For the same reason, we needn’t be surprised to hear of the memory of an idea—that is, the idea of an idea—and of its having more force and liveliness than the loose conceptions of the imagination. In thinking of our past thoughts we don’t just sketch out the objects of which we were thinking; we also conceive the action of our mind in doing this— that certain je-ne-sais-quoi of which it is impossible to give any definition or description but which everyone understands well enough. When the memory offers an idea of this, and represents it as past, it is easy to see how that idea could have more vigour and firmness than ·the idea that occurs· when we think of a past thought without having any memory of it….

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