Single Idea 6212

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 5. Sexual Morality]

Full Idea

Lust consists of two appetites together, to please, and to be pleased, and the delight men take in delighting is not sensual, but a pleasure or joy of the mind consisting in the imagination of the power they have so much to please.

Gist of Idea

Lust involves pleasure, and also the sense of power in pleasing others


Thomas Hobbes (Human Nature [1640], Ch.IX)

Book Reference

'British Moralists 1650-1800 Vol. 1', ed/tr. Raphael,D.D. [Hackett 1991], p.11

A Reaction

Hobbes would rather burst a blood-vessel than admit any altruism. If you take pleasure in pleasing someone else, why can't that simply be because of the other person's pleasure, with which we sympathise, rather than relishing our own 'power'?