There is a great difference between opinions that we form after calm deep thought and ones that we embrace by a kind of instinct or natural impulse because of their suitableness and conformity to the mind. When opinions of these two kinds come into conflict, it is easy to foresee which will win! As long as our attention is focussed on the subject, the philosophical and studied principle may prevail; but the moment we relax our thoughts, Nature will display herself and pull us back to our former ·instinctive or natural· opinion. Indeed, Nature sometimes has so much influence that she can stop us in our tracks, even in the middle of our deepest reflections, and keep us from running on into all the consequences of some philosophical opinion. Thus, though we clearly perceive the dependence and interruption of our perceptions, we come to an abrupt halt and don’t infer that there is nothing independent and continuous. The opinion that there are such things has taken such deep root in the imagination that it is impossible ever to eradicate it; no tenuous metaphysical conviction of the dependence of our perceptions is sufficient for that purpose.
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