Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER II.: LOGIC, ITS CHARACTERISTICS. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs)
Return to Title Page for The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
CHAPTER II.: LOGIC, ITS CHARACTERISTICS. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). In 11 vols. Volume 8.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
LOGIC, ITS CHARACTERISTICS.
General View of the Characteristics.
1. Aristotle’s list.—In the character of an appendage to the definition of the word logic, the Aristotelians have brought to view a cluster of abstract terms which had presented themselves as in some way or other appertaining to it, and as promising to contribute to the explanation of the nature of the art defined by it.
Præcognita de naturâ Logicæ, is the title prefixed to the first chapter in the compendium of Sanderson, in which the definition of logic with these explanations subjoined to it, is contained.
Though taken in detail, the mode of execution has appeared, as will be seen, susceptible of considerable amendments, the design has been regarded as highly useful, and of the sketch therein contained that which here follows, though not a copy, will be seen to be an imitation, or at any rate a sketch executed on a plan of which the general idea, and some of the principal lines, were derived from that source.
1. Uses, Utilitates. 2. End in view, Finis. 3. Functions, Officia. 4. Object, Objectum. 5. Subject, Subjectum, as exhibited in six modifications. 6. Parts, Partes, of which three in number are brought to view. Such is the list of the characteristics of logic, as exhibited by Sanderson and other compendialists; exhibited, though not under that or any other common appellative, unless the word præcognita, things foreknown, be taken for that appellative.
1. General end in view, the attainment of which the art of logic keeps, or ought to keep, in view. 2. Field of exercise appertaining to this art. 3. Operations to which it is capable of giving direction and assistance. 4. Faculties to which it gives direction and assistance. 5. Instrument, viz. Language employed in giving direction and assistance to these same faculties in the performance of these same operations. 6. Functions, to the exercise of which in relation to other arts and sciences it is capable of giving direction and assistance. 7. Uses to which it is applicable. Such is the list of the articles, which, under that same name of the characteristics of the art, will by means of the explanations respectively given in relation to them, be under these same denominations employed in the explanation of it.
Characteristic the First.
End in View or ultimate Object of Logic.
The pursuit of every art being a course of action, and, in the instance of man, as in that of every other sensitive creature, well-being being, in some shape or other, the end of every action, it is not in the nature of the case, that, for the ultimate end, the particular art here in question should not have this for its object; well-being, which, considered as having existence during any given portion of past time, will always have been directly as the magnitude of the aggregate of the pleasures of all sorts experienced during that portion of time, and inversely, as the magnitude of the aggregate of pains of all sorts experienced during that same portion of time.
Such is the explanation which, how premature soever it may seem, it seemed advisable to give, lest, though it were but for a moment, any the least cloud should hang over the import of so important an appellative.
Well-being! But is not this (it may be asked) the end in view, the ultimate as well as direct and immediate object of another and very different branch of art or science, distinguished by a separate and a different name, viz. Ethics?
Undoubtedly, but by being the object, the ultimate object of that other art, it is not the less truly and properly so of the one in question. As every action whatsoever, so must every art (for art is but an aggregate of actions) have this for its object—have this same common result, viz. well-being, for its ultimate object.
If Ethics have this for its object, so has Medicine, for example—so has cookery; and this same result, Logic in so far as it can, with propriety, be said to be of any use, may likewise, with equal propriety, be said to have for its object, meaning for its ultimate object.
If, in the pursuit of well-being, it be the province of Ethics to take the direction of human conduct, in that same pursuit it is the province of Logic to take the command and give direction to the course of Ethics itself. From having his generals under him, the commander-in-chief has not the less command of the army committed to his care.
Logic, like every other branch of art and science, in a word, like everything else, is not any otherwise, nor any further deserving of regard, than in so far as it is capable of being of use. But of use in any intelligible sense, neither can this, nor anything else ultimately be, any further than it has been or is capable of being conducive to the diminution of pain in some shape or other, or to the increase of pleasure.
Be that as it may, assuredly it is not on any other account that it will ever be taken for the subject of consideration in any part of the present work.
In this instance, as in every other, the usefulness and value of art and science in every shape depending altogether upon their conduciveness and subserviency to this universal end, so in the comprehensive sketch which will further on be given of the field of art and science, it is from this tendency to a common end that the connecting principle, or common bond of relation, by which the several arts and sciences are connected with each other, will be viewed; and, from this common bond of connexion, will be deduced such a plan of encyclopædical arrangement as should naturally be more instructive, and, as such, more interesting than any which has hitherto made its appearance.*
After a sketch taken upon this principle, if dryness and uninterestingness continue to be, as hitherto they seem to have been generally numbered among the properties of this art, it will, at any rate, be, not in respect of the end to which it is directed, but in respect to the principles and plan observed in treating of it.
Characteristic the Second.
Field of Exercise appertaining to this Art.
The definition of this art being given, as above, the field of its exercise has been already given. Within it is contained the field of every other art, the field of every science, the field, in a word, of every occupation, such alone excepted, if such there be, to the exercise of which, in the most advantageous manner, no exertion of mental power is either necessary or in any way conducive.
The word field having, to the purposes of Logic, been found of special and superior use, while, at the same time, other terms there are which have also been employed to these same purposes, a few words to show the title it has to preference here may, perhaps, not be found altogether ill bestowed.
Sphere, circle, subject-matter, subject,—in these four will be found comprehended, it is believed, a complete list of these its rivals.
As to the word sphere, on many occasions it may, no doubt, be employed without much difference in the article of convenience. It labours, however, under considerable disadvantages. 1. Being borrowed from Astronomy, it is apt to present to view, as often as employed, the idea of that abstruse and irrelevant science, and thereby to diffuse over every subject in which it is employed a considerable degree of abstractness, and add difficulty to difficulty,—thickening the obscurity which unavoidably and perpetually overhangs the nomenclature of Logic, which is sufficiently thick without any additional shade to thicken it.
2. A field is susceptible of corners, and, in a word, of every variety of shape, and to the number of describable sources of division according to which it is capable of being parcelled out, there is no limit. A sphere has no corners, and to the number of sources of division according to which it is capable of being subjected to division, there are determinate limits.
3. The fields of the several arts and sciences, parcel of the general field of art and science, and of the still more complex field of human occupation, are, with reference to one another, contiguous and mutually coincident, and may, upon some, if not upon all, occasions, be considered as situated on the same level. But, amongst the objects presented to view by the word sphere, there cannot be any such mutual coincidence or contiguity, and, when spoken of on the same occasion, some are higher, others are lower or inferior.
4. The field of art and science is capable of extension, and is continually receiving it; and the greater the extension it receives, the greater, there seems reason to believe—the greater cæteris paribus—is the quantity of well-being possessed by the aggregate of mankind. Of no such property as extension in particular parts is a sphere susceptible;—if it be so extended it ceases to be spherical.
A circle is a word that is more or less exposed to the same inconveniences. To the last of them in a more practically pernicious degree. The circle of the sciences is a phrase to which, in former days, much importance was attached, and which continues in frequent use. Of the emblem thus employed what are the practical inferences? That, in the track of science, no advance can be made; that by every foot that enters upon the circle, the track taken can be no other than that which was travelled in by its predecessors;—that a man may go round and round, and when he has gone as far as it is possible for him to go, he will find himself at the point from which he set out.
Subject-matters and subjects.—As to these expressions, they are not pregnant with any such delusive allusions, as above; but they do not come up to the purpose in question; and there is another purpose for which they are in demand.
Field is wanted for the designation of the whole of the expanse. Fields in the plural are seldom wanted. Subject-matter and subject are wanted for the expression of this or that particular article considered as situated on or within the compass of this or that field. Accordingly, in the plural number as well as in the singular, there is a continual demand for these words.
By the word subject, the idea conveyed is that of a moveable solid capable of being viewed and handled in all imaginable directions,—by the word field that of a portion of an immoveable whole, of which the surface alone is capable of being thus dealt with.
Real entities and fictitious entities.—To one or other of these denominations will be found referable everything which, with reference to this art, can be considered as comprised under the denomination of a subject.
Characteristic the Third.
Operations,to the performance of which Logic is capable of affording direction and assistance.
Relation of this Characteristic to the preceding ones.
As to the several operations which the human mind is capable of performing in that field in pursuit of the above-mentioned general end, or any of its modifications, and therein in pursuit of any subordinate ends, considered as capable of serving in relation to it in the character of a means;—whatsoever be the subject in relation to which action is required, the following operations will be found capable of being performed in relation to it,—operations all of them contributing or tending to the attainment of the above-mentioned general end, in so far as the discipline, the art or the science, the practice or act, in question, is, in its nature, in any shape applicable to that end.
When these are considered as so many species of operations, to the due, and apt, and successful performance of which the art called Logic is capable of being rendered subservient, this topic,—the topic of mental operations,—is considered as susceptible of being applied to the several subjects of the same art, as above-mentioned, and in that respect is considered in what, in opposition to abstracted or abstract, has been called a concrete or practical point of view.
A different point of view, which, under the name of abstract, has this instant been spoken of, is that in which the operations performable are considered as corresponding to so many faculties of the human frame, by or by means of which they are performable. On which occasion the same denomination is capable of serving, and, accordingly, has, in great measure, been made to serve, for the operation itself, and the faculty—the fictitious part or member of the mind—by or by means of which the operation has been considered as being, and to be performed.
These operations being so many modes or species of action, which is itself but a mode of motion, possess a sort of half reality, and the names of them belong, accordingly, to a class of names which, regard being had to names of substances—the only real entities—may, as will be observed in another place, stand distinguished by the names of semi-real entities. But as to the several correspondent faculties, these belong to the class of purely fictitious entities, feigned in virtue of an irresistible demand, for the purposes of discourse.
A motion has a something next to real that corresponds to it, and of which indication is given by its name, viz. the path taken by the moving body at the time during which it is said to be in motion. Considered as distinct from the mind itself, a faculty is an object manifestly altogether void of real existence. The name of it is the name of a purely nominal and fictitious object, framed for the purpose of holding up to view the imaginary cause or productive instrument of some real effect. The word which is the name of it is not indicative of anything but the operation which, when called into exercise, it performs, if it be an active faculty, or the impressions which, if it be a passive faculty, it receives.
Of the several distinguishable mental operations to which the art of Logic may, in one way or other, be found capable of affording direction and assistance, so great is the multitude, (of the whole number of operations in which the human mind is capable of bearing a part, there not being one to which, from this source, direction and assistance is not in one way or other capable of being lent,) so ample is the number and so great the variety, that, for bringing to view the points in which they agree, together with those in which they disagree, and thus presenting a clear and distinct idea of the nature and differential character of each, it will be necessary to distribute them into distinct groups or classes, which, in the course of the following pages, will be brought to view. Placing first those which, being most simple, require not for their explanation anything to be said of the others, and so on.
Mental Operations, Class I.—Operations, in the performance of which the subject is considered as being regarded entirely, i. e. in an entire state, and at the same time singly, (i. e. not in conjunction with others,) without regard to past or future time, and without regard to any person other than the person himself by whom the operation is considered as performed.
1. Perception, conception, apprehension. When perception has place, the source or perceptible object from which it is derived being an individual portion of matter, or real corporeal entity,—(a body coming under the denomination of body—of a body,)—impressions are, at the time in question, made on sense:—on some one or more of all of the senses to the cognizance of which the object stands exposed. Of the perception thereupon obtained, these impressions are the immediate object and subject. The body itself, i. e. the existence of it, is but in a secondary and comparatively remote way the object or subject of perception. Of this supposed source of the perceptions that are experienced, the existence is, strictly speaking, rather a subject of inference than of perception. Of inference, judgment, ratiocination, which is liable to be erroneous, and in experience is very frequently found to be so.
Scarcely does a perception take place but it is accompanied—accompanied, generally, without any consciousness of, because without any reflection on, without any attention paid to it—by a correspondent judgment or act of the judgment faculty.
At the time when the perception takes place, the mind may either be more or less active, or purely passive, in relation to it; it is only in so far as it is more or less active that any operation can, with propriety, be said to be performed.
If the mind be purely passive, the perception is the work of the simply perceptive, a branch of the intellectual faculty. If, in any mode or degree, the mind be active in so far, the will—the volitional faculty bears a part in the production of it.
Conception is a word which is frequently employed to express the same import as the word perception, would be employed to express. In common usage the distinction is altogether indeterminate. Where any purposed distinction is observed, it is to the word conception that the largest and most complex sense seems commonly to be assigned. While impressions only are considered as the objects of perception, conception is considered as having for its objects, ideas, simple ideas, the copies of these impressions,—the things signified by the signs of which discourse is composed, ex. gr. the import of entire propositions—of a discourse composed of such propositions in any multitude, or even that of single words. In this word intimation is given of a certain degree of complexity in the object denoted by it, by the natural effect of the first syllable.
By the word apprehension, at least, if its etymology be considered, intimation is conveyed not only of action, activity, but of some certain degree of exertion of effort: prehendo—apprehendo, to lay hold of.
2. Attention.—This operation, as the etymology of the word intimates, has place in so far as by an act, by a more or less continued exertion of the will, and the psychological active faculty its servant, the mind is as it were fastened upon the object or subject from which a perception or conception is derived to it: tendo, to stretch,—attendo, to stretch upon.
Mental Operations, Class II.—Operations in the performance of which the subject (whether taken entire or not—taken in conjunction with others or not, and whether with or without regard to any person other than the person himself by whom the operation is considered as performed) is considered with regard to past time.
1. Remembrance; 2. Retention; 3. Recollection; 4. Recalling or revocation to Memory; 5. Reminiscence. These words are either synonymous, or want little of being so. The slight shades of difference by which they may be found to be distinguishable, are not for the present purpose worth attending to.
The sort of fictitious psychological entity called the Memory, is regarded as a kind of receptacle in which perceptions of all sorts that have ever been experienced are, in any number lodged, as likewise, whatsoever thoughts have, by composition or decomposition, been formed out of these materials, are capable of finding a place. So long as on the occasion of the entrance of the object in question into this receptacle, or of its continuance therein, or recession out of or re-emanation from it, no effort on the part of the volitional faculty is considered as taking place, no such word as operation can, with propriety, be employed in speaking of it.
Mental Operations, Class III.—Operations, in the performance of which objects or subjects more than one are considered as being, at the same time, present to the mind.
1. Judgment; 2. Decision; 3. Determination; 4. Comparison; 5. Examination.
When upon and after examination and comparison made of any two or more of the objects that have presented themselves to the mind, any inference is made or conclusion come to in relation to them by it, a judgment is thereby said to have been formed and passed—an act of the judicial faculty exercised—an operation of the judicial faculty performed.
Decision and determination are, with no less frequency and propriety, applied to operations of the volitional, than to those of the judicial, faculty.
Decision, from decido; compounded of de, off, and cædo, to cut,—is a word that represents the mind as if cutting off at a certain point the thread of examination, and thereby cutting short the intellectual process.
Determination, from de, off, and terminus, a term or boundary, intimates that, with reference to the object in question, whatever chain of examination has been carried on, has been brought to an end.
As to judgment, when the word is employed to designate an operation, considered by itself, the operation is not an act of any other than the judicial faculty; it is not an act of the volitional faculty. But the giving expression to this or to any other act of the judicial faculty is an act of the volitional faculty;—even the applying to the subject or subjects in question the faculty of attention, for the purpose of forming a judgment on, or in relation to them, this is an act of the volitional faculty.
Another object which the word judgment is in use to be employed to signify is, the discourse, whatsoever it be, which, on the occasion in question, has been the product of the operation so performed by the faculty so denominated.
As to examination, a notion that may be apt to present itself on the subject of this word is, that on the occasion of the operation expressed by it the presence of more than one object in the mind at the same time is not necessary. Applied to an object considered as entire, the observation may be correct. But an examination of any object can hardly, it should seem, with propriety, be spoken of as made, unless the mind have applied itself to the parts of the object, or some of them. It is only in this way that the import of the word examination can be distinguished from that of the word attention.
Mental Operations. Class IV.—Operations, in the performance of which the subject being such as presents a number of perceptions (viz. impressions or ideas, or both together,) in conjunction, the mind, in the first place, decomposes what it finds thus composed, taking for consideration from the group any one or more of its component elements, presenting them to itself or not presenting them to itself, at any subsequent point of time, either by themselves, or in an order and mode of conjunction different from that in which, as above, they presented themselves in the first instance.
1.Abstraction. In or by this operation, among the impressions or ideas presented, in conjunction by an object, whether present to sense or only present to recollection, and accordingly presenting a group of impressions, or presenting nothing more than a group of ideas corresponding to and derived from the group of impressions presented by it while present, the mind, by its apprehensive faculty, lays hold of some one alone, or some other part of the whole number, leaving the rest unnoticed.
Thus, for instance, in the case of an apple. Applied to the touch alone, the impressions and ideas it gives birth to are those of the external configuration, the degree of smoothness or roughness, the consistence in respect of hardness and softness; presented to the eye, the impressions and ideas it gives birth to are those of shape, as before, with the addition of colour; to the smelling, those of the particular odour of the fruit; to the taste, the particular flavour. In so far as any one of these impressions or ideas is rendered present to the mind, and becomes the subject or object of perception, or thought, or attention, without being accompanied with the rest, the mental operation called abstraction has place.
2.Imagination. In so far as a number of these fragmentitious ideas formed by abstraction are put together by the mind and formed into new compounds, into compounds which either do not exist in nature, or have not as yet presented themselves to the mind of the person in question, in and by the means of a body already existing in nature, the operation whereby this effect is produced, is styled imagination; and in consideration and in respect of it, a correspondent faculty is considered as having existence,—a faculty termed the imaginative faculty, or more shortly, by the same name as that given to the operation itself—viz. imagination.
Thus, taking from the fruit of the apple-tree its shape, and at the same time from any piece of the metal called gold its weight, colour, and consistency, imagination formed the golden apple, the produce of the garden of the Hesperides.
3.Invention.—In so far as any product, formed as above by the imagination, has received, or is considered as receiving a fixed description, or as serving as a guide to active talent or practice, in such sort as in the pursuit of some particular end, to produce effects either new, or produced in any respect to greater advantage than before, the operation is called invention.*
Mental Operations, Class V.—Operations, on the occasion of which a number of entire objects, whether masses of matter or assemblages of ideas, are present to the mind at the same time.
1. Designation,—simple or individual denomination. For the performance of this operation, the conjunct presence of a number of objects not greater than two suffices: the object to which a name is to be attached, and the name which is to be attached; the designand, or object which is considered as requiring to be denominated, and the designation or sign, which,—when sufficiently associated and connected with it, when lodged in the mind in contact with it for a sufficient length of time, and thus called up, in conjunction with it, with a sufficient degree of frequency,—is found by experience to contract, as it were, a sort of adhesion to it; in such sort that when, by the person in question, the sign, being called up out of the memory, is detained by the attention, the idea of the object signified is thereby rendered present, and is continued in that state so long as the sign is present in that same state.
A sign of this sort, by which one individual object, and no more, is designated, is what has been termed by grammarians a proper name.
2. Denomination,—or say common-collective, or generic denomination. In so far as the sort of operation thus designated and denominated has place, the same sign is made to designate, and, upon occasion, render present to the mind, two or any greater number of individual objects: two or any greater number of individual objects, by whichsoever of the two faculties of the mind, the memory or the imagination, are rendered present to it.
Thus, while the human species contained but one individual, viz. Adam, individual designation was the only operation of this class which an intelligent and conversing being, such as an angel or devil, having occasion to designate him, could have occasion to employ in the designation of him; but no sooner had Eve received a separate existence, than the occasion for denomination, i. e. collective designation or denomination, came into existence: a name such as should be capable of designating the species which, by the addition of this second individual, was now formed. One species was then already in existence; at the same time, the two sorts of subordinate species, or rather two species at once, viz. the two species formed together by the difference in respect of sex, received already a sort of potential existence,—were already formed in potentia. At the birth of Cain, the species corresponding to the male sex received an actual existence; Adam and Cain the individuals. On the birth of Cain’s eldest sister, the species corresponding to the female sex, received the like existence; Eve and her anonymous daughter, whoever she were, the individuals.
3. Methodization or arrangement. Of this operation, as will be seen more particularly further on, under a separate head thus denominated,* there are two distinguishable modes, for the designation of one of which the words collective or cumulative; of the other the word lineal may be employed; or, instead of the lineal mode of methodization the term methodization by means of procedure may be employed.
To collective or cumulative methodization, the use of one of the operations above designated by the term denomination, viz. collective denomination seems to be an altogether indispensable requisite. A general name is the common, the necessary tie, by which a number of general or abstract ideas are fixed and fastened together in the mind.
In what respect, then, is collective methodization distinct from collective denomination? In this only, that when the word methodization is employed, a multitude of groups, or collections of general ideas, are considered as being at the same time formed or bound together, and at the same time so constituted and disposed of, that two or more, each having its collective name or denomination, are connected together by, and comprehended within, some common name: some name which, being common to them both, and not applied to any other, serves, at the same time, to distinguish them from all objects to which different names have been applied: the new and larger group thus formed, being at the same time in company with some other group or groups formed in the same manner, formed into still more capacious multitudinous groups, and so on through any number of groups of ulterior aggregation.
The course by which lineal methodization, or arrangement, is performed, is this; of the several subjects (in the present instance the several denominations, on which, as on its subjects, it is performed) some one presents itself, before any other has presented itself to the mind, next to that some other, and so on throughout the whole number; and thus in this same order, one after another, they all present themselves.
To effect and secure the accomplishment of this object, the words or visible signs by which these several groups are respectively represented and presented to the mind, are so placed as to present themselves to the eye of every reader in the course or order thus appointed as above.
From this master-operation, all the other operations, in some way or other, several of them directly, are wont to receive direction and assistance.
The operation of communication of ideas, as performed by its peculiar instrument discourse or language, will come in the next and last place to be considered. To this operation, that of methodization will be found capable of rendering the most essential, and, in some measure, indispensable assistance. But antecedently to this, so, and in an immediate and manifestly visible way will it be found capable of rendering assistance to the operations of retention, judicial decision, and invention: and the larger the scale upon which it happens to them respectively to be performed the greater the assistance.
Mental Operations, Class VI.—Operations, by the performance of which, by means of the operations of designation and expression, communication of the ideas formed in one mind is made to, and those ideas are transferred into another mind.
1. Discourse, or discoursing. 2. Expression.
In the course of this operation, ideas having been, in one mind, formed or lodged, and therein associated with, and, as it were, attached and fastened to, certain of the signs of which discourse or language is composed, are out of that mind expressed, i. e. pressed out; for the purpose of their being received into, or say, finding reception in another.
1. Signs, by means of which the operation is performed. 2. Minds to which, and modes in which application is made of these signs;—from these two sources, taken together, may the operation be seen to receive whatsoever modification it admits of.
1. Signs, by means of which the operation of discourse is performed.
A difference in the nature of the signs capable of being employed, is produced by a correspondent difference in the nature of that one of the five senses to which the discourse is made to address itself.
The hearing, its organ the ear; the sight, its organ the eye; the touch, its organ the skin, and more particularly the skin of the hand;—to all these senses has what is called discourse, been made to address itself. Audible, visible, and tangible, such, accordingly, has respectively been the nature of the signs of which, in these several cases, this organ of the mind has been composed.
Till a comparatively late point in the time of human existence, of all these sorts of signs, those which address themselves to the ear were almost the only ones in actual existence; to the infinite multitude and variety of these, the few that as yet, in those days, addressed themselves immediately to the eye, found but a feeble supplement, and a still more feeble and inadequate succedaneum.
Through the medium of the French word Langue, a tongue,—Language, in French Langage, the discourse of the tongue, is derived from the Latin, Lingua, a tongue. When addressed to the ear, it is from the tongue that the discourse addresses itself. For discourse, for the product of the operation called discourse, in the form in which it addresses itself to the eye as contradistinguished from that in which it addresses itself to the ear, neither the French, nor the Latin, nor the English, affords any proper appellative.
French or English language,—French or English Tongue, if applied to the contents of a manuscript, or a printed book,—a solecism, a palpable contradiction and inconsistency will, upon consideration, be found involved in any one of these expressions.
Yet, for these solecisms, however palpable, the demand is frequent, and so urgent as scarcely to be resisted.
Writing, including its comparatively recent improvements, such as printing, engraving, &c., is, in every case, discourse addressed to the eye. To this organ, discourse, in this form, has been capable of addressing itself in either of two ways:—1. In a remote way, through the medium and intervention of discourse addressed to the ear, i. e. of articulate sounds. 2. In an immediate way, without the intervention of discourse in that or any other form.
In the first case, the audible sounds are the immediate signs of thought; and it is of these audible signs that the visible characters are the signs; and it is only in this comparatively remote way that the function of signs of thought is performed by the visible characters.
In the other case, the function of signs of thought is somehow or other performed in an immediate way by the visible characters.
Of these two modes, the former is the only one familiar to the generality of civilized nations; the other is exemplified in the vast Empire of China, in the Empire of Japan, and in some of the states subject to the dominion or ascendancy of the Chinese.
A remarkable circumstance is, that the Japanese, whose audible instrument of discourse is not the same with that of the Chinese—has little or no affinity with that of the Chinese, employ the same visible instrument, the same characters; and so in the case of some of those other inferior states in that part of the world.
Compared with the footing on which it is in European practice, great must be the incommodiousness of the instrument of discourse, as employed in these Eastern nations; and, accordingly, the more particularly it is seen into, and the nature of it understood, the more manifest do the imperfections under which it labours become. But, for the consideration of these imperfections in the instrument of discourse, and the consequent imperfections in the state of human thought, the proper place will be under the head of language.
In the meantime, concerning this inaudible and purely visible instrument of discourse thus much is certain, viz. that of the characters of which it is composed, there is not one that can ever be spoken of but through the medium of an audible sign. But if, on the occasion of its being spoken of, each visible sign is provided with a correspondent audible one, it has thereby a distinct name, and in this way, and thus far, the Chinese instrument of discourse is placed upon a footing with that of Europe.
A name, therefore, in a word, an audible name, every such visible character cannot but have, in whatsoever nation employed,—the Chinese, for example, or the Japanese. But what is possible is, that, in one nation, a given character has one audible name, in another nation, another; and this is, as reported, actually the state of the case.
The touch has been mentioned above as one of the three senses, through the medium of which the operations of discourse are capable of being performed. This, accordingly, is a medium through which, in the case of the blind, by the help of modern ingenuity, it is customarily carried on. But where this is the one of the three conversible senses employed, it is never any otherwise than in a remote way, viz. through the intervention of one of the other two conversible ones,* if such they may be called.
In the case even of a blind person, this medium may be composed, not only of the ordinary audible, but of the ordinary visible signs, if so it be that he was once in possession of the sense of sight, and, at that time, made an acquaintance with the use and import of the ordinary visible characters.
Of late years the faculty of discourse has even been communicated to persons who, from their birth, were deaf; and, from that cause, or any other, at the same time, dumb;—but, in all these cases, such persons have been in possession of the sense of sight, and thereby have been rendered susceptible of discourse, and conversed by means of visible characters.
Should a human being ever be found unfortunate enough to be, from his birth, destitute of the sense of sight, as well as of that of hearing, to communicate to him the faculty of converse, or discourse in any degree, or to any purpose, will, it seems evident, be necessarily found altogether impracticable.
In the same deplorable case will any person be, who, being born deaf and dumb, shall lose his sight without having as yet received, in any competent degree, that sort of instruction, intellectual and literary, of which persons labouring under that complicated imperfection are susceptible.
Thus much, for the present, as to the signs, by means of which the operations denoted by the collective appellation discourse are carried on, and the correspondent faculty exercised.
The different classes, called Parts of Speech, into which, in each and every particular language these signs have been distributed, or found distributable; the mode and order, in respect of priority, in which these signs appear to have been formed;—these are topics which will be found in our way at an ulterior stage of our progress.
2.Minds to which,—modes in which application is made of these signs,—of the signs of which discourse or language is composed.
The mind to which, on any occasion, application is made of these signs, is either the mind of that person alone by whom they are employed, or the mind of some other person; in the latter case, the use made of them may be styled the transitive use; in the other case, the intransitive.†
Thus it is, that how intimately soever connected, designation, simple designation and discoursing, are different operations; without designation, discoursing, it is true, could not have taken place; but, without discoursing, designation may, and it frequently does, to a great extent, take place.
Not that, had it not been for the purpose of discourse, designation there seems reason to think, would ever have taken place; it is, accordingly, as it should seem to its intransitive use, that discourse or language is indebted for its existence.
So much more conspicuous is the transitive use of discourse or language, that, in comparison with it, the intransitive seems scarcely to have obtained notice.‡
In importance, however, it is second only to the transitive use. By its transitive use, the collection of these signs is only the vehicle of thought; by its intransitive use, it is an instrument employed in the creation and fixation of thought itself. Unclothed as yet in words, or stripped of them, thoughts are but dreams: like the shifting clouds of the sky, they float in the mind one moment, and vanish out of it the next. But for these fixed and fixative signs, nothing that ever bore the name of art or science could ever have come into existence. Whatsoever may have been the more remote and recondite causes, it is to the superior amplitude to which, in respect of the use made of it in his own mind, man has been able to extend the mass of his language, that, as much as to anything else, man, it should seem, stands more immediately indebted for whatsoever superiority in the scale of perfection and intelligence he possesses, as compared with those animals who come nearest to him in this scale.
Without language, not only would men have been incapable of communicating each man his thoughts to other men, but, compared with what he actually possesses, the stock of his own ideas would, in point of number, have been as nothing; while each of them, taken by itself, would have been as flitting and indeterminate as those of the animals which he deals with at his pleasure.
Of the seven or more distinguishable mental operations, to the performance of each language, now that it is formed, is instrumental and subservient,—viz. 1. Perception; 2. Recollection; 3. Attention, &c.; 4. Abstraction, whence imagination and invention; 5. Judication; 6. Designation; and 7. Converse, or communication of ideas; this of communication of ideas is but one. Look back upon these others, and you will see there is scarcely one of them to which, in respect of this its intransitive use, to which, in the character of a spring, as well as a regulator of thoughts, language, if not indispensably necessary, is not, in an eminent degree, subservient.
Of this proposition, the truth will appear in a still stronger and stronger light as the thread of the present discourse advances.
So far as depends on the personal use of each individual, independently of those uses which depend on the communication of his thoughts to other individuals at pleasure, for giving determinateness, and, in some degree, permanence to the matter of thought,—language, even of the partly audible kind,—language, even though destitute of the further help afforded by those visible signs which, in their nature, are susceptible of a duration equal to that of the whole human race, affords of itself no inconsiderable assistance.
But, in comparison with the determinateness, the permanence, and thence the improvement of which, even in the mind of though it be but a single individual, language is susceptible, by the means of visible signs, of improvement in itself, not to speak of subserviency to improvement in other objects, the utmost which it is capable of deriving from audible signs alone is but inconsiderable indeed.
By being thrown into measure composed of an appropriate mixture of syllables, such as, with reference to each other, shall require a comparatively long and a comparatively short portion of time for their utterance; by means of the additional association thus formed between import and sound, and by that means between import and import; by this means, or instead of, or along with, these modifications; by means of the regular recurrence after periods of limited and determinate length of similar sounds;—in a word, by rhythm, or by rhyme, or both,—additional permanence, or rather additional chance of permanency is, and at a very early stage in the progress of society and language, amongst most nations, has been given to audible language. But, after the utmost aid that can, in this way, be given, has been given; that which has been, or can be given, in this way, to the improvement,—that is, to the clearness, correctness, and extent of thought,—always has been; nor, in the nature of the case, would, or can, ever fail of being universally inconsiderable in comparison with that which has already been given,—not to speak of what further may remain capable of being given, by visible, that is, by permanent language.
Characteristic the Fourth.
Faculties to which Logic gives Direction and Assistance.
The faculties which it may occasionally belong to Logic to call forth into exercise, and give direction and assistance to, are neither more nor fewer than the whole number of the faculties distinguishable in the human frame.
If there be any to which it will be seen not to apply in so immediate and constant a way as it does to the rest, yet neither can these any more than those, fail to fall on this or that occasion, for this or that purpose, within the field of its cognizance.
Of the faculties of the human frame, the following may be considered as the proximate division.
Passive and active,—in one or other of these two divisions may every faculty distinguishable in the human frame be considered as included.
Physically passive and psychically passive,—under the one or other of these appellations may be included whatsoever faculties belong to the class of sensitively passive ones; physically passive, those sensitively passive faculties by which man is enabled, and made to experience such sensations as present themselves as having their seat in some determinate part of the body; psychically passive, the sensitively passive faculties by which man is enabled, and made to experience such sensations as not presenting themselves as having their seat in any determinate part of the body,—spring up, to all appearance, immediately, and in the first instance, in the mind.
Pathematically passive, and Apathematically passive,—under one or other of these appellations may be included whatsoever faculties belong to the class of physically passive ones; Pathematically passive, corresponding to those corporeal impressions which are accompanied either with pleasure or pain; Apathematically passive, corresponding to those impressions which are unaccompanied either with pleasure or pain,—with feelings of the pleasant, or with feelings of the unpleasant class.
While with the appetite of thirst upon him, a man drinks,—the liquid being, for example, water, a liquid destitute of all exhilirating, as well as of all sapid properties,—so long as the appetite is not yet completely satisfied, a sensation of the pleasureable kind continues;—when the appetite is completely satisfied, the operation may continue some little time without being productive of pain any more than of pleasure; but, continued for a certain ulterior length of time, it becomes productive of the sort of pain applied to the purpose of extracting confessorial evidence, under the Romano Gallic, Romano Batavian, and other modifications of the Romano Imperial Law.
Pathematically passive, and Apathematically passive,—to impressions made immediately on the mental part, without passing (otherwise than by the intervention of those signs of which discourse is composed) through the corporeal part of the human frame, may this same distinction be found to apply with no less propriety and use, than in the case just mentioned.
In the presence of three persons, A, B, and C, an article in a newspaper, respecting the death of a person therein mentioned, happens to be read; to A, the deceased was altogether unknown; to B he was an useful friend; to C, a troublesome enemy; in the mind of A the intelligence produces no sensation at all; in that of B an unpleasant one; in that of C, perhaps a pleasant one.
Originally active and derivately active,—under one or other of these appellations may be comprised every distinguishable modification of the active faculty of the human frame; to the head of the originally active faculty may be referred every exercise of the will, or determination of the will—or say volitional faculty, when considered apart from any act or operation performed in consequence and pursuance of it. An instance of the exercise of the originally active faculty is,—a mere wish, for the gratification of which, whether by reason of consciousness, of want of power, or at the suggestion of prudence, or through any other cause, nothing is done, no act is performed.
Physically active and psychically active,—under one or other of these appellations may be comprised every modification of the derivatively active faculty; to the head of the physically active branch may be referred every human act, in so far as any corporeal organ is employed in the exercise of it; to the psychically active branch, every human act in so far as the mind is employed in the exercise of it.
The observation made of, and consideration bestowed upon, these distinctions, are exercises of the psychically active branch of the derivatively active faculty of the mind, in the instance of him by whom these pages are composed; the committing to paper the signs of them, in the form of a written discourse, was an exercise of the physically active branch of the same derivatively active faculty: antecedently to the performance of these several operations, the determination to perform them was an exercise of the originally active faculty, the volitional.
Descending lower and lower into the region of particulars, with logic for its guide, sooner or later the mind would come to that list of faculties which, as already intimated, correspond not only in nature, but, with little exception even in name, with the articles already brought to view under the general name of operations,—so many operations, so many faculties; corresponding to each operation, a faculty considered and spoken of as if enabling a man to perform that same operation.
Characteristic the Fifth.
Main Instrument of Logic.
The grand instrument of thought, in general, and of thought directed to the purposes of logic, in particular, is the faculty of discourse, including the faculty of speech.
Under the head of operations, in or to the performance of which logic is capable of being rendered serviceable, mention was made of the faculty of expression, of discourse, of converse. Correspondent to this, as to any other operation, a demand may exist, and at any rate in the present instance, does exist for the mention of a correspondent faculty, say the faculty of giving expression to thought, the faculty of carrying on discourse, the faculty of holding converse with other persons, or say more concisely, the faculty of discourse, the faculty of converse, of which the faculty of speech is but a modification, and no more than one out of several modifications.
By means of this faculty, by the performance of the correspondent operations, a correspondent product has, in every nation, in every tribe or group of human beings, howsoever barbarous and uninstructed, been brought into existence. Numberless are the shapes in which the product has, among different assemblages and races of men, made its appearance. In whatsoever of these shapes it has made its appearance, one general appellation, language,—a language, is applicable for the designation of the collection of audible signs, of which, with or without a correspondent collection of visible signs or characters, it is composed. So many different collections of these signs employed by so many different tribes in the designation of the same collection of ideas, so many different languages.
Of the sort of product thus everywhere formed, so great is the importance, so universally extensive the use, that for all sorts of purposes there may be convenience in considering it, and speaking of it, in the character of an instrument in the hand of the mind, and more particularly in the hand of logic.
That language is an instrument of discourse, of converse, of communication between one mind and another, that it is the product of the sort of operation called expression, discourse, converse,—the work of the correspondent faculty: to speak of it in any such way is but tautology. But, as has already been noticed, it is an instrument not only of discourse, but of thought itself; an instrument by which not only are perceptions and ideas communicated, but ideas are formed—an instrument without the aid of which a man would neither be able to communicate to other minds any part of the thoughts of which the stock of his own mind consisted, but without which the greatest stock of those possessions which it would be possible to accumulate in his mind, would be but in an inconsiderable degree more ample than that with which the mind of the species of animal, be it what it may, which, in the scale of perfection, approaches the nearest to his own, is commonly provided.*
Accordingly, while on the present occasion, for the purpose of being held up to view in the character of an instrument, an instrument of thought as well as converse, it is at the same time taken for the subject of converse; it has, moreover, first, in the character of an instrument of thought, then in the character of an instrument of converse been employed and operated with.
Characteristic the Sixth.
Functions of logic, or functions to the performance or exercise of which, in relation to other arts and sciences, logic gives direction and assistance.
By the word functions, if it be not considered as exactly synonymous to the word operations, the mind will naturally be led to the idea of the sort of person expressed by its conjugate functionary—a functionary, considered in the character of a person, by whom, in virtue of some special engagement taken, or task undertaken by him, these several operations will, in the prosecution of some special design or other, in relation to this or that subject or subject-matter, come to be performed.
1. Learning. 2. Using, practising, employing, or applying. 3. Teaching. 4. Improving—viz. the acquirement, the art, the science in question: to one or other of these heads may be referred whatsoever course of operations, considered as having for their ideal subject-matter, any branch of art or science, have been in use to be considered as capable of being designated by the name of functions, any or all of them capable of being at the same or at different times exercised by the same hand, but all of them capable of being considered as the work of so many different hands, or of the same hands at different points of time.
Of the courses or modes of action, for the designation of which the word operation was employed, some there may be that may be found pre-eminently or even exclusively applicable to this or that branch of art or science, inapplicable to this or that other.
Of the more extensive courses of action for the designation of which the word function is here employed, there is not one that is not alike applicable, without exception or distinction, to every branch of art and science.
Characteristic the Seventh.
Uses of Logic, or Uses to which Logic is applicable.
In this case, as in every other, in the instance of this art as in regard to any other, a use is either a modification of the universal end, i. e. well-being, or a subordinate and subservient end, i. e. a means capable of being employed in contributing towards that same universal end.
Be the thing, be the object what it may, if it neither perform, nor contribute to the performance of service in either of these shapes, it is of no use,—real use it has none.
If it have anything belonging to it that can, with propriety and intelligibility, be termed use, it must be either by giving increase in a direct way to the aggregate mass of pleasure, or by applying defalcation to the aggregate mass of pain; or else by contributing or tending to contribute, in some way or other, to the production of one or other, or both of those ever desirable and ultimately only desirable effects.
Of the field of exercise of this art a sketch has already been given above; the aggregate of its uses is coextensive with that field.
Operations, faculties, main-instrument functions—the relation borne by logic to all these articles has just been brought to view: by the art of logic, assistance and direction is given to the mind, in the carrying on of all these its various operations, in the exercise of these its faculties, in the giving employment to that main instrument, in the performance of these its functions. Thus extensive and diversified are its uses: always remembered that on each occasion it is only in so far as, in and by the direction and assistance so given by it, increase is, in some shape or other, given to the balance on the side of happiness, that any use that can be made of this or any other instrument can be of any real value.
[* ] See Appendix B, and Chrestomathia, Appendix IV., supra, p. 63, et seq.
[* ] See passim Methodization, chapter x.
[* ] See below, chap. x.
[* ] Examples,—1. Finger language. 2. Tangible diagrams. 3. Tangible marked cards. 4. Tangible musical notes.
[† ] By some of the grammarians whose works are in present use, verbs stand distinguished into transitive and intransitive; transitive are those which are most commonly termed active, intransitive those which are commonly termed neuter. An instance of the active or transitive verb is ferio, I strike; an instance of the neuter or intransitive verb is curro, I run. Not but that in the intransitive verb agency is expressed; but in this case so is passion, or say, to avoid ambiguity, patiency likewise; and so it is that in one and the same person the agent and the patient are comprised: the agent, the volitional part of his mind; the patient or patients, those parts of his bodily frame by which the action or operation called running is performed.
[‡ ] The transitive was the only original one.
[* ] Of the distinguishable classes of operations in which the human mind is wont to exercise itself, the formation and employment of this instrument, viz. discourse is one, and of the others there is not one to which it is not in a high degree subservient.