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Myself am the proper object of pride or humility; the other person of love or hatred.

David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, book II, part II, section II

Hume maintained that there were only two fundamental passions of the Self: pride and humility. He explains that the object of love is not the Self, but the other, because the (amorous) passion must be caused by something else, which the Self alone cannot.

When an object, a person leaves us not indifferent, Hume maintains that there are only four possibilities: either such thing causes in ourselves pleasure or uneasiness; either such thing can be found in the other, causing similar and corresponding feelings.

… pride and love are agreeable passions; hatred and humility uneasy. This similitude of sensation betwixt pride and love, and that betwixt humility and hatred form a new connexion, and may be consider’d as the other two sides of the square. Upon the whole, pride is connected with humility, love with hatred, by their objects or ideas: Pride with love, humility with hatred, by their sensations or impressions.

David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, book II, part II, section II

What is pleasant and related to self makes one proud, what is related to someone else means love, hence the following table:


How is love (directed at others) compatible with pride (directed at self)? Hume suggests a series of experiements in order to confirm his “rigorous system on the passions” and resolve some contradictions which seem to emerge from it.