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Click on the phrases to see them in context. The original texts by Immanuel Kant and David Hume are available from the Gutenberg Projet.


If sometimes we ascribe a continued existence to objects, which are perfectly new to us, and of whose constancy and coherence we have no experience, it is because the manner, in which they present themselves to our senses, resembles that of constant and coherent objects; and this resemblance is a source of reasoning and analogy, and leads us to attribute the same qualities to similar objects.

 Having formed an a priori conception of a thing, the content of which was made to embrace existence, we believed ourselves safe in concluding that, because existence belongs necessarily to the object of the conception (that is, under the condition of my positing this thing as given), the existence of the thing is also posited necessarily, and that it is therefore absolutely necessary--merely because its existence has been cogitated in the conception. For though the want of good sentiments may place him beyond the influence of moral interests, still even in this case enough may be left to make him fear the existence of God and a future life. But I cannot admit that this being exists absolutely and in itself, because all of the conceptions by which I can cogitate an object in a determinate manner fall short of assuring me of its existence; nay, the conditions of the objective validity of my conceptions are excluded by the idea--by the very fact of its being an idea. For the existence of an aggregate cannot be necessary, if no single part of it possesses necessary existence. For the real object--the dollars--is not analytically contained in my conception, but forms a synthetical addition to my conception (which is merely a determination of my mental state), although this objective reality--this existence--apart from my conceptions, does not in the least degree increase the aforesaid hundred dollars.