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HIS attempt to analyze the method employed in the biological sciences arose from the belief that the direct study of scientific method, as it is illustrated by the works of the accepted masters, is worthy of far more careful attention than is usually accorded to it. As a rule, scientific men are so deeply engrossed in their investigations that they rarely undertake to discuss method. The logical processes involved and the nature of the difficulties met with in scientific investigation are the same as in the practical affairs of life. The fundamental processes of reasoning are the same everywhere; and it cannot but be helpful to study those processes as they are actually applied by master minds in fields where precision of method is peculiarly essential. Even though there may be grave question concerning the practical value of the study of formal logic, there can be no


question concerning the importance of attention to the best practice in matters of reasoning. Some of the reasons which induced me to select Darwin's works as a basis for an analysis of scientific method were: (1) the desire to confine the discussion to the writings of a single author, in order to concentrate the reader's attention upon a model; (2) the fact that his works cover a wide range of subjects, and can be read and understood by those who have had only a moderate amount of scientific training; and (3) above all, the fact that Darwin's investigations, and the reasoning based upon them, have furnished the biological sciences with their dominant principles. To facilitate the study of his works from the point of view of method, references have been added to nearly all the examples drawn from them. A few examples have been mentioned or briefly discussed several times, and this may detract slightly from the freshness of some parts; but a partial compensation may be found in the fact that the repetition of the same example, under different divisions of the subject, will emphasize more strongly the complex inter

dependence of the various logical processes. In several instances, particularly those of radicles, climbing plants, and electric organs, the discussions have been carried into considerable detail: this has been done for the purpose of showing what an actual course of investigation and reasoning is like, – how results, whether true or false, are worked out. At the same time, no effort has been made to make the treatment of Darwin's method exhaustive, nor has any formal explanation of the various logical processes been made. Those who are likely to read this book are already sufficiently familiar with the terminology of logic and the practice of science to understand it easily; and extended explanations would require an excursion into the domain of formal logic, which is not a part of the purpose of the present work. Some of the most important processes have been selected, and Darwin's applications of them illustrated, in such a way as to confine the whole discussion within the narrowest possible limits. It is an easy matter to provoke differences of opinion in discussing either the

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