Can Change the World Again.
A SYSTEM OF MENTAL PHILOSOPHY. 1882.
REV. ASA MAHAN, D. D. LL.D.
Through the action of the primary faculties, as we have seen, we obtain the constituent elements of all our knowledge. Through the action of the understanding, as we have also seen, we form notions, or conceptions particular and general, of varied objects of thought. When such conceptions have been formed, and two or more of them are present in the consciousness, another operation fundamentally distinct from any which we have yet contemplated, occurs; an operation in which a particular relation is affirmed to exist between said conceptions, or the subjects of the same. To form a conception of A and B for example, and to judge that A and B agree or disagree with each other, that they resemble or are unlike, that they are equal, or unequal to, each other, are undeniably mental operations entirely distinct and separate, the one from the other. The faculty of conceptions, or the notion-forming power, we have already defined as the understanding. What shall we denominate the faculty to which all "relative suggestions," relative affirmations, or acts of judgment, shall be referred? In accordance with a usage which, to a greater or less extent; has obtained, since the time of Kant, we denominate this new faculty, the judgment. The reality, nature, and sphere, of the faculty of judgment have now been fully ascertained. We will, accordingly, proceed to an elucidation of the leading characteristics of varied acts of this faculty.
ACTS OF JUDGMENT CLASSIFIED.
Acts of judgment take rank in different classes according to the varied standpoints from which they are contemplated. We will consider the following as examples:
QUANTITY OF JUDGMENTS, AS UNIVERSAL, PARTICULAR, AND INDIVIDUAL OR SINGULAR.
In respect to their quantity, that is, to the number of individuals to which they pertain, they are classed, as universal, particular, and individual or singular; as in the case of those represented by the propositions, all men are mortal, some men are mortal, and John is mortal. In the first proposition mortality is affirmed of all individuals represented by the term men. This judgment is, for this reason, denominated universal. In the second proposition mortality is affirmed of a part only of the race represented by the term men. Such judgment consequently, is called particular. The last judgment affirms mortality of a single individual, and hence is, denominated a singular or an individual judgment. All judgments, when contemplated in reference to the idea of quantity, take rank, as universal, particular, or individual or singular, judgments.
QUALITY OF JUDGMENTS AS AFFIRMATIVE OR NEGATIVE.
As to their quality, judgments are classed as affirmative, or negative; as in the propositions, all men are mortal, and mind is not matter. In the former case, the predicate is affirmed, and in the latter, it is denied of the subject.
RELATIONS OF JUDGMENTS, AS CATEGORICAL; HYPOTHETICAL AND DISJUNCTIVE.
When our conception is directly affirmed or denied of another as in the propositions, all men are mortal, and mind is not matter, the judgment is denominated categorical. When conceptions, in a given judgment, stand related as antecedent and consequent; as in the judgment, "if Caesar was a tyrant, he deserved death," said judgment is denominated hypothetical. When one conception is given as included in a single member of a given class; as in the judgment, "Caesar was a hero or a usurper," or it is in B, C, or D, the judgment is said to be disjunctive. From the nature of the relation between the subject and predicate in judgments, all such affirmations must be either categorical, hypothetical, or disjunctive.
MODALITY OF JUDGMENTS AS PROBLEMATICAL, ASSERTATIVE, CONTINGENT AND NECESSARY.
When the connection between the subject and predicate of a given proposition is conceived of as merely possible, that is, with the conviction that the relation designated may, or may not, exist; as in the judgment, A may be in B, the judgment is problematical. When the connection is conceived of, as not only possible, but actual, the judgment affirming such connection as, for example, A is in B, is called assertative. When this connection is conceived as actual, with the conviction, that it might possibly be otherwise, as in the proposition, B to-day does exist, as A did yesterday, the judgment is denominated contingent. When, on the other hand, a given relation between conceptions or their objects, is considered not only as actual, but attended with the conviction, that the facts of the case, can, by no possibility, be otherwise than they are, the judgment affirming such connection is denominated necessary or apodeictical; as in the judgments, body implies space, succession implies time, and events imply a cause.
Contemplated in reference to the idea of modality, all judgments must be classed as problematical, assertative, contingent or necessary. All contingent and necessary judgments are also assertative.
INTUITIVE AND DEDUCTIVE JUDGMENTS.
All valid judgments may be ranked under one or the other of two classes denominated intuitive, or deductive. When the validity of a given judgment is directly and immediately discerned; as in the judgments, body implies space, succession implies time, events imply a cause, and things equal to the same thing are equal to one another, the judgment is said to be intuitive. When the validity of a given judgment is evinced, as an inference from other judgments, it is denominated a deduced or deductive judgment.
EMPIRICAL OR EXPERIENCE AND RATIONAL OR A PRIORI JUDGMENTS.
When the validity of a given judgment is evinced by direct and immediate perception external or internal, said judgment is called an empirical or experience judgment. Two objects in immediate contact, for example, are directly perceived to be equal or unequal. The judgment, affirming their equality or inequality, is denominated an empirical or experience judgment. All judgments pertaining to facts of internal and external perception are of this character. All such judgments, also, are contingent and intuitive.
When, on the other hand, independent of all experience, it is immediately perceived, that from the nature of the relations between the subject and predicate, a given judgment must be valid, it is denominated a rational, or a priori, that is, a self-evident judgment. Of this character are such judgments as this, every event has a cause. We need no facts of observation or experience, to know that such a judgment cannot be invalid. Such judgments have, not only intuitive, but necessary certainty. Hence, in scientific language, they are called a priori judgments.
FUNDAMENTAL CHARACTERISTICS OF ALL SUCH JUDGMENTS.
Philosophers, in all ages, have recognized the existence of judgments a priori, that is, of judgments possessed of an intuitive and necessary certainty. Yet no philosopher has heretofore attempted even, to give the fundamental characteristics, criteria or tests of such judgments. Such criteria we will now attempt to give. On what conditions, then, can any judgment have intuitive and necessary certainty? We answer, on one or the other of the three following conditions exclusively:
1. The predicate must be identical with, or an essential part of, the subject. When we say, for example, that A is A, we know that the judgment cannot be false; for whatever A may be, it must be equal to, and identical with, itself. Such judgments are called tautological judgments and are, of course, though self-evident, of very little, if of any, use in science. When we say, on the other hand, that all bodies have extension, the predicate, in that case, represents an essential element of the subject, and must, of necessity, pertain to the subject. All judgments, then, in which the predicate represents a known and necessary element of the subject, and is affirmed of it as such, must have intuitive and necessary certainty. Such judgments are called explicative; because the predicate is explicative of the subject: these are of great use in science.
2. The second class of judgments which have intuitive and necessary certainty, includes those in which the subject implies the predicate; that is, the reality of the object, or the occurrence of the fact, represented by the subject, is necessarily conceived of as impossible but upon the condition of the actual existence of the object or cause represented by the predicate. The judgments to which we have before referred are of this character, to wit, body implies space, succession implies time, phenomena implies substance, and events imply a cause.
On reflection, it will be perceived, at once, that in each of these judgments, the subject implies the predicate. If body, for example, does exist, space must exist. So of succession and time. If succession is real, time must be real. The same holds true of the relations between phenomena and substance, and events and cause. The former cannot be, unless the latter is, real. Such judgments must have necessary intuitive certainty, their contraries being conceived as absolutely impossible. The fundamental principles and axioms in all the sciences are of this character. Judgments of this character are called implicative judgments.
3. Where the relation of absolute incompatibility is necessarily conceived as existing between two conceptions, or objects, and the judgment affirms this incompatibility, such judgment also has the character of intuitive and necessary certainty. Of this character are such judgments as these: it is impossible for the same thing at the same time to exist and not to exist; and infinity and perfection cannot err in judgment.
Judgments of this character are called incompatible judgments, and must have intuitive and necessary certainty. On reflection, it will be readily apprehended, that all judgments falling under one or the other of the three relations above specified, must have this form of certainty, and that none but such can possess these characteristics. The criteria given by other philosophers, are rather external and circumstantial, than intrinsically characteristic as all scientific criteria should be. We refer to such criteria as those given by Dr. Ried and others; such for example, as the fact, that all men do admit their validity in all their reasoning; that even those who deny their validity act upon them; and that if they are denied, the validity of all reasoning fails. No such criteria lead the student to consider the nature of the relation between the subject and predicate in such judgment, and reveal to him the fact, that they not only are, but must be, true, the very ends accomplished by the tests which we have given.
ACTION OF THE JUDGMENT IN THE FORMATION OF ABSTRACT AND GENERAL CONCEPTIONS AND PURE IDEAS OF REASON.
Abstract and general notions or conceptions, and pure ideas of reason, have already been defined. In the primitive developments of the intelligence, no such conceptions or ideas, of course, exist. All then and there is concrete and particular. How are the general, the abstract, and pure rational ideas, evolved from the concrete and particular?
All our notions, or understanding conceptions are, as we have seen, complex, constituted, of elements furnished by the primary faculties, sense, consciousness, and reason. To make an abstraction of a notion is, in thought, on the ground of the ideas of resemblance and difference, to separate these elements flow one another, giving special attention to some one, or more, or each of them in particular.
Into our conceptions of body, for example, the elements of form, solidity, color, etc., enter. In the light of the ideas of resemblance and difference, the intelligence perceives at once, that the element of solidity differs from that of form, and that of color from either of the others. In thought, therefore, either of these qualities may be so separated from all the rest that it shall be the object of special reflection, or observation. Thus our conceptions of each quality of the object, and as a consequence, of the object itself, may become more or less distinct and complete. The way is now prepared to answer the inquiry,how are the conceptions and ideas above referred to formed in the mind?
In answering this inquiry, we begin with general notions. We will take for example and illustration, the notion designated by the word mountain. It is admitted, that in the first development of the intelligence, there was no such general notion in the mind. The intelligence began not with the general notion, but with the conception of some particular mountain which had before been an object of perception. How then is the general eliminated from the particular? Another mountain becomes an object of perception. Under the influence of the associating principle, the first notion is recalled. The judgment, as these perceptions are present on the theatre of consciousness, separates the elements common to the two. The understanding now combines these common elements into a new conception, under which the judgment subsumes the two particulars. On the perception of a third mountain, the general notion, in a manner like that just described, undergoes a new modification, by which it embraces those elements only, common to the three particulars, while each particular is again classed under the general. Thus the process goes on, till the notion under consideration assumes its most general form. This is the process by which general notions are, in all instances, formed, a process so particularly elucidated in a former chapter, that nothing further need be said upon it here.
We will now consider the origin and genesis of abstract notions such as are designated by such terms as redness, sweetness. These are distinguished from general notions, and also from necessary and universal ideas, by this characteristic. They designate some single quality of particular substances without reference to those substances.
To form general notions, more than one object must be given. To form abstract notions but one is required. Example: This apple is red. When we have separated the quality designated by the term red, from the subject to which it belongs, we then have the abstract notion designated by the term redness. The same holds in all other instances.
UNIVERSAL AND NECESSARY IDEAS.
In explaining the origin and genesis of universal and necessary ideas, in their abstract and universal form, we will take as the basis of our explanation and illustration the principle of causality: to wit, Every event has a cause.
It is admitted, that originally, this principle is not given in this form. What is given? Some particular event, and the judgment,This particular event had a cause. It is also admitted and affirmed, that the universal principle is not, here, as is true of contingent general principles, given by the succession of particulars. For if you suppose the event repeated a thousand or a million times, all that you have in each instance is the particular event, and the particular affirmation,This event had a cause. How then shall we account for the formation of the idea or principle under consideration? Let us recur to the individual fact above alluded tothe fact composed of two parts; the empirical and absolute parts. We will leave out of view the idea of succession, and confine ourselves to the one fact before us.
By immediate abstraction let us suppose the separation of the empirical, and the disengagement of the necessary and absolute. We then have the pure idea of the absolute and necessary. This idea, thus developed, we find it impossible not to apply to all cases, real or supposed. We have then, and in this manner, the universal, necessary, and absolute idea or principle.
This process might perhaps be more distinctly explained by a reference to the ideas of body and space. These ideas are not originally given in their present simple, abstract form. They are given in such propositions as this: This particular body is somewhere, or in space. Here you have the empirical part, body, and the necessary and absolute part, space. Separate the two, and you have the contingent idea of body, and the necessary and absolute idea of space. Hence the principle, universal, necessary, and absolute: Body implies space.
The process of classification can now be readily explained. We will refer back to the case when two particular notions were in the mind, and the general was evolved from them. As soon as the notion last named appears, the two particulars are subsumed or classed under it. In the same manner every particular previously perceived is arranged under the general, and in all the successive modifications which it subsequently undergoes.
FORMS OF CLASSIFICATION.
There are three distinct points of view from which objects are classified.
1. In view of general resemblances, they are classed, on the ground of common qualities, under general notions, such as, man; animal, etc.
2. In view of some one quality without reference to resemblance in any other particular, they are classed under notions purely abstract, such as redness, whiteness, etc. We often class objects together, as white, hard, sweet, etc., without reference to their relations, in any other particulars.
3. Objects are classed together, in view of their correspondence to pure rational conceptions, such as, a circle, square, right and wrong, etc.
CLASSIFICATION, IN WHAT SENSE ARBITRARY.
It will readily be seen that classification from one point of view, will run directly across and break up that which is formed from another. How distinct and opposite, for example, will the classification be which is founded upon some one abstract quality, such as, redness, from that which is based upon general resemblance, and formed under a general conception. Equally distinct and unlike either of the others will be the arrangement of objects, which are classed together under some pure rational conception.
For these reasons classification has, by many been regarded as perfectly arbitrary. It is true, that we are at liberty to adopt either of the principles of classification above described we please. In this respect, the process is perfectly arbitrary. If we classify at all, however, we must adopt one or the other of the forms under consideration, no other forms being conceivable. When we have selected our principle, also, the subsequent arrangement of objects in conformity to it is necessary. In, very important respects, therefore, classification has its laws, which are by no means arbitrary.
GENERA AND SPECIES.
In the process of classification, objects are ranged together as genera and species. Thus we have the genus tree, and the different classes, or species of fruit-bearing and forest trees, ranged under it. A species also is often itself a genus relatively to particular and distinct classes belonging to that species. If fruit-bearing be assumed as the genus, then we have the apple, plum, peach, cherry trees, etc., ranged as species under this generic term. The illustration might be extended indefinitely, from the highest to the lowest forms of genus and species. Our present concern is with the principle on which objects are thus classed. It is that to which we have frequently referred in this chapterthe idea of resemblance and difference. The genus is formed on the perception of remote resemblances. Species under the genus are formed on the perception of important differences; while objects are classed under the species, on the perception of resemblances more near and special. Thus the genus tree is formed on the perception of qualities common to all trees. The species fruit-bearing and forest trees, are separated from each other, on the perception of important differences, each species being formed on the ground of resemblances more near and particular than those designated by the general term tree.
In illustration of the process in which classes, as genus and species, are formed, we will take the case of the child. A certain object stands near the paternal mansion, which he has learned to designate by the term tree. By and by he sees another object resembling this in all important particulars. Here, he says, is another tree. In his mind they are distinguished as greater and less, and in respect to location. Here is the obscure development of the ideas of genus and species. At length, however, he perceives a tree differing in very important particulars from either of the others. He now asks the question, what kind of tree is this? The answer is, we will suppose, a maple tree. Then the inquiry arises, what tree is that which stands near the house? He is told that it is an elm tree. He has now the idea of the genus tree, formed on the perception of common qualities, and of two species, separated from each other on the perception of important differences. All trees subsequently perceived, presenting similar resemblances and differences, will be separated and arranged accordingly. As other trees, differing from either of these, are perceived, they will be separated and classed in a similar manner. Throughout the whole process, one idea guides the mind, that of resemblance and difference.
But few words are requisite in the explanation of the mental process called generalization. A general fact is a quality common to every individual of a given class. It may be peculiar to that class: or, while it belongs to each individual of the class, it may appertain to individuals of other classes.
RULES IN RESPECT TO GENERALIZATION.
1. No fact must be assumed in general, which does not belong to each individual of the class to which it is referred.
2. No general fact must be assumed as peculiar to one class, which, though strictly general in respect to that class, nevertheless appertains to individuals of other classes.
3. No fact must be assumed as general without a sufficient induction of particulars, to remove all doubt in respect to the question whether it is, or is not, a general fact.
INFERRED JUDGMENTS OR REASONING.
All judgments are characterized as intuitive, or inferred or deduced. The former we have already considered. To the latter class special attention is now invited. Two subjects, we will suppose, are in thought before the mind. The relations between them are not immediately, that is, intuitively discernible. How can these relations become objects of knowledge? On this one condition exclusively, that they sustain known and common relations of resemblance or difference, or unlikeness, equality or inequality, to some known object. So far forth as they, in the same particulars, agree with this one object, they do, and must, agree with each other. So far forth, on the other hand, as in the same particulars, one agrees and the other disagrees with this object, they disagree with each other. All valid deductions, all forms of valid reasoning, in all the sciences, have their exclusive basis in these principles. All the axioms, in all particular sciences, are nothing but these principles stated in forms adapted to said sciences. All reasoning which strictly conforms to these principles must be valid, and all such procedures which violate these principles must be invalid.
FORM OR BASIS OF ALL VALID DEDUCTION, OR REASONING.
From the nature of the case, as will be readily apprehended, every deduction, inference, or conclusion, in reasoning, must have its basis in two, and only two, propositions, called in science, premises: to suit, the general principle as above stated, and the facts of agreement or disagreement in conformity to said principle:the inference or conclusion is thence deduced. The proposition containing the general principle, is called the major premise, that affirming the facts of the case, is called the minor premise; and that containing the inference, the conclusion. As in every argument there are two,only two objects (terms) compared with a common third object (term), every valid argument must have two premises, and three terms. That with which these objects (terms) are compared is called the middle term, and those compared with said middle term, are denominated the extremes.
An argument expressed in regular form, is called a syllogism. If we assume the letters Z and X, to represent the extremes, and the letter M, to represent the middle term, an argument in syllogistic form would stand thus:
Every M is X.
Every Z is M.
Therefore, every Z is X.
While it is true, that very few arguments assume the form of the syllogism, it is also true, and self-evidently so, that all valid arguments are reducible to this form.
FIGURE OF THE SYLLOGISM.
The figure of the syllogism, as the words are employed in the science of logic, refers to the relations which the middle term sustains to the extremes in the premises of the syllogism. As in one of the premises one extreme is compared with the middle term, and with the other in the other premise, there are but three possible relations of subject and predicate which three such terms can sustain to each other. In the two premises, that term of which the other is affirmed or denied is called the subject, and that which is affirmed or denied of it is called the predicate. The relations referred to are these; to wit, that in which the middle term is the subject of one extreme and the predicate of the other,that in which it is the predicate of both, and that in which it is the subject of both. As a consequence, there can be but three legitimate figures of the syllogism; the idea set forth in the common treatises on logic, that there is a fourth figure, being an important error in this science. We will give an example of a syllogism in each of the figures in order:
First figure. Second Figure. Third Figure.
M=X. X=M. M=X.
Z=M. Z=M. M=Z.
Z=X. Z=X. Z=X.
We have given the above syllogisms in these forms to demonstrate to the pupil a fundamental error in the common treatises on logic; to wit, that in the second figure, we can prove only negative, and in the third only particular, conclusions; whereas, in each figure alike, we legitimately obtain not only particular, but universal, affirmative conclusions. In the treatise on logic, as the reader will clearly see, by carefully studying Sir William Hamilton's scheme of notation given on page 162, we have absolutely demonstrated the fact, that in each figure in common, we obtain, in the most valid forms, twelve affirmative, and twenty-four negative, conclusions; and all in the same forms in each figure.
DISTRIBUTION OF TERMS.
A term is said to be distributed, when it represents, in the proposition in which it is employed, all its significates, that is, all the individuals of the class to which said term is applicable. In the proposition, all men are mortal, for example, the term men represents every individual of the race, and is, therefore, distributed. A term is undistributed, as is the case with the term men, in the proposition, some men are mortal, when it stands for but a part of its significate.
CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS OF PROPOSITIONS.
All logical propositions, being of course affirmative or negative, universal or particular, are composed of three parts,the subject, that of which something is affirmed or denied,the predicate, that which is affirmed or denied of the subject, and the copula, that by which the affirmation or denial is made. In the proposition, for example, X is M, X is the subject, M is the predicate, and is the copula,the copula always being represented by the verb to be, in some of its forms.
RULES FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF TERMS.
The following rules universally obtain in respect to the distribution of terms:
1. All universal and no particular propositions distribute the subject; thus constituting the fundamental distinctions between such propositions.
2. When the subject represents an inferior, and the predicate a superior conception, then all negatives, and no affirmatives, distribute the predicate. The reason for this rule is obvious. In the proposition, for example, all men are mortal beings, the term men represents one species, of which mortal beings are the genus, or superior conception. As the latter term has a wider application than the former, or inferior conception, the proposition, all men are mortal beings, would imply no more than that some mortal beings are men. In all such propositions, consequently, the subject is, and the predicate is not, distributed. In negative propositions, on the other hand, all of the subject is denied of all the predicate, as in the proposition, no men are mortal beings. Here, of course, each term is distributed, because each represents all of its significates.
3. In all propositions, in which the subject and predicate are not related to each other as inferior and superior conceptions, all universal propositions distribute the predicate as well as the subject. In such propositions, for example, as these, X=M, A resembles B, and things equal to the same things are equal to one another, the terms or conceptions are equal and not inferior, the one to the other. As a necessary consequence, the predicate as well as the subject is distributed.
CONVERSION OF PROPOSITIONS.
A proposition is converted when its terms are transposed; that is, when the subject is put for the predicate, and the latter for the former. The proposition, before conversion, is called the exposita, and after conversion the converse. When there is a mere transposition of the terms, with no change of the quantity of the proposition, conversion is said to be simple. When there is a change of quantity, it is called conversion by limitation. In conversion, this rule holds, universally and for self-evident reasons, that no term must be distributed in the converse which was not distributed in the exposita. All forms of conversion in which this rule is not violated, are allowable. Hence the following specific rules of conversion have universal validity.
SPECIFIC RULES OF CONVERSION.
1. In all propositions in which neither term is distributed, as in all particular affirmatives; or in which both terms, the subject and predicate; are distributed, conversion may be simple. For example:
2. In universal affirmative propositions in which the subject is an inferior, and the predicate the superior conception, conversion is by limitation; that is, the exposita is a universal, and the converse is a particular proposition. The converse of the proposition, all men are mortal beings, for example, is this: some mortal beings are men. This, from the nature of the case, does, and must, hold true in respect to all propositions of this character.
3. Particular negative propositions are converted by attaching the term of negation to the predicate. The converse of the proposition, some men are not honest, is this: some beings who are not honest are men. This is called conversion per accident. As in reasoning, there is very frequent occasion to use the converse of the proposition which has been proved, it is of great importance that the scientific student should fully comprehend the principles above elucidated.
FACTS AND PRINCIPLES IN SCIENCE.
The facts of science are those events, or objects, which admit of scientific explanation and elucidation. The principles of science are those self-evident truths, or ascertained laws, in the light of which the facts referred to are explained and elucidated.
RELATION OF FACTS TO PRINCIPLES OF SCIENCE.
Principles have validity for the explanation and elucidation of any given class of facts, when the validity of the former is necessarily implied by the latter; that is, when said facts are incompatible with any hypothesis but this, and all harmonize with it. The law of attraction, for example, as developed and elucidated by Newton, not only is consistent with all the facts of external nature, and explains them; but it is necessarily implied by them; all facts not only affirming its validity, but contradicting every other hypothesis. That law therefore, becomes legitimately a principle of science, for the scientific explanation and elucidation of the facts of nature. The same holds true of all valid principles of science. Their validity as such principles, is necessarily implied by the facts to the elucidation of which they are applied.
THE IMMEDIATE CONDITIONS OF VALID DEDUCTIONS IN SCIENCE.
All valid deductions in science are the necessary consequents of valid principles and real facts,facts and principles sustaining to each other the relations above designated. Deductions not having their exclusive basis in such principles and facts, have no claim to validity.
HYPOTHESES AND ASSUMPTIONS IN SCIENCE.
An hypothesis, as distinguished from a principle in science, is a supposition or idea assumed to account for known facts; but not necessarily implied as true by said facts. An hypothesis, to be worthy of any regard whatever, must be consistent with all the facts to which it is applied, and rationally explain them all. An hypothesis may be properly employed in the explanation of facts when it is definitely understood that it is employed only as an hypothesis, and when said facts do not reveal and verify principles for their own consideration. An hypothesis, also, shown to be consistent with a given class of facts, has absolute validity against any deductions based upon an opposite hypothesis pertaining to the same facts. A class of facts is adduced, for example, to prove the crime of murder. The facts adduced to prove the charge, and the arguments based upon said facts, are proved to be utterly void of validity, when it is shown, that these facts are all consistent with some opposite hypothesis,mere accidents, for example, or the motive of self-defense. Facts equally consistent with various and opposite hypotheses, prove neither, in distinction from any of the others. Assumptions are mere hypotheses, employed as valid principles in the explanation of facts, and the construction of systems of knowledge. All unascertained facts, employed as real and known, in the construction of such systems of knowledge, having their basis in assumptions, are mere logical fictions. Such,as we have demonstrated in the science of Natural Theology especially,are the fundamental characteristics of all the, various systems of materialism, idealism, skepticism, naturalism, and evolution. When we examine the basis principles of every one of these systems, we find those principles to be, without exception, mere assumptions,utterly void of all claims to the high rank of principles of science. And yet this is the exclusive form in which they are employed in the construction of those systems.
THE JUDGMENT, HOW IMPROVED.
The judgment is developed and improved, by means of a habit of careful discrimination in respect to objects of thought,noticing their points of resemblance and difference: by the habit of careful classification and generalization, and of the equally careful reference of facts to principles. One of the most eminent mathematicians that this country ever produced, laid the foundation of his high attainments, by careful study of a single work,the common arithmetic. Finding himself, on his entrance into college, uniformly deficient and behind his class, especially in the mathematics, he went back and took up the treatise referred to, and studied it until he had not only solved every problem presented, but fully comprehended every principle and rule in the science as therein treated; and furthermore, the reasons and grounds of the validity of the rules and principles. The result was, that from that the onward no member of his class, and no student in the institution, could keep in sight of him in any department of the mathematics. Such are the immutable conditions of attaining a strong and well balanced judgment; and no individual who thus thinks and studies can fail to attain this high power. Not a few students become immutably disciplined in the science of non-thinking, by the careless and indiscriminating and incomprehen- sive study of "many books."
FUNDAMENTAL ERROR IN PHILOSOPHY.
In most treatises on Mental Science, no proper distinction is made between these two faculties, the understanding and judgment. Coleridge, for example, defines the understanding as "the faculty of judging according to sense." Reason he also defines and elucidates as the faculty of apprehensions and judgment in respect to necessary truths. Hence, he affirms that "judgments of the understanding admit of degrees, while those of reason preclude all degrees." Other philosophers who have treated at all of these faculties, have adopted the same conclusion. Hence, they often speak of "the logical understanding"; while reason is represented as the proper scientific faculty,the faculty employed in all the pure sciences. Now neither the understanding nor the reason are, in any sense, faculties of judgment. By the understanding, we form conceptions, or notions of the objects of external and internal perceptions. By the reason, we apprehend the realities necessarily implied by objects of perception,realities, such, for example, as space, time, substance, and cause. By the faculty of judgment, we affirm the relations existing between the objects thus perceived and apprehended. By the understanding, for example, we form conceptions of body. By reason, on occasion of forming such conceptions, we apprehend space. By the judgment exclusively, we affirm the relations existing between these two objects, body and space; a relation expressed in the proposition, body implies space. The same holds true in all other instances. We have but one scientific faculty,the judgment; and this faculty is exclusively employed in all judgments and deductions; in all the sciences alike, pure and mixed; and in affirming relations between all objects and realities, finite and infinite. "Confusion worse confounded" is introduced into the sphere of science, when these distinctions are overlooked, or misapprehended.