By John Stuart Mill

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

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The notion that what is of primary importance to the logician in a proposition, is the relation between the two ideas corresponding to the subject and predicate, (instead of the relation between the two phenomena which they respectively express), seems to me one of the most fatal errors ever introduced into the philosophy of Logic; and the principal cause why the theory of the science has made such inconsiderable progress during the last two centuries" (89). Mill has said that to understand the nature of proof it is necessary to understand the nature of propositions, for it is these which are proved.

All inference is inductive. In this regard he stands in direct contrast with those who hold that all inference is deductive, an inference being valid by virtue of the relation of implication which holds between propositions. If the latter view of the nature of inference is taken, then according to some, Hume included, induction could be justified only if every induction could be put in deductive form with one supreme premise, such as the principle of the uniformity of nature or the causal axiom.

It remains, moreover, central to an understanding of Milrs thought, for the approaches and doctrines contained 'in it throw light on almost every aspect of his writings. Furthermore, as his first published book, it played a major role in determining the course of his career, for its wide reception gave him prominence and confidence. There is more than technical interest, then, in tracing the course of his logical studies, and the history of the composition of the Logic. a MILL'S EARLY STUDIES OF LOGIC, 1818-30 Mill was first introduced to logic in 1818, when he was twelve, and of all his precocities, it was here, as Bain says, that he was "most markedly in advance of his years.

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