Nothing has a greater tendency to give us an esteem for any person, than his power and riches; or a contempt, than his poverty and meanness: And as esteem and contempt are to be consider’d as species of love and hatred, ’twill be proper in this place to explain these phænomena.
Hume always expresses himself in dualities, through oppositions (it is at the heart of his system):
- pride and humility;
- love and hatred;
- esteem and contempt.
Hume tends to simplify what he sees by mapping everything to binary poles. The philosopher may be an empiricist, an observer that draws conclusions from what he sees and feels, his metaphysical method almost always relies on a supposed binarity, a principle of excluded middle.
It is a methodically efficient way of thinking (although it constitutes an important pitfall in the occidental philosophic thinking, the omnipresence of dualist thinking). Isn’t there a way of escaping this structuralist dualism, efficiency paradigm by excellence?
The rich and powerful
Back to the topic tomorrow. For now, we can keep in mind that Hume always seeks to confirm his dualist system of love and hatred.