By John Stuart Mill


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Additional info for A System of Logic Ratiocinative and Inductive, Part I (The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill - Volume 07)

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In Book V, "On Fallacies" it appears among the first in the five classes of fallacies. Fourthly, it might be said that Mill's statement that logic is a branch of psychology confuses questions of validity with questions of fact. This is perhaps what is most often meant by the term psychologism as applied to a theory of logic. Mill's statement occurs in his analysis of Sir William Hamil° ton's conception of logic as a science, and it is important to consider it within that context. Hamilton had said that logic is both a science and an art, without, however, in Mill's view finding any satisfactory basis for distinguishing between the science and the art.

The latter he considered himself to be formulating explicitly for the first time. The question as to how these rules of art can be viewed as grounded in the science of valid thinking must be broughtunder the larger question as to how rules of art in general are grounded in science. For Mill, the way in which they are grounded is universallythe same for all arts in which there are rules. He distinguishes two kinds of practical reasoning. One is typified in the reasoning of a judge, the other in that of a legislator.

He is retaining the sounder scholastic usage, according to which an abstract name refers to an attribute as opposed to a thing or object. A concrete general name denotes many different objects, but in the case of an abstract name, "though it denotes an attribute of many different objects, the attribute itself is always conceived as one, not many" (30). And so it is in Mill's account of the import of propositions and of the syllogism: Every proposition which conveys real information asserts a matter of fact ....

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