No sooner do we depart from sense and instinct to follow reason but we are insensibly drawn into uncouth paradoxes, difficulties, and inconsistencies, which multiply and grow upon us as we advance in speculation; till at length, having wandered through many intricate mazes, we find ourselves just where we were, or, which is worse, sit down in a forlorn scepticism
Upon the whole, I am inclined to think that the far greater part, if not all, of those difficulties which have hitherto amused philosophers, and blocked up the way to knowledge, are entirely owing to our selves. That we have first raised a dust, and then complain, we cannot see.
The same principles which at first view lead to skepticism, pursued to a certain point, bring men back to common sense.
Since therefore, as well those degrees of heat that are not painful, as those that are, can exist in a thinking substance; may we not conclude that external bodies are absolutely incapable of any degree of heat whatsoever?
Doth the reality of sensible things consist in being perceived? or, is it something distinct from their being perceived, and that bears no relation to the mind?
That there is no such thing as what philosophers call material substance, I am seriously persuaded: but if I were made to see any thing absurd or skeptical in this, I should then have the same reason to renounce this, that I imagine I have now to reject the contrary opinion.