< Treatise on the Correction of the Intellect >       
< and on the way in which it is best directed toward the true knowledge of things. >   
On the Improvement of the Understanding
Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect (TEI)
                       Weinphal:104—Correction of Understanding

Circulated Unfinished - Before 1662?
Posthumously Published - 1677

Benedict de Spinoza
1632 - 1677

IntroductionPurpose - CD of Entire Site
Spinozistic Glossary and Index 

This electronic text is used with the kind permission of:
Cosma Shalizi <>

The  text  is  the  translation  of  the  "Tractatus  de Intellectus Emenda- 
"  by  R. H. M.  Elwes,  (based  on  Bruder's  1843  Latin Text),  as 
printed   by  Dover Publications (NY: 1955) in Book 1.  This is, the book 
assures us, "an unabridged and  unaltered  republication  of  the  Bohn 
Library edition originally published  by  George  Bell and Sons in 1883.'' 
As  it  is more than a century old, it is incontestably in the public domain. 

JBY Notes:

1.    Page numbers given refer to Book I except where otherwise noted.

2.    JBY  added  the  Paragraph Numbers  as  given  in Spinoza's
       "Treatise  on  the  Emendation  of  the  Intellect"  from  Edwin               Cosma Shalizi
       Curley's translation (Book VIII) as edited in his "The Collected   
       Works of Spinoza", Volume 1, 1985 ,  and reprinted in Book III, 
       De Dijn, H. "Spinoza: The  Way  of Wisdom"  with  permission 
       of Princeton University Press,  Book III:xi. For Book 1 Page #
       corresponding to Paragraph #, see Abridged version Note 5.
                       Book III is valuable for showing Spinoza's Method for achieving 
       Wisdom (PcM):   Posit  G-D,   Define Conatus,  Define an infinite thing      Burden of TEI
       by its Essence, and Define finite things by their causes. These precise 
       definitions lead to the understanding which brings Blessedness. 
                    Book III  also  has  the Gebhardt Latin text and Curley's English  
       translation on facing pages.

3.    Sentence numbers, added by JBY, are shown thus [yy:xx]. 
               yy = Curley's Paragraph Number. 
            xx = Sentence Number, if given. 

4.    Spinoza's endnotes are shown thus [a].  The letter is taken 
       from Curley, see Note 2. 

5.    Symbols:
             (Spinoza's quote or the Latin word),
             [ Curley's Book VIII Translation variation or Footnote ], see TEI:Note 2, 
             ] Shirley's Book VII Translation variation or Footnote [, 
             < Parkinson's Book XV Translation variation or Endnote >, 
             > De Dijn's Book III Translation variation or Comment <, 
             { JBY Comment }.         LINKS. 

6.   For Bibliography, Citation abbreviations, and Book ordering see Glossary and Index.

7.   Please report errors, clarification requests, disagreement, or
      suggestions to

8.   TEXT version.  Latin versions; Book III, CD, MEIJER.

9.   For the burden of TEI see  POSIT.

10. The secret to understanding Spinoza is to posit ONE1D6; its Foundation Rock.

11. For HTML version re-formatted for conversion to an eBook see here.
      For HTML version converted for various eBook Readers see here.


Commentaries from Book III

De Dijn, H. "Spinoza: The Way of Wisdom
 Book III Page Numbers 

The Introduction: The General Aim of the Treatise.
    [1-17].  De Dijn's Commentary Page 30.
A Short Survey of the Mind: The Means to Obtain the End.  
    [18-29] De Dijn's Commentary Page 50
The Way and the Method: Spinoza's Methodology.
    [30-49], De Dijn's Commentary Page 76
First Part of the Method: The Separation between
    Intellect and Imagination.
[50-90], De Dijn's Page 126
Elements important for rest of the Method.
Second Part of the Method: Rules of Definition.
    [91-98], De Dijn's Commentary Page 150
The Order of Thinking.
    [99-110], De Dijn's Commentary Page 172

"Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect"

Book I Page Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Note 3
From Bk.1:v
< Preface> 

Of the ordinary objects of men's desires.  Page 3                    [3:1]
Of the true and final good.  Page 6  [12:1] 
Certain rules of life.  Page 7  [17:1]
< Introduction.
The Kinds of Knowledge and the Nature of Method >
Of the four modes of perception.  Page 8  [19:1]
Of the best mode of perception.  Page 10  [25:1]
Of the instruments of the intellect, or true ideas. Page 12  [33:1]
Answers to objections.  Page 16  [43:1]

First Part of Method: Book I Page Numbers
< Part One—Truth, Fiction, Falsity, Doubt >  

Distinction of true ideas from fictitious ideas.  Page 18           [50:1] 
And from false ideas.  Page 24  [64:1]
Of doubt.  Page 29  [77:1]
Of memory and forgetfulness.  Page 31  [81:1]
Mental hindrances from words—and from the
     popular confusion of ready imagination
     with distinct understanding.  Page 33 

Second Part of Method: Rules of Definition.
< Part Two—Definition and the Order of Investigation > 
Book I Page Numbers

Its object, the acquisition of clear and distinct ideas.            
Page 34
Its means, good definitions. Conditions of definition.
Page 35
How to define understanding. Page 38 [106:1ff]


From Book III, Page 19

Notice to the Reader.

(This notice to the reader was written by the editors of the Opera Postuma in 1677.  
Taken from Book III:19 and Book VIII:6.)

This  Treatise  on the Emendation of the Intellect etc., which we give

you  here,  kind reader, in its unfinished [that is, defective] state, was

written  by  the  author  many years ago now.  He always intended to

finish  it.  But  hindered  by  other  occupations,  and finally snatched

away  by  death,  he  was unable to bring it to the desired conclusion.

But  since  it  contains  many  excellent and useful things, which—we

have no doubt—will  be  of great benefit to anyone sincerely seeking

the  truth,  we  did  not  wish to deprive you of them.  And so that you             Cash Value

would  be  aware of, and find less difficult to excuse, the many things

that are still obscure, rough, and unpolished, we wished to warn you

of them.  


From Bk.III:16:

The Introduction: The General Aim of the Treatise.
[1-11], De Dijn's Commentary Page 30 - The Perspective of Everyman. 

On the Improvement of the Understanding. Page 3          Transforms one's life.

Bk.III:30; Bk.XIB:4418; Bk.XX:101.  
[1]  (1:1)  After experience had taught me  that all the usual surround-             Hampshire:13[3]
           [ ordinary ]          [ empty ]
ings of social life are vain and futile; seeing that none of the objects
of my fears  contained in themselves  anything either  good or bad,
< Bk.XV:286182animus ,     moved >
except in so far as the mind is affected by them, I finally resolved to               Mark Twain
> try to find out <                                       [ true ]
inquire  whether  there might be  some real good  having  power  to          SCR:Dijn'sSalvation 
                                                                                              [ alone ]        [ rejection ]
communicate itself, which would affect the mind singly, to the exclu-
Deus }                           Spinoza's Religion
sion of all else:  whether,  in fact,  there might be anything of which
more or less }
the discovery and attainment would enable me to enjoy continuous,               E4:Dijn34
                                       [ joy ] { pleasure } E1:Bk.XV:2601 > 
supreme,  and  unending  happiness  better °PcM Bk.III:238Salvation.
                                         < Bk.XV:281
144 on E4:XXI:203 >
{ EL:[39]:xxiii, E2:XLIX(62):126, E5:XLII(9):270. } 

Aristotle "Nicomachean Ethics" Book I: 
       "Shall we not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more 
       likely to hit upon what we should?  If so, we must try, in outline 
       at least, to determine what it is, . . . "  } 

[2]   (2:1)  I say "I finally resolved,''  for at first sight  it seemed unwise

willingly  to lose hold  on what was sure  for the sake  of something
then uncertain.  (2:2)  I  could  see  the  benefits  which  are  acquired

through fame and riches,  and that I should be  obliged to abandon

the  quest  of  such  objects,  if  I  seriously  devoted  myself  to  the

search for something different and new.   (2:3)  I perceived that if true

happiness chanced to be placed in the former  I should necessarily

miss it; while if, on the other hand, it were not so placed, and I gave

them my whole attention, I should equally fail.

Of the ordinary objects of men's desires.

[3]  (3:1) I  therefore  debated whether it would not be possible to arrive
goal ]
at  the  new  principle, or at any rate at a certainty concerning its exist-
                       { ^ 
Foundation Rock }
ence,  without  changing  the  conduct  and usual plan of my life; with

this end in view I made many efforts, but in vain.  
(3:2)  For the ordinary

surroundings  of  life  which  are  esteemed  by  men (as their actions

testify)   to  be  the  highest  good,  may  be  classed  under the three      Spinoza's highest good
Bk.VIII:83—Aristotle "Nicomachean Ethics" Book I:4 ]  
               < riches, honour, and sexual loveBk.XV:286183 > 
heads—Riches,   Fame,   and  the  Pleasures  of  Sense:  with these                Idolatry
   ^ Bk.III:31; Bk.XIV:2:2362.                                               [ thought 
three  page 4  the  mind is so absorbed that it has little power to reflect

on any different good {say the Love of G-D, the most immutable love}.                         True Thoughts

[4]   (4:1)  By sensual pleasure the mind is enthralled to the extent of
  [ at peace ]
quiescence, as if the supreme good were actually attained, so that

it  is  quite  incapable  of  thinking  of  any  other object; when such

{irrational}  pleasure  has  been  gratified  it  is followed by extreme
sadness ]
melancholy, whereby  the mind, though not enthralled, is disturbed

and dulled.

(4:2) The  pursuit  of  honors  and  riches  is  likewise very absorbing,
especially  if  such  objects be sought simply for their own sake [a],
[ assumed ]{ Religion, Idolatry }
inasmuch as they are then supposed to constitute the highest good.

(5:1)  In  the  case  of  fame  the  mind  is still more absorbed, for

fame is conceived as always good for its own sake, and as the ulti-

mate end to which all actions are directed.   (5:2)  Further,  the attain-
ment of riches and fame  is not followed  as in the case  of sensual

pleasures by repentance,  but, the more we acquire,  the greater is

our delight, and, consequently, the more are we incited to increase

both the one and the other; on the other hand, if our hopes happen
loss of PcM }
to be frustrated we are plunged into the deepest sadness (5:3) Fame

has  the  further  drawback that it compels its votaries to order their
powers of understanding ]
lives  according  to the opinions of their fellow-men,  shunning what

they usually shun, and seeking what they usually seek.

(6:1)  When  I saw that all these  ordinary objects of desire would

be obstacles in the way of a search for something different and new

nay,  that  they  were  so  opposed  thereto,  that  either they or it

would have to be abandoned,  I was forced  to inquire which would

prove  the most useful  to me:  for, as I say, I seemed to be willingly

losing  hold  on  a  sure  good  for the sake of something uncertain.

(6:2)  However,  after I had reflected on the matter,  I came in the first

place to the conclusion that by abandoning the ordinary objects of

pursuit,  and betaking myself to a new quest,  I should be leaving a

good,  uncertain  by reason of its own nature,  as may be gathered

from what has been said, for the sake of a good not uncertain in its

nature  (for I  sought for a fixed good  {knowledge of G-D),  but only in
the possibility of its attainment.

persistent  meditation [
[7]  (7:1)  Further  reflection  convinced  me that if I could really get to
> {and thus} to change my plan of life, <
the root of the matter ^ I should be leaving certain evils for a certain       Transforms one's life
good.   (7:2)  I thus perceived that I was in a state of great peril, and I
compelled  myself  to  seek with all my  page 5  strength for a remedy,  

however  uncertain  it  might  be;  as  a  sick  man struggling with a

deadly disease,  when he sees  that death  will surely be upon him                 4P44n
unless  a  remedy be found, is compelled to seek a remedy with all

his  strength,  inasmuch as his whole hope lies therein.   (7:3)  All the
< crowd >
objects  pursued  by  the multitude  not  only  bring no remedy  that

tends to preserve our being,  but even act as hindrances,  causing               E4:Dijn:34 

the death not seldom  of those who possess them [b] ,  and always

of those who are possessed by them.

(8:1) There are many examples of men who have suffered perse-

cution even to death for the sake of their riches, and of men who in

pursuit  of  wealth  have  exposed themselves to so many dangers,

that  they  have  paid  away  their  life  as  a  penalty  for  their folly.

(8:2)  Examples are no less numerous of men, who have endured the

utmost  wretchedness  for  the  sake  of  gaining or preserving their

reputation.   (8:3)  Lastly,  there are  innumerable cases of men,  who

have  hastened  their  death  through  over-indulgence  in  sensual
Bk.XX:17663, 26254.  

(9:1) All  these  evils  seem  to have arisen from the fact, that happi-

ness  or unhappiness is made wholly dependent on the quality of the
external }
object  which  we love(9:2) When a thing is not loved, no quarrels will           Short Treatise

arise  concerning  it—no  sadness  be  felt if it perishes—no envy if it
is  possessed  by  another—no  fear,  no  hatred,  in short no disturb-

ances of the mind {decrease in °PcM}. (9:3)  All these arise from the love of
what is perishable, such as the objects already mentioned.

need}                    Bk.III:32; Bk.XIX:29311. 
[10]  (10:1)  But  love  towards  a  thing {G-D} eternal and infinite feeds             True Thoughts
                   < Bk.XV:286184E5:XX(2)N:257 >
the mind {mystically} wholly with joy,  and is itself unmingled with any             Durant:647[6a]160
 D2:2.18ff                                    {
^ better °PcM+1 }
sadness,   wherefore  it  is  greatly  to  be  desired  and  sought  for
               Martin Buber 
with  all  our  strength(10:2) Yet  it  was  not at random that I used the  

words, "If I could go to the root of the matter,'' for, though what I have
< on that account > 
urged  was  perfectly clear to my mind, I could not
forthwith lay aside
   greed     ]
all love of riches, sensual enjoyment, and fame.

(11:1)  One  thing  was  evident,  namely,  that while my mind was
 TEI:Endnote 11:1A   
employed  with  these thoughts it turned away from its former objects
of  desire,  and  seriously  considered  the search for a new principle;
rule of life ^ }
this  state  of  things was a great comfort to me,  for  I  perceived that

the  evils  were not such as to resist all remedies.
(11:2) Although these

intervals  were  at  first  rare,  and  page 6   of  very  short duration,  yet
{highest good}
afterwards,  as  the  true good became more and more discernible to            Simply Posit 
{^ our proposition - Posit}
me,  they  became  more frequent and more lasting; especially after I                Wolf

had  recognized  that  the acquisition of wealth, sensual pleasure, or

fame,  is  only  a  hindrance,  so long as they are sought as ends not
     have a limit,       ] 
as  means;  if  they  be sought as means, they will
be under restraint,
and,   far  from  being  hindrances,  will  further not a little the end for

which they are sought, as I will show in due time.

[12-13], De Dijn's Commentary Page 33 - The Philosophical Perspective.

Of the true and final good.  page 6

Bk.III:33.                                                                          {highest good}
[12]  (12:1)  I  will  here  only briefly state what I mean by true good, and 

also  what  is  the  nature  of the
highest good.  (12:2)  In order  that this              TEI:[10]:5 

may  be  rightly  understood,  we  must  bear  in  mind  that  the terms
> Bk.III:33—but only from the perspective of man as inevitably striving to perserve himself. <
good and evil are only applied relatively ^, so that the same thing may
{ ^ 
are subjective terms }                                    {reference point}
be  called  both  good and bad  according to the relations in view,  in
likewise are subjective terms}                              Ferguson
the  same  way  as  it may be called perfect or imperfect (12:3) Nothing 

regarded   in   its  own  nature  can  be  called  perfect  nor  imperfect;         Pure nor impure 

especially  when  we  are  aware  that  all things which come to pass,
                                                                  < Bk.XV:288212 on [53]. Determinism > 
come to pass according to the eternal order and fixed laws of Nature.      Chain of Natural Events 

                                                                           [ grasp ]
[13]  (13:1)  However,  human  weakness  cannot  attain to this order in
                                                    < Bk.XV:286186E4:Prf.(32):189,    human nature >
its  own  thoughts, but meanwhile man conceives a human character
Bk.XIX:1293. ^
much  more  stable  than his own,  and  sees  that there is no reason

why  he  should  not  himself acquire such a character.  
(13:2) Thus he

is  led  to  seek  for means which will bring him to this pitch of perfec-

tion, {°P}, and calls everything which will serve as such means a true

good.  (13:3) The chief good is that he should arrive, together with other
{of enlightened self-interest}
individuals  if  possible,  at the possession of the aforesaid character.

(13:4)  What  that character is we shall show in due time, namely, that it
{cosmic, mystical}
is  the  knowledge  of  the ^ union  existing  being  the  mind  and  the              Ferguson
Bk.XX:17764. [ Nature ]
whole  of  Nature {G-D}. [c].

[14-17], De Dijn's Commentary Page 36 - The Program for Real Happiness.

[14]   (14:1)  This,  then,  is  the end for which I strive, to attain to such                E4:Dijn:34 

a  character myself,  and to endeavor  that many  should attain to it

with me. (14:2) In other words, it is part of my happiness to lend a help-
ing hand,  that many others  may understand  even as I do,  so that

their  understanding  and  desire  may  entirely  agree with my own.

 (14:3)  In  order  to  bring this about,  it  is  necessary  
[first]  to  under-
 Nature ]                              Bk.III:173.
stand as much of nature as will enable us to attain to the aforesaid

character,  and  [next]  also  to  form a page 7 social order such  as  is

most  conducive  to the attainment of this character by the greatest
                 <              as safely as possible                 > 
number with the least difficulty and danger {by evolution, not revolution} .
Bk.XV:286187E4:XXXVII:211, E4:Ap. VII, XII, and XIV:237, > 

[15]  [Third,]  (15:1)  We  must  seek the assistance of Moral Philosophy

[d]  and the Theory of Education; further, as health is no insignificant
                                                    [ Fourthly ]    
means for attaining our end, we must also include the whole science
     Bk.XIV:2:2652 on E5:Prf.4:244; Bk.XIA:24109, Bk.XIB:238116  >ingenuity<, <useful arts> 
of   Medicine,   and,   as   many  difficult  things  are  by  contrivance

rendered  easy, and  we can in this way gain much time and conven-
 Fifthly ]
ience,   the  science  of  Mechanics  must  in  no  way  be  despised.     Technological Advancement

Bk.III:39.                                 {G:Note 8, E3:GN(2)n}
[16]  (16:1) But before all things, a means must be devised for improv-

ing the
understanding  and purifying it,  as far as may be at the out-               

set,  so that it may apprehend things without error,  and in the best
Neff EL:L42(37):360}
possible way.   
(16:2)  Thus it is apparent  to everyone  that  I wish to

direct all science  to one end and aim [e],  so that we may attain to

the supreme human perfection which we have named;  and,  there-            Hampshire:110 

fore,  whatsoever  in  the  sciences  does not serve to promote our
object  will have  to be rejected  as useless.   
(16:3)  To  sum  up  the

matter in a word,  all our actions and thoughts  must be directed to

this one end.

Certain rules of life.  page 7

Bk.III:39Neff TL:L42(37):360.
[17]   (17:1)  Yet,  as  it  is  necessary  that while we are endeavoring to

attain  our  purpose,  and  bring the understanding into the right path,        
Fourth Noble Truth

we should  carry  on our life, we are compelled first of all to lay down

certain  rules  of  life  as provisionally  good,  to  wit  the  following:

I.      (17:2)  To  speak   in a manner  intelligible to the multitude,  and to
       comply  with  every  general  custom  that  does  not  hinder  the
       attainment  of  our  purpose(17:3)
For we can gain from the multi- 
       tude  no  small  advantages,  provided  that  we  strive to accom-    Enlightened Self-interest
       modate  ourselves  to its understanding as far as possible: more- 
       over,  we  shall in this way gain a friendly audience for the recep- 
       tion of the truth. 

II.    (17:4) To  indulge  ourselves  with  pleasures  only in so far as they
      are necessary for preserving health. 

III.   (17:5) 
Lastly,  to  endeavor  to obtain only sufficient money or other
      commodities  to  enable us to preserve our life and health, and to
      follow  such  general customs as are consistent with our purpose. 
                                                                                                 < Bk.XV:286189goal > 

A Short Survey of the Mind: The Means to Obtain the End.
[18-29] De Dijn's Commentary Page 50.

         < Introduction. The Kinds of Knowledge and the Nature of Method >
Bk.XV:286181 >

                                                                                                    < now prepare >
[18]  (18:1) Having laid down these preliminary rules, I will betake my-
correction }
self to the first and most important task, namely, the amendment of
intellect ]
the understanding,  and  the rendering it capable of  understanding

things in the manner necessary for attaining our end.  (18:2) In order

to  bring  this  about,  the natural order demands that I should here
recapitulate  all  the  modes  of  perception,    which I have hitherto

employed for affirming or denying anything with certainty, so that I

may choose the best, and at the same time begin to know my own
 Bk.III:50Neff EL:L42(37):360.  
powers and the nature which I wish to perfect.

Of the four modes of perception.
 page 8

] persistent  meditation [
[19]  (19:1) Reflection shows that all modes of perception or knowledge              E2:TEI[19-24]
may be reduced to four:— < but of these four, the first two are clearly sub-forms 
                                                        of  the  first  kind  of  knowledge  in  "The Ethics." > 
Bk.XV:286190E2:XL(19)n2:113 >  { I:2.1 ,D:2.2b

I.    (19:2)  Perception  arising  from  hearsay  or  from  some sign which
      everyone may name as he please.
II.    (19:3)   Perception   arising   from   mere   experience—that is,  from
      experience  not  yet  classified by the intellect, and only so called
      because  the  given  event  has  happened to take place,  and we 
                         < particular experience.  Bk.XV:286191TEI:[20]:8 >  
      have  no  contradictory  fact  to  set against it,  so that it therefore
      remains  unassailed  in  our  minds.
 Bk.III:51, 52; Bk.XIX:1574.  
      { See De Dijn's Commentary Page 52. }

 Bk.XIV:1:1639    ] E1:Bk.VII:609 [ 
(19:4)   Perception  arising  when  the  essence  of  one  thing is in        Third Mode
      ferred from another thing, but not adequately; [f], this comes when 
      from  some  effect  we  gather  its  cause  {induction}, or when it is          by reason
      inferred  from  some  general  proposition  {deduction}  that some 
      < Bk.XV:287192Bk.XV:27489 on E2:XXXIX:110 >                  ^ Bk.XIV:2:1251. 
      property  is  always  present.      Bk.III:53, 54, 57, 152; Bk.XIX:2929. 

IV.   (19:5)  Lastly,  there  is  the  perception  arising  when  a thing is per-        Fourth Mode
      ceived  solely  through  its  essence  {by intuition, i.e. knowing G-D } or
then through deduction; by  knowing G-D} the knowledge of its proximate
Bk.III:150; Bk.XIV:1:1281; Bk.XIX:13416; 15419; 16014.
      {Called  the  third  kind  of knowledge—intuition—in "The Ethics."}; 
{ ^ the knowledge that comes from a mystical experience.} 
        {See De Dijn's Commentary Page 57.}  {Analogy: Organic Interdependence—knowing the
        body, so that you can understand an arm.

[20]  (20:1)  All  these  kinds of perception I will illustrate by  examples.

(20:2) By hearsay I know the day of my birth, my parentage, and other
matters  about  which  I have  never  felt  any doubt.   (20:3)  By mere

experience  I  know  that I shall die,  for this I can affirm from having

seen that others like myself have died, though all did not live for the
same  period,  or  die by the same disease. page 9 (20:4) I know by mere

experience  that  oil  has  the property of feeding fire,  and water of

extinguishing it.  (20:5) In the same way I know that a dog is a barking
animal,  man  a  rational  animal,  and in fact nearly all the practical

knowledge of life.

Bk.III:54, 55.          [infer]
[21]   (21:1)   We deduce one thing  from another as follows:  when we
< sense.  Bk.XV:287193TEI:[35]:13 >                [then]
clearly perceive that we feel a certain body and no other, we thence

clearly  infer  that  the  mind  is united to the body [g] , and that their
union  is  the  cause of  the given sensation;  but we cannot thence

absolutely understand the nature of the sensation and the union [h].

(21:2)  Or,  after  I  have  become  acquainted with the nature of vision,
Bk.XIX:13416, 15015, 15421.
and know that it has the property of making one and the same thing

appear smaller when far off than when near, I can infer that the sun

is  larger  than  it  appears,  and  can draw other conclusions of the

same kind.

(22:1) Lastly, a thing may be perceived solely through its essence;

when,  from  the  fact of knowing something, I know what it is to know

that  thing,  or  when,  from  knowing the essence of the mind, I know

that  it is united to the body.  
(22:2)  By the same kind of knowledge we

know  that  two and three make five, or that two lines each parallel to

a  third,  are parallel to one another, &c.  (22:3) The things which I have
Bk.III:57, Bk.XIV:2:1591. 
been  able  to  know  by  this  kind  of knowledge are as yet very few.

(23:1)  In  order  that the whole matter may be put in a clearer light,

I  will  make use of a single illustration as follows.  (23:2) Three numbers

are  given—it  is  required  to find a fourth, which shall be to the third

as  the  second  is  to  the  first. page 10 (23:3) Tradesmen will at once tell

us  that  they  know  what  is  required  to find the fourth number,  for

they  have  not  yet  forgotten the rule which was given  to  them arbi-
trarily  without  proof  by their masters;  others  construct  a universal

axiom  from  their experience  with  simple numbers, where the fourth

number  is  self-evident, as in the case of 2, 4, 3, 6; here it is evident

that  if  the second number be multiplied by the third, and the product

divided  by  the  first,  the quotient is 6;  when  they  see  that  by this

process  the  number is produced which they knew beforehand to be

the  proportional,  they  infer  that  the process always holds good for

finding a fourth number proportional.       Bk.III:56, 57, 228.

[24]  (24:1)  Mathematicians,  however,  know  by  the  proof of the nine-

teenth  proposition  of  the seventh book of Euclid, what numbers are

proportionals,  namely,  from  the  nature and property of proportion it

follows  that  the  product  of  the  first  and  fourth will be equal to the

product  of  the  second  and third:  still they do not see the adequate
< E2:Bk.XV:27596 on E2:XL(30)N2:113. >  
proportionality  of  the given numbers, or, if they do see it, they see it
[ or ]
not  by  virtue of  Euclid's  proposition,  but  intuitively,  without going
through any process.

[25-29], De Dijn's Commentary Page 58 - Conclusion.

Of the best mode of perception.  page 10

[25]  In  order  that  from  these modes of perception the best may be 
selected, it is well that we should briefly enumerate the means neces-
sary for attaining our end.
           I.    To have an exact knowledge of our nature which we desire 
                 to perfect, and to know as much as is needful of nature in 
                 general.         < Bk.XV:287194 >     Bk.III:58E1 & E2.
                       [     infer  rightly       ] 
           II.   To  collect in this way  the differences, the agreements, and
                 the oppositions of  things.
        Bk.III:58E2 & E3. 

           III.   To learn thus exactly how far they can or cannot be modified.
Bk.III:58E3 & E4.                                         { AA Creed
           IV.  To  compare  this  result  with  the  nature and power of man.
                 We  shall  thus discern the highest degree of perfection
°P }        Calculus:3.2
                 to which man is capable of attaining.
  Bk.III:58E4 & E5.  

[26]  (26:1) We  shall then be in a position to see which mode of percep-

tion we ought to choose.

(26:2)  As  to  the  first  mode,   it  is evident that from hearsay our know-

ledge  must  always  be  uncertain,  and,  moreover,   can  give us no
< clear >
insight  into  the  essence  of a thing, as is manifest in our illustration;

now  one  can only arrive at knowledge of a thing through knowledge

of  its  essence,  as  will  hereafter  appear.   (26:3)  We may,  therefore,

clearly  conclude  page 11   that  the  certainty arising from hearsay can-

not  be  scientific  in  its character.   (26:4)  For  simple  hearsay  cannot
                               > unless his own intellect has gone before. <
affect  anyone  whose  understanding  does not,  so to speak, meet it

half way.

(27:1)  The  second  mode  of  perception [i] cannot  be said to give

us the idea of the proportion of which we are in search. (27:2) Moreover
                                 Bk.III:53           < endless.  Bk.XV:287195 > 
its  results  are  very  uncertain  and  indefinite, for we shall never dis-            Never Proved
cover  anything  in  natural phenomena by its means, except acciden-

tal   properties,   which   are   never  clearly  understood,  unless  the

essence  of  the  things  in  question  be known first.   (27:3)  Wherefore

this mode also must be rejected.

(28:1) Of  the  third  mode  of  perception we may say in a manner

that  it gives us the idea of the thing sought, and that it enables us to
draw  conclusions  without risk of error; yet it is not by itself sufficient

to put us in possession of the perfection we aim at.

Bk.III:59, 76.                                       Example: POSIT ONE1D6                Simply Posit 
[29]  (29:1) The  fourth  mode  {Called  the  third  kind  of  knowledgeintuition         Importance of ONE1D6
—in "The Ethics."
} alone apprehends the adequate essence of a thing
without  danger  of  error.  (29:2)  This  mode, therefore, must be the one

which  we  chiefly  employ.  (29:3)  How, then, should we avail ourselves

of  it  so  as  to  gain  the fourth  kind of knowledge with the least delay

concerning  things  previously  unknown?  (29:4)  I will proceed to explain.

The Way and the Method: Spinoza's Methodology.
[30-37], De Dijn's Commentary Page 76 - The Possibility of a Method.

[30] (30:1)  Now  that we know what kind of knowledge is necessary for           POSIT ONE1D6
                       [ teach ]
us,  we  must indicate the Way and the Method whereby we may gain

the  said  knowledge  concerning  the  things  needful  to  be  known.

(30:2) In  order to accomplish this, we must first take care not to commit

ourselves  to  a search,  going back to infinity—that is, in order to dis-

cover  the  best  Method  of finding truth, there is no need of another

Method  to  discover such Method; nor of a third Method for discover-

ing  the  second,  and  so on to infinity.  (30:3) By such proceedings, we
should  never  arrive at the knowledge of the truth, or, indeed, at any
Bk.XIV:1:1392, 2:15304.
knowledge at all.

(30:4)  The matter stands on the same footing as the making of material

tools, which might be argued about in a similar way.  (30:5) For, in order

to  work  iron,  a hammer is needed, and the hammer cannot be forth-

coming  unless  it  has  been  made;  page 12   but,  in  order  to  make it,

there  was  need  of  another  hammer  and other tools,  and so on to

infinity.  (30:6) We  might  thus  vainly endeavor to prove that men have

no power of working iron.

(31:1)  But as men at first made use of the instruments supplied by

nature  to  accomplish  very easy pieces of workmanship, laboriously

and  imperfectly,  and  then, when these were finished, wrought other            Mark Twain 

things  more  difficult  with  less labour and greater perfection; and so

gradually  mounted  from  the  simplest  operations  to  the making of

tools,  and   from  the  making of tools to the making of more complex

tools,  and  fresh  feats  of  workmanship,  till  they  arrived at making,

with  small  expenditure  of  labour,  the  vast  number of complicated

mechanisms  which  they  now possess.  
(31:2)  So, in like manner, the
Bk.III:56inborn innate power; Bk.XIX:1319.
intellect,   by   its   native strength[k],  makes  for  itself  intellectual             Root Sources
{     ^ a priori     }
instruments,   whereby   it   acquires   strength  for  performing  other
 works ]
intellectual  operations,  [l],  and  from  these  operations  gets  again

fresh  instruments,  or  the power of pushing its investigations further,
and   thus   gradually  proceeds  till  it reaches the summit of wisdom.

(32:1)  That  this is the path pursued by the understanding may be

readily  seen,  when  we  understand  the  nature  of  the  Method for
[ inborn tools ]
finding  out  the  truth,  and  of  the natural instruments so necessary
  { ^
 a priori }
for  the  construction  of more complex instruments, and for the prog-

ress  of  investigation.  (32:1a)   I  thus  proceed  with  my demonstration.

Of the instruments of the intellect, or true ideas. page 12

                    > TEI:Bk.III:129 <                           Bk.III:77, 83; Bk.XIX:1319.
[33]  (33:1) true idea[m],  (for we possess a true idea) is something
[ object ]
different  from  its  correlate  (ideatum);  thus a circle is different from

the  idea of a circle.  (33:2) The idea of a circle is not something having

a  circumference  and  a center,  as  a circle has;  nor is the idea of a

body  that  body  itself. 
Now,  as it is something different from its

correlate,  it  is  capable  of being understood through itself;  in other
 formal ]      ] Bk.VII:240* [        Bk.III:78
words,  the idea,  in  so  far  as its actual essence (essentia formalis)
 object ]                           [ objective ]
is  concerned,  may  be  the  subject  of  another  subjective essence
< TEI:Bk.XV:287196, E1:Bk.XV:26531 on E1:XVII(21)n:61. >  
(essentia objectiva).   page 13   [33note1]    (33:4)   And,  again,  this  second
 [ objective ]
subjective  essence  will,  regarded in itself,  be something real,  and

capable of being understood; and so on, indefinitely.

(34:1)  For  instance, the man Peter is something real; the true idea
 [ objective essence ]                       { in modern terms ? }
of  Peter  is  the  reality of Peter represented subjectively, and is in it-

self something real, and quite distinct from the actual Peter.
(34:2) Now,
{idea of G-D}                                  Bk.III:83.
as  this  true  idea of Peter is in itself something real, and has its own
                      [ essence ]                            something intelligible—Bk.XIV:2:932.
individual  existence,  it  will  also  be capable of being understood
 object                                                                        in 
that  is,  of  being  the  subject  of another idea,  which will contain by
        itself, objectively, ]
representation (objective), [33note1], all that the idea of Peter contains
 formally ]                                                           Bk.XIX:12630.
actually  (formaliter).   (34:3)  And,  again,  this idea of the idea of Peter
 essence ]                                                 [ object 
has  its  own  individuality,   which  may  become  the  subject  of  yet

another  idea;  and  so on, indefinitely.  (34:4) This everyone may make
[ can experience this ]          < Bk.XV:287197TEI:[69]:26,  Bk.XV:27597 on E2:XLIII:114. >  
trial  of  for  himself,  by  reflecting  that he knows what Peter is,  and  

also  knows  that he knows, and further knows that he knows that he

knows, &c. {Cash Valuewhat you think an object is, is not necessarily true; be careful.}

                                                                                [ essence of ]
(34:5) Hence it is plain that, in order to understand the actual Peter, it is

not  necessary  first to understand the idea of Peter, and still less the

idea  of  the  idea  of  Peter.  (34:6)  This  is  the same as saying that, in

order  to  know, there is no need to know that we know, much less to

know  that  we  know  that  we know.  (34:7) This is no more necessary
 essence ]                                                           [ essence ]
than  to  know  the  nature  of a circle before knowing the nature of a
< Bk.XV:287198Bk.XV:276101 on E2:XLIX:120. >
triangle. [n]  (34:8)  But,  with  these  ideas, the contrary is the case: for,
Bk.III:83               Bk.XIX:1318.
in order to know that I know, I must first know.

Bk.III:183.                                        < Bk.XV:288199Bk.XV:277103 on E2:XLIX(15):121 >
[35]   (35:1)  Hence  it  is  clear  that  certainty  is  nothing  else than the
 [ objective ]   < Bk.XV:287193 on TEI:[21]:9 >                                               Bk.III:83 
subjective   essence   of   a   thing:  in   other   words,   the  mode  in
 formal essence ]
which we perceive an actual reality is certainty.  (35:2) Further, it is also
evident  that,  for  the  certitude  of truth, no further sign is necessary
         < Bk.XV:288200E2:XLIII(5)n:114;  Bk.XV:27597 on E2:XLIII:114 >  
beyond  the  possession  of a true idea: for, as I have shown, it is not

necessary  to  know  that  we  know that we know.  (35:3) Hence, again,

it  is  clear  that  no  one can know the nature of the highest certainty,
                                       < Bk.XV:288201E2:D.IV:82 >      [ objective ] 
unless  he  possesses  an adequate  idea, or the subjective essence
Bk.III:79—TEI:L64(60):395.            [ objective ]
of  a  thing:   for  certainty  is  identical  with  such   page 14    subjective  

essence.  { GN2n }

[36]   (36:1)  Thus,  as the truth needs no sign—it  being  sufficient  to
[ objective ]
possess the subjective essence of things,  or,  in other words,  the
true.  Bk.XV:288202TEI:[34]:13 > 
ideas of them,  in order  that all doubts may be removed—it follows

that  the  true  Method  does  not consist in seeking for the signs of
truth  after  the  acquisition  of  the  idea,  but  that the true Method
First Posit ONE1D6 and then test for cash values.}                         Simply Posit
teaches  us  the  order  in which  we should seek for truth itself, [o],
 objective ]
or the subjective essences of things,  or ideas, for all these expres-

sions are synonymous.

TEI:Endnote 37
[37]  (37:1)  Again, Method must necessarily be concerned with reason-
^ Bk.III:181Neff EL:L42(37):360.    Bk.III:153.
ing  or  understanding—I  mean,  Method is not identical with reason-

ing  in  the search for causes, still less is it the comprehension of the
Bk.III:84                                 Bk.III:173           {Posit: ONE1D6}                                   WHY?
of  things:  it is the discernment of a true idea, by distinguish-    Importance of ONE1D6
                                                                          ^ Bk.XIX:1293.
ing  it from other perceptions, and by investigating its nature, in order
Posit: ONE1D6}                  Simply Posit 
that  we  may so train our mind that it may, by a given standard, com-       
as a working hypothesis ^ }
prehend  whatsoever  is  intelligible,  by  laying down certain rules as

aids, and by avoiding useless mental exertion.

[38-42], De Dijn's Commentary Page 85 - Further Confirmation and Elaboration.

                   > TEI:Bk.III:129 <                              Bk.III:173.
[38]  (38:1)  Whence  we  may  gather  that  Method is nothing else than
 meditative, G:Note 8, E3:GN(2)n }    Bk.XIV:2:944; Bk.XIX:1295. 
reflective  knowledge,  or  the  idea of an idea;  and that as there can

be  no  idea  of  an idea—unless  an  idea  exists  previously,— there
 an axioma foundation ONE1D6}                           Burden of TEI
can   be   no   Method  without  a  pre-existent  idea.   (38:2)  Therefore,

that will  be  a good Method which shows us how  the mind should be
{Posit: ONE1D6}               Idea of G-D
directed, according to the standard of the given true idea.                               Spinozistic Idea
 { as a working hypothesis ^ }

(38:3)  Again,  seeing  that  the  ratio  existing  between two ideas is the
[ formal essence ]
same  as  the  ratio  between  the  actual  realities  corresponding  to
                 { meditative, G:Note 8, E3:GN(2)n }
those  ideas,  it  follows  that  the  reflective knowledge which has for

its  object  the  most  perfect  Being  is  more excellent than reflective
 ideas ]
knowledge  concerning  other  objects—in  other words, that Method
Posit: ONE1D6}
will  be  most  perfect which affords the standard of the given idea of              
Simply Posit 
                      Bk.III:85    { as a working hypothesis ^ }                                          Importance of ONE1D6
the  most  perfect  Being whereby we may direct our mind.

(39:1)  We thus easily understand how, in proportion as it acquires
more things ]
new  ideas,  the  mind  simultaneously acquires fresh instruments for

pursuing  its  inquiries further. 
(39:2) For we may gather from what has
> TEI:Bk.III:129 <; Bk.XIX:1291 .            Bk.III:159 
been  said,  that  a true idea must necessarily first of all exist in us as           Hampshire32:98 
                                  ^ posit: ONE1D6}
Bk.III:76—inborn tool; Bk.XIX:1319. 
a  natural  instrument;  and  that page 15  when this idea is apprehended
       { ^
 a prioriBk.XIV:2:155.}
by  the  mind,  it  enables  us  to  understand  the  difference  existing

between  itself  and  all other perceptions (39:3) In this, one part of the

Method consists.

(39:4)  Now  it  is  clear  that the mind apprehends itself better in propor-

tion  as  it understands a greater number of natural objects; it follows,

therefore,  that  this  portion of the Method will be more perfect in pro-

portion  as  the  mind  attains to the comprehension of a greater num-

ber  of  objects,  and  that  it will be absolutely perfect when the mind

gains  a  knowledge  of  the  absolutely  perfect  Being,  or  becomes

conscious thereof.

 (40:1)  Again,  the  more  things the mind knows, the better does it
Bk.III:174                   [ powers ]      Bk.XIV:2:1281.         Bk.III:86
understand  its  own  strength  and  the order of Nature; by increased

self-knowledge,  it  can  direct  itself  more easily, and lay down rules

for  its  own guidance; and, by increased knowledge of Nature, it can               Deus
              Bk.III:85, 87. 
more  easily  avoid  what  is useless. 
(40:2)  And this is the sum total of
 [ the ] 
Method, as we have already stated.  Bk.XIX:14031. 

[41]  (41:1)  We  may  add  that  the idea in the world of thought is in the
object ]                              Bk.III:80
same  case  as  its  correlate in the world of reality (41:2)  If,  therefore,
                                      [ interaction ]
there  be  anything  in  Nature which is  without  connection  with any              Idolatry
objective ]
other  thing,  and if we assign to it a subjective essence, which would
  Bk.III:86—formal essence.                [ objective ]
in   every  way  correspond  to  the  objective  reality,  the  subjective

essence  would  have  no  connection,  [p],  with any other ideas—in
infer ]
other  words,  we  could  not  draw  any conclusions with regard to it.

(41:3) On the other hand, those things which are connected with others

—as  all  things  that  exist in Nature—will be understood by the mind,
         [ objective ]
and their subjective essences will maintain the same mutual relations
 deduce ]
as  their  objective  realities—that  is to say, we shall infer from these
ideas  other  ideas,  which  will in turn be connected with others, and
thus   our   instruments   for   proceeding  with  our  investigation  will

increase.  (41:4) This is what we were endeavoring to prove.

(42:1)  Further,  from  what  has  just  been  said—namely, that an
formal  essence    ]
idea  must,  in  all  respects,  correspond  to  its correlate in the world
orderly connection ^ } 
of  reality,—it  is  evident  that, in order to reproduce in every respect
< pattern.  Bk.XV:288204 E4:Prf.(27):189, Bk.XV:280136 on E4:D.I:190. > 
the faithful image of Nature, our  mind  must  deduce all its ideas from
 Bk.VIII:253391 ]                   { ^ will be objective } 
the   idea  which  represents
page 16  the origin and source of the whole
Bk.XIX:13829.                                                  Bk.XIV:2:1051. 
of  Nature{/G-D}, so that it may itself become the source of other ideas.

[43-48], De Dijn's Commentary Page 87 - Objections and Answers.

Answers to objections.  page 16

                    > TEI:Bk.III:129 <            Bk.III:87
[43]   (43:1)  It  may,  perhaps,  provoke  astonishment that, after having

said  that  the  good  Method  is  that  which  teaches us to direct our
Foundation Rock}
mind  according  to  the  standard  of  the  given true idea, we should
was a working hypothesis ^ } 
prove  our  point  by  reasoning,  which would seem to indicate that it

is  not  self-evident.  (43:2)  We  may, therefore, be questioned as to the

validity of our reasoning. (43:3) If our reasoning be sound, we must take
Bk.XV:288205Bk.XV:288202 on TEI:[36]:14 > 
as a starting-point a true idea.
(43:4) Now, to be certain that our starting           Simply Posit 

-point  is  really  a  true  idea, we need proof (43:5) This first course of

reasoning  must  be  supported  by  a  second, the second by a third,

and so on to infinity.

[44]   (44:1)  To  this  I  make answer that, if by some happy chance any-

one  had  adopted this Method in his investigations of Naturethat is,

if  he  had  acquired  new  ideas in the proper order, according to the
Foundation Rock}
standard  of  the  original  true idea, he would never have doubted [q]
as a working hypothesis }
of  the  truth  of  his  knowledge,   inasmuch   as   truth,  as  we  have
self-evident—Bk.XIV:2:1007.        < present itself  > 
shown,  makes   itself   manifest, and all things would flow, as it were,
of its own accord; Bk.VIII:2134—[104] ]
spontaneously towards him. 

(44:2)  But  as  this never,  or rarely,  happens, I have been forced so to 
] persistent  meditation [
arrange  my  proceedings, that we may acquire by reflection and fore-

thought   what   we  cannot acquire by chance, and that it may at the

same  time  appear that, for proving the truth, and for valid reasoning,

we  need  no  other  means  than  the truth and valid reasoning them-

selves:  for  by  valid  reasoning  I  have  established valid reasoning,

and, in like measure, I seek still to establish it.

 (45:1)  Moreover,  this  is  the  order  of  thinking adopted by men in

their  inward  meditations.  (45:2) The reasons for its rare employment in
Bk.XIA:3017<Bk.XV:288206Bk.XV:26849 on E1:Ap.(3):75. prejudices>
investigations  of  Nature  are  to  be found in current misconceptions,
TEI:Bk.XV:288207 >
whereof  we  shall  examine  the  causes  hereafter in our philosophy.

(45:3)  Moreover,  it  demands,  as  we shall show, a keen and accurate

discernment.  (4)  Lastly, it is hindered by the conditions of human life,

which  are,  as  we  have  already pointed out, extremely changeable.

(45:5)  There  are  also  other  obstacles, which we will not here inquire


TEI:Bk.XV:288208 >
[46]  (46:1)  If  anyone asks why I have not at the starting-point set forth
all  the  truths  of  Nature in their due order, inasmuch  page 17  as truth
Bk.III:127; Bk.XIV:2:1001.
is  self-evident,  I reply by warning him not to reject as false any para-
A seemingly contradictory or absurd statement that expresses a possible truth ^ .}
doxes  he  may  find  here,  but  to  take  the  trouble to reflect on the

chain  of  reasoning  by  which they are supported; he will then be no

longer  in  doubt  that  we have attained to the truth.  (46:2)  This is why

I have begun as above.

[47]  (47:1) If there yet remains some sceptic, who doubts of our primary            world views       

truth,  and  of all deductions we make, taking such truth as our stand-

ard,  he  must  either be arguing in bad faith, or we must confess that

there  are  men  in complete mental blindness, either innate or due to
 prejudices ]                                                                [ chance ]
misconceptionsthat  is,  to  some  external influence.  (47:2) Such per-

sons are not conscious of themselves. (47:3) If they affirm or doubt any-

thing,  they  know  not  that  they  affirm  or  doubt: they say that they

know  nothing,  and they say that they are ignorant of the very fact of

their  knowing  nothing.   (47:4)  Even  this they do not affirm absolutely,

they  are  afraid  of  confessing  that they exist, so long as they know
speechless ]
nothing;  in  fact, they ought to remain dumb, for fear of haply suppos-

ing which should smack of truth.

(48:1) Lastly, with such persons, one should not speak of sciences:
society ]
for,  in  what relates to life and conduct, they are compelled by neces-

sity  to  suppose  that  they  exist, and seek their own advantage, and

often  affirm  and  deny, even with an oath.  (48:2) If they deny, grant, or

gainsay, they know not that they deny, grant, or gainsay, so that they
Bk.III:128                  [ lacking in mind ]
ought to be regarded as automata, utterly devoid of intelligence.                    Mark Twain

[49], De Dijn's Commentary Page 90 - Conclusion.

highest good}
[49]  (49:1)  Let  us  now  return  to our proposition(2) Up to the present,

1-17 <,  we  have,  first,  defined  the end to which we desire to direct

all  our  thoughts;  secondly> 18-29 <,  we have determined the mode

of  perception  best  adapted  to  aid  us  in  attaining  our  perfection;
< Bk.XV:288209 >  
thirdly> 30-48 <, we have discovered  the way which our mind should

take,  in  order to make a good beginning—namely, that it should use
Posit: ONE1D6}
every  true  idea  as  a  standard  in  pursuing  its inquiries according            
Simply Posit 
          { as a working hypothesis ^ }
fixed rules.

(49:3)  Now,  in order that it may thus proceed, our Method must furnish

us,  first,  > 50-90 <,  with  a means of distinguishing a true idea from all

other  perceptions, and enabling the mind to avoid the latter; second-

ly> 91-98 <, with rules for perceiving unknown things according to the
< Bk.XV:288210[40] >
standard  of  the  true  idea;  thirdly,  > 99-110 <,  with  an  order  which
enables  us  to avoid  useless  labor.  
page 18   (49:4)  When  we  became
< Bk.XV:288210[38] >
acquainted with this Method, > 38 <, we saw that, fourthly, it would be
E3:GN(2)n }                                                               Bk.III:59.
perfect  when  we  had  attained  to the idea of the absolutely perfect

Being.   (49:5)  This  is  an  observation  which  should  be  made at the
{First Posit ONE1D6 and then test for cash values. Simply Posit
outset, in order that we may  arrive at the knowledge of such a Being 
more quickly.  { G:Note 8}

First Part of the Method: The Separation between
Intellect and Imagination.
[50-90], De Dijn's Page 126.

                      < Part One—Truth, Fiction, Falsity, Doubt >
Bk.XV:286181 >    Bk.III:52.

Distinction of true ideas from fictitious ideas.  page 18 

[50]  (50:1)  Let  us  then  make  a  beginning  with  the  first  part of the

Method,  which  is,  as  we have said, to distinguish and separate the
true idea  from  other  perceptions, and to keep the mind from confus-
   { ^
Cash Value }
ing  with  true  ideas  those  which  are  false,  fictitious, and doubtful.           Speculation
Posit: ONE1D6  }
(50:2) I intend to dwell on this point at length, partly to keep a distinction

so  necessary  before  the reader's mind, and also because there are

some  who  doubt  of  true  ideas, through not having attended to the            Cash Value

distinction   between  a  true  perception  and  all  others.  

persons  are like men who, while they are awake, doubt not that they

are  awake,  but  afterwards  in  a  dream, as often happens, thinking

that  they  are  surely awake, and then finding that they were in error,
< Bk.XV:288211 > 
become doubtful even of being awake.  (50:4) This state of mind arises

through  neglect  of  the  distinction  between  sleeping  and  waking.

(51:1)  Meanwhile,  I  give  warning  that  I  shall  not  here give the
essence  of  every  perception,  and  explain  it  through its proximate
cause(51:2)  Such  work  lies  in  the province of philosophy.  (3) I shall

confine  myself  to  what  concerns  Method—that is, to the character

of  fictitious,  false  and  doubtful  perceptions, and the means of free-

ing  ourselves  therefrom.  (51:4) Let us then first inquire into the nature
 ] TEI:Bk.VII:245* [ 
of  a  fictitious idea.

Bk.III:52.                   Bk.III:132
[52]  (52:1) Every perception has for its object either a thing considered
as  existing,  or solely the essence of a thing(2) Now "fiction'' is chief-

ly  occupied  with  things  considered as existing.  (52:3) I will, therefore,

consider  these  first—I  mean  cases where only the existence of an
 posited fictitiously }
object  is  feigned,   and   the  thing  thus  feigned  is  understood,  or
suppose ]
assumed  to  be  understood.   (52:4)   For  instance,  I  feign  that Peter,

whom   I   know   to   have   gone  home,  is  gone  to  see  me, [r],  or

something  of  that  kind.  (52:5)  With  what  is  such an idea concerned?

(52:6)   It  is  concerned   
page 19   with  things  possible, and not with things

necessary  or  impossible.

[53]  (53:1)  I  call  a  thing impossible when its existence would imply a
contradiction;  necessary,  when its non-existence would imply a con-
Bk.III:150                         [ Bk.VIII:2439 ]
tradiction;  possible, when neither its existence nor its non-existence
imply  a  contradiction,  but  when  the necessity or impossibility of its
 < Bk.XV:288212[12]; Bk.XV:26738 on E1:XIX:68 >          { posit fictitiously
nature  depends  on  causes  unknown  to  us,  while we feign that it
(53:2)  If  the  necessity or impossibility of its existence depend-
[,]                                 Bk.XIV:2:1155—imagine. 
ing  on  external  causes  were  known  to  us, we could not form any

fictitious  hypotheses  about  it;

[54]   (54:1)  Whence  it  follows  that  if  there  be  a G-D, or omniscient
     { Whose ideas are always adequate, }  < Bk.XV:288213TEI:[53:2] >; Bk.XIX:13827.
Being, ^  such  an one cannot form  fictitious  hypotheses (2)  For, as
[  ^   Bk.VIII:2440 ]
regards  ourselves,  when  I know that I exist,
[s] I cannot hypothesize

that  I  exist  or  do  not exist, any more than I can hypothesize an ele-
phant  that  can  go through the eye of a needle; nor when I know the

nature  of  G-D,  can I hypothesize that He exists or does not exist [t].

(54:3) The same thing must be said of the Chimæra, whereof the nature

implies a contradiction.  (54:4) From these considerations, it is plain, as

I  have  already  stated, that fiction cannot be concerned with eternal
< Bk.XV:289214 >                                                                                { Neff }
truths [u]. [I shall also show immediately that no fiction is concerned with eternal truths.]

[55]  (55:1)  But  before  proceeding  further,  I  must remark, in passing,
 say, G-D }
that   the   difference  between  the  essence  of  one  thing  and  the
 say, Man }
essence  of  another  thing  is the same as that which exists between
actuality ]                                                                  [ actuality ]
the  reality  or  existence  of  one thing and the reality or existence of

another;  therefore,  if we wished to conceive the existence, for exam-

ple,  of  Adam,  simply  by  means of existence in general, it would be

the  same  as  if,  in order to conceive his existence, we went back to
a mode}
the  Nature  of Being, so as to define Adam as a being(55:2) Thus, the

more  existence  is  conceived  generally,  the  more  is  it  conceived

page 20   confusedly,  and  the  more easily can it be ascribed to a given

object.  (55:3)  Contrariwise,  the  more  it  is conceived particularly, the

more  is  it  understood clearly, and the less liable is it to be ascribed,
Bk.VIII:2541 ]    Bk.III:132
through  negligence  of  Nature's  order,  to  anything save its proper

object.  (55:4) This is worthy of remark.

 (56:1)  We now proceed to consider those cases which are com-

monly called fictions, though we clearly understood that the thing is
feign ]
not as we imagine it. (56:2) For instance, I know that the earth is round,
but  nothing prevents my telling people that it is a hemisphere, and
          [ orange ]
that  it is like a half apple carved in relief on a dish; or, that the sun

moves  round the earth, and so on.  (56:3) However, examination will

show us that there is nothing here inconsistent with what has been

said, provided we first admit that we may have made mistakes, and

be  now  conscious  of them; and, further, that we can hypothesize,

or at least suppose, that others are under the same mistake as our-

selves,  or  can,  like  us,  fall  under  it.  
(56:4)  We can, I repeat, thus
   { D:2.8b }
hypothesize  so long as we see no impossibility.  (56:5) Thus, when I

tell anyone that the earth is not round, &c., I merely recall the error

which I perhaps made myself, or which I might have fallen into, and

afterwards  I hypothesize that the person to whom I tell it, is still, or

may still fall under the same mistake. 
(56:6) This I say, I can feign so

long  as  I  do  not  perceive  any impossibility or necessity; if I truly

understood  either  one  or  the  other  I should not be able to feign,
  < Bk.XV:289215—not meant what I say >
and  I  should  be  reduced  to  saying  that I had made the attempt.

> TEI:Bk.III:129 < 
 (57:1)  It  remains for us to consider hypotheses made in problems,

which sometimes involve impossibilities.  (57:2)   For instance, when we

say—let  us assume that this burning candle is not burning, or, let us
  < Bk.XV:289216 >
assume  that  it  burns  in  some imaginary space, or where there are
< Bk.XV:289217Bk.XV:26423 on E1:XV(37)n:58 >  
no physical objects(3) Such assumptions are freely made, though the

last  is  clearly  seen  to  be  impossible.  (57:4)  But,  though this be so,

there is no fiction in the case.  (57:5) For, in the first case, I have merely

recalled  to  memory[x]another  candle  not  burning, or page 21  con-

ceived  the  candle  before  me  as  without a flame, and then I under-

stand  as  applying  to the latter, leaving its flame out of the question,

all  that  I  think  of the former.  (57:6) In the second case, I have merely

to  abstract my thoughts from the objects surrounding the candle, for

the  mind  to  devote  itself  to  the contemplation of the candle singly

looked  at  in  itself  only;  I  can  then  draw  the  conclusion  that the

candle  contains  in  itself no causes for its own destruction, so that if

there  were  no  physical  objects  the  candle,  and  even  the  flame,

would  remain  unchangeable,  and so on.  (57:7) Thus there is here no

fiction, but, [y], true and bare assertions.

(58:1) Let us now pass on to the fictions concerned with essences
[ actuality ]
only,  or  with some reality or existence simultaneously.  (58:2) Of these

we  must  specially  observe  that  in  proportion  as the mind's under
< the more it perceives > 
standing  is  smaller, and
its experience multiplex, so will its power of
< feigning >  
coining  fictions  be  larger,  whereas  as its understanding increases,
its  capacity  for  entertaining  fictitious ideas  becomes less.  (58:3) For

instance,  in  the  same  way as we are unable, while we are thinking,
< Bk.XV:289218 > 
to  feign  that we are thinking or not thinking, so, also, when we know

the  nature  of  body  we  cannot  imagine  an infinite fly; or, when we

know  the  nature  of  the  soul[z],  we  cannot imagine it as square,

though  anything  may  be  expressed  verbally.   
(58:4) But, as we said
above,  the  less  men  know  of  Nature  the  page 22  more  easily  can

they  coin  fictitious  ideas,  such  as  trees  speaking,  men  instantly
< Bk.XV:289219E1:VIII(6)n2:48 >    
changed  into  stones,  or  into fountains, ghosts appearing in mirrors,

something  issuing  from  nothing,  even  gods  changed  into  beasts
Bk.VIII:2745—creation, incarnation. E1:VIII(6)n2:48 ]
and men, and infinite other absurdities of the same kind.

                                                                                             > TEI:Bk.III:128 <
[59] (59:1) Some persons think, perhaps, that fiction is limited by fiction,

and  not  by understanding;  in other words, after I have formed some
< Bk.XV:289220Bk.XV:276101 on E2:XLIX(10)C:121,
fictitious  idea,  and  have  affirmed  of  my  own free will that it exists              Mark Twain

under  a  certain form in nature, I am thereby precluded from thinking

of it under any other form.   (59:2)  For instance,  when  I  have  feigned

(to  repeat their argument) that the nature of body is of a certain kind,

and  have  of  my own free will desired to convince myself that it actu-

ally  exists  under  this form, I am no longer able to hypothesize that a

fly, for example, is infinite; so, when I have hypothesized the essence

of the soul, I am not able to think of it as square, &c.    > TEI:Bk.III:128 <

{ [59] lays the groundwork for what follows; especially; [61], [71:2].}

[60]  (60:1)  But  these  arguments demand further inquiry.  (2) First, their

upholders  must  either  grant  or  deny  that  we can understand any-

thing.  (60:2A)  If they grant it, then necessarily the same must be said of

understanding,  as  is said  of  fiction.  (60:3)  If they deny it, let us, who

know that we do know something, see what they mean.

(60:4)  They  assert  that  the soul can be conscious of, and perceive in

a  variety  of  ways,  not  itself  nor  things which exist, but only things

which  are  neither  in  itself  nor  anywhere else, in other words, that

the  soul  can,  by  its  unaided  power,  create  sensations  or  ideas
unconnected  with  things.  (60:5)  In fact, they regard the soul as a sort            Pineal Gland

of god.     [ Bk.VIII:2747Bk.XIV:2:110-111 ]

(60:6)  Further,  they  assert that we or our soul have such freedom that

we  can  constrain ourselves, or our soul, or even our soul's freedom.
(60:7)  For, after it has formed a fictitious idea, and has given its assent
     { imagine }
thereto,  it  cannot  think  or  feign  it  in any other manner, but is con-

strained  by  the  first  fictitious  idea  to  keep all its other thoughts in

harmony  therewith. 
(60:8)  Our  opponents are thus driven to admit, in
support  of their fiction, the absurdities which I have just enumerated;

and which are not worthy of rational refutation. [60a].

page 23
> Rather, <
[61]  (61:1)  While  leaving such persons in their error, we will take care

to   derive   from   our  argument  with  them  a  truth  serviceable  for
our  purpose,  namely,  that  the  mind,  in paying attention to a thing

hypothetical  or  false,  so  as  to  meditate  upon it and understand it,
and   derive   the   proper  conclusions  in  due  order  therefrom,  will

readily  discover  its  falsity;  and  if  the  thing  hypothetical  be  in  its
nature  true,  and the mind pays attention to it, so as to understand it,

and  deduce  the  truths which are derivable from it, the mind will pro-
ceed  with  an  uninterrupted  series  of  apt conclusions; in the same

way  as  it  would  at  once  discover  ( as  we  showed  just now) the

absurdity  of a false hypothesis, and of the conclusions drawn from it.

 { D:2.8b }
[62]  (62:1) We need, therefore, be in no fear of forming hypotheses, so
 < Bk.XV:289221E2:Parkinson:27383 on E2:XXVIII:105 > 
long  as  we  have a clear and distinct perception of what is involved.          Clear and Distinct
                                           ^ TEI:Dijn:14216, E2:Parkinson:27484
(62:2)  For,  if  we  were  to assert, haply, that men are suddenly turned
into  beasts,  the  statement  would be extremely general, so general

that  there  would  be no conception, that is, no idea or connection of

subject  and  predicate, in our mind.  (62:3) If there were such a concep-

tion  we  should  at  the  same  time  be  aware of the means and the
causes  whereby  the  event  took  place.  (62:4)  Moreover,  we pay no

attention to the nature of the subject and the predicate.

[63]  (63:1)  Now,  if  the  first  idea  be  not fictitious, and if all the other

ideas  be  deduced  therefrom,  our  hurry  to form fictitious ideas will
gradually  subside.  (63:2) Further,  as  a  fictitious idea cannot be clear

 distinct, but is necessarily confused, and as all confusion arises
from  the  fact  that  the  mind  has  only  partial knowledge of a thing
either  simple  or  complex,  and  does  not  distinguish  between  the
known  and  the  unknown, and, again, that it directs its attention pro-

miscuously  to  all  parts  of  an object at once without making distinc-
Bk.XIV:2:1121; 2:1171. 
tions,  it  follows,  first,  that  if  the  idea be of something very simple,
Bk.VIII:2948 ]
it must necessarily be clear and distinct.
  (63:3) For a very simple object
cannot  be  known  in  part,  it must either be known altogether or not

at all.

And from false ideas.  page 24 

[64]  (64:1)  Secondly it  follows  that if a complex object be divided by

thought into a number of  page 24   simple component parts, and if each

be regarded separately, all confusion will disappear.

(64:2) Thirdly, it follows that fiction cannot be simple, but is made up of
Bk.XIV:2:838, 2:1152, 2:1604.
the  blending  of several confused ideas of diverse objects or actions

existent  in  nature, or rather is composed of attention, [64b], directed
to  all  such  ideas at once and unaccompanied by any mental assent.  

(64:3)  Now  a  fiction  that  was simple would be clear and distinct, and          Clear and Distinct

therefore  true,  also  a  fiction composed only of distinct ideas would

be  clear  and distinct, and therefore true. (64:4) For instance, when we

know  the  nature  of  the circle and the square, it is impossible for us

to  blend  together  these  two  figures,  and  to hypothesize a square
circle,   any   more   than   a   square   soul,   or   things  of  that  kind.

(65:1)  Let  us  shortly  come  to  our  conclusion, and again repeat

that  we  need  have  no  fear  of confusing with true ideas that which

is  only  a  fiction.  (65:2)  As  for the first sort of fiction of which we have

already  spoken,  when  a  thing  is  clearly conceived, we saw that if
the  existence  of  that  thing  is  in  itself  an  eternal truth, fiction can

have  no  part  in  it; but if the existence of the thing conceived be not

an  eternal  truth,  we  have only to be careful that such existence be
> related <                                                                        Bk.III:82,133,153.
compared to the thing's essence, and to consider the order of Nature.

(65:3)  As  for the second sort of fiction, which we stated to be the result

of  simultaneously  directing  the  attention,  without the assent of the

intellect, to different confused ideas representing different things and

actions  existing  in  Nature,  we  have seen that an absolutely simple
G-D}                   Analogy
thing cannot be feigned, but must be understood, and that a complex
thing  is  in  the  same  case  if we regard separately the simple parts             

whereof  it  is  composed;  we  shall  not even be able to hypothesize

any untrue action concerning such objects, for we shall be obliged to

consider  at  the  same  time  the  causes and manner of such action.

 (66:1)  These  matters  being  thus  understood,  let  us  pass on to

page 25   consider  the  false  idea, observing the objects with which it is

concerned,  and  the  means  of  guarding  ourselves from falling into

false perceptions. (66:2) Neither of these tasks will present much difficul-
ty,  after  our  inquiry  concerning  fictitious ideas.  (66:3) The false idea

only  differs  from  the  fictitious  idea  in the fact of implying a mental

assent—that is,  as we have already remarked, while the representa-

tions  are  occurring,  there  are no causes present to us, wherefrom,

as  in fiction, we can conclude that such representations do not arise

from  external  objects:  in  fact, it is much the same as dreaming with

our  eyes open, or while awake.  (66:4) Thus, a false idea is concerned
related ]
with, or (to speak more correctly) is attributable to, the existence of a

thing  whereof  the  essence  is  known,  or  the  essence itself, in the
related ]
same  way as a fictitious idea.   (66:5) If  attributable  to  the existence of

the  thing,  it  is corrected  in the  same  way as a fictitious idea under

similar circumstances.

         [ The false idea ]                       [ existence     
[67]   (67:1)   If  attributable  to the essence, it is likewise corrected in the

same way as a fictitious idea. 
For if the nature of the thing known

implies  necessary  existence,  we  cannot  possible  be  in  error with

regard  to  its  existence;  but  if  the  nature  of  the  thing  be  not  an
Neff }                                        [ Bk.VIII:3050 ]
eternal truth,   like  its  essence,   but  contrariwise  the  necessity  or

impossibility of its existence  depends  on  external  causes,  then  we            
Mark Twain

must  follow  the same  course  as  we adopted  in  the case of fiction,

for it is corrected in the same manner.

 (68:1)  As  for  false  ideas  concerned with essences, or even with

actions,  such  perceptions  are  necessarily  always confused, being

compounded  of  different  confused  perceptions of things existing in

nature,  as,  for  instance,  when  men are persuaded that deities are

present  in woods, in statues, in brute beasts, and the like; that there

are  bodies  which,  by  their  composition alone, give rise to intellect;

that  corpses  reason,  walk  about, and speak; that G-D is deceived,

and  so  on.  
But ideas which are clear and distinct can never be

false:  for  ideas  of  things clearly and distinctly conceived are either

very  simple  themselves, or are compounded from very simple ideas,

that  is,  are  deduced  therefrom.   (68:3)  The  impossibility  of  a  very

simple  idea  being false is evident to everyone who understands the           Parkinson:286180
                              <the intellect>
nature of truth or understanding and of falsehood.

   > TEI:Bk.III:129 <       [ form ]
[69]  (69:1)  As  regards  that  which  constitutes  the  reality  of  truth, it
                                                 < adequate idea.  Bk.XV:289222TEI:[73:5]:28 > 
page 26   is  certain  that  a  true idea  is  distinguished from a false one,
          > Bk.III:14318E1:XXV:66, denomination <                  < denomination >  
not  so  much by its extrinsic object as by its intrinsic nature. (69:2) If an
                                                          ^ Bk.XV:27059 on E2:D.IV:82 >   
architect  conceives  a  building  properly constructed, though such a 
      ^ Bk.III:129.                     ^ Bk.III:81Neff TL:L27(09):313.
building  may  never have existed, and may never exist, nevertheless  

the  idea  is  true;  and  the  idea remains the same, whether it be put
Bk.III:76; Bk.VIII:3151; Bk.XIV:2:1041.
into  execution  or  not.  (69:3) On the other hand, if anyone asserts, for          E2:Parkinson:27597 

instance,  that  Peter exists,  without  knowing  whether  Peter  really

exists  or  not,  the assertion,  as  far  as its asserter is concerned, is

false,  or  not  true,  even  though Peter actually does exist.  (69:4) The

assertion that Peter exists is true only with regard to him who knows
for certain that Peter does exist.

> TEI:Bk.III:129 < 
(70:1)  Whence  it  follows  that  there  is  in  ideas  something real,

whereby  the  true  are  distinguished  from the false.  (70:2) This reality
                                {for its consequences}            {Posit: ONE1D6}
must be inquired into
 ^, if we are to find the best standard of truth (we  
as a working hypothesis ^ }
have  said  that  we  ought  to  determine  our  thoughts  by the given

standard  of  a  true idea,  and  that Method is  reflective  knowledge),          E2:Parkinson:27597 

and  to  know  the properties of our understanding(70:3) Neither must

we  say  that  the  difference  between  true and false arises from the
solely }
fact,  that  true  knowledge consists in knowing things ^ through their

primary  causes,  wherein  it  is totally different from false knowledge,

as  I  have just explained it: for thought is said to be true, if it involves
 [ objectively ]
subjectively  { objectively,  in  modern  terms }   the  essence  of  any
cause in itself}
principle  which  has  no  cause,   and  is  known  through  itself  and                G-D

in  itself.

> TEI:Bk.III:129 <                    [ form ]               Bk.III:58; Bk.XIX:14034.
[71]  (71:1)  Wherefore  the  reality  (forma)  of true thought must exist in

the  thought  itself,  without  reference  to  other thoughts; it does not
   [ recognize ]
acknowledge  the object as its cause, but must depend on the actual
Bk.XIV:2:1101.                   [ intellect ]
power  and  nature of the understanding.  (71:2) For, if we suppose that

the  understanding  has  perceived some new entity which has never
intellect ]
existed,  as  some  conceive  the  understanding  of  G-D  before  He
created things (a perception which certainly could not arise from any

object),  and  has  legitimately deduced other thoughts from said per-

ception,  all  such  thoughts  would be true, without being determined

by  any  external  object; they would depend solely on the power and
nature  of  the  understanding.
  (71:3)  Thus,  that  which constitutes the
form ]                                                                 { Posit: ONE1D6}
reality  of  a  true  thought  must  be  sought in the thought itself, and

deduced from the nature of the understanding.  

> TEI:Bk.III:129 < 
(72:1)   In  order  to  pursue  our investigation page 27,  let us confront
ourselves  with  some  true idea, whose object we know for certain to

be  dependent  on our power of thinking, and to have nothing corres-
has no object—Bk.XIV:2:1052; Bk.XIX:13417. 
ponding to it  in  nature.   (72:2)  With an idea of this kind before us, we

shall,  as  appears from what has just been said, be more easily able

to  carry on the research we have in view.  (72:3) For instance, in order
Bk.III:57,128feign               Bk.XIX:2122.
to  form  the  conception of a sphere, I invent a cause at my pleasure
                                                                                   < diameter? >
—namely,  a  semicircle  revolving round its center, and thus produc-
ing  a  sphere.  (72:4)  This  is  indisputably  a  true idea; and, although
we  know  that no sphere in nature has ever actually been so formed,

the  perception  remains  true,  and is the easiest manner of conceiv-

ing a sphere.

(72:5)  We  must  observe  that  this perception asserts the rotation of a

semicircle—which  assertion would be false, if it were not associated

with  the  conception of a sphere, or of a cause determining a motion

of  the  kind,  or  absolutely,  if  the  assertion were isolated.  (72:6) The

mind  would  then  only tend to the affirmation of the sole motion of a

semicircle,  which  is  not contained in the conception of a semicircle,

and  does not arise from the conception of any cause capable of pro-
ducing such motion.  (72:7) Thus falsity consists only in this, that some-

thing  is  affirmed of a thing, which is not contained in the conception

we  have  formed  of  that  thing,  as  motion  or  rest  of  a semicircle.

(72:8)  Whence  it follows that simple ideas cannot be other than true
e.g., the simple idea of a semicircle, of motion, of rest, of quantity, &c. 

(72:9)  Whatsoever  affirmation  such  ideas contain is equal to the con-

cept  formed,  and  does  not extend further.  (72:10) Wherefore we may
{ modes }
form  as  many  simple  ideas as we please, without any fear of error.

(73:1) It only remains for us to inquire by what power our mind can
 highest knowledge 
form  true  ideas, and how far such power extends. (2) It is certain that
such  power  cannot  extend  itself  infinitely.  (73:3) For when we affirm

somewhat  of a thing, which is not contained in the concept we have

formed  of  that  thing,  such an affirmation shows a defect of our per-
Bk.XV:289225Bk.XV:27484 on E2:XXVIII:105, E2:XXIX(4)C:106 > 
ception,  or  that  we  have  formed  fragmentary  or  mutilated  ideas.
Bk.XIV:2:1151. ^                      ^ Bk.III:133,140.
(73:4)  Thus we have seen that the motion of a semicircle is false when  
Bk.XIV:2:1173. ^ 
it  is  isolated in the mind, but true when it is associated with the con-

cept  of  a  sphere,  or  of  some  cause  determining  such  a  motion.

(73:5)   But  page 28  if  it  be  the  nature  of  a   thinking  being, as seems,
Bk.VIII:3354TEI:[106]:28 ]                                      Bk.III:79.
prima facie,  to  be  the  case, to form true or adequate thoughts, it is
                      Bk.III:131.                                                                                Bk.III:186.  
plain  that inadequate ideas arise in us only because we are parts of

a  thinking  Being,  whose  thoughts—some  in  their  entirety,  others
  < Bk.XV:289226—Bk.XV:27382 on E2:XXIVff:104 > 
in  fragments  onlyconstitute our mind.
Bk.XIV:2:1173—form ^   ^ Bk.III:140.

[74]  (74:1)  But  there  is another point to be considered, which was not

worth  raising  in  the  case  of fiction, but which give rise to complete
deception—namely,  that  certain things presented to the imagination

also exist in the understanding—in other words, are conceived clear-

ly  and  distinctly.  (742)  Hence,  so  long  as  we  do not separate that
which  is  distinct  from  that  which is confused, certainty, or the true
idea, becomes mixed with indistinct ideas.

 For instance, certain Stoics heard, perhaps, the term "soul,'' and

also  that  the  soul  is immortal, yet imagined it only confusedly; they  

imaged,  also,  and  understood  that very subtle bodies penetrate all

others,  and  are penetrated by none.  (74:4) By combining these ideas,

and  being  at  the  same  time  certain  of the truth of the axiom, they
was those most
forthwith  became  convinced  that  the  mind  consists of very subtle             Pineal Gland

bodies;   that   these   very   subtle   bodies   cannot  be  divided  &c.

 (75:1)  But  we  are  freed from mistakes of this kind, so long as we
Posit: ONE1D6}  
endeavor to examine all our perceptions by the standard of the given             
Simply Posit 
                                               { as a working hypothesis ^ }
true idea
(2)  We must take care, as has been said, to separate such

perceptions  from  all  those which arise from hearsay or unclassified

experience.  (75:3)  Moreover,  such  mistakes  arise  from things being

conceived  too  much  in the abstract; for it is sufficiently self-evident
G-D/Nature }
that  what  I  conceive  as in its true object I cannot apply to anything

else.   (75:4)  Lastly,  they  arise  from  a  want  of understanding of the
  > first—Bk.III:137,152,191.  < 
primary elements of Nature as a whole; whence we proceed without

due  order, and confound Nature with abstract rules, which, although

they be true enough in their sphere, yet, when misapplied, confound

themselves,  and  pervert  the  order  of  Nature(75:5)  However, if we
TEI:Curley ]
proceed with as little abstraction as possible, and begin from primary
elements—that is,  from  the source and origin of Nature, as far back

as  we  can  reach,—we  need  not  fear  any deceptions of this kind.

 (76:1) As far as the knowledge of the origin of Nature is concerned,
there  is  no  danger  of  our  page 29  confounding  it  with abstractions.
(76:2)  For  when  a thing is conceived in the abstract, as are all univer-

sal  notions,  the said universal notions are always more extensive in
than  their  particulars  can  have  in  nature]                                           
the mind  than the number of individuals forming their contents really

existing  in  nature.  (76:3)  Again,  there  are many things in nature, the

difference  between  which  is so slight as to be hardly perceptible to

the  understanding;  so  that  it  may  readily happen that such things

are confounded together, if they be conceived abstractedly. 
(76:4) But

since  the  first  principle of Nature cannot (as we shall see hereafter)

be  conceived  abstractedly or universally, and cannot extend further

in  the  understanding  than  it does in reality, and has no likeness to
changeable ]
mutable  things,  no  confusion need be feared in respect to the idea
Posit: ONE1D6}
of  it,  provided ( as  before shown )  that  we  possess a standard of
as a working hypothesis ^ }
(76:5)  This  is, in fact,  a  Being  single  and infinite [76z]; in other
words,  it  is  the  sum total  of Being, beyond which there is no being
found [76a].

Of doubt.  page 29

[77]  (77:1) Thus far we have treated of the false idea. (1a) We have now
Bk.XIV:2:1136.                                                   > lead <
to  investigate  the  doubtful  idea—that is, to inquire what can cause

us  to  doubt,  and  how  doubt  may be removed.  (77:2) I speak of real

doubt  existing  in  the mind, not of such doubt as we see exemplified

when  a  man  says  that  he doubts,  though his mind does not really
> doubt <
hesitate.   (77:3)  The  cure of the latter does not fall within the province
  [ the ]                                                                 Bk.III:89—stubborness.
of  Method,  it  belongs  rather  to inquiries concerning obstinacy and
> emendation <
its cure.

Bk.XIV:2:1141.            Bk.XIV:2:1622. 
[78]  (78:1)  Real  doubt  is  never  produced  in  the  mind  by  the thing

doubted  of.  
(78:2)  In  other  words,  if  there were only one idea in the
with respect to one reference point }
mind, ^ whether that idea were true or false, there would be no doubt

or  certainty  present,  only a certain sensation.  (78:3) For an idea is in
itself nothing else than a certain sensation.

(78:4)  But  doubt  will  arise through another idea, not clear and distinct

enough for us to be able to draw any certain conclusions with regard

to  the  matter  under  consideration;  that  is,  the idea which causes

page 30   us  to  doubt is not clear and distinct(78:5) To take an example.

Supposing that a man has never reflected, taught by experience

or  by  any  other  means, that our senses sometimes deceive us, he

will  never  doubt  whether the sun be greater or less than it appears.

(78:7)  Thus  rustics  are  generally astonished when they hear that the
persistent  meditation [
sun  is  much  larger  than  the earth.  (78:8)  But  from reflection on the
< deception >; Bk.XIV:2:794. 
deceitfulness of the senses [78a] doubt arises, and if, after doubting,

we  acquire  a  true  knowledge  of  the  senses, and how things at a
by their means,              ]
distance   are   represented  through  their  instrumentality,  doubt  is
again removed.

 (79:1)  Hence  we  cannot cast doubt on true ideas by the supposi-
tion  that  there is a deceitful Deity, who leads us astray even in what
< Bk.XV:289228 > 
is most certain.  (79:2) We can only hold such an hypothesis so long as

we  have  no  clear and distinct idea—in other words, until we reflect
posit: ONE1D6}
on  the  knowledge  which  we  have of the first principle of all things,
and  find  that  which teaches us that G-D is not a deceiver, and until

we  know  this with the same certainty as we know from reflecting on
the  nature  of  a  triangle  that  its three angles are equal to two right

angles.  (79:3)  But  if  we have a knowledge of G-D equal to that which

we  have of a triangle, all doubt is removed.  (79:4)  In the same way as

we  can  arrive  at the said knowledge of a triangle, though not abso-

lutely  sure  that  there  is  not some arch-deceiver leading us astray,

so  can we come to a like knowledge of G-D under the like condition,

and  when  we  have  attained to it, it is sufficient, as I said before, to

remove  every  doubt  which  we  can  possess concerning clear and

distinct ideas.

 (80:1)  Thus,  if  a  man  proceeded  with  our investigations in due

order,  inquiring  first  into those things which should first be inquired

into,  never  passing  over a link in the chain of association, and with
knowledge  how  to  define  his  questions  before seeking to answer

them,  he  will  never  have  any ideas save such as are very certain,
    Bk.III:138; Bk.XX:17965.  
or,  in  other words, clear and distinct; for doubt is only a suspension
mind ]                                 {computer crashes}
of  the  spirit  concerning some affirmation or negation which it would

pronounce  upon  unhesitatingly  if  it were not in ignorance of some-
G-D }
thing, without which the knowledge of the matter in hand must needs
< Bk.XV:289230 > 
be  imperfect.   (80:2)   We may,  page 31   therefore,  conclude  that  doubt
always proceeds from want of due order in investigation.

Of memory and forgetfulness.  page 31  

[81]  (81:1)  These  are  the  points I promised to discuss in the first part

of  my treatise on Method. (81:2) However, in order not to omit anything

which  can  conduce  to  the  knowledge of the understanding and its

faculties, I will add a few words on the subject of memory and forget-

fulness.  (81:3)  The  point  most  worthy  of attention is, that memory is

strengthened  both  with  and  without  the  aid of the understanding.

(81:4)  For  the  more  intelligible  a thing is, the more easily is it remem-

bered,  and  the  less  intelligible it is, the more easily do we forget it.

(81:5)  For  instance,  a  number  of  unconnected  words is much more

difficult to remember than the same number in the form of a narration.

(82:1)  The  memory  is  also  strengthened  without  the aid of the

understanding  by  means  of  the  power  wherewith the imagination
Bk.XIV:2:831, 844. 
or  the sense called common, [CRS2] , is affected by some particular
                                               < Bk.XV:290231Bk.XV:27061 on E2:De.VII:83 > 
physical object. (82:2) I say particular, for the imagination is only affect-

ed by particular objects.  (82:3) If we read, for instance, a single roman-
[ Bk.VIII:3660 ]
tic  comedy,  we  shall  remember  it  very  well, so long as we do not

read  many  others  of  the  same  kind,  for  it  will  reign alone in the

memory.  (82:4)  If,  however,  we read several others of the same kind,

we  shall  think  of  them  altogether,   and  easily  confuse  one  with

another.  (82:5)  I  say  also,  physical.  (82:6)  For  the imagination is only

affected  by  physical  objects.  (82:7) As, then, the memory is strength-

ened  both  with  and  without the aid  of  the understanding, we may

conclude  that  it  is  different from the understanding, and that in the

latter  considered  in  itself there is neither memory nor forgetfulness.

Bk.XIV:1:xxi, 2:884, 2:892. 
[83]  (83:1)  What,  then, is memory(2) It is nothing else than the actual

sensation of impressions on the brain, accompanied with the thought
of a definite duration, [83d], of the sensation.   (83:3) This is also shown
by reminiscence.  (83:4) For then we think of the sensation, but without
the  notion  of  continuous  duration;
page 32  thus  the idea of that sen-

sation  is  not  the actual duration of the sensation or actual memory.

(83:5) Whether  ideas  are  or are not subject to corruption will be seen

in  my  philosophy.

If this seems too absurd to anyone, it will be sufficient for our pur-

pose,  if he reflect on the fact that a thing is more easily remembered

in  proportion  to  its  singularity,  as appears from the example of the

comedy just cited.  (83:7) Further, a thing is remembered more easily in

proportion  to  its  intelligibility;  therefore  we  cannot help remember
that which is extremely singular and sufficiently intelligible.

 (84:1)  Thus, then, we have distinguished between a true idea and
other perceptions, and shown that ideas fictitious, false, and the rest,
Bk.III:52,126,140.                                     > encounters—Bk.III:186  <  
originate  in  the imagination—that is, in certain sensations fortuitous
< Bk.XV:290232Bk.XV:288212 >                                             Bk.XIV:2:1136. 
(so to speak)  and  disconnected,  arising  not  from the power of the

mind,  but  from  external causes, according as the body, sleeping or

waking, receives various motions.

 But  one  may take any view one likes of the imagination so long

as  one acknowledges that it is different from the understanding, and

that the soul is passive with regard to it.  (84:3) The view taken is imma-
terial,  if  we  know  that  the imagination is something indefinite, with

regard to which the soul is passive, and that we can by some means
from loss of peace of mind}
or other free ourselves therefrom with the help of the understanding.

(84:4)  Let no one then be astonished that before proving the existence

of  body, and other necessary things, I speak of imagination of body,

and  of  its  composition.  (84:5)  The view taken is, I repeat, immaterial,
[ Bk.VIII:3762—random ]
so  long  as  we  know  that  imagination  is  something indefinite, &c.

(85:1)   As  regards  a  true idea, we have shown that it is simple or

compounded  of  simple  ideas; that it shows how and why something
 objective ]               {in the  mind}
is or has been made; and that its subjective effects in the soul corres-

pond  to  the  actual reality of its object. 
(85:2) This conclusion is identi-
                             < Bk.XV:290233 >       Bk.III:54.
cal  with  the  saying of the ancients, that true science proceeds from
Bk.III:135; Bk.XIX:1575.
cause  to  effect; though the ancients, so far as I know, never formed
                                                                                { mind }         Bk.III:126.
the  conception put forward here that the soul acts according to fixed                   2P49
           Bk.III:82, 85, 89, 138, 186spiritual; Bk.XIX:1155; 14033; 16015. 
laws, and is as it were an immaterial automaton.                                               Mark Twain

Mental hindrances from words—and from the
     popular confusion of ready imagination
     with distinct understanding.
 page 33

[86]  (86:1) Hence, as far as is possible at the outset, we have acquired
Posit: ONE1D6}
a  knowledge  of  our  understanding,  and  such a standard of a true             
Simply Posit 
   { as a working hypothesis ^ }
idea  that  we  need  no longer fear confounding truth with falsehood

and  page 33  fiction.  (86:2)  Neither  shall we wonder why we understand

some  things which in nowise fall within the scope of the imagination,

while  other  things  are  in the imagination but wholly opposed to the
Bk.III:52.                                                   Bk.III:127.
understanding, or others, again, which agree therewith.  (86:3) We now

know that the operations, whereby the effects of imagination are pro-

duced,  take  place  under  other laws quite different from the laws of
                                                                         Bk.III:131,140—acted on.
the  understanding,  and that the mind is entirely passive with regard

to them.

(87:1)  Whence  we  may  also  see  how  easily  men may fall into

grave   errors   through  not  distinguishing  accurately  between  the
imagination  and the understanding; such as believing that extension
in a place ]
must  be  localized,  that  it  must  be  finite,  that  its  parts  are really                Idolatry
< distinguished. Bk.XV:290234Bk.XV:2615 on E1:De.V:45; E1:X(2)N:51 >  
distinct one from the other, that it is the primary and single foundation
Bk.III:184,185Neff E5:L29(12):319.  
of all things, that it occupies more space at one time than at another,

and  other similar doctrines, all entirely opposed to truth, as we shall

duly show.

Bk.III:51.                                          Bk.III:131.
[88] (88:1) Again,  since  words  are  a  part  of the imagination—that is,
[ random
since   we   form  many  conceptions  in  accordance  with  confused
composition ]
arrangements  of  words  in  the  memory,   dependent  on  particular

bodily  conditions,—there  is  no  doubt that words may, equally with
the  imagination,  be  the  cause of many and great errors, unless we
keep strictly on our guard.

Bk.III:51, Bk.XIV:2:1742.
[89]  (89:1) Moreover, words are formed according to popular fancy and
 [ power of understanding ]
intelligence, and are, therefore, signs of things as existing in the ima-

gination, not as existing in the understanding. 
(89:2) This is evident from

the  fact that to all such things as exist only in the understanding, not

in  the  imagination,  negative names are often given, such as incorp-

oreal,  infinite,  &c. 
(89:3) So, also, many conceptions really affirmative

are  expressed  negatively,  and  vice  versa, such as uncreate, inde-

pendent,  infinite,  immortal,  &c.,  inasmuch  as  their  contraries  are
much  more  easily  imagined,  and,  therefore,  occurred first to men,

and  usurped  positive  names.  (89:4)  Many things we affirm and deny,

because the nature of words allows us to do so, though the nature of

things  does  not.  (89:5)  While we remain unaware of this fact, we may

easily mistake falsehood for truth.

(90:1)  Let  us  also  beware  of  another  great cause of confusion,

which prevents the understanding from reflecting on itself.  (90:2) Some-

times,  while  making  no  distinction between the imagination page 34 

and  the  intellect,  we  think  that  what  we  more  readily  imagine is

clearer to us; and also we think that what we imagine we understand.

Thus,  we  put  first  that  which  should be last: the true order of
progression  is  reversed,  and  no  legitimate  conclusion  is  drawn.

End of First Part of the Method.

From Bk.III:138—In  the  previous  paragraphs,  we  have  encountered
many elements that will play an important role in the rest of the Method:

Second Part of the Method:
[91-98], De Dijn's Commentary Page 150.   

         < Definition and the Order of Investigation >
Bk.XV:286181 >

Its object, the acquisition of clear and distinct ideas. page 34

  •   Bk.III:150.
    [91]  [91e]  (91:1)  Now,  in order at length to pass on to the second part
      Bk.III:172; Bk.XIX:1292. 
    of  this Method,  I shall first set forth the object aimed at, and next the

    means for its attainment.
    (91:2) The object aimed at is the acquisition of
    clear and distinct  ideas,  such  as are produced by the pure intellect,
    Bk.XIV:2:1552—fortuitous body; {waves}.  
    and  not  by chance physical motions.  (91:3) In order that all ideas may
    led back to one ]                     > strive to connect and order—Bk.III:174  <
    be  reduced  to unity, we shall endeavor so to associate and arrange
    objectively ]
    them  that  our  mind  may,  as far as possible, reflect subjectively the
    < formality. Bk.XV:290235TEI:Bk.XV:287196 >; Bk.XX:17966.   
    reality of Nature, both as a whole and as parts.

    [92-93], De Dijn's Commentary Page 150 - Knowledge of Real Things.

    [92]  (92:1)  As  for  the  first  point, it  is necessary (as we have said) for
     { defined }        
    our   purpose  that  everything  should  be  conceived,   either  solely
      Bk.III:136; Bk.XIV:1:1281. 
    through  its essence, or through its proximate cause (92:2)  If the thing
    < Bk.XV:290236E1:De.I:45; E1:Bk.XV:2602; E1:De.III:45 > 
    be  self-existent,  or, as is commonly said, the cause ^ of itself, it must
    be  understood  through its essence only; if it be not self-existent, but
  • requires  a  cause  for its existence, it must be understood through its
    Bk.XIV:1:1281.                                                Bk.III:151,152; Bk.XIX:13314.
    proximate cause.  (92:3) For, in reality, the knowledge, [92f], of an effect
    Bk.XV:290237Bk.XV:26210 on E1:Ax.I:46; Bk.XIX:1577. 
    is  nothing  else  than the acquisition of more perfect knowledge of its         Understanding

    Examples: Joy, Love.}

    [93]  (93:1)  Therefore,  we  may  never,  while  we  are  concerned with
    inquiries  into  actual  things,  draw any conclusion from abstractions;
      Bk.III:81Neff TL:L27(09):313. 
    we  shall  be  extremely  careful  not to confound that which is only in
      < intellect. Bk.XV:290238TEI:[95]:35; Bk.XV:26955 on E1:Ap(61):80 >  
    the  understanding  with that which is in the thing itself (93:2) The best
    basis  for  drawing  a  conclusion will be either some particular affirm- 
                                                                < E1:Bk.XV:2601 > 
    ative  essence,  or a true and legitimate definition (93:3) For the under-

    standing  cannot  descend  from  universal  axioms  by themselves to

    particular  things,  since  axioms  are  of  infinite  extent,  and  do  not
    > singular—Bk.III:158  <
    determine  the  understanding  to  contemplate  one  particular  thing
    ExampleI:Table 1 ,°EMOTION , °FAITH } 
    more than another {unless there be a change caused}.

    [94-97], De Dijn's Commentary Page 153 - Theory of Definition. { G:Note 1 & 2 }

    Its means, good definitions. Conditions of definition. page 35

    [94]   (94:1)  Thus   the   true  Method    page 35     of  discovery  is  to  form
       Bk.III:154,155,182; Bk.XIX:1605.
    thoughts from some given definition. (94:2) This process will be the more

    fruitful  and  easy  in  proportion  as the thing given be better  defined.

    (94:3)  Wherefore,  the  cardinal  point  of all  this second part of Method
      Bk.III:159; Bk.XIX:13522.
    consists  in  the  knowledge  of  the  conditions of good definition, and

    the  means  of  finding  them.  (94:4)  I  will  first  treat of the conditions of


                  < E1:Bk.XV:2601 >                                                                Bk.XIV:1:3845. 
    [95]  (1) A definition, if it is to be called perfect, must explain the inmost
    Bk.III:57,136,155; Bk.XIX:13313.
    essence of a thing,  and  must  take care not to substitute for this any
     synonyms }
    of its properties. 
    (95:2)  In order to illustrate my meaning, without taking
    G-D }                                                                          Bk.XIV:1:581.
    an  example  which  would  seem  to  show  a  desire to expose other
    anthropomorphic conceptions of G-D }
    people's errors, I will choose the case of something abstract, the defi-
    Neff TL:L72(83):409 }
    nition  of  which  is  of little moment. 
    (95:3) Such is a circle.  (4) If a circle
    be  defined  as  a  figure,  such  that  all straight lines drawn from the

    center to the circumference are equal, every one can see that such a
    definition  does  not  in  the  least explain the essence of a circle, but
    proximate cause ^ }
    solely  one  of  its  properties.  (95:5)  Though,  as I have said, this is of
    < entities of reason >
    no  importance  in  the case of figures and other abstractions, it is of
    great  importance in the case of physical beings and realities: for the
    properties  of  things  are  not  understood so long as their essences

    are  unknown.  (95:6)  If  the  latter be passed over, there is necessarily

    a  perversion  of  the  succession  of  ideas  which  should reflect the
     connection ]
    succession of Nature, and we go far astray from our object.

    [96]  In  order  to be free from this fault, the following rules should be
    E1:Bk.XV:2601 >
    observed in definition:
    Bk.XIV:1:3835 Bk.XIV:2:1421&2. 
                                                    Bk.III:151,155; A mode.
    I.    (96:1) If the thing in question be created, the definition must (as we
                                           Bk.XIV:1:1281.  E1:Bk.XV:2602 > 
    have said) comprehend the proximate cause(2) For instance, a circle
    ^ Bk.XIV:1:3842; 2:1432;
    should,  according  to  this  rule,  be  defined  as  follows:  the  figure  
    described  by  any  line  whereof  one  end is fixed and the other free.
    <includes>         {immediately before}
    (96:3) This definition clearly comprehends the proximate cause.


    (96:4)  A  conception  or definition of a thing should be such that all

    the properties of that thing, in so far as it is considered by itself, and

    not  in  conjunction with other things, can be deduced from it, as may

    be  seen  in  the  definition given of a circle: for from that it clearly fol-

    lows that all straight lines drawn from the center to the circumference

    are  equal.  (96:5)  That  this  is  a  necessary  characteristic of a  page 36

    definition is so clear to anyone, who reflects on the matter, that there 

    is  no  need  to  spend  time  in  proving  it,  or in showing that, owing
    to   this   second   condition,  every  definition  should  be  affirmative.  

    (96:6)  I  speak  of  intellectual  affirmation, giving little thought to verbal

    affirmations  which,  owing  to  the  poverty  of  language, must some-

    times,  perhaps,  be expressed negatively, though the idea contained

    is affirmative.

                                             < E1:Bk.XV:2601 >    Bk.III:81,156,157.
    [97]   The rules for the definition of an uncreated thing are as follows:—

    I.     The  exclusion  of  all  idea  of cause—that is, the thing must not
           need explanation by anything outside itself.
    Conceived through itself}
           [ Bk.VIII:4064E1:De.VI:45, TEI:L64(60):395 ]

    II.     When  the  definition of the thing has been given, there must be
            no room for doubt as to whether the thing exists or not.  

    III.     It  must  contain,  as  far  as  the mind is concerned, no substan-
            tives  which  could be put into an adjectival form; in other words,
            the  object  defined  must not be explained through abstractions.
    A substantive adjective such as realistic. }

    IV.    Lastly,  though  this  is  not  absolutely  necessary,  it should be           posit: ONE1D6
            possible  to  deduce  from  the definition all the properties of the
            thing defined.

    (97:5)   All  these rules become obvious to anyone giving strict attention
            to the matter.

    [98], De Dijn's Commentary Page 158 - Conclusion.

    (98:1)  I  have  also stated that the best basis for drawing a conclu-
    sion  is  a particular affirmative essence.  (2) The more specialized the

    idea  is,  the  more it is distinct, and therefore clear(98:3) Wherefore a

    knowledge  of  particular  things  should be sought for as diligently as


    The Order of Thinking.
    [99-103], De Dijn's Commentary Page 174 - The Order of Our Intellectual
    Bk.III:172,173.                                                     Perceptions.

    TEI:Bk.III:129 < 
    (99:1)  As  regards the order of our perceptions, and the manner in

    which  they  should  be  arranged  and united, it is necessary that, as
    soon  as is possible and rational, we should inquire whether there be
                                          Bk.III:82.                            Bk.XIV:2:1442; Bk.XIX:12016. 
    any  being  (and,  if so, what being), that is the cause of all things, so            Durant:638[5a]74  

    that  its essence, represented in thought, may be the cause of all our
     <, as we have said,  Bk.XV:290242TEI:[42]:15  
    ideas,  and  then our mind ^ will  to the utmost possible extent reflect   
                  will be objective ^ }   ^  Bk.VIII:4167TEI:[42] , [91] , [95].  
                                                       objectively ]                    Bk.III:172,174. 
    Nature (99:2)  For it will possess, subjectively, Nature's essence, order,
    and union.

    (99:3)  Thus  we  can  see  that it is before all things necessary for us to

    deduce  all  our ideas from physical thingsthat is, from real entities,
      Bk.III:174.                                                                    Bk.III:82.
    proceeding,  as  far  as  may  be,  according  to  the series of causes,
    from  one  real  entity  to  another real entity, never passing to univer-

    sals  and  abstractions,   page 37   either  for  the  purpose  of  deducing

    some  real  entity  from them, or deducing them from some real entity.

    (99:4)  Either  of  these  processes  interrupts  the  true  progress of the


    > noted—Bk.III:174.  <
    [100]  (100:1)  But it must be observed that,  by the series of causes and
    real  entities,  I do not here mean the series of particular and mutable
                                                                        < Bk.XV:290243Bk.XV:26633 on E1:XXI:63 > 
    things,  but  only  the series of fixed and eternal things.  (100:2)  It would
    be  impossible for human infirmity to follow up the series of particular

    mutable  things,  both  on  account  of   their multitude, surpassing all

    calculation,  and  on  account  of  the infinitely diverse circumstances

    surrounding  one  and  the  same thing, any one of which may be the
    cause  of its existence or non-existence.  (100:3) Indeed, their existence

    has  no  connection  with their essence, or (as we have said already)              Durant:638[5a] 
                       { Neff }
    is not an eternal truth.

     (101:1)  Neither is there any need that we should understand their

    series,  for  the  essences  of  particular  mutable things are not to be

    gathered  from  their series or order of existence, which would furnish
                                                    < Bk.XV:290244TEI:[69]:25; Bk.XV:27059 on E2:De.IV:82 > 
    us  with  nothing beyond their extrinsic denominations, their relations,

    or,  at  most,  their  circumstances, all of which are very different from
    their  inmost  essence.  (101:2)  This  inmost  essence  must  be  sought            Durant:638[5a]74  
                                                                   Bk.III:177Neff TL:L66(64):400.
    solely  from  fixed  and  eternal  things,  and  from the laws, inscribed
    Bk.III:180; Bk.XIV:1:2503; Bk.XIX:21118.
    (so  to  speak)  in  those  things  as  in  their true codes, according to
    > ordered—Bk.III:175,198 <
    which  all  particular  things  take place and are arranged; nay, these
    mutable  particular  things  depend  so  intimately and essentially (so
       < Bk.XV:290245E1:De.V:45
    to  phrase  it)   upon  the  fixed  things,   that  they  cannot  either  be            Importance of 1D6
    conceived without them.

    (101:3)  Whence  these  fixed and eternal  things, though they are them-

    selves  particular,  will  nevertheless,  owing  to  their  presence  and
    power  everywhere,  be  to  us as universals, or genera of definitions
    of particular mutable things, and as the proximate causes of all things.

     (102:1)  But,  though  this  be  so,  there seems to be no small diffi-
       < Bk.XV:290246TEI:[100]:37 >  
    culty  in  arriving  at  the  knowledge  of  these particular things, for to

    conceive  them  all  at  once  would  far  surpass  the  powers  of  the
      Bk.XIV:2:1614—intellect.                          Bk.III:53.
    human  understanding.   (102:2)  The arrangement whereby one thing is
     < Bk.XV:290247TEI:[42] , [99] & [100] > 
    understood   before   another,   as  we  have  stated,  should  not  be

    sought   from   their   series   of   existence,  nor  from  eternal  things.
    (102:3)  For  the  latter  are  all  by nature simultaneous.  (102:4) Other aids

    are  therefore  needed  besides  those  employed  for  understanding
    Bk.III:178, 230.
    eternal  things  page 38  and  their  laws.

    (102:5)  However, this is not the place to recount such aids, nor is there
    any  need to do so, until we have acquired a sufficient knowledge of

    eternal  things  and  their  infallible  laws,  and until the nature of our

    senses has become plain to us.

    (103:1)  Before  betaking  ourselves  to seek knowledge of particu-

    lar  things,  it  will be seasonable to speak of such aids, as all tend to

    teach  us  the  mode  of  employing  our senses, and to make certain
    laws ]                                            [,  the  experiments, 
    experiments  under  fixed  rules and arrangements which may suffice
    Bk.III:153, 230.
    to determine the object of our inquiry, so that we may therefrom infer
    what  laws  of  eternal  thing   it  has been produced under, and may
    gain  an  insight  into its inmost nature, as I will duly show.  (103:2) Here,

    to  return  to my purpose, I will only endeavor to set forth what seems

    necessary  for  enabling  us  to  attain to knowledge of eternal  things,

    and to define them under the conditions laid down above.

    [104-105], De Dijn's Commentary Page 180 - The Problem of the Foundation.

     (104:1)  With  this  end,  we  must  bear  in mind what has already
               < Bk.XV:290248TEI:[61]:23 >  
    been  stated,   namely,  that  when  the  mind  devotes  itself  to  any
    Bk.VIII:4269TEI:[70]:26                                                 Bk.III:138.
    thought,  so  as  to  examine it, and to deduce therefrom in due order

    all  the  legitimate  conclusions  possible,  any  falsehood  which may

    lurk  in  the  thought  will  be  detected; but if the thought be true, the
    Bk.VIII:2134 on [44] ]          Bk.XIV:2:1292. 
    mind  will  readily  proceed without interruption to deduce truths from
    (104:2)  This,  I  say,  is  necessary for our purpose, for our thoughts
    Bk.VIII:4270—cannot  be  determined]       Bk.III:181Neff EL:L42(37):360.
    may be brought to a close by the absence of a foundation.

    (105:1)  If,  therefore,  we  wish  to investigate the first thing of all,
               { ONE1D6}
    it  will  be necessary to supply some foundation which may direct our              
    G:Note 8  
                                                            [ the ]              { meditative }
    thoughts  thither.  (105:2) Further, since Method is reflective knowledge,

    the  foundation  which  must  direct our thoughts can be nothing else
                           Bk.III:86.                                                     { PcM }Bk.XIX:1306,a.
    than  the  knowledge of that which constitutes the reality of truth, and        Working Hypothesis

    the  knowledge  of  the  understanding,  its  properties,  and  powers.

    (105:3)  When  this  has  been  acquired  we shall possess a foundation 

    wherefrom  we  can  deduce  our  thoughts,  and a path whereby the

    intellect,  according  to  its  capacity,  may  attain  the  knowledge  of

    eternal  things,  allowance  being  made  for the extent of the intellect-
    ual powers.

    [106 -110], De Dijn's Commentary Page 182 - From Foundation to Principle.

    How to define the understanding. page 38
                                   [ Bk.VIII:3354TEI:[73]:38 ] 
    [106]  (106:1)  If,  as  I  stated  in the first part, it belongs to the nature of
    thought  to  form  true ideas,  we  must here inquire what is meant by
     intellect ]
    the  faculties  and power  of  the  understanding. page 39 (106:2) The chief

    part  of  our  Method  is to understand as well as possible the powers
    of  the  intellect,  and  its nature; we are, therefore, compelled (by the
    considerations  advanced  in  the  second part of the Method) neces-
    sarily  to  draw  these conclusions from the definition itself of thought
     intellect ]
    and understanding.

                                                                               > Bk.III:159,182—discovering.  <
    [107]  (107:1)  But,  so far as we have not got any rules for finding defini-
    < establish >
    tions,  and,  as  we  cannot  set  forth  such  rules  without a previous
    < intellect >
    knowledge of Nature, that is without a definition of the understanding

    and its power, it follows either that the definition of the understanding

    must   be   clear   in   itself,   or   that   we   can  understand  nothing.  

    (107:2)   Nevertheless  this  definition  is  not  absolutely  clear  in  itself;

    however,  since its properties, like all things that we possess through

    the  understanding, cannot be known clearly and distinctly, unless its

    nature  be  known  previously,   the  definition  of  the  understanding

    makes  itself  manifest, if we pay attention to its properties, which we

    know  clearly  and  distinctly.  (107:3)  Let  us, then, enumerate here the

    properties  of  the  understanding, let us examine them, and begin by

    discussing  the  instruments  for  research which we find innate in us.

    Bk.XIX:13418.               [ intellect ]
    [108]  (108:1)  The  properties  of the understanding which I have chiefly
    remarked,  and  which  I  clearly  understand,  are  the  following:—

    Bk.XIV:2:1024, 2:1544.   
    I.    (108:2)  It  involves  certainty—in  other  words, it knows that a thing
    { thought of }  [ objectively ] 
    exists in reality as it is reflected subjectively.
     contained in it objectively—Bk.XIV:2:1031. 

    II.    (108:3)  That  it  perceives certain things, or forms some ideas abso-

    lutely,  some  ideas  from others.  (108:4) Thus it forms the idea of quan-

    tity  absolutely,  without reference to any other thoughts; but ideas of
    motion it only forms after taking into consideration the idea of quantity.

    (108:5)   Those  ideas  which  the  understanding  forms  absolutely
    express  infinity;  determinate  ideas  are  derived  from  other  ideas.

    (108:6) Thus in the idea of quantity, perceived by means of a cause, the
    [ Bk.VIII:4371 
    quantity  is determined, as when a body is perceived to be formed by

    the motion of a plane, a plane by the motion of a line, or, again, a line

    by  the motion of a point.  (108:7) All these are perceptions which do not

    serve  towards understanding quantity, but only towards determining

    it.  (108:8)  This  is  proved by the fact that we conceive them as formed

    as  it  were  by  motion,  yet  this motion is page 40 not perceived unless

    the  quantity  be  perceived  also; we can even prolong the motion to

    form  an  infinite  line, which we certainly could not do unless we had

    an idea of infinite quantity.

       (108:9)  The  understanding  forms  positive  ideas  before  forming

    negative ideas.

    It perceives things not so much under the condition of dura-
    Bk.XV:290249Bk.XV:27698 on E2:XLIV(11)C2:117 >
    tion  as  under a certain form of eternity, and in an infinite number; or

    rather in perceiving things it does not consider either their number or

    duration,  whereas,  in  imagining  them,  it perceives them in a deter-
    minate number, duration, and quantity.

    (108:11)  The  ideas  which  we  form as clear and distinct, seem to

    follow  from  the  sole necessity of our nature, that they appear to de-

    pend absolutely on our sole power; with confused ideas the contrary

    is the case.  (108:12) They are often formed against our will.

    VII.    (108:13) The mind can determine in many ways the ideas of things,

    which  the  understanding  forms  from other ideas: thus, for instance,

    in  order  to  define the plane of an ellipse, it supposes a point adher-

    ing to a cord to be moved around two centers, or, again, it conceives

    an  infinity  of  points,  always  in  the  same  fixed  relation to a given

    straight  line,  angle of the vertex of the cone, or in an infinity of other


    (108:14)  The  more  ideas  express  perfection  of  any  object, the

    more perfect are they themselves; for we do not admire the architect

    who   has  planned  a  chapel  so  much  as  the  architect  who  has
    planned a splendid temple.

    (109:1)  I  do  not  stop  to  consider  the rest of what is referred to

    thought,  such as joy, love, &c. (109:2)  They are nothing to our present

    purpose,  and  cannot  even  be  conceived unless the understanding
    { I:Table 1, D:1.10a }
    ° PERPETUATION}  be  perceived  previously.  (109:3)  When  perception

    is removed, all these go with it.

    (110:1)   False and fictitious  ideas  have  nothing  positive  about

    them  (as  we  have abundantly shown),  which  causes  them  to  be
                < Bk.XV:290250E2:XXXV:108; E2:XLIX(13)N:121; Bk.XV:27597 on E2:XLIII:114 > 
    called  false  or  fictitious;  they  are only considered as such through
    the  defectiveness  of knowledge
    (110:2) Therefore, false and fictitious

    ideas  as  such  can  teach  us  nothing  concerning  the  essence of

    thought;  this  must  be  sought  from   page 41   the  positive  properties
    > establish—TEI:Bk.III:187  <       Simply Posit: ONE1D6
    just  enumerated;  in  other  words, we must lay down some common  
    Bk.XIX:29210.  ^
    basis  from  which  these  properties necessarily follow, so that when
    this  is  given,  the properties are necessarily given also, and when it  

    is removed, they too vanish with it.    

    Bk.XV:290251—Cf. the definition of 'essence' E2:De.II:82 > 


                            [ Bk.VIII:5TEI:[46]:16 ]  
    The rest of the treatise is wanting.
    Shalizi Note—In the Latin text, "Reliqua defiderantur''; a note
    added by the original editors of the Opera to indicate the fact 
    that Spinoza left the work unfinished.  [ Bk.VIII:6

    End of TEI.


    Spinoza's Footnotes:
    Footnotes marked as per Curley:6 and as given in De Dijn's Book III. 
    Page numbers as per Book 1.

    Bk.I:41 on (4:2)
    [a]    "The  pursuit  of  honors  and  riches  is  likewise very absorbing, 
            especially  if  such  objects be sought simply for their own sake.
    (1) This  might  be  explained  more  at  large  and more clearly: I 
            mean  by  distinguishing  riches  according as they are pursued 
            for   their   own  sake,  in  or  furtherance  of  fame,   or  sensual 
            pleasure,  or  the  advancement  of  science  and art.  (2) But this 
            subject  is  reserved  to its own place, for it is not here proper to 
            investigate the matter more accurately.   

    Bk.I:51 on (7:3)
    [b]    "... causing the death not seldom of those who possess them"
             These considerations should be set forth more precisely.

    Bk.I:61 on (13:4)
    [c]   "... namely, that it is the knowledge of the union existing being
           the mind and the whole of Nature.
          These matters are explained more at length elsewhere.

    Bk.I:71 on (15:1)
    [d]   "We must seek the assistance of Moral Philosophy,"  
    N.B.  I do no more here than enumerate the sciences necessary
    for our purpose; I lay no stress on their order.

    Bk.I:72 on (16:2)
    [e]    "... I wish to direct all science to one end, and aim,"
            There is for the sciences but one end,
    to which they should all
            be directed {
    to improving the understanding}. 

    Bk.I:81 on (19:4)
    [f]    "essence of one thing is inferred from another thing, but not
          (1)  In  this case we do not understand anything of the cause from              Bk.III:54.
            the  consideration of it in the effect(2) This is sufficiently evident 
            from  the  fact  that  the  cause is only spoken of in  very general 
            terms,  such  as—there  exists then something; there exists then 
            some  power,  &c.;  or  from  the  fact that we only express it in a 
            negative manner—it is not this or that, &c.  (3) In the second case 
            something  is ascribed to the cause because of the effect, as we 
            shall show in an example, but only a property, never an essence. 

    Bk.I:91 on (21:1)
    [g]    "we thence clearly infer that the mind is united to the body, 
                  (1) From this example may be clearly seen what I have just drawn
            attention  to. (2)  For  through  this  union we understand nothing
            beyond  the  sensation, the effect, to wit, from which we inferred
            the cause of which we understand nothing.  D:2.5a—gravity.

    Bk.I:92 on (21:1)
    [h"but we cannot thence absolutely understand the nature of the
           sensation and the union,
                        Bk.III:54.                                           Bk.XIV:2:1401. 
          (1)  A  conclusion of this sort, though it be certain, is yet not to be
             relied  on  without  great caution; for unless we are exceedingly

             careful we shall forthwith fall into error.  (2) When things are con-
             ceived  thus  abstractedly,  and  not through their true essence,
             they  are  apt  to  be  confused  by  the  imagination.  (3) For that
             which  is  in itself one, men imagine to be multiplex (4) To those
             things which are conceived abstractedly, apart, and confusedly,
             terms  are  applied  which are apt to become wrested from their
             strict meaning, and bestowed on things more familiar; whence it
             results  that  these  latter  are  imagined in the same way as the

             former to which the terms were originally given.

    Bk.I:111 on (27:1)
    [i]      "The second mode of perception,"
             I  shall  here  treat a little more in detail of experience, and shall
             examine  the  Method  adopted  by  the Empirics {1. a person who
               is guided primarily by experience. 2. a quack; charlatan.
    ,  and  by  recent
             Philosophers.    Bk.III:178. 

    Bk.I:121 on (31:2)
    [k]  "So, in like manner, the intellect, by its native strength,"
            Bk.III:77, 56—inborn power.
    By native strength,  I mean that not bestowed on us by external
                   { ^
     a priori }
             causes, as I shall afterwards explain in my philosophy.

    [l]   "whereby it acquires strength for performing other intellectual  
                                          Bk.III:76—inborn tool.
          Here  I  term  them  operations:  I  shall  explain  their  nature in
          my philosophy.            { ^
     a priori } 

    Bk.I:123 on (33:1)
    [m]    "A  true idea,"
             I  shall  take  care  not  only  to demonstrate what I have just ad-
             vanced,  but  also  that we have hitherto proceeded rightly, and 
             other things needful to be known. 

    TEI:Endnote 33:3— (essentia formalis, essentia objectiva)
    1—In modern language, "the idea may become the subject 
            of another presentation.'' Objectivus generally corresponds to the
            modern "subjective,'' formalis to the modern "objective.''
                                                                ] Bk.VII:240* [
    TEI:Endnote 33:3— (essentia formalis, essentia objectiva)
    From Bk.VII:26
    17—These  are  difficult  terms  not only to translate 
    but  to  understand.  Here  Spinoza  takes over a Cartesian distinc-
    tion,  which  in  turn  is  rooted in Scholastic philosophy.  Consider
    some  existing  thing,  say  the planet Saturn.  As an existing thing
    revolving  around  the  sun  Saturn  has  formal  essence or reality
    (essentia formalis, esse formale).  The  formal  essence, or being,

    of  something  is  its very existence.  But in considering this planet
    we  have made it an object of our thought. As such it has objective
    essence  or reality (essentia objectiva, esse objectivum).  Clearly,
    Saturn  in  the  sky  and  Saturn  in  our  mind  are different things,
    although the latter is supposed to represent to us the former.
           What  makes  this  terminology confusing is that in our current
    usage  the term ‘subjective' is often employed to express what the
    Scholastics meant by ‘objective.'  But the reader of
    Descartes and
    Spinoza  should  realize  that  when the philosophers use the term
    'objective'  they  are  talking  about  a  mental  representation  of a
    thing, the thing as an object of thought.

                                                              ] Bk.VII:240* [  
    TEI:Endnote 33:3— (essentia formalis, essentia objectiva)
    From Bk.XV:287
    196Spinoza is here using the scholastic terminol- 
    ogy  that  Descartes  had  employed  when  expounding his theory 
    of  the  idea  in  Meditations III  (PWD ii, 28:  cf. E1:Bk.XV:26531).  The 
    terms that Descartes uses are ‘formal reality' and 'objective reality'. 
    These  are  explained  most clearly in the Reply to the First Objec- 
    tions  (PWD ii, 74-5),  from  which  it emerges that 'formal reality' is 
    what  would  now  be  called 'objective reality'.  Descartes goes on 
    to  explain  that  by  'objective being in the intellect'  he means  'the 
    object's  being  in  the  intellect  in  the way in which its objects are 
    normally  there.  By  this  I mean that the idea of the sun is the sun 
    itself  existing  in  the intellectnot of course formally existing, as it 
    does  in  the  heavens,  but  objectively  existing,  i.e. in the way in 
    which  objects  normally  are  in  the  intellect'.    Spinoza uses 'the 
    terms  'formal'  and  'objective'  in  the same way, but it is important 
    to  note  that  his questions are not Descartes' questions.  Spinoza 
    is  concerned,   not  with  objective  existence,  but  with  objective 
    essence.  That  is,  he  is  not  concerned (as Descartes was) with 
    the  nature  of ideas as such; his concern is with the nature of true 
    ideas.  (See  the  first  sentence  of  TEI:[34]:13:  the  true  idea  of 
    Peter is the objective essence of Peter.)

    Bk.I:132 on (34:7)
    [n]     "to know the nature of a circle before knowing the nature of a triangle."
                   (1) Observe that we are not here inquiring how the first subjective
             essence  is  innate in us.  (2) This belongs to an investigation into
             nature,  where  all  these  matters  are amply explained, and it is
             shown  that  without  ideas neither affirmation, nor negation, nor
             volition are possible.
        < Bk.XV:287198Bk.XV:276101 on E2:XLIX:120. >  

    Bk.I:141 on (36:1)
    [o]    "the order in which we should seek for truth itself,"
            The  nature  of  mental  search  is  explained  in  my  philosophy.

    Bk.I:151 on (41:2)
    [p]   "the subjective essence would have no connection,"
           To be connected with other things is to be produced by them, or
            to produce them. 

    Bk.I:161 on (44:1)
    [q]    "he would never have doubted the truth of his own knowledge,"
            In  the  same  way  as we have here no doubt of the truth of our


    Bk.I:181 on (52:4)
    [r]     "I feign that Peter, whom I know to have gone home, is gone to see me,"
            See  below  the  note  on hypotheses, whereof we have a clear

            understanding;  the fiction consists in saying that such hypothe- 
            ses exist in heavenly bodies. 

    Bk.I:191 on (54:2)

    [s]    "For, as regards ourselves, when I know that I exist,"
            (1)  As  a  thing,  when  once  it is understood, manifests itself, we
            have  need  only  of  an  example without further proof. 
    (2)  In the
            same way the contrary has only to be presented to our minds to 
            be recognized  as false, as will forthwith appear  when we come 
            to discuss fiction concerning essences. 

    Bk.I:192 on (54:2)
    [t]    "nor when I know the nature of G-D, can I hypothesize that He
           exists or does not exist.

           Observe,  that  although  many  assert  that  they doubt whether
           G-D  exists,  they  have  nought  but  his name in their minds, or 
           else  some  fiction  which  they  call God: this fiction is not in har- 
           mony  with  G-D's real Nature, as we will duly show.   Bk.XIV:1:1622 

    Bk.I:193 on (54:4)
    [u]   "From these considerations, it is plain, as I have already stated,
            that fiction cannot be concerned with eternal truths.
             (1) I shall presently show that no fiction can concern eternal truths. 
           (2)  By  an  
    eternal  truth,  I  mean  that which being positive could 
           never  become negative.  (3) Thus it is a primary and eternal truth         Cash Value
           that  G-D  exists,  but  it  is  not an eternal truth that Adam thinks. 
           (4) That the Chimæra does not exist is an eternal truth, that Adam 
           does not think is not so.  { E1:D.VI Expl.45, E1:D.VIII Expl.:46. } 
           { Neff TL:L28(10):316, EL:[39]:xxiii; Bk.XIV:1:xxi. } 

    Bk.I:201 on (57:5)
    [x]     "For, in the first case, I have merely recalled to memory"
    (1)  Afterwards, when we come to speak of fiction that is concern- 
           ed  with  essences,  it will be evident that fiction never creates or 
           furnishes  the  mind  with  anything  new; only such things as are  
           already  in  the  brain  or imagination are recalled to the memory,
           when the attention is directed to them confusedly and all at once. 
           (2) For instance, we have remembrance of spoken words and of a 
           tree; when the mind directs itself to them confusedly, it forms the 
           notion of a tree speaking.  (3) The same may be said of existence, 
           especially  when  it is conceived quite generally as an entity; it is 
           then  readily  applied  to all things occurring together in the mem- 
           ory.  (4) This is specially worthy of remark.      Bk.III:133.  

    Bk.I:211 on (57:7)
    [y]    "Thus there is here no fiction, but, true and bare assertions."
            We  must  understand as much in the case of hypotheses put for-

           ward  to  explain certain movements accompanying celestial phe- 
           nomena;   but from these,  when applied  to the celestial motions, 
           we  may  draw  conclusions  as  to  the  nature  of  the  heavens, 
           whereas  this  last  may  be  quite  different,  especially  as many 
           other  causes  are  conceivable  which  would  account  for  such 
           motions.         Bk.III:81; Bk.XIX:22. 

    Bk.I:212 on (58:3)
    [z]    "when we know the nature of the soul,"
              (1) It  often happens that a man recalls to mind this word soul, and 
           forms  at  the same time some corporeal image: as the two repre- 
           sentations  are  simultaneous,  he easily thinks that he imagines 
           and  feigns a corporeal  soul:  thus  confusing the name with the 
           thing  itself.   (2)  I here beg that  my readers  will not be in a hurry 
           to  refute this proposition;  they will,  I hope,  have no mind to do 
           so, if they pay close attention to the examples given and to what 
           follows.      Bk.III:133. 

    Bk.I:221 on (60:8)
    [60a]   "and which are not worthy of rational refutation."
    (1)  Though  I  seem  to deduce this from experience, some may 
              deny   its   cogency   because  I  have  given  no  formal  proof. 
              (2)  I  therefore append the following for those who may desire it. 
                     (3)  As  there  can be nothing in nature contrary to nature's laws, 
              since  all  things come to pass by fixed laws, so that each thing 
              must  irrefragably  produce  its own proper effect, it follows that 
              the soul, as soon as it possesses the true conception of a thing, 
              proceeds to reproduce in thought that thing's effects [
               (4)  See [64], where I speak of the false idea. 

    Bk.I:241 on (64:2)
    [64b]   "or rather is composed of attention,"
    (1)  Observe  that  fiction  regarded  in  itself,  only  differs  from 
              dreams  in  that  in  the  latter  we do not perceive the external 
              causes  which  we  perceive  through the senses while awake. 
                     (2)  It  has  hence  been  inferred that representations occurring 
              in sleep have no connection with objects external to us.  (3)  We 
              shall presently see that: error is the dreaming of a waking man; 
              if it reaches a certain pitch it becomes delirium.  Bk.XIV:2:1144.  

    Bk.I:291 on (76:5)
    [76z]   "This is, in fact, a being single and infinite"
              These  are  not  attributes of G-D displaying His essence, as I
              will show in my philosophy.

    Bk.I:292 on (76:5)
    [76a]   "it is the sum total of being, beyond which there is no being found"
                      (1) This has been shown already.  (2) For if such a being did not 
              exist  it would never be produced; therefore the mind would be
              able  to  understand  more  than  Nature could furnish; and this 
              has been shown above to be false.  Bk.XIX:879.

    Bk.I:301 on (78:8)
    [78a]   "But  from reflection on the deceitfulness of the senses"
     (1) That  is,  it is known that the senses sometimes deceive us. 
                  (2) But it is only known confusedly, for it is not known how they
               deceive us.
    [CRS2]   Shalizi Note—  By this Spinoza does not intend "common 
                  sense''  in its modern meaning of sound but unsophisticat- 
                  ed and unreflective judgment,  but the (supposed) part of 
                  the mind where all the senses come together; it would per- 
                  haps  be  better  rendered as "the common sensorium,'' or 
                  even just "the senses.'' 

    Bk.I:311 on (83:1)
    [83d]     "accompanied with the thought of a definite duration,"
                 (1) If the duration be indefinite, the recollection is imperfect; this 
                 everyone  seems  to  have  learnt from nature.  (2) For we often 
                 ask,  to  strengthen  our  belief in something we hear of, when 
                 and  where  it  happened; though ideas themselves have their 
                 own  duration  in  the  mind,  yet, as we are wont to determine 
                 duration  by  the  aid of some measure of motion which, again, 
                 takes place by aid of the imagination, we preserve no memory 
                 connected with pure intellect.                   [ observe ] 
                                                              [ mind ]
    Bk.I:341 on (91:1)
    {Cash Value}  
    [91e]    The  chief rule of this part is, as appears from the first part, to
                review all the ideas coming to us through pure intellect, so as
                to  distinguish  them  from such as we imagine: the distinction 
                will  be  shown  through the properties of each, namely, of the 
                imagination and of the understanding. 
    Bk.I:342 on (92:3)
    [92f]     "For, in reality, the knowledge of an effect is nothing else than
                the acquisition of more perfect knowledge of its cause.
                Observe that it is thereby manifest that we cannot understand 
                anything  of  Nature  without  at  the  same time increasing our           WHY?
                knowledge of the first cause, or G-D.  Bk.XIV:2:1444.    

    Bk.I:353 on (96:1)
    [CRS3]  Shalizi Note— At  this  point,  I cannot resist calling the read- 
                 er's  attention  to  the  circles  formed  by  expanding  waves, 
                 whether  of  radio, or air, or even of water, as when a pebble 
                 is  dropped into a still pond; by the projection of light through 
                 a  circular aperture onto a surface; by the section of spheres, 
                 cylinders,  and  the like;  by bodies subject to a force perpen- 
                 dicular to their momentum; and ask whether these examples, 
                 which  could  be multiplied  indefinitely,  are  formed  by lines 
                 "whereof  one  end  is  fixed and the other free.'' - Even if it is 
                 objected  that  by "proximate causes'' Spinoza did not, in fact, 
                 mean  proximate causes, what of the circle formed by adding 
                 sides to regular polygons without limit? 

    JBY's Endnotes:

    From Paul Wienpahl's "The Radical Spinoza"; ISBN 0814791867; pp 104-106—Understanding.

    [1] Early in 1662 BdS {Spinoza} wrote to Oldenburg that he had "composed an integral little work concerning this and also concerning the emendation of understanding," with the copying and emendation of which he had been occupied (Letter 6). "This" refers to a question from Oldenburg (Letter 5) about the nexus by which things depend on the first cause. That portion of the "little work" may have been the "Metaphysical Thoughts" which became the Appendix to Descartes' Principles. The rest was what we know today as "A Treatise concerning the Emendation of Understanding {TEI} ." In it BdS frequently refers to another work he was writing, his "Philosophy." There is little doubt that this came to be called "ETHIC." Only the author of the ETHIC could have produced the work on the emendation of understanding. 

    [2] The EU {TEI} is short, only thirty-five pages, and unfinished. It is nevertheless probably the most important and revolutionary philosophical document of modern times. This is immediately apparent in an examination of its title: Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione. If we follow its word order, and its grammar allows for this since intellectus is in the genitive {a construction expressing a relationship} case, it reads: "Treatise concerning Understanding's Emendation." A. Boyle rendered it: "Treatise on the Correction of the Understanding;" Elwes: "On the Improvement of the Understanding." We have: "A Treatise concerning the Emendation of Understanding." The little work's revolutionary character hinges here on the small matter of the definite article: "the." When we understand page 105 BdS it is understanding that is to be emended {to edit or change}, not the understanding or some faculty of the mind. 2P48n in the ETHIC: "In this same mode it is demonstrated that in a Mind there is given no absolute faculty of understanding, desiring, loving, &c." The notion that there are faculties in the mind corresponds to the notion that there are substances. Given Sp's insight into unity, it follows that there is understanding, but no thing that understands.

    [3] I interject here another admonition about reading BdS in existing translations. Great care must be taken with the articles: a, an, and the. BdS was a complete and thoroughgoing nominalist {the philosophical doctrine that general or abstract words do not stand for objectively existing entities and that universals are no more than names assigned to them}. That is, he believed that there are only Individuals, or singular things. Universals or universal things are only words, or if you like, names. For his account of this see 2P40n1 where he calls them "universal notions." If care is not taken with the articles, we easily miss Sp's {Spinoza's} nominalism, or what comes to the same thing: his complete reliance on observation and experience for what he believes. Since there are no articles in Latin, those you read in translations have been provided by the translators. This means that all translations from the Latin have been influenced philosophically by the translators. For there is an enormous philosophical difference between referring, say, to the human mind, and referring to a human mind. 

    [4] A further step must be taken with "understanding." The Latin word in the title of the EU is intellectus. This is the past participle {understood} of the verb intelligere (to understand), which is also used as a noun. In the line quoted above from 2P48n the word in the Latin is intelligendi which is a gerund {'understanding' when functioning as a noun} of intelligere, that is, another verbal form. Possibly for this reason Boyle, Elwes, and others often translate intellectus with "intellect," though neither of the first two did in the title of the EU. In omitting the definite article, "the," before "understanding," I make the word even more strongly verbal than it is in the phrase "the understanding." It may be urged that, when it occurs as a noun, intellectus must be preceded by an article. That, however, is to be a slave to grammar and to ignore the fact that page 106 becomes increasingly clear in reading BdS; his thinking requires basic changes in the grammar we inherited from Aristotle. He himself wrote Oldenburg that he misunderstood a passage in the Gospel of John because he measured "the phrases of oriental languages by European modes of speaking" (Letter EL:L23(75), toward the end), which makes it apparent that Sp's thinking not only required a different grammar, but that it was based on a different one. 

    [5] I apologize for these details, but BdS is not to be understood without attention to them. The last line of the ETHIC reads: "But all very clear things are both difficult and rare."

    TEI: Title Endnote - From Curley's Bk.VIII:72—Emendation of the Intellect. 

    TEI: Title Endnote - From Parkinson's Bk.XV:286180—Correction of the Intellect.

    TEI: Endnote Note 2 - From Parkinson's Bk.XV:286181—Paragraph Numbers.

    E4:Title Endnote - From Hampshire's Book 32:11-18—Philosophical Background:

    TEI:Endnote  10:1 - From Parkinson's Bk.XV:xii—Religion and Moral Agent 

    TEI:Endnote  11:1 - From De Dijn's Bk.III:12—Anti-anthropomorphic.                        G-D 

    TEI:Endnote  11:1A - From De Dijn's Bk.III:14—Peace of Mind, Salvation.             Britannica

    TEI:Endnote 12:6 - From Wayne FergusonSubjective terms.

    TEI:L62(58):395.  Taken with kind permission from Terry M. Neff.

    Spinoza to Tschirnhausen.
    The Hague, Oct., 1674.]
    This letter is addressed to G. H. Schaller, who had sent on L61:389 to Spinoza.]

    [Spinoza gives his opinions on Liberty and necessity.]            {Bk.XX:328}

    [1]  Sir,Our friend, J. R. [John Rieuwerts, a bookseller of Amsterdam.] has sent me the letter which you have been kind enough to write to me, and also the judgment of your friend [Tschirnhausen; the "judgment" is L61:389.] as to the opinions of Descartes and myself regarding free will {Mark Twain}. Both enclosures were very  welcome to me. Though I am, at present, much occupied with other matters, not to mention my delicate health, your singular courtesy, or, to name the chief motive, your love of truth, impels me to satisfy your inquiries, as far as my poor abilities will permit. What your friend wishes to imply by his remark before he appeals to experience, I know not. What he adds, that when one of two disputants affirms something which the other denies, both may be right, is true, if he means that the two, though using the same terms, are thinking of
    different things.
    I once sent several examples of this to our friend J. R., [John Rieuwerts] and am now writing to tell him to communicate them to you.

    [2]  I, therefore, pass on to that definition of liberty, which he says is my own; but I know not whence he has taken it. I say that a thing is free, which exists and acts solely by the necessity of its own nature. Thus also G-D understands Himself and all things freely, because it follows solely from the necessity of His nature, that He should understand all things. You see I do not place freedom in free decision, but in free necessity. However, let us descend to created things, which are all determined by external causes to exist and operate in a given determinate manner. In order that this may be clearly understood, let us conceive a very simple thing. For instance, a stone receives from the impulsion of an external cause, a certain quantity of motion,
    by virtue of which it continues to move
    after the impulsion given by the external cause has ceased. The permanence of the stone's motion is constrained {compelled; obliged.}, not necessary, because it must be defined by the impulsion of an external cause. What is true of the stone is true of any individual, however complicated its nature, or varied its functions, inasmuch as every individual thing is necessarily determined by some external cause to exist and operate in a fixed and determinate manner.

    [3]  Further conceive, I beg, that a stone, while continuing in motion, should be capable of thinking and knowing, that it is endeavouring, as far as it can, to continue to move. Such a stone, being conscious merely of its own endeavour and not at all indifferent, would believe itself to be completely free, and would think that it continued in motion solely because of its own wish. This is that human freedom, which all boast that they possess, and which consists
    solely in the fact,
    that men are conscious of their own desire, but are ignorant of the causes whereby that desire has been determined. Thus an infant believes that it desires milk freely; an angry child thinks he wishes freely for vengeance, a timid child thinks he wishes freely to run away. Again, a drunken man thinks, that from the free decision of his mind he speaks words, which afterwards, when sober, he would like to have left unsaid. So the delirious, the garrulous, and others of the same sort think that they act from the free decision of their mind, not that they are carried away by impulse. As this misconception is innate in all men, it is not easily conquered. For, although experience abundantly shows, that men can do anything rather than check their desires, and that very often, when a prey to conflicting emotions, they see the better course and follow the worse, they yet believe themselves to be free; because in some cases their desire for a thing is slight, and can easily be overruled by the recollection of something else, which is frequently present in the mind. {See Mark Twain's "Man is a Machine."}

    [4]  I have thus, if I mistake not, sufficiently explained my opinion regarding free and constrained necessity, and also regarding so-called human freedom: from what I have said you will easily be able to reply to your friend's objections. For when he says, with Descartes, that he who is constrained by no external cause is free, if by being constrained he means acting against one's
    will, I grant that we are in some cases quite unrestrained,
    and in this respect possess free will. But if by constrained he means acting necessarily, although not against one's will (as I have explained above), I deny that we are in any instance free.

    [5]  But your friend, on the contrary, asserts that we may employ our reason absolutely, that is, in complete freedom; and is, I think, a little too confident on the point. For who, he says, could deny, without contradicting his own consciousness, that I can think with my thoughts, that I wish or do not wish to write? I should like to know what consciousness he is talking of, over and
    above that which I have illustrated by the example of the stone.

    [6]  As a matter of fact I, without, I hope, contradicting my consciousness, that is my reason and experience, and without cherishing ignorance and misconception, deny that I can by any absolute power of thought think, that I wish or do not wish to write {Mark Twain}. I appeal to the consciousness, which he has doubtless experienced, that in dreams he has not the power of thinking that he wishes, or does not wish to write; and that, when he dreams that he wishes to write, he has not the power not to dream that he wishes to write. I think he must also have experienced, that the mind is not always equally capable of thinking of the same object, but according as the body is more capable for the image of this or that object being excited in it, so is the mind more capable of thinking of the same object.

    [7] When he further adds, that the causes for his applying his mind to writing have led him, but not constrained him to write, he merely means (if he will look at the question impartially), that his disposition was then in a state, in which it could be easily acted on by causes, which would have been powerless under other circumstances, as for instance when he was under a violent
    That is, causes, which at other times would not have constrained him, have constrained him in this case, not to write against his will but necessarily to wish to write.

    [8] As for his statement, that if we were constrained {compelled} by external causes, no one could acquire the habit of virtue, I know not what is his authority for saying, that firmness and constancy of disposition cannot arise from predestined necessity, but only from free will.

    [9] What he finally adds, that if this were granted, all wickedness would be excusable, I meet with the question, What then? Wicked men are not less to be feared, and are not less harmful, when they are wicked from necessity. However, on this point I would ask you to refer to my Principles of Cartesian Philosophy, Part II., chap. viii.
    [10] In a word, I should like your friend, who makes these objections, to tell me, how he reconciles the human virtue, which he says arises from the free decision of the mind, with G-D's pre-ordainment of the universe. If, with Descartes, he confesses his inability to do so, he is endeavouring to direct against me the weapon which has already pierced himself. But in vain. For if you examine my opinion attentively, you will see that it is quite consistent, &c.

    [End of Letter 62]

     { TEI:Endnote  29:1 }
    TEI:L64(60):395.  Taken with kind permission from Terry M. Neff.
    Spinoza to Tschirnhausen.
    [The difference between a true and an adequate idea
    is merely extrinsic, &c. The Hague, Jan., 1675.
    [1] Honoured Sir.—Between  a  true  and an adequate idea, I recognize
    no  difference,   except  that  the  epithet  true  only  has  regard  to  the 
    the  agreement  between  the  idea  and  its object, whereas the epithet 
    adequate  has  regard to the nature of the idea in itself; so that in reality 
    there  is  no  difference  between  a  true and an adequate idea beyond
    this extrinsic  relation.  However,  in  order  that I may know, from which
    idea  out  of  many all the properties of its object may be deduced, I pay
    attention  to  one  point  only,  namely, that the idea or definition should 
                      Bk.XIII:290297; Bk.XIX:13313. 
    express  the  efficient cause  of its object.  For instance, in inquiring into 
    the  properties  of a circle, I ask, whether from the idea of a circle, that it
    consists  of  infinite  right  angles,  I  can deduce all its properties.  I ask,
    I  repeat,  whether  this  idea involves the efficient cause of a circle.  If it
    does not, I look for another, namely, that a circle is the space described
    by  a  line,  of  which  one  point is fixed, and the other movable.  As this
    definition  explains  the  efficient  cause,  I  know that I can deduce from 
    it  all  the  properties  of  a  circle.  So,  also,  when  I  define  G-D  as a
    supremely  perfect  Being,  then,  since that definition does not express 
    the  efficient cause  ( I  mean  the  efficient  cause  internal  as  well  as
    external)  I  shall not be able to infer therefrom all the properties of G-D;
    as  I  can,  when  I  define G-D  as  a  Being, &c.  (see E1:D.VI:45).  As for           Why? 
    your other inquiries, namely, that concerning motion, and those pertain-
    ing  to  method,  my observations on them are not yet written out in due
    order, so I will reserve them for another occasion.

    TEI:L64(60)-[2]. Continue  with  Terry M. Neff  or  Bk.1:395.
    Bk.XVIII:1762d4; Bk.XIX:3520, 7413, 8126.

    TEI:Endnote 37 - From De Dijn's Bk.III:85Method in a Nutshell.    Bk.III:181Neff EL:L42(37):360. 

    TEI:Endnote 45:2 - From Parkinson's Bk.XV:288207—Our philosophy.

    TEI:Endnote 46:1—Why I have not.    [ Bk.VIII:2135 ]      Bk.III:88. 

    TEI:Endnote 51:4—Fiction and fictitious idea. 

    TEI:Endnote 59:1Fiction is limited by fiction.  

    TEI:Endnote 62clear and distinct

    From How the Rationalists Construe "Clear and Distinct Ideas".                          Amy Howell 

    TEI:Endnote 69:1constitutes the reality of truth

    TEI:Endnote 75:5Primary Elements

    TEI:Endnote 110:2—Establish "something common":

    End of Endnotes for TEI.

    Since November 6, 1997 TEI hits.

    On the Improvement of the Understanding - (TEI)
    Revised: January 17, 2006

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