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matters. Here he explains the diftinct characters of wit, humour, and ridicule, and quotes paffages from modern poets in fupport of his hypothefes. But, as our Author does not appear to us to have cat much new light upon this part of his fubject, we fhall dwell no longer upon it than juft to exprefs our furprize that he has taken no notice of the fimilarity between his ideas and thofe of fome former writers, particularly Lord Kaims in his Elements of Criticifm, and Dr. Akenfide in the third book of his admirable philofophical poem, The Pleafures of Imagination.
Our ingenious Critic, confidering all difcourfe as compounded of fenfe and expreffion, and from hence deducing the natural relation between eloquence and the arts of logic and grammar, expatiates at large on the principles of thefe arts, and explains their operation in eloquence.
Under the general head of logic, he treats of the several kinds of evidence both intuitive and deductive; including under the former branch, mathematical evidence, confciousness, and common-fenfe; under the latter, demonftrative and moral evidence, which last he fubdivides into experience, analogy, and testimony; to which he adds, as partaking of the nature of both, the evidence refulting from calculations concerning chances. Thefe feveral fubjects are treated in fo fatisfactory a manner, that it would give us pleasure, would our limits permit, to lay the whole before our Readers. We must, however, content ourselves with barely expreffing our approbation of this part of the work, in order to leave room for the following curious and original obfervations on the fyllogistic art:
It is long fince I was first convinced, by what Mr. Locke bath faid on the fubject, that the fyllogiftic art, with its figures and moods, ferves more to display the ingenuity of the inventor, and to exercife the addrefs and fluency of the learner, than to affift the diligent inquirer in his researches after truth. The method of proving by fyllogifm, appears, even on a superficial review, both unnatural and prolix. The rules laid down for diftinguishing the conclufive from the inconclufive forms of argument, the true fyllogifm from the various kinds of fophifm, are at once cumbersome to the memory, and unneceffary in practice. No perfon, one may venture to pronounce, will ever be made a reafoner, who ftands in need of them. In a word, the whole bears the manifeft indications of an artificial and oftentatious parade of learning, calculated for giving the appearance of great profundity, to what in fact is very fhallow.
Dr Campbell in his preface announces to the world a new work of Dr. Beattie's foon to be published, An Effay on Laughter and ludicrous Writing. • In
In the ordinary application of this art, to matters with which we can be made acquainted only by experience, it can be of little or no utility. So far from leading the mind, agreeably to the design of all argument and inveftigation, from things known to things unknown, and by things evident to things obfcure; its ufual progrefs is, on the contrary, from things lefs known to things better known, and by things obfcure to things evident. But 'that it may not be thought that I do injuftice to the art by this reprefentation, I must entreat that the few following confiderations may be attended to.
When in the way of induction, the mind proceeds from individual inftances to the difcovery of fuch truths as regard a fpecies, and from thefe again, to fuch as comprehend a genus, we may fay with reafon, that as we advance, there may be in every fucceeding ftep, and commonly is, lefs certainty than in the preceding; but in no inftance whatever can there be more. Befides, as the judgment formed concerning the lefs general was anterior to that formed concerning the more general, fo the conviction is more vivid arifing from both circumftances; that being lefs general, it is more diftinctly conceived, and being earlier, it is more deeply imprinted. Now the customary procedure in the fyllogiftic fcience is, as was remarked, the natural method reverfed, being from general to fpecial, and confequently from lefs to more obvious. In fcientific reasoning the cafe is very different, as the axioms or univerfal truths from which the mathematician argues, are fo far from being the flow refult of induction and experience, that they are self-evident. They are no fooner apprehended than neceffarily affented to. But to illuftrate the matter by examples, take the following Specimen in Barbara, the firft mood of the first figure:
All animals feel;
It is impoffible that any reasonable man who really doubts whether a horse has feeling or is a meer automaton, should be convinced by this argument. For, fuppofing he uses the names horfe and animal, as ftanding in the fame relation of species and genus, which they bear in the common acceptation of the words, the argument you employ is, in effect, but an affirmation of the point which he denies, couched in fuch terms as include a multitude of other fimilar affirmations, which, whether true or falfe, are nothing to the purpose. Thus, " all animals feel," is only a compendious expreffion, for all horfes feel, all dogs feel, all camels feel, all eagles feel, and fo through the whole animal creation. I affirm, befides, that the procedure here is from things lefs known to things better known. It is poffible that one may believe the conclufion who denies the
major: but the reverfe is not poffible; for to exprefs myself in the language of the art, that may be predicated of the fpecies, which is not predicable of the genus; but that can never be predicated of the genus which is not predicable of the species. If one, therefore, were under fuch an error in regard to the brutes, true logic, which is always coincident with good fenfe, would lead our reflections to the indications of perception and feeling, given by these animals, and the remarkable conformity which in this refpect, and in refpect of their bodily organs, they bear to our own fpecies. It may be faid, that if the subject of the question were a creature much more ignoble than the horfe, there would be no scope for this objection to the argument. Subftitute, then, the word oysters for horfes in the minor, and it will stand thus,
All animals feel;
All oyflers are animals;
In order to give the greater advantage to the advocate for this fcholaftic art, let us fuppofe the antagonift does not maintain the oppofite fide from any favour to Defcartes' theory concerning brutes, but from fome notion entertained of that particular order of beings, which is the fubject of difpute. It is evident, that though he fhould admit the truth of the major, he would regard the minor as merely another manner of expreffing the conclufion; for he would conceive an animal no otherwife, than as a body endowed with sensation or feeling. Sometimes indeed, there is not in the premises any pofition more generic, under which the conclufion can be comprised. In this cafe you always find that the fame propofition is exhibited in different words; infomuch that the ftrefs of the argument lies in a mere fynonyma, or fomething equivalent. The following is an example:
The Almighty ought to be worshipped;
Therefore God ought to be worshipped.
It would be fuperfluous to illuftrate that this argument could have no greater influence on the Epicurean, than the firft-mentioned one would have on the Cartefian. To fuppose the contrary, is to fuppofe the conviction effected by the charm of a found, and not by the fenfe of what is advanced. Thus alío, the middle term and the fubject frequently correfpond to each other; as the definition, defcription, or circumlocution, and the name. Of this I fhall give an example in Difamis, as in the technical dialect, the third mood of the third figure is denominated :
Some men are rapacious ;
All men are rational animals;
Therefore fome rational animals are rapacious.
Who does not perceive that rational animals is but a periphrafis for men? It may be proper to fubjoin one example at leaft in negative fyllogifms. The fubfequent is one in Celarent, the fecond mood of the firft figure;
Nothing violent is lafting;
Therefore tyranny is not lafting,
Here a thing violent ferves for the genus of which tyranny is a fpecies; and nothing can be clearer than that it requires much less experience to discover, whether fhortness of duration be juftly attributed to tyranny in the species, than whether it be juftly predicated of every violent thing. The application of what was faid on the firft example to that now given, is fo obvious, that it would be losing time to attempt further to illuftrate it. Logicians have been at pains to difcriminate the regular and consequential combinations of the three terms, as they are called, from the irregular and inconfequent. A combination of the latter kind, if the defect be in the form, is called a paralogifm; if in the fenfe, a fophifm; though fometimes thefe two appellations are confounded. Of the latter, one kind is denominated petitio principii, which is commonly rendered in English a begging of the queftion, and is defined the proving of a thing by itself, whether expreffed in the fame or different words; or, which amounts to the fame thing, affuming in the proof the very opinion or principle proposed to be proved. It is furprifing that this fhould ever have been by those artists ftyled a fophifm, fince it is in fact fo effential to the art, that there is always fome radical defect in a fyllogifm, which is not chargeable with this. The truth of what I now affirm, will appear to any one, on the flighteft review of what has been evinced in the preceding part of this chapter.
The laft obfervation I fhall make on this topic, is, that the proper province of the fyllogiftical science, is rather the adjuftment of our language, in expreffing ourfelves on subjects previously known, than the acquifition of knowledge in things themselves. In evincing the truth of this doctrine,-I fhall begin with a fimple illuftration from what may happen to any one in ftudying a foreign tongue. I learn from an Italian and French dictionary, that the Italian word pecora correfponds to the French word brebis; and from a French and English dictionary, that the French brebis correfponds to the English Sheep. Hence I form this argument,
Pecora is the fame with brebis,
Therefore pecora is the same with sheep.
This, though not in mood and figure, is evidently con lufive. Nay more, if the words pecora, brebis, and sheep, under the no
tion of figns, be regarded as the terms, it has three distinct terms, and contains a direct and scientifical deduction from this axiom, Things coincident with the fame thing, are coincident with one another.' On the other hand, let the things fignified be folely regarded, and there is but one term in the whole, namely the fpecies of quadruped, denoted by the three names above-mentioned. Nor is there, in this view of the matter, another judgment in all the three propofitions, but this identical one, A fheep is a fheep.'
Nor let it be imagined, that the only right application can be in the acquifition of ftrange languages. Every tongue whatever gives fcope for it; inafmuch as in every tongue the fpeaker labours under great inconveniences, especially on abftract questions, both from the paucity, obfcurity, and ambiguity of the words, on the one hand; and from his own mifapprehenfions, and imperfect acquaintance with them, on the other. As a man may, therefore, by an artful and fophiftical ufe of them, be brought to admit, in certain terms, what he would deny in others, this difputatious difcipline may, under proper management, by fetting in a ftronger light the inconfiftencies occafioned by fuch improprieties, be rendered inftrumental in correcting them. It was remarked above, that fuch propofitions as thefe Twelve are a dozen,' Twenty are a fcore,' unless confidered as explications of the words dozen and fcore, are quite infignificant. This limitation, however, it was neceffary to add; for those pofitions which are identical when confidered purely as relating to the things fignified, are nowife identical when regarded purely as explanatory of the names. Suppofe that through the imperfection of a man's knowledge in the language, aided by another's fophiftry, and perhaps his own inattention, he is brought to admit of the one term, what he would refufe of the other, fuch an argument as this might be employed,
Twelve, you allow, are equal to the fifth part of fixty;
Therefore a dozen are equal to the fifth part of fixty.
I mark the cafe rather ftrongly, for the fake of illustration; for I am fenfible, that in what regards things fo definite as all names of numbers are, it is impoffible for any who is not quite ignorant of the tongue, to be mifled. But the intelligent reader will eafily conceive, that in abftruse and metaphyfical fubjects, wherein the terms are often both extenfive and indefinite in their fignification, and fometimes even equivocal, the moft acute and wary may be intangled in them.
To conclude then, what fhall we denominate the artificial fyftem, or organ of truth, as it has been called, of which we have been treating? Shall we ftyle it the art of reafoning? So