The New Analytic Of Logical Forms -- By: Henry N. Day

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 021:84 (Oct 1864)
Article: The New Analytic Of Logical Forms
Author: Henry N. Day


The New Analytic Of Logical Forms

Prof. Henry N. Day

There is much of truth, if a little of pretension, in the remark of Scotus, quoted by Sir William Hamilton in his second lecture on logic: “Logica est ars artium et scientia scientiarum, qua aperta, omnes aliae aperiuntur; et, qua clausa, omnes aliae clauduntur; cum qua quaelibet, sine qua nulla.” If logic be, as the most profound and most learned thinker of the age has pronounced it to be, “the science of the laws of thought,” the vitality and importance of its relationship to all science, to all intellectual discipline, can hardly be overrated. Not more indispensable to the physical astronomer or to the civil engineer is the science of mathematics, as a system to be known, as a discipline to be applied in practice, than the science of the laws of thought to the thinker, both as objective science or complement of principles, and also as subjective discipline or instrument of intellectual training. If there be but a grain of truth and justice in these claims of logic, what can interest more the world of thinkers, the world of educators, — a thinking age, an educating age, — than the present condition and probable destiny of logic?

Time was when all thought went out in public habited

throughout in the dress and cut of logic. Now it would be a spectacle that would strike by its rarity, were there to appear in the public courses of thought a gait or a dress that logic had formed or furnished. Time was when logic ruled queen in the courts of science and education. Now she is scarcely allowed to appear as a servitor. If we bow with deferential homage to the maxim, “vox populi, vox Dei,” admitting that the sentiment of the world must be in truth and justice, and so acknowledge that there was reason for this remarkable fall of logic in the estimation of philosophers and of educators, it may yet be claimed, in justice, that the rejection of logic is to be attributed to other grounds than a denial of its own intrinsic merits or of its vital relationship to the advance of science and the cultivation of mind. The arrogant pretensions of disciples or the blind devotion of eulogists —pessimum inimicorum genus — may repel a sensitive age from real excellence and worth; or an uncouth attire and a barbarous dialect may exclude from a truly refined society. The past literature of logic reveals sufficient grounds in these accidental relations of the science for that general rejection from the halls of education which it has experienced.

Logic claims to be the science of thought. This claim it urges with a strong presumption in its favor. For, that thought has laws, principles governing it, in accordance with which it must procee...

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