by an­ other idea of an individual thing (preceding Pr. ) . But the order and connection of ideas is the same as the order and connection of thing. (Pr. 7, II) . Therefore, the knowledge of what happens in an individual object is in God only insofar as he has the idea of that object.

PROPOSITION 1 0 The being of substance does not pertain to the essence of man; i.e., substance does not constitute the form [forma] of man.

Proof The being of substance involves necessary existence (Pr. 7, I). So if the being of substance pertained to the essence of man, man would necessarily be granted together with the granting of substance (Def. 2, II) and consequently man would necessarily exist, which is absurd (Ax. I, II). Therefore . . . etc.

Scholium This Proposition is also proved from Pr. 5, I , which states that there cannot be two substances of the same nature. Now since many men can exist, that which constitutes the form of man is not the being of substance. This Proposition is furthermore evident from the other properties of substance- that substance is by its own nature infinite, immutable, indivisible, etc . , as everyone can easily see.

Corollary Hence it follows that the essence of man is constituted by definite modifications of the attributes of God.

Proof For the being of substance does not perta in to the essence of man (pre­ ceding Pr. ) , which must therefore be someth ing that is in God, and which can neither be nor be conceived without God; i .e . , an affection or mode (Cor. Pro 2 5 , I ) which expresses the nature o f God in a definite and determinate way.

Scholium All must surely admit that nothing can be or be conceived without God. For all are agreed that God is the sole cause of all th ings, both of their essence and oftheir existence; that is, God is the cause of things not only in respect of their coming into being [secundum fieri ] , as they say, but also in respect of their being. But at the same time many assert that that without which a thing can neither be nor be conceived pertains to the essence of the thing, and so they believe that ei­ ther the nature of God pertains to the essence of created things or that created things can either be or be conceived without God; or else, more probably, they hold no consistent opinion . I th ink that the reason for this is their failure to ob­ serve the proper order of philosoph ical inquiry. For the divine nature, which they should have considered before all else- it being prior both in cognition and in

250 Ethics

Nature- they have taken to be last in the order of cognition, and the th ings that are called objects of sense they have taken as prior to everyth ing. Hence it has come about that in considering natural phenomena, they have completely disre­ garded the divine nature. And when thereafter they turned to the contemplation of the divine natu re, they could find no place in their th inking for those fictions on which they had built their natural science, since these fictions were of no avail in attaining knowledge of the divine nature. So it is l i ttle wonder that they have contradicted themselves on all s ides.

But 1 pass over these points, for my present purpose is restricted to expla in­ ing why I have not said tha t that without which a th ing can neither be nor be perceived pertains to the essence of the thing. My reason is that individual th ings can neither be nor be conceived without God, and yet God does not per­ tain to their essence. But I did say that that necessarily constitutes the essence of a th ing which, when posited, posits the th ing, and by the annull ing of which the th ing is annulled; i .e., that without which the thing can neither be nor be conceived, and vice versa, that which can neither be nor be conceived without the th ing.

PROPOSITION 1 1 That which constitutes the actual being of the human mind is basically nothing else but the idea of an individual actually existing thing.

Proof The essence of man (Cor. Pro 10 , II) is constituted by definite modes of the attributes of God, to wit (Ax. 2, II), modes of thinking. Of all these modes the idea is prior in natu re (Ax. 3, II), and when the idea is granted, the other modes­ modes to which the idea is prior by nature- must be in the same individual (Ax. 3, II) . And so the idea is that which baSically constitutes the being of the human mind. But not the idea of a nonexisting thing; for then (Cor. Pr. 8, II) the idea it­ self could not be said to exist. Therefore, it is the idea of an actually existing th ing. But not the idea of an infinite thing, for an infinite th ing (Prs. 21 and 22, I) must always necessarily exist, and this is absurd (Ax. I, II). Therefore, that which first constitutes the actual being of the human mind is the idea of an individual actu­ ally existing thing.

Corollary Hence it follows that the human mind is part of the infinite intellect of God; and therefore when we say that the human mind perceives this or that, we are saying noth ing else but this: that God - not insofar as he is infinite but in­ sofar as he is explicated through the nature of the human mind, that is, insofar as he constitutes the essence of the human mind-has this or that idea. And when we say that God has this or that idea not only insofar as he constitutes the essence of the human mind but also insofar as he has the idea of another th ing simulta­ neously with the human mind, then we are saying that the human mind perceives a th ing partially or inadequately.

Scholium At this point our readers will no doubt find themselves in some diffi­ culty and will think of many things that will give them pause. So 1 ask them to

Part II, Proposition 1 3 2 5 1

proceed slowly step b y step with me, a n d to postpone judgment until they have read to the end.

PROPOSITION 1 2 Whatever happens in the obiect of the idea constituting the human mind is bound to be perceived by the human mind; i .e. , the idea of that thing will necessarily be in the human mind. That is to say, if the obiect of the idea constituting the human mind is a body, nothing can happen in that body without its being perceived by the mind.

Proof Whatever happens in the object of any idea, knowledge thereof is neces­ sarily in God (Cor. Pro 9, II) insofar as he is considered as affected by the idea of that object; that is (Pr. I I , II), insofar as he constitutes the mind of something. So whatever happens in the object of the idea constituting the human mind, knowl­ edge thereof is necessarily in God insofar as he constitutes the nature of the hu­ man mind; that is (Cor. Pro I I , II), knowledge of that th ing is necessarily in the mind; i .e . , the mind perceives it.

Scholium This Proposition is also obvious, and is more clearly understood from Sch . Pro 7, II, above.

PROPOSITION 1 3 The obiect of the idea constituting the human mind is the body-i.e., a definite mode of extension actually existing, and nothing else.

Proof If the body were not the object of the human mind, the ideas of the af­ fections of the body would not be in God (Cor. Pro 9, II) insofar as he constitutes our mind, but insofar as he constitutes the mind of another thing; that is (Cor. Pr. I I , II), the ideas of the affections of the body would not be in our mind. But (Ax. 4, II) we do have ideas of the affections of a body. Therefore, the object of the idea constituting the human mind is a body, a body actually existing (Pr. I I , II). Again, if there were another object of the mind apart from the body, since nothing exists from which some effect does not follow (Pr. 36, I), there would necessarily have to be in our mind the idea of some effect of it (Pr. 1 2 , II). But (Ax. 5, II) there is no such idea. Therefore, the object of our mind is an existing body, and noth ing else.

Corollary Hence it follows that man consists of mind and body, and the human body exists according as we sense i t.

Scholium From the above we understand not only that the human Mind is united to the Body but also what is to be understood by the union of Mind and Body. But nobody can understand this union adequately or distinctly unless he first gains adequate knowledge of the nature of our body. For what we have so far demonstrated is of quite general appl ication, and appl ies to men no more than to other individuals, which are all animate, albeit in different degrees. For there is necessarily in God an idea of each thing whatever, of which idea God is the cause in the same way as he is the cause of the idea of the human body. And so what-

252 Ethics

ever we have asserted of the idea of the human body must necessarily be asserted of the idea of each thing. Yet we cannot deny, too, that ideas differ among them­ selves as do their objects, and that one is more excellen t and contains more real­ ity than another, j ust as the object of one idea is more excellent than that of another and contains more reality. Therefore, in order to determine the differ­ ence between the human mind and others and in what way it surpasses them, we have to know the nature of its object (as we have said), that is, the nature of the human body. Now I cannot here explain th is nature, nor is it essential for the points that I intend to demonstrate. But I will make this general assertion, that in proportion as a body is more apt than other bodies to act or be acted upon simul­ taneously in many ways, so is its mind more apt than other minds to perceive many things simul taneously; and in proportion as the actions of one body depend on it­ self alone and the less that other bodies concur with it in its actions, the more apt is its mind to understand distinctly. From this we can real ize the superiority of one mind over others, and we can furthermore see why we have only a very confused knowledge of our body, and many other fucts wh ich I shall deduce from this ba­ sis in what follows. Therefore, I have thought it worthwhile to explicate and demonstrate these things more carefully. To this end there must be a brief pref­ ace concerning the nature of bodies.

Axiom 1 All bodies are either in motion or at rest. Axiom 2 Each single body can move at varying speeds. Lemma 1 Bodies are distinguished from one another in respect of motion-and­ rest, quickness and slowness, and not in respect of substance.

Proof The first part of this Lemma I take to be self-evident. As to bodies not be­ ing distinguished in respect of substance, this is evident from both Pr. 5 and Pr. 8, Part I, and still more clearly from Sch. Pro 1 5 , Part I.

Lemma 2 All bodies agree in certain respects. Proof All bodies agree in this, that they involve the conception of one and the same attribute (Def I , II), and also in that they may move at varying speeds, and may be absolutely in motion or absolutely at rest.

Lemma 3 A body in motion or at rest must have been determined to motion or rest by another body, which l ikewise has been determined to motion or rest by an­ other body, and that body by another, and so ad infinitum.

Proof Bodies are individual thing> (Def I, II) which are distinguished from one another in respect of motion-and-rest (Lemma I) , and so (Pr. 28, I) each body must have been determined to motion or rest by another individual thing, namely, another body (Pr. 6, II), which is also in motion or at rest (Ax. I ) . But this body again-by the same reasoning- could not have been in motion or at rest unless it had been determined to motion or rest by another body, and this body again­ by the same reasoning-by another body, and so on, ad infinitum.

Part II, Proposition 1 3 2 5 3

Corollary Hence it follows that a body in motion will continue to move until it is determined to rest by another body, and a body at rest continues to be at rest un­ til i t is determined to move by another body. This, too, is self-evident; for when I suppose, for example, that a body A is at rest and I give no consideration to other moving bodies, I can assert nothing about body A but that it is at rest. Now if it should thereafter happen that body A is in motion, th is surely could not have re­ sulted from the fact that it was at rest; for from that fact nothing else could have followed than that body A should be at rest. If on the other hand A were supposed to be in motion, as l ong as we consider only A, we can affirm nothing of it but that it is in motion. If it should thereafter happen that A should be at rest, th is surely could not have resulted from its previous motion; for from its motion nothing else could have followed but that A was in motion. So this comes about from a thing that was not in A, namely, an external cause by wh ich the moving body A was de­ termined to rest.

Axiom I All the ways in which a body is affected by another body follow from the nature of the affected body together with the nature of the body affecting it, so that one and the same body may move in various ways in accordance with the various natures of the bodies causing its motion; and, on the other hand, different bodies may be caused to move in different ways by one and the same body.

Axiom 2 When a moving body coll ides with a body at restand is unable to cause i t to move, it is reflected so as to continue its motion, and the angle between the line of motion of the reflection B and the plane of the body at rest with which it has col-l ided is equal to the angle between the l ine of incidence of motion and the said plane. So far we have been discussing the simplest bodies, those which are distinguished from one another solely by motion-and-rest, qUickness and slowness. Now let us advance to composite bodies.

Definition When a number of bodies of the same or different magnitude form close contact with one another through the pressure of other bodies upon them, or if they are moving at the same or different rates of speed so as to preserve an unvarying relation of movement among themselves, these bodies are said to be united with one another and all together to form one body or individual th ing, which is distinguished from other things through this union of bodies.

Axiom 3 The degree of difficulty with which the parts of an individual th ing or composite body can be made to change their position and consequently the de­ gree of difficulty with which the individual takes on different shapes is propor­ tional to the extent of the surn.ce areas along which they are in close contact. Hence bodies whose parts maintain close contact along large areas of their sur­ faces I term hard; those whose parts maintain contact along small surface areas I term soft, while those whose parts are in a state of motion among themselves I term liquid.

254 Ethics

Lemma 4 Iffrom a body, or an individual thing composed ofa number of bod­ ies, certa in bodies are separated, and at the same time a l ike number of other bod­ ies of the same nature take their place, the individual th ing will retain its nature as before, without any change in its form [{onna] .

Proof Bodies a re no t distinguished in respect of substance (Lemma I ) . That which constitu tes the form of the individual th ing consists in a union of bodies (preceding definition). But this union, by hypothesis, is retained in spite of the continuous change of component bodies. Therefore, the individual th ing will re­ tain its own nature as before, both in respect of substance and of mode.

Lemma 5 If the parts of an individual th ing become greater or smaller, but so proportionately that they all preserve the same mutual relation of motion-and-rest as before, the individual th ing will l ikewise reta in its own nature as before with­ out any change in its form.

Proof The reasoning is the same as in the preceding Lemma.

Lemma 6 If certain bodies composing an individual th ing are made to change the existing direction of their motion, but in such a way that they can continue their motion and keep the same mutual relation as before, the individual th ing will l ikewise preserve its own nature without any change of form.

Proof This is evident; for, by hypothesis, the individual th ing retains all that we, in defining it, asserted as constituting its form.

Lemma 7 Furthermore, the individual thing so composed reta ins its own na­ ture, whether as a whole it is moving or at rest, and in whatever direction it moves, provided that each constituent part retains its own motion and continues to com­ municate this motion to the other parts.

Proof This is evident from its definition, which you will find preceding Lemma 4.

Scholium We thus see how a composite individual can be affected in many ways and yet preserve its nature. Now previously we have conceived an individual th ing composed solely of bodies distingu ished from one another only by motion­ and-rest and speed of movement; that is, an individual th ing composed of the s im­ plest bodies. If we now conceive another individual thing composed of several individual things of different natures, we shall find that this can be affected in many other ways while still preserving its nature. For s ince each one of its parts is composed of several bodies, each single part can therefore (preceding Lemma), without any change in i ts nature, move with varying degrees of speed and conse­ quently communicate its own motion to other parts with varying degrees of speed. Now if we go on to conceive a th ird kind of individual things composed of this second kind, we shall find that it can be affected in many other ways without any

Part II, Proposition 1 5 2 5 5

change i n its form. I f w e thus continue t o infinity, w e shall readily conceive the whole of Nature as one individual whose parts- that is, all the constituent bodies­ vary in infinite ways without any change in the individual as a whole.

If my intention had been to write a full treatise on body, I should have had to expand my expl ications and demonstrations. But I have already declared a differ­ ent intention, and the only reason for my dealing with this subject is that I may readily deduce therefrom what I have set out to prove.

P os tula tes

I . The human body is composed of very many individual parts of different na­ tures, each of which is extremely complex.

2 . Of the individual components of the human body, some are l iquid, some are soft, and some are hard.

3 . The individual components of the human body, and consequently the hu­ man body itself, are affected by external bodies in a great many ways.

4. The human body needs for its preservation a great many other bodies, by which, as it were [quasi], i t is continually regenerated.

5. When a l iquid part of the human body is determined by an external body to impinge frequently on another part which is soft, i t changes the surface of that part and impresses on it certain traces of the external body acting upon i t.

6 . The human body can move external bodies and dispose them in a great many ways.

PROPOSITION 1 4 The human mind is capable o f perceiving a great many things, and this capacity will vary in proportion to the variety of states which its body can assume.

Proof The human body (Posts. 3 and 6) is affected by external bodies in a great many ways and is so structured that it can affect external bodies in a great many ways. But the human mind must perceive all that happens in the human body (Pr. 12, II). Therefore, the human mind is capable of perceiving very many things, and . . . etc.

PROPOSITION 1 5 The idea which constitutes the formal being of the human mind is not simple, but composed of very many ideas.

Proof The idea which constitutes the formal being of the human mind is the idea of the body (Pr. 1 3, II), which is composed of a great number of very com­ posite individual parts (Postulate I ) . But in God there is necessarily the idea of every individual component part (Cor. Pro 8, II) . Therefore (Pr. 7, II), the idea of the human body is composed of these many ideas of the component parts.

256 Ethics

PROPOSITION 1 6 The idea of any mode wherein the human body is affected by external bodies must involve the nature of the human body together with the nature of the external body.

Proof All the modes wherein a body is affected follow from the nature of the body affected together with the nature of the affecting body (Ax. I after Cor. Lemma 3). Therefore, the idea of these modes will necessarily involve the nature of both bodies (Ax. 4, I). So the idea of any mode wherein the human body is af­ fected by an external body involves the nature of the human body and the exter­ nal body.

Corollary 1 Hence it follows that the human mind perceives the nature of very many bodies along with the nature of its own body.

Corollary 2 Secondly, the ideas that we have of external bodies indicate the con­ stitution of our own body more than the nature of external bodies. This I have ex­ plained with many examples in Appendix, Part I .

PROPOSITION 1 7 If the human body is affected in a way [modo] that involves the nature of some ex­ ternal body, the human mind will regard that same external body as actually exist­ ing, or as present to itself, until the human body undergoes a further modification which excludes the existence or presence of the said body.

Proof This is evident; for as long as the human body is thus affected, so long will the human mind (Pr. 12, II) regard this affection of the body; that is (by the pre­ ceding Proposition), so long will it have the idea of a mode existing in actuality, an idea involving the nature of an external body; that is, an idea which does not exclude but posits the existence or presence of the nature of the external body. So the mind (Cor. I of the preceding proposition) will regard the external body as ac­ tually existing, or as present, until . . . etc.

Corollary The mind is able to regard as present external bodies by which the human body has been once affected, even if they do not exist and are not present.

Proof When external bodies so determine the fluid parts ofthe human body that these frequently impinge on the softer paris, they change the surfaces of these softer paris (Post. 5 ) . Hence it comes about (Ax. 2 after Cor. Lemma 3) that the fluid paris are reflected therefrom in a manner different from what was previously the case; and thereafter, again coming into contact with the said changed surfuces in the course of their own spontaneous motion, they are reflected in the same way as when they were impelled toward those surfaces by external bodies. Conse­ quently, in continuing this reflected motion they affect the human body in the same manner, which manner will again be the object of thought in the mind (Pr. 1 2 , II); that is (Pr. 1 7, II), the mind will again regard the external body as present. This will be repeated whenever the fluid parts of the human body come into con­ tact with those same surfuces in the course of their own spontaneous motion. Therefore, although the external bodies by wh ich the human body has once been

Part II, Proposition 18 2 57

affected may no longer exist, the mind will regard them as present whenever th is activity of the body is repeated.

Scholium So we see how it comes about that we regard as present things which are not so, as often happens. Now it is possible that there are other causes for this fact, but it is enough for me at this point to have indicated one cause through which I can explicate the matter j ust as if I had demonstrated it through ill; true cause. Yet I do not think that I am far from the truth , since all the postulates that I have assumed contain scarcely anything inconsistent with experience; and after demonstrating that the human body exisll; just as we sense it (Cor. Pro 1 3 , II), we may not doubt experience.

In addition (preceding Cor. and Cor. 2 Pr. 1 6, II), this gives a clear under­ standing of the difference between the idea, e.g., of Peter wh ich constitutes the essence of Peter's mind, and on the other hand the idea of Peter which is in an­ other man, say Paul. The former directly explicates the essence of Peter's body, and does not involve existence except as l ong as Peter exisll;. The latter indicates the constitution of Paul's body rather than the nature of Peter; and so, while that constitution of Paul's body continues to be, Paul's mind will regard Peter as pres­ ent to him although Peter may not be in existence. Further, to retain the usual terminology, we will assign the word " images" [imagines] to those affections of the human body the ideas of which set forth external bodies as if they were present to us, although they do not represent shapes. And when the mind regards bodies in this way, we shall say that it "imagines" [imaginari ] .

At this poin t, to begin my analysis of error, I should l ike you to note that the imaginations of the mind, looked at in themselves, contain no error; i .e. , the mind does not err from the fact that it imagines, but only insofar as it is considered to lack the idea which excludes the existence of those things which it imagines to be present to ill;elf. For if the mind, in imagining nonexisting things to be present to it, knew at the same time that those things did not exist in fact, it would surely im­ pute this power of imagining not to the defect but to the strength of ill; own nature, especially if this faculty of imagining were to depend solely on ill; own nature; that i s (Def. 7, I ) , if this faculty of imagining were free.

PROPOSITION 1 8 If the human body has once been affected by two or more bodies at the same time, when the mind afterward imagines one of them, it will straightway remember the others too.

Proof The mind imagines (preceding Cor.) any given body for the following reason, that the human body is affected and conditioned by the impressions of an external body in the same way as i t was affected when certa in of i ll; parll; were acted upon by the external body. But, by hypothesis, the human mind was at that time conditioned in such a way that the mind imagined two bodies at the same time. Therefore, it will now also imagine two bodies at the same time, and the mind, in imagining one of them, will stra ightway remember the other as well.

258 Ethics

Scholium Hence we clearly understand what memory is. It is simply a l inking of ideas involving the nature of th ings outside the human body, a l inking which occurs in the mind parallel to the order and l inking of the affections of the hu­ man body. I say, firstly, that i t is only the l inking of those ideas that involve the na­ ture of things outside the human body, not of those ideas that explicate the nature of the said things. For they are in fact (Pr. 16, II) ideas of the affections of the hu­ man body which involve the nature both of the human body and of external bod­ ies. Secondly, my purpose in saying that th is l inking occurs in accordance with the order and l inking of the affections of the human body is to distinguish it from the l inking of ideas in accordance with the order ofthe intellect whereby the mind perceives things through their first causes, and which is the same in all men.

Furthermore, from this we clearly understand why the mind, from th inking of one thing, should straightway pass on to th inking of another th ing which has no l ikeness to the first. For example, from th inking of the word "pomum" [apple] a Roman will straightway fall to th inking of the fruit, which has no l ikeness to that articulated sound nor anything in common with it other than that the man's body has often been affected by them both; that is, the man has often heard the word "pomum" while seeing the fruit. So everyone will pass on from one thought to an­ other according as habit in each case has arranged the images in h is body. A sol­ dier, for example, seeing the tracks of a horse in the sand will straightway pass on from th inking of the horse to th inking of the rider, and then thinking of war, and so on. But a peasant, from thinking of a horse, will pass on to th inking of a plough , and of a field, and so on. So every person will pass on from thinking of one thing to thinking of another according as he is in the habit of j oining together and link­ ing the images of things in various ways.

PROPOSITION 1 9 The human mind has n o knowledge of the body, nor does i t know i t to exist, except through ideas of the affections Iry which the body is affected.

Proof The human mind is the very idea or knowledge of the human body (Pr. 1 3 , II), and this idea is in God (Pr. 9, II) insofar as he is considered as affected by another idea of a particular thing; or, since (Post. 4) the human body needs very many other bodies by which it is continually regenerated, and the order and con­ nection of ideas is the same (Pr. 7, 11) as the order and connection of causes, this idea is in God insofar as he is considered as affected by the ideas of numerous par­ ticular things. Therefore, God has the idea of the human body, or knows the hu­ man body, insofar as he is affected by numerous other ideas, and not insofar as he constitutes the nature of the human mind; that is (Cor. Pro 1 1 , 11), the human mind does not know the human body. But the ideas of the affections of the body are in God insofar as he does constitute the nature of human mind; i .e . , the human mind perceives these affections (Pr. 12 , II) and consequently perceives the human body (Pr. 16, II), and perceives it as actually existing (Pr. 17, II) . Therefore, it is only to that extent that the human mind perceives the human body.

Part II, Proposition 22 259

PROPOSITION 20 There is also in God the idea or knowledge of the human mind, and this follows in God and is related to God in the same way as the idea or knowledge of the human body.

Proof Thought is an attribute of God (Pr. I , II), and so (Pr. 3 , II) the idea of both Thought and its affections-and consequently of the human mind as well -must necessarily be in God. N ow this idea or knowledge of the mind does not follow in God insofar as he is infinite, but insofar as he is affected by another idea of a par­ ticular th ing (Pr. 9, II). But the order and connection of ideas is the same as the order and connection of causes (Pr. 7, II) . Therefore, the idea or knowledge of the mind follows in God and is related to God in the same way as the idea or knowl­ edge of the body.

PROPOSITION 2 1 This idea of the mind is united to the mind i n the same way as the mind is united to the body.

Proof That the mind is united to the body we have shown from the fact that the body is the object of the mind (Prs. 12 and 1 3 , II), and so by the same reasoning the idea of the mind must be united to its object- that is, to the mind itself- in the same way as the mind is united to the body.

Scholium This proposition is understood far more clearly from Sch. Pro 7, II. There we showed that the idea of the body and the body itself- that is (Pr. 1 3 , II), mind and body-are one and the same individual thing, conceived now under the attribute of Thought and now under the attribute of Extension. Therefore, the idea of the mind and the mind itself are one and the same thing, conceived under one and the same attribute, namely, Thought. The idea of the mind, I repeat, and the mind itself follow in God by the same necessity and from the same power of thought. For in fact the idea of the mind -that is, the idea of an idea- is nothing other than the form [fonna] of the idea insofar as the idea is considered as a mode of thinking without relation to its object. For as soon as anyone knows someth ing, by that very fact he knows that he knows, and at the same time he knows that he knows that he knows, and so on ad infinitum. But I will deal with this subject later.

PROPOSITION 22 The human mind perceives not only the affections of the body but also the ideas of these affections.

Proof The ideas of ideas of affections follow in God and are related to God in the same way as ideas of affections, which can be proved in the same manner as Pr. 20, II. But the ideas of affections of the body are in the human mind (Pr. 1 2 , II); that i s (Cor. Pr. I I , II), in God insofar a s he constitutes the essence o f the hu­ man mind. Therefore, the ideas of these ideas will be in God insofar as he has knowledge or the idea of the human mind; that is (Pr. 2 1 , II), they will be in the

260 Ethics

human mind itself, which therefore perceives not only the affections of the body but also the ideas of these affections.

PROPOSITION 2 3 The mind does not know itself except insofar as i t perceives ideas of affections of the body.

Proof The idea or knowledge of the mind (Pr. 20, II) follows in God and is re­ lated to God in the same way as the idea or knowledge of the body. But since (Pr. 19, II) the human mind does not know the human body- that is (Cor. Pro I I , II), since the knowledge of the human body is not related to God insofar as he consti­ tutes the nature of the human mind- therefore, neither is knowledge of the mind related to God insofar as he constitutes the essence of the human mind. And so (Cor. Pr. I I , II) the human mind to that extent does not know itself. Again, the ideas ofthe affections by which the body is affected involve the nature of the human body (Pr. 16, II); that is (Pr. 1 3 , II), they are in agreement [conveniunt] with the nature of the mind. Therefore, the knowledge of these ideas will necessarily involve knowl­ edge of the mind. But (preceding Pr.) the knowledge of these ideas is in the human mind. Therefore, the human mind knows itself but only to that extent.

PROPOSITION 24 The human mind does not involve an adequate knowledge of the component parts of the human body.

Proof The component parts of the human body do not perta in to the essence of the body itself save insofar as they preserve an unvarying relation of motion with one another (Def. after Cor. Lemma 3), and not insofar as they can be considered as individual thing. apart from their relation to the human body. For the parts of the human body (Post. I) are very composite individual th ing., whose parts can be separated from the human body (Lemma 4) without impairing in any way its nature and specific reality [forma 1. and can establish a quite different relation of motion with other bodies (Ax. I after Lemma 3). Therefore (Pr. 3, II), the idea or knowledge of any component part will be in God, and will be so (Pr. 9, II) inso­ far as he is considered as affected by another idea of a particular th ing, a particu­ lar th ing which is prior in Nature's order to the part itself (Pr. 7, II). Further, the same holds good of any part of an individual component part of the human body, and so of any component part of the human body there is knowledge in God in­ sofar as he is affected by very many ideas of th ing., and not insofar as he has the idea only of the human body, that is (Pr. 1 3 , II), the idea that constitutes the na­ ture of the human mind. So (Cor. Pr. I I , II) the human mind does not involve adequate knowledge of the component parts of the human body.

PROPOSITION 2 5 The idea o f any affection of the human body does not involve a n adequare knowl­ edge of an external body.

Part II, Proposition 28 261

Proof We have shown that the idea of an affection of the human body involves the nature of an external body insofar as the external body determines the human body in some definite way (Pc. 1 6, II). But insofar as the external body is an indi­ vidual th ing that is not related to the human body, the idea or knowledge of it is in God (Pr. 9, II) insofur as God is considered as affected by the idea of another th ing which is (Pc. 7 , II) prior in nature to the said external body. Therefore, an adequate knowledge of the external body is not in God insofar as he has the idea of an affection ofthe human body; i .e . , the idea of an affection ofthe human body does not involve an adequate knowledge of an external body.

PROPOSITION 26 The human mind does not perceive any external body as actually existing except through the ideas of affections of its own body.

Proof If the human body is not affected in any way by an external body, then (Pr. 7, II) neither is the idea of the human body- that is (Pc. 1 3 , II), the human mind-affected in any way by the idea of the existence of that body; i .e., it does not in any way perceive the existence of that external body. But insofur as the hu­ man body is affected in some way by an external body, to that extent i t perceives the external body (Pr. 16, II, with Cor. I ) .

Corollary Insofar a s the human mind imagines [imaginatur] an external body, to that extent it does not have an adequate knowledge of it.

Proof When the human mind regards external bodies through the ideas of af­ fections of its own body, we say that it imagines [imaginatur] (see Sch. Pro 1 7 , II), and in no other way can the mind imagine external bodies as actually existing (preceding Pr.). Therefore, insofur as the mind imagines external bodies (Pr. 2 5 , II), i t does no t have adequate knowledge o f them.

PROPOSITION 27 The idea of any affection of the human body does not involve adequate !mowledge of the human body.

Proof Any idea whatsoever of any affection of the human body involves the na­ ture of the human body only to the extent that the human body is considered to be affected in some definite way (Pr. 1 6, II) . But insofar as the human body is an individual th ing that can be affected in many other ways, the idea . . . etc . (see Proof Pr. 2 5 , II).

PROPOSITION 28 The ideas of the affections of the human body, insofar as they are related only to the human mind, are not clear and distinct, but confused.

Proof The ideas of the affections of the human body involve the nature both of external bodies and of the human body itself (Pr. 1 6, II) , and must involve the na­ ture not only of the human body bu t also of its parts. For affections are modes in

262 Ethics

which parts of the human body (Post. 3) , and consequently the body as a whole, are affected. But (Prs. 24 and 2 5 , II) an adequate knowledge of external bodies, as also of the component parts of the human body, is not in God insofar as he is con­ s idered as affected by the human mind, but insofar as he is considered as affected by other ideas. Therefore, these ideas of affections, insofar as they are related only to the human mind, are l ike conclusions without premises; that is, as is self­ evident, confused ideas.

Scholium The idea that constitutes the nature of the human mind is likewise shown, when considered solely in itself, not to be clear and distinct, as is also the idea of the human mind and the ideas of affections of the human body insofar as they are related only to the human mind, as everyone can easily see.

PROPOSITION 29 The idea of the idea of any affection of the human body does not involve adequate knowledge of the human mind.

Proof The idea of an affection of the human body (Pr. 27, II) does not involve adequate knowledge of the body itself; in other words, it does not adequately express the nature of the body; that is (Pr. 1 3 , II), it does not adequately agree [con­ venit] with the nature of the mind. So (Ax. 6, I) the idea of this idea does not adequately express the nature of the human mind; i .e., it does not involve an ade­ quate knowledge of it.

Corollary Hence it follows that whenever the human mind perceives things af­ ter the common order of nature, it does not have an adequate knowledge of itself, nor of its body, nor of external bodies, but only a confused and fragmentary knowl­ edge. For the mind does not know itself save insofar as i t perceives ideas of the af­ fections of the body (Pr. 23 , II) . Now it does not perceive its own body (Pr. 19 , II) except through ideas of affections of the body, and also it is only through these af­ fections that it perceives external bodies (Pr. 26, II) . So insofar as it has these ideas, i t has adequate knowledge neither of itself (Pr. 29, II) nor of its own body (Pr. 27, II) nor of external bodies (Pr. 25, II), but only a fragmentary [mutilatam] and con­ fused knowledge (Pr. 28, II and Sch. ) .

Scholium I say expressly that the mind does not have an adequate knowledge, but only a confused and fragmentary knowledge, of itself, its own body, and ex­ ternal bodies whenever it perceives th ings from the common order of natu re, that is, whenever it is determined externally-namely, by the fortuitous run of cir­ cumstance- to regard th is or that, and not when i t is determined internally, through its regarding several th ings at the same time, to understand their agree­ ment, their differences, and their opposition. For whenever it is conditioned in­ ternally in this or in another way, then it sees things clearly and distinctly, as I shall later show.

PROPOSITION 30 We can have only a very inadequate knowledge of the duration of our body.

Part II, Proposition 34 263

Proof The duration of our body does not depend on its essence (Ax. I, II), nor again on the absolute nature of God (Pr. 2 1 , I), but (Pr. 28, I) it is determined to exist and to act by causes which are also determined by other causes to exist and to act in a definite and determinate way, and these again by other causes, and so ad infinitum. Therefore, the duration of our body depends on the common order of nature and the structure of the universe. Now there is in God adequate knowl­ edge of the structure of the universe insofar as he has ideas of all the things in the universe, and not insofar as he has only the idea of the human body (Cor. Pro 9, II) . Therefore, knowledge of the duration of our body is very inadequate in God insofar as he is considered only to constitute the nature of the human mind. That is (Cor. Pr. I I , II) , th is knowledge is very inadequate in the human mind.

PROPOSITION 3 1 We can have only a very inadequate knowledge of the duration of particular things external to us.

Proof Each particular th ing, just l ike the human body, must be determined by another particular th ing to exist and to act in a definite and determinate way, and this latter thing again by another, and so on ad infinitum (Pr. 28, I) . Now since we have shown in the preceding Proposition that from this common property of particular things we can have only a very inadequate knowledge of the duration of the human body, in the case of the duration of particular things we have to come to the same conclusion: that we can have only a very inadequate knowledge thereof.

Corollary Hence it follows that all particular things are contingent and perish­ able. For we can have no adequate knowledge of their duration (preceding Pr. ) , and that is what is to be understood by contingency and perishabil ity (Sch. I , Pr. 3 3 , I). For apart from this there is no other kind of contingency (Pr. 29, I) .

PROPOSITION 32 All ideas are true insofar as they are related to God. Proof All ideas, wh ich are in God, agree completely with the objects of which they are ideas (Cor. Pr. 7, II), and so they are all true (Ax. 6, I).

PROPOSITION 3 3 There is nothing positive in ideas whereby they can be said to be false.

Proof If this be denied, conceive, if possible, a positive mode of thinking which constitutes the form [formal of error or falsity. This mode of th inking cannot be in God (preceding Pr.), but neither can it be or be conceived externally to God (Pr. 1 5 , I) . Thus there can be nothing positive in ideas whereby they can be called false.

PROPOSITION 34 Every idea which in us is absolute, that is, adequate and perfect, is true.

264 Ethics

Proof When we say that there is in us an adequate and perfect idea, we are say­ ing only th is (Cor. Pro I I , II), that there is adequate and perfect idea in God in­ sofar as he constitutes the essence of our mind. Consequently, we are saying only th is, that such an idea is true (Pr. 32, II).

PROPOSITION 3 5 Falsity consists in the privation of knowledge which inadequate ideas, that is, frag­ mentary and confused ideas, involve.

Proof There is nothing positive in ideas which constitutes the form [fonnal of falsity (Pr. 3 3 , II). But falsity cannot consist in absolute privation (for minds, not bodies, are said to err and be deceived), nor again in absolute ignorance, for to be ignorant and to err are different. Therefore, it consists in that privation of knowledge which inadequate knowledge, that is, inadequate and confused ideas, involves.

Scholium In Sch. Pr. 1 7, II I explained how error consists in the privation of knowledge, but I will give an example to enlarge on this explanation. Men are de­ ceived in th inking themselves free, a belief that consists only in this, that they are conscious of their actions and ignorant of the causes by which they are deter­ mined. Therefore, the idea of their freedom is simply the ignorance of the cause of their actions. As to their saying that human actions depend on the will, these are mere words without any corresponding idea . For none of them knows what the will is and how it moves the body, and those who boast otherwise and make up stories of dwelling places and habitations of the soul provoke either ridicule or disgust.

As another example, when we gaze at the sun, we see i t as some two hundred feet distant from us. The error does not consist in simply seeing the sun in this way but in the fact that while we do so we are not aware of the true distance and the cause of our seeing it so. For although we may later become aware that the sun is more than six hundred times the diameter of the earth distant from us, we shall nevertheless continue to see it as close at hand. For it is not our ignorance of its true distance that causes us to see the sun to be so near; it is that the affec­ tion of our body involves the essence of the sun only to the extent that the body is affected by it.

PROPOSITION 36 Inadequate and confused ideas follow by the same necessity as adequate, or clear and distinct, ideas.

Proof All ideas are in God (Pr. 1 5 , I), and insofar as they are related to God, they are true (Pr. 32, II) and adequate (Cor. Pr. 7, II). So there are no inadequate or confused ideas except insofar as they are related to the particular mind of some­ one (see Prs. 24 and 28, II) . So all ideas, both adequate and inadequate, follow by the same necessity (Cor. Pro 6, II) .

Part II, Proposition 39 265

PROPOSITION 37 That which i s common to all things (see Lemma 2 above) and i s equally in the part as in the whole does not constitute the essence of any one particular thing.

Proof If this is denied, conceive, if possible, that it does constitute the essence of one particular thing, B . Therefore, it can neither be nor be conceived without B (Def. 2 , II) . But this is contrary to our hypothesis. Therefore, it does not pertain to B's essence, nor does it constitute the essence of any other particular th ing.

PROPOSITION 38 Those things that are common to all things and are equally in the part as in the whole can be conceived only adequately.

Proof Let A be something common to all bodies, and equally in the part of any body as in the whole. I say that A can be conceived only adequately. For its idea (Cor. Pro 7, II) will necessarily be in God both insofar as he has the idea of the human body and insofar as he has the ideas of affections of the human body, af­ fections which partly involve the natures of both the human body and external bodies (Prs. 1 6, 2 5 , and 27, II). That is (Prs. 1 2 and 1 3 , II), th is idea will neces­ sarily be adequate in God insofar as he constitutes the human mind; that is, in­ sofar as he has the ideas which are in the human mind. Therefore, the mind (Cor. Pr. I I , II) necessarily perceives A adequately, and does so both insofar as i t per­ ceives itself and insofar as it perceives its own body or any external body; nor can A be perceived in any other way.

Corollary Hence it follows that there are certain ideas or notions common to all men. For (by Lemma 2) all bodies agree in certain respects, which must be (preceding Pr. ) conceived by all adequately, or clearly and distinctly.

PROPOSITION 39 Of that which is common and proper to the human body and to any external bod­ ies by which the human body is customarily affected, and which is equally in the part as well as in the whole of any of these bodies, the idea also in the mind will be adequate.

Proof Let A be that which is common and proper to the human body and to any external bodies and which is equally in the human body as in those same ex­ ternal bodies, and which is finally equally in the part of any external body as in the whole. There wil l be in God an adequate idea of A (Cor. Pr o 7, II) both inso­ far as he has the idea of the human body and insofar as he has ideas of those posited external bodies. Let i t now be supposed that the human body is affected by an ex­ ternal body through that which is common to them both, that is, A. The idea of this affection will involve the property A (Pr. 1 6, 11) , and so (Cor. Pr. 7, II) the idea of this affection, insofar as it involves the property A, will be adequate in God in­ sofar as he is affected by the idea of the human body; that is (Pr. 1 3 , II), insofar as he constitutes the nature of the human mind. So this idea will also be adequate in the human mind (Cor. Pr. I I , II) .

266 Ethics

Corollary Hence it follows that the mind is more capable of perceiving more things adequately in proportion as its body has more th ings in common with other bodies.

PROPOSITION 40 Whatever ideas follow in the mind from ideas that are adequate in it are also adequate.

Proof This is evident. For when we say that an idea follows in the human mind from ideas that are adequate in it, we are saying no more than that there is in the divine intellect an idea of which God is the cause, not insofar as he is infinite nor insofar as he is affected by ideas of numerous particular th ings, but only insofar as he constitutes the essence of the human mind.

Scholium 1 I have here set forth the causes of those notions that are called "common," and which are the basis of our reasoning processes. Now certa in ax­ ioms or notions have other causes which it would be relevant to set forth by th is method of ours; for thus we could establish wh ich notions are useful compared with others, and which are of scarcely any value. And again, we could establish which notions are common to all, which ones are clear and distinct only to those not laboring under prejudices [prae;udiciis] and which ones are ill-founded. Fur­ thermore, th is would clarify the origin of those notions called "secondary" -and consequently the axioms which are based on them-as well as other related ques­ tions to which I have for some time given thought. But I have decided not to embark on these questions at this poin t because I have set them aside for another treatise,3 and also to avoid wearying the reader with too lengthy a discussion of this subject. Nevertheless, to omit nothing that it is essential to know, I shall briefly deal with the question of the origin of the so-called "transcendental terms;' such as "entity," "thing," "something" [ens, res, aliquid].

These terms originate in the following way. The human body, being l imited, is capable of forming simultaneously in itself only a certa in number of distinct im­ ages. (I have expla ined in Sch. Pr. 1 7 , II what an image is.) If th is number be ex­ ceeded, these images begin to be confused, and if the number of distinct images which the body is capable of forming simultaneously in itself be far exceeded, all the images will be utterly confused with one another. This being so, it is evident from Cor. Pr. 17 and Pr. 1 8, II that the human mind is able to imagine simul ta­ neously and distinctly as many bodies as there are images that can be formed si­ multaneously in its body. But when the images in the body are utterly confused, the mind will also imagine all the bodies confusedly without any distinction, and will comprehend them, as it were, under one attribute, namely, that of entity, th ing, etc. This conclusion can also be reached from the fact that images are not always equally vivid, and also from other causes analogous to these, which I need not here expl icate. For it all comes down to this, that these terms signify ideas con­ fused in the highest degree.

3 [ThIS is Spmoza's Incomplete essay, On the Improvement of the Understanding 1

Part II, Proposition 40 267

Again, from similar causes have arisen those notions called "universal," such as "man," "horse," "dog," etc . ; that is to say, so many images are formed in the human body simultaneously (e.g., of man) that our capacity to imagine them is surpassed, not indeed completely, but to the extent that the mind is unable to imagine the unimportant differences of individuals (such as the complexion and stature of each, and their exact number) and imagines distinctly only their common characteristic insofar as the body is affected by them. For it was by this that the body was affected most repeatedly, by each single individual. The mind expresses this by the word "man; and predicates th is word of an infinite number of individuals. For, as we said, it is unable to imagine the determinate number of individuals.

But it should be noted that not all men form these notions in the same way; in the case of each person the notions vary according as that th ing varies whereby the body has more frequently been affected, and which the mind more readily imagines or calls to mind. For example, those who have more often regarded with admiration the stature of men will understand by the word "man" an animal of upright stature, while those who are wont to regard a different aspect will form a different common image of man, such as that man is a laughing animal, a feath­ erless biped, or a rational animal. Similarly, with regard to other aspects, each will form universal images according to the conditioning of h is body. Therefore, it is not surprising that so many controversies have arisen among philosophers who have sought to explain natural phenomena through merely the images of these phenomena.

Scholium 2 From all that has already been said i t is quite clear that we perceive many things and form universal notions:

I. From individual objects presented to us through the senses in a fragmen­ tary [mutilate) and confused manner without any intellectual order (see Cor. Pc. 29, II); and therefore I call such perceptions "knowledge from casual experience."

2 . From symbols. For example, from having heard or read certain words we call things to mind and we form certa in ideas of them similar to those through which we imagine things (Sch. Pc. 1 8, II).

Both these ways of regarding things I shall in future refer to as "knowledge of the first kind;' "opinion," or "imagination."

3 . From the fact that we have common notions and adequate ideas of the prop­ erties of things (see Cor. Pro 38 and 39 with its Cor., and Pro 40, II) . I shall refer to this as "reason" and "knowledge of the second kind."

Apart from these two kinds of knowledge there is, as I shall later show, a th ird kind of knowledge, which I shall refer to as "intuition." Th is kind of knowledge proceeds from an adequate idea of the formal essence of certain attributes of God to an adequate knowledge of the essence of th ings. I shall illustrate all these kinds of knowledge by one single example. Three numbers are given; it is required to find a fourth which is related to the third as the second to the first. Tradesmen have no hesitation in multiplying the second by the third and dividing the prod­ uct by the first, either because they have not yet forgotten the rule they learned

268 Ethics

without proof from their teachers, or because they have in fact found this correct in the case of very simple numbers, or else from the force of the proof of Propo­ sition 19 of the Seventh Book of Euclid, to wit, the common property of propor­ tionals. But in the case of very s imple numbers, none of th is is necessary. For example, in the case ofthe given numbers 1 , 2, 3, everybody can see that the fourth proportional is 6, and all the more clearly because we infer in one single in tu ition the fourth number from the ratio we see the first number bears to the second.

PROPOSITION 4 1 Knowledge of the {irst kind is the only cause of falsity; knowledge of the second and third kind is necessarily true.

Proof In the preceding Schol ium we asserted that all those ideas which are in­ adequate and confused belong to the first kind of knowledge; and thus (Pr. 3 5 , II) this knowledge is the only cause offalsity. Further, we asserted that to knowledge of the second and third kind there belong those ideas which are adequate. There­ fore (Pr. 34, II), th is knowledge is necessarily true.

PROPOSITION 42 Knowledge of the second and third kind, and not knowledge of the {irst kind, teaches us to distinguish true from false.

Proof This Proposition is self-evident. For he who can distinguish the true from the false must have an adequate idea of the true and the false; that is (Sch. 2 Pro 40, II), he must know the true and the false by the second or th ird kind ofknowl­ edge.

PROPOSITION 4 3 He who has a true idea knows a t the same time that h e has a true idea, and cannot doubt its truth.

Proof A true idea in us is one which is adequate in God insofar as he is expli­ cated through the nature of the human mind (Cor. Pr. I I , II). Let us suppose, then, that there is in God, insofar as he is explicated through the nature of the hu­ man mind, an adequate idea, A. The idea of this idea must also necessarily be in God, and is related to God in the same way as the idea A (Pr. 20, II , the proof be­ ing of general application). But by our supposition the idea A is related to God in­ sofar as he is explicated through the nature of the human mind. Therefore, the idea of the idea A must be related to God in the same way; that is (Cor. Pr. I I , II), this adequate idea of the idea A will be in the mind which has the adequate idea A. So he who has an adequate idea, that is, he who knows a thing truly (Pr. 34, II), must at the same time have an adequate idea, that is, a true knowledge of h is knowledge; that is (as is self-evident), he is bound at the same time to be certa in.

Scholium I have expla ined in the Schol ium to Pro 2 1 , II what is an idea of an idea; but it should be noted that the preceding propos ition is sufficiently self­ evident. For nobody who has a true idea is unaware that a true idea involves ab-

Part II, Proposition 44 269

solute certainty. To have a true idea means only to know a thing perfectly, that is, to the utmost degree. Indeed, nobody can doubt this, unless he thinks that an idea is some dumb thing l ike a p icture on a tablet, and not a mode of th inking, to wit, the very act of understanding. And who, pray, can know that he understands some thing unless he first understands it? That is, who can know that he is certa in of something unless he is first certain of it? Aga in, what standard of truth can there be that is clearer and more certain than a true idea? Indeed, just as l ight makes manifest both itself and darkness, so truth is the standard both of itself and falSity.

I think I have thus given an answer to those questions which can be stated as follows: If a true idea is distinguished from a false one only inasmuch as it is said to correspond with that of which it is an idea, then a true idea has no more real­ ity or perfection than a false one (since they are distinguished only by an extrin­ sic characteristic) and consequently neither is a man who has true ideas superior to one who has only false ideas. Secondly, how do we come to have false ideas? And finally, how can one know for certain that one has ideas which correspond with that of which they are ideas? I have now given an answer, I repeat, to these problems. As regards the difference between a true and a false idea, it is clear from Pro 3 5 , II that the former is to the latter as being to non-being. The causes of fal­ sity I have quite clearly shown from Propositions 19 to 35 with the latter's Scholium, from which it is l ikewise obvious what is the difference between a man who has true ideas and one who has only false ideas. As to the last question, how can a man know that he has an idea which corresponds to that of which it is an idea, I have just shown, with abundant clarity, that this arises from the fact that he does have an idea that corresponds to that of which i t is an idea; that is, truth is its own standard. Furthermore, the human mind, insofar as it perceives things truly, is part of the infinite intellect of God (Cor. Pro I I , II), and thus it is as inevitable that the clear and distinct ideas of the mind are true as that God's ideas are true.

PROPOSITION 44 It is not in the nature of reason to regard things as contingent, but as necessary.

Proof It is in the nature of reason to perceive things truly (Pr. 4 1 , II), to wit (Ax. 6, I), as they are in themselves; that is (Pr. 29, I), not as contingent, but as neces­ sary.

Corollary 1 Hence it follows that it solely results from imagination [imaginatio] that we regard th ings, both in respect of the past and of the future, as contingent.

Scholium I shall explain briefly how this comes about. We have shown above (Pr. 1 7, II and Cor.) that although things may not exist, the mind nevertheless al­ ways imagines them as present unless causes arise wh ich exclude their present ex­ istence. Further, we have shown (Pr. 1 8, II) that if the human body has once been affected by two external bodies at the same time, when the mind later imagines one of them, it will straightway call the other to mind as well; that is, it will regard both as present to it unless other causes arise which exclude their present exis­ tence. Furthermore, nobody doubts that time, too, is a product of the imagina-

270 Ethics

tion, and arises from the fact that we see some bodies move more slowly than oth­ ers, or more quickly, or with equal speed. Let us therefore suppose that yesterday a boy saw Peter first of all in the morning, Paul at noon, and Simon in the evening, and that today he again sees Peter in the morning. From Pro 1 8, II i t is clear that as soon as he sees the morning l ight, forthwith he will imagine the sun as travers­ ing the same tract of sky as on the previous day, that is, he will imagine a whole day, and he will imagine Peter together with morning, Paul with midday, and S i­ mon with evening; that is, he will imagine the existence of Paul and Simon with reference to future time. On the other hand, on seeing Simon in the evening he will refer Paul and Peter to time past by imagining them along with time past. Th is tra in of events will be the more consistent the more frequently he sees them in that order. If it should at some time occur that on another evening he sees James instead of Simon, then the following morning he will imagine along with evening now Simon, now James, but not both together. For we are supposing that he has seen only one of them in the evening, not both at the same time. Therefore, h is imagination will waver, and he will imagine, along with a future evening, now one, now the other; that is, he will regard neither of them as going to be there for certain, but both of them contingently. This wavering of the imagination occurs in the same way if the imagination be of th ings which we regard with relation to past or presen t time, and consequently we shall imagine th ings, as related both to present and past or future time, as contingent.

Corollary 2 I t is in the nature of reason to perceive things in the l ight of eter­ nity [sub quadam specie aeternitalis].

Proof It is in the nature of reason to regard things as necessary, not as contin­ gent (previous Pr. ) . Now i t perceives this necessity truly (Pr. 4 1 , II); that is, as it is in itself (Ax. 6, J) . But (Pr. 1 6, J) this necessity is the very necessity of God's eter­ nal nature. Therefore, it is in the natu re of reason to regard things in this l ight of eternity. Furthermore, the basic principles of reason are those notions (Pr. 38, II) which expl icate what is common to all th ings, and do not explicate (Pr. 37, II) the essence of any particular th ing, and therefore must be conceived without any re­ lation to time, but in the l ight of eternity.

PROPOSITION 45 Every idea of any body or particular thing existing in actuality necessarily involves the eternal and infinite essence of God.

Proof The idea of a particular th ing actually existing necessarily involves both the essence and the existence of the thing (Cor. Pro 8, II) . But particular things cannot be conceived without God (Pr. 1 5 , J). Now since they have God for their cause (Pr. 6, II) insofar as he is considered under that attribute of which the things themselves are modes, their ideas (Ax. 4, J) must necessarily involve the concep­ tion of their attribute; that is (Def. 6, J), the eternal and infinite essence of God. Scholium Here by existence J do not mean duration, that is, existence insofar as it is considered in the abstract as a kind of quantity. J am speaking of the very

Part II, Proposition 47 27 1

nature of existence, which i s attributed to particular things because they follow in infinite numbers in infinite ways from the eternal necessity of God's nature (Pr. 1 6, I). I am speaking, I repeat, of the very existence of particular things insofar as they are in God. For although each particular th ing is determined by another par­ ticular th ing to exist in a certa in manner, the force by which each perseveres in existing follows from the eternal necessity of God's nature. See Cor. Pro 24, I.

PROPOSITION 46 The knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of God which each idea involves is adequate and perfect.

Proof The proof of the preceding proposition is universally valid, and whether a thing be considered as a part or a whole, its idea, whether of whole or part, in­ volves the eternal and infinite essence of God (preceding Pr. ) . Therefore, that which gives knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of God is common to all th ings, and equally in the part as in the whole. And so this knowledge will be adequate (Pr. 38, II).

PROPOSITION 47 The human mind has an adequate knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of God.

Proof The human mind has ideas (Pr. 22, II) from which (Pr. 23 , II) it perceives itself, its own body (Pr. 19 , II), and external bodies (Cor. 1 , Pro 16 and Pr. 1 7 , II) as actually existing, and so it has an adequate knowledge of the eternal and infi­ nite essence of God (Prs. 45 and 46, II).

Scholiurn Hence we see that God's infinite essence and his eternity are known to all . Now since all things are in God and are conceived through God, i t follows that from this knowledge we can deduce a great many things so as to know them adequately and thus to form that third kind of knowledge I mentioned in Sch. 2 Pr. 40, II, of the superiority and usefulness of which we shall have occasion to speak in Part V. That men do not have as clear a knowledge of God as they do of common notions arises from the fuct that they are unable to imagine God as they do bodies, and that they have connected the word "God" with the images of things which they commonly see; and this they can scarcely avoid, being affected con­ tinually by external bodies. Indeed, most errors result solely from the incorrect application of words to things. When somebody says that the lines j oining the cen­ ter of a circle to its circumference are unequal, he surely understands by circle, at least at that time, something different from what mathematicians understand. Likewise, when men make mistakes in arithmetic, they have different figures in mind from those on paper. So if you look only to their minds, they indeed are not mistaken; but they seem to be wrong because we think that they have in mind the figures on the page. Ifthis were not the case, we would not think them to be wrong, j ust as I did not think that person to be wrong whom I recently heard shouting that h is hall had flown into h is neighbor'S hen, for I could see clearly what he had

272 Ethics

in mind. Most controversies arise from this, that men do not correctly express what is in their mind, or they misunderstand another's mind. For, in reality, while they are hotly contradicting one another, they are either in agreement or have differ­ ent things in mind, so that the apparen t errors and absurdities of their opponents are not really so.

PROPOSITION 48 In the mind there is no absolute, or free, will. The mind is determined to this or that volition by a cause, which is likewise determined by another cause, and this again by another, and so ad infinitum.

Proof The mind is a definite and determinate mode of th inking (Pr. I I , II) , and thus (Cor. 2, Pro 1 7 , I) it cannot be the free cause of its actions: that is, i t cannot possess an absolute faculty of willing and nonwilling. It must be determined to will this or that (Pr. 28, I) by a cause, wh ich l ikewise is determined by another cause, and this again by another, etc.

Scholium In the same way it is proved that in the mind there is no absolute faculty of understanding, desiring, loving, etc. Hence it follows that these and s im­ ilar facul ties are either entirely fictitious or noth ing more than metaphysical en­ tities or universals which we are wont to form from particulars. So intellect and will bear the same relation to th is or that idea, this or that vol ition, as stoniness to this or that stone, or man to Peter and Paul. As to the reason why men think they are free, we explained that in the Appendix to Part I .

But before proceeding further, it should here be noted that by the will I mean the faculty of affirming and denying, and not desire. I mean, I repeat, the faculty whereby the mind affirms or denies what is true or what is false, not the desire whereby the mind seeks things or shuns them. But now that we have proved that these facul ties are universal notions wh ich are not distinct from the particulars from which we form them, we must inquire whether vol itions themselves are any­ thing more than ideas of things. We must inquire, I say, whether there is in the mind any other affirmation and denial apart from that wh ich the idea, insofar as i t is an idea, involves. On this subject see the following proposition and also Def. 3 , II, lest thought becomes confused with pictures. For by ideas I do not mean im­ ages such as are formed at the back of the eye- or if you like, in the middle of the brain -but conceptions of thought.

PROPOSITION 49 There is in the mind no volition, that is, affirmation and negation, except that which an idea. insofar as it is an idea1 involves.

Proof There is in the mind (preceding Pr.) no absolute faculty of willing and non-willing, but only particular vol itions, namely, this or that affirmation, and this or that negation. Let us therefore conceive a particular vol ition, namely, a mode of thinking whereby the mind affirms that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles. This affirmation involves the conception, or idea, of a trian-

Part II, Proposition 49 273

gle; that is, it cannot be conceived without the idea of a triangle. For to say that A must involve the conception of B is the same as to say that A cannot be conceived without B. Again, this affirmation (Ax. 3 , II) cannot even be without the idea of a triangle. Therefore, this idea can neither be nor be conceived without the idea of a triangle. Furthermore, th is idea of a triangle must involve this same affirmation, namely, that its three angles are equal to two right angles. Therefore, vice versa, this idea of a triangle can neither be nor be conceived without this affirmation , and so (Def. 2, II) this affirmation belongs to the essence of the idea of a triangle, and is nothing more than the essence itself. And what I have said of this vol ition (for i t was arbitrarily selected) must also be said of every volition, namely, that it is noth ing but an idea.

Corollary Will and intellect are one and the same thing.

Proof Will and intellect are nothing but the particular voli tions and ideas (Pr. 48, II and Sch . ) . But a particular vol ition and idea are one and the same thing (preceding Pr.). Therefore, will and intellect are one and the same thing.

Scholium By this means we have removed the cause to which error is com­ monly attributed. We have previously shown that falsity consists only in the privation that fragmentary and confused ideas involve. Therefore, a false idea, in­ sofar as it is false, does not involve certainty. So when we say that a man acqui­ esces in what is false and has no doubt thereof, we are not thereby saying that he is certa in, but only that he does not doubt, or that he acquiesces in what is false because there is noth ing to cause his imagination to waver. On this point see Sch . Pro 44, II. So however much we suppose a man to adhere to what is false, we shall never say that he is certa in . For by certainty we mean something positive (Pr. 43, II and Sch. ) , not privation of doubt. But by privation of certa inty we mean falsity.

But for a fuller explanation of the preceding proposition some things remain to be said. Then, again, there is the further task of replying to objections that may be raised against this doctrine of ours. Finally, to remove every shred of doubt, I have thought it worthwhile to point out certa in advantages of this doctrine. I say certain advantages, for the most important of them will be better understood from what we have to say in Part v.

I begin, then, with the first point, and I urge my readers to make a careful dis­ tinction between an idea - L e. , a conception of the mind-and the images of th ings that we imagine. Again, it is essential to distinguish between ideas and the words we use to signify things. For s ince these three- images, words, and ideas­ have been utterly confused by many, or else they fa il to distingu ish between them through lack of accuracy, or, finally, through lack of caution, our doctrine of the will, which it is essential to know both for theory and for the wise ordering of life, has never entered their minds. For those who think that ideas consist in images formed in us from the contact of external bodies are convinced that those ideas of things whereof we can form no l ike image are not ideas, but mere fictions fash­ ioned arbitrarily at will. So they look on ideas as dumb pictures on a tablet, and misled by this preconception they fail to see that an idea, insofar as it is an idea,

274 Ethics

involves affirmation or negation. Aga in, those who confuse words with idea, or with the affirmation which an idea involves, th ink that when they affirm or deny something merely by words contrary to what they feel, they are able to will con­ trary to what they feel . Now one can easily dispel these misconceptions if one attends to the nature of thought, which is quite removed from the concept of extension. Then one will clearly understand that an idea, being a mode of th ink­ ing, consists neither in the image of a th ing nor in words. For the essence of words and images is constituted solely by corporeal motions far removed from the con­ cept of thought. With these few words of warning, I turn to the aforementioned objections.

The first of these rests on the confident claim that the will extends more widely than the intellect, and therefore is different from it The reason for their bel ief that the will extends more widely than the intellect is that they find-so they say- that they do not need a greater faculty of assent, that is, of affirming and denying, than they already possess, in order to assent to an infinite number of other th ings that we do not perceive, but that we do need an increased faculty of understanding. Therefore, will is distinct from intellect, the latter being finite and the former infinite.

Second, it may be objected against us that experience appears to tell us most indisputably that we are able to suspend judgment so as not to assent to things that we perceive, and this is a lso confirmed by the fact that nobody is sa id to be de­ ceived insofar as he perceives someth ing, but only insofur as he assents or dissents. For instance, he who imagines a winged horse does not thereby grant that there is a winged horse; that is, he is not thereby deceived unless at the same time he grants that there is a winged horse. So experience appears to tell us most indis­ putably that the will, that is, the faculty of assen ting, is free, and different from the faculty of understanding.

Third, i t may be objected that one affirmation does not seem to contain more reality than another; that is, we do not seem to need greater power in order to af­ firm that what is true is true than to affirm that what is fulse is true. On the other hand, we do perceive that one idea has more reality or perfection than another. For some ideas are more perfect than others in proportion as some objects are su­ perior to others. This, again, is a clear indication that there is a difference between will and intellect.

Fourth, it may be objected that if man does not act from freedom of will, what would happen if he should be in a state of equilibrium like Buridan's ass? Will he perish of hunger and thirst? If ! were to grant this, I would appear to be thinking of an ass or a statue, not of a man. If I deny it, then the man will be determining h imself, and consequently will possess the faculty of going and doing whatever he wants.

Besides these objections there may possibly be others. But since I am not obliged to quash every objection that can be dreamed up, I shall make it my task to reply to these objections only, and as briefly as possible.

To the first objection I reply that, ifby the intellect is meant clear and distinct ideas only, I grant that the wil l extends more widely than the intellect, but I deny

Part II, Proposition 49 275

that the will extends more widely than perceptions, that i s , the faculty of con­ ceiving. Nor indeed do I see why the faculty of willing should be termed infi­ nite any more than the faculty of sensing. For just as by the same faculty of will­ ing we can affirm an infinite number of th ings (but in succession, for we cannot affirm an infinite number of th ings simultaneously), so also we can sense or per­ ceive an infinite number of bodies (in succession) by the same faculty of sens­ ing. If my objectors should say that there are an infini te number of th ings that we cannot sense, I retort that we cannot grasp them by any amount of thought, and consequently by any amount of willing. But, they say, if God wanted to bring i t about that we should perceive these too, he would have had to give us a greater faculty of perceiving, but not a greater faculty of willing than he has already given us. Th is is the same as saying that if God wishes to bring it about that we should understand an infinite number of other en tities, he would have to give us a greater intellect than he already has, so as to encompass these same infinite entities, but not a more universal idea of entity. For we have shown that the will is a universal en tity, or the idea whereby we expl icate all particular vol itions; that is, that wh ich is common to all particular vol itions. So if they believe that th is common or universal idea of vol itions is a faculty, i t is not at all surprising that they declare this faculty to extend beyond the l imits of the intellect to infinity. For the term "universal" is applied equally to one, to many, and to an infinite number of individuals.

To the second objection I reply by denying that we have free power to suspend j udgment. For when we say that someone suspends judgment, we are saying only that he sees that he is not adequately perceiving the thing. So suspension of judg­ ment is really a perception, not free will. To understand this more clearly, let us conceive a boy imagining a winged horse and having no other perception. Since this imagining involves the existence of a horse (Cor. Pro 1 7, II), and the boy per­ ceives nothing to annul the existence of the horse, he will regard the horse as pres­ ent and he will not be able to doubt its existence, although he is not certa in of it. We experience this quite commonly in dreams, nor do I believe there is anyone who thinks that while dreaming he has free power to suspend judgment regard­ ing the contents of h is dream, and of bringing it about that he should not dream what he dreams that he sees. Nevertheless, i t does happen that even in dreams we suspend judgment, to wit, when we dream that we are dreaming. Furthermore, I grant that nobody is deceived insofar as he has a perception; that is, I grant that the imaginings of the mind, considered in themselves, involve no error (see Sch. Pro 17, II) . But I deny that a man makes no affirmation insofar as he has a per­ ception. For what else is perceiving a winged horse than affirming wings of a horse? For if the mind should perceive nothing apart from the winged horse, it would regard the horse as present to it, and would have no cause to doubt its ex­ istence nor any faculty of dissenting, unless the imagining of the winged horse were to be connected to an idea which annuls the existence of the said horse, or he perceives that the idea which he has of the winged horse is inadequate. Then he will either necessarily deny the existence of the horse or he will necessarily doubt i t.

276 Ethics

In the above I th ink I have also answered the third objection by my assertion that the will is a universal term predicated of all ideas and signifYing only what is common to all ideas, namely, affirmation, the adequate essence of which, insofar as it is thus conceived as an abstract term, must be in every single idea, and the same in all in this respect only. But not insofar as it is considered as constituting the essence of the idea, for in that respect particular affirmations differ among themselves as much as do ideas. For example, the affirmation which the idea of a circle involves differs from the affirmation which the idea of a triangle involves as much as the idea of a circle differs from the idea of a triangle. Again, I absolutely deny that we need an equal power of thinking to affirm that what is true is true as to affirm that what is false is true. For these two affirmations, if you look to their meaning and not to the words alone, are related to one another as being to non­ being. For there is nothing in ideas that constitutes the form offalsity (see Pr. 3 5 , II with Sch. a nd Sch. Pr. 4 7 , I I ) . Therefore, i t i s important t o note here how eas­ ily we are deceived when we confuse universals with particulars, and mental con­ structs [entia rationis] and abstract terms with the real.

As to the fourth objection, I readily gran t that a man placed in such a state of equilibrium (namely, where he feels noth ing else but hunger and thirst and per­ ceives nothing but such-and-such food and drink at equal distances from him) will die of hunger and thirst. If they ask me whether such a man is not to be reckoned an ass rather than a man, I reply that ! do not know, just as I do not know how one should reckon a man who hangs himself, or how one should reckon babies, fools, and madmen.

My final task is to show what practical advantages accrue from knowledge of this doctrine, and this we shall readily gather from the following points:

I. It teaches that we act only by God's will, and that we share in the divine na­ ture, and all the more as our actions become more perfect and as we understand God more and more. Therefore, this doctrine, apart from giving us complete tranqu ill ity of mind, has the further advantage of teaching us wherein l ies our greatest happiness or blessedness, namely, in the knowledge of God alone, as a re­ sult of which we are induced only to such actions as are urged on us by love and piety. Hence we clearly understand how far astray from the true estimation of virtue are those who, failing to understand that virtue itself and the service of God are happiness itself and utmost freedom, expect God to bestow on them the high­ est rewards in retum for their virtue and meritorious actions as if in return for the basest slavery.

2. It teaches us what attitude we should adopt regarding fortune, or the things that are not in our power, that is, the things that do not follow frorn our nature; namely, to expect and to endure with patience both faces offortune. For all th ings follow from God's eternal decree by the same necessity as it follows from the essence of a triangle that its three angles are equal to two right angles.

3 . This doctrine assists us in our social relations, in that it teaches us to hate no one, despise no one, ridicule no one, be angry with no one, envy no one. Then again, it teaches us that each should be content with what he has and should help h is neighbor, not frorn wornanish pity, or favor, or superstition, but from the guid-

Part III, Preface 277

ance of reason as occasion and circumstance requ ire. This I shaIl demonstrate in Part lY.

4. FinaIly, th is doctrine is also of no small advantage to the commonwealth, in that i t teaches the manner in which citizens should be governed and led; namely, not so as to be slaves, but so as to do freely what is best.

And thus I have completed the task I undertook in this Scholium, and thereby I bring to an end Part II, in which I th ink I have explained the nature of the hu­ man mind and its properties at sufficient length and as clearly as the difficult subject matter permits, and that from my account can be drawn many excellent lessons, most useful and necessary to know, as will partly be disclosed in what is to follow.

PART III

CONCERNING THE ORIGIN AND NATURE OF THE EMOTIONS

PREFACE

Most of those who have written about the emotions [affectibusl and human con­ duct seem to be dealing not with natural phenomena that follow the common laws of Nature but with phenomena outside Nature. They appear to go so far as to con­ ceive man in Nature as a kingdom within a kingdom. They believe that he disturbs rather than foIlows Nature's order, and has absolute power over his actions, and is determined by no other source than himself. Again, they assign the cause of hu­ man weakness and frailty not to the power of Nature in general, but to some de­ fect in human nature, which they therefore bemoan, ridicule, despise, or, as is most frequently the case, abuse. He who can criticize the weakness of the human mind more eloquently or more shrilly is regarded as almost divinely inspired. Yet there have not been lacking outstanding figures who have written much that is excellent regarding the right conduct of life and have given to mankind very sage counsel ; and we confess we owe much to their toil and industry. However, as far as I know, no one has defined the nature and strength of the emotions, and the power of the mind in controlling them. I know, indeed, that the renowned Descartes, though he too believed that the mind has absolute power over its actions, does explain hu­ man emotions through their first causes, and has also zealously striven to show how the mind can have absolute control over the emotions. But in my opinion he has shown nothing else but the brilliance of his own genius, as I shall demonstrate in due course; for I want now to return to those who prefer to abuse or deride the emo­ tions and actions of men rather than to understand them. They will doubtless find

Lenovo
Highlight

278 Ethics

it surprising that I should attempt to treat of the faults and follies of mankind in the geometric manner, and that I should propose to bring logical reasoning to bear on what they proclaim is opposed to reason, and is va in, absurd, and horrifying. But my argument is this: in Nature nothing happens wh ich can be attributed to its de­ fectiveness, for Nature is always the same, and its force and power of acting is every­ where one and the same; that is, the laws and rules of Nature according to which all things happen and change from one form to another are everywhere and always the same. So our approach to the understanding of the nature of things of every kind should l ikewise be one and the same; namely, through the universal laws and rules of Nature. Therefore the emotions of hatred, anger, envy, etc . , considered in themselves, follow from the same necessity and force of Nature as al l other partic­ ular things. So these emotions are assignable to definite causes through which they can be understood, and have definite properties, equally deserving of our investi­ gation as the properties of any other thing, whose mere contemplation affords us pleasure. I shall, then, treat of the nature and strength of the emotions, and the mind's power over them, by the same method as I have used in treating of God and the mind, and I shall consider human actions and appetites j ust as if i t were an in­ vestigation into l ines, planes, or bodies.

Defini ti ons

I . I call that an adequate cause whose effect can be clearly and distinctly per­ ceived through the said cause. I call that an inadequate or partial cause whose ef­ fect cannot be understood through the sa id cause alone.

2 . I say that we are active when something takes place, in us or externally to us, of which we are the adequate cause; that is, (by preceding Def.), when from our nature there follows in us or externally to us something which can be clearly and distinctly understood through our nature alone. On the other hand, I say that we are passive when something takes place in us, or follows from our nature, of which we are only the partial cause.

3 . By emotion [affectusJ I understand the affections of the body by which the body's power of activity is increased or diminished, assisted or checked, together with the ideas of these affections.

Thus, if we can be the adequate cause of one of these affections, then by emo­ tion I understand activity, otherwise paSSivity.

P os tula tes

I . The human body can be affected in many ways by which its power of ac­ tivity is increased or diminished; and also in many other ways which neither in­ crease nor diminish its power of activity.

This postulate or axiom rests on Postulate I and Lemmata 5 and 7, following Pr. 1 3 , II.

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

Part III, Proposition 2 279

2 . The human body can undergo many changes and nevertheless reta in im­ pressions or traces of objects (see Post. 5, II) and consequently the same images of things for the definition of which see Sch. Pr. 1 7 , II .

PROPOSITION 1 Our mind is in some instances active and in other instances passive. Insofar as it has adequate ideas, it is necessarily active; and insofar as it has inadequate ideas, it is necessarily passive.

Proof In every human mind, some of its ideas are adequate, others are frag­ mentary and confused (Sch. Pro 40, II). N ow ideas that are adequate in someone's mind are adequate in God insofar as he constitutes the essence of that mind (Cor. Pro I I , II); and furthermore those ideas that are inadequate in the mind are also adequate in God (same Cor.), not insofar as he conta ins in himself the essence of that mind only, but insofar as he contains the minds of other things as well . Again, from any given idea some effect must necessarily follow (Pr. 36, I) , of which God is the adequate cause (Def. I , 1II) not insofar as he is infinite but insofar as he is considered as affected by the given idea (Pr. 9, II) . But in the case of an effect of which God is the cause insofar as he is affected by an idea wh ich is adequate in someone's mind, that same mind is i ts adequate cause (Cor. Pro I I , II) . Therefore our mind (Def. 2, 1II), insofar as it has adequate ideas, is necessarily active- which is the first point. Again, whatever necessarily follows from an idea that is adequate in God not insofar as he has in himself the mind of one man only, bu t insofar as he has the minds of other th ings Simultaneously with the mind of the said man , the mind of that man is not the adequate cause of it, but the partial cause (Cor. Pr. I I , II), and therefore (Def. 2, 1II) insofar as the mind has inadequate ideas, it is necessarily passive-which was the second point. Therefore our mind etc.

Corollary Hence it follows that the more the mind has inadequate ideas, the more it is subject to passive states [passionibusl ; and, on the other hand, it is the more active in proportion as it has a greater number of adequate ideas.

PROPOSITION 2 The body cannot determine the mind to think, nor can the mind determine the body to motion or rest, or to anything else (if there is anything else).

Proof All modes of th inking have God for their cause insofar as he is a th inking thing, and not insofar as he is explicated by any other attribute (Pr. 6, II) . So that which determines the mind to th ink is a mode of Thinking, and not of Extension; that is (Def. 1, II), i t is not the body. That was our first point. Now the motion­ and-rest of a body must arise from another body, which again has been determined to motion or rest by another body, and without exception whatever arises in a body must have arisen from God insofar as he is considered as affected by a mode of Extension, and not insofar as he is considered as affected by a mode of Thinking (Pr. 6, II); that is, it cannot arise from mind, which (Pr. 1 1 , 11) is a mode ofThink­ ing. That was our second point. Therefore the body cannot . . . etc.

Lenovo
Highlight
Lenovo
Highlight

280 Ethics

Scholium This is more clearly understood from Sch. Pro 7, II, which tells us that mind and body are one and the same thing, conceived now under the attrib­ ute of Thought, now under the attribute of Extension. Hence it comes about that the order or l inking of th ings is one, whether Nature be conceived under th is or that attribute, and consequently the order of the active and passive states of our body is simultaneous in Nature with the order of active and passive states of the mind. This is also evident from the manner of our proof of Pr. 1 2 , II .

Yet, although the matter admits of no shadow of doubt, I can scarcely believe, without the confirmation of experience, that men can be induced to examine this view without prejudice, so strongly are they convinced that at the mere bidding of the mind the body can now be set in motion, now be brought to rest, and can perform any number of actions wh ich depend solely on the will of the mind and the exercise of thought. However, nobody as yet has determined the l imits of the body's capabil ities: that is, nobody as yet has learned from experience what the body can and cannot do, without being determined by mind, solely from the laws of its nature insofar as it is considered as corporeal. For nobody as yet knows the structure of the body so accurately as to explain all its functions, not to mention that in the animal world we find much that far surpasses human sagacity, and that sleepwalkers do many things in their sleep that they would not dare when awake­ clear evidence that the body, solely from the laws of its own nature, can do many things at which its mind is amazed.

Again, no one knows in what way and by what means mind can move body, or how many degrees of motion it can impart to body and with what speed it can cause i t to move. Hence i t follows that when men say that this or that action of the body arises from the mind which has command over the body, they do not know what they are saying, and are merely admitting, under a plausible cover of words, that they are ignorant of the true cause of that action and are not concerned to discover it.

"But; they will say, "whether or not we know by what means the mind moves the body, experience tells us that unless the mind is in a fit state to exercise thought, the body remains inert. And again, experience tells us that it is solely within the power of the mind both to speak and to keep silen t, and to do many other things which we therefore believe to depend on mental decision." N ow as to the first point, I ask, does not experience also tell them that if, on the other hand, the body is inert, the mind likewise is not capable of th inking? When the body is at rest in sleep, the mind remains asleep with i t and does not have that power of entertaining thoughts which it has when awake. Again, I th ink that all have ex­ perienced the fact that the mind is not always equally apt for concentrating on the same object; the mind is more apt to regard this or that object according as the body is more apt to have arising in it the image of this or that object.

"But," they will say, "it is impossible that the causes of buildings, pictures, and other things of th is kind, which are made by human skill alone, should be de­ duced solely from the laws of Nature considered only as corporeal, nor is the hu­ man body capable of building a temple unless it be determined and guided by mind." However, I have already pointed out that they do not know what the body

Part III, Proposition 2 28 1

can do , or what can be deduced solely from a consideration of its nature, and that experience abundantly shows that solely from the laws of its nature many thing. occur which they would never have believed possible except from the direction of mind -for instance, the actions of sleepwalkers, which they wonder at when they are awake. A further consideration is the very structure of the human body, which far surpasses in ingenuity all the constructions of human skill; not to men­ tion the point I made earlier, that from Nature, considered under any attribute whatsoever, infinite thing. follow.

As to the second point, the human condition would indeed be fur happier if it were equally in the power of men to keep silent as to talk. But experience teaches us with abundant examples that noth ing is less within men's power than to hold their tongues or control their appetites. From this derives the commonly held view that we act freely only in cases where our desires are moderate, because our ap­ petites can then be easily held in check by the remembrance of another th ing that frequently comes to mind; but when we seek something with a strong emotion that cannot be allayed by the remembrance of some other thing, we cannot check our desires. But indeed, had they not found by experience that we do many thing. of which we later repent, and that frequently, when we are at the mercy of con­ flicting emotions, we "see the better and do the worse;' there would be nothing to prevent them from bel ieving that all our actions are free. A baby th inks that it freely seeks milk, an angry child that it freely seeks revenge, and a timid man that he freely seeks flight. Again, the drunken man believes that it is from the free de­ cision of the mind that he says what he later, when sober, wishes he had not said . So, too, the del irious man, the gossiping woman, the child, and many more of this sort th ink that they speak from free mental decision, when in fact they are un­ able to restrain their torrent of words. So experience tells us no less clearly than reason that it is on this account only that men believe themselves to be free, that they are conscious of their actions and ignorant of the causes by which they are determined; and it tells us too that men tal decisions are noth ing more than the appetites themselves, varying therefore according to the varying disposition of the body. For each man's actions are shaped by h is emotion; and those who further­ more are a prey to confl icting emotions know not what they want, while those who are free from emotion are driven on to this or that course by a sl ight impulse.

Now surely all these considerations go to show clearly that mental decision on the one hand, and the appetite and physical state of the body on the other hand, are simultaneous in nature; or rather, they are one and the same thing which, when considered under the attribute of Thought and explicated through Thought, we call decision, and when considered under the attribute of Extension and deduced from the laws of motion-and-rest, we call a physical state. Th is will become clearer from later discussion, for there is now another point which I should l ike you to note as very important. We can take no action from mental de­ cision unless the memory comes into play; for example, we cannot utter a word unless we call the word to mind. Now it is not within the free power of the mind to remember or to forget anything. Hence comes the belief that the power of the mind whereby we can keep silent or speak solely from mental decision is restricted

282 Ethics

to the case of a remembered thing. However, when we dream that we are speak­ ing, we think that we do so from free mental decision; yet we are not speaking, or if we are, it is the result of spontaneous movement of the body. Again, we dream that we are keeping something secret, and that we are doing so by the same men­ tal decision that comes into play in our waking hours when we keep silent about what we know. Finally, we dream that from a mental decision we act as we dare not act when awake. So I would very much l ike to know whether in the mind there are two sorts of decisions, dreamland decisions and free decisions. If we don't want to carry madness so far, we must necessarily grant that the mental decision that is believed to be free is not distinct from imagination and memory, and is nothing but the affirmation which an idea, insofar as it is an idea, necessarily in­ volves (Pr. 49, II). So these mental decisions arise in the mind from the same ne­ cessity as the ideas of things existing in actuality, and those who believe that they speak, or keep silent, or do anything from free mental decision are dreaming with their eyes open.

PROPOSITION 3 The active states [actiones] of the mind arise only from adequate ideas; its passive states depend solely on inadequate ideas.

Proof The first th ing that constitutes the essence of the mind is nothing else but the idea of a body actually existing (Prs. 1 1 and 1 3, II), which idea is composed of many other ideas (Pr. 1 5 , II). of which some are adequate (Cor. Pro 38, II) while others are inadequate (Cor. Pro 29, II) . Therefore, whatever follows from the na­ ture of the mind and must be understood through the mind as its proximate cause must necessarily follow from an adequate idea or an inadequate idea. But insofar as the mind has inadequate ideas, it is necessarily passive (Prop. 1 , III). Therefore, the active states of mind follow solely from adequate ideas, and thus the mind is passive only by reason of having inadequate ideas.

Scholium We therefore see that passive states are related to the mind only in­ sofar as the mind has something involving negation: that is, insofar as the mind is considered as part of Nature, which cannot be clearly and distinctly perceived through itself independently of other parts. By the same reasoning I could demon­ strate that passive states are a characteristic of particular things just as they are of the mind, and cannot be perceived in any other way; but my purpose is to deal only with the human mind.

PROPOSITION 4 No thing can be destroyed except by an external cause.

Proof This proposition is self-evident, for the definition of anything affirms, and does not negate, the thing's essence: that is, it posits, and does not annul, the thing's essence. So as long as we are attending only to the thing itself, and not to external causes, we can find nothing in it which can destroy i t.

Part III, Proposition 8 283

PROPOSITION 5 Things are of a contrary nature, that is, unable to subsist in the same subject, to the extent that one can destray the other.

Proof If they were able to be in agreement with one other, or to coexist in the same subject, there could be someth ing in the said subject which could destroy it, which is absurd (preceding Pr. ) . Therefore . . . etc.

PROPOSITION 6 Each thing, insofar as it is in itself. endeavors to persist in its own being.

Proof Particular things are modes whereby the attributes of God are expressed in a definite and determinate way (Cor. Pr. 2 5 , I), that is (Pr. 34, I), they are things which express in a definite and determinate way the power of God whereby he is and acts, and no thing can have in itself anything by which it can be destroyed, that is, which can annul its existence (Pr. 4, III). On the contrary, it opposes every­ thing that can annul its existence (preceding Pr.) ; and thus, as far as it can and as far as it is in itself, it endeavors to persist in its own being.

PROPOSITION 7 The conatus' with which each thing endeavors to persist in its own being is nothing but the actual essence of the thing itself

Proof From the given essence of a thing certain things necessarily follow (Pr. 36, I), nor do things effect anything other than that which necessarily follows from their determinate nature (Pr. 29, I ) . Therefore, the power of any thing, or the cona­ tus with which it acts or endeavors to act, alone or in conjunction with other things, that is (Pr. 6, 1II), the power or conatus by which it endeavors to persist in its own being, is nothing but the given, or actual, essence of the thing.

PROPOSITION 8 The conatus with which each single thing endeavors to persist in its own being does not involve finite time, but indefinite time.

Proof If it involved a l imited period of time which would determine the dura­ tion of the thing, then solely from the power by which the thing exists it would follow that it could not exist after that limited period of time, but is bound to be destroyed. But (Pr. 4, lll), this is absurd. Therefore, the conatus with which a th ing exists does not involve any definite period of time. On the contrary (by the same Pr. 4, III), if i t is not destroyed by an external cause, it will always continue to ex-

I [The term "conatus" plays an Important role In Spmoza's psychology It expresses Spmoza's view that each thmg exemplifies an mherent tendency toward selfwpreseIVahon and activity. ThiS term has a long hlstOI)', gomg back to Cicero, who used It to express Anstotle's and the Stoics' notIOn of impulse (harme). It was later used by medieval and early modern philosophers, such as Hobbes, to con Dote the natural tendency of an organism to preserve itself 1

284 Ethics

ist by that same power by which it now exists. Therefore, this conatus involves an indefinite time.

PROPOSITION 9 The mind, both insofar as it has clear and distinct ideas and insofar as it has con­ tused ideas, endeavors to persist in its own being over an indefinite period of time, and is conscious of this conatus.

Proof The essence of the mind is constituted by adequate and inadequate ideas (as we showed in Pr. 3, III) , and so (Pr. 7, III) it endeavors to persist in its own be­ ing insofar as it has both these kinds of ideas, and does so (Pr. 8, III) over an in­ definite period of time. Now since the mind (Pr. 23, II) is necessarily conscious of itself through the ideas of the affections of the body, therefore the mind is con­ scious of its conatus (Pr. 7, III) .

Scholium When this conatus is related to the mind alone, it is called Will [vol­ untas] ; when it is related to mind and body together, it is called Appetite [appeti­ tus] , which is therefore nothing else but man's essence, from the nature of which there necessarily follow those thing> that tend to h is preservation, and which man is thus determined to perform. Further, there is no difference between appetite and Desire [cupiditas] except that desire is usually related to men insofar as they are conscious of their appetite. Therefore, it can be defined as follows: desire is "appetite accompanied by the consciousness thereof."

It is clear from the above considerations that we do not endeavor, will, seek af­ ter or desire because we judge a th ing to be good. On the contrary, we judge a thing to be good because we endeavor, will, seek after and desire it.

PROPOSITION 1 0 An idea that excludes the existence of our body cannot be in our mind, but is con­ trary to it.

Proof Whatsoever can destroy our body cannot be therein (Pr. 5, III), and so neither can its idea be in God insofar as he has the idea of our body (Cor. Pro 9, II); that is (Prs. I I and 1 3 , II), the idea of such a th ing cannot be in our mind. On the contrary, since (Prs. I I and 1 3 , II) the first th ing that constitutes the essence of the mind is the idea of an actually existing body, the basic and most important element of our mind is the conatus (Pr. 7, III) to affirm the existence of our body. Therefore, the idea that negates the existence of our body is contrary to our mind.

PROPOSITION 1 1 Whatsoever increases or diminishes, assists or checks, the power of activity of our body, the idea of the said thing increases or diminishes, assists or checks the power of thought of our mind.

Proof This proposition is evident from Pro 7, II, or again from Pr. 1 4, I I .

Scholium We see then that the mind can undergo considerable changes, and can pass now to a state of greater perfection, now to one of less perfection, and it

Part III, Proposition 12 285

is these passive transitions [passiones] that explicate for us the emotions of Plea­ sure [laetitia] and Pain [tristilia] . So in what follows I shall understand by pleas­ ure "the passive transition of the mind to a state of greater perfection," and by pain "the passive transition of the mind to state of less perfection." The emotion of pleasure when it is simultaneously related to mind and body I call Titillation [tit­ illatio] or Cheerfulness [hilaritas] ; the emotion of pain when i t is similarly related I call Angu ish [dolor] or Melancholy [melancholia] . But be it noted that titillation and anguish are related to man when one part of him is affected more than oth­ ers, cheerfulness and melancholy when all parts are equally affected. As to Desire [cupiditas] , I have explained what i t is in Sch. Pr. 9, III, and I acknowledge no pri­ mary emotion other than these three [ Le. pleasure, pain, and desire]; for I shall subsequently show that the others arise from these three. But before going further, I should l ike to explain Pr. 1 0 , III at greater length, so that there may be a clearer understanding of the way in which an idea may be contrary to an idea.

In Sch. Pro 1 7, II we demonstrated that the idea which constitutes the essence of the mind involves the existence of the body for as long as the body exists. Then from what we proved in Cor. Pr. 8, II and its Sch. , it follows that the present existence of our mind depends solely on this, that the mind involves the actual existence of the body. Finally we proved that the power of the mind whereby it imagines [imagi­ natur] and remembers things depends also on this (Prs. 17 and 1 8, II, and Sch.) , that it involves the actual existence of the body. From this it follows that the present existence of the mind and its capacity to perceive through the senses are annulled as soon as the mind ceases to affirm the present existence of the body. But the cause of the mind's ceasing to affirm this existence of the body cannot be the mind itself (Pr. 4, III), nor again that the body ceases to be. For (Pr. 6, II) the cause of the mind's affirming the existence of the body is not that the body began to exist; therefore, by the same reasoning, it does not cease to affirm the existence of the body on account of the body's ceasing to be. This results from another idea, which excludes the pres­ ent existence of our body and consequently that of our mind, and which is there­ fore contrary to the idea that constitutes the essence of our mind (Pr. 8, II).

PROPOSITION 1 2 The mind, as far as i t can, endeavors to think of those things that increase or assist the body's power of activity.

Proof As long as the human body is affected in a manner that involves the na­ ture of an external body, so long will the human mind regard that latter body as present (Pr. 1 7 , II) . Consequently (Pr. 7, II), as long as the human mind regards some external body as present, that is (Sch. Pr. 1 7 , II), thinks of it, so long is the human body affected in a manner that involves the nature of that external body. Accordingly, as long as the mind thinks of those things that increase or assist our body's power of activity, so long is the body affected in ways that increase or assist its power of activity (Post. I, III); and, consequently, so long is the mind's power of thinking increased or assisted (Pr. I I , III). Therefore (Pr. 6 or 9, III), the mind, as far as it can, endeavors to think of those th ings.

286 Ethics

PROPOSITION 1 3 When the mind thinks of those things that diminish or check the body's power of ac­ tivity, it endeavors, as far as it can, to call to mind those things that exclude the ex­ istence of the former.

Proof As long as the mind thinks of something of this kind, so long is the power of mind and body diminished or checked (as we have proved in the preceding proposition) . Nevertheless the mind will continue to th ink of it until it th inks of another th ing that excludes the present existence of the former (Pr. 1 7 , II); that is, (as we have just demonstrated), the power of mind and body is diminished or checked until the mind thinks of something else that excludes the thing's exis­ tence, something which the mind therefore (Pr. 9, III) endeavors, as far as it can, to th ink of or call to mind.

Corollary Hence i t follows that the mind is averse to th inking of things that di­ minish or check its power and the body's power.

Scholium From what has been sa id we clearly understand what are Love [amor] and Hatred [odium] . Love is merely "pleasure accompanied by the idea of an ex­ ternal cause," and hatred is merely "pain accompanied by the idea of an external cause." Again, we see that he who loves necessarily endeavors to have present and to preserve the thing that he loves; on the other hand, he who hates endeavors to remove and destroy the thing that he hates. But we shall deal with these matters more fully in due course.

PROPOSITION 1 4 If the mind has once been affected by two emotions a t the same time, when i t is later affected by the one it will also be affected by the other.

Proof If the human body has once been affected by two bodies at the same time, when the mind later thinks of the one it will straightway recall the other too (Pr. 1 8, II) . Now the images formed by the mind reflect the affective states of our body more than the nature of external bodies (Cor. 2, Pr. 1 6, II) . Therefore if the body, and consequently the mind (Oef. 3, JII), has once been affected by two emotions, when it is later affected by the one, i t will also be affected by the other.

PROPOSITION 1 5 Anything can indirectly [per accidens] be the cause of Pleasure, Pain, or Desire.

Proof Let it be supposed that the mind is affected by two emotions simultane­ ously, of which one neither increases nor diminishes its power of activity, and the other either increases it or diminishes it (Post. I , III) . From the preceding propo­ s ition it is clear that when the mind is later affected by the former as its true cause-which, by hypothesis, of itself neither increases nor diminishes the mind's power of th inking- it will straightway be affected by the other, which does in­ crease or diminish its power of thinking; that is (Sch. Pro I I , JII), it will be affected by pleasure or pain. So the former will be the cause of pleasure or pain, not

Part III, Proposition 17 287

through itself, but indirectly. In this same way it can readily be demonstrated that the former thing can indirectly be the cause of desire.

Corollary From the mere fuct that we have regarded a thing with the emotion of pleasure or pain of which i t is not itself the efficient cause, we may love or hate that thing.

Proof From this mere fact i t comes about (Pr. 1 4, III) that the mind, when later th inking of this th ing, is affected by the emotion of pleasure or pain; that is (Sch . Pro I I , III), the power of the mind and body is increased or diminished, etc. Con­ sequently (Pr. 1 2, III), the mind desires to think of the said thing, or is averse to it (Cor. Pr. 1 3 , III); that is (Sch. Pro 1 3 , III) , it loves or hates the said th ing.

Scholium Hence we understand how it can come about that we love or hate some things without any cause known to us, but merely from Sympathy and An­ tipathy, as they are called. We should also classity in this category those objects that affect us with pleasure or pa in from the mere fuct that they have some re­ semblance to objects that are wont to affect us with the same emotions, as I shall demonstrate in the next Proposition.

I real ize that the writers who first in troduced the terms "sympathy" and "an­ tipathy" intended them to mean certain occult qual ities. Nevertheless, I th ink it is permissible for us to denote by them qualities that are also fumiliar or manifest.

PROPOSITION 1 6 From the mere fact that we imagine a thing to have something similar to an ob;ect that is wont to affect the mind with pleasure or pain, we shall lave it or hate it, al­ though the point of similarity is not the efficient cause of these emotions.

Proof By hypothesis, the point of s imilarity has been regarded by us in the ob­ ject with the emotion of pleasure or pain; and so (Pr. 1 4, III) when the mind is af­ fected by its image, it will also straightway be affected by the one or other emotion . Consequently, the thing which we perceive to have this said point of similarity will indirectly be the cause of pleasure or pain (Pr. 1 5 , III); and thus (preceding Corol­ lary), we shall love or hate the thing even though the point of similarity is not the efficient cause of these emotions.

PROPOSITION 1 7 If we imagine that a thing which is wont to affect us with an emotion of pain, has something similar to another thing which is wont to affect us with an equally great emotion of pleasure, we shall hate it and love it at the same time.

Proof By hypothesis, this thing is in itself a cause of pain, and (Sch. Pro 1 3 , III) insofar as we imagine it with this emotion , we hate it. But, in addition, insofar as we imagine it to have something similar to another th ing which is wont to affect us with an equally great emotion of pleasure, we shall love it with an equally strong emotion of pleasure (preceding Pr. ) . So we shall hate it and love it at the same time.

288 Ethics

Scholium This condition of the mind arising from two confl icting emotions is called "vacillation," which is therefore related to emotion as doubt is related to imagination (Sch. Pr. 44, II), and there is no difference between vacillation and doubt except in respect of intensity. But it should be observed that in the preced­ ing Proposition I deduced these vacillations from causes which are, in the case of one emotion, a direct cause, and in the case of the other an indirect cause. Th is I did because they could in this way be more readily deduced from what had pre­ ceded, and not because I deny that vacillations generally arise from an object which is the efficient cause of both emotions. For the human body is composed (Post. I, II) of very many individual bodies of different nature, and so (Ax. 1 after Lemma 3, q.v. after Pr. 1 3 , II) it can be affected by one and the same body in many different ways; on the other hand, since one and the same thing can be affected in many ways, it can l ikewise affect one and the same part of the body in different ways. From this we can readily conceive that one and the same object can be the cause of many conflicting emotions.

PROPOSITION 1 8 From the image of things past or future man is affected by the same emotion of pleas­ ure or pain as {rom the image of a thing present.

Proof As long as a man is affected by the image of a th ing, he will regard the thing as present even though it may not exist (Pr. 1 7 , II and Cor.), and he does not th ink of it as past or future except insofar as its image is j oined to the image of past or future time (Sch. Pro 44, II). Therefore the image of a thing, considered solely in itself, is the same whether it be related to future, past, or presen� that is (Cor. 2, Pro 16 , II), the state of the body, or the emotion, is the same whether the image be of a th ing past or future or present. So the emotion of pleasure, and of pain, is the same whether the image be of a th ing past or future or present.

Scholium 1 Here I call a thing past or future insofar as we have been, or shall be, affected by it; for example, insofar as we have seen or shall see it, i t has re­ freshed or will refresh us, it has in jured or will injure us, etc. For insofar as we imagine i t in this way, to that extent we affirm i ts existence; that is, the body is not affected by any emotion that excludes the existence of the thing, and so (Pr. 1 7, II) the body is affected by the image of the thing in the same way as if the thing itself were present. However, since it is generally the case that those who have had much experience vacillate when they are regarding a th ing as future or past and are generally in doubt as to its outcome (Sch. Pro 44, II), the result is that emo­ tions that arise from similar images of things are not so constant, but are gener­ ally disturbed by images of other things until men become more assured of the outcome.

Scholium 2 From what has just been said we understand what is Hope [spes] , Fear [metus], Confidence [securitas] , Despair [desperatio] , Joy [gaudium], and Disappointment [conscientiae morsus] . Hope is "inconstant pleasure, arising from the image of a th ing future or past, of whose outcome we are in doubt." Fear is

Part III, Proposition 21 289

" inconstant pain, l ikewise arising from the image of a th ing in doubt: Now if the element of doubt be removed from these emotions, hope becomes confidence and fear becomes despa ir, that is "pleasure or pain arising from a thing which we have feared or have hoped." Joy is "pleasure arising from the image of a past th ing of whose outcome we have been in doubt." Finally, disappointment is "the pain opposite to j oy."

PROPOSITION 1 9 H e who imagines that what h e loves i s being destroyed will feel pain. If, however, he imagines that it is being preserved, he will feel pleasure.

Proof The mind, as far as it can, endeavors to imagine whatever increases or as­ sists the body's power of activity (Pr. 12 , Ill), that is (Sch. Pro 1 3 , Ill), those things i t loves. But the imagination is assisted by whatever posits the existence of the thing, and, on the other hand, is checked by whatever excludes the existence of the thing (Pr. 1 7, II). Therefore, the images of things that posit the existence of the loved object assist the mind's conatus wherewith i t endeavors to imagine the loved object, that is (Sch. Pro I I , 1II), they affect the mind with pleasure. On the other hand, those things that exclude the existence of the loved object check that same conatus of the mind, that is (by the same Schol ium), they affect the mind with pain. Therefore, he who imagines that what he loves is being destroyed will feel pain, . . . etc.

PROPOSITION 20 He who imagines that a thing that he hates is being destrayed will feel pleasure.

Proof The mind (Pr. 1 3 , 1II) endeavors to imagine whatever excludes the exis­ tence of th ings whereby the body's power of activity is diminished or checked; that is (Sch. Pr. 1 3 , 1II), it endeavors to imagine whatever excludes the existence of things that it hates. So the image of a th ing that excludes the existence of what the mind hates assists th is conatus of the mind; that is (Sch. Pro 1 1 , Ill), it affects the mind with pleasure. Therefore, he who thinks that that which he hates is being destroyed will feel pleasure.

PROPOSITION 2 1 He who imagines that what he loves is affected with pleasure or pain will likewise be affected with pleasure or pain, the intensity of which will vary with the intensity of the emotion in the ob;ect loved.

Proof As we have shown in Proposition 19 , III, the images of things which posit the existence of the object loved assist the mind's conatus whereby it endeavors to th ink of the object loved . But pleasure posits the existence of that which feels pleasure, and the more so as the emotion of pleasure is stronger; for pleasure (Sch. Pro 1 1 , III) is a transition to a state of greater perfection. Therefore the image, which is in the lover, of the pleasure of the object loved, assists his mind's cona­ tus; that is (Sch. Pr. I I , Ill), it affects the lover with pleasure, and all the more to

290 Ethics

the extent that this emotion is in the object loved. That was the first point. Again, insofar as a th ing is affected with some pain, to that extent it is being destroyed, and the more so according to the extent to which it is affected with pain (same Sch . Pr. I I , III). Thus (Pr. 1 9, III), he who imagines that what he loves is affected with pain will l ikewise be affected with pain, the intensity of which will vary with the intensity of this emotion in the object loved.

PROPOSITION 22 If we imagine that someone is affecting with pleasure the object of our love, we shall be affected with love toward him. If on the other hand we think that he is affecting with pain the object of our love, we shall likewise be affected with hatred toward him.

Proof He who affects with pleasure or pain the object of our love affects us also with pleasure or pain, assuming that we think of the object of our love as affected with that pleasure or pain (preceding Pr. ) . But it is supposed that this pleasure or pain is in us accompanied by the idea of an external cause. Therefore (Sch. Pr. 1 3 , 1JI), if we think that someone is affecting with pleasure or pain the object of our love, we shall be affected with love or hatred toward h im.

Scholium Proposition 2 1 explains to us what is Pity [commiseratio], which we may define as "pain arising from another's hurt." As for pleasure arising from an­ other's good, I know not what to call it. Furthermore, love toward one who has ben­ efited another we shall call Approval [favor] , and on the other hand hatred toward one who has injured another we shall call Indignation [indignatio ] . Finally, it should be observed that we pity not only the thing which we have loved (as we have demonstrated in Pr. 2 1 ), but also a thing for which we have previously felt no emo­ tion, provided that we judge it similar to ourselves (as I shall show in due course). Likewise, we approve of one who has benefited someone l ike ourselves; and on the other hand, we are indignant with one who has in jured someone l ike ourselves.

PROPOSITION 2 3 He who imagines that what he hates is affected with pain will feel pleasure; if, on the other hand, he thinks of it as affected with pleasure, he will feel pain. Both of these emotions will vary in intensity inversely with the variation of the contrary emo­ tion in that which he hates.

Proof Insofar as the thing hated is affected with pain, it is being destroyed, and the more so according to the degree of pain (Sch. Pr. I I , 1JI) . So (Pr. 20, III) he who imagines the object hated to be affected with pain will, on the contrary, be affected with pleasure, and the more so as he imagines the object hated to be af­ fected with more pain. That was the first point. Again, pleasure posits the exis­ tence of that wh ich feels pleasure (same Sch. Pr. I I , Ill), and the more so as the pleasure is conceived to be greater. If anyone imagines him whom he hates to be affected with pleasure, this thought will check h is conatus (Pr. 1 3 , 1JI ) : that is (Sch . Pr. I I , Ill) , he who hates will be affected with pain, etc.

Part III, Proposition 26 291

Scholium This pleasure can scarcely be unalloyed and devoid of conflict of feel ing. For (as I shall forthwith demonstrate in Proposition 27) insofar as he imag­ ines a thing s imilar to himself to be affected with an emotion of pain, to that ex­ tent he is bound to feel pa in, and contrariwise ifhe imagines it to be affected with pleasure. But here it is only his hate that we are considering.

PROPOSITION 24 If we imagine someone to be affecting with pleasure a thing that we hate, we shall be affected with hate toward him too. If on the other hand we think of him as af­ fecting with pain the said thing, we shall be affected with love toward him.

Proof The proof follows the same lines as Pro 22, III.

Scholium These and similar emotions of hatred are related to Envy [invidia], which can therefore be defined as "hatred insofar as i t is considered to dispose a man to rejoice in another's hurt and to feel pain at another's good."

PROPOSITION 2 5 We endeavor to affirm of ourselves and of a n ob;ect loved whatever we imagine af­ fects us or the loved ob;ect with pleasure, and, on the other hand, to negate what­ ever we imagine affects us or the loved ob;ect with pain.

Proof What we imagine affects the object loved with pleasure or pain affects us with pleasure or pain (Pr. 2 1 , IJI). Now the mind (Pr. 1 2 , IJI) endeavors, as far as i t can, to think of things that affect us with pleasure; that is (Pr. 17 , II and Cor.), to regard them as present; and, on the other hand (Pr. 1 3 , Ill), to exclude the ex­ istence of things that affect us with pain . Therefore, we endeavor to affirm of our­ selves and the loved object whatever we imagine affects us or the object loved with pleasure, and vice versa.

PROPOSITION 26 We endeavor to affirm of that which we hate whatever we imagine affects it with pain, and on the other hand to deny what we imagine affects it with pleasure.

Proof This proposition follows from Proposition 23 , IJI, as does the preceding proposition from Proposition 2 1 , III.

Scholium Thus we see that it easily happens that a man may have too high an opinion of himself and of the object loved, and on the other hand too mean an opinion of the object of his hatred . This way of thinking, when it concerns the man who has too h igh an opinion of h imself, is called Pride [superbial , and is a kind of madness, in that a man dreams with his eyes open that he can do all those things that h is imagination encompasses, which he therefore regards as real, ex­ ulting in them, as long as he is incapable of th inking of those things that exclude their existence and limit his power of activity. Therefore, pride is "pleasure arising from the fact that a man has too high an opinion of himself." Again, "pleasure that arises from the fact that a man has too h igh an opinion of another" is called Over-

292 Ethics

esteem [existimatio] . Finally, "pleasure arising from the fuct that a man has too mean an opinion of another" is called Disparagement [despectus] .

PROPOSITION 27 From the fact that we imagine a thing like ourselves, toward which we have felt no emotion, to be affected by an emotion, we are thereby affected by a similar emotion.

Proof Images of things are affections of the human body, the ideas of which set before us external bodies as presen t (Sch. Pro 1 7, II); that is (Pr. 1 6, II), the ideas of these affections involve the nature of our own body and s imultaneously the na­ ture of the external body as present. If therefore the natu re of the external body is similar to the nature of our own body, then the idea of the external body in our th inking will involve an affection of our own body similar to the affection of the external body. Consequently, if we imagine someone l ike ourselves to be affected by an emotion, this thought will express an affection of our own body similar to that ernotion . So frorn the fuct that we irnagine a th ing l ike oUll>elves to be affected by an emotion, we are affected by a similar emotion along with i t. But if we hate a th ing similar to ourselves, to that extent (Pr. 23 , IIJ) we shall be affected by a contrary, not sirnilar, ernotion along with it.

Scholiurn This irnitation of emotions, when it is related to pain, is called Pity (see Sch . Pro 22, III), but when it is related to desire it is called Emulation [aem­ ulatio] , which is therefore "nothing else but the desire of some thing which has been engendered in us from the belief that others similar to ourselves have th is same desire."

Corollary I If we believe that someone, for whom we have felt no ernotion, af­ fects with pleasure a thing similar to ourselves, we shall be affected by love toward him. If, on the other hand, we believe that he affects the said object with pain, we shall be affected with hatred toward h irn.

Proof This is proved from the preceding Proposition in the same way as Propo­ s ition 22 frorn Proposition 2 1 , III .

Corollary 2 The fact that its distress affects us with pain cannot cause us to hate a th ing that we pity.

Proof Ifwe could hate it on that account, then (Pr. 23 , III) we should be pleased at i ts pain, which is contrary to our hypothesis.

Corollary 3 As far as we can , we endeavor to free from distress the thing that we pity.

Proof That which affects with pain a th ing that we pity affects us too with s im­ ilar pain (preceding Pr.), and so we shall endeavor to devise whatever annuls the existence of the forrner or destroys it (Pr. 1 3 , III): that is (Sch. Pr. 9, IIJ), we shall seek to destroy it; i.e. we shall be determined to destroy it. So we shall endeavor to free frorn its distress the thing we pity.

Part III, Proposition 29 293

Scholium This will or appetite to do good which arises from our pitying the thing to which we wish to do good is called Benevolence [benevolentia] , which is therefore "nothing else but desire arising from pity." As to love and hatred toward one who has done good or ill to a th ing that we think to be l ike ourselves, see Sch . Pro 22, III .

PROPOSITION 28 We endeavor to bring about whatever we imagine to be conducive to pleasure; but we endeavor to remove or destray whatever we imagine to be opposed to pleasure and conducive to pain.

Proof As far as we can, we endeavor to imagine whatever we th ink to be con­ ducive to pleasure (Pr. 1 2 , III) : that is (Pr. 1 7, II), we endeavor, as far as we can, to regard it as present, that is