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IT is not augmenting the sciences, but disfiguring
them, when their boundaries are allowed to encroach
on one another. For which reason, and as logic is
a science, wherein nothing is fully shewn and
strictly proved but the formal rules of all thinking,
and as we by consequence abstract in it from all
objects of knowledge, as well as from their differ-
ence, our author has left us his logic free from
every extraneous admixture of either ontological,
or anthropological, or psychological, or metaphysi-
cal matter.

Whoever has but a clear and distinct conception
of the proper nature of this science, will soon dis-
cover the great difference between Kant's Logic
and all former treatises on the same subject, not
only by its being purer and more systematical, but,
for all its scientific strictness of method, by its be-
ing simpler, and divested of many of the tinsel
trappings of mood and of figure. The translator
therefore conceives himself warrantable in present-
ing it to the English public.*

* This Treatise on Logic, which is intended for a manual for
lectures, is a posthumous work, and it is the editor Gottlob


He trusts too, that candid and competent judges
(unfortunately not a very numerous body in any
nation) will not repudiate, on a slight review, a
system, which is purged of much useless, though
ostentatious, scholastic subtilty, and which is now
taught and flourishes in all the jprotestant univer-
sities of Germany. As to his labour (a very secon-
dary consideration), by the way, it will, if it or
any light that he may have thrown on a science
(the critical philosophy), which he has been study-
ing for years both in Germany and at home, shall
hereafter be found to deserve the approbation of
those judges, be amply requited.

Benjamin Fesche (doctor and private teacher of philosophy in
the university of Koningsberg, fellow of the Learned Society
of Francfort on the Oder, disciple, follower, and friend of
Kant) whom we have to thank for having thus faithfully pub-
lished his illustrious master's manuscript. The doctor has
promised us his Metaphysic also, which he likewise has in
manuscript in Kant's own writing, and which, the moment it
comes to hand, the translator intends to turn and to publish :
when we shall have something systematical and complete of this
incomparably great man's own, and not be any longer troub-
led with scraps, mutilated extracts, and imperfect quotations,
which cannot convey his sense or spirit, and only serve to de-
ceive the public by giving them a false notion of his method of
philosophising, by leading those totally ignorant of the princi-
ples of his system to prattle superficially of his profound doc-
trine, and by making a mere dogmatic jargon of his sublime


When the arts and the sciences are improved
and enlarged, many more words, than those which
sufficed in their infancy, become necessary, Nulli
unquam, qui res ignorarent, nomina, quibus ea$
exprimerent . qucesierunt. The author found the
technical or rather the scientific words and terms of
the German language inadequate to his method of
critical philosophising, and was consequently ob-
liged to coin new ones. The translator of course
is reduced to the same necessity in English; for
that language is not less copious than our vernacu-
lar tongue ; and circumlocution or a periphrastical
style tends greatly to enfeeble philosophical reason-

Should any critic, however, or philosopher,
whose province it more immediately is, deign to
suggest words or terms more expressive of the
meaning, than his may be, he, as his sole aim, in,
clothing his author's thoughts in an English dress,
is, to render their sense faithfully without any af-
fectation of novelty, and to contribute his mite to
propagate and diffuse useful and sublime know-
ledge, will, should this work have the fortune to
survive the present edition, then adopt those more
apposite words and terms with gratitude and plea-
sure ; for he, though in this instance little more
than a mere translator, is far above logomachy, or
a dispute about words.

True logic (says Watts) does not require along
detail of hard words to amuse mankind, and to puff


up the mind with empty sounds and a pride of false
learning ; yet some distinctions and terms of art are
necessary to range every conception in its proper
class, and to keep our thoughts from confusion.

Though we may and in fact do syllogize botii
in conversation and in common writings, it is,
like Mr. Jourdain (in Moliere's Bourgeois Gentil-
homme), who spoke in prose for more than forty
years, without knowing it.

An acquaintance with the school form of ratio-
cination, however, is indispensable to every man
not only of science, but of a liberal education. The
world (continues the doctor) is now grown so wise
as not to suffer this valuable science to be engrossed
by the schools. In so polite and so knowing an age,
every man of reason will covet some acquaintance
with logic, since it renders its daily service to wis-
dom and to virtue, and is subservient to the affairs
of common life, as well as to the sciences.

In short, the study of the species of logic con-
tained in this compendium should, in the academi-
cal instruction, precede the study of all philosophy,
like a quarantine (so to say), which the disciple,
who has a mind to go out of the land of prejudice
and error into the territory of more enlightened
reason and of the sciences, must perform.

It is to be hoped, that Kant's accurate and pro-
found method of philosophising, a small specimen


of which is exhibited in this work,, will meet with a
better reception from our philosophers, than Har-
vey's doctrine did, at the beginning, from our phy-
sicians. For Hume relates,, that no physician in
Europe, who had reached the age of forty, ever,
to the end of his life, adopted Harvey's doctrine of
the circulation of the blood, and that his practice
in London diminished extremely from the reproach
incurred by this great and signal discovery. So
slow is the progress of truth in every science,, even
when not opposed by either factious or supersti-
tious prejudices I tf So slow

The growth of what is excellent ; so hard
T'attain perfection in this nether world 1 /'




f. Conception of Logic 9

It. Chief Divisions of Logic. Propounding Use of this

Science. Sketch of a History of it - 17

///. Conception of Philosophy in General. Philosophy
considered according to both the scholastic and the
mundane Conception. Essential Requisites and Ends
of Philosophising. The most general and the chief
Problems of this Science. - 25

IV. Light Sketch of a History of Philosophy - 32

y. Cognition in general. Intuitive and Discursive Cog-
nition ; Intuition and Conception) and their Dis-
tinction in particular. Logical and Esthetical Per"
fection of Cognition - 42

VI. Particular logical Perfections of Cognition.

A. Logical Perfection of Cognition as to Quantity* 52

VII. B. Do. Do. Relation 6?

VIII. G. Do. Do. Quality*. 79

IX. D. Do. Do. Modality 91
. Probability. Explanation of the Probable. Dis-
tinction of Probability ft om Verisimilitude. Ma-
thematical and Philosophical Probability. Doubt
both subjective and objective. Sceptical, Dogmatical,
and Critical Cast of Mind or Method of Philoso-
phising. Hypotheses 115




Of the Distinction of theoretical and of practical Cognition 122



General Doctrine of Elements.

See* L Of Conceptions - 125

II. of Judgments ~* * - .141

III. of Syllogism - 160


General Doctrine of Method.

I. Promoting the logical Perfection of Cognition by the
Definition, Jhe Exposition^ and the Description of
Conceptions. ~ - 197


//. Promdting the Perfection of Cognition by the logical

Division of Conceptions. 209

A Sketch of the Author's Life and Writings by the Trans-
lator. - - . . 216




Conception of

EVERY thing in nature, as well in the inanimat
as in the animated world, happens or is done ac-
cording* to rules, though we do not always know
them. Water falls according to the laws of gra-
vitation, and the motion of walking is performed
by animals according to rules. The fish in the
water, the bird in the air, moves according to rules.
All nature,, in general, is nothing but a coherence of
phenomena according to rules ; and there is no
where any want of rule. When we think we find
that want, we can only say that, in this case, the
rules are unknown to us.

The exercise of our powers too takes place ac-
cording to certain rules, which we observe without
a knowledge of them at first, till we attain it
by degrees by essays and a longer use of our
powers, nay, make them (the rules) so easy to
ourselves at last, that we have great difficulty to
think of them in the abstract. Universal grammar^
for instance, is the form of a language in general.
But we speak without knowing grammar ; and he,


who speaks without knowing it, has a grammar and
speaks according to rules, of which he is not

The understanding in particular, like all other
powers in general, is bound in its operations to
rules, which we can investigate. Yes, the under-
standing is to be considered as the source and the
faculty of conceiving- of rules in general. For, as
the sensitivity, or the sensitive faculty (sensuali-
tas*), is the faculty of intuitions, the understanding
is that of thinking, that is to say, of reducing the
representations of ihe senses to rules. It is there-
fore desirous of looking for rules, and satisfied
when it has found them. The question then is, as
the understanding is the source of rules, on what
rules it proceeds itself.

For there is not the least doubt, but we can,
neither think, nor use our understanding otherwise,
than according to certain rules. But we can think
of these rules again by themselves, that is, we can
conceive of them without their application, or in
the abstract. What are these rules ?

All the rules, according to which the understand-
ing proceeds, are, cither necessary, or contingent.
The former are those, without which no use of the
understanding \vould be possible; the latter those,
without which a certain determinate use of it would

* As the word sensuality has degenerated from its original
meaning in our language, we crave leave to substitute the word
Sensitivity to express the intuitive faculty.


not take place. The contingent rules, which de-
pend upon a determinate object of cognition, are as
manifold as the objects themselves. For example,,
there is a use of the understanding in the mathe-
matics, in metaphysics, in moral philosophy, &c.
The rules of this particular determinate use of the
understanding in the aforesaid sciences are contin-
gent ; because it is contingent, whether we think of
this or of that object to which these particular rules
have reference.

But, when we set aside all the cognition, which
we must borrow from the objects merely, and reflect
entirely upon the use of the understanding in gene-
ral, we discover those rules of it, which are absolute-
ly necessary in every respect and without regard-
ing any particular objects of thinking; because
without them we could not think at all. Hence can
they be known a priori, that is, independently of all
experience ; because they comprise, without dis-
tinction of objects, merely the condition of the use
of the understanding in general, whether it (the use)
be pure or empirical. And hence it follows, that
the universal and the necessary rules of thinking in
general can regard its form merely, by no means
its matter. |dConsequently the science, which com-
prehends these universal and necessary rules, is
merely a science of the form of the cognition of our
understanding, or of thinking. And we can frame
to ourselves an idea of the possibility of a science of
that sort, in the same manner as that of a universal


grammar, which contains nothing more than the
bare form of language in general, without words
that belong to the matter of language.

This science of the necessary laws of the under-
standing and of reason in general, or of (what
amounts to the same thing) the mere form of think-
ing in general, we name Logic.

As a science,, which extends to all thinking in
general,, without regarding objects, as the matter of
thinking, Logic is,

1, to be considered as the foundation of all the
other sciences, and as the propedeytic (pre-exerci-
tation) of all use of the understanding. But it
cannot, because of its totally abstracting from all

2, be an organon of the sciences.

By an organon we understand the direction
how a certain cognition is to be brought about.
But, thereto it is required, that we previously know
the object of the cognition which is to be produced
according to certain rules. An organon of the sci-
ences therefore is not mere logic, because it
gives to presuppose the exact knowledge of the
sciences, of their objects, and of their sources.
The mathematics, for instance, as a science
which comprises the ground of the enlarging
of our cognition with respect to a certain use of
reason, are an excellent organon. Whereas logic,
as it, the universal propedeytic of the use of the
understanding and of reason in general, must not be


made to go into the sciences and to anticipate their
matter, is but a universal art of reason (canonica
Epicuri) to make cognitions in general suitable to
the form of the understanding, and consequently in
this view only to be denominated an organon, which
however serves, not for the enlarging, but merely
for the judging and the regulating of our know-

3. As a science of the necessary laws of think-
ing, without which laws no use of the understanding
or of reason has place, and which are by conse-
quence the sole conditions, on which the understand-
ing can agree with itself or be consistent, the ne-
cessary laws and conditions of its right use logic,
however, is a canon. And it, as a canon of the un-
derstanding and of reason, must of course not bor-
row principles, either from any science, or from
any experience whatever \ it must comprehend no-
thing but laws a priori, which are necessary and ap-
pertain to the understanding in general.

Some logicians presuppose psychological princi-
ples in logic. But to introduce such principles as
those into it, is just as absurd as to take moral phi-
losophy from life. Were we to take principles
from psychology, that is, from the observations on
our understanding, we should but see how thinking-
goes on, and how it is under the various subjective
impediments and conditions; this would conse-
quently lead to the knowledge of merely contin-
gent laws. In logic, however, the inquiry is after,


not contingent, but necessary rules; not how we
think, but how we are to think. Hence must the
rules of logic be taken, not from the contingent,
but from the necessary use of the understanding,
which is found in us without all psychology. In
logic we want to know, not how the understanding
is and thinks, and how it has hitherto proceeded in
thinking, but how it shall proceed in thinking. It
is to teach us the right use of the understanding,
that is. its use agreeing with itself.

* O 3

From the foregoing explication of logic we may
derive the other essential properties of this science,
that it is,

4 1 , a science of reason as to the matter, not
as to the mere form ; because its rules are not
taken from experience, and because it has reason
also for its object. Logic, therefore, is a self-cog-
nition of the understanding and of reason, not how-
ever as to their faculties with regard to objects, but
entirely as to the form. In logic, we would not
ask, what does the understanding know, and how
much can it know ; or how far does its cognition
go ? For that were self-cognition with regard to
its material use, and consequently belongs to meta-
physic. In logic there is but the question, how
does the understanding know itself?

As a rational science, as to both the matter and
the form, logic finally is,

5, a doctrine, or demonstrated theory. For, as it is
occupied, not about the common and, as such, mere-


Jy empirical use of the understanding and of rea-
son, but entirely about the universal and the neces-
sary laws of thinking in general, it depends upon
principles, a priori, from which all its rules can
be derived and proved to be that, to which all cog-
nition of reason must be conformable.

By logic's being, as a science a priori or as
a doctrine, to be held a canon of the use of the
understanding, it is essentially distinguished from
esthetic which, as mere criticism of taste, has not a
canon (a law), but only a norma (a pattern, or rule
merely for judging), which consists in universal
agreement. Esthetic contains the rules of the
agreement of cognition with the laws of the sensi-
tive faculty ; logic, on the other hand, the rules
of the agreement of cognition with the laws of the
understanding and of reason. That has but empi-
rical principles and of course can never be a sci-
ence or a doctrine, provided that we understand by
a doctrine a dogmatical instruction on principles
a priori, in which every thing is known by the un-
derstanding without any other information received
from experience, and which gives us rules, whose
observance yields the desired perfection.

Many, particularly orators and poets, have at-
tempted to reason on taste, but never been able to
give a decisive judgment on it. Baumgarten, the
philosopher, has formed a plan of an esthetic as a
science. But Home has distinguished the esthetic
righter by the appellation of Criticism, as that does


not give any rules a priori, which determine the
judgment sufficiently, like logic, but takes its rules
a posteriori, and renders the empirical laws, ac-
cording to which we know the more imperfect and
the more perfect (beautiful), more general by com-
parison only.

Logic, then, is more than mere criticism ; it is a
canon, which afterwards serves for a criticism, that
is, for the principle of the judgment of all use of
the understanding in general,, though but of its right-
ness with respect to the mere form, as it (logic) is
as little an organon as universal grammar.

Universal logic, as the propedeytic of all use of
the understanding in general, is distinguished., in
another point of view, from transcendental logic., in
which the object itself is represented as an object
of the bare understanding, whereas universal logic
extends to all objects in general.

If we collect all the essential marks which pertain
to the full determination of the conception of logic,
we must give the following conception of it :

Logic, as to the mere form, but not as to the mat-
ter, is a science of reason; a science a priori of the
necessary laws of thinking, with regard, not to par-
ticular objects, but to all objects in general ; by
consequence a science of the right use of the under^
standing and of reason in general, not subjective:
]y, that is, not on empirical (psychological) princi-
ples, how the understanding thinks, but objective-
ly, that is, on principles a priori, how it must think.



Principal divisions of Logic. Propound-
ing. Use of this Science. Sketch of a
History of it.

LOGIC is divided^

1, into the analytic and the dialectic. The
analytic, by dissecting, discovers all the opera-
tions of reason, which we perform in thinking
in general. It is, therefore,, an analytic of the
form of the understanding and of reason, and
justly named the logic of truth; because it contains
the necessary rules of all (formal) truth, without
which our cognition is, without regard to the ob-
jects, untrue in itself. It consequently is nothing
more than a canon of dijudication (of the formal
rightness of. our cognition).

Should this merely theoretical and universal doc-
trine be used as a practical art., that is, as an orga-
non, it would become a dialectic, a logic of appear-
ance (ars sophistica, disputatoria ) , which arises
from a mere abuse of the analytic, when, accord-
ing to the bare logical form, the appearance of a
true cognition whose marks must however be taken
from the agreement with the objects, consequently
from the matter, is fabricated.

In former times the dialectic was studied with
great diligence* By this art false principles were


propounded under the appearance of truth, and
it was endeavoured, conformably to them, to main-
tain thing-s in appearance. Among the Greeks the
dialecticians were the counsellors and the orators,
who could lead the people as they pleased ; be-
cause the people can be deceived by appearances.
Dialectic, then, was at that time the art of appear-
ance. In logic, it was for a time propounded under
the name of the art of disputation, and so long was
all logic and all philosophy the culture of certain
praters, to fabricate every appearance. But no-
thing can be more unworthy of a philosopher, than
the culture of an art of that sort. In this significa-
tion, therefore, it must be totally exploded; and, in-
stead of it, a criticism of this false appearance in-
troduced into logic.

We shall consequently have two parts of logic :
the analytic, which propounds the formal criteria of
truth ; and the dialectic, which comprises the marks
and the rules, by which we can know, that something
does not agree with them. In this sense the dia-
lectic would be of great use as a cathartic of the

Logic is usually divided still,

2, into natural or popular, and artificial or sci-en-
tific (logica scholastica).

But this division is improper. For natural logic,
or that of common sense, is not logic, but an anthro-
pological science, which, as it handles the rules of
the natural use of the understanding and of reason,


that are known but in the concrete, of course with-
out consciousness of them in the abstract, has only
empirical principles. Nothing but artificial or
scientific logic, then, as a science of the necessary
and of the universal rules of thinking, which, inde-
pendently of the natural use of the understanding
and of reason, jnust though they can be found at first
by the observation of that natural useonly,beknown
in the abstract a priori, deserves the name of logic.

3. Yet another division of logic is, that into theo-
retical and practical. But this division too is wrong.

Universal logic, which, as a mere canon, abstracts
from all objects, cannot have a practical part. This,
as practical logic gives to presuppose the knowledge
of a certain sort of objects, to which it is applied, were
a contradiction in adjecto. Hence may we deno-
minate every science practical logic ; for in every
science we must have a form of thinking. Univer-
sal logic considered as practical, can therefore be
nothing more than a technic of learning in general,
an organon of the scholastic method.

In consequence of this division logic has a dogma
tical and a technical part. The former may be term-
ed the doctrine of elements, the latter that of me-
thod. The practical or technical part of logic is a
logical art that treats of the arrangement and of the
logical terms of art and distinctions, in order there-
by to facilitate the operations of the understanding.

In neither of the parts, however, whether* the
technical, or the dogmatical, must the least attention


be paid, either to the object, or to the subject of
thinking. In the latter reference logic may be

A, into pure and applied or mixed. In pure
logic we separate the understanding from the other

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