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how numerous are the species of moral action in which he is capable of being employed ? And it is no mean honour which is due to the Science in contemplation, and to the Lo. gic which it employs, that, when they are well adjusted and arranged into general and less general classes, with their appropriated names and characters, as those of particular Duties and Sins, Virtues and Vices, the nature of each particular action, with the correspondent proportion of praise or blame, reward or punishment, may be determined with a philosophical exactness and precision
After the Axioms are once founded, it only remains to apply particular Actions to them as to general Rules, the truth of which they will, in general, easily determine. This is, however, sometimes an act of nice judgment and acute discrimination. The difficulty arises, partly in selecting the right Rule to which the a&tion belongs, out of many others similar and nearly akin; but chiefly in accurately diftinguhing the Action, which varies its moral feature with the circumstances attending it,
insomuch that cases sometimes occur so fingular and special, that no rule has yet been formed to which they can be applied.
And, when the General Propositions happen to lie at a considerable distance from the particular cases to be proved by them, so that the reasoner has to ascend through a range of mediate Propositions, SYLLOGISTIC REASONING may have its use: but, if the invention of the truth be his only object, he will find it in the course of a very few fyllogisms, and without the parade of a long-winded disputation. For their private amusement, indeed, men may fyllogize as much as they please, if they do not annoy the public: but they will do Inductive Reasoning the justice to allow, that, till general ideas are formed, there can be no Definition,' and, of course no Syllogism; and, when they are formed, whether their Definitions are good, and their Syllogisms conclusive, does not at all depend upon themselves, but upon the
Opiquos ix yéves xai diá pequv isiv. Aristot. Top. lib. i. cap. 8.
foundness of the Induction by which they are generalized.
Of Inductive and Syllogistic Reasoning, therefore, in Ethical as well as in Physical, and indeed in all other usubjects,” excepting Mathematical, of how much more true and logical use is the former found ? Induction, proceeding on experience and practice, how
? Etiam dubitabit quispiam potius quam objiciet; utrum nos de naturali tantum philosophia, an etiam de scientiis reliquis, logicis, politicis, fecundum viam noftram perfi. ciendis, loquamur. At nos certe de universis hæc, quæ di&ta sunt intelligimus : Atque quemadmodum vulgaris logica, quæ regit res per fyllogismum, non tantum ad naturales, sed ad omnes scientias pertinet ; ita et noftra, quæ procedit per inductionem, omnia complectitur. Tam enim historiam et tabulas inveniendi conficimus de ira, metu et verecundia, et fimilibus ; ac etiam de exemplis rerum civilium: nec minus de motibus mentalibus me. moriæ, compositionis et divifionis, judicii, et reliquorum; quam de calido et frigido, aut luce, aut vegetatione, aut fimilibus. Sed tamen cum noftra ratio interpretandi, poft. historiam præparatam et ordinatam, non mentis tantum motus et discursus, (ut logica vulgaris) sed et rerum naturam intueatur ; ita mentem regimus, ut ad rerum naturam se, aptis per omnia modis, applicare possit. Atque propterea multa et diversa in doctrina interpretationis præcipi.' mus, quæ ad subjecti, de quo inquirimus, qualitatem et conditionem, modum inveniendi nonnulla ex parte applicent. Baconi Nov. Org. lib. s.
ever flow in operation, is sure in its effect. Syllogism, proceeding, in its common use, on fpeculative, vague, and ill-founded axioms, however ready, is fallacious; and has pro. duced no other effect, than that of filling many an useless and unwieldy volume with loads of egregious lumber. • The moral treatises,' says our great reformer, ' which are not sea• soned with experience, but are drawn only • from a general and scholastic notion of • things are, as touching such matters, for • most part, idle and fruitless discourses."'
* Eximie hoc atque veriffime Afranius poëta de gignenda comparandaque sapientia opinatus eft, quod eam filiam esse Usus et Memoriæ dixit. Eo namque argumento demonftrat, qui fapiens esse rerum humanarum velit, non libris solis, neque disciplinis rhetoricis dialecticisque opus efle ; fed oportere eum versari quoque exercerique in rebus com. munibus noscendis periclitandisque : eaque omnia acta et eventa firmiter meminisse ; et proinde sapere ac consulere ex his, quæ pericula ipsa rerum docuerint, non quæ libri tantum aut magiftri per quasdam inanitates verborum et imaginum, tanquam in mimo aut fomnio delectaverint. Versus Afranii sunt in Togata, cui Sellæ nomen eft:
Usus me genuit, mater peperit Memoria
Eoçiav vocant me Graii, vos Sapientiam. Item versus est in eandem ferme sententiam Pacuvii, quem Macedo Philosophus, vir bonus, familiaris meus, fcribi debere censebat pro foribus omnium templorum. A. Gellius, lib. xiii. cap. 8.
• For the labours of speculative men, in active matters, do seem to men of experience
little better than the discourses of Phormio • appeared to Hannibal, who esteemed them • but as dreams and dotage.
Ego odi homines ignava opera et philofopha sententia, Nihil enim fieri pofse indignius neque intolerantius dicebat, quam quod homines ignavi ac defides, operti barba et pallio, mores et emolumenta philosophiæ in linguæ verborumque artes converterent; et vitia facundisime accusarent intercutibus ipfi vitiis madentes. A. Gellius, lib. xiii. cap. 8.
o Tractatus autem, qui experientiam non fapiunt, fed ex notitia rerum generali et scholastica tantummodo deprompti sunt, de rebus hujusmodi inanes plerumque evadunt et inutiles. Quamvis enim aliquando contingat, spectatorem ea animadvertere, quæ lusorem fugiant; atque ja&tetur proverbium quoddam magis audaculum, quam fanum, de censura vulgi circa actiones principum, ftantem in valle optime perluftrare montem; optandum tamen imprimis esset, ut non nisi expertissimus et versatiffimus quisque se hujusmodi argumentis immisceret. Hominum enim speculativorum, in materiis activis, lucubrationes, iis, qui in agendo fuerint exercitati, nihilo meliores videntur, quam dissertationes Phormionis de bellis æftimatæ sunt ab Hannibale, qui eas habuit pro somniis et deliriis. Baconus De Augm. Sc. lib. vii. cap. 2.