A Treatise of Human Nature HTML version

BOOK II: Of The Passions
PART II.1: Of Pride And Humility
As all the perceptions of the mind may be divided into impressions and ideas, so the
impressions admit of another division into original and secondary. This division of the
impressions is the same with that which I formerly made use of [Book I. Part I. Sect. 2.]
when I distinguished them into impressions of sensation and reflection. Original
impressions or impressions of sensation are such as without any antecedent perception
arise in the soul, from the constitution of the body, from the animal spirits, or from the
application of objects to the external organs. Secondary, or reflective impressions are
such as proceed from some of these original ones, either immediately or by the
interposition of its idea. Of the first kind are all the impressions of the senses, and all
bodily pains and pleasures: Of the second are the passions, and other emotions
resembling them.
It is certain, that the mind, in its perceptions, must begin somewhere; and that since the
impressions precede their correspondent ideas, there must be some impressions, which
without any introduction make their appearance in the soul. As these depend upon natural
and physical causes, the examination of them would lead me too far from my present
subject, into the sciences of anatomy and natural philosophy. For this reason I shall here
confine myself to those other impressions, which I have called secondary and reflective,
as arising either from the original impressions, or from their ideas. Bodily pains and
pleasures are the source of many passions, both when felt and considered by the mind;
but arise originally in the soul, or in the body, whichever you please to call it, without any
preceding thought or perception. A fit of the gout produces a long train of passions, as
grief, hope, fear; but is not derived immediately from any affection or idea. The reflective
impressions may be divided into two kinds, viz. the calm and the VIOLENT. Of the first
kind is the sense of beauty and deformity in action, composition, and external objects. Of
the second are the passions of love and hatred, grief and joy, pride and humility. This
division is far from being exact. The raptures of poetry and music frequently rise to the
greatest height; while those other impressions, properly called PASSIONS, may decay
into so soft an emotion, as to become, in a manner, imperceptible. But as in general the
passions are more violent than the emotions arising from beauty and deformity, these
impressions have been commonly distinguished from each other. The subject of the
human mind being so copious and various, I shall here take advantage of this vulgar and
spacious division, that I may proceed with the greater order; and having said ali I thought
necessary concerning our ideas, shall now explain those violent emotions or passions,
their nature, origin, causes, and effects.
When we take a survey of the passions, there occurs a division of them into DIRECT and
INDIRECT. By direct passions I understand such as arise immediately from good or evil,