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the notice of philosophers, That, in all our reasonings about the established order of the universe, experience is our sole guide, owledge and knowledge is to be acquired only by ascending from particulars to generals; whereas the syllogism leads us invariably from univerndby sals to particulars, the truth of which, instead of being a consequence ping of the universal proposition, is implied and presupposed in the very words terms of its enunciation. The syllogistic art, therefore, it has been not justly concluded, can be of no use in extending our knowledge of ans to gon:


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To this observation it may be added, That, if there are any parts of science in which the syllogism can be advantageously applied, it must be those where our judgments are formed, in consequence of an application to particular cases of certain maxims which we are not at liberty to dispute. An example of this occurs in the practice of Law. Here the particular conclusion must be regulated by the general principle, whether right or wrong. The case was similar in every branch of philosophy, as long as the authority of great names prevailed, and the old scholastic maxims were allowed, without examination, to pass as incontrovertible truths. Since the importance of experiment and observation was fully understood. the syllogistic art has gradually fallen into contempt.

A remark somewhat similar occurs in the preface to the Novum Organon. "They who attributed so much to logic (says Lord Bacon) perceived very well and truly, that it was not safe to trust


On this point it would be a mere waste of time to enlarge, as it has been of late explicitly admitted by some of the ablest advocates for the Organon of Aristotle. "When Mr. Locke, (I quote the words of a very judicious and acute logician) when Mr. Locke says I am apt to think, that he who should employ all the force of his reason only in brandishing of syllogisms, will discover very little of that mass of knowledge, which lies yet concealed in the secret recesses of nature;'-he expresses himself with needless caution. Such a man will certainly not discover any of it. And if any imagined, that the mere brandishing of Syllogisms could increase their knowledge, (as Fome of the schoolmen seemed to think) they were indeed very absurd." (Commentary on the Compendium of Logic used in the University of Dublin. By the Rev. John Walker, Dublin, 1805.)

To the same effect, it is remarked, by a later writer, with respect to Lord Bacon's assertion," that discoveries in Natural Philosophy are not likely to be promoted by the engine of syllogism;"-" that this is a proposition which no one of the present day disputes and which when alleged by our adversaries, as their chief objection to the study of logic, only proves, that they are ignorant of the subject about which they are speaking, and of the manner in which it is now taught." (See an Anonymous Pamphlet printed_at Oxford in 1810, p. 26.) Dr. Gillies has expressed himself in terms extremely similar upon various occasions. (See in particular, Vol. I. pp. 63, 64, 24 edit.

This very important concession reduces the question about the utility of the Aristotelian logic within a very narrow compass.

"Ce sera un sujet éternel d'étonnement pour les personnes qui savent bien ce que c'est que philosophie, que devoir que l'autorité d'Aristote a été tellement respectée dans les ecoles pendent quelques siècles, que lors qu'un disputant citoit un passage de ce philosophe, celui qui soutenoit la these n'osoit point dire transect; il falloit qu'il niat le passage, ou qu'il l'expliquiât à sa manière." Dict. de Bayle. Art. Aristote.

[It will be always matter of wonder to those who know what philosophy is, that for several ages the authority of Aristotle was so much respected in the schools, that when one of the disputants cited a passage from this philosopher, he who sustained the thesis did not dare to say, transeal, (let it pass) it was necessary for him to deny the passage, or to explain it in his own favour.]

"the understanding to itself, without the guard of any rules. "But the remedy reached not the evil, but became a part of it: "For the logic which took place, though it might do well enough in the "civil affairs, and the arts which consisted in talk and opinion, yet "comes very far short of subtilty, in the real performances of na"ture; and, catching at what it cannot reach, has served to con"firm and establish errours, rather than open a way to truth."*


It is not, however, merely as a useless or inefficient organ for the discovery of truth, that this art is exceptionable. The impor-The immidiattance of the very object at which it professedly aims is not a little object of syl doubtful. To exercise with correctness the powers of deductionless. and of argumentation; or, in other words, to make a legitimate inference from the premises before us, would seem to be an intellectual process which requires but little assistance from rule. The strongest evidence of this is, the facility with which men of the most moderate capacity learn, in the course of a few months, to comprehend the longest mathematical demonstration; a facility which, when contrasted with the difficulty of enlightening their minds on questions of morals or of politics, affords a sufficient proof, that it is not from any inability to conduct a mere logical process, that our speculative errours arise. The fact is, that, in most of the sciences, our reasonings consist of a very few steps; and yet, how liable are the most cautious and the most sagacious, to form erroneous conclusions !

To enumerate and examine the causes of these false judgments lausu of is foreign to my purpose in this section. The following (which I false judg

2. subject of morality

mention only by way of specimen) seem to be among the most pow-ments on erful. 1. The imperfections of language, both as an instrument of thought, and as a medium of philosophical communication. The difficulty, in many of our most important inquiries, of ascertaining the facts on which our reasonings are to proceed. 3. The politis oe. partial and narrow views, which, from want of information, or from some defect in our intellectual comprehension, we are apt to take of subjects, which are peculiarly complicated in their details, or which are connected, by numerous relations, with other questions equally problematical. And lastly, (what is of all, perhaps, the

*As the above translation is by Mr. Locke, who has introduced it in the way of apology for the freedom of his own strictures on the school logic, the opinion which it expresses may be considered as also sanctioned by the authority of his name. (See the Introduction to his Treatise on the Conduct of the Understanding.) I cannot forbear 1emarking, on this occasion, that when Lord Bacon speaks of the school logic as "answer. ing well enough in civil affairs, and the arts which consist in talk and opinion," his words can only apply to dialectical syllogisms, and cannot possibly be extended to those which Aristotle calls demonstrative. Whatever praise, therefore, it may be supposed to imply, must be confined to the Books of Topics. The same observation will be found to hold with respect to the greater part of what has been alleged in defence of the syllogistic art, by Dr. Gillies, and by the other authors referred to in the beginning of this section. One of the ablest of these seems to assent to an assertion of Bacon, "That logic does not help towards the invention of arts and sciences, but only of arguments." If it only helps towards the invention of arguments, for what purpose has Aristotle treated so fully of demonstration and of science in the two books of the Last Analytics?

most copious source of speculative errour) the prejudices which authority and fashion, fortified by early impressions and associations, create to warp our opinions. To illustrate these and other circumstances by which the judgment is apt to be misled in the search of truth, and to point out the most effectual means of guarding against them, would form a very important article in a philosophical system of logic; but it is not on such subjects that we are to expect information from the logic of Aristotle.*

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The fundamental idea on which this philosopher evidently proceeded, and in which he has been too implicitly followed by many soning asons granted, that the discovery of truth chiefly depends on the reaeven of those who have rejected his syllogistic theory, takes for soning faculty, and that it is the comparative strength of this facmost dif- ulty, which constitutes the intellectual superiority of one man ult hart above another. The similarity between reason and reasoning, of which I formerly took notice, and the confusion which investi: it has occasioned in their appropriate meanings, has contributed powerfully to encourage and to perpetuate this unfortunate mistake. If I do not greatly deceive myself, it will be found, on an accurate examination of the subject, that, of the different elements which enter into the composition of reason, in the most enlarged acceptation of that word, the power of carrying on long processes of reasoning or deduction, is, in point of importance, one of the least.†


In the Logic of Port Royal, there is a chapter, entitled, Des sophismes d'amour propre, d'interêt, et de passion, which is well worthy of a careful perusal Some useful hints may be also collected from Gravesande's Introductio ad Philosophiam. See Book ii. Part ii. (De Causis Errorum.)

It was before observed (p. 82.) “That the whole theory of syllogism proceeds on the supposition, that the same word is always to be employed in the same sense; and that, consequently, it takes for granted, in every rule which it furnishes for the gui dance of our reasoning powers, that the nicest, and by far the most difficult part of the logical process, has been previously brought to a successful termination"

In this remark (which, obvious as it may seem, has been very generally overlooked,) I bave found, since the foregoing sheets were printed, that I have been anticipated by M. Turgot. "Tout l'artifice de ce calcul ingénieux, dont Aristote nous a donné les rè gles, tout l'art du syllogisme est fondé sur l'usage des mots dans le même sens; l'emploi d'un même mot dans deux sens différens fait de tout raisonnement un sophisme; et ce genre de sophisme, peut-être le plus commun de tous, est une des sources les plus or dinaires de nos erreurs." Oeuvres de M. Turgot, Tom. III. p 66

Lord Bacon bad manifestly the same conclusion in view, in the following aphorism: "Syllogism consists of propositions, propositions of words, and words are the signs of notions; therefore if our notions, the basis of all, are confined, and over hastily taken from things, nothing that is built on them can be firm; whence our only hope rests upon genuine induction" Nov. Org. Part. I. Sect. 1. Aph. 14 (Shaw's Translation.)

On what grounds Dr. Gillies was led to hazard the assertion formerly quoted (p. 204,) that "Aristotle invented the syllogism to prevent the imposition arising from the abuse of words," I am quite unable to form a conjecture.

[All the artifice of this ingenious calculus, of which Aristotle has given us the rules, all the art of syllogism, is founded upon the principle, that the words are used in the same sense; the employment of the same word in two different senses makes a sophism of the whole reasoning; and this kind of sophism, perhaps of all the most common, is one of the most ordinary sources of our errours.]


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The slightest reflection, indeed, may convince us, how very lit- The mene tle connexion the mere reasoning faculty has with the general im- reasoning provement of mankind. The wonders which it has atchieved have faculty does been confined, in a great measure, to the mathematical sciences,— the only branches of human knowledge which furnish occasion for very long concatenated processes of thought; and even there, method, together with a dexterous use of the helps to our intellectual fac-provement ulties which art has discovered, will avail more than the strongest of mankin conceivable capacity, exercised solely and exclusively in habits of synthetic deduction. The tendency of these helps, it may be worth while to add, is so far from being always favourable to the power of reasoning, strictly so called, that it may be questioned, whether, among the ancient Greek geometers, this power was not in a higher state of cultivation, in consequence of their ignoranceof the algebraical symbols, than it exists in at this day, among the profoundest mathematicians of Europe.



In the other sciences, however, the truth of the remark is far more striking. By whom was ever the art of reasoning so sedu- Art of mealously cultivated as by the schoolmen, and where shall we find such song mo monuments of what mere reasoning can accomplish, as in their wri- perkaratings? Whether the same end might not have been attained without the use of their technical rules, is a different question; but that mong they did succeed to a great degree, in the acquisition of the accomplishments, at which they aimed, cannot be disputed. And yet, I believe, it will be now very generally admitted, that never were labour and ingenuity employed, for so many ages, to so little purpose of real utility. The absurdity of expecting to rear a fabric of science by the art of reasoning alone, was remarked, with singular sagacity, even amidst the darkness of the 12th century, by John of Salisbury, himself a distinguished proficient in John of Solis. scholastic learning, which he had studied under the celebrated Abe- bury · lard. "After a long absence from Paris (he tells us in one pas"sage) I went to visit the companions of my early studies. "found them, in every respect, precisely as I had left them; not "a single step advanced towards a solution of their old difficulties, "nor enriched by the accession of one new idea :—a strong ex"perimental proof, that, how much soever logic may contribute to "the progress of the other sciences, it must forever remain bar"ren and lifeless, while abandoned to itself."*


Among the various pursuits now followed by men liberally educated, there is none, certainly, which affords such scope to the reasoning faculty, as the science and profession of law; and accordingly, it has been observed by Mr. Burke, "That they do "more to quicken and invigorate the understanding, than all the "other kinds of learning put together." The same author however adds, that "they are not apt, except in persons very hap"pily born, to open and to liberalize the mind, exactly in the same

* Metalog. Lib. ii, cap. 10.


proportion." Nor is this surprising; for the ultimate standards Tendency of right and wrong to which they recognize the competency of an of y study & appeal, being conventional rules and human authorities, no field is opened to that spirit of free inquiry which it of philopractice of sophy to cultivate. The habits of thought, besides, which the 7 Law long exercise of the profession has a tendency to form, on its appropriate topics, seem unfavourable to the qualities connected with what is properly called judgment; or, in other words, to the qualities on which the justness or correctness of our opinions depends: they accustom the mind to those partial views of things which are suggested by the separate interests of litigants; not to a calm, comprehensive, and discriminating survey of details, in all their bearings and relations. Hence the apparent inconsistencies which someInconsisten times astonish us in the intellectual character of the most distinin of intel-guished practitioners-a talent for acute and refined distinctions; powers of subtle, ingenious, and close argumentation; inexhaustiluctual char-ble resources of invention, of wit, and of eloquence;-combined, not only with an infantine imbecility in the affairs of life, but with some lawyen, an incapacity of forming a sound decision, even on those problematical questions which are the subjects of their daily discussion. The great and enlightened minds, whose judgments have been transmitted to posterity, as oracles of legal wisdom, were formed (it may be safely presumed) not by the habits of their professional warfare, but by contending with these habits, and shaking off their dominion.

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The habits of a controversial writer are, in some respects, anJendency of alogous to those of a lawyer; and their effects on the intellectual powers, when engaged in the investigation of truth, are extremecontroversial ly similar. They confine the attention to one particular view of discussions the question, and, instead of training the understanding to combine together the various circumstances which seem to favour opposite conclusions, so as to limit each other, and to guard the judgment against either extreme, they are apt, by presenting the subject sometimes wholly on the one side, and sometimes wholly on the other, to render the disputant the sceptical dupe of his own ingenuity. Such seems to have been nearly the case with the redoubtable Chillingworth; a person to whose native candour the most honourable testimony has been borne by the most eminent of his contemporaries, and whose argumentative powers have almost become matter of proverbial remark. Dr. Reid has pronounced him the "best "reasoner, as well as the acutest logician of his age ;" and Locke himself has said, "If you would have your son to reason well, let "him read Chillingworth." To what consequences these rare endowments and attainments led, we may learn from Lord Clarendon.

"Mr. Chillingworth had spent all his younger time in disputations, "and had arrived at so great a mastery, that he was inferiour to no "man in those skirmishes: but he had, with his notable perfection "in this exercise, contracted such an irresolution and habit of doubt

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