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Chapter IX


Of our Knowledge of Existence.

General certain Propositions concern not Existence.
      §1. Hitherto we have only considered the Essences of Things,
which being only abstract Ideas, and thereby removed in our
Thoughts from particular Existence, (that being the proper Opera-
tion of the Mind, in Abstraction, to consider an Idea under no other
Existence, but what it has in the Understanding,) gives us no
Knowledge of real Existence at all. Where by the way we may take
notice, that universal Propositions, of whose Truth or Falshood we
can have certain Knowledge, concern not Existence; and farther,
that all particular Affirmations or Negations, that would not be
certain if they were made general, are only concerning Existence;
they declaring only the accidental Union or Separation of Ideas in
Things existing, which in their abstract Natures, have no known
necessary Union or Repugnancy.
Locke Hum IV, 9, §1, p. 618