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Fourthly, taking them for Things.
      §14. Fourthly, Another great abuse of Words is, the taking them for
Things. This, though it, in some degree, concerns all Names in
general; yet more particularly affects those of Substances. To this
Abuse, those Men are most subject, who confine their Thoughts to
any one System, and give themselves up into a firm belief of the
Perfection of any received Hypothesis: whereby they come to be
persuaded, that the Terms of that Sect, are so suited to the Nature
of Things, that they perfectly correspond with their real Existence.
Who is there, that has been bred up in the Peripatetick Philosophy,
who does not think the Ten Names, under which are ranked the
Ten Predicaments, to be exactly conformable to the Nature of
Things? Who is there, of that School, that is not persuaded, that
substantial Forms, vegetative Souls, abhorrence of a Vacuum, intentional
Species, etc. are something real? These Words Men have learned
from their very entrance upon Knowledge, and have found their
Masters and Systems lay great Stress upon them: and therefore
they cannot quit the Opinion, that they are conformable to Nature,
and are the Representations of something that really exists. The
Platonists have their Soul of the World, and the Epicureans their
endeavour towards Motion in their Atoms, when at rest. There is
scarce any Sect in Philosophy has not a distinct set of Terms, that
others understand not. But yet this Gibberish, which in the weak-
ness of Humane Understanding, serves so well to palliate Men’s
Ignorance, and cover their Errours, comes by familiar use amongst
those of the same Tribe, to seem the most important part of
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Language, and of all other the Terms the most significant: And
should Aërial and AEtherial Vehicles come once, by the prevalency of
that Doctrine, to be generally received any where, no doubt those
Terms would make impressions on Men’s Minds, so as to estab-
lish them in the persuasion of the reality of such Things, as much as
peripatetick Forms, and intentional Species have heretofore done.
Locke Hum III, 10, §14, pp. 497-498