"If they tell me, that they have mounted on the steps or by the gradual ascent of reason, and by drawing inferences from effects to causes, I still insist, that they have aided the ascent of reason by the wings of imagination; otherwise they could not thus change their manner of inference, and argue from causes to effects; presuming, that a more perfect production than the present world would be more suitable to such perfect beings as the gods, and forgetting that they have no reason to ascribe to these celestial beings any perfection or any attribute, but what can be found in the present world."
— Hume, David (1711-1776)
First published as Philosophical Essays Concerning Human Understanding (London: Printed for A Millar, 1748). <Link to ECCO><Link to ECCO-TCP><Link to 1748 edition in Google Books> "Second edition" in 1750, "third edition" in 1756. First titled An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding in 1758.
In ECCO-TCP, see also Essays and Treatises: on Several Subjects. By David Hume, Esq, 4 vols. (London: Printed for A. Millar; and A. Kincaid and A. Donaldson, at Edinburgh, 1760). <Link to vol. III>
Text from David Hume, Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals. 3rd edition. Ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge; P. H. Nidditch (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975). Note, Nidditch reproduces the the second volume of the posthumous edition of 1777, which he has collated with the preceding 1772 edition.