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I believe a thinking reader will find it easier to •assent to this system than to •grasp it fully and clearly, and after a little thought will agree that every part carries its own proof along with it. ·I shall now run through the argument again in a slightly different way·. It is obvious that as common people
•suppose their perceptions to be their only objects, and at the same time
•believe in the continued existence of matter, we have to explain how •that belief can arise for people who make •that supposition. Now, on that supposition it is not true that any of our objects (or perceptions) is identically the same after an interruption; and consequently the opinion of their identity can never arise from reason, but must arise from the imagination. The imagination is seduced into this opinion only by the resemblance of certain perceptions (evidence for this: our resembling perceptions are the only ones that we are disposed to suppose the same). This disposition to confer an identity on our resembling perceptions produces the fiction of a continued existence. That fiction ·is properly so-called· because it, as well as the identity, really is false, as all philosophers agree, and its only effect is to remedy the interruption of our perceptions which is the only obstacle to their identity. Finally, this disposition causes belief by means of the present impressions of the memory (evidence: without memories of former sensations we would obviously never have any belief in the continued existence of body). Thus, in examining all these parts, we find that each of them is supported by the strongest proofs; and that all of them together form a consistent system that is perfectly convincing… .

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