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The phrases in their context!


Nothing causes greater vanity than any shining quality in our relations; as nothing mortifies us more than their vice or infamy.
This exact conformity of experience to our reasoning is a convincing proof of the solidity of that hypothesis, upon which we reason.
Sixth Experiment.
This evidence will be still augmented, if we reverse the experiment, and preserving still the same relations, begin only with a different passion.
Suppose, that instead of the virtue or vice of a son or brother, which causes first love or hatred, and afterwards pride or humility, we place these good or bad qualities on ourselves, without any immediate connexion with the person, who is related to us: Experience shews us, that by this change of situation the whole chain is broke, and that the mind is not conveyed from one passion to another, as in the preceding instance.
We never love or hate a son or brother for the virtue or vice we discern in ourselves; though it is evident the same qualities in him give us a very sensible pride or humility.
The transition from pride or humility to love or hatred is not so natural as from love or hatred to pride or humility.
This may at first sight be esteemed contrary to my hypothesis; since the relations of impressions and ideas are in both cases precisely the same.
Pride and humility are impressions related to love and hatred.
Myself am related to the person.
It should, therefore, be expected, that like causes must produce like effects, and a perfect transition arise from the double relation, as in all other cases.
This difficulty we may easily solve by the following reflections.
It is evident, that as we are at all times intimately conscious of ourselves, our sentiments and passions, their ideas must strike upon us with greater vivacity than the ideas of the sentiments and passions of any other person.
But every thing, that strikes upon us with vivacity, and appears in a full and strong light, forces itself, in a manner, into our consideration, and becomes present to the mind on the smallest hint and most trivial relation.
For the same reason, when it is once present, it engages the attention, and keeps it from wandering to other objects, however strong may be their relation to our first object.
The imagination passes easily from obscure to lively ideas, but with difficulty from lively to obscure.
In the one case the relation is aided by another principle: In the other case, it is opposed by it.
Now I have observed, that those two faculties of the mind, the imagination and passions, assist each other in their operations when their propensities are similar, and when they act upon the same object.
The mind has always a propensity to pass from a passion to any other related to it; and this propensity is forwarded when the object of the one passion is related to that of the other.
The two impulses concur with each other, and render the whole transition more smooth and easy.
But if it should happen, that while the relation of ideas, strictly speaking, continues the same, its influence, in causing a transition of the imagination, should no longer take place, it is evident its influence on the passions must also cease, as being dependent entirely on that transition.