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§ 17. I have mentioned this here, because I think we cannot be too cautious that words and species, in the ordinary notions which we have been used to of them, impose not on us. For I am apt to think, therein lies one great obstacle to our clear and distinct knowledge, especially in reference to substances; and from thence has rose a great part of the difficulties about truth and certainty. Would we accustom ourselves to separate our contemplations and reasonings from words, we might, in a great measure, remedy this inconvenience within our own thoughts; but yet it would still disturb us in our discourse with others, as long as we retained the opinion, that species and their essences were any thing else but our abstract ideas (such as they are) with names annexed to them, to be the signs of them.
§ 18. Wherever we perceive the agreement or disagreement of any of our ideas, there is certain knowledge: and whereever we are sure those ideas agree with the reality of things, there is certain real knowledge. Of which agreement of our ideas, with the reality of things, having here given the marks, I think I have shown wherein it is, that certainty, real certainty, consists: which, whatever it was to others, was, I confess, to me heretofore, one of those desiderata which I found great want of.
END OF VOL. II.