verbalism

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Empiricists accuse the verbalists of indulging in unrealistic word games and creating cut and paste textbooks comprising little more than the language of legislation and the elaborations written about it by judges and others concerning what this or that word means.
And what, asks Melville, "to the ostentatious smuggling verbalists are the thoughts of thinkers but Loose-Fish?
Talented verbalists denied admittance to an elite whose ranks are closed will, instead of competing for power within the institutions of society, attempt to gain power by subverting those institutions--including through revolution, which they foment by sowing alienation and anger among the lions of the public.