TNH 1.3.12.12

To justify still further this account of the second sort of probability, where we reason with knowledge and reflection from a contrariety of past experiences, I shall propose some further considerations. (They have an air of subtlety, but don’t hold that aginst them. Sound reasoning oughtn’t to lose any of its force through being subtle; just as matter retains its solidity in air and fire and animal spirits, as well as in larger and more perceptible forms.) [Two points about that sentence. •It involves a half-suppressed pun: it was standardly said that air etc. differ from rocks etc. in being more ‘subtle’, meaning more finely divided. •When Hume implies that air is as ‘solid’ as rock, he means that it won’t share its space with any other bodies, any more than rock will.]

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