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Principles of Human Knowledge

Preface
What I here make public has, after a long and scrupulous inquiry, seemed to me evidently true
and not unuseful to be known--particularly to those who are tainted with Scepticism, or want a
demonstration of the existence and immateriality of God, or the natural immortality of the soul.
Whether it be so or no I am content the reader should impartially examine; since I do not think
myself any farther concerned for the success of what I have written than as it is agreeable to
truth. But, to the end this may not suffer, I make it my request that the reader suspend his
judgment till he has once at least read the whole through with that degree of attention and
thought which the subject-matter shall seem to deserve. For, as there are some passages that,
taken by themselves, are very liable (nor could it be remedied) to gross misinterpretation, and to
be charged with most absurd consequences, which, nevertheless, upon an entire perusal will
appear not to follow from them; so likewise, though the whole should be read over, yet, if this be
done transiently, it is very probable my sense may be mistaken; but to a thinking reader, I flatter
myself it will be throughout clear and obvious. As for the characters of novelty and singularity
which some of the following notions may seem to bear, it is, I hope, needless to make any
apology on that account. He must surely be either very weak, or very little acquainted with the
sciences, who shall reject a truth that is capable of demonstration, for no other reason but
because it is newly known, and contrary to the prejudices of mankind. Thus much I thought fit to
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.
 
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