— 648 —
The true use of Hypotheses.
      §13. Not that we may not, to explain any Phaenomena of Nature,
make use of any probable Hypothesis whatsoever: Hypotheses, if they
are well made, are at least great helps to the Memory, and often
direct us to new discoveries. But my Meaning is, that we should
not take up any one too hastily, (which the Mind, that would always
penetrate into the Causes of Things, and have Principles to rest on,
is very apt to do,) till we have very well examined Particulars, and
made several Experiments, in that thing which we would explain
by our Hypothesis, and see whether it will agree to them all;
whether our Principles will carry us quite through, and not be as
inconsistent with one Phaenomenon of Nature, as they seem to
accommodate, and explain another. And at least, that we take care,
that the Name of Principles deceive us not, nor impose on us, by
making us receive that for an unquestionable Truth, which is
really, at best, but a very doubtful conjecture, such as are most
(I had almost said all) of the Hypotheses in natural Philosophy.
Locke Hum IV, 12, §13, p. 648