There is no greater impediment to the advancement of knowledge than the ambiguity of words.
The rules of navigation never navigated a ship. The rules of architecture never built a house.
Every indication of wisdom, taken from the effect, is equally an indication of power to execute what wisdom planned.
A philosopher is, no doubt, entitled to examine even those distinctions that are to be found in the structure of all languages... in that case, such a distinction may be imputed to a vulgar error, which ought to be corrected in philosophy.
And, if we have any evidence that the wisdom which formed the plan is in the man, we have the very same evidence, that the power which executed it is in him also.
But when, in the first setting out, he takes it for granted without proof, that distinctions found in the structure of all languages, have no foundation in nature; this surely is too fastidious a way of treating the common sense of mankind.
It is a question of fact, whether the influence of motives be fixed by laws of nature, so that they shall always have the same effect in the same circumstances.
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