The course of things and their connexion is only thinkable by the assumption of a plurality of existences, the reality of which (as distinguished from our knowledge of them) can be conceived only as a multitude of relations.
All existences must be individuals, with an inner life (cf.
The only veritable and real unity in the world of existences is the individual; to assert that the universal exists separately ex parte rei would be to reduce individuals to mere accidents of one indivisible form.
The real significance of Reid's doctrine lies in its attack upon Hume's fundamental principles, (1) that all our perceptions are distinct existences, and (2) that the mind never perceives any real connexion among distinct existences (cf.
Finally, by abstraction from the individual things of sense, the mind is able to contemplate the universal apart from its accompaniments (animal sine homine, asino, et aliis speciebus); these subjective existences are the universalia post rem of the Nominalists and Conceptualists.
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