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A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge


premise, in order to prevent, if possible, the hasty
censures of a sort
of men who are too apt to condemn an opinion before they
rightly
comprehend it.
INTRODUCTION
1. Philosophy being nothing else but THE STUDY OF WISDOM
AND TRUTH, it
may with reason be expected that those who have spent
most time and pains
in it should enjoy a greater calm and serenity of mind,
a greater
clearness and evidence of knowledge, and be less
disturbed with doubts
and difficulties than other men. Yet so it is, we see
the illiterate bulk
of mankind that walk the high-road of plain common
sense, and are
governed by the dictates of nature, for the most part
easy and
undisturbed. To them nothing THAT IS FAMILIAR appears
unaccountable or
difficult to comprehend. They complain not of any want
of evidence in
their senses, and are out of all danger of becoming
SCEPTICS. But no
sooner do we depart from sense and instinct to follow
the light of a
superior principle, to reason, meditate, and reflect on
the nature of
things, but a thousand scruples spring up in our minds
concerning those
things which before we seemed fully to comprehend.
Prejudices and errors
of sense do from all parts discover themselves to our
view; and,
endeavouring to correct these by reason, we are
insensibly drawn into
uncouth paradoxes, difficulties, and inconsistencies,
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