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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.


But this rule of the determination of a thing according to succession in time is as follows; "In what precedes may be found the condition, under which an event always (that is, necessarily) follows." From all this it is obvious that the principle of cause and effect is the principle of possible experience, that is, of objective cognition of phenomena, in regard to their relations in the succession of time.

 What would be said if we were asked to be satisfied with a division of the epochs of the world into the earlier centuries and those following them? But this proceeds merely from an illusion of the imagination; and the question is, how far we ought to yield to these illusions. Our property is nothing but those goods, whose constant possession is established by the laws of society; that is, by the laws of justice. This anticipation of pleasure is, in itself, a very considerable pleasure; and as its cause is some possession or property, which we enjoy, and which is thereby related to us, we here dearly see all the parts of the foregoing system most exactly and distinctly drawn out before us. Since, therefore, the natural obligation to justice, among different states, is not so strong as among individuals, the moral obligation, which arises from it, must partake of its weakness; and we must necessarily give a greater indulgence to a prince or minister, who deceives another; than to a private gentleman, who breaks his word of honour. They need consult no body but themselves to form any scheme for the promoting of that interest. A change of the obligation supposes a change of the sentiment; and a creation of a new obligation supposes some new sentiment to arise. in no other way than from the united operation of both, can knowledge arise. I may, nay I must yield to the current of nature, in submitting to my senses and understanding; and in this blind submission I shew most perfectly my sceptical disposition and principles.