— 677 —
      Secondly, Another reason that makes me doubt whether Syllogism
be the only proper Instrument of Reason in the discovery of Truth,
is, that of whatever use Mode and Figure is pretended to be in the
laying open of Fallacy (which has been above consider’d) those
scholastique Forms of Discourse, are not less liable to Fallacies,
than the plainer ways of Argumentation: And for this I appeal to
common observation, which has always found these artificial
Methods of reasoning more adapted to catch and intangle the Mind,
that to instruct and inform the Understanding. And hence it is,
that Men even when they are bafled and silenced in this Scholastique
way, are seldom or never convinced, and so brought over to the
conquering side; they perhaps acknowledge their Adversary to
be the more skilful Disputant; but rest nevertheless perswaded of
the truth on their side; and go away, worsted as they are, with the
same Opinion they brought with them, which they could not do,
if this way of Argumentation carryed Light and Conviction with
it, and made Men see where the truth lay. And therefore Syllogism
has been thought more proper for the attaining Victory in dispute,
— 678 —
than for the Discovery or Confirmation of Truth, in fair Enquiries.
And if it be certain, that Fallacy can be couch’d in Syllogisms, as it
cannot be denied, it must be something else, and not Syllogism
that must discover them.
      I have had Experience, how ready some Men are, when all the use
which they have been wont to ascribe to any thing, is not allow’d,
to cry out, that I am for laying it wholly aside. But to prevent such
unjust and groundless Imputations, I tell them, that I am not for
taking away any helps to the Understanding, in the attainment of
Knowledge. And if Men skill’d in, and used to Syllogisms, find
them assisting to their Reason in the discovery of Truth, I think
they ought to make use of them. All that I aim at is, that they should
not ascribe more to these Forms than belongs to them; And think
that Men have no use, or not so full a use of their reasoning Faculty
without them. Some Eyes want Spectacles to see things clearly and
distinctly; but let not those that use them therefore say, no body
can see clearly without them: Those who do so, will be thought in
favour of Art (which perhaps they are beholding to) a little too
much to depress and discredit Nature. Reason by its own Penetra-
tion where it is strong, and exercised, usually sees, quicker and
clearer without Syllogism. If use of those Spectacles has so dimmed
its Sight, that it cannot without them see consequences or in-
consequences in Argumentation, I am not so unreasonable as to be
against the using them. Every one knows what best fits his own
Sight. But let him not thence conclude all in the dark, who use not
just the same Helps that he finds a need of.
Locke Hum IV, 17, §4, pp. 677-678