IDOLA FORI: .IDOLS OF THE MARKET
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, La Lealtad (Loyalty), Print 17 of Los Disparates. 1819. Engraving/aquatint.
There are also idols formed by the reciprocal intercourse and society of man with man, which we call idols of the market, from the commerce and association of men with each other. For men converse by means of language; but words are formed at the will of the generality; and there arises from a bad and unapt formation of words a wonderful obstruction to the mind. Nor can the definitions and explanations, with which learned men are wont to guard and protect themselves in some instances, afford a complete remedy: words still manifestly force the understanding, throw every thing into confusion, and lead mankind into vain and innumerable controversies and fallacies.
Francis Bacon, Novum Organum (1620) Basil Montague, ed. and trans. The Works, 3 vols. (Philadelphia: Parry & MacMillan, 1854), 343-71. Aphorism 43.