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Plurality is not unreal.

Next as to the assertion that all difference presented in our cognition-as of jars, pieces of cloth and the like--is unreal because such difference does not persist. This view, we maintain, is altogether erroneous, springs in fact from the neglect of distinguishing between persistence and non-persistence on the one hand, and the relation between what sublates and what is sublated on the other hand. Where

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two cognitions are mutually contradictory, there the latter relation holds good, and there is non-persistence of what is sublated. But jars, pieces of cloth and the like, do not contradict one another, since they are separate in place and time. If on the other hand the non-existence of a thing is cognised at the same time and the same place where and when its existence is cognised, we have a mutual contradiction of two cognitions, and then the stronger one sublates the other cognition which thus comes to an end. But when of a thing that is perceived in connexion with some place and time, the non-existence is perceived in connexion with some other place and time, there arises no contradiction; how then should the one cognition sublate the other? or how can it be said that of a thing absent at one time and place there is absence at other times and places also? In the case of the snake-rope, there arises a cognition of non-existence in connexion with the given place and time; hence there is contradiction, one judgment sublates the other and the sublated cognition comes to an end. But the circumstance of something which is seen at one time and in one place not persisting at another time and in another place is not observed to be invariably accompanied by falsehood, and hence mere non-persistence of this kind does not constitute a reason for unreality. To say, on the other hand, that what is is real because it persists, is to prove what is proved already, and requires no further proof.

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