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Logic Or the Science of Inference

Cover Logic Or the Science of Inference
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colour of plausibility so long as the syllogism was confounded with deduction, and made to guarantee the cogency of every inference that could be thrust into the four moods of the first figure. For if we argue, from every man being a re- sponsible agent, that the present Emperor of Eussia is accountable for his actions, it is evident we assert no new truth, but merely particularise, or draw out of the general formula (major premiss), one of the single instances already included under it. Such a
... form of reasoning it is conse- quently contended is incompetent to advance us one step in the progress of knowledge, or to corroborate any truth ; since it falls into the sophism which renders the conclu- sion a mere tautological repetition of the premises. Tet, taking logic on the high ground of the deductive syllo- gism with which its adversaries have confounded it, there is need of little ingenuity to invalidate the charges alleged against its method. For waving, at present, the question how we come by the majority of general propositions, which is really the cardinal point in dispute, it cannot be denied that we frequently obtain such formula without realising one-tenth of the meaning they are calculated, when fully analysed, to convey ; and that we can only exhaust them of their latent truth by casting about for middle terms, either by experiment or reflection, which link them with other classes of phenomena previously unknown to us, and thereby extend our knowledge.

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