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No algebraist or mathematician is so expert in his science that he places complete confidence in any truth immediately on discovering it, or regards it ·initially· as more than merely probable. Every time he runs over his proofs, his confidence increases; but still more by the approval of his friends; and it is brought to full perfection by the universal assent and applause of the learned world. And this gradual increase in confidence is obviously nothing but the addition of new probabilities, and is derived from the constant union of causes and effects according to past experience and observation.

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