— 494 —
Calling it Subtlety.
      §8. This, though a very useless Skill, and that which I think the
direct opposite to the ways of Knowledge, hath yet passed hitherto
under the laudable and esteemed Names of Subtlety and Acuteness;
and has had the applause of the Schools, and encouragement of one
part of the learned Men of the World. And no wonder, since the
Philosophers of old, (the disputing and wrangling Philosophers I
mean, such as Lucian wittily, and with reason taxes,) Lucian, (e.g.) Bis accusatus, Vitarum auctio, Convivium. and the
Schoolmen since, aiming at Glory and Esteem, for their great and
universal Knowledge, easier a great deal to be pretended to, than
really acquired, found this a good Expedient to cover their Ignor-
ance, with a curious and unexplicable Web of perplexed Words,
and procure to themselves the admiration of others, by unintelligible
Terms, the apter to produce wonder, because they could not be
understood: whilst it appears in all History, that these profound
Doctors were no wiser, nor more useful than their Neighbours; and
brought but small advantage to humane Life, or the Societies,
wherein they lived: Unless the coining of new Words, where they
produced no new Things to apply them to, or the perplexing or
— 495 —
obscuring the signification of old ones, and so bringing all things
into question and dispute, were a thing profitable to the Life of
Man, or worthy Commendation and Reward.
Locke Hum III, 10, §8, pp. 494-495