Quotation by David Hume

There is a species of scepticism antecedent to all study and philosophy, which is much inculcated by Descartes and others, as a sovereign preservative against error and precipitate judgment. It recommends an universal doubt, not only of all our former opinions and principles, but also of our very faculties; of whose veracity, say they, we must assure ourselves, by a chain of reasoning, deduced from some original principle, which cannot be fallacious or deceitful.... The Cartesian doubt, therefore, were it ever possible to be attained by any human creature (as it plainly is not) would be entirely incurable; and no reasoning could ever bring us to a state of assurance and conviction upon any subject.
David Hume (1711–1776), Scottish philosopher. Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, sec. xii, part 1, pp. 149-150. Ed. Selby-Bigge, Oxford (1951).
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