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ported by the premises, the conclufion, in that case, will always be found different from that which ought to have been proved; and so it falls under the ignoratio elenchi.

It was probably Aristotle's aim, to reduce all the possible variety of sophisms, as he had attempted to do of juft fyllogisms, to certain definite species : but he seems to be sensible that he had fallen short in this last attempt. When a genus is properly divided into its species, the fpecies should not only, when taken together, exhaust the whole genus; but every species should have its own precinct so accurately defined, that one shall not encroach upon another.

And when an individual can be faid to belong to two or three different species, the division is imperfect; yet this is the case of Aristotle's division of the sophisms, by his own acknowledgement. It ought not therefore to be taken for a division strictly logical. It may rather be compared to the several species or forms of action invented in law for the redress of wrongs. wrong there is a remedy in law by one action or another: but sometimes a man


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For every

may take his choice among several differ-
ent actions. So every sophistical syllogism
may, by a little art, be brought under one
or other of the fpecies mentioned by Ari-
stotle, and

you may


your choice of two or three.

Besides the enumeration of the various kinds of sophisms, there are many other things in this treatise concerning the art of managing a fyllogistical dispute with an antagonist. And indeed, if the passion for this kind of litigation, which reigned for so many ages, should ever again lift up its head, we may predict, that the Organon of Aristotle will then become a fafhionable study: for it contains such admirable materials and documents for this art, that it may be said to have brought it to a science,

The conclusion of this treatise ought not to be overlooked: it manifestly relates, not to the present treatise only, but also to the whole analytics and topics of the author. I shall therefore give the substance of it.

“ Of those who may be called inventers, “ some have made important additions to

things long before begun, and carried VOL. III.

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u done.

on through a course of ages; others “ have given a small beginning to things

which, in succeeding times, will be os

brought to greater perfection. The be“ ginning of a thing, though small, is the

chief part of it, and requires the great“ est degree of invention ; for it is easy

to make additions to inventions once “ begun. Now with regard to the dia“ lectical art, there was not something done, and something remaining to be

There was absolutely nothing « done: for those who professed the art

of disputation, had only a set of ora“ tions composed, and of arguments, and “ of captious questions, which might fuit

many occasions. These their scholars “ foon learned, and fitted to the occasion. % This was not to teach


the to furnish you with the materials pro“ duced by the art : as if a man profes

sing to teach you the art of making

shoes, should bring you a parcel of ! shoes of various sizes and shapes, from « which you may provide those who want. This may

have its use; but it is not to ? teach the art of making shoes. And "indeed, with regard to rhetorical decla

art, but


“ mation, there are many precepts handed “ down from ancient times; but with re

gard to the construction of syllogisms, not one.

“ We have therefore employed much “ tiine and labour upon this subject; and “ if our system appear to you not to be “ in the number of those things, which,

being before carried a certain length, were left to be perfected; we hope for

your favourable acceptance of what is “ done, and your indulgence in what is “ left imperfect.”



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Reflections on the Utility of Logic, and

the Means of its improvement.

SECT. 1. Of the Utility of Logic.

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MEN rarely leave one extreme without

running into the contrary. It is no wonder, therefore, that the excessive admiration of Aristotle, which continued for 3 F 2


so many ages, should end in an undue contempt; and that the high esteem of logic as the grand engine of science, should at last make way for too unfavourable an opinion, which seems now prevalent, of its being unworthy of a place in a liberal education. Those who think according to the fashion, as the greatest part of men do, will be as prone to go into this extreme, as their grandfathers were to go into the contrary.

Laying aside prejudice, whether fashionable or unfashionable, let us consider whether logic is, or may be made, subservient to any good purpose. Its professed end is, to teach men to think, to judge, and to reason, with precision and accuracy. No. man will say that this is a matter of no importance ; the only thing therefore that admits of doubt, is, whether it can be taught.

To resolve this doubt, it may be observed, that our rational faculty is the gift of God, given to men in very different measure. Some have a large portion, some a less; and where there is a remarkable defect of the natural power, it cannot be fupplied by any culture.' But this natural


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