Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679). Of Man, Being the First Part of Leviathan.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Chapter VI

Of the Interior Beginnings of Voluntary Motions, Commonly Called the Passions; and the Speeches by Which They Are Expressed

THERE be in animals two sorts of ‘motions’ peculiar to them: one called ‘vital,’ begun in generation, and continued without interruption through their whole life, such as are the ‘course’ of the ‘blood,’ the ‘pulse,’ the ‘breathing,’ the concoction, nutrition, excretion, etc., to which motions there needs no help of imagination: the other is ‘animal motion,’ otherwise called ‘voluntary motion,’ as to ‘go,’ to ‘speak,’ to ‘move’ any of our limbs in such manner as is first fancied in our minds. That sense is motion in the organs and interior parts of man’s body, caused by the action of the things we see, hear, etc.; and that fancy is but the relics of the same motion, remaining after sense, has been said in the first and second chapters. And, because ‘going,’ ‘speaking,’ and the like voluntary motions, depend always upon a precedent thought of ‘whither,’ ‘which way,’ and ‘what,’ it is evident that the imagination is the first internal beginning of all voluntary motion. And, although unstudied men do not conceive any motion at all to be there where the thing moved is invisible, or the space it is moved in is, for the shortness of it, in sensible; yet that doth not hinder but that such motions are. For, let a space be never so little, that which is moved over a greater space, whereof that little one is part, must first be moved over that. These small beginnings of motion within the body of man, before they appear in walking, speaking, striking, and other visible actions, are commonly called ‘endeavour.’

This endeavour, when it is toward something which causes it, is called ‘appetite,’ or ‘desire,’ the latter being the general name and the other oftentimes restrained to signify the desire of food, namely ‘hunger’ and ‘thirst.’ And, when the endeavour is fromward something, it is generally called ‘aversion.’ These words, ‘appetite’ and ‘aversion,’ we have from the Latins; and they both of them signify the motions, one of approaching, the other of retiring. So also do the Greek words for the same, which are [Greek] and [Greek]. For Nature itself does often press upon men those truths which afterwards, when they look for somewhat beyond Nature, they stumble at. For the schools find in mere appetite to go, or move, no actual motion at all; but, because some motion they must acknowledge, they call it metaphorical motion, which is but an absurd speech; for though words may be called metaphorical, bodies and motions cannot.

That which men desire they are also said to ‘love’; and to ‘hate’ those things for which they have aversion. So that desire and love are the same thing, save that by desire we always signify the absence of the object, by love most commonly the presence of the same. So also by aversion we signify the absence, and by hate, the presence of the object.

Of appetites and aversions, some are born with men, as appetite of food, appetite of excretion, and exoneration, which may also and more properly be called aversions from somewhat they feel in their bodies; and some other appetites, not many. The rest, which are appetites of particular things, proceed from experience and trial of their effects upon themselves or other men. For of things we know not at all, or believe not to be, we can have no further desire than to taste and try. But aversion we have for things not only which we know have hurt us, but also that we do not know whether they will hurt us or not.

Those things which we neither desire nor hate we are said to ‘contemn,’ ‘contempt’ being nothing else but an immobility or contumacy of the heart in resisting the action of certain things, and proceeding from that the heart is already moved otherwise by other more potent objects, or from want of experience of them.

And, because the constitution of a man’s body is in continual mutation, it is impossible that all the same things should always cause in him the same appetites and aversion: much less can all men consent in the desire of almost any one and the same object.

But whatsoever is the object of any man’s appetite or desire, that is it which he for his part calleth ‘good’; and the object of his hate and aversion, ‘evil’; and of his contempt ‘vile’ and ‘inconsiderable.’ For these words of good, evil, and contemptible, are ever used with relation to the person that useth them, there being nothing simply and absolutely so; nor any common rule of good and evil, to be taken from the nature of the objects themselves; but from the person of the man, where there is no commonwealth, or, in a commonwealth, from the person that representeth it; or from an arbitrator or judge, whom men disagreeing shall by consent set up, and make his sentence the rule thereof.

The Latin tongue has two words whose significations approach to those of good and evil, but are not precisely the same; and those are pulchrum and turpe. Whereof the former signifies that which by some apparent signs promiseth good; and the latter that which promiseth evil. But in our tongue we have not so general names to express them by. But for pulchrum we say in some things ‘fair,’ in others, ‘beautiful,’ or ‘handsome,’ or ‘gallant,’ or ‘honourable,’ or ‘comely,’ or ‘amiable’; and for turpe, ‘foul,’ ‘deformed,’ ‘ugly,’ ‘base,’ ‘nauseous,’ and the like, as the subject shall require; all which words, in their proper places, signify nothing else but the ‘mien,’ or countenance, that promiseth good and evil. So that of good there be three kinds: good in the promise, that is pulchrum; good in effect, as the end desired, which is called jucundum, ‘delightful’; and good as the means which is called utile, ‘profitable’; and as many of evil: for ‘evil’ in promise is that they call turpe; evil in effect, and end is molestum, ‘unpleasant,’ ‘troublesome’; and evil in the means, inutile, ‘unprofitable,’ ‘hurtful.’

As, in sense, that which is really within us is, as I have said before, only motion caused by the action of external objects but in appearance—to the sight, light and colour; to the ear, sound; to the nostril, odour, etc.; so, when the action of the same object is continued from the eyes, ears, and other organs to the heart, the real effect there is nothing but motion or endeavour which consisteth in appetite, or aversion, to or from the object moving. But the apparence, or sense of that motion, is that we either call ‘delight’ or ‘trouble of mind.’

This motion, which is called appetite, and for the apparence of it ‘delight’ and ‘pleasure,’ seemeth to be a corroboration of vital motion, and a help thereunto; and therefore such things as caused delight were not improperly called jucunda, (a juvando,) from helping or fortifying; and the contrary molesta, ‘offensive,’ from hindering and troubling the motion vital.

‘Pleasure,’ therefore, or ‘delight,’ is the apparence or sense of good; and ‘molestation,’ or ‘displeasure,’ the appearance or sense of evil. And consequently all appetite, desire, and love, is accompanied with some delight more or less; and all hatred and aversion with more or less displeasure and offence.

Of pleasures or delights some arise from the sense of an object present; and those may be called ‘pleasures of sense,’ the word ‘sensual,’ as it is used by those only that condemn them, having no place till there be laws. Of this kind are all onerations and exonerations of the body, as also all that is pleasant in the ‘sight,’ ‘hearing,’ ‘smell,’ ‘taste,’ or ‘touch.’ Others arise from the expectation that proceeds from foresight of the end or consequence of things, whether those things in the sense please or displease. And these are ‘pleasures of the mind’ of him that draweth those consequences, and are generally called ‘joy.’ In the like manner, displeasures are some in the sense, and called ‘pain’; others in the expectation of consequences, and are called ‘grief.’

These simple passions called ‘appetite,’ ‘desire,’ ‘love,’ ‘aversion,’ ‘hate,’ ‘joy,’ and ‘grief,’ have their names for divers considerations diversified. As first, when they one succeed another, they are diversely called from the opinion men have of the likelihood of attaining what they desire. Secondly, from the object loved or hated. Thirdly, from the consideration of many of them together. Fourthly, from the alteration or succession itself.

For ‘appetite’ with an opinion of attaining is called ‘hope.’

The same without such opinion, ‘despair.’

‘Aversion’ with opinion of ‘hurt’ from the object ‘fear.’

The same with hope of avoiding that hurt by resistance, ‘courage,’

Sudden ‘courage,’ ‘anger.’

Constant ‘hope,’ ‘confidence’ of ourselves.

Constant ‘despair,’ ‘diffidence’ of ourselves.

‘Anger’ for great hurt done to another, when we conceive the same to be done by injury, ‘indignation.’

‘Desire’ of good to another, ‘benevolence,’ ‘good will,’ ‘charity.’ If to man generally, ‘good-nature.’

‘Desire’ of riches, ‘covetousness,’ a name used always in signification of blame, because men contending for them are displeased with one another attaining them, though the desire in itself be to be blamed, or allowed, according to the means by which those riches are sought.

‘Desire’ of office, or precedence, ‘ambition,’ a name used also in the worse sense, for the reason before mentioned.

‘Desire’ of things that conduce but a little to our ends, and fear of things that are but of little hindrance, ‘pusillanimity.’‘Contempt’ of little helps and hindrances, ‘magnanimity.’

‘Magnanimity’ in danger of death or wounds, ‘valour,’ ‘fortitude’

‘Magnanimity’ in the use of riches, ‘liberality.’

‘Pusillanimity’ in the same, ‘wretchedness,’ ‘miserableness,’ or ‘parsimony,’ as it is liked or disliked.

‘Love’ of persons for society, ‘kindness.’

‘Love’ of persons for pleasing the sense only, ‘natural lust.’

‘Love’ of the same, acquired from rumination, that is imagination of pleasure past, ‘luxury.’

‘Love’ of one singularly, with desire to be singularly beloved, ‘the passion of love.’ The same, with fear that the love is not mutual, ‘jealousy.’

‘Desire,’ by doing hurt to another, to make him condemn some fact of his own, ‘revengefulness.’

‘Desire’ to know why and how, ‘curiosity,’ such as is in no living creature but ‘man,’ so that man is distinguished not only by his reason but also by this singular passion from other ‘animals,’ in whom the appetite of food, and other pleasures of sense, by predominance take away the care of knowing causes, which is a lust of the mind, that by a perseverance of delight in the continual and indefatigable generation of knowledge exceedeth the short vehemence of any carnal pleasure.

‘Fear’ of power invisible, feigned by the mind or imagined from tales publicly allowed, ‘religion,’ not allowed, ‘superstition.’ And when the power imagined is truly such as we imagine, ‘true religion.’

‘Fear,’ without the apprehension of why or what, ‘panic terror,’ called so from the fables that make Pan the author of them, whereas in truth there is always in him that so feareth, first some apprehension of the cause, though the rest run away by example, every one supposing his fellow to know why. And therefore this passion happens to none but in a throng or multitude of people.

‘Joy’ from apprehension of novelty ‘admiration,’ proper to man, because it excites the appetite of knowing the cause.

‘Joy,’ arising from imagination of man’s own power and ability is that exultation of the mind which is called ‘glorying,’ which, if grounded upon the experience of his own former actions, is the same as ‘confidence,’ but if grounded on the flattery of others or only supposed by himself for delight in the consequences of it, is called ‘vain-glory,’ which name is properly given, because a well-grounded ‘confidence’ begetteth attempt, whereas the supposing of power does not, and is therefore rightly called ‘vain.’

‘Grief’ from opinion of want of power is called ‘dejection of mind.’

The ‘vain-glory’ consisteth in the feigning or supposing of abilities in ourselves which we know are not is most incident to young men, and nourished by the histories or fictions of gallant persons, and is corrected oftentimes by age and employment.

‘Sudden glory’ is the passion which maketh those ‘grimaces’ called ‘laughter’; and is caused either by some sudden act of their own that pleaseth them, or by the apprehension of some deformed thing in another by comparison whereof they suddenly applaud themselves. And it is incident most to them that are conscious of the fewest abilities in themselves; who are forced to keep themselves in their own favour by observing the imperfections of other men. And therefore much laughter at the defects of others is a sign of pusillanimity. For a great minds one of the proper works is to help and free others from scorn and compare themselves only with the most able.

On the contrary, ‘sudden dejection’ is the passion that causeth ‘weeping,’ and is caused by such accidents as suddenly take away some vehement hope or some prop of their power; and they are most subject to it that rely principally on helps external, such as are women and children. Therefore some weep for the loss of friends, others for their unkindness, others for the sudden stop made to their thoughts of revenge by reconciliation. But in all cases, both laughter and weeping, are sudden motions, custom taking them both away. For no man laughs at old jests, or weeps for an old calamity.

‘Grief’ for the discovery of some defect of ability is ‘shame,’ or the passion that discovereth itself in ‘blushing,’ and consisteth in the apprehension of something dishonourable; and in young men is a sign of the love of good reputation, and commendable: in old men it is a sign of the same; but, because it comes too late, not commendable.

The ‘contempt’ of good reputation is called ‘impudence.’

‘Grief’ for the calamity of another is ‘pity,’ and ariseth from the imagination that the like calamity may befall himself; and therefore is called also ‘compassion,’ and in the phrase of this present time a ‘fellow-feeling’; and therefore for calamity arriving from great wickedness the best men have the least pity; and for the same calamity those have least pity that think themselves least obnoxious to the same.

‘Contempt,’ or little sense of the calamity of others, is that which men call ‘cruelty,’ proceeding from security of their own fortune. For, that any man should take pleasure in other men’s great harms without other end of his own, I do not conceive it possible.

‘Grief’ for the success of a competitor in wealth, honour, or other good, if it be joined with endeavour to enforce our own abilities to equal or exceed him, is called ‘emulation’; but joined with endeavour to supplant or hinder a competitor, ‘envy.’

When in the mind of man, appetites and aversions, hopes and fears, concerning one and the same thing, arise alternately, and divers good and evil consequences of the doing or omitting the thing propounded, come successively into our thoughts, so that sometimes we have an appetite to it, sometimes an aversion from it, sometimes hope to be able to do it, sometimes despair or fear to attempt it, the whole sum of desires, aversions, hopes, and fears, continued till the thing be either done or thought impossible, is that we call ‘deliberation.’

Therefore of things past there is no ‘deliberation,’ because manifestly impossible to be changed; nor of things known to be impossible, or thought so, because men know, or think, such deliberation vain. But of things impossible which we think possible we may deliberate; not knowing it is in vain. And is it called ‘deliberation,’ because it is a putting an end to the ‘liberty’ we had of doing or omitting according to our own appetite or aversion.

This alternate succession of appetites, aversions, hopes, and fears, is no less in other living creatures than in man; and therefore beasts also deliberate.

Every deliberation is then said to ‘end’ when that whereof they deliberate is either done or thought impossible; because till then we retain the liberty of doing or omitting, according to our appetite or aversion.

In ‘deliberation,’ the last appetite, or aversion, immediately adhering to the action, or to the omission thereof, is that we call the ‘will’; the act, nor the faculty, of ‘willing.’ And beasts that have ‘deliberation,’ must necessarily also have ‘will.’ The definition of the ‘will’ given commonly by the schools, that it is a ‘rational appetite,’ is not good. For if it were, then could there be no voluntary act against reason. For a ‘voluntary act’ is that which proceedeth from the ‘will’ and no other. But if instead of a rational appetite we shall say an appetite resulting from a precedent deliberation, then the definition is the same that I have given here. Will, therefore, is the last appetite in deliberating. And, though we say in common discourse a man had a will once to do a thing, that nevertheless he forbore to do, yet that is properly but an inclination, which makes no action voluntary; because the action depends not of it, but of the last inclination or appetite. For if the intervenient appetites make any action voluntary, then by the same reason all intervenient aversions should make the same action involuntary; and so one and the same action should be both voluntary and involuntary.

By this it is manifest that not only actions that have their beginning from covetousness, ambition, lust, or other appetites to the thing propounded, but also those that have their beginning from aversion, or fear of those consequences that follow the omission, are ‘voluntary actions.’

The forms of speech by which the passions are expressed are partly the same, and partly different from those by which we express our thoughts. And, first, generally all passions may be expressed ‘indicatively,’ as ‘I love.’ ‘I fear,’ ‘I joy,’ ‘I deliberate,’ ‘I will,’ ‘I command,’ but some of them have particular expressions by themselves, which nevertheless are not affirmations, unless it be when they serve to make other inferences besides that of the passion they proceed from. Deliberation is expressed ‘subjunctively,’ which is a speech proper to signify suppositions, with their consequences: as, ‘if this be done, then this will follow,’ and differs not from the language of reasoning, save that reasoning is in general words; but deliberation for the most part is of particulars. The language of desire, and a version, is ‘imperative,’ as ‘do this,’ ‘forbear that,’ which when the party is obliged to do, or forbear, is ‘command’; otherwise ‘prayer,’ or else ‘counsel.’ The language of vain-glory, of indignation, pity and revengefulness, ‘optative,’ but of the desire to know there is a peculiar expression, called ‘interrogative,’ as ‘what is it’? ‘when shall it’? ‘how is it done’? and ‘why so’? Other language of the passions I find none; for cursing, swearing, reviling, and the like, do not signify as speech, but as the actions of a tongue accustomed.

These forms of speech, I say, are expressions, or voluntary significations of our passions; but certain signs they be not, because they may be used arbitrarily, whether they that use them have such passions or not. The best signs of passions present are either in the countenance, motions of the body, actions, and ends, or aims, which we otherwise know the man to have.

And because in deliberation the appetites and aversions are raised by foresights of the good and evil consequences, and sequels of the action whereof we deliberate, the good or evil effect thereof dependeth on the foresight of a long chain of consequences of which very seldom any man is able to see to the end. But for so far as a man seeth, if the good in those consequences be greater than the evil, the whole chain is that which writers call ‘apparent’ or ‘seeming good’. And, contrarily, when the evil exceedeth the good, the whole is ‘apparent’ or ‘seeming evil,’ so that he who hath by experience, or reason, the greatest and surest prospect of consequences, deliberates best himself, and is able, when he will, to give the best counsel unto others.

‘Continual success’ in obtaining those things which a man from time to time desireth, that is to say continual prospering, is that men call ‘felicity’—I mean the felicity of this life. For there is no such thing as perpetual tranquility of mind while we live here, because life itself is but motion, and can never be without desire, nor without fear, no more than without sense. What kind of felicity God hath ordained to them that devoutly honour Him a man shall no sooner know than enjoy, being joys that now are as incomprehensible as the word of schoolmen ‘beatifical vision’ is unintelligible.

The form of speech whereby men signify their opinion of the goodness of anything is ‘praise’. That whereby they signify the power and greatness of anything is ‘magnifying.’ And that whereby they signify the opinion they have of a man’s felicity is by the Greeks called [Greek] for which we have no name in our tongue. And thus much is sufficient for the present purpose, to have been said of the ‘passions.’