— 495 —
But destroys the Instruments of Knowledge and Communication.
      §10. Thus learned Ignorance, and this Art of keeping, even
inquisitive Men, from true Knowledge, hath been propagated in the
World, and hath much perplexed, whilst it pretended to inform the
Understanding. For we see, that other well-meaning and wise Men,
whose Education and Parts had not acquired that acuteness, could
intelligibly express themselves to one another; and in its plain use,
make a benefit of Language. But though unlearned Men well
enough understood the Words White and Black, etc. and had con-
stant Notions of the Ideas signified by those Words; yet there were
Philosophers found, who had learning and subtlety enough to prove,
that Snow was black; i.e. to prove, that White was Black. Whereby
they had the Advantage to destroy the Instruments and Means of
Discourse, Conversation, Instruction, and Society; whilst with great
Art and Subtlety they did no more but perplex and confound the
— 496 —
signification of Words, and thereby render Language less useful,
than the real Defects of it had made it, a Gift, which the illiterate
had not attained to.
Locke Hum III, 10, §10, pp. 495-496