Academic nonsense (as a kind of insanity)
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Academic nonsense is a kind of insanity.
There is yet another fault in the discourses of some men, which may also be numbered amongst the sorts of madness; namely, that abuse of words, whereof I have spoken before in the fifth chapter by the name of absurdity. And that is when men speak such words as, put together, have in them no signification at all, but are fallen upon, by some, through misunderstanding of the words they have received and repeat by rote; by others, from intention to deceive by obscurity. And this is incident to none but those that converse in questions of matters incomprehensible, as the Schoolmen; or in questions of abstruse philosophy. The common sort of men seldom speak insignificantly, and are therefore, by those other egregious persons, counted idiots. But to be assured their words are without anything correspondent to them in the mind, there would need some examples; which if any man require, let him take a Schoolman into his hands and see if he can translate any one chapter concerning any difficult point; as the Trinity, the Deity, the nature of Christ, transubstantiation, free will, etc., into any of the modern tongues, so as to make the same intelligible; or into any tolerable Latin, such as they were acquainted withal that lived when the Latin tongue was vulgar. What is the meaning of these words: "The first cause does not necessarily inflow anything into the second, by force of the essential subordination of the second causes, by which it may help it to work?" They are the translation of the title of the sixth chapter of Suarez's first book, Of the Concourse, Motion, and Help of God. When men write whole volumes of such stuff, are they not mad, or intend to make others so? And particularly, in the question of transubstantiation; where after certain words spoken they that say, the whiteness, roundness, magnitude, quality, corruptibility, all which are incorporeal, etc., go out of the wafer into the body of our blessed Saviour, do they not make those nesses, tudes, and ties to be so many spirits possessing his body? For by spirits they mean always things that, being incorporeal, are nevertheless movable from one place to another. So that this kind of absurdity may rightly be numbered amongst the many sorts of madness; and all the time that, guided by clear thoughts of their worldly lust, they forbear disputing or writing thus, but lucid intervals.
Hobbes, Lev VIII 27