A System of Logic Ratiocinative and Inductive, Part I (The by John Stuart Mill

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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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. " (33 9. ) Thus the word necessity is eliminated from the treatment of causation, and a synonym will also be found for the word when used in its logical sense, namely certainty. _° The conclusions of a deductive science are said to be necessary as following certainly or correctly or legitimately from the axioms and definitions of the science, whether these latter, either as inductions or as assumptions, are true or false.

It is rather the interpretation of an induction, in which the major premise, as we have seen, is a formula, not from which the conclusion is inferred, but in accordance with which the conclusion is inferred. It is, in Mill's language, a warrant or authorization for inferring the conclusion from the particulars which constitute the evidence for it. It warrants the inference because it states in, for example, the proposition, All men are mortal, that having the attributes of a man is satisfactory evidence for the inference to the attribute mortality.

It is not with Thought as Thought, but only as Valid thought, that Logic is concerned. There is nothing to prevent us thinking contrary to the laws of Logic: only, if we do, we shall not think rightly, or well, or conformably to the ends of thinking, but falsely, or inconsistently, or confusedly. This doctrine is at complete variance with the saying of our author in his controversy with Whately, that Logic is, and never could have been doubted to be, in Whately's sense of the terms, both a Science and an Art.

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