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cannot pierce it, therefore who knows but "it may be made of unfound materials? "There is no trufting to appearances. It is "the glory of a philofopher to doubt; yea, "he muft doubt, both when he is doubtful, " and when he is not doubtful *. Some"times, indeed, we philofophers are abfolutely and neceffarily determined to live, "and talk, and act, like other people, and "to believe the existence both of ourselves "and of other things: but to this abfolute " and neceffary determination, we ought not to fubmit, but in every incident of life still "to preferve our fcepticifm. Yes, friend, I "tell you, we ought ftill to do what is contrary to that to which we are abfolutely "and neceffarily determined †. I fee you

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"A true fceptic will be diffident of his philofophical "doubts, as well as of his philosophical conviction." Treatife of Human Nature, vol. 1. p. 474.

+ "I dine, I play a game at back-gammon, I con"verse, and am merry with my friends; and when, "after three or four hours amufement, I would return "to these fpeculations, they appear fo cold, fo ftrained, "and fo ridiculous, that I cannot find in my heart to "enter into them any further. Here then I find myself "abfolutely and neceffarily determined to live, and talk, ❝ and act, like other people in the common affairs of "life." Treatife of Human Nature, vol. 1. p. 467.

"In all the incidents of life we ought ftill to preserve our fcepticism. If we believe that fire warms, or wa"ter refreshes, 'tis only becaufe it cofts us too much "pains to think otherwife. Nay, if we are philofo"phers, it ought only to be upon fceptical principles." Id. p. 469. preparing

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preparing to speak; but I tell you once "for all, that if reafon or believe any thing certainly you are a fool *. Good "Sir, how deep muft we dig? Is not this CC a fure foundation? I have no reason to "think fo, as I cannot fee what is under it. "Then we must dig downward in infinitum! And why not? You think you are ar"rived at certainty. This very conceit of yours is a proof that you have not gone deep enough for you must know, that "the understanding, when it acts alone, and (( according to its most general principles, entirely fubverts itself, and leaves not the "lowest degree of evidence in any proposi❝tion, either in philofophy or common life t. This to the illiterate vulgar may "feem as great a contradiction or paradox, "as if we were to talk of a man's jumping "down his own throat : but we whofe "brains are heated with metaphyfic, are not "ftartled at paradoxes or contradictions, "because we are ready to reject all belief "and reasoning, and can look upon no opi"nion even as more probable or more likely

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*"If I must be a fool, as all thofe who reason or be"lieve any thing certainly are, my follies fhall at least bė "natural and agreeable." Id. p. 468.

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Verbatim from Treatife of Human Nature, vol. 1. P. 464. 465.

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"than another *.

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You are no true philofopher if you either begin or end your inquiries with the belief of any thing. "Well, Sir, you may doubt and difpute as long as you please; but I believe that I am (6 come to a fure foundation: here therefore "will I begin to build, for I am certain there can be no danger in trusting to the stabi"lity of that which is immoveable. Cer"tain! Poor credulous fool! Hark ye, "Sir, you may be what the vulgar call an "honest man, and a good workman; but I am certain (I mean I am in doubt whe"ther I may not be certain) that you are no "philofopher. Philofopher indeed! to take

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a thing of fuch confequence for granted, " without proof, without examination! I "hold you four to one, that I fhall demon"strate a priori, that this fame edifice of

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yours will be good for nothing. I am in"clined to think, that we live in too early a "period to discover ANY PRINCIPLES that "will bear the examination of the latest pofterity; the world, Sir, is not yet arrived at the years of difcretion: it will be time enough, two or three thousand years hence,

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"The intense view of these manifold contradictions "and imperfections in human reafon, has fo wrought 66 upon me, and heated my brain, that I am ready to re"ject all belief and reafoning, and can look upon no "opinion even as more probable or likely than another." Treatife of Human Nature, vol.1. p. 466.

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"for

VOL. I.

for men to begin to dogmatife, and affirm, "that two and two are four, that a triangle "is not a fquare, that the radii of the fame "circle are equal, that a whole is greater "than one of its parts; that in gratitude " and murder are crimes; that benevolence, 66 juftice, and fortitude, are virtues; that "fire burns, that the fun fhines, that hu66 man creatures exift, or that there is fuch a thing as existence. These are points "which our pofterity, if they be wife, will

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probably reject*. These are points, which "if they do not reject, they will be arrant

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"Perhaps we are still in too early an age of the "world, to difcover any principles which will bear the "examination of the lateft pofterity."

Treatife of Human Nature, vol. 1. p. 473.

Some perhaps may blame me for laying any ftrefs on detached fentences, and for understanding thefe ftrong expreffions in a strict fignification. But it is not my intention to take any unfair advantages. Ifhould willingly impute thefe abfurd fentences and expreffions to the author's inadvertency: but then I muft impute the whole fyftem to the fame caufe; for they imply nothing that is not again and again inculcated, either directly or indirectly, in Mr HUME's writings. It is true fome of them are felf-contradictory, and all of them ftrongly difplay the futility of this pretended fcience. But who is to blame for this? Again, if this fcience be fo useless, and if its inutility be fometimes acknowledged even by Mr HUME himself, why, it may be faid, fo much zeal in confuting it? For this plain reafon, Because it is immoral and pernicious, as well as unprofitable and abfurd; and becaufe, with all its abfurdity, it has been approved and admired; and been the occafion of evil to individuals, and of detriment as well as danger to fociety.

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"fools. This is my judgement, and I am
certain it is right. I maintain, indeed,
"that mankind are certain of nothing but
"I maintain, notwithstanding, that my own
opinions are true. And if any body is ill-
"natured enough to call this a contradiction,
¢ I protest against his judgement, and once
"for all declare, that I mean not either to
"contradict myself, or to acknowledge my-
"felf guilty of felf-contradiction."

I am well aware, that mathematical certainty is not to be expected in any fcience but mathematics. But I fuppofe that in every science, fome kind of certainty is attainable, or fomething at least fufficient to command belief: and whether this rest on felf-evident axioms, or on the evidence of fenfe, memory, or teftimony, it is still certain to me, if I feel that I must believe it. And in every science, as well as in geometry, I prefume it would be confiftent both with logic and with good fenfe, to take that for an ultimate principle, which forces our belief by its own intrinfic evidence, and which cannot by any reafoning be rendered more evident.

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SECT. II.

IN

N natural philosophy, the evidence of fenfe and mathematical evidence go hand in hand; and the one produces conviction as T 2

effectually

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