# An Investigation of the Laws of Thought, on which Are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities

# An Investigation of the Laws of Thought, on which Are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities

## Excerpt

The following work is not a republication of a former treatise by the Author, entitled *The Mathematical Analysis of Logic*. Its earlier portion is indeed devoted to the same object, and it begins by establishing the same system of fundamental laws, but its methods are more general, and its range of applications far wider. It exhibits the results, matured by some years of study and reflection, of a principle of investigation relating to the intellectual operations, the previous exposition of which was written within a few weeks after its idea had been conceived.

That portion of this work which relates to Logic presupposes in its reader a knowledge of the most important terms of the science, as usually treated, and of its general object. On these points there is no better guide than ArchbishopWhately's *Elements of Logic*, or Mr.Thomson's *Outlines of the Laws of Thought*. To the former of these treatises, the present revival of attention to this class of studies seems in a great measure due. Some acquaintance with the principles of Algebra is also requisite, but it is not necessary that this application should have been carried beyond the solution of simple equations. For the study of those chapters which relate to the theory of probabilities, a somewhat larger knowledge of Algebra is required, and espe-[iv]cially of the doctrine of Elimination, and of the solution of Equations containing more than one unknown quantity. Preliminary information upon the subject-matter will be found in the special treatises on Probabilities in. *Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopædia*, and the *Library of Useful Knowledge* . . .