A System of Logic: Ratiocinative and Inductive; Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence and the Methods of Scientific Investigation - Vol. 1

A System of Logic: Ratiocinative and Inductive; Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence and the Methods of Scientific Investigation - Vol. 1

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A System of Logic: Ratiocinative and Inductive; Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence and the Methods of Scientific Investigation - Vol. 1

A System of Logic: Ratiocinative and Inductive; Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence and the Methods of Scientific Investigation - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

There is as great diversity among authors in the modes which they have adopted of defining logic, as in their treatment of the details of it. This is what might naturally be expected on any subject on which writers have availed themselves of the same language as a means of delivering different ideas. Ethics and jurisprudence are liable to the remark in common with logic. Almost every writer having taken a different view of some of the particulars which these branches of knowledge are usually understood to include; each has so framed his definition as to indicate beforehand his own peculiar tenets, and sometimes to beg the question in their favour.

This diversity is not so much an evil to be complained of, as an inevitable and in some degree a proper result of the imperfect state of those sciences. It is not to be expected that there should be agreement about the definition of anything, until there is agreement about the thing itself. To define, is to select from among all the properties of a thing, those which shall be understood to be designated and declared by its name; and the properties must be well known to us before we can be competent to determine which of them are fittest to be chosen for this purpose. Accordingly, in the case of so complex an aggregation of particulars as are comprehended in anything which can be called a science, the definition we set out with is seldom that which a more extensive knowledge of the subject shows to be the most appropriate. Until we know the particulars themselves, we cannot fix upon the most correct and compact mode of circumscribing them by a general description. It was not until after an extensive and accurate acquaintance with the details of chemical phenomena . . .

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