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Congress of Arts and Science : universal exposition, St. Louis, 1904 online

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agreement about the definition of anything, until there is agree-
ment about the thing itself." This remarkable disparity of opinion
is due partly to the changes in the treatment of logic from Kant to
Mill, and partly to the fact that both statements are extreme. That
the science of logic was "completed and perfect" in the time of
Kant could only with any degree of accuracy be said of the treat-
ment of syllogistic proof or the deductive logic of Aristotle. That
the diversity was so great as pictured by Mill is not historically
exact, but could be said only of the new epistemological and psycho-'
logical treatment of logic and not of the traditional formal logic.
The confusion in logic is no doubt largely due to disagreement in
the delimitation of its proper territory and to the consequent variety
of opinions as to its relations to other disciplines. The rise of induct-
ive logic, coincident with the rise and growth of physical science
and empiricism, forced the consideration of the question as to the
relation of formal thought to reality, and the consequent entangle-
ment of logic in a triple alliance of logic, psychology, and meta-
physics. How logic can maintain friendly relations with both of
these and yet avoid endangering its territorial integrity has not been
made clear by logicians or psychologists or metaphysicians, and
that, too, in spite of persistent attempts justly to settle the issue as
to their respective spheres of influence. Until modern logic definitely
settles the question of its aims and legitimate problems, it is difficult
to see how any agreement can be reached as to its relation to the
other disciplines. The situation as it confronts one in the discus-
sion of the relations of logic to allied subjects may be analyzed as
follows :

L The relation of logic as science to logic as art.

2. The relation of logic to psychology.

3. The relation of logic to metaphysics.

The development of nineteenth century logic has made an answer to
the last two of the foregoing problems exceedingly difficult. Indeed,
one may say that the evolution of modern epistemology has had a
centrifugal iafluence on logic, and instead of growth towards unity
of conception we have a chaos of diverse and discordant theories.
The apple of discord has been the theory of knowledge. A score of
years ago when Adamson wrote his admirable article in the Ency-
clopedia Britannica (article "Logic," 1882), he found the conditions
much the same as I now find them. " Looking to the chaotic state of
logical text-books at the present time, one would be inclined to say
that there does not exist anywhere a recognized currently received
body of speculations to which the title logic can be unambiguously


assigned, and that we must therefore resign the hope of attaining
by any empirical consideration of the received doctrine a precise
determination of the nature and Hmits of logical theory." I do not,
however, take quite so despondent a view of the logical chaos as
the late Professor Adamson; rather, I believe with Professor Stratton
{Psy. Rev. vol. iii) that something is to be gained for unity and
consistency by more exact delimitation of the subject-matter of
the philosophical disciplines and their interrelations, which pre-
cision, if secured, would assist in bringing into clear relief the real
problems of the several departments of inquiry, and facilitate the
proper classification of the disciplines themselves.

The attempt to delimit the spheres of the disciplines, to state their
interrelations and classify them, was made early in the history of
philosophy, at the very beginning of the development of logic as
a science by Aristotle. In Plato's philosophy, logic is not separated
from epistemology and metaphysics. The key to his metaphysics is
given essentially in his theory of the reality of the concept, which
offers an interesting analogy to the position of logic in modern
idealism. Before Plato there was no formulation of logical theory,
and in his dialogues it is only contained in solution. The nearest
approach to any formulation is to be found in an applied logic set
forth in the precepts and rules of the rhetoricians and sophists.
Properly speaking, Aristotle made the first attempt to define the
subject of logic and to determine its relations to the other sciences.
In a certain sense logic for Aristotle is not a science at all. For
science is concerned with some ens, some branch of reality, while
logic is concerned with the methodology of knowing, with the
formal processes of thought whereby an ens or a reality is ascertained
and appropriated to knowledge. In the sense of a method whereby
all scientific knowledge is secured, logic is a propsedeutic to the
sciences. In the idealism of the Eleatics and Plato, thought and being
are ultimately identical, and the laws of thought are the laws of
being. In Aristotle's conception, while the processes of thought
furnish a knowledge of reality or being, their formal operation con-
stitutes the technique of investigation, and their systematic explana-
tion and description constitute logic. Logic and metaphysics are dis-
tinguished as the science of being and the doctrine of the thought-
processes whereby being is known. Logic is the doctrine of the
organon of science, and when applied is the organon of science. The
logic of Aristotle is not a purely formal logic. He is not interested in
the merely schematic character of the thought-processes, but in
their function as mediators of apodictic truth. He begins with the
assumption that in the conjunction and disjunction of correctly
formed judgments the conjunction or disjunction of reality is mir-
rored. Aristotle does not here examine into the powers of the mind


as a whole; that is done, though fragmentarily, in the De Anima and
Parva Naturalia, where the mental powers are regarded as phases of
the processes of nature without reference to normation; but in his logic
he inquires only into those forms and laws of thinking which mediate
proof. Scientific proof, in his conception, is furnished in the form of
the syllogism, whose component elements are terms and propositions.
In the little tract On Interpretation (i. e. on the judgment as inter-
preter of thought), if it is genuine, the proposition is considered in
its logical bearing. The treatise on the Categories, which discusses
the nature of the most general terms, forms a connecting link be-
tween logic and metaphysics. The categories are the most general
concepts or universal modes under which we have knowledge of
the world. They are not simply logical relations; they are existential
forms, being not only the modes under which thought regards being,
but the modes under which being exists. Aristotle's theory of the
methodology of science is intimately connected with his view of
knowledge. Scientific knowledge in his opinion refers to the essence
of things; for example, to those universal aspects of reality which
are given in particulars, but which remain self-identical amidst the
variation and passing of particulars. The universal, however, is
known only through and after particulars. There is no such thing
as innate knowledge or Platonic reminiscence. Knowledge, if not
entirely empirical, has its basis in empirical reality. Causes are
known only through effects. The universals have no existence apart
from things, although they exist realiter in things. Empirical know-
ledge of particulars must, therefore, precede in time the conceptual
or scientific knowledge of universals. In the evolution of scientific
knowledge in the individual mind, the body of particulars or of
sense-experience is to its conceptual transformation as potentiality
is to actuality, matter to form, the completed end of the former
being realized in the latter. Only in the sense of this power to trans-
form and conceptualize, does the mind have knowledge within itself.
The genetic content is experiential; the developed concept, judg-
ment, or inference is in form noetic. Knowledge is, therefore, npt
a mere "precipitate of experience," nor is Aristotle a complete
empiricist. The conceptual form of knowledge is not immediately
given in things experienced, but is a product of noetic discrimination
and combination. Of a sensible object as such there is no concept;
the object of a concept is the generic essence of a thing; and the
concept itself is the thought of this generic essence. The individual
is generalized; every concept does or can embrace several individuals.
It is an "aggregate of distinguishing marks," and is expressed in a
definition. The concept as such is neither true nor false. Truth first
arises in the form of a judgment or proposition, wherein a subject
is coupled with a predicate, and something is said about something.


A Judgment is true when the thought (whose inward process is the
judgment and the expression in vocal symbols is the proposition)
regards as conjoined or divided that which is conjoined or divided
in actuality; in other words, when the thought is congruous with
the real. While Aristotle does not ignore induction as a scientific
method, (how could he when he regards the self-subsistent individual
as the only real?) yet he says that, as a method, it labors under
the defect of being only proximate; a complete induction from all
particulars is not possible, and therefore cannot furnish demonstra-
tion. Only the deductive process proceeding syllogistically from
the universal (or essential truth) to the particular is scientifically
cogent or apodictic. Consequently Aristotle developed the science
of logic mainly as a syllogistic technique or instrument of demon-
stration. From this brief sketch of Aristotle's logical views it will
be seen that the epistemological and metaphysical relations of
logic which involve its greatest difficulty and cause the greatest
diversity in its modern exponents, were present in undeveloped
form to the mind of the first logician. It would require a mighty
optimism to suppose that this difficulty and diversity, which has
increased rather than diminished in the progress of historical philo-
sophy, should suddenly be made to vanish by some magic of re-
statement of subject-matter, or theoretical delimitation of the
discipline. As Fichte said of philosophy, " The sort of a philosophy
that a man has, depends on the kind of man he is; " so one might
almost say of logic, "The sort of logic that a man has, depends on
the kind of philosopher he is." If the blight of discord is ever re-
moved from epistemology, we may expect agreement as to the rela-
tions of logic to metaphysics. Meanwhile logic has the great body
of scientific results deposited in the physical sciences on which to
build and test, with some assurance, its doctrine of methodology;
and as philosophy moves forward persistently to the final solution
of its problems, logic may justly expect to be a beneficiary in its
established theories.

After Aristotle's death logic lapsed into a formalism more and
more removed from any vital connection with reality and oblivious
to the profound epistemological and methodological questions that
Aristotle had at least raised. In the Middle Ages it became a highly
developed exercise in inference applied to the traditional dogmas of
theology and science as premises, with mainly apologetic or polemi-
cal functions. Its chief importance is found in its application to the
problem of realism and nominalism, the question as to the nature of
universals. At the height of scholasticism realism gained its victory
by syllogistically showing the congruity of its premises with certain
fundamental dogmas of the Church, especially with the dogma of the
unity and reality of the Godhead. The heretical conclusion involved


in nominalism is equivalent (the accepted dogma of the Church be-
ing axiomatic) to reductio ad ahsurdum. A use of logic such as this,
tending to conserve rather than to increase the body of knowledge,
was bound to meet with attack on the awakening of post-renaissance
interest in the physical world, and the acquirement of a body of truth
to which the scholastic formal logic had no relation. The anti-scholas-
tic movement in logic was inaugurated by Francis Bacon, who
sought in his Novum Organum to give science a real content through
the application of induction to experience and the discovery of
universal truths from particular instances. The syllogism is rejected
as a scientific instrument, because it does not lead to principles, but
proceeds only from principles, and is therefore not useful for dis-
covery. It permits at most only refinements on knowledge already
possessed, but cannot be regarded as creative or productive. The
Baconian theory of induction regarded the accumulation of facts
and the derivation of general principles and laws from them as the
true and fruitful method of science. In England this empirical view
of logic has been altogether dominant, and the most illustrious Eng-
lish exponents of logical theory, Herschel, Whewell, and Mill,
have stood on that ground. Since the introduction of German
idealism in the last half century a new logic has grown up whose
chief business is with the theory of knowledge.

Kant's departure in logic is based on an epistemological examin-
ation of the nature of judgment, and on the answer to his own
question, "How are synthetic judgments a priori possible?" The
a priori elements in knowledge make knowledge of the real nature of
things impossible. Human knowledge extends to the phenomenal
world, which is seen under the a priori forms of the understanding.
Logic for Kant is the science of the formal and necessary laws of
thought, apart from any reference to objects. Pure or universal
logic aims to understand the forms of thought without regard to meta-
physical or psychological relations, and this position of Kant is the
historical beginning of the subjective formal logic.

In the metaphysical logic of Hegel, which rests on a panlogistic
basis, being and thought, form and content, are identical. Logical
necessity is the measure and criterion of objective reality. The body
of reality is developed through the dialectic self-movement of the
idea. In such an idealistic monism, formal and real logic are by the
metaphysical postulate coincident.

Schleiermacher in his dialectic regards logic from the standpoint
of epistemological realism, in which the real deliverances of the
senses are conceptually transformed by the spontaneous activity
of reason. This spirit of realism is similar to that of Aristotle, in which
the one-sided a priori view of knowledge is controverted. Space and
time are forms of the existence of things, and not merely a priori


forms of knowing. Logic he divides into dialectic and technical
logic. The former regards the idea of knowledge as such; the formal
or technical regards knowledge in the process of becoming or the
idea of knowledge in motion. The forms of this process are induction
and deduction. The Hegelian theory of the generation of knowledge
out of the processes of pure thought is emphatically rejected.

Lotze, who is undoubtedly one of the most influential and fruitful
writers on logic in the last century, attempts to bring logic into
closer relations with contemporary science, and is an antagonist of
one-sided formal logics. For him logic falls into the three parts of
(1) pure logic or the logic of thought; (2) applied logic or the logic
of investigation; (3) the logic of knowledge or methodology; and this
classification of the matter and problems of logic has had an im-
portant influence on subsequent treatises on the discipline. His
logic is formal, as he describes it himself, in the sense of setting forth
the modes of the operation of thought and its logical structure; it is
real in the sense that these forms are dependent on the nature of
things and not something independently given in the mind. While
he aims to maintain the distinct separation of logic and metaphysics ,
he says (in the discussion of the relations between formal and real
logical meaning) the question of meaning naturally raises a meta-
physical problem: " Ich thue besser der Metaphysik die weitere
Erorterung dieses wichtigen Punktes zu iiberlassen." {Log. 2d ed.
p. 57 L) How could it be otherwise when his whole view of the rela-
tions and validity of knowledge is inseparable from his realism or
teleological idealism, as he himself characterizes his own standpoint?

Drobisch, a follower of Herbart, is one of the most thoroughgoing
formalists in modern logical theory. He attempts to maintain strictly
the distinction between thought and knowledge. Logic is the science
of thought. He holds that there may be formal truth, for example,
logically valid truth, which is materially false. Logic, in other words,
is purely formal ; material truth is matter for metaphysics or science.
Drobisch holds, therefore, that the falsity of the judgment expressed
in the premise from which a formally correct syllogism may be deduced,
is not subject-matter for logic. The sphere of logic is limited to the
region of inference and forms of procedure, his view of the nature
and function of logic being determined largely by the bias of his
mathematical standpoint. The congruity of thought with itself,
judgments, conclusions, analyses, etc., is the sole logical truth, as
against Trendelenburg, who took the Aristotelian position that log-
ical truth is the "agreement of thought with the object of thought."

Sigwart looks at logic mainly from the standpoint of the tech-
nology of science, in which, however, he discovers the implications
of a teleological metaphysic. Between the processes of conscious-
ness and external changes he finds a causal relation and not parallel-


ism. Inasmuch as thought sometimes misses its aim, as is shown
by the fact that error and dispute exist, there is need of a discipHne
whose purpose is to show us how to attain and estabhsh truth and
avoid error. This is the practical aim of logic, as distinguished from
the psychological treatment of thought, where the distinction between
true and false has no more place than the distinction between good
and bad. Logic presupposes the impulse to discover truth, and it
therefore sets forth the criteria of true thinking, and endeavors
to describe those normative operations whose aim is validity of
judgment. Consequently logic falls into the two parts of (1) critical,
(2) technical, the former having meaning only in reference to the
latter; the main value of logic is to be sought in its function as art.
'' Methodology, therefore, which is generally made to take a subor-
dinate place, should be regarded as the special, final, and chief aim of
our science." (Logic, vol. i, p. 21, Eng. Tr.) As an art, logic under-
takes to determine under what conditions and prescriptions judgments
are valid, but does not undertake to pass upon the validity of the con-
tent of given judgments. Its prescriptions have regard only to formal
correctness and not to the material truth of results. Logic is, there-
fore, a formal discipline. Its business is with the due procedure of
thought, and it attempts to show no more than how we may advance
in the reasoning process in such way that each step is valid and
necessary. If logic were to tell us what to think or give us the con-
tent of thought, it would be commensurate with the whole of science.
Sigwart, however, does not mean by formal thought independence of
content, for it is not possible to disregard the particular manner in
which the materials and content of thought are delivered through
sensation and formed into ideas. Further, logic having for its chief
business the methodology of science, the development of knowledge
from empirical data, it ought to include a theory of knowledge, but
it should not so far depart from its subjective limits as to include
within its province the discussion of metaphysical implications or
a theory of being. For this reason, Sigwart relegates to a postscript
his discussion of teleology, but he gives an elaborate treatment of
epistemology extending through vol. i and develops his account of
methodology in vol. ii. The question regarding the relation between
necessity, the element in which logical thought moves, and freedom,
the postulate of the will, carries one beyond the confines of logic and
is, in his opinion, the profoundest problem of metaphysics, whose
function is to deal with the ultimate relation between "subject
and object, the world and the individual, and this is not only basal
for logic and all science, but is the crown and end of them all."

Wundt's psychological and methodological treatment of logic
stands midway between the purely formal treatises on the one hand ,
and the metaphysical treatises on the other hand. The general


standpoint of Wundt is similar to that of Sigwart, in that he dis-
covers the function of logic in the exposition of the formation and
methods of scientific knowledge; for example, in epistemology and
methodology. Logic must conform to the conditions under which
scientific inquiry is actually carried on; the forms of thought,
therefore, cannot be separate from or indifferent to the content of
knowledge; for it is a fundamental principle of science that its
particular methods are 'determined by the nature of its particular
subject-matter. Scientific logic must reject the theory that identifies
thought and being (Hegel) and the theory of parallelism between
thought and reality (Schleiermacher, Trendelenburg, and Ueberweg),
in which the ultimate identity of the two is only concealed. Both
of these theories base logic on a metaphysics, which makes it nec-
essary to construe the real in terms of thought, and logic, so di-
vorced from empirical reality, is powerless to explain the methods of
scientific procedure. One cannot, however, avoid the acceptance of
thought as a competent organ for the interpretation of reality, unless
one abandons all question of validity and accepts agnosticism or
skepticism. This interpretative power of thought or congruity with
reality is translated by metaphysical logic into identity. Metaphysical
logic concerns itself fundamentally with the content of knowledge, not
with its evidential or formal logical aspects, but with being and the
laws of being. It is the business of metaphysics to construct its
notions and theories of reality out of the deliverances of the special
sciences and inferences derived therefrom. The aim of metaphysics
is the development of a wo rid- view free from internal contradictions,
a view that shall unite all particular and plural knowledges into a
whole. Logic stands in more intimate relation to the special sciences,
for here the relations are reciprocal and immediate; for example,
from actual scientific procedure logic abstracts its general laws and
results, and these in turn it delivers to the sciences as their formu-
lated methodology. In the history of science the winning of know-
ledge precedes the formulation of the rules employed, that is, pre-
cedes any scientific methodology. Logic, as methodology, is not an
a priori construction, but has its genesis in the growth of science
itself and in the discovery of those tests and criteria of truth which
are found to possess an actual heuristic or evidential value. It is
not practicable to separate epistemology and logic, for such con-
cepts as causality, analogy, validity, etc., are fundamental in logical
method, and yet thej'- belong to the territory of epistemology, are
epistemological in nature, as one may indeed say of all the general
laws of thought. A formal logic that is merely propaedeutic, a logic that
aims to free itself from the quarrels of epistemology, is scientifically
useless. Its norms are valueless, in so far as they can only teach the
arrangement of knowledge already possessed, and teach nothing as to



how to secure it or test its real validity. While formal logic aims to
put itself outside of philosophy, metaphysical logic would usurp
the place of philosophy. Formal logic is inadequate, because it
neither shows how the laws of thought originate, why they are
valid, nor in what sense they are applicable to concrete investigation.
Wundt, therefore, develops a logic which one may call epistemo-
logical methodological, and which stands between the extremes of
formal logic and metaphysical logic. The laws of logic must be

Online LibraryMo.) Congress of Arts and Science (1904 : Saint LouisCongress of Arts and Science : universal exposition, St. Louis, 1904 → online text (page 33 of 68)