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Preface - Gershom Carmichael, Natural Rights on the Threshold of the Scottish Enlightenment: The Writings of Gershom Carmichael 
Natural Rights on the Threshold of the Scottish Enlightenment: The Writings of Gershom Carmichael, ed. James Moore and Michael Silverthorne (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002).
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To the reader
There is no need to speak at length about the scope of this little work. Anyone may readily see that it is a short and simple course of instruction designed merely to prepare the minds of beginners for a deeper understanding of logic and for the more fruitful approach to other branches of knowledge which it may facilitate. With this end in view some years ago I prepared for publication a short Introduction to Logic.1 This was at the time when the use of handwritten systems, which had prevailed for too long, to the great inconvenience of teachers and students, was beginning to disappear from our university. My hope in preparing that text was to ensure that the students of the university would not be deterred from the study of philosophy as soon as they began by long, tedious, and unrewarding labor. Now that the first edition has sold out, I am allowing the book to reappear in a second edition, with corrections in many places and additions in others. It is directed primarily to first-year students, who are to go on, if God so wills, to the higher studies which follow this in my course of instruction.2
I have had two aims: not only to lay out for beginners the usual precepts (at least, all that is useful among the precepts usually taught at this stage), but also to explain the reasons for them in a manner suited, so far as possible, to the capacity of beginners. I hope that in this way students will realize from the beginning that the study of philosophy does not consist in mere reading, nor in the understanding and memorizing of what they read, but above all in the exercise of judgment and reason, by which they may come to see the truth as it were with their own eyes, by perceiving the self-evidence of principles and seeing the necessary consequences which lead to the conclusions that follow from them. This is the reason why I have gone beyond the practice adopted in most compends of this kind by focusing not so much on the differences between words and the various forms of speech as on the various modes of thought that underlie them, which I would wish learners to pay particular attention to. That is also why I did not think it right to omit brief demonstrations of the rules about the relative modes of propositions, about the legitimate forms of syllogisms, and so on, which are normally taught (though most authors reserve these for a larger treatise). For these rules (as the distinguished John Harris rightly observed in the case of trigonometrical rules)3 can be more easily learned with the aid of demonstrations; certainly nothing better assists the memory than calling in judgment to help her.
My purpose in writing this introduction however does not require me to say anything in detail about the causes and remedies of obscurity and confusion in ideas, or of error in judgments; about the method to be observed in the investigation and demonstration of truth; of the different kinds of arguments that are appropriate to the various natures of the things to be known, and so on. These topics are much the most useful part of logic as well as the most beautiful, and in the fuller course on logic one should devote much time to them. They are the additional subjects which should be taught in their own place, and tackled by students only after they have been properly prepared by prior instruction in this elementary instruction in the forms of propositions and syllogisms. The facts themselves prove that those who despise this elementary teaching or urge the omission of it are doing the worst possible service to the progress of students in any branch of knowledge they may subsequently study. …
In the final chapter I have added a section on logical practice, not because I think that it should be taught along with the rest right at the beginning of the study of philosophy, but because it is useful for certain exercises which instructors should prescribe in their proper place, and which are not to be found in the other books which are most in use today. I have taken less trouble at the present with this part than with the rest, and have readily adopted what particularly pleased me in the teachings of others, changing or adding only a few things.
As for the alterations made in this new edition, most of them are intended to render more obvious and evident for beginners, at the glance of an eye, each particular part of the doctrine, so that they may more easily mark them and commit them to memory, when they go back over the book.
Farewell, reader, and wish well to this little work dedicated solely to the use of the students. Such a work (to use the words of a distinguished man)4should find such a favorable reception that no one will think the trouble taken over it to be unworthy of him, even though it brings him no intellectual repute or prestige.
October 1st, 1722
[1.] In the account of his teaching method prepared at the request of the faculty in August 1712, Carmichael reported that a “Compend of Logick” composed by him was printing in November 1711. See below, p. 379. An earlier version of the text translated here was published in 1720.
[2.] Logic was the first of the philosophical subjects which, as regent, Carmichael would have taught to his students over four years. See pp. 379–81.
[3.] Harris, A new short Treatise of Algebra.
[4.] Carmichael is quoting Pufendorf, On the Duty of Man and Citizen, p. 6.