Spinoza: Definitions of Affects

April 21, 2021

From Book III of Spinoza’s Ethics, translated by Edwin Curley, in order of their appearance. (I made this without realizing Spinoza himself recapitulates all the affects and their definitions at the end of Book III, and so didn’t quite go all the way through.)

Will.  When the mind strives to preserve itself, only with respect to itself. [Prop 9]

Appetite. When the mind strives to preserve both itself and the body in its being. [Prop 9]

Desire. Different from appetite only insofar as it is self-aware. Desire is appetite aware of itself. [Prop 9]

Joy. “By Joy, therefore, I shall understand… that passion by which the Mind passes to a greater perfection…” [Prop 11]

Sadness. “And [I understand] by Sadness, that passion by which it passes to a lesser perfection.” [Prop 11]

Pleasure/Cheerfulness. That affect of Joy that is related to the Mind and Body at once. [Prop 11]

Pain/ Melancholy. That affect of Sadness that is related to the Mind and Body at once. [Prop 11]

Love. Love is nothing but Joy with an accompanying idea of external cause. [Prop 13]

Hate. Hate is nothing but Sadness with an accompanying idea of external cause. [Prop 13]

Hope. “Hope is nothing but an inconstant joy which has arisen from the image of a future or past thing whose outcome we doubt.” [Prop 18]

Fear. “An inconstant sadness that has also arisen from a doubtful thing.” [Prop 18]

Confidence. Hope becomes confidence as the element of doubt is removed. [Prop 18]

Despair. Fear becomes despair as the element of doubt is removed. [Prop 18]

Gladness. “A joy which has arisen from the image of a past thing whose outcome we doubted.” [Prop 18]

Remorse. “A sadness which is opposite to gladness.” [Prop 18]

Pity. “Sadness that has arisen from injury to another.” [Prop 22]

Opposite of Pity. “By what name we should call the joy that arises from another’s good, I do not know.” [Prop 22]

Favor. “Love toward him who has done good to another.” [Prop 22]

Indignation. “Hate toward him who has done evil to another.” [Prop 22]

Envy. “Hate, insofar as it is considered so to dispose a man that he is glad at another’s ill fortune and saddened by his good fortune.” [Prop 24]

Pride. “A joy born of the fact that a man thinks more highly of himself than is just.” [Prop 26]

Overestimation. “The joy born of the fact that a man thinks more highly of another than is just.” [Prop 26]

Scorn. Thinking less highly of another than is just. [Prop 26]

Pity / Emulation. When we imagine something like us to be affected by an affect, we ourselves are similarly affected. When that imitation is related to sadness it is pity, when related to Desire, it is emulation. [Prop 27]

Benevolence. “This will or appetite to do good, born of our pity for the thing on which we wish to conger a benefit, is call Benevolence, which is therefore nothing but a Desire born of pity.” [Prop 27]

Ambition/ Human Kindness. “This striving to do something (and also to omit doing something) solely to please men is called Ambition, especially when we strive so eagerly to please the people that we do or omit certain things to our own injury, or another’s. In other cases, it is usually called human kindness.” [Prop 29] “This striving to bring it about that everyone should approve his love and hate is really Ambition” [Prop 31].

Praise/ Blame. “The Joy with which we imagine the action of another by which he has strive to please us I call Praise. On the other hand, the Sadness with which we are averse to his action I call Blame.” [Prop 29]

Love of Esteem, Shame / Self-esteem, Repentance. “Joy accompanied by the idea of an internal cause, we shall call love of esteem, and the Sadness contarary to it, Shame — I mean when the Joy or Sadness arise from the fact that the man believes that he is praised or blamed. Otherwise I shall call the Joy accompanied by the idea of an internal cause, Self-esteem, and the Sadness contrary to it, Repentance.

Jealousy. “This Hatred toward a thing we love, combined with Envy, is called Jealousy, which is therefore nothing but a vacillation of mind born of Love and Hatred together, accompanied by the idea of another who is envied.” [Prop 35]

*Longing. One doesn’t only desire a thing, but to desire it as when one’s desire was new. The sadness for the absence of such accidental causes of ones joy is longing. [Prop 36]

Timidity, A Sense of Shame, Consternation. “Further, this affect, by which a man is so disposed that he does not will what he wills, and wills what he does not will, is called Timidity, which is therefore nothing but fear insofar as a man is disposed by it to avoid an evil he judges to be future by encountering a lesser evil (see Prop 28). But if the evil he is timid toward is Shame, then the timidity is called a Sense of shame. Finally, if the desire to avoid a future evil is restrained by a Timidity regarding another evil, so that he does not know what he would rather do, then the Fear is called Consternation, particularly if each evil he fears is of the greatest.” [Prop 39]

Anger. “The striving to do evil to him we hate is called Anger.”

Vengeance. “The striving to return an evil done to us is called Vengeance.”

[Starting from here, I’m just grabbing from wikisource].

This mental modification, or imagination of a particular thing, in so far as it is alone in the mind, is called Wonder ; but if it be excited by an object of fear, it is called Consternation, because wonder at an evil keeps a man so engrossed in the simple contemplation thereof, that he has no power to think of anything else whereby he might avoid the evil. If, however, the object of wonder be a man’s prudence, industry, or anything of that sort, inasmuch as the said man, is thereby regarded as far surpassing ourselves, wonder is called Veneration ; otherwise, if a man’s anger, envy, &c., be what we wonder at, the emotion is called Horror. Again, if it be the prudence, industry, or what not, of a man we love, that we wonder at, our love will on this account be the greater (III. xii.), and when joined to wonder or veneration is called Devotion. We may in like manner conceive hatred, hope, confidence, and the other emotions, as associated with wonder ; and we should thus be able to deduce more emotions than those which have obtained names in ordinary speech. Whence it is evident, that the names of the emotions have been applied in accordance rather with their ordinary manifestations than with an accurate knowledge of their nature.

To wonder is opposed Contempt, which generally arises from the fact that, because we see someone wondering at, loving, or fearing something, or because something, at first sight, appears to be like things, which we ourselves wonder at, love, fear, &c., we are, in consequence (III. xv. Coroll. and III. xxvii.), determined to wonder at, love, or fear that thing. But if from the presence, or more accurate contemplation of the said thing, we are compelled to deny concerning it all that can be the cause of wonder, love, fear, &c., the mind then, by the presence of the thing, remains determined to think rather of those qualities which are not in it, than of those which are in it ; whereas, on the other hand, the presence of the object would cause it more particularly to regard that which is therein. As devotion springs from wonder at a thing which we love, so does Derision spring from contempt of a thing which we hate or fear, and Scorn from contempt of folly, as veneration from wonder at prudence. Lastly, we can conceive the emotions of love, hope, honour, &c., in association with contempt, and can thence deduce other emotions, which are not distinguished one from another by any recognized name.

When the mind contemplates its weakness it feels pain […] This pain, accompanied by the idea of our own weakness, is called humility ; the pleasure, which springs from the contemplation of ourselves, is called self-love or self-complacency. 

More on Cowardice and Consternation

Daring is the desire, whereby a man is set on to do something dangerous which his equals fear to attempt. Cowardice is attributed to one, whose desire is checked by the fear of some danger which his equals dare to encounter. Consternation is attributed to one, whose desire of avoiding evil is checked by amazement at the evil which he fears.

Explanation.Consternation is, therefore, a species of cowardice. But, inasmuch as consternation arises from a double fear, it may be more conveniently defined as a fear which keeps a man so bewildered and wavering, that he is not able to remove the evil. I say bewildered, in so far as we understand his desire of removing the evil to be constrained by his amazement. I say wavering, in so far as we understand the said desire to be constrained by the fear of another evil, which equally torments him : whence it comes to pass that he knows not, which he may avert of the two.

April 20, 2021

Customer’s expressed view: masks were about people liking to control and manipulate others. Attendant’s unexpressed view: customer thought rules were for dumb normal people, not him.

Person appeared and sat outside to work at computer without purchasing anything. Attendant thought “– unless a customer needs the seat.” 45 minutes later, a customer needed the seat, so attendant went out and said something to the person. The person responded that he had been there and purchased something in the morning and felt he still had a right to the seat. “I have no problem with that at all,” he’d boldly asserted to the attendant. Attendant agreed, explained he couldn’t have known he’d been a customer earlier, and went back in.

(Non-altercations with customers galore at Chance Sweepings.)

April 19, 2021

Idea that Aristotle’s four causes might be a good organizing principle for a contemporary cook book: that dishes should be thought of as having material, efficient, formal and final causes — ingredients, recipe, presentation, satisfaction of appetite. (Or maybe: ingredients, utensils, recipe, satisfaction.)

Idea that there’s this analogy between the way ancient scientists thought and the way everyday people in Democracies think; the former are geniuses and the latter are not, but both their ideas are confined to intuitive thinking in a certain sense. Heavier objects fall faster than light ones.

(Could you look at ancient Athens as a kind of pinnacle of western intuitive thought?… I suppose, though, part of why Plato caused a stir was that his morality is counter-intuitive — Justice is not the will of the stronger, etc.)

April 18, 2021

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Customer Saturn

April 17, 2021

. . . .
. . ………………… ………
The shop itself put into the grill
now to be removed from it. Less hot
will it be
–as the tomatoes burst out,
(Lettuce like flames from the windows.)
Less hot will it be— (Onions visible
Less hot within the opened mouth.)
It was thus that Customer Saturn did eat and does eat still:
Less hot eyes glazed above the dilated nose,
Less hot forward lunge of the pinched opened face,
Less hot huge hands that hold the hot bread fast,
Less hot crumbs and grease on the rosy wide plate.

. . . .
. . ………………… ……… *
(Possible conclusory poem to Chance Sweepings, or maybe part of epigraph, anyway fit companion to preceding.)
. . . .

Saliva of Time

April 16, 2021

. . . .
. . . .
Making a sandwich of stone and steel;
if only the mouth’s groin vault could comprehend
the packages I wheel into it,

the unparalleled girders of flavor I impart,
this sandwich’s barrier would never be entered into
and would endure forever the saliva of time.
. . . .
. . ………………… ……… *
(Possible epigraph for Chance Sweepings.)
. . . .

April 15, 2021

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Chiasmus of time

April 14, 2021

They have been called into relief through the grammatical relation known as Chiasmus The Chiasmus of Time in which Powerlines toepaths walking bike paths are trainlines, rail tracks. ..

Chasm: Chasissimus. Chasmarion: nom or acc singular or plural of noun Chasm. Chiarscuro is genetic “particouple” of an entirely different word. Chiasmus is vocative of Chasm, as if one were to call out — CHASM! not as a warning but as an invitation or a call. (The valley the rail path runs up is, incidentally, such a chasm.)

People particle packets telegraph telephone power train poles: telephone is nominative singular of telegraph, but what is the root. It is a verb maybe.

People on bikes and people with dogs on what was formerly the rail-line. Joggers and walkers, in the chiasmus of time: people on trains: high voltage fonts types zeros ones .fast the links between the guy the.hitch ..,baby dog strollers wires. History doesn’t rhyme but suggests chiasmus, and perhaps other rhetorically considered Space & Time blocks (Or Space & SPACE blocks with TIME & time blocks) a line I myself am now crossing at right angles.

*

[A version of this to maybe appear in “Study of Sounds”, it concerns the point in my walk, which I think of as the midpoint, where I cross the WO&D, a bike path that was formerly a rail line. It envisions the bike path, now strung with power lines,  as a sort of “chiasmus of time”, the railway still there in some sense. A little silly, I like the sudden appearance of radically paratactic syntax in places, notably third paragraph.]

What made Burg imagine he’d come to a stop

April 13, 2021

Burg had been thinking as he walked of how Jakakason walked (which became how his left foot stepped) and then of how Afamtee, who was deceased, had walked, (which became how his right foot stepped) and this had worked out alright for a while as those two had had rather complimentary gaits: Jakakason having had almost a severe duck walk (according to Adam) and Afametee also with the foot angled out more than the norm but most notably with a sort of pronounced planting of the heel, like the planting of an ice ax or alpenstock, almost as if he were traversing a vertical surface, digging the right heel in and drawing himself forward and upward with it, then digging in the left one to claw himself up.

The problem for Burg was that after having walked for a bit with Jakakason serving as the model for his left step and Afamtee serving as the model for his right, he had the idea of switching the two (so as to even out the wear on his shoes soles) which turned out not to be, as he had initially supposed, a simple matter of doing with the right foot what he had been doing with the left, and vice versa, but required an actual transition or transfer of the idea of the left over to the right and of the idea of the right over to the left (which was something akin, if you can envision it, to a situation in which the actual Jakakason and Afamtee had been asked to switch positions in the back seat of a moving car, clambering over each other in a tight spot, only with the “car”, in this instance, being Burg’s mind); during which transference, the ideas became mixed up, which in turn lead Burg not to trip or to stumble exactly, as he had initially claimed when recounting this, but he did come near enough to losing his balance that he did briefly consider, as a precaution, coming to a complete stop, though in fact he only slowed.

[From a novel never to published or finished, tentatively known as The Beings, in which people walk around within a large gym-like structure, somewhat in each other’s company.]

Tamarisk in Qur’an

April 12, 2021

Came across this the other day, Sura 34 (“Sheba”), verses 15-17, pp. 273 in my translation, M.A.S. Abdel Haleem.

There was a sign for the people of Sheba, too, in their dwelling place: two gardens, one on the right, one on the left: ‘Eat from what you Lord has provided for you and give Him thanks, for your land is good, and your Lord most forgiving.’ But they paid no heed, so We let loose on them a flood from the dam and replaced their gardens with others that yielded bitter fruit, tamarisk bushes and a few lote trees. In this way We punished them for their ingratitude — would We punish anyone but the ungrateful?

Am I in Ancient Greece?

April 9, 2021

The second of the things I knew was that I was in ancient Greece. That is, I was in what I took to be ancient Greece. It certainly wasn’t modern Greece. And yet it may have been some other country, or it may have been no country at all, that is, not a recognized or organized one. It may have been a no-man’s land or disputed zone.

And I don’t know what caused me to say this was Ancient Greece necessarily because there were none of the usual hallmarks (what is a “hallmark” by the way, that word?) or attributes I associate with that place and time: there were, for example, no fluted marble columns, there were no marble structures at all, no crepidoma, if that’s the word (why would I have a word in my head like that one, like crepidoma?); there were no orchards of olive trees, there were no olive-skinned archaic types; there were no white flowing togas or tunics; there were no upstart Phoenicians, there was no one named Alcibiades, there were no phallanxes or horse-hair helmets, no orators, arches, aqueducts, forums, gates, walls…

(And now I must freely admit that quite a few things I associate with Ancient Greece, and by which I might identify Ancient Greece, had never been a part of that culture, so far as any of us know. I have quite a few peculiar ideas about Ancient Greece, it may turn out.)

Ancient Greece, in short, had come to mean so much to me that, under the right conditions, I could be fooled into thinking that almost anywhere I was was Ancient Greece, which I imagine must have been the case presently.

And I very much enjoyed this new place where I was, with its mild climate, I must say.

I never saw another person, I never saw another building, I never heard, for example, a plane overhead, nor ever saw any technology, ancient or modern, beyond a few crude eating utensils and garden implements. There was a shovel, in fact there was a whole rack of shovels — whoever’s dwelling this is, I thought to myself at the time, they must be a merchant in this trade, as there must be upwards of fifty shovels in that rack. And this was another thing that put in mind that this might not be Ancient Greece, for while I did not doubt the Greeks of this period used shovels, nevertheless, whenever you see things in that kind of quantity, be they shovels or anything else, your mind immediately turns to modernity (although one can easily imagine Greek warriors having had cumulatively thousands of swords, and so why couldn’t one imagine Greek workers having had cumulatively thousands of shovels?)

(How did I get here, I’m suddenly thinking, which is first of all a place with no roads and second of all a place that I’m very much inclined to imagine is, of all places, Ancient Greece?)

But on the whole, the absence of all but the most basic and mechanical forms of technology doubly confirmed me in the supposition that I was no longer in the present (that is, of course, if I was ever in the present). Or if, in the unlikely event I was still in the present, if at any moment I was about to hear the oven-timer for my croissant to go off, and rise to fetch it, it was in a geographic location of the present that was very much like that of an earlier and more rustic or glorious time, of which I had no doubt there were some few places left in our own historical period, places untouched not by people per se but untouched by people en masse per se, though they were becoming more and more remote from each other.

For the record I have no, or very little, knowledge of Greece, Rome, history, the history of technology, crepidoma, the Isthmus of Corinth… I suspect it is only that I’ve just read a shrewdly written philosophical tract which has momentarily disoriented me, turned me around, left me with a vacant stare, for which I must apologize. I suspect that soon I will look down to my lap, start reading the next sentence, and find myself securely where I was, in my actual present location, which is, most likely, very much like your present location, with a chair, for example, and some kind of light source. Or else I’ll wake to find I’m opening a tin of cat food and spooning it out. Or else I’ll hear the oven-timer go off, and rise to get my croissant.