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HIS Edition will, it is hoped, be found less faulty than any of the former. Several inaccuracies are now removed, unneceffary words and fentences expunged, a few erroneous paffages either cancelled or rectified, and fome new-modelled in the style, which before seemed too harfhly or too strongly expressed.
In regard to the reafonings and general principles of this Effay, I have not as yet feen caufe to alter my opinion; though I have carefully attended to what has been urged against them by feveral ingenious authors. Some objections will perhaps be found obviated by occafional remarks and amendments interspersed in this Edition. I once intended to have offered a more compleat vindication, and had actually prepared materials for it but, finding them fwell to a confiderable bulk, and recollecting, that difputes of this nature, when once begun, are not foon terminated, and are apt to become less useful as they grow more voluminous, I was easily prevailed with to lay afide that defign, at least till Providence fhould be pleased to grant me better health. Even then, the profecution of this controverfy may not perhaps be thought requifite. To the
wife a word is faid to be enough. If the
A complete theory of evidence is not to be expected in this book. The attentive reader will fee I never intended one. That is a very copious and difficult fubject; and I have not profecuted it further than my argument feemed to require. It is with great pleasure I take this opportunity to declare,
that the best Theory of Evidence I have ever feen, is delivered by my excellent Friend Dr Campbell, in that most ingenious and learned performance, The Philofophy of Rhetoric. His principles and mine, though they differ fomewhat in the arrangement, (in which I am inclined to think that his have the advantage), will not be found to differ in any thing material.
I have been blamed for borrowing fome hints, without acknowledgement, from Dr Price, Dr Ofwald, and Buffier. I beg leave to fay, that I am to this hour totally unacquainted with that work of Dr Price which is alluded to; and that, when I published the first Edition of the Effay on Truth, I was totally unacquainted with the writings of Buffier and Dr Ofwald, I had heard indeed, that the French Philosopher used the term Common Senfe in a way fimilar to that in which I use it; but this was only hearfay; and I have fince found, that though between his fundamental opinions and mine there is a striking resemblance, his application of that term is not entirely the fame. I fhould not have mentioned this, if I did not think, that it fupplies an argument in favour of our common principles.
I had finished all these papers for the prefs, when a friend at London fent me an Advertifement, which had juft then appeared prefixed to a new Edition of Mr Hume's Effays; and which, in justice to that Author,