But we needn’t search out other arguments to prove that a present impression with a relation or transition of the imagination can enliven an idea, because this very example—our reasonings from cause and effect— suffice for that purpose all on its own! Here are three certainties:
•We must have an idea of every matter of fact that we believe.
•This idea arises only from a relation to a present impression.
•The belief adds nothing to the idea, but only changes how we conceive it, making it stronger and livelier.
The present conclusion about the influence of ·a natural· relation follows immediately from these steps, and every step appears to me sure and infallible. All that this operation of the mind contains is: •a present impression, •a lively idea, and •a relation or association in the imagination between the two.

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