The science of logic (1912) PDF by Peter Coffey

The science of logic; an inquiry into the principles of accurate thought and scientific method

The science of logic
The science of logic



The aim and scope of this treatise are more modest than perhaps its dimensions might suggest. It attempts, in the first place, to present in a simple way the Principles of the Traditional Logic expounded by Aristotle and his Scholastic interpreters ; secondly, to show how the philosophical teachings of Aristotle and the Schoolmen con tain the true basis for modern methods of scientific investigation, inductive no less than deductive ; and finally, to extend, rather than supplement, the traditional body of logical doctrine by applying the latter to some logical problems raised in more recent times. But the treatment throughout is confined mainly to principles, and is meant to be suggestive rather than exhaustive. Logic has philosophy for its background. 

The study of logic raises many large questions, leading into various branches of philosophy. Nor can any presentation of the science of logic be truly educative or stimulating which does not involve some definite philosophical stand point. Without this latter, the more formal portions of logic can be little better than a dry collection of mechanical rules, while the more important applied portions must remain practically unintelligible to the student. 

But the adoption and application of a definite philosophical stand point in a work on logic does not render imperative any detailed discussion of the larger and more fundamental questions suggested thereby. Apart from Scholastic authors, who still preserve a clearly marked distinc tion between the main departments of philosophical inquiry, modern writers on logic are inclined to discuss many problems which would find a more appropriate place in works on epistemology or ontology. Such problems are but briefly referred to in the present work. 

But it has been thought advisable to follow the now common prac tice by dwelling at greater length upon the presuppositions of induction, because the theory of induction has not yet secured from Scholastic writers the amount of atten tion its growing importance would seem to demand. The standpoint of the present work is that of Scholas ticism as conceived and expounded by those who represent the neo-scholastic movement in modern philosophy. To all such the conviction is common that no recent system of philosophy contains a body of doctrines more in keeping with the established truths of science than are the doctrines of Scholasticism. But to know what the established truths of science are, we must understand the methods of science. Hence the special claims of induction on the attention of the Scholastic logician. 

Philosophers who believe in the superiority of the Scholastic system, as compared with other systems now actually in vogue, recognize the need of applying the traditional principles of this system to modern conditions and problems. Many of the latter are new, at least in form ; and much light has been thrown upon them by the intellectual labours of non-scholastic writers. Such useful achievements the modern Scholastic will gratefully recog nize and gladly welcome ; while at the same time he remains true to the truth that is in Scholasticism.
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