The Science of Logic (Google eBook)

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Longmans, Green, and Company, 1912
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Check out what Wittgenstein said about this book:
"In no branch of learning can an author disregard the results of honest research with so much impunity as he can in Philosophy and Logic. To this
circumstance we owe the publication of such a book as Mr Coffey's Science of Logic: and only as a typical example of the work of many logicians of to-day does this book deserve consideration. The author's Logic is that of the scholastic philosophers, and he makes all their mistakes -- of course with the usual references to Aristotle. (Aristotle, whose name is taken so much in vain by our logicians, would turn in his grave if he knew that so many Logicians know no more about Logic to-day than he did 2,000 years ago). The author has not taken the slightest notice of the great work of the modern mathematical logicians -- work which has brought about an advance in Logic comparable only to that which made Astronomy out of Astrology, and Chemistry out of Alchemy.
Mr Coffey, like many logicians, draws great advantage from an unclear way of expressing himself; for if you cannot tell whether he means to say Yes or No, it is difficult to argue against him. However, even through his foggy expression, many grave mistakes can be recognised clearly enough; and I propose to give a list of some of the most striking ones, and would advise the student of Logic to trace these mistakes and their consequences in other books on Logic also. (The numbers in brackets indicate the pages of Mr Coffey’s book—volume I.—where a mistake occurs for the first time; the illustrative examples are my own).
[36] The author believes that all propositions are of the subject-predicate form.
[31] He believes that reality is changed by becoming an object of our thoughts.
[6] He confounds the copula is with the word is expressing identity. (The word is has obviously different meanings in the propositions—
Twice two is four
and Socrates is mortal.)
[46] He confounds things with the classes to which they belong. (A man is obviously something quite different from mankind.)
[48] He confounds classes and complexes. (Mankind is a class whose elements are men; but a library is not a class whose elements are books, because books become parts of a library only by standing in certain spatial relations to one another—while classes are independent of the relations between their members.)
[47] He confounds complexes and sums. (Two plus two is four, but four is not a complex of two and itself.)
This list of mistakes could be extended a good deal.
The worst of such books is that they prejudice sensible people against the study of Logic."
Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein
anti-dialectics.co.uk
 

Contents

I
iv
II
23
III
56
IV
93
V
120
VI
162
VII
210
VIII
260
IX
294

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Page 306 - No reason can be given why the general happiness is desirable, except that each person, so far as he believes it to be attainable, desires his own happiness. This, however, being a fact, we have not only all the proof which the case admits of, but all which it is possible to require, that happiness is a good : that each person's happiness is a good to that person, and the general happiness...
Page 307 - The only proof capable of being given that an object is visible, is that people actually see it. The only proof that a sound is audible, is that people hear it : and so of the other sources of our experience. In like manner, I apprehend, the sole evidence it is possible to produce that anything is desirable, is that people do actually desire it.
Page 174 - If two or more instances of the phenomenon under investigation have only one circumstance in common, the circumstance in which alone all the instances agree is the cause (or effect) of the given phenomenon.
Page 186 - Whatever phenomenon varies in any manner, whenever another phenomenon varies in some particular manner, is either a cause or an effect of that phenomenon, or is connected with it through some fact of causation.
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Page 181 - If tWO or more instances in which the phenomenon occurs have only one circumstance in common, while two or more instances in which it does not occur have nothing in common save the absence of that circumstance, the circumstances in which alone the two sets of instances differ is the effect, or the cause, or an indispensable part of the cause, of the phenomenon.
Page 77 - This is what writers mean when they say that the notion of cause involves the idea of necessity. If there be any meaning which confessedly belongs to the term necessity, it is unconditionalness. That which is necessary, that which must be, means that which will be, whatever supposition we may make in regard to all other things.
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