Can Change the World Again.
A SYSTEM OF MENTAL PHILOSOPHY. 1882.
REV. ASA MAHAN, D. D. LL.D.
PRINCIPLES OF INDUCTION AND CLASSIFICATION.
No Facts Omitted, and None Assumed
Facts Unlike will be Separated in Classes
Principle of Classification of the Faculties
Like Facts Referred to the Same Faculty
Unlike Facts Referred to Separate Faculties
The Number of Faculties as the Classes of Facts
Determination of the Laws of Mind
They Must be Consistent with the Facts
They Must be Contradicted by None
They Must Explain All
SYSTEM OF MENTAL PHILOSOPHY.
PRINCIPLES OF INDUCTION AND CLASSIFICATION IN RESPECT TO FACTS OF MIND.
The principles of induction and classification to which the strictest adherence will be maintained, in all our inquiries, are the following: 1. No facts of mind, facts given in Consciousness, as real, will be omitted, or disregarded; and none will be supposed, or adduced as the basis of deductions, not thus given as real. 2. Phenomena, or facts, in their essential characteristics unlike, will be separated, or ranged together in distinct and opposite classes; while all facts, in their essential characteristics alike, will be ranked together in the same class. These are the principles which do, in fact, universally obtain in all other sciences, and must obtain in developing the science of mind, as the immutable condition, of reaching any valid deductions.
PRINCIPLES BY WHICH THE NATURE, CHARACTER AND NUMBER, OF THE FACULTIES AND SUSCEPTIBILITIES OF THE MIND ARE TO BE OBTAINED.
The general principle by which the nature, character, and number of the faculties, and susceptibilities of the mind are to be determined, is this: as are the diverse facts of mind, such are its diverse Faculties, and Susceptibilities. As are the essential characteristics of any particular class of facts, such is the nature of the particular faculty or susceptibility to which said facts are referred. From this general principle so obviously valid that none will question it, three general principles arise, to wit: 1. All facts whose essential characteristics are the same, are to be referred to one and the same, faculty, or susceptibility. 2. Facts fundamentally dissimilar in their nature, are to be referred to distinct and separate faculties, or susceptibilities. 3. The number of these distinct and separate Faculties and Susceptibilities is as the number of the distinct and separate classes of mental phenomena given in consciousness.
PRINCIPLES BY WHICH WE ARE TO DETERMINE THE LAWS OF MIND, THEIR NUMBER AND CHARACTER.
The laws of mind are those principles in conformity to which its diverse faculties act, or are controlled. By these laws, we explain the phenomena of mind, and the action of its diverse faculties and susceptibilities. Any hypothesis, to lay claim to the high prerogative of a Law of Mind, must possess the following characteristics: 1. It must consist, or be consistent with, all the facts referred to it. Any hypothesis, undeniably contradicted by any one fundamental fact of consciousness, can have no claim to be regarded as a law of mind. 2. Said hypothesis must not only be consistent with all these facts, but must fully explain them all. A manifest failure to explain a single essential fact, annihilates utterly the claim of any hypothesis to be regarded as a law of mind. 3. These facts must be explicable upon no other actual or conceivable hypothesis. Facts equally consistent with two or more distinct and opposite hypotheses, affirm, and can affirm, neither, in distinction from the other, as a law of mind. But, when any hypothesis undeniably possesses the three characteristics above designated, it then stands demonstrably revealed, as such a law. By an undeviating adherence, in our classifications and deductions, to all the principles which we have laid down, we shall find ourselves, in all our inquiries, on the high road to certain knowledge, and shall ever enjoy, in all our leading deductions, the inward satisfaction and assurance that we can not be wrong.