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Thomas Hobbes

Book I, Chapters 1–3

Quotes Book I, Chapters 1–3
The original of them all, is that which we call sense, (for there is no conception in a man’s mind, which hath not at first, totally or by parts, been begotten upon the organs of sense). The rest are derived from that original.
Much memory, or memory of many things, is called experience.
For my part, when I consider, that in dreams I do not often nor constantly think of the same persons, places, objects, and actions that I do waking, nor remember so long a train of coherent thoughts, dreaming, as at other times; and because waking I often observe the absurdity of dreams, but never dream of the absurdities of my waking thoughts, I am well satisfied, that, being awake, I know I dream not; though when I dream, I think myself awake.
From this ignorance of how to distinguish dreams, and other strong fancies, from vision and sense, did arise the greatest part of the religion of the Gentiles in time past, that worshipped satyrs, fawns, nymphs, and the like; and nowadays the opinion that rude people have of fairies, ghosts, and goblins, and of the power of witches.
The best prophet naturally is the best guesser; and the best guesser, he that is most versed and studied in the matters he guesses at, for he hath most signs to guess by.