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Locke

7 Apr

The existence of One Supreme “Mind,” of God, is Locke’s unique example of a matter-of-fact reality that is seen, through demonstration, to be eternally necessary -at least on the supposition that the reasoner himself now exists and began to exist.  It is the one exception to the contingency of all the other real beings whose existence we know or presume.  For the certainties we can rise into in mathematics are certainties only when they are abstracted from real things.  The real existence of God is the one necessity in concrete existence that comes within the range of human understanding-the one ultimate necessity that is more than an abstraction.  My own existence, though I cannot doubt its present reality, is not thus universally and absolutely necessary; still less the real existence of things presently existing around me

 

Locke, Blackwood Philosophical Classics

By Alexander Campbell Fraser (William Blackwood and Sons Edininburgh and London) MCMXIII

Philosophical Classics for English Readers

Edited by William Knight, LL.D. Philosopher of Moral Philosophy, University of St Andrews