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6. Ethica A (1692)

Section 1 (of 4)

Normalized

Ethica

Noething can attract a rational agent nor be a cause to it of action but good. That good is only pleasure or greater pleasure or the means to it. Pleasures are all of the minde none of the body, but some consist in motions of the body some in contemplations and satisfactions of the minde seperate abstract and independent from any motions or affections of the body. And these later are both the greatest and more lasting. The former of these we will for shortnesse sake <call> pleasures of the senses the other pleasures of <the> soule. or rather material and immaterial pleasures. Material pleasures last not beyond the present application of the object to the sense and make but a small part of the life of the most voluptious man. Those of taste cease as soon as the stomach is full and a satisfied appetite loathes the most exquisite dishes. Parfumes make men weary in a litle time or which is the same are not smelt. Few are soe delighted with musick that when it is grown familiar to them either minde it not or at least doe not prefer the discourse of a friend to it as any one may observe in himself and others. And for seeing though it be the most capacious and most imploid of all our senses, yet the pleasure of it lies not soe much in the delight the eyes have in the objects before it, but in other things annexed to them as the knowledge and choise of things serviceable to the other parts of our lives and in the power of seeing soe usefull to us in all the parts of our lives. So that all the pleasures of the senses taken togeather even that too which modestie speakes not openly off I thinke one may say that the most voluptious man has not his senses affected by them and so has not pleasure from them ¼ part of his time perhaps when examined it will be found much lesse the rest the body lies fallow or unaffected with pleasure. Perhaps it will be told that though the bodily sensation be so short yet the enjoyment and pleasure is longer, as of a splendid enterteinment the satisfaction lasts longer then the meale. it began before it and ends not with it. Let it be so, which shews that even in these material sensual pleasures, contemplation makes up the greatest part and when the senses have done the minde by thought continues a pleasure wherin the senses have noe share. The use I make of this is that even in voluptuous men the minde without the body makes the greatest part of their happynesse or else the greatest part of their time they are destitute of happynesse

Diplomatic

224

Ethica

Noething can attract a rational agent nor be a cause to it of action but good. That good is only pleasure or greater pleasure or the means to it. Pleasures are all of the minde none of the body, but some consist of in motions of the body some in contemplations of the and satisfactions of the minde seperate or abstract and independent from any motions or affections of the body. And these later are both the greatest and more lasting. The former of these we will for shortnesse sake <call> pleasures of the senses the other pleasures of <the> soule. or rather material and immaterial pleasures. Material pleasures last not beyond the present application of the object to the sense and make but a small part of the life of the most voluptious man. Those of taste cease as soon as the stomach is full and a satisfied appetite loathes the most exquisite dishes. Parfumes make men weary in a litle time or which is the same loose their are not smelt. Few are soe delighted with musick that when it is grown familiar to them much either minde it not or at least doe not prefer the discourse of a friend to it as any one may observe in himself and others. And for seeing though it be the most capacious and most imploid of all our senses, yet the pleasure of it lies not soe much in the delight the eyes have in the objects before it, but in other things annexed to them as the knowledge and choise of things serviceable to the other parts of our lives and in the conduct of us in all our power of seeing soe usefull to us in all the parts of our lives. So that takeing in all these too all the pleasures of the senses taken togeather even that too which modestie speakes not openly off I thinke one may say that the volupt most voluptious man has not his senses affected by them and so has not pleasure from them ¼ part of his time perhaps when examined it will be found much lesse the rest the body lies fallow or unaffected with pleasure. Perhaps it will be told that though the bodily sensation be so short yet the enjoyment and pleasure is longer, as of a splendid enterteinment the satisfaction lasts longer then the meale. it began before it and ends not with it. Let it be so, which shews that even in these material sensual pleasures, contemplation makes out up the greatest part and when the senses have done the minde by thought continues a pleasure wherin the senses have noe share. The use I make of this is that even in voluptuous men the minde without the body makes the greatest part of their happynesse or else the greatest part of their time they are destitute of happynesse


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Cf. ‘Thus I thinke’: ‘Let me then see where in consists the most lasting pleasures of this life...’
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