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Whatever we are proud of, must, in some manner, belong to us. It is always our knowledge, our sense, beauty, possessions, family, on which we value ourselves. Self, which is the object of the passion, must still be related to that quality or circumstance, which causes the passion. There must be a connection betwixt them …. Where this connection is wanting, no object can either excite pride or humility; and the more you weaken the connection, the more you weaken the passion.

David Hume, Dissertations of the Passions, section II, §4

As seen previously, there are only two feelings of the Self for Hume: pride and humility. The working of these feelings is simple: the more something pleases us, the more it generates pride (and vice versa for humility).

What is significant, notices Hume, is the connection between this pleasant idea and the Self; it is always its relation to the self, a relation of property. The less this idea is linked to the Self, the less it effective it will be.

We could not therefore attempt to understand love but through this relation to the Self: something that pleases me (an idea, an object, a person) pleases me precisely because of the pleasure it brings to me (not someone else).