Hume, aptly

All right, this is just totally too perfect. I’m re-reading Hume in preparing a lecture today, and found a passage which manages to tie together a bunch of posts I’ve done recently on the pleasures of my disabled kid, Humean aesthetics, and how aggravating children can make you happy in the ultimate sense.

Difficulties increase passions of every kind; and by rousing our attention, and exciting our active powers, they produce an emotion which nourishes the prevailing affection.

Parents commonly love that child most whose sickly infirm frame of body has occasioned them the greatest pains, trouble, and anxiety in rearing him. The agreeable sentiment of affection here acquires force from sentiments of uneasiness.

Nothing endears so much a friend as sorrow for his death. The pleasure of his company has not so powerful an influence.

Jealousy is a painful passion; yet without some share of it; the agreeable affection of love has difficulty to subsist in its full force and violence. Absence is also a great source of complaint among lovers, and gives them the greatest uneasiness; yet nothing is more favourable to their mutual passion than short intervals of that kind.

Apologies for the excessive posting in the last 24 hours. This is what happens when the husband is out of town at a conference (see the last part of the passage for extra aptness).

Rose Woodhouse

Elizabeth Picciuto was born and reared on Long Island, and, as was the custom for the time and place, got a PhD in philosophy. She freelances, mainly about disability, but once in a while about yeti. Mother to three children, one of whom is disabled, two of whom have brown eyes, three of whom are reasonable cute, you do not want to get her started talking about gardening.

One Comment

  1. “In the earliest versions of The Matrix, we tried to create a paradise. It was a disaster. Entire crops were lost as their minds rebelled, finding our vision of heaven a ‘dream’ they kept trying to ‘wake up’ from. We were only successful when we realized that humans define their reality through suffering.”

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