— 709 —
Secondly, want of skill to use them.
      §5. Secondly, Those who want skill to use those Evidences they have of
Probabilities; who cannot carry a train of Consequences in their
Heads, nor weigh exactly the preponderancy of contrary Proofs and
Testimonies, making every Circumstance its due allowance, may
be easily misled to assent to Positions that are not probable. There
are some Men of one, some but of two Syllogisms, and no more; and
others that can but advance one step farther. These cannot always
discern that side on which the strongest Proofs lie; cannot constantly
follow that which in it self is the more probable Opinion. Now
that there is such a difference between Men, in respect of their
Understandings, I think no body, who has had any Conversation
with his Neighbours, will question: though he never was at
Westminster-hall, or the Exchange on the one hand; nor at Alms-
Houses, or Bedlam on the other. Which great difference in Men’s
Intellectuals, whether it rises from any defect in the Organs of the
Body, particularly adapted to Thinking; or in the dulness or
untractableness of those Faculties, for want of use; or, as some
think, in the natural differences of Men’s Souls themselves; or
some, or all of these together, it matters not here to examine: Only
this is evident, that there is a difference of degrees in Men’s Under-
standings, Apprehensions, and Reasonings, to so great a latitude,
that one may, without doing injury to Mankind, affirm, that there
is a greater distance between some Men, and others, in this respect,
than between some Men and some Beasts. But how this comes about,
is a Speculation, though of great consequence, yet not necessary to
our present purpose.
Locke Hum IV, 20, §5, p. 709