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talled in question. But it is necessary to remark, that on the inmost nature of the thinking principle, as well as on the inmost nature of matter, we are, and with our faculties must always remain, entirely in the dark. All which we are aware of, even in our own minds, is a certain thread of consciousness; a series of feelings, that is, of sensations, thoughts, emo tions, and volitions, more or less numerous and complicated."
We have no clearer idea of mind than of matter; we can say nothing more
about it than about matter. So that
substances, of whatever kind, bodies or minds, within or without us, are never for us more than tissues, more
or less complex, more or less regular, of which our impressions and modes of being form all the threads.
This is still more evident in the case of attributes than of substances. When I say that snow is white, I mean that, when snow is presented to my tight, I have the sensation of whiteness. When I say that fire is hot, I mean that, when near the fire, I have the sensation of heat. We call a mind devout, superstitious, meditative, or gay, simply meaning that the ideas, the emotions, the volitions, designated by these words, recur frequently in the series of its modes of being. When
Mill's Logic, i. 68.
we say that bodies are heavy, divisible, movable, we mean simply that, left to themselves, they will fall; when cut, they will separate; or when pushed they will move: that is, ander such and such circumstances they will produce such and such a sensation in out muscles, or our sight. An attribute always designates a mode of our being, vain we disguise these modes by group. or a series of our modes of being. ing, concealing them under abstract words, dividing and transforming them, so that we are frequently puzzled to recognize them: whenever we pierce to the basis of our words and ideas, we find them and nothing but them. Mill says:
"Take the following example: A generous person is worthy of honour. Who would exbetween phenomena? But so it is. The atpect to recognise here a case of co-existence tribute which causes a person to be termed generous is ascribed to him on the ground of states of his mind, and particulars of his conboth are phenomena; the former are facts of internal consciousness, the latter, so far as distinct from the former, are physical facts, or perceptions of the senses. Worthy of honour, admits of a similar analysis. Honour, as here used, means a state of approving and admiring emotion, followed on occasion by corresponding outward acts. Worthy of honour' connotes all this, together with an approval of the act of showing honour. All these are phenomena; states of internal consciousness, accompanied or followed by physical facts. When we say, A generous person is worthy of honour, we affirm coexistence between the two complicated phenomena connoted by the two terms respectively. We affirm, that wherever and whenever the in ward feelings and outward facts implied in the word generosity, have place, then and there the existence and mani
"Every attribute of a mind consists either in being itself affected in a certain way, or affecting other minds in a certain way. Considered in itself, we can predicate nothing of it but the series of its own feelings. When we say of any mind, that it is devout, or superstitious, or meditative, or cheerful, we mean that the ideas, emotions, or volitions implied in those words, form a frequently recurring part of the series of feelings, or states of conscious-festation of an inward feeling, honour, would ness, which fill up the sentient existence of be followed in our minds by another inward that mind. feeling, approval.” *
"In addition, however, to those attributes of mind which are grounded on its own states of feeling, attributes may also be ascribed to it, in the same manner as to a body, grounded on the feelings which it excites in other minds. A mind does not, indeed, like a body, excite sensations, but it may excite thoughts or emotions. The most important example of attriDutes ascribed on this ground, is the employment of terms expressive of approbation or blame. When, for example, we say of any character, or (in other words) of any mind, that it is admirable, we mean that the contemplation of it excites the sentiment of admiration; and indeed somewhat more, for the word implies that we not only feel admiration, but approve that sentiment in ourselves. In some cases, under the semblance of a single attribute, two are really predicated: one of them, a state of the mind itself; the other, a state with which other minds are affected by thinking of
In vain we turn about as we please, we remain still in the same circle. Whether the object be an attribute or a substance, complex or abstract, compound or simple, its material is to us always the same; it is made up only of our it. As when we say of any one that he is generous. The word generosity expresses a certain state of mind, but being a term of praise, it also expresses that this state of mind excites in us another mental state, called approbation. The assertion made, therefore, is twofold, and of the following purport: Certain feelings form habitually a part of this person's sentient existence; and the idea of those feelings of his, excites the sentiment of approbation in ourselves or others."-Mill's Logic, i. 3o. * Ibid. 110.
modes of being. Our mind is to nature what a thermometer is to a boiler: we define the properties of nature by the impressions of our mind, as we indicate the conditions of the boiling water by the changes of the thermometer. Of both we know but condition and changes; both are made up of isolated and transient facts; a thing is for us but an aggregate of phenomena. These are the sole elements of our knowledge: consequently the whole effort of science will be to link facts to facts.
This brief phrase is the abstract of the whole system. Let us master it, for it explains all Mill's theories. He has defined and restated every thing from this starting-point. In all forms and all degrees of knowledge, he has recognized only the knowledge of facts,
and of their relations.
Now we know that logic has two corner-stones, the Theories of Definition and of Proof. From the days of Aristotle logicians have spent their time in polishing them. They have only dared to touch them respectfully, as if they were sacred. At most, from time to time, some innovator ventured to turn them over cautiously, to put them in a better light. Mill shapes, cuts, turns them over, and replaces them both in a similar manner and by
the same means.
Take, say logicians, an animal, a plant, a feeling, a geometrical figure, an object or group of objects of any kind. Doubtless the object has it properties, but it has also its essence. It is manifested to the outer world by an indefinite number of effects and qualities; but all these modes of being are the results or products of its inner nature. There is within it a certain hidden substratum which alone is primitive and important, without which it can neither exist nor be conceived, and which constitutes its being and our notion of it. They call the propositions which denote this essence definitions, and assert that the best part of our knowledge consists of such proposi
On the other hand, Mill says that these kinds of propositions teach us nothing; they show the mere sense of a word, and are purely verbal. † What do I learn by being told that man is a rational animal, or that a triangle is a space contained by three lines? The first part of such a phrase expresses by an abbreviative word what the second part expresses in a developed phrase. You tell me the same thing twice over; you put the same fact into two different expressions; you do not add one fact to another, but you go from one fact to its equivalent. Your proposition is not lion such, my mind would remain eninstructive. You might collect a miltirely void; I should have read a dictionary, but not have acquired a single piece of knowledge. Instead of saying
is arrived at by examining our notion of it; and *According to idealist logicians, this being the idea, on analysis, reveals the essence. According to the classifying school, we arrive at the being by placing the object in its group, and the notion is defined by stating the genus and the difference. Both agree in bel eving that we are capable of grasping the essence.
I am quite aware that nowadays men laugh at those who reason on definitions; the laughers deserve to be laughed at. There is no theory more fertile in universal and important results; it is the root by which the whole tree of human science grows and lives. For to define things is to mark out "An essential proposition, then, is one their nature. To introduce a new idea which is purely verbal; which asserts of a of definition is to introduce a new idea asserted of it in the fact of calling it by that thing under a particular name, only what is of the nature of things; it is to tel' us name; and which therefore either gives no inwhat beings are, of what they are m-formation, or gives it respecting the name, not posed, into what elements they are capable of being resolved. In this lies the merit of these dry speculations; the philosopher seems occupied with arranging mere formulas; the fact is that in them he encloses the universe.
sitions, on the contrary, may be called Real the thing. Non-essential or accidental propoPropositions, in opposition to Verbal. They predicate of a thing, some fact not involved in the signification of the name by which the proposition speaks of it; some attribute not connoted by that name.' "-MILL'S Logic, i
ant, and those relating to qualities mere-
that essential propositions are import- | are definitions, they on y define names No phrase can tell me what a horse is but there are phrases which will in form me what is meant by these five letters. No phrase can exhaust the inexhaustible sum of qualities which make up a being; but several phrases may point out the facts correspond.ng to a word. In this case definition is possible, because we can always make an analysis, which will enable us to pass from the abstract and summary term to the attributes which it represents, and from these attributes to the inner or concrete feelings which constitute their foundation. From the term "dog" it enables us to rise to the attributes "mammiferous," "carnivorous," and others which it represents; and from these attributes to the sensations of sight, of touch, of the dissecting knife, on which they are founded. It reduces the compound to the simple, the derived to the primitive. It brings back our knowledge to its origin. It transforms words into facts. If some definitions, such as those of geometry, seem capable of giving rise to long sequences of new truths, it is because, in addition to the explanation of a word, they contain the affirmation of a thing. In the definition of a triangle there are two distinct propositions,-the one stating that "there may exist a figure bounded by three straight lines; "the other, that "such a figure may be termed a triangle." The fist is a postulate, the second a definition. The first is hidden, the second evident; the first may be true or false, the second can be neither. The first is the source of all possible theorems as to triangles, the second only resumes in a word the facts contained in the other. The first is a truth, the second
"The definition, they say, unfolds the nature of the thing: but no definition can unfold its whole nature; and every proposition in which any quality whatever is predicated of the thing, unfolds some part of its nature. The true state of the case we take to be this. All definitions are of names, and of names only; but in some definitions it is clearly apparent, that nothing is intended except to explain the meaning of the word; while in others, besides explaining the meaning of the word, it is intended to be implied that there exists a thing, corresponding to the word." * Abandon, then, the vain hope of elimin ting from properties some primitive and mysterious being, the source and abstract of the whole; leave entities to Duns Scotus; do not fancy that, by probing your ideas in the Gerinan fashion, by classifying objects according to genera and species like the schoolmen, by reviving the nominalism of the middle ages or the riddles of Hegelian metaphysics, you will ever supply the want of experience. There are no definitions of things; if there
* Mill's Logic, i. 163.
obviously comprises not one, but two proposi "The definition above given of a triangle tions, perfectly distinguishable. The one is 'There may exist a figure bounded by three straight lines; the other, And this figure may be termed a triangle.' The former of these propositions is not a definition at all, the latter is a mere nominal definition, or explanation of the use and application of a term. The first is susceptible of truth or falsehood, and may therefore be made the foundation of a train of reasoning. The latter can neither be true nor false; the only character it is susceptible of is that of conformity to the ordinary I usage of language."-MILL's Logic, i. 184.
is a convention; the first is a part of science, the second an expedient of language. The first expresses a possible relation between three straight lines, the second gives a name to this relation. The first alone is fruitful because it alone conforms to the nature of every fruitful proposition, and connects two facts. Let us, then, understand exactly the nature of our knowledge: t relates either to words or to things or to both at once. If it is a matter of words, as in the definition of names, it attempts to refer words to our primitive feelings, that is to say, to the facts which form their elements. If it relates to beings, as in propositions about things, its whole effort is to link fact to fact, in order to connect the finite number of known properties with the infinite number to be known. If both are involved, as in the definitions of names which conceal a proposition relating to things, it attempts to do both. Everywhere its operation is the same. The whole matter in any case is to understand each other, that is, to revert to facts, or to learn,-that is, to add facts to facts.
The first ra npart is destroyed; our adversaries take refuge behind the second-the Theory of Proof. This theory has passed for two thousand years for a substantiated, definite, unassailable truth. Many have deemed it useless, but no one has dared to call it false. On all sides it has been considered as an established theorem. Let us examine it closely and attentively. What is a proof? According to logicians, it is a syllogism. And what is a syllogism? A group of three propositions of this kind: "All men are mortal; Prince Albert is a man; therefore Prince Albert is mortal." Here we have the type of a proof, and every complete proof is conformable to this type. Now what is there, according to logicians, in this proof? A general proposition concerning all men, which gives rise to a particular proposition concerning a certain man. From the first we pass to the second, because the second is contained in the first; from the general to the particular, because the particular is comprised 'n the
general. The second is but an instance of the first; its truth is contained be forehand in that of the first, and this is why it is a truth. In fact, as soon as the conclusion is no longer contained in the premisses, the reason mg is false, and all the complicated rules of the middle ages have been reduced by the Port-Royalists to this single rule, "The conclusion must be contained in the premisses." Thus the entire process of the human mind in its reasonings consists in recognizing in individuals what is known of a whole class; in affirming in detail what has been established for the aggregate; 'n laying down a second time, and piecemeal, what has been laid down once for all at first.
By no means, replies Mill; for if it were so, our reasoning would be good for nothing. It would not be a progress but a repetition. When I have affirmed that all men are mortal, I have affirmed implicitly that Prince Albert is mortal. In speaking of the whole class, that is to say, of all the individuals of the class, I have spoken of each individual, and therefore of Prince Albert, who is one of them. I say nothing new, then, when I now mention him expressly. My conclusion teaches me nothing; it adds nothing to my positive knowledge; it only puts in another shape a knowl edge which I already possessed. It is not fruitful, but purely verbal. If, then, reasoning be what logicians represent it, it is not instructive. I know as much of the subject at the beginning of my reasoning as at the end. I have trans formed words into other words; I have been moving without gaining ground. Now this cannot be the case; for, in fact, reasoning does teach us truths. I learn a new truth when I discover that Prince Albert is mortal, and I discover it by dint of reasoning; for, since he is still alive, I cannot have learnt it by direct observation. Thus logicians are mistaken; and beyond the scholastic theory of syllogism, which reduces reasoning to substitutions of words, we must look for a positive theory of proof, which shall explair. how it is that, by the process of reason ing, we discover facts.
For this purpc se, it is sufficient to ob serve, that general propositions are not the true proof of particular propo
sitions. They seem so, but are not. It is not from the mortality of all men that I conclude Prince Albert to be mortal; the premisses are elsewhere, and in the background. The general proposition is but a memento, a sort of abbreviative register, to which I have consigned the fruit of my experience. This memento may be regarded as a note-book to which we refer to refresh our memory; but it is not from the book that we draw our knowledge, but from the objects which we have seen. My memento is valuable only for the facts which it recalls. My general proposition has no value except for the particular facts which it sums up.
"The mortality of John, Thomas, and company, is, after all, the whole evidence we have for the mortality of the Duke of Wellington. Not one iota is added to the proof by interpolating a general proposition. Since the individual cases are all the evidence we can possess, evidence which no logical form into which we choose to throw it can make greater than it is; and since that evidence is either sufficient in itself, or, if insufficient for the one purpose, cannot be sufficient for the other; I am unable to see why we should be forbidden to take the shortest cut from these sufficient premisses to the conclusion, and constrained to travel the 'high priori road' by the arbitrary fiat of logicians." *
short formula for making more: The major
Here, as before, logicians are mistaken: they gave the highest place to verbal operations, and left the really fruitful operations in the background. They gave the preference to words over facts. They perpetuated the nominal ism of the middle ages. They mistook the explanation of names for the nature of things, and the transformation of ideas for the progress of the mind. It is for us to overturn this order in logic, as we have overturned it in science, to exalt particular and instructive facts, and to give them in our theories that superiority and importance which ou practice has conferred upon them for three centuries past.
"The true reason which makes us believe that Prince Albert will die is, that his ancestors, and our ancestors, and all other persons who were their contemporaries, are dead. These facts are the true premisses of our reasoning." It is from them that we have drawn the general proposition; they have taught us its scope and truth; it confines itself to mentioning them in a shorter form; it receives its whole substance from them; they act by it and through it, to lead us to the conclusion to which it seems to give rise. It is only their representative, and on occasion they do without it. Children, ignorant people, animals know that the sun will rise, that water will drown them, that fire will burn them, without employing this general proposition. They reason, and we reason, too, not from the general to the particular, but from par-lations of things. And, moreover, they ticular to particular :
"All inference is from particulars to particulars; General propositions are merely reg isters of such inferences already made, and
Mill's Logic, i. 211.
There remains a kind of philosoph ical fortress in which the Idealists have taken refuge. At the origin of all proof are Axioms, from which all proofs are derived. Two straight lines cannot enclose a space; two things, equal to a third, are equal to one an other; if equals be added to equals, the wholes are equal. These are in structive propositions, for they express not the meanings of words, but the re
are fertile propositions; for arithmetic, algebra, and geometry are all the result of their truth. On the other hand, they are not the work of experience, fɔr wu Mill's Logic, i. 218. ↑ Ibid. i. 240.