Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Reasonings—which are the elements into which all Thought is resolved. But Thought itself is subsidiary to the attainment of knowledge,--that is, to Science. The question remains, then, after we have fully treated of Concepts, Judgments, and Reasonings, taken separately or considered in themselves alone, what use is to be made of them, taken together, in the construction of Science. A full answer to this question, as it would involve a study of the objects of Science,—that is, of the matter of the special sciences,—evidently falls outside of the province of Logic. But a partial answer to it, regarding Science in its relation, not to the objects known, but to the knowing mind, may be considered as a natural appendage to Logic, as it embraces the conditions not merely of possible, but of perfect, Thought. Such an answer is usually called the Doctrine of Method, or Logical Methodology. Pure Logic considers only the Necessary Laws to which all Thought must conform ; the Doctrine of Method regards those rules and principles to which all Thought ought to conform in order to obtain its end, which is the advancement of Science. Pure Logic treats merely of the elements of Thought, while Logical Methodology regards the proper arrangement of these elements into an harmonious whole. All Method is a well-defined progress towards some end ; and the end in this case is the attainment of truth. Practically speaking, the Doctrine of Method is a body of rules or precepts looking to the proper regulation of the Thinking Faculty

a

in the pursuit of knowledge ; and, as such, it necessarily lacks the precision and the demonstrative certainty which are characteristic of the principles of Pure Logic. The laws of Pure Thought are absolute ; the merits of Perfect Thought are various, and attainable in different degrees, according to circumstances.

Another distinction has been taken, in this science, between Pure and Applied Logic, or as Sir William Hamilton prefers to call the latter, Modified Logic. The former, as we have seen, considers the Thinking Faculty alone, as if it constituted the whole of the human mind, and therefore as if its Laws and Products were unaffected by any collateral and disturbing influences, but were manifested in precisely the same manner by different persons. It takes no account of the defects and hinderances which obstruct the normal action of the understanding. Modified Logic, on the other hand, considers Thought as it is, and not merely as it ought to be. It regards the Causes of Error and the Impediments to Truth by which man is beset in the employment of his Faculties, and what are the means of their removal.” And yet it is a universal science,-as much so as Pure Logic ; -for it does not consider the Matter of Thought.

. But Modified Logic is not properly called Logic, as it is a branch of Psychology, which treats of the phenomena of mind in general, and not merely of the normal action and necessary laws of one special faculty, the Understanding. As Modified Logic, however, is nearly allied in

66

a

purpose with the Doctrine of Method, both looking to the same general end,—the attainment of truth through the proper regulation of the Thinking Faculty, the two may well be considered together, under the general name of Applied Logic, as a kind of supplement to the science properly so called.

8. From Outlines of Ontological Science, by H. N. Day, ed. 1878, pp. 123 and following.

The very conception of method involves, together with something that changes, a source or origin from which the change begins ; an end or goal in which it rests or to which it tends; and

way by which the end is reached from the beginning.

A rational method, moreover, implies a unity of nature and imposes a unity on each of the fundamental elements of true method. It prescribes the right movement from some single source, to some single end, by some single way. Its function is discharged when it indicates this movement and directs it as to such single source, end, and way.

We have found in all knowledge a twofold, a subjective and an objective element—a knowing and a known. A rational method respects the change in both aspects. At every stage of progress, in all true and right knowledge the correspondence between these two constituents is maintained perfect and exact. The subjective constituent increases by the growth effected through exercise in a living agent; and the objective constituent increases in exact correspondence ;-the capacity of knowing is enlarged and intensified as the matter known is broadened and deepened. The view of method, however, will be modified according as the one or the other of these constituents is prominently regarded. We conveniently distinguish, accordingly, a subjec-. tive and an objective method in knowledge..

The subjective method in knowledge respects the knowing subject. The source or origin here is ever the knowing power or function itself at each of the ever advancing stages of its progress.

The end or goal is primarily the perfection of the knowing faculty, and through that the perfection, according to its nature, of the whole organism of which this faculty is a part ;-a goal ever aimed at, but never reached as a final knowing, yet in each specific act of knowing attained in its own proper degree and measure.

The way is by a continuous endeavor in accordance with the laws of thinking or knowing, in which each new measure of thinking energy attained is made the occasion and means of a still more vigorous life of thought. This is prescribed by the principle of adjacence ; continuousness is but progress from next to next in order of proximity or adjacence.

The objective method in knowledge respects the matter known.

The beginning in knowledge here is the datum presented to thought. This

datum must be of the nature of that which can be known ;-must be of the nature of truth. Every fresh attainment of truth adds so much to the volume of attain

ness

ment which, with what is given on each successive occasion of thought, constitutes the datum for the succeeding stage.

The objective end in knowledge is truth acquired in its complete fulness and comprehensive

—the universe of truth ;—an end never fully reached, yet in its measure attained in every new acquisition.

The way in objective knowledge is in undeviating course through the adjacent fields of truth, from boundary through to boundary, avoiding, as far as may be, under the conditions of human life, skips and divisions and devious windings.

9. From Comte's Philosophy of the Sciences, G. H. Lewes, London, 1853. Atheists

may therefore be regarded as the most illogical of theologians, since they attempt the theological problems while rejecting the only suitable method. (p. 25.)

That the positive Method is the only Method adapted to human capacity, the only one on which truth can be found, is easily proved : on it alone can prevision of phenomena depend. (p. 39.)

(p. The present condition of science, therefore, exhibits three Methods instead of one : hence the anarchy.

To remedy the evil, all differences must cease : one Method must preside. (p. 38.)

In passing from one science to another, we discover the several modifications which method (essentially the same in all) undergoes.

A proper knowledge of the positive method can only be acquired in this way. (p. 49.)

. I propose to call the relations of co-existence

« AnteriorContinuar »