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Title: Ethics — Part 2
Author: Spinoza, Benedictus de, 1632-1677
Language: English
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Benedict de Spinoza, THE ETHICS
(Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata)

Translated by R. H. M. Elwes



Part II:  ON THE NATURE AND ORIGIN OF THE MIND



PREFACE I now pass on to explaining the results, which must
necessarily follow from the essence of  God, or of the eternal
and infinite being; not, indeed, all of them (for we proved in
Part i.,  Prop. xvi., that an infinite number must follow in an
infinite number of ways), but only  those which are able to lead
us, as it were by the hand, to the knowledge of the human  mind
and its highest blessedness.

DEFINITIONS I.  By 'body' I mean a mode which expresses in a
certain determinate manner the essence  of God, in so far as he
is considered as an extended thing.  (See Pt. i., Prop. xxv.
Cor.)

II.  I consider as belonging to the essence of a thing that,
which being given, the thing is  necessarily given also, and,
which being removed, the thing is necessarily removed also;  in
other words, that without which the thing, and which itself
without the thing, can neither  be nor be conceived.

III. By 'idea,' I mean the mental conception which is formed by
the mind as a thinking  thing.

>>>>>Explanation--I say 'conception' rather than perception,
because the word perception  seems to imply that the mind is
passive in respect to the object; whereas conception seems  to
express an activity of the mind.

IV.  By 'an adequate idea,' I mean an idea which, in so far as
it is considered in itself,  without relation to the object, has
all the properties or intrinsic marks of a true idea.

>>>>>Explanation--I say 'intrinsic,' in order to exclude that
mark which is extrinsic,  namely, the agreement between the idea
and its object (ideatum).

V.  'Duration' is the indefinite continuance of existing.

>>>>>Explanation--I say 'indefinite,' because it cannot be
determined through the  existence itself of the existing thing,
or by its efficient cause, which necessarily gives the  existence
of the thing, but does not take it away.

VI.  'Reality' and 'perfection' I use as synonymous terms.

VII.  By 'particular things,' I mean things which are finite and
have a conditioned  existence; but if several individual things
concur in one action, so as to be all  simultaneously the effect
of one cause, I consider them all, so far, as one particular
thing.

 AXIOMS  I.  The essence of man does not involve necessary
existence, that is, it may, in the order of  nature, come to pass
that this or that man does or does not exist.

II.  Man thinks.

III.  Modes of thinking, such as love, desire, or any other of
the passions, do not take place,  unless there be in the same
individual an idea of the thing loved, desired, &c.  But the idea
can exist without the presence of any other mode of thinking.

IV.  We perceive that a certain body is affected in many ways.

V.  We feel and perceive no particular things, save bodies and
modes of thought.

N.B.  The Postulates are given after the conclusion of Prop.
xiii.

 PROPOSITIONS  I.  Thought is an attribute of God, or God is a
thinking thing.

>>>>>Proof--Particular thoughts, or this and that thought, are
modes which, in a certain  conditioned manner, express the nature
of God (Pt. i., Prop. xxv., Cor.).  God therefore  possesses the
attribute (Pt. i., Def. v.) of which the concept is involved in
all particular  thoughts, which latter are conceived thereby.
Thought, therefore, is one of the infinite  attributes of God,
which express God's eternal and infinite essence (Pt. i., Def.
vi.).  In  other words, God is a thinking thing.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--This proposition is also evident from the fact, that
we are able to conceive  an infinite thinking being.  For, in
proportion as a thinking being is conceived as thinking  more
thoughts, so is it conceived as containing more reality or
perfection.  Therefore a  being, which can think an infinite
number of things in an infinite number of ways, is,
necessarily, in respect of thinking, infinite.  As, therefore,
from the consideration of  thought alone, we conceive an infinite
being, thought is necessarily (Pt. i., Deff. iv. and vi.)  one of
the infinite attributes of God, as we were desirous of showing.

II.  Extension is an attribute of God, or God is an extended
thing.

>>>>>Proof--The proof of this proposition is similar to that of
the last.

III.  In God there is necessarily the idea not only of his
essence, but also of all things which  necessarily follow from
his essence.

>>>>>Proof--God (by the first Prop. of this Part) can think an
infinite number of things in  infinite ways, or (what is the same
thing, by Prop. xvi., Part i.) can form the idea of his  essence,
and of all things which necessarily follow therefrom.  Now all
that is in the power  of God necessarily is (Pt. i., Prop.
xxxv.).  Therefore, such an idea as we are considering
necessarily is, and in God alone.  Q.E.D.  (Part i., Prop. xv.)

*****Note--The multitude understand by the power of God the free
will of God, and the  right over all things that exist, which
latter are accordingly generally considered as  contingent.  For
it is said that God has the power to destroy all things, and to
reduce them  to nothing.  Further, the power of God is very often
likened to the power of kings.  But  this doctrine we have
refuted (Pt. i., Prop. xxxii., Cors. i. and ii.), and we have
shown  (Part i., Prop. xvi.) that God acts by the same necessity,
as that by which he understands  himself; in other words, as it
follows from the necessity of the divine nature (as all admit),
that God understands himself, so also does it follow by the same
necessity, that God  performs infinite acts in infinite ways.  We
further showed (Part i., Prop. xxxiv.), that  God's power is
identical with God's essence in action; therefore it is as
impossible for us  to conceive God as not acting, as to conceive
him as non-existent.  If we might pursue  the subject further, I
could point out, that the power which is commonly attributed to
God  is not only human (as showing that God is conceived by the
multitude as a man, or in the  likeness of a man), but involves a
negation of power.  However, I am unwilling to go over  the same
ground so often.  I would only beg the reader again and again, to
turn over  frequently in his mind what I have said in Part i.
from Prop. xvi. to the end.  No one will  be able to follow my
meaning, unless he is scrupulously careful not to confound the
power  of God with the human power and right of kings.

IV.  The idea of God, from which an infinite number of things
follow in infinite ways, can  only be one.

>>>>>Proof--Infinite intellect comprehends nothing save the
attributes of God and his  modifications (Part i., Prop. xxx.).
Now God is one (Part i., Prop. xiv., Cor.).  Therefore  the idea
of God, wherefrom an infinite number of things follow in infinite
ways, can only  be one.  Q.E.D.

V.  The actual being of ideas owns God as its cause, only in so
far as he is considered as a  thinking thing, not in so far as he
is unfolded in any other attribute; that is, the ideas both  of
the attributes of God and of particular things do not own as
their efficient cause their  objects (ideata) or the things
perceived, but God himself in so far as he is a thinking thing.

>>>>>Proof--This proposition is evident from Prop. iii. of this
Part.  We there drew the  conclusion, that God can form the idea
of his essence, and of all things which follow  necessarily
therefrom, solely because he is a thinking thing, and not because
he is the  object of his own idea.  Wherefore the actual being of
ideas owns for cause God, in so far  as he is a thinking thing.
It may be differently proved as follows:  the actual being of
ideas  is (obviously) a mode of thought, that is (Part i., Prop.
xxv., Cor.) a mode which expresses  in a certain manner the
nature of God, in so far as he is a thinking thing, and therefore
(Part i., Prop. x.) involves the conception of no other attribute
of God, and consequently  (by Part i., Ax. iv.) is not the effect
of any attribute save thought.  Therefore the actual  being of
ideas owns God as its cause, in so far as he is considered as a
thinking thing, &c.   Q.E.D.

VI.  The modes of any given attribute are caused by God, in so
far as he is considered  through the attribute of which they are
modes, and not in so far as he is considered through  any other
attribute.

>>>>>Proof--Each attribute is conceived through itself, without
any other part (Part i.,  Prop. x.); wherefore the modes of each
attribute involve the conception of that attribute,  but not of
any other.  Thus (Part i., Ax. iv.) they are caused by God, only
in so far as he  is considered through the attribute whose modes
they are, and not in so far as he is  considered through any
other.  Q.E.D.

<<<<>>>>Proof--This proposition is evident from Part i., Ax. iv.
For the idea of everything  that is caused depends on a
knowledge of the cause, whereof it is an effect.

<<<<>>>>Proof--This proposition is evident from the last; it is
understood more clearly from  the preceding note.

<<<<>>>>Proof--The idea of an individual thing actually existing is
an individual mode of  thinking, and is distinct from other modes
(by the Cor. and Note to Prop. viii. of this part);  thus (by
Prop. vi. of this part) it is caused by God, in so far only as he
is a thinking thing.   But not (by Prop. xxviii. of Part i.) in
so far as he is a thing thinking absolutely, only in so  far as
he is considered as affected by another mode of thinking; and he
is the cause of this  latter, as being affected by a third, and
so on to infinity.  Now, the order and connection  of ideas is
(by Prop. vii. of this book) the same as the order and connection
of causes.   Therefore of a given individual idea another
individual idea, or God, in so far as he is  considered as
modified by that idea, is the cause; and of this second idea God
is the  cause, in so far as he is affected by another idea, and
so on to infinity.  Q.E.D.

<<<<>>>>Proof--Whatsoever takes place in the object of any idea, its
idea is in God (by  Prop. iii. of this part), not in so far as he
is infinite, but in so far as he is considered as  affected by
another idea of an individual thing (by the last Prop.); but (by
Prop. vii. of  this part) the order and connection of ideas is
the same as the order and connection of  things.  The knowledge,
therefore, of that which takes place in any individual object
will  be in God, in so far only as he has the idea of that
object.  Q.E.D.

X.  The being of substance does not appertain to the essence of
man--in other words,  substance does not constitute the actual
being (forma) of man.

>>>>>Proof--The being of substance involves necessary existence
(Part i., Prop. vii.).   If, therefore, the being of substance
appertains to the essence of man, substance being  granted, man
would necessarily be granted also (II. Def. ii.), and,
consequently, man would  necessarily exist, which is absurd (II.
Ax. i.).  Therefore &c.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--This proposition may also be proved from I.v., in
which it is shown that there  cannot be two substances of the
same nature; for as there may be many men, the being of
substance is not that which constitutes the actual being of man.
Again, the proposition is  evident from the other properties of
substance--namely, that substance is in its nature  infinite,
immutable, indivisible, &c., as anyone may see for himself.

<<<<>>>>Proof--The essence of man (by the Cor. of the last Prop.) is
constituted by certain  modes of the attributes of God, namely
(by II. Ax. ii.), by the modes of thinking, of all  which (by II.
Ax. iii.) the idea is prior in nature, and, when the idea is
given, the other  modes (namely, those of which the idea is prior
in nature) must be in the same individual  (by the same Axiom).
Therefore an idea is the first element constituting the human
mind.   But not the idea of a non-existent thing, for then (II.
viii. Cor.) the idea itself cannot be  said to exist; it must
therefore be the idea of something actually existing.  But not of
an  infinite thing.  For an infinite thing (I. xxi., xxii.), must
always necessarily exist; this would  (by II. Ax. i.) involve an
absurdity.  Therefore the first element, which constitutes the
actual being of the human mind, is the idea of something actually
existing.  Q.E.D.

<<<<>>>>Proof--Whatsoever comes to pass in the object of any idea,
the knowledge  thereof is necessarily in God (II. ix. Cor.), in
so far as he is considered as affected by  the idea of the said
object, that is (II. xi.), in so far as he constitutes the mind
of anything.   Therefore, whatsoever takes place in the object
constituting the idea of the human mind,  the knowledge thereof
is necessarily in God, in so far as he constitutes the essence of
the  human mind; that is (by II. xi. Cor.) the knowledge of the
said thing will necessarily be  in the mind, in other words the
mind perceives it.

*****Note--This proposition is also evident, and is more clearly
to be understood from  II. vii., which see.

XIII.  The object of the idea constituting the human mind is the
body, in other words a  certain mode of extension which actually
exists, and nothing else.

>>>>>Proof--If indeed the body were not the object of the human
mind, the ideas of the  modifications of the body would not be in
God (II. ix. Cor.) in virtue of his constituting  our mind, but
in virtue of his constituting the mind of something else; that is
(II. xi. Cor.)  the ideas of the modifications of the body would
not be in our mind:  now (by II. Ax. iv.)  we do possess the idea
of the modifications of the body.  Therefore the object of the
idea constituting the human mind is the body, and the body as it
actually exists (II. xi.).   Further, if there were any other
object of the idea constituting the mind besides body,  then, as
nothing can exist from which some effect does not follow (I.
xxxvi.) there would  necessarily have to be in our mind an idea,
which would be the effect of that other object  (II. xi.); but
(I. Ax. v.) there is no such idea.  Wherefore the object of our
mind is the body  as it exists, and nothing else.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--We thus comprehend, not only that the human mind is
united to the body,  but also the nature of the union between
mind and body.  However, no one will be able  to grasp this
adequately or distinctly, unless he first has adequate knowledge
of the nature  of our body.  The propositions we have advanced
hitherto have been entirely general,  applying not more to men
than to other individual things, all of which, though in
different  degrees, are animated (animata).  For of everything
there is necessarily an idea in God, of  which God is the cause,
in the same way as there is an idea of the human body; thus
whatever we have asserted of the idea of the human body must
necessarily also be asserted  of the idea of everything else.
Still, on the other hand, we cannot deny that ideas, like
objects, differ one from the other, one being more excellent than
another and containing  more reality, just as the object of one
idea is more excellent than the object of another idea,  and
contains more reality.

Wherefore, in order to determine, wherein the human mind differs
from other things, and  wherein it surpasses them, it is
necessary for us to know the nature of its object, that is,  of
the human body.  What this nature is, I am not able here to
explain, nor is it necessary  for the proof of what I advance,
that I should do so.  I will only say generally, that in
proportion as any given body is more fitted than others for doing
many actions or receiving  many impressions at once, so also is
the mind, of which it is the object, more fitted than  others for
forming many simultaneous perceptions; and the more the actions
of the body  depend on itself alone, and the fewer other bodies
concur with it in action, the more fitted  is the mind of which
it is the object for distinct comprehension.  We may thus
recognize  the superiority of one mind over others, and may
further see the cause, why we have only a  very confused
knowledge of our body, and also many kindred questions, which I
will, in  the following propositions, deduce from what has been
advanced.  Wherefore I have  thought it worth while to explain
and prove more strictly my present statements.  In order  to do
so, I must premise a few propositions concerning the nature of
bodies.

---Axiom I.  All bodies are either in motion or at rest.

---Axiom II.  Every body is moved sometimes more slowly,
sometimes more quickly.

Lemma I.  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 proposition is, I take it,
self-evident.  That bodies are  not distinguished in respect of
substance, is plain both from I. v. and I. viii.  It is brought
out still more clearly from I. xv., Note.

Lemma II.  All bodies agree in certain respects.

>>>>>Proof--All bodies agree in the fact, that they involve the
conception of one and the  same attribute (II., Def. i.).
Further, in the fact that they may be moved less or more
quickly, and may be absolutely in motion or at rest.

Lemma III.  A body in motion or at rest must be determined to
motion or rest by another  body, which other body has been
determined to motion or rest by a third body, and that  third
again by a fourth, and so on to infinity.

>>>>>Proof--Bodies are individual things (II., Def. i.), which
(Lemma i.) are distinguished  one from the other in respect to
motion and rest; thus (I. xxviii.) each must necessarily be
determined to motion or rest by another individual thing, namely
(II. vi.) by another body,  which other body is also (Ax. i.) in
motion or at rest.  And this body again can only have  been set
in motion or caused to rest by being determined by a third body
to motion or rest.   This third body again by a fourth, and so on
to infinity.  Q.E.D.

<<<<>>>>Proof--Bodies (Lemma i.) are not distinguished in respect of
substance:  that which  constitutes the actuality (formam) of an
individual consists (by the last Def.) in a union of  bodies; but
this union, although there is a continual change of bodies, will
(by our  hypothesis) be maintained; the individual, therefore,
will retain its nature as before, both in  respect of substance
and in respect of mode.  Q.E.D.

Lemma V.  If the parts composing an individual become greater or
less, but in such  proportion, that they all preserve the same
mutual relations of motion and rest, the  individual will still
preserve its original nature, and its actuality will not be
changed.

>>>>>Proof--The same as for the last Lemma.

Lemma VI.  If certain bodies composing an individual be compelled
to change the motion,  which they have in one direction, for
motion in another direction, but in such a manner,  that they be
able to continue their motions and their mutual communication in
the same  relations as before, the individual will retain its own
nature without any change of its  actuality.

>>>>>Proof--This proposition is self-evident, for the individual
is supposed to retain all  that, which, in its definition, we
spoke of as its actual being.

Lemma VII.  Furthermore, the individual thus composed preserves
its nature, whether it  be, as a whole, in motion or at rest,
whether it be moved in this or that direction; so long  as each
part retains its motion, and preserves its communication with
other parts as  before.

>>>>>Proof--This proposition is evident from the definition of an
individual prefixed to  Lemma iv.

*****Note--We thus see, how a composite individual may be
affected in many different  ways, and preserve its nature
notwithstanding.  Thus far we have conceived an individual  as
composed of bodies only distinguished one from the other in
respect of motion and  rest, speed and slowness; that is, of
bodies of the most simple character.  If, however, we  now
conceive another individual composed of several individuals of
diverse natures, we  shall find that the number of ways in which
it can be affected, without losing its nature, will  be greatly
multiplied.  Each of its parts would consist of several bodies,
and therefore (by  Lemma vi.) each part would admit, without
change to its nature, of quicker or slower  motion, and would
consequently be able to transmit its motions more quickly or more
 slowly to the remaining parts.  If we further conceive a third
kind of individuals composed  of individuals of this second kind,
we shall find that they may be affected in a still greater
number of ways without changing their actuality.  We may easily
proceed thus to infinity,  and conceive the whole of nature as
one individual, whose parts, that is, all bodies, vary in
infinite ways, without any change in the individual as a whole.
I should feel bound to  explain and demonstrate this point at
more length, if I were writing a special treatise on  body.  But
I have already said that such is not my object; I have only
touched on the  question, because it enables me to prove easily
that which I have in view.

POSTULATES I.  The human body is composed of a number of
individual parts, of diverse nature, each  one of which is in
itself extremely complex.

II.  Of the individual parts composing the human body some are
fluid, some soft, some  hard.

III.  The individual parts composing the human body, and
consequently the human body  itself, are affected in a variety of
ways by external bodies.

IV.  The human body stands in need for its preservation of a
number of other bodies, by  which it is continually, so to speak,
regenerated.

V.  When the fluid part of the human body is determined by an
external body to impinge  often on another soft part, it changes
the surface of the latter, and, as it were, leaves the
impression thereupon of the external body which impels it.

VI.  The human body can move external bodies, and arrange them in
a variety of ways.

PROPOSITIONS XIV.  The human mind is capable of perceiving a
great number of things, and is so in   proportion as its body is
capable of receiving a great number of impressions.

>>>>>Proof--The human body (by Post. iii. and vi.) is affected in
very many ways by  external bodies, and is capable in very many
ways of affecting external bodies.  But (II.xii.)  the human mind
must perceive all that takes place in the human body; the human
mind is,  therefore, capable of perceiving a great number of
things, and is so in proportion, &c.   Q.E.D.

XV.  The idea, which constitutes the actual being of the human
mind, is not simple, but  compounded of a great number of ideas.

>>>>>Proof--The idea constituting the actual being of the human
mind is the idea of the  body (II. xiii.), which (Post. i.) is
composed of a great number of complex individual  parts.  But
there is necessarily in God the idea of each individual part
whereof the body is  composed (II. viii. Cor.); therefore (II.
vii.), the idea of the human body is composed of  each of these
numerous ideas of its component parts.  Q.E.D.

XVI.  The idea of every mode, in which the human body is
affected by external bodies,  must involve the nature of the
human body, and also the nature of the external body.

>>>>>Proof--All the modes, in which any given body is affected,
follow from the nature  of the body affected, and also from the
nature of the affecting body (by Ax. i., after the  Cor. of Lemma
iii.), wherefore their idea is also necessarily (by I, Ax. iv.)
involves the  nature of both bodies; therefore, the idea of every
mode, in which the human body is  affected by external bodies,
involves the nature of the human body and of the external  body.
Q.E.D.

<<<<>>>>Proof--This proposition is self-evident, for so long as the
human body continues to  be thus affected, so long will the human
mind (II. xii.) regard this modification of the body  --that is
(by the last Prop.), it will have the idea of the mode as
actually existing, and this  idea involves the nature of the
external body; therefore the mind (by II. xvi., Cor. i.) will
regard the external body as actually existing, until it is
affected, &c.  Q.E.D.

<<<<>>>>Proof--When external bodies determine the fluid parts of the
human body, so that  they often impinge on the softer parts, they
change the surface of the last named (Post. v);  hence (Ax. ii.,
after the Cor. of Lemma iii.) they are refracted therefrom in a
different  manner from that which they followed before such
change; and, further, when afterwards  they impinge on the new
surfaces by their own spontaneous movement, they will be
refracted in the same manner, as though they had been impelled
towards those surfaces by  external bodies; consequently, they
will, while they continue to be thus refracted, affect the  human
body in the same manner, whereof the mind (II. xii.) will again
take cognizance  --that is (II. xvii.), the mind will again
regard the external body as present, and will do so,  as often as
the fluid parts of the human body impinge on the aforesaid
surfaces by their  own spontaneous motion.  Wherefore, although
the external bodies, by which the human  body has once been
affected, be no longer in existence, the mind will nevertheless
regard  them as present, as often as this action of the body is
repeated.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--We thus see how it comes about, as is often the case,
that we regard as  present many things which are not.  It is
possible that the same result may be brought about  by other
causes; but I think it suffices for me here to have indicated one
possible  explanation, just as well as if I had pointed out the
true cause.  Indeed, I do not think I  am very far from the
truth, for all my assumptions are based on postulates, which
rest,  almost without exception, on experience, that cannot be
controverted by those who have  shown, as we have, that the human
body, as we feel it, exists (Cor. after II. xiii.).   Furthermore
(II. vii. Cor., II. xvi. Cor. ii.), we clearly understand what is
the difference  between the idea, say, of Peter, which
constitutes the essence of Peter's mind, and the  idea of the
said Peter, which is in another man, say, Paul.  The former
directly answers to  the essence of Peter's own body, and only
implies existence so long as Peter exists; the  latter indicates
rather the disposition of Paul's body than the nature of Peter,
and,  therefore, while this disposition of Paul's body lasts,
Paul's mind will regard Peter as  present to itself, even though
he no longer exists.  Further, to retain the usual phraseology,
the modifications of the human body, of which the ideas represent
external bodies as  present to us, we will call the images of
things, though they do not recall the figure of  things.  When
the mind regards bodies in this fashion, we say that it imagines.
I will here  draw attention to the fact, in order to indicate
where error lies, that the imaginations of the  mind, looked at
in themselves, do not contain error.  The mind does not err in
the mere act  of imagining, but only in so far as it is regarded
as being without the idea, which excludes  the existence of such
things as it imagines to be present to it.  If the mind, while
imagining  non-existent things as present to it, is at the same
time conscious that they do not really  exist, this power of
imagination must be set down to the efficacy of its nature, and
not to a  fault, especially if this faculty of imagination depend
solely on its own nature--that is (I.  Def. vii.), if this
faculty of imagination be free.

XVIII.  If the human body has once been affected by two or more
bodies at the same  time, when the mind afterwards imagines any
of them, it will straightway remember the  others also.

>>>>>Proof--The mind (II. xvii. Cor.) imagines any given body,
because the human body  is affected and disposed by the
impressions from an external body, in the same manner as  it is
affected when certain of its parts are acted on by the said
external body; but (by our  hypothesis) the body was then so
disposed, that the mind imagined two bodies at once;  therefore,
it will also in the second case imagine two bodies at once, and
the mind, when  it imagines one, will straightway remember the
other.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--We now clearly see what 'Memory' is.  It is simply a
certain association of  ideas involving the nature of things
outside the human body, which association arises in the  mind
according to the order and association of the modifications
(affectiones) of the  human body.  I say, first, it is an
association of those ideas only, which involve the nature  of
things outside the human body:  not of ideas which answer to the
nature of the said  things:  ideas of the modifications of the
human body are, strictly speaking (II. xvi.), those  which
involve the nature both of the human body and of external bodies.
I say, secondly,  that this association arises according to the
order and association of the modifications of  the human body, in
order to distinguish it from that association of ideas, which
arises from  the order of the intellect, whereby the mind
perceives things through their primary causes,  and which is in
all men the same.  And hence we can further clearly understand,
why the  mind from the thought of one thing, should straightway
arrive at the thought of another  thing, which has no similarity
with the first; for instance, from the thought of the word
'pomum' (an apple), a Roman would straightway arrive at the
thought of the fruit apple,  which has no similitude with the
articulate sound in question, nor anything in common  with it,
except that the body of the man has often been affected by these
two things; that  is, that the man has often heard the word
'pomum,' while he was looking at the fruit;  similarly every man
will go on from one thought to another, according as his habit
has  ordered the images of things in his body.  For a soldier,
for instance, when he sees the  tracks of a horse in sand, will
at once pass from the thought of a horse to the thought of a
horseman, and thence to the thought of war, &c.; while a
countryman will proceed from  the thought of a horse to the
thought of a plough, a field, &c.  Thus every man will follow
this or that train of thought, according as he has been in the
habit of conjoining and  associating the mental images of things
in this or that manner.

XIX.  The human mind has no knowledge of the body, and does not
know it to exist, save  through the ideas of the modifications
whereby the body is affected.

>>>>>Proof--The human mind is the very idea or knowledge of the
human body (II. xiii.),  which (II. ix.) is in God, in so far as
he is regarded as affected by another idea of a  particular thing
actually existing:  or, inasmuch as (Post. iv.) the human body
stands in  need of very many bodies whereby it is, as it were,
continually regenerated; and the order  and connection of ideas
is the same as the order and connection of causes (II. vii.);
this  idea will therefore be in God, in so far as he is regarded
as affected by the ideas of very  many particular things.  Thus
God has the idea of the human body, or knows the human  body, in
so far as he is affected by very many other ideas, and not in so
far as he  constitutes the nature of the human mind; that is (by
II. xi. Cor.), the human mind does not  know the human body.  But
the ideas of the modifications of body are in God, in so far as
he constitutes the nature of the human mind, or the human mind
perceives those  modifications (II. xii.), and consequently (II.
xvi.) the human body itself, and as actually  existing; therefore
the mind perceives thus far only the human body.  Q.E.D.

XX. The idea or knowledge of the human mind is also in God,
following in God in the  same manner, and being referred to God
in the same manner, as the idea or knowledge of  the human body.

>>>>>Proof--Thought is an attribute of God (II. i.); therefore
(II. iii.) there must  necessarily be in God the idea both of
thought itself and of all its modifications,  consequently also
of the human mind (II. xi.).  Further, this idea or knowledge of
the mind  does not follow from God, in so far as he is infinite,
but in so far as he is affected by  another idea of an individual
thing (II. ix.).  But (II. vii.) the order and connection of
ideas  is the same as the order and connection of causes;
therefore this idea or knowledge of the  mind is in God and is
referred to God, in the same manner as the idea or knowledge of
the  body.  Q.E.D.

XXI. This idea of the mind is united to the mind in 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 (II. xii.
and xiii.); and so for the same reason the idea of the  mind must
be united with its object, that is, with the mind in the same
manner as the mind  is united to the body.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--This proposition is comprehended much more clearly
from what we have said  in the note to II. vii.  We there showed
that the idea of body and body, that is, mind and  body (II.
xiii.), are one and the same individual conceived now under the
attribute of  thought, now under the attribute of extension;
wherefore the idea of the mind and the mind  itself are one and
the same thing, which is conceived under one and the same
attribute,  namely, thought.  The idea of the mind, I repeat, and
the mind itself are in God by the  same necessity and follow from
him from the same power of thinking.  Strictly speaking,  the
idea of the mind, that is, the idea of an idea, is nothing but
the distinctive quality  (forma) of the idea in so far as it is
conceived as a mode of thought without reference to  the object;
if a man knows anything, he, by that very fact, knows that he
knows it, and at  the same time knows that he knows that he knows
it, and so on to infinity.  But I will treat  of this hereafter.

XXII. The human mind perceives not only the modifications of the
body, but also the ideas  of such modifications.

>>>>>Proof--The ideas of the ideas of modifications follow in God
in the same manner,  and are referred to God in the same manner,
as the ideas of the said modifications.  This is  proved in the
same way as II. xx.  But the ideas of the modifications of the
body are in the  human mind (II. xii.), that is, in God, in so
far as he constitutes the essence of the human  mind; therefore
the ideas of these ideas will be in God, in so far as he has the
knowledge  or idea of the human mind, that is (II. xxi.), they
will be in the human mind itself, which  therefore perceives not
only the modifications of the body, but also the ideas of such
modifications.  Q.E.D.

XXIII. The mind does not know itself, except in so far as it
perceives the ideas of the  modifications of the body.

>>>>>Proof--The idea or knowledge of the mind (II. xx.) follows
in God in the same  manner, and is referred to God in the same
manner, as the idea or knowledge of the  body.  But since (II.
xix.) the human mind does not know the human body itself, that is
 (II. xi. Cor.), since the knowledge of the human body is not
referred to God, in so far as  he constitutes the nature of the
human mind; therefore, neither is the knowledge of the  mind
referred to God, in so far as he constitutes the essence of the
human mind; therefore  (by the same Cor. II. xi.), the human mind
thus far has no knowledge of itself.  Further the  ideas of the
modifications, whereby the body is affected, involve the nature
of the human  body itself (II. xvi.), that is (II. xiii.), they
agree with the nature of the mind; wherefore the  knowledge of
these ideas necessarily involves knowledge of the mind; but (by
the last  Prop.) the knowledge of these ideas is in the human
mind itself; wherefore the human mind  thus far only has
knowledge of itself.  Q.E.D.

XXIV. The human mind does not involve an adequate knowledge of
the parts composing  the human body.

>>>>>Proof--The parts composing the human body do not belong to
the essence of that  body, except in so far as they communicate
their motions to one another in a certain fixed  relation (Def.
after Lemma iii.), not in so far as they can be regarded as
individuals without  relation to the human body.  The parts of
the human body are highly complex individuals  (Post. i.), whose
parts (Lemma iv.) can be separated from the human body without in
any  way destroying the nature and distinctive quality of the
latter, and they can communicate  their motions (Ax. i., after
Lemma iii.) to other bodies in another relation; therefore (II.
iii.)  the idea or knowledge of each part will be in God,
inasmuch (II. ix.) as he is regarded as  affected by another idea
of a particular thing, which particular thing is prior in the
order of  nature to the aforesaid part (II. vii.).  We may affirm
the same thing of each part of each  individual composing the
human body; therefore, the knowledge of each part composing  the
human body is in God, in so far as he is affected by very many
ideas of things, and not  in so far as he has the idea of the
human body only, in other words, the idea which  constitutes the
nature of the human mind (II. xiii.); therefore (II. xi. Cor.),
the human mind  does not involve an adequate knowledge of the
human body.  Q.E.D.

XXV. The idea of each modification of the human body does not
involve an adequate  knowledge of the external body.

>>>>>Proof--We have shown that the idea of a modification of the
human body involves  the nature of an external body, in so far as
that external body conditions the human body in  a given manner.
But, in so far as the external body is an individual, which has
no reference  to the human body, the knowledge or idea thereof is
in God (II. ix.), in so far as God is  regarded as affected by
the idea of a further thing, which (II. vii.) is naturally prior
to the  said external body.  Wherefore an adequate knowledge of
the external body is not in God,  in so far as he has the idea of
the modification of the human body; in other words, the idea  of
the modification of the human body does not involve an adequate
knowledge of the  external body.  Q.E.D.

XXVI. The human mind does not perceive any external body as
actually existing, except  through the ideas of the modifications
of its own body.

>>>>>Proof--If the human body is in no way affected by a given
external body, then  (II. vii.) neither is the idea of the human
body, in other words, the human mind, affected in  any way by the
idea of the existence of the said external body, nor does it in
any manner  perceive its existence.  But, in so far as the human
body is affected in any way by a given  external body, thus far
(II. xvi. and Cor.) it perceives that external body.  Q.E.D.

<<<<>>>>Proof--When the human mind regards external bodies through
the ideas of the  modifications of its own body, we say that it
imagines (see II. xvii. note); now the mind  can only imagine
external bodies as actually existing.  Therefore (by II. xxv.),
in so far as  the mind imagines external bodies, it has not an
adequate knowledge of them.  Q.E.D.

XXVII. The idea of each modification of the human body does not
involve an adequate  knowledge of the human body itself.

>>>>>Proof--Every idea of a modification of the human body
involves the nature of the  human body, in so far as the human
body is regarded as affected in a given manner (II.  xvi.).  But
inasmuch as the human body is an individual which may be affected
in many  other ways, the idea of the said modification, &c.
Q.E.D.

XXVIII. The ideas of the modifications of the human body, in so
far as they have  reference only to the human mind, are not clear
and distinct, but confused.

>>>>>Proof--The ideas of the modifications of the human body
involve the nature both of  the human body and of external bodies
(II. xvi.); they must involve the nature not only of  the human
body but also of its parts; for the modifications are modes
(Post. iii.), whereby  the parts of the human body, and,
consequently, the human body as a whole are affected.   But (by
II. xxiv., xxv.) the adequate knowledge of external bodies, as
also of the parts  composing the human body, is not in God, in
so far as he is regarded as affected by the  human mind, but in
so far as he is regarded as affected by other ideas.  These ideas
of  modifications, in so far as they are referred to the human
mind alone, are as consequences  without premisses, in other
words, confused ideas.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--The idea which constitutes the nature of the human
mind is, in the same  manner, proved not to be, when considered
in itself and alone, clear and distinct; as also  is the case
with the idea of the human mind, and the ideas of the ideas of
the modifications  of the human body, in so far as they are
referred to the mind only, as everyone may easily  see.

XXIX.  The idea of the idea of each modification of the human
body does not involve an  adequate knowledge of the human mind.

>>>>>Proof--The idea of a modification of the human body (II.
xxvii.) does not involve  an adequate knowledge of the said body,
in other words, does not adequately express its  nature; that is
(II. xiii.) it does not agree with the nature of the mind
adequately; therefore  (I. Ax. vi.) the idea of this idea does
not adequately express the nature of the human mind,  or does not
involve an adequate knowledge thereof.

<<<<>>>>Proof--The duration of our body does not depend on its
essence (II. Ax. i.), nor  on the absolute nature of God (I.
xxi.).  But (I. xxviii.) it is conditioned to exist and operate
by causes, which in their turn are conditioned to exist and
operate in a fixed and definite  relation by other causes, these
last again being conditioned by others, and so on to infinity.
The duration of our body therefore depends on the common order of
nature, or the  constitution of things.  Now, however a thing may
be constituted, the adequate knowledge  of that thing is in God,
in so far as he has the ideas of all things, and not in so far as
he has  the idea of the human body only (II. ix. Cor.).
Wherefore the knowledge of the duration  of our body is in God
very inadequate, in so far as he is only regarded as constituting
the  nature of the human mind; that is (II. xi. Cor.), this
knowledge is very inadequate to our  mind.  Q.E.D.

XXXI. We can only have a very inadequate knowledge of the
duration of particular things  external to ourselves.

>>>>>Proof--Every particular thing, like the human body, must be
conditioned by another  particular thing to exist and operate in
a fixed and definite relation; this other particular  thing must
likewise be conditioned by a third, and so on to infinity (I.
xxviii.).  As we have  shown in the foregoing proposition, from
this common property of particular things, we  have only a very
inadequate knowledge of the duration of our body; we must draw a
similar conclusion with regard to the duration of particular
things, namely, that we can only  have a very inadequate
knowledge of the duration thereof.  Q.E.D.

<<<<>>>>Proof--All ideas which are in God agree in every respect
with their objects (II. ii.  Cor.), therefore (I. Ax. vi.) they
are all true.  Q.E.D.

XXXII. There is nothing positive in ideas, which causes them to
be called false.

>>>>>Proof--If this be denied, conceive, if possible, a positive
mode of thinking, which  should constitute the distinctive
quality of falsehood.  Such a mode of thinking cannot be  in God
(II. xxxii.); external to God it cannot be or be conceived (I.
xv.).  Therefore there  is nothing positive in ideas which causes
them to be called false.  Q.E.D.

XXXIV. Every idea, which in us is absolute or adequate and
perfect, is true.

>>>>>Proof--When we say that an idea in us is adequate and
perfect, we say, in other  words (II. xi. Cor.), that the idea is
adequate and perfect in God, in so far as he constitutes  the
essence of our mind; consequently (II. xxxii.), we say that such
an idea is true.  Q.E.D.

XXXV. Falsity consists in the privation of knowledge, which
inadequate, fragmentary, or  confused ideas involve.

>>>>>Proof--There is nothing positive in ideas, which causes them
to be called false (II.  xxxiii.); but falsity cannot consist in
simple privation (for minds, not bodies, are said to err  and to
be mistaken), neither can it consist in absolute ignorance, for
ignorance and error  are not identical; wherefore it consists in
the privation of knowledge, which inadequate,  fragmentary, or
confused ideas involve.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--In the note to II. xvii. I explained how error
consists in the privation of  knowledge, but in order to throw
more light on the subject I will give an example.  For  instance,
men are mistaken in thinking themselves free; their opinion is
made up of  consciousness of their own actions, and ignorance of
the causes by which they are  conditioned.  Their idea of
freedom, therefore, is simply their ignorance of any cause for
their actions.  As for their saying that human actions depend on
the will, this is a mere  phrase without any idea to correspond
thereto.  What the will is, and how it moves the  body, they none
of them know; those who boast of such knowledge, and feign
dwellings  and habitations for the soul, are wont to provoke
either laughter or disgust.  So, again,  when we look at the sun,
we imagine that it is distant from us about two hundred feet;
this error does not lie solely in this fancy, but in the fact
that, while we thus imagine, we  do not know the sun's true
distance or the cause of the fancy.  For although we afterwards
learn, that the sun is distant from us more than six hundred of
the earth's diameters, we  none the less shall fancy it to be
near; for we do not imagine the sun as near us, because  we are
ignorant of its true distance, but because the modification of
our body involves the  essence of the sun, in so far as our said
body is affected thereby.

XXXVI. Inadequate and confused ideas follow by the same
necessity, as adequate or  clear and distinct ideas.

>>>>>Proof--All ideas are in God (I. xv.), and in so far as they
are referred to God are  true (II. xxxii.) and (II. vii. Cor.)
adequate; therefore there are no ideas confused or  inadequate,
except in respect to a particular mind (cf. II. xxiv. and
xxviii.); therefore all  ideas, whether adequate or inadequate,
follow by the same necessity (II. vi.).  Q.E.D.

XXXVII. That which is common to all (cf. Lemma II, above), and
which is equally in a  part and in the whole, does not constitute
the essence of any particular thing.

>>>>>Proof--If this be denied, conceive, if possible, that it
constitutes the essence of some  particular thing; for instance,
the essence of B.  Then (II. Def. ii.) it cannot without B
either exist or be conceived; but this is against our hypothesis.
Therefore it does not  appertain to B's essence, nor does it
constitute the essence of any particular thing.  Q.E.D.

XXXVIII. Those things, which are common to all, and which are
equally in a part and in  the whole, cannot be conceived except
adequately.

>>>>>Proof--Let A be something, which is common to all bodies,
and which is equally  present in the part of any given body and
in the whole.  I say A cannot be conceived except  adequately.
For the idea thereof in God will necessarily be adequate (II.
vii. Cor.), both in  so far as God has the idea of the human
body, and also in so far as he has the idea of the  modifications
of the human body, which (II. xvi., xxv., xxvii.) involve in part
the nature of  the human body and the nature of external bodies;
that is (II. xii., xiii.), the idea in God will  necessarily be
adequate, both in so far as he constitutes the human mind, and in
so far as  he has the ideas, which are in the human mind.
Therefore the mind (II. xi. Cor.)  necessarily perceives A
adequately, and has this adequate perception, both in so far as
it  perceives itself, and in so far as it perceives its own or
any external body, nor can A be  conceived in any other manner.
Q.E.D.

<<<<>>>>Proof--If A be that, which is common to and a property of
the human body and  external bodies, and equally present in the
human body and in the said external bodies, in  each part of each
external body and in the whole, there will be an adequate idea of
A in  God (II. vii. Cor.), both in so far as he has the idea of
the human body, and in so far as he  has the ideas of the given
external bodies.  Let it now be granted, that the human body is
affected by an external body through that, which it has in common
therewith, namely, A;  the idea of this modification will involve
the property A (II. xvi.), and therefore (II. vii.  Cor.) the
idea of this modification, in so far as it involves the property
A, will be adequate  in God, in so far as God is affected by the
idea of the human body; that is (II. xiii.), in so  far as he
constitutes the nature of the human mind; therefore (II. xi.
Cor.) this idea is also  adequate in the human mind.  Q.E.D.

<<<<>>>>Proof--This proposition is self-evident.  For when we say
that an idea in the human  mind follows from ideas which are
therein adequate, we say, in other words (II. xi. Cor.),  that an
idea is in the divine intellect, whereof God is the cause, not in
so far as he is  infinite, nor in so far as he is affected by the
ideas of very many particular things, but only  in so far as he
constitutes the essence of the human mind.

*****Note I--I have thus set forth the cause of those notions,
which are common to all  men, and which form the basis of our
ratiocinations.  But there are other causes of certain  axioms or
notions, which it would be to the purpose to set forth by this
method of ours; for  it would thus appear what notions are more
useful than others, and what notions have  scarcely any use at
all.  Furthermore, we should see what notions are common to all
men,  and what notions are only clear and distinct to those who
are unshackled by prejudice, and  we should detect those which
are ill-founded.  Again we should discern whence the notions
called "secondary" derived their origin, and consequently the
axioms on which they are  founded, and other points of interest
connected with these questions.  But I have decided  to pass over
the subject here, partly because I have set it aside for another
treatise, partly  because I am afraid of wearying the reader by
too great prolixity.  Nevertheless, in order  not to omit
anything necessary to be known, I will briefly set down the
causes, whence are  derived the terms styled "transcendental,"
such as Being, Thing, Something.  These terms  arose from the
fact, that the human body, being limited, is only capable of
distinctly  forming a certain number of images (what an image is
I explained in the II. xvii. note)  within itself at the same
time; if this number be exceeded, the images will begin to be
confused; if this number of images, of which the body is capable
of forming distinctly  within itself, be largely exceeded, all
will become entirely confused one with another.  This  being so,
it is evident (from II. Prop. xvii. Cor., and xviii.) that the
human mind can  distinctly imagine as many things simultaneously,
as its body can form images  simultaneously.  When the images
become quite confused in the body, the mind also  imagines all
bodies confusedly without any distinction, and will comprehend
them, as it  were, under one attribute, namely, under the
attribute of Being, Thing, &c.  The same  conclusion can be drawn
from the fact that images are not always equally vivid, and from
other analogous causes, which there is no need to explain here;
for the purpose which we  have in view it is sufficient for us to
consider one only.  All may be reduced to this, that  these terms
represent ideas in the highest degree confused.  From similar
causes arise those  notions, which we call "general," such as
man, horse, dog, &c.  They arise, to wit, from  the fact that so
many images, for instance, of men, are formed simultaneously in
the  human mind, that the powers of imagination break down, not
indeed utterly, but to the  extent of the mind losing count of
small differences between individuals (e.g. colour, size,  &c.)
and their definite number, and only distinctly imagining that, in
which all the  individuals, in so far as the body is affected by
them, agree; for that is the point, in which  each of the said
individuals chiefly affected the body; this the mind expresses by
the name  man, and this it predicates of an infinite number of
particular individuals.  For, as we have  said, it is unable to
imagine the definite number of individuals.  We must, however,
bear in  mind, that these general notions are not formed by all
men in the same way, but vary in  each individual according as
the point varies, whereby the body has been most often  affected
and which the mind most easily imagines or remembers.  For
instance, those who  have most often regarded with admiration the
stature of man, will by the name of man  understand an animal of
erect stature; those who have been accustomed to regard some
other attribute, will form a different general image of man, for
instance, that man is a  laughing animal, a two-footed animal
without feathers, a rational animal, and thus, in other  cases,
everyone will form general images of things according to the
habit of his body.

It is thus not to be wondered at, that among philosophers, who
seek to explain things in  nature merely by the images formed of
them, so many controversies should have arisen.

*****Note II--From all that has been said above it is clear, that
we, in many cases,  perceive and form our general notions:--(1.)
From particular things represented to our  intellect
fragmentarily, confusedly, and without order through our senses
(II. xxix. Cor.);  I have settled to call such perceptions by the
name of knowledge from the mere  suggestions of experience.  (2.)
From symbols, e.g., from the fact of having read or heard
certain words we remember things and form certain ideas
concerning them, similar to those  through which we imagine
things (II. xviii. Note).  I shall call both these ways of
regarding  things "knowledge of the first kind," "opinion," or
"imagination."  (3.) From the fact that  we have notions common
to all men, and adequate ideas of the properties of things (II.
xxxviii. Cor., xxxix. and Cor., and xl.); this I call "reason"
and "knowledge of the second  kind."  Besides these two kinds of
knowledge, there is, as I will hereafter show, a third  kind of
knowledge, which we will call intuition.  This kind of knowledge
proceeds from an  adequate idea of the absolute essence of
certain attributes of God to the adequate  knowledge of the
essence of things.  I will illustrate all three kinds of
knowledge by a  single example.  Three numbers are given for
finding a fourth, which shall be to the third  as the second is
to the first.  Tradesmen without hesitation multiply the second
by the third,  and divide the product by the first; either
because they have not forgotten the rule which  they received
from a master without any proof, or because they have often made
trial of  it with simple numbers, or by virtue of the proof of
the nineteenth proposition of the  seventh book of Euclid,
namely, in virtue of the general property of proportionals.

But with very simple numbers there is no need of this.  For
instance, one, two, three being  given, everyone can see that the
fourth proportional is six; and this is much clearer, because
we infer the fourth number from an intuitive grasping of the
ratio, which the first bears to  the second.

XLI.  Knowledge of the first kind is the only source of falsity,
knowledge of the second  and third kinds is necessarily true.

>>>>>Proof--To knowledge of the first kind we have (in the
foregoing note) assigned all  those ideas, which are inadequate
and confused; therefore this kind of knowledge is the  only
source of falsity (II. xxxv.).  Furthermore, we assigned to the
second and third kinds  of knowledge those ideas which are
adequate; therefore these kinds are necessarily true (II.
xxxiv.).  Q.E.D.

XLII. Knowledge of the second and third kinds, not knowledge of
the first kind, teaches us  to distinguish the true from the
false.

>>>>>Proof--This proposition is self-evident.  He, who knows how
to distinguish between  true and false, must have an adequate
idea of true and false.  That is (II. xl., note ii.), he  must
know the true and the false by the second or third kind of
knowledge.

XLIII. He, who has a true idea, simultaneously knows that he has
a true idea, and cannot  doubt of the truth of the thing
perceived.

>>>>>Proof--A true idea in us is an idea which is adequate in
God, in so far as he is  displayed through the nature of the
human mind (II. xi. Cor.).  Let us suppose that there is  in God,
in so far as he is displayed through the human mind, an adequate
idea, A.  The  idea of this idea must also necessarily be in God,
and be referred to him in the same way as  the idea A (by II.
xx., whereof the proof is of universal application).  But the
idea A is  supposed to be referred to God, in so far as he is
displayed through the human mind;  therefore, the idea of the
idea A must be referred to God in the same manner; that is (by
II. xi. Cor.), the adequate idea of the idea A will be in the
mind, which has the adequate  idea A; therefore he, who has an
adequate idea or knows a thing truly (II. xxxiv.), must at  the
same time have an adequate idea or true knowledge of his
knowledge; that is,  obviously, he must be assured.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--I explained in the note to II. xxi. what is meant by
the idea of an idea; but we  may remark that the foregoing
proposition is in itself sufficiently plain.  No one, who has a
true idea, is ignorant that a true idea involves the highest
certainty.  For to have a true idea  is only another expression
for knowing a thing perfectly, or as well as possible.  No one,
indeed, can doubt of this, unless he thinks that an idea is
something lifeless, like a picture  on a panel, and not a mode of
thinking--namely, the very act of understanding.  And who,  I
ask, can know that he understands anything, unless he do first
understand it?  In other  words, who can know that he is sure of
a thing, unless he be first sure of that thing?   Further, what
can there be more clear, and more certain, than a true idea as a
standard  of truth?  Even as light displays both itself and
darkness, so is truth a standard both of  itself and of falsity.

I think I have thus sufficiently answered these
questions--namely, if a true idea is  distinguished from a false
idea, only in so far as it is said to agree with its object, a
true  idea has no more reality or perfection than a false idea
(since the two are only distinguished  by an extrinsic mark);
consequently, neither will a man who has a true idea have any
advantage over him who has only false ideas.  Further, how comes
it that men have false  ideas?  Lastly, how can anyone be sure,
that he has ideas which agree with their objects?   These
questions, I repeat, I have, in my opinion, sufficiently
answered.  The difference  between a true idea and a false idea
is plain:  from what was said in II. xxxv., the former is
related to the latter as being is to not-being.  The causes of
falsity I have set forth very  clearly in II. xix. and II. xxxv.
with the note.  From what is there stated, the difference
between a man who has true ideas, and a man who has only false
ideas, is made apparent.   As for the last question--as to how a
man can be sure that he has ideas that agree with  their objects,
I have just pointed out, with abundant clearness, that his
knowledge arises  from the simple fact, that he has an idea which
corresponds with its object--in other words,  that truth is its
own standard.  We may add that our mind, in so far as it
perceives things  truly, is part of the infinite intellect of God
(II. xi. Cor.); therefore, the clear and distinct  ideas of the
mind are as necessarily true as the ideas of God.

XLIV. 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 (II. xli.), namely (I. Ax.  vi.), as they are in
themselves--that is (I. xxix.), not as contingent, but as
necessary.   Q.E.D.

<<<<>>>>Proof--It is in the nature of reason to regard things, not
as contingent, but as  necessary (II. xliv.).  Reason perceives
this necessity of things (II. xli.) truly--that is (I. Ax.  vi.),
as it is in itself.  But (I. xvi.) this necessity of things is
the very necessity of the eternal  nature of God; therefore, it
is in the nature of reason to regard things under this form of
eternity.  We may add that the bases of reason are the notions
(II. xxxviii.), which answer  to things common to all, and which
(II. xxxvii.) do not answer to the essence of any  particular
thing:  which must therefore be conceived without any relation to
time, under a  certain form of eternity.

XLV. Every idea of every body, or of every particular thing
actually existing, necessarily  involves the eternal and infinite
essence of God.

>>>>>Proof--The idea of a particular thing actually existing
necessarily involves both the  existence and the essence of the
said thing (II. viii.).  Now particular things cannot be
conceived without God (I. xv.); but, inasmuch as (II. vi.) they
have God for their cause,  in so far as he is regarded under the
attribute of which the things in question are modes,  their ideas
must necessarily involve (I. Ax. iv.) the conception of the
attributes of those  ideas--that is (I. vi.), the eternal and
infinite essence of God.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--By existence I do not here mean duration--that is,
existence in so far as it is  conceived abstractedly, and as a
certain form of quantity.  I am speaking of the very nature  of
existence, which is assigned to particular things, because they
follow in infinite numbers  and in infinite ways from the eternal
necessity of God's nature (I. xvi.).  I am speaking, I  repeat,
of the very existence of particular things, in so far as they are
in God.  For although  each particular thing be conditioned by
another particular thing to exist in a given way, yet  the force
whereby each particular thing perseveres in existing follows from
the eternal  necessity of God's nature (cf. I. xxiv. Cor.).

XLVI.  The knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of God
which every idea  involves is adequate and perfect.

>>>>>Proof--The proof of the last proposition is universal; and
whether a thing be  considered as a part or a whole, the idea
thereof, whether of the whole or of a part (by  the last Prop.),
will involve God's eternal and infinite essence.  Wherefore,
that, which  gives knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence
of God, is common to all, and is equally  in the part and in the
whole; therefore (II. xxxviii.) this knowledge will be adequate.
 Q.E.D.

XLVII. The human mind has an adequate knowledge of the eternal
and infinite essence of  God.

>>>>>Proof--The human mind has ideas (II. xxii.), from which (II.
xxiii.) it perceives  itself and its own body (II. xix.) and
external bodies (II. xvi. Cor. i. and II. xvii.) as actually
existing; therefore (II. xlv. and xlvi.) it has an adequate
knowledge of the eternal and  infinite essence of God.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--Hence we see, that the infinite essence and the
eternity of God are known to  all.  Now as all things are in God,
and are conceived through God, we can from this  knowledge infer
many things, which we may adequately know, and we may form that
third  kind of knowledge of which we spoke in the note to II.
xl., and of the excellence and use of  which we shall have
occasion to speak in Part V.  Men have not so clear a knowledge
of  God as they have of general notions, because they are unable
to imagine God as they do  bodies, and also because they have
associated the name God with images of things that  they are in
the habit of seeing, as indeed they can hardly avoid doing,
being, as they are,  men, and continually affected by external
bodies.  Many errors, in truth, can be traced to  this head,
namely, that we do not apply names to things rightly.  For
instance, when a man  says that the lines drawn from the centre
of a circle to its circumference are not equal, he  then, at all
events, assuredly attaches a meaning to the word circle different
from that  assigned by mathematicians.  So again, when men make
mistakes in calculation, they have  one set of figures in their
mind, and another on the paper.  If we could see into their
minds,  they do not make a mistake; they seem to do so, because
we think, that they have the same  numbers in their mind as they
have on the paper.  If this were not so, we should not  believe
them to be in error, any more than I thought that a man was in
error, whom I lately  heard exclaiming that his entrance hall had
flown into a neighbour's hen, for his meaning  seemed to me
sufficiently clear.  Very many controversies have arisen from the
fact, that  men do not rightly explain their meaning, or do not
rightly interpret the meaning of others.   For, as a matter of
fact, as they flatly contradict themselves, they assume now one
side,  now another, of the argument, so as to oppose the
opinions, which they consider mistaken  and absurd in their
opponents.

XLVIII. In the mind there is no absolute or free will; but the
mind is determined to wish  this or that by a cause, which has
also been determined by another cause, and this last by  another
cause, and so on to infinity.

>>>>>Proof--The mind is a fixed and definite mode of thought (II.
xi.), therefore it cannot  be the free cause of its actions (I.
xvii. Cor. ii.); in other words, it cannot have an absolute
faculty of positive or negative volition; but (by I. xxviii.) it
must be determined by a cause,  which has also been determined by
another cause, and this last by another, &c.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--In the same way it is proved, that there is in the
mind no absolute faculty of  understanding, desiring, loving, &c.
Whence it follows, that these and similar faculties are  either
entirely fictitious, or are merely abstract and general terms,
such as we are  accustomed to put together from particular
things.  Thus the intellect and the will stand in  the same
relation to this or that idea, or this or that volition, as
"lapidity" to this or that  stone, or as "man" to Peter and
Paul.  The cause which leads men to consider themselves  free has
been set forth in the Appendix to Part I.  But, before I proceed
further, I would  here remark that, by the will to affirm and
decide, I mean the faculty, not the desire.  I  mean, I repeat,
the faculty, whereby the mind affirms or denies what is true or
false, not  the desire, wherewith the mind wishes for or turns
away from any given thing.  After we  have proved, that these
faculties of ours are general notions, which cannot be
distinguished  from the particular instances on which they are
based, we must inquire whether volitions  themselves are anything
besides the ideas of things.  We must inquire, I say, whether
there  is in the mind any affirmation or negation beyond that,
which the idea, in so far as it is an  idea, involves.  On which
subject see the following proposition, and II. Def. iii., lest
the  idea of pictures should suggest itself.  For by ideas I do
not mean images such as are  formed at the back of the eye, or in
the midst of the brain, but the conceptions of thought.

XLIX. There is in the mind no volition or affirmation and
negation, save that which an  idea, inasmuch as it is an idea,
involves.

>>>>>Proof--There is in the mind no absolute faculty of positive
or negative volition, but  only particular volitions, namely,
this or that affirmation, and this or that negation.  Now let  us
conceive a particular volition, namely, the mode of thinking
whereby the mind affirms,  that the three interior angles of a
triangle are equal to two right angles.  This affirmation
involves the conception or idea of a triangle, that is, without
the idea of a triangle it cannot  be conceived.  It is the same
thing to say, that the concept A must involve the concept B,  as
it is to say, that A cannot be conceived without B.  Further,
this affirmation cannot be  made (II. Ax. iii.) without the idea
of a triangle.  Therefore, this affirmation can neither be  nor
be conceived, without the idea of a triangle.  Again, this idea
of a triangle must involve  this same affirmation, namely, that
its three interior angles are equal to two right angles.
Wherefore, and vice versa, this idea of a triangle can neither be
nor be conceived without  this affirmation, therefore, this
affirmation belongs to the essence of the idea of a triangle,
and is nothing besides.  What we have said of this volition
(inasmuch as we have selected  it at random) may be said of any
other volition, namely, that it is nothing but an idea.   Q.E.D.

<<<<>>>>Proof--Will and understanding are nothing beyond the
individual volitions and ideas  (II. xlviii. and note).  But a
particular volition and a particular idea are one and the same
(by the foregoing Prop.); therefore, will and understanding are
one and the same.  Q.E.D.

*****Note--We have thus removed the cause which is commonly
assigned for error.  For  we have shown above, that falsity
consists solely in the privation of knowledge involved in  ideas
which are fragmentary and confused.  Wherefore, a false idea,
inasmuch as it is false,  does not involve certainty.  When we
say, then, that a man acquiesces in what is false, and  that he
has no doubts on the subject, we do not say that he is certain,
but only that he does  not doubt, or that he acquiesces in what
is false, inasmuch as there are no reasons, which  should cause
his imagination to waver (see II. xliv. note).  Thus, although
the man be  assumed to acquiesce in what is false, we shall never
say that he is certain.  For by certainty  we mean something
positive (II. xliii. and note), not merely the absence of doubt.

However, in order that the foregoing proposition may be fully
explained, I will draw  attention to a few additional points, and
I will furthermore answer the objections which  may be advanced
against our doctrine.  Lastly, in order to remove every scruple,
I have  thought it worth while to point out some of the
advantages, which follow therefrom.  I say  "some," for they will
be better appreciated from what we shall set forth in the fifth
part.

I begin, then, with the first point, and warn my readers to make
an accurate distinction  between an idea, or conception of the
mind, and the images of things which we imagine.   It is further
necessary that they should distinguish between idea and words,
whereby we  signify things.  These three--namely, images, words,
and ideas--are by many persons either  entirely confused
together, or not distinguished with sufficient accuracy or care,
and hence  people are generally in ignorance, how absolutely
necessary is a knowledge of this doctrine  of the will, both for
philosophic purposes and for the wise ordering of life.  Those
who  think that ideas consist in images which are formed in us by
contact with external bodies,  persuade themselves that the ideas
of those things, whereof we can form no mental picture,  are not
ideas, but only figments, which we invent by the free decree of
our will; they thus  regard ideas as though they were inanimate
pictures on a panel, and, filled with this  misconception, do not
see that an idea, inasmuch as it is an idea, involves an
affirmation or  negation.  Again, those who confuse words with
ideas, or with the affirmation which an  idea involves, think
that they can wish something contrary to what they feel, affirm,
or  deny.  This misconception will easily be laid aside by one,
who reflects on the nature of  knowledge, and seeing that it in
no wise involves the conception of extension, will therefore
clearly understand, that an idea (being a mode of thinking) does
not consist in the image of  anything, nor in words.  The essence
of words and images is put together by bodily  motions, which in
no wise involve the conception of thought.

These few words on this subject will suffice:  I will therefore
pass on to consider the  objections, which may be raised against
our doctrine.  Of these, the first is advanced by  those, who
think that the will has a wider scope than the understanding, and
that therefore  it is different therefrom.  The reason for their
holding the belief, that the will has wider  scope than the
understanding, is that they assert, that they have no need of an
increase in  their faculty of assent, that is of affirmation or
negation, in order to assent to an infinity of  things which we
do not perceive, but that they have need of an increase in their
faculty of  understanding.  The will is thus distinguished from
the intellect, the latter being finite and  the former infinite.
Secondly, it may be objected that experience seems to teach us
especially clearly, that we are able to suspend our judgment
before assenting to things  which we perceive; this is confirmed
by the fact that no one is said to be deceived, in so  far as he
perceives anything, but only in so far as he assents or
dissents.

For instance, he who feigns a winged horse, does not therefore
admit that a winged horse  exists; that is, he is not deceived,
unless he admits in addition that a winged horse does  exist.
Nothing therefore seems to be taught more clearly by experience,
than that the will  or faculty of assent is free and different
from the faculty of understanding.  Thirdly, it may  be objected
that one affirmation does not apparently contain more reality
than another; in  other words, that we do not seem to need for
affirming, that what is true is true, any  greater power than for
affirming, that what is false is true.  We have, however, seen
that  one idea has more reality or perfection than another, for
as objects are some more  excellent than others, so also are the
ideas of them some more excellent than others; this  also seems
to point to a difference between the understanding and the will.
Fourthly, it  may be objected, if man does not act from free
will, what will happen if the incentives to  action are equally
balanced, as in the case of Buridan's ass?  Will he perish of
hunger and  thirst?  If I say that he would not, he would then
determine his own action, and would  consequently possess the
faculty of going and doing whatever he liked.  Other objections
might also be raised, but, as I am not bound to put in evidence
everything that anyone may  dream, I will only set myself to the
task of refuting those I have mentioned, and that as  briefly as
possible.

To the first objection I answer, that I admit that the will has a
wider scope than the  understanding, if by the understanding be
meant only clear and distinct ideas; but I deny  that the will
has a wider scope than the perceptions, and the faculty of
forming  conceptions; nor do I see why the faculty of volition
should be called infinite, any more  than the faculty of feeling:
for, as we are able by the same faculty of volition to affirm an
infinite number of things (one after the other, for we cannot
affirm an infinite number  simultaneously), so also can we, by
the same faculty of feeling, feel or perceive (in  succession) an
infinite number of bodies.  If it be said that there is an
infinite number of  things which we cannot perceive, I answer,
that we cannot attain to such things by any  thinking, nor,
consequently, by any faculty of volition.  But, it may still be
urged, if God  wished to bring it about that we should perceive
them, he would be obliged to endow us  with a greater faculty of
perception, but not a greater faculty of volition than we have
already.  This is the same as to say that, if God wished to bring
it about that we should  understand an infinite number of other
entities, it would be necessary for him to give us a  greater
understanding, but not a more universal idea of entity than that
which we have  already, in order to grasp such infinite entities.
We have shown that will is a universal  entity or idea, whereby
we explain all particular volitions--in other words, that which
is  common to all such volitions.

As, then, our opponents maintain that this idea, common or
universal to all volitions, is a  faculty, it is little to be
wondered at that they assert, that such a faculty extends itself
into  the infinite, beyond the limits of the understanding:  for
what is universal is predicated alike  of one, of many, and of an
infinite number of individuals.

To the second objection I reply by denying, that we have a free
power of suspending  our judgment:  for, when we say that anyone
suspends his judgment, we merely mean that  he sees, that he does
not perceive the matter in question adequately.  Suspension of
judgment is, therefore, strictly speaking, a perception, and not
free will.  In order to  illustrate the point, let us suppose a
boy imagining a horse, and perceive nothing else.   Inasmuch as
this imagination involves the existence of the horse (II. xvii.
Cor.), and the boy  does not perceive anything which would
exclude the existence of the horse, he will  necessarily regard
the horse as present:  he will not be able to doubt of its
existence,  although he be not certain thereof.  We have daily
experience of such a state of things in  dreams; and I do not
suppose that there is anyone, who would maintain that, while he
is  dreaming, he has the free power of suspending his judgment
concerning the things in his  dream, and bringing it about that
he should not dream those things, which he dreams that  he sees;
yet it happens, notwithstanding, that even in dreams we suspend
our judgment,  namely, when we dream that we are dreaming.

Further, I grant that no one can be deceived, so far as actual
perception extends--that is, I  grant that the mind's
imaginations, regarded in themselves, do not involve error (II.
xvii.  note); but I deny, that a man does not, in the act of
perception, make any affirmation.  For  what is the perception of
a winged horse, save affirming that a horse has wings?  If the
mind could perceive nothing else but the winged horse, it would
regard the same as present  to itself:  it would have no reasons
for doubting its existence, nor any faculty of dissent,  unless
the imagination of a winged horse be joined to an idea which
precludes the  existence of the said horse, or unless the mind
perceives that the idea which it possess of a  winged horse is
inadequate, in which case it will either necessarily deny the
existence of  such a horse, or will necessarily be in doubt on
the subject.

I think that I have anticipated my answer to the third objection,
namely, that the will is  something universal which is predicated
of all ideas, and that it only signifies that which is  common to
all ideas, namely, an affirmation, whose adequate essence must,
therefore, in  so far as it is thus conceived in the abstract, be
in every idea, and be, in this respect alone,  the same in all,
not in so far as it is considered as constituting the idea's
essence:  for, in  this respect, particular affirmations differ
one from the other, as much as do ideas.  For  instance, the
affirmation which involves the idea of a circle, differs from
that which  involves the idea of a triangle, as much as the idea
of a circle differs from the idea of a  triangle.

Further, I absolutely deny, that we are in need of an equal power
of thinking, to affirm  that that which is true is true, and to
affirm that that which is false is true.  These two
affirmations, if we regard the mind, are in the same relation to
one another as being and  not-being; for there is nothing
positive in ideas, which constitutes the actual reality of
falsehood (II. xxxv. note, and xlvii. note).

We must therefore conclude, that we are easily deceived, when we
confuse universals with  singulars, and the entities of reason
and abstractions with realities.  As for the fourth  objection, I
am quite ready to admit, that a man placed in the equilibrium
described  (namely, as perceiving nothing but hunger and thirst,
a certain food and a certain drink,  each equally distant from
him) would die of hunger and thirst.  If I am asked, whether such
 an one should not rather be considered an ass than a man; I
answer, that I do not know,  neither do I know how a man should
be considered, who hangs himself, or how we should  consider
children, fools, madmen, &c.

It remains to point out the advantages of a knowledge of this
doctrine as bearing on  conduct, and this may be easily gathered
from what has been said.  The doctrine is good,

1. Inasmuch as it teaches us to act solely according to the
decree of God, and to be  partakers in the Divine nature, and so
much the more, as we perform more perfect actions  and more and
more understand God.  Such a doctrine not only completely
tranquilizes our  spirit, but also shows us where our highest
happiness or blessedness is, namely, solely in  the knowledge of
God, whereby we are led to act only as love and piety shall bid
us.  We  may thus clearly understand, how far astray from a true
estimate of virtue are those who  expect to be decorated by God
with high rewards for their virtue, and their best actions,  as
for having endured the direst slavery; as if virtue and the
service of God were not in  itself happiness and perfect freedom.

2. Inasmuch as it teaches us, how we ought to conduct ourselves
with respect to the gifts  of fortune, or matters which are not
in our power, and do not follow from our nature.  For  it shows
us, that we should await and endure fortune's smiles or frowns
with an equal  mind, seeing that all things follow from the
eternal decree of God by the same necessity,  as it follows from
the essence of a triangle, that the three angles are equal to two
right  angles.

3. This doctrine raises social life, inasmuch as it teaches us to
hate no man, neither to  despise, to deride, to envy, or to be
angry with any.  Further, as it tells us that each should  be
content with his own, and helpful to his neighbour, not from any
womanish pity,  favour, or superstition, but solely by the
guidance of reason, according as the time and  occasion demand,
as I will show in Part III.

4. Lastly, this doctrine confers no small advantage on the
commonwealth; for it teaches  how citizens should be governed and
led, not so as to become slaves, but so that they may  freely do
whatsoever things are best.

I have thus fulfilled the promise made at the beginning of this
note, and I thus bring the  second part of my treatise to a
close.  I think I have therein explained the nature and
properties of the human mind at sufficient length, and,
considering the difficulty of the  subject, with sufficient
clearness.  I have laid a foundation, whereon may be raised many
excellent conclusions of the highest utility and most necessary
to be known, as will, in  what follows, be partly made plain.



END OF PART II





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