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Cliquer sur les phrases pour les voir dans leur contexte. Les textes de Immanuel Kant et David Hume sont disponibles auprès du Projet Gutenberg.


The more I took it, the better I felt.

 It has been a long-cherished wish--that (who knows how late), may one day, be happily accomplished--that the principles of the endless variety of civil laws should be investigated and exposed; for in this way alone can we find the secret of simplifying legislation. As regards the continuance of the existence of the whole race, we need have no difficulties, for accident in single cases is subject to general laws; but, in the case of each individual, it would seem as if we could hardly expect so wonderful an effect from causes so insignificant. For as regards nature, experience presents us with rules and is the source of truth, but in relation to ethical laws experience is the parent of illusion, and it is in the highest degree reprehensible to limit or to deduce the laws which dictate what I ought to do, from what is done. For instance; a government is established for many centuries on a certain system of laws, forms, and methods of succession. Twas therefore a concern for our own, and the publick interest, which made us establish the laws of justice; and nothing can be more certain, than that it is not any relation of ideas, which gives us this concern, but our impressions and sentiments, without which every thing in nature is perfectly indifferent to us, and can never in the least affect us. They learned that reason only perceives that which it produces after its own design; that it must not be content to follow, as it were, in the leading-strings of nature, but must proceed in advance with principles of judgement according to unvarying laws, and compel nature to reply its questions. On the other hand, we have seen in our discussion of transcendental logic, that, although we can never proceed immediately beyond the content of the conception which is given us, we can always cognize completely a priori--in relation, however, to a third term, namely, possible experience--the law of its connection with other things. For phenomena might be so constituted as not to correspond to the conditions of the unity of thought; and all things might lie in such confusion that, for example, nothing could be met with in the sphere of phenomena to suggest a law of synthesis, and so correspond to the conception of cause and effect; so that this conception would be quite void, null, and without significance. Hence we naturally desire what is forbid, and take a pleasure in performing actions, merely because they are unlawful. But when these titles are mingled and opposed in different degrees, they often occasion perplexity; and are less capable of solution from the arguments of lawyers and philosophers, than from the swords of the soldiery.