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The phrases in their context!


Secondly, Give a reason, why the resemblance of our broken and interrupted perceptions induces us to attribute an identity to them.
Thirdly, Account for that propensity, which this illusion gives, to unite these broken appearances by a continued existence.
Fourthly and lastly, Explain that force and vivacity of conception, which arises from the propensity.
First, As to the principle of individuation; we may observe, that the view of any one object is not sufficient to convey the idea of identity.
For in that proposition, an object is the same with itself, if the idea expressed by the word, object, were no ways distinguished from that meant by itself; we really should mean nothing, nor would the proposition contain a predicate and a subject, which however are implyed in this affirmation.
One single object conveys the idea of unity, not that of identity.
On the other hand, a multiplicity of objects can never convey this idea, however resembling they may be supposed.
The mind always pronounces the one not to be the other, and considers them as forming two, three, or any determinate number of objects, whose existences are entirely distinct and independent.
Since then both number and unity are incompatible with the relation of identity, it must lie in something that is neither of them.
But to tell the truth, at first sight this seems utterly impossible.
Betwixt unity and number there can be no medium; no more than betwixt existence and nonexistence.
After one object is supposed to exist, we must either suppose another also to exist; in which case we have the idea of number: Or we must suppose it not to exist; in which case the first object remains at unity.
To remove this difficulty, let us have recourse to the idea of time or duration.
I have already observd [Part II, SECT. 5.], that time, in a strict sense, implies succession, and that when we apply its idea to any unchangeable object, it is only by a fiction of the imagination, by which the unchangeable object is supposd to participate of the changes of the co-existent objects, and in particular of that of our perceptions.
This fiction of the imagination almost universally takes place; and it is by means of it, that a single object, placd before us, and surveyd for any time without our discovering in it any interruption or variation, is able to give us a notion of identity.
For when we consider any two points of this time, we may place them in different lights: We may either survey them at the very same instant; in which case they give us the idea of number, both by themselves and by the object; which must be multiplyd, in order to be conceivd at once, as existent in these two different points of time: Or on the other hand, we may trace the succession of time by a like succession of ideas, and conceiving first one moment, along with the object then existent, imagine afterwards a change in the time without any VARIATION or INTERRUPTION in the object; in which case it gives us the idea of unity.
Here then is an idea, which is a medium betwixt unity and.
number; or more properly speaking, is either of them, according to the view, in which we take it: And this idea we call that of identity.
We cannot, in any propriety of speech, say, that an object is the same with itself, unless we mean, that the object existent at one time is the same with itself existent at another.
By this means we make a difference, betwixt the idea meant by the word, OBJECT, and that meant by ITSELF, without going the length of number, and at the same time without restraining ourselves to a strict and absolute unity.
Thus the principle of individuation is nothing but the INVARIABLENESS and UNINTERRUPTEDNESS of any object, thro a supposd variation of time, by which the mind can trace it in the different periods of its existence, without any break of the view, and without being obligd to form the idea of multiplicity or number.