No wonder so many people are single. A few years ago, I spoke to a group of high-schoolers about the Jewish idea of love. I'll define it, and you raise your hands if you agree.
I Few persons care to study logic, because everybody conceives himself to be proficient enough in the art of reasoning already. We come to the full possession of our power of drawing inferences, the last of all our faculties; for it is not so much a natural gift as a long and difficult art.
The history of its practice would make a grand subject for a book. So it was as they understood it. Its fundamental principle, according to them, was, that all knowledge rests either on authority or reason; but that whatever is deduced by reason depends ultimately on a premiss derived from authority.
Accordingly, as soon as a boy was perfect in the syllogistic procedure, his intellectual kit of tools was held to be complete. He saw that experience alone teaches anything -- a proposition which to us seems easy to understand, because a distinct conception of experience has been handed down to us from former generations; which to him likewise seemed perfectly clear, because its difficulties had not yet unfolded themselves.
Of all kinds of experience, the best, he thought, was interior illumination, which teaches many things about Nature which the external senses could never discover, such as the transubstantiation of bread. Four centuries later, the more celebrated Bacon, in the first book of his Novum Organum, gave his clear account of experience as something which must be open to verification and reexamination.
That we have only to make some crude experiments, to draw up briefs of the results in certain blank forms, to go through these by rule, checking off everything disproved and setting down the alternatives, and that thus in a few years physical science would be finished up -- what an idea!
The early scientists, Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, Harvey, and Gilbert, had methods more like those of their modern brethren. He accomplished this by his incomparable energy and courage, blundering along in the most inconceivable way to usfrom one irrational hypothesis to another, until, after trying twenty-two of these, he fell, by the mere exhaustion of his invention, upon the orbit which a mind well furnished with the weapons of modern logic would have tried almost at the outset.
In the same way, every work of science great enough to be well remembered for a few generations affords some exemplification of the defective state of the art of reasoning of the time when it was written; and each chief step in science has been a lesson in logic.
It was so when Lavoisier and his contemporaries took up the study of Chemistry. The Darwinian controversy is, in large part, a question of logic. Darwin proposed to apply the statistical method to biology.
The same thing has been done in a widely different branch of science, the theory of gases. In like manner, Darwin, while unable to say what the operation of variation and natural selection in any individual case will be, demonstrates that in the long run they will, or would, adapt animals to their circumstances.
Whether or not existing animal forms are due to such action, or what position the theory ought to take, forms the subject of a discussion in which questions of fact and questions of logic are curiously interlaced.
II The object of reasoning is to find out, from the consideration of what we already know, something else which we do not know. Consequently, reasoning is good if it be such as to give a true conclusion from true premisses, and not otherwise.
Thus, the question of validity is purely one of fact and not of thinking. A being the facts stated in the premisses and B being that concluded, the question is, whether these facts are really so related that if A were B would generally be. If so, the inference is valid; if not, not.
It is not in the least the question whether, when the premisses are accepted by the mind, we feel an impulse to accept the conclusion also.Free descriptive essay samples and example essays on any topics are plagiarized.
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