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Full text of "An investigation of the laws of thought [microform] : on which are founded the mathematical theories of logic and probabilities"

GIFT OP 
JUUUS WMGENMEIM 








AN INVESTIGATION 



OF 



THE LAWS OF THOUGHT, 



ON WHICH ARE FOUNDED 



THE MATHEMATICAL THEORIES OF LOGIC 
AND PROBABILITIES. 



BY 



GEORGE BOOLE, LL.D. 

it 

PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS IN QUEEN'S COLLEGE, CORK. 



LONDON: 
WALTON AND MABERLY, 

UPPER GOWER-STREET, AND IVY-LANE, PATERNOSTER-ROW, 

CAMBRIDGE: MACMILLAN AND CO. 

1854, 







DUBLIN 

tf)c 

1?Y M. H. GII.U 



TO 

JOHN EYALL, LL, D. f - 

VICE-PRESIDENT AND PROFESSOR OF GREEK 

IN QUEEN'S COLLEGE, CORK, 

THIS WORK IS INSCRIBED 

IN TESTIMONY OF FRIENDSHIP AND ESTEEM. 








DUBLIN : 
tftc Sanifcersttg press, 



BY M. H. GII^L. 



TO 



JOHN EYALL, LL, D,, 



YICE-PRESIDENT AND PROFESSOR OF GREEK 



IN QUEEN'S COLLEGE, CORK, 



THIS WORK IS INSCRIBED 



IN TESTIMONY OF FRIENDSHIP AND ESTEEM. 



PREFACE. 



following work is not a republication of a former trea- 
tise by the Author, entitled, " The Mathematical Analysis 
of Logic." Its earlier portion is indeed devoted to the same 
object, and it begins by establishing the same system of funda- 
mental laws, but its methods are more general, and its range of 
applications far wider. It exhibits the results, matured by some 
years of study and reflection, of a principle of investigation re- 
lating to the intellectual operations, the previous exposition of 
which was written within a few weeks after its idea had been 
conceived. 

That portion of this work which relates to Logic presupposes 
in its reader a knowledge of the most important terms of the 
science, as usually treated, and of its general object. On these 
points there is no better guide than Archbishop Whately's 
" Elements of Logic," or Mr. Thomson's " Outlines of the Laws 
of Thought." To the former of these treatises, the present re- 
vival of attention to this class of studies seems in a great measure 
due. Some acquaintance with the principles of Algebra is also 
requisite, but it is not necessary that this application should have 
been carried beyond the solution of simple equations. For the 
study of those chapters which relate to the theory of probabilities, 
a somewhat larger knowledge of Algebra is required, and espe- 



IV PREFACE. 

cially of the doctrine of Elimination, and of the solution of Equa- 
tions containing more than one unknown quantity. Preliminary 
information upon the subject-matter will be found in the special 
treatises on Probabilities in " Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopaedia," 
and the " Library of Useful Knowledge," the former of these by 
Professor De Morgan, the latter by Sir John Lubbock ; and in 
an interesting series of Letters translated from the French of 
M. Quetelet. Other references will be given in the work. On a 
first perusal the reader may omit at his discretion, Chapters x., 
xiv., and xix., together with any of the applications which he 
may deem uninviting or irrelevant. 

In different parts of the work, and especially in the notes to 
the concluding chapter, will be found references to various writers, 
ancient and modern, chiefly designed to illustrate a certain view of 
the history of philosophy. With respect to these, the Author 
thinks it proper to add, that he has in no instance given a cita- 
tion which he has not believed upon careful examination to be 
supported either by parallel authorities, or by the general tenor 
of the work from which it was taken. While he would gladly 
have avoided the introduction of anything which might by pos- 
sibility be construed into the parade of learning, he felt it to be 
due both to his subject and to the truth, that the statements in 
the text should be accompanied by the means of verification. 
And if now, in bringing to its close a labour, of the extent of 
which few persons will be able to judge from its apparent fruits, 
he may be permitted to speak for a single moment of the feelings 
with which he has pursued, and with which he now lays aside, 
his task, he would say, that he never doubted that it was worthy of 
his best efforts ; that he felt that whatever of truth it might bring 
to light was not a private or arbitrary thing, not dependent, as to 
its essence, upon any human opinion. He was fully aware that 
learned and able men maintained opinions upon the subject of 



PREFACE. V 

Logic directly opposed to the views upon which the entire argu- 
ment and procedure of his work rested. While he believed those 
opinions to be erroneous, he was conscious that his own views 
might insensibly be warped by an influence of another kind. He 
felt in an especial manner the danger of that intellectual bias which 
long attention to a particular aspect of truth tends to produce. 
But he trusts that out of this conflict of opinions the same truth 
will but emerge the more free from any personal admixture ; that 
its different parts will be seen in their just proportion ; and that 
none of them will eventually be too highly valued or too lightly 
regarded because of the prejudices which may attach to the 
mere form of its exposition. 

To his valued friend, the Rev. George Stephens Dickson, 
of Lincoln, the Author desires to record his obligations for much 
kind assistance in the revision of this work, and for some impor- 
tant suggestions. 

5, GRENVILLE-PLACE, CORK, 
Nov. 30M, 1853. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE. 

NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK, 1 

CHAPTER II. 

SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS, 24 

CHAPTER HI. 
DERIVATION OF THE LAWS, 39 

CHAPTER IV. 
DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS, 52 

CHAPTER V. 
PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING, .......... 66 

CHAPTER VI. 
OF INTERPRETATION, 80 

; 

CHAPTER VH. 

OF ELIMINATION, 99 

CHAPTER vrn. 

OF REDUCTION, 114 

CHAPTER IX. 

METHODS OF ABBREVIATION, 130 



IV CONTENTS. 

PAGE. 

CHAPTER X. 

CONDITIONS OF A PERFECT METHOD, 1 50 

CHAPTER XI. 
OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS, 1 59 

CHAPTER XII. 
METHODS IN SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS, 1 77 

CHAPTER XIH. 
CLARKE AND SPINOZA, 185 

CHAPTER XIV. 
EXAMPLE OF ANALYSIS, . : . . .^ 219 

CHAPTER XV. 
OF THE ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC, 226 

CHAPTER XVI. 

OF THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES, 243 

CHAPTER XVII. 
GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES, 253 

CHAPTER XVHL 
ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS, 276 

CHAPTER XIX. 
OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS, 295 

CHAPTER XX. 

PROBLEMS ON CAUSES, 320 

CHAPTER XXI. 

PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS, 376 

CHAPTER XXII. 
CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT, 399 



AN INVESTIGATION 



OF 



THE LAWS OF THOUGHT 



CHAPTER I. 

NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. 

1. '"pHE design of the following treatise is to investigate the 
r*- fundamental laws of those operations of the mind by which 
reasoning is performed; to give expression to them in the symboli- 
cal language of a Calculus, and upon this foundation to establish the 
science of Logic and construct its method ; to make that method 
itself the basis of a general method for the application of the ma- 
thematical doctrine of Probabilities ; and, finally, to collect from 
the various elements of truth brought to view in the course of 
these inquiries some probable intimations concerning the nature 
and constitution of the human mind. 

2. That this design is not altogether a novel one it is almost 
needless to remark, and it is well known that to its two main 
practical divisions of Logic and Probabilities a very considerable 
share of the attention of philosophers has been directed. In its 
ancient and scholastic form, indeed, the subject of Logic stands 
almost exclusively associated with the great name of Aristotle. 
As it was presented to ancient Greece in the partly technical, 
partly metaphysical disquisitions of the Organon, such, with 
scarcely any essential change, it has continued to the present 
day. The stream of original inquiry has rather been directed 
towards questions of general philosophy, which, though they 



**'" *..*' ' " . 

2 NATUKB' AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. [CHAP. I. 

have arisen among the disputes of the logicians, have outgrown 
their origin, and given to successive ages of speculation their pe- 
culiar bent and character. The eras of Porphyry and Proclus, 
of Anselm and Abelard, of Ramus, and of Descartes, together 
with the final protests of Bacon and Locke, rise up before the 
mind as examples of the remoter influences of the study upon the 
course of human thought, partly in suggesting topics fertile of 
discussion, partly in provoking remonstrance against its own un- 
due pretensions. The history of the theory of Probabilities, on 
the other hand, has presented far more of that character of steady 
growth which belongs to science. In its origin the early genius 
of Pascal, in its maturer stages of development the most recon- 
dite of all the mathematical speculations of Laplace, were direct- 
ed to its improvement ; to omit here the mention of other names 
scarcely less distinguished than these. As the study of Logic has 
been remarkable for the kindred questions of Metaphysics to 
which it has given occasion, so that of Probabilities also has been 
remarkable for the impulse which it has bestowed upon the 
higher departments of mathematical science. Each of these sub- 
jects has, moreover, been justly regarded as having relation to a 
speculative as well as to a practical end. To enable us to deduce 
correct inferences from given premises is not the only object of 
Logic ; nor is it the sole claim of the theory of Probabilities that 
it teaches us how to establish the business of life assurance on a 
secure basis ; and how to condense whatever is valuable in the 
records of innumerable observations in astronomy, in physics, or 
in that field of social inquiry which is fast assuming a character 
of great importance. Both these studies have also an interest 
of another kind, derived from the light which they shed upon 
the intellectual powers. They instruct us concerning the mode 
in which language and number serve as instrumental aids to the 
processes of reasoning; they reveal to us in, some degree the 
connexion between different powers of our common intellect ; 
they set before us what, in the two domains of demonstrative and 
of probable knowledge, are the essential standards of truth and 
correctness, standards not derived from without, but deeply 
founded in the constitution of the human faculties. These ends 
of speculation yield neither in interest nor in dignity, nor yet, it 



CHAP. I.] NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. 3 

may be added, in importance, to the practical objects, with the 
pursuit of which they have been historically associated. To un- 
fold the secret laws and relations of those high faculties of 
thought by which all beyond the merely perceptive knowledge 
of the world and of ourselves is attained or matured, is an object 
which does not stand in need of commendation to a rational 
mind. 

3. But although certain parts of the design of this work have 
been entertained by others, its general conception, its method, 
and, to a considerable extent, its results, are believed to be ori- 
ginal. For this reason I shall offer, in the present chapter, some 
preparatory statements and explanations, in order that the real 
aim of this treatise may be understood, and the treatment of its 
subject facilitated. 

It is designed, in the first place, to investigate the fundamen- 
tal laws of those operations of the mind by which reasoning is 
performed. It is unnecessary to enter here into any argument to 
prove that the operations of the mind are in a certain real sense 
subject to laws, and that a science of the mind is therefore possible. 
If these are questions which admit of doubt, that doubt is not 
to be met by an endeavour to settle the point of dispute d priori, 
but by directing the attention of the objector to the evidence of 
actual laws, by referring him to an actual science. And thus the 
solution of that doubt would belong not to the introduction to 
this treatise, but to the treatise itself. Let the assumption be 
granted, that a science of the intellectual powers is possible, and 
let us for a moment consider how the knowledge of it is to be 
obtained. 

4. Like all other sciences, that of the intellectual operations 
must primarily rest upon observation, the subject of such ob- 
servation being the very operations and processes of which we 
desire to determine the laws. But while the necessity of a foun- 
dation in experience is thus a condition common to all sciences, 
there are some special differences between the modes in which 
this principle becomes available for the determination of general 
truths when the subject of inquiry is the mind, and when the 
subject is external nature. To these it is necessary to direct 

attention. 

B 2 



4 NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. [CHAP. I. 

The general laws of Nature are not, for the most part, imme- 
diate objects of perception. They are either inductive inferences 
from a large body of facts, the common truth in which they ex- 
press, or, in their origin at least, physical hypotheses of a causal 
nature serving to explain phenomena with undeviating precision, 
and to enable us to predict new combinations of them. They 
are in all cases, and in the strictest sense of the term, probable 
conclusions, approaching, indeed, ever and ever nearer to cer- 
tainty, as they receive more and more of the confirmation of ex- 
perience. But of the character of probability, in the strict and 
proper sense of that term, they are never wholly divested. On the 
other hand, the knowledge of the laws of the mind does not require 
as its basis any extensive collection of observations. The general 
truth is seen in the particular instance, and it is not confirmed 
by the repetition of instances. We may illustrate this position 
by an obvious example. It may be a question whether that for- 
mula of reasoning, which is called the dictum of Aristotle, de omni 
et nullo, expresses a primary law of human reasoning or not ; but 
it is no question that it expresses a general truth in Logic. Now 
that truth is made manifest in all its generality by reflection 
upon a single instance of its application. And this is both an 
evidence that the particular principle or formula in question is 
founded upon some general law or laws of the mind, and an illus- 
tration of the doctrine that the perception of such general truths 
is not derived from an induction from many instances, but is in- 
volved in the clear apprehension of a single instance. In con- 
nexion with this truth is seen the not less important one that 
our knowledge of the laws upon which the science of the intellec- 
tual powers rests, whatever may be its extent or its deficiency, is 
not probable knowledge. For we not only see in the particular 
example the general truth, but we see it also as a certain truth, 
a truth, our confidence in which will not continue to increase 
with increasing experience of its practical verifications. 

5. But if the general truths of Logic are of such a nature that 
when presented to the mind they at once command assent, 
wherein consists the difficulty of constructing the Science of 
Logic ? Not, it may be answered, in collecting the materials of 
knowledge, but in discriminating their nature, and determining 



CHAP. I.] NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. 5 

their mutual place and relation. All sciences consist of general 
truths, but of those truths some only are primary and fundamen- 
tal, others are secondary and derived. The laws of elliptic mo- 
tion, discovered by Kepler, are general truths in astronomy, but 
they are not its fundamental truths. And it is so also in the 
purely mathematical sciences. An almost boundless diversity of 
theorems, which are known, and an infinite possibility of others, 
as yet unknown, rest together upon the foundation of a few sim- 
ple axioms ; and yet these are all general truths. It may be 
added, that they are truths which to an intelligence sufficiently 
refined would shine forth in their own unborrowed light, with- 
out the need of those connecting links of thought, those steps 
of wearisome and often painful deduction, by which the know- 
ledge of them is actually acquired. Let us define as fundamental 
those laws and principles from which all other general truths of 
science may be deduced, and into which they may all be again 
resolved. Shall we then err in regarding that as the true science 
of Logic which, laying down certain elementary laws, confirmed 
by the very testimony of the mind x permits us thence to deduce, 
by uniform processes, the entire chain of its secondary conse- 
quences, and furnishes, for its practical applications, methods of 
perfect generality ? Let it be considered whether in any science, 
viewed either as a system of truth or as the foundation of a prac- 
tical art, there can properly be any other test of the completeness 
and the fundamental character of its laws, than the completeness 
of its system of derived truths, and the generality of the methods 
which it serves to establish. Other questions may indeed pre- 
sent themselves. Convenience, prescription, individual prefe- 
rence, may urge their claims and deserve attention. But as 
respects the question of what constitutes science in its abstract 
integrity, I apprehend that no other considerations than the 
above are properly of any value. 

6. It is designed, in the next place, to give expression in this 
treatise to the fundamental laws of reasoning in the symbolical 
language of a Calculus. Upon this head it will suffice to say, that 
those laws are such as to suggest this mode of expression, and 
to give to it a peculiar and exclusive fitness for the ends in view. 



6 NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. [CHAP. I. 

There is not only a close analogy between the operations of the 
mind in general reasoning and its operations in the particular 
science of Algebra, but there is to a considerable extent an exact 
agreement in the laws by which the two classes of operations are 
conducted. Of course the laws must in both cases be determined 
independently ; any formal agreement between them can only be 
established a posteriori by actual comparison. To borrow the 
notation of the science of Number, and then assume that in its 
new application the laws by which its use is governed will remain 
unchanged, would be mere hypothesis. There exist, indeed, 
certain general principles founded in the very nature of language, 
by which the use of symbols, which are but the elements of 
scientific language, is determined. To a certain extent these 
elements are arbitrary. Their interpretation is purely conven- 
tional : we are permitted to employ them in whatever sense we 
please. But this permission is limited by two indispensable con- 
ditions, first, that from the sense once conventionally established 
we never, in the same process of reasoning, depart ; secondly, 
that the laws by which the process is conducted be founded ex* 
clusively upon the above fixed sense or meaning of the symbols 
employed. In accordance with these principles, any agreement 
which may be established between the laws of the symbols of 
Logic and those of Algebra can but issue in an agreement of pro- 
cesses. The two provinces of interpretation remain apart and 
independent, each subject to its own law r s and conditions. 

Now the actual investigations of the following pages exhibit 
Logic, in its practical aspect, as a system of processes carried on 
by the aid of symbols having a definite interpretation, and sub- 
ject to laws founded upon that interpretation alone. But at the 
same time they exhibit those laws as identical in form with the 
laws of the general symbols of algebra, with this single addition, 
viz., that the symbols of Logic are further subject to a special 
law (Chap, ii.), to which the symbols of quantity, as such, are 
not subject. Upon the nature and the evidence of this law it is not 
purposed here to dwell. These questions will be fully discussed 
in a future page. But as constituting the essential ground of 
difference between those forms of inference with which Logic is 



CHAP. I.] NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. 7 

conversant, and those which present themselves in the particular 
science of Number, the law in question is deserving of more 
than a passing notice. It may be said that it lies at the very 
foundation of general reasoning, that it governs those intellec- 
tual acts of conception or of imagination which are preliminary to 
the processes of logical deduction, and that it gives to the pro- 
cesses themselves much of their actual form and expression. It 
may hence be affirmed that this law constitutes the germ or semi- 
nal principle, of which every approximation to a general method 
in Logic is the more or less perfect development. 

7. The principle has already been laid down (5) that the 
sufficiency and truly fundamental character of any assumed sys- 
tem of laws in the science of Logic must partly be seen in the 
perfection of the methods to which they conduct us. It remains, 
then, to consider what the requirements of a general method in 
Logic are, and how far they are fulfilled in the system of the pre- 
sent work. - 

Logic is conversant with two kinds of relations, relations 
among things, and relations among facts. But as facts are ex- 
pressed by propositions, the latter species of relation may, at 
least for the purposes of Logic, be resolved into a relation among 
propositions. The assertion that the fact or event A is an inva- 
riable consequent of the fact or event B may, to this extent at 
least, be regarded as equivalent to the assertion, that the truth 
of the proposition affirming the occurrence of the event B always 
implies the truth of the proposition affirming the occurrence of 
the event A. Instead, then, of saying that Logic is conversant 
with relations among things and relations among facts, we are 
permitted to say that it is concerned with relations among things 
and relations among propositions. Of the former kind of relations 
we have an example in the proposition "All men are mortal;" 
of the latter kind in the proposition " If the sun is totally 
eclipsed, the stars will become visible." The one expresses a re- 
lation between " men" and " mortal beings," the other between 
the elementary propositions " The sun is totally eclipsed ;" 
" The stars will become visible." Among such relations I sup- 
pose to be included those which affirm or deny existence with 
respect to things, and those which affirm or deny truth with re- 



8 NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. [CHAP. I. 

spect to propositions. Now let those things or those propositions 
among which relation is expressed be termed the elements of 
the propositions by which such relation is expressed. Proceed- 
ing from this definition, we may then say that the premises of any 
logical argument express given relations among certain elements, 
and that the conclusion must express an implied relation among 
those elements, or among a part of them, i. e. a relation implied 
by or inferentially involved in the premises. 

8. Now this being premised, the requirements of a general 
method in Logic seem to be the following : 

1st. As the conclusion must express a relation among the 
whole or among a part of the elements involved in the premises, 
it is requisite that we should possess the means of eliminating 
those elements which we desire not to appear in the conclusion, 
and of determining the whole amount of relation implied by the 
premises among the elements which we wish to retain. Those 
elements which do not present themselves in the conclusion are, 
in the language of the common Logic, called middle terms ; and 
the species of elimination exemplified in treatises on Logic consists 
in deducing from two propositions, containing a common element 
or middle term, a conclusion connecting the two remaining terms. 
But the problem of elimination, as contemplated in this work, 
possesses a much wider scope. It proposes not merely the elimi- 
nation of one middle term from two propositions, but the elimi- 
nation generally of middle terms from propositions, without 
regard to the number of either of them, or to the nature of their 
connexion. To this object neither the processes of Logic nor 
those of Algebra, in their actual state, present any strict parallel. 
In the latter science the problem of elimination is known to be 
limited in the following manner : From two equations we can 
eliminate one symbol of quantity; from three equations two 
symbols ; and, generally, from n equations n \ symbols. But 
though this condition, necessary in Algebra, seems to prevail in 
the existing Logic also, it has no essential place in Logic as a 
science. There, no relation whatever can be proved to prevail 
between the number of terms to be eliminated and the number 
of propositions from which the elimination is to be effected. 
From the equation representing a single proposition, any num- 



CHAP. I.] NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. 9 

ber of symbols representing terms or elements in Logic may be 
eliminated ; and from any number of equations representing pro- 
positions, one or any other number of symbols of this kind may 
be eliminated in a similar manner. For such elimination there 
exists one general process applicable to all cases. This is one of 
the many remarkable consequences of that distinguishing law of 
the symbols of Logic, to which attention has been already 
directed. 

2ndly . It should be within the province of a general method 
in Logic to express the final relation among the elements of the 
conclusion by any admissible kind of proposition, or in any se- 
lected order of terms. Among varieties of kind we may reckon 
those which logicians have designated by the terms categorical, 
hypothetical, disjunctive, &c. To a choice or selection in the 
order of the terms, we may refer whatsoever is dependent upon 
the appearance of particular elements in the subject or in the 
predicate, in the antecedent or in the consequent, of that propo- 
sition which forms the " conclusion." But waiving the language 
of the schools, let us consider what really distinct species of 
problems may present themselves to our notice. We have seen 
that the elements of the final or inferred relation may either be 
things or propositions. Suppose the former case ; then it might 
be required to deduce from the premises a definition or description 
of some one thing, or class of things, constituting an element of 
the conclusion in terms of the other things involved in it. Or 
we might form the conception of some thing or class of things, 
involving more than one of the elements of the conclusion, and 
require its expression in terms of the other elements. Again, 
suppose the elements retained in the conclusion to be propo- 
sitions, we might desire to ascertain such points as the following, 
viz., Whether, in virtue of the premises, any of those propo- 
sitions, taken singly, are true or false ? Whether particular 
combinations of them are true or false ? Whether, assuming a 
particular proposition to be true, any consequences will follow, 
and if so, what consequences, with respect to the other propo- 
sitions ? Whether any particular condition being assumed with 
reference to certain of the propositions, any consequences, and 
what consequences, will follow with respect to the others ? and 



10 NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. [CHAP. I. 

so on, I say that these are general questions, which it should 
fall within the scope or province of a general method in Logic to 
solve. Perhaps we might include them all under this one state- 
ment of the final problem of practical Logic. Given a set of 
premises expressing relations among certain elements, whether 
things or propositions : required explicitly the whole relation 
consequent among any of those elements under any proposed 
conditions, and in any proposed form. That this problem, under 
all its aspects, is resolvable, will hereafter appear. But it is not 
for the sake of noticing this fact, that the above inquiry into the 
nature and the functions of a general method in Logic has been 
introduced. It is necessary that the reader should apprehend 
what are the specific ends of the investigation upon which we 
are entering, as well as the principles which are to guide us to 
the attainment of them. 

9. Possibly it may here be said that the Logic of Aristotle, 
in its rules of syllogism and conversion, sets forth the elementary 
processes of which all reasoning consists, and that beyond these 
there is neither scope nor occasion for a general method. I have 
no desire to point out the defects of the common Logic, nor do I 
wish to refer to it any further than is necessary, in order to place 
in its true light the nature of the present treatise. With this 
end alone in view, I would remark : 1st. That syllogism, con- 
version, &c., are not the ultimate processes of Logic. It will 
be shown in this treatise that they are founded upon, and are re- 
solvable into, ulterior and more simple processes which constitute 
the real elements of method in Logic. Nor is it true in fact that 
all inference is reducible to the particular forms of syllogism and 
conversion. Vide Chap. xv. 2ndly. If all inference were re- 
ducible to these two processes (and it has been maintained that 
it is reducible to syllogism alone), there would still exist the 
same necessity for a general method. For it would still be re- 
quisite to determine in what order the processes should succeed 
each other, as well as their particular nature, in order that the 
desired relation should be obtained. By the desired relation I 
mean that full relation which, in virtue of the premises, connects 
any elements selected out of the premises at will, and which, 
moreover, expresses that relation in any desired form and order. 



CHAP. I.] NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. 1 1 

If we may judge from the mathematical sciences, which are the 
most perfect examples of method known, this directive function 
of Method constitutes its chief office and distinction. The fun- 
damental processes of arithmetic, for instance, are in themselves 
but the elements of a possible science. To assign their nature is 
the first business of its method, but to arrange their succession 
is its subsequent and higher function. In the more complex 
examples of logical deduction, and especially in those which form 
a basis for the solution of difficult questions in the theory of 
Probabilities, the aid of a directive method, such as a Calculus 
alone can supply, is indispensable. 

10. Whence it is that the ultimate laws of Logic are mathe- 
matical in their form ; why they are, except in a single point, 
identical with the general laws of Number ; and why in that par- 
ticular point they differ ; are questions upon which it might not 
be very remote from presumption to endeavour to pronounce a 
positive judgment. Probably they lie beyond the reach of our 
limited faculties. It may, perhaps, be permitted to the mind to 
attain a knowledge of the laws to which it is itself subject, with- 
out its being also given to it to understand their ground and 
origin, or even, except in a very limited degree, to comprehend 
their fitness for their end, as compared with other and conceivable 
systems of law. Such knowledge is, indeed, unnecessary for the 
ends of science, which properly concerns itself with what is, and 
seeks not for grounds of preference or reasons of appointment. 
These considerations furnish a sufficient answer to all protests 
against the exhibition of Logic in the form of a Calculus. It is 
not because we choose to assign to it such a mode of manifes- 
tation, but because the ultimate laws of thought render that mode 
possible, and prescribe its character, and forbid, as it would 
seem, the perfect manifestation of the science in any other form, 
that such a mode demands adoption. It is to be remembered 
that it is the business of science not to create laws, but to discover 
them. We do not originate the constitution of our own minds, 
greatly as it may be in our power to modify their character. 
And as the laws of the human intellect do not depend upon our 
will, so the forms of the science, of which they constitute the ba- 
sis, are in all essential regards independent of individual choice. 



12 NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. [CHAP. I. 

1 1 . Beside the general statement of the principles of the 
above method, this treatise will exhibit its application to the 
analysis of a considerable variety of propositions, and of trains of 
propositions constituting the premises of demonstrative argu- 
ments. These examples have been selected from various writers, 
they differ greatly in complexity, and they embrace a wide range 
of subjects. Though in this particular respect it may appear to 
some that too great a latitude of choice has been exercised, I do 
not deem it necessary to offer any apology upon this account. 
That Logic, as a science, is susceptible of very wide applications 
is admitted ; but it is equally certain that its ultimate forms and 
processes are mathematical. Any objection a priori which may 
therefore be supposed to lie against the adoption of such forms 
and processes in the discussion of a problem of morals or of ge- 
neral philosophy must be founded upon misapprehension or false 
analogy. It is not of the essence of mathematics to be conversant 
with the ideas of number and quantity. Whether as a general 
habit of mind it would be desirable to apply symbolical processes 
to moral argument, is another question. Possibly, as 1 have 
elsewhere observed,* the perfection of the method of Logic may 
be chiefly valuable as an evidence of the speculative truth of its 
principles. To supersede the employment of common reasoning, 
or to subject it to the rigour of technical forms, would be the last 
desire of one who knows the value of that intellectual toil and 
warfare which imparts to the mind an athletic vigour, and teaches 
it to contend with difficulties, and to rely upon itself in emer- 
gencies. Nevertheless, cases may arise in which the value of a 
scientific procedure, even in those things which fall confessedly 
under the ordinary dominion of the reason, may be felt and ac- 
knowledged. Some examples of this kind will be found in the 
present work. 

12. The general doctrine and method of Logic above ex- 
plained form also the basis of a theory and corresponding method 
of Probabilities. Accordingly, the development of such a theory 
and method, upon the above principles, will constitute a distinct 
object of the present treatise. Of the nature of this application 
it may be desirable to give here some account, more especially as 

* Mathematical Analysis of Logic. London : G. Bell. 1847. 



CHAP. I.] NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. 13 

regards the character of the solutions to which it leads. In con- 
nexion with this object some further detail will be requisite con- 
cerning the forms in which the results of the logical analysis are 
presented. 

The ground of this necessity of a prior method in Logic, as 
the basis of a theory of Probabilities, may be stated in a few 
words. Before we can determine the mode in which the expected 
frequency of occurrence of a particular event is dependent upon 
the known frequency of occurrence of any other events, we must be 
acquainted with the mutual dependence of the events themselves. 
Speaking technically, we must be able to express the event 
whose probability is sought, as a function of the events whose 
probabilities are given. Now this explicit determination belongs 
in all instances to the department of Logic. Probability, how- 
ever, in its mathematical acceptation, admits of numerical mea- 
surement. Hence the subject of Probabilities belongs equally to 
the science of Number and to that of Logic. In recognising the 
co-ordinate existence of both these elements, the present treatise 
differs from all previous ones ; and as this difference not only 
affects the question of the possibility of the solution of problems 
in a large number of instances, but also introduces new and im- 
portant elements into the solutions obtained, I deem it necessary 
to state here, at some length, the peculiar consequences of the 
theory developed in the following pages. 

13. The measure of the probability of an event is usually 
denned as a fraction, of which the numerator represents the num- 
ber of cases favourable to the event, and the denominator the 
whole number of cases favourable and unfavourable ; all cases 
being supposed equally likely to happen. That definition is 
adopted in the present work. At the same time it is shown that 
there is another aspect of the subject (shortly to be referred to) 
which might equally be regarded as fundamental, and which 
would actually lead to the same system of methods and conclu- 
sions. It may be added, that so far as the received conclusions 
of the theory of Probabilities extend, and so far as they are con- 
sequences of its fundamental definitions, they do not differ from 
the results (supposed to be equally correct in inference) of the 
method of this work. 



14 NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. [CHAP. I. 

Again, although questions in the theory of Probabilities 
present themselves under various aspects, and may be variously 
modified by algebraical and other conditions, there seems to be 
one general type to which all such questions, or so much of each 
of them as truly belongs to the theory of Probabilities, may be 
referred. Considered with reference to the data and the qucesi- 
tum, that type may be described as follows : 1st. The data are 
the probabilities of one or more given events, each probability 
being either that of the absolute fulfilment of the event to which 
it relates, or the probability of its fulfilment under given sup- 
posed conditions. 2ndly. The qucBsitum, or object sought, is the 
probability of the fulfilment, absolutely or conditionally, of some 
other event differing in expression from those in the data, but 
more or less involving the same elements. As concerns the data, 
they are either causally given, as when the probability of a par- 
ticular throw of a die is deduced from a knowledge of the consti- 
tution of the piece, or they are derived from observation of 
repeated instances of the success or failure of events. In the 
latter case the probability of an event may be defined as the 
limit toward which the ratio of the favourable to the whole num- 
ber of observed cases approaches (the uniformity of nature being 
presupposed) as the observations are indefinitely continued. 
Lastly, as concerns the nature or relation of the events in ques- 
tion, an important distinction remains. Those events are either 
simple or compound. By a compound event is meant one of 
which the expression in language, or the conception in thought, 
depends upon the expression or the conception of other events, 
which, in relation to it, may be regarded as simple events. To 
say "it rains," or to say "it thunders," is to express the occur- 
rence of a simple event; but to say "it rains and thunders," or 
to say " it either rains or thunders," is to express that of a com- 
pound event. For the expression of that event depends upon 
the elementary expressions, " it rains," " it thunders." The cri- 
terion of simple events is not, therefore, any supposed simplicity 
in their nature. It is founded solely on the mode of their ex- 
pression in language or conception in thought. 

14. Now one general problem, which the existing theory of 
Probabilities enables us to solve, is the following, viz. : Given 



CHAP. I.] NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. 15 

the probabilities of any simple events : required the probability of 
a given compound event, i. e. of an event compounded in a given 
manner out of the given simple events. The problem can also 
be solved when the compound event, whose probability is re- 
quired, is subjected to given conditions, i. e. to conditions de- 
pendent also in a given manner on the given simple events. 
Beside this general problem, there exist also particular problems 
of which the principle of solution is known. Various questions 
relating to causes and effects can be solved by known methods 
under the particular hypothesis that the causes are mutually ex- 
clusive, but apparently not otherwise. Beyond this it is not 
clear that any advance has been made toward the solution of 
what may be regarded as the general problem of the science, viz. : 
Given the probabilities of any events, simple or compound, con- 
ditioned or unconditioned : required the probability of any other 
event equally arbitrary in expression and conception. In the 
statement of this question it is not even postulated that the 
events whose probabilities are given, and the one whose proba- 
bility is sought, should involve some common elements, because 
it is the office of a method to determine whether the data of a 
problem are sufficient for the end in view, and to indicate, when 
they are not so, wherein the deficiency consists. 

This problem, in the most unrestricted form of its statement, 
is resolvable by the method of the present treatise ; or, to speak 
more precisely, its theoretical solution is completely given, and 
its practical solution is brought to depend only upon processes 
purely mathematical, such as the resolution and analysis of equa- 
tions. The order and character of the general solution may be 
thus described. 

15. In the first place it is always possible, by the preliminary 
method of the Calculus of Logic, to express the event whose 
probability is sought as a logical function of the events whose 
probabilities are given. The result is of the following character : 
Suppose that X represents the event whose probability is sought, 
A, By C, &c. the events whose probabilities are given, those 
events being either simple or compound. Then the whole rela- 
tion of the event X to the events A, B, C, &c. is deduced in the 
form of what mathematicians term a development, consisting, in 



16 NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. [CHAP. I. 

the most general case, of four distinct classes of terms. By the 
first class are expressed those combinations of the events A, B, C, 
which both necessarily accompany and necessarily indicate the 
occurrence of the event X ; by the second class, those combina- 
tions which necessarily accompany, but do not necessarily imply, 
the occurrence of the event X ; by the third class, those combi- 
nations whose occurrence in connexion with the event X is im- 
possible, but not otherwise impossible ; by the fourth class, 
those combinations whose occurrence is impossible under any cir- 
cumstances. I shall not dwell upon this statement of the result 
of the logical analysis of the problem, further than to remark 
that the elements which it presents are precisely those by which 
the expectation of the event X, as dependent upon our know- 
ledge of the events A, B 9 C, is, or alone can be, affected. General 
reasoning would verify this conclusion; but general reasoning 
would not usually avail to disentangle the complicated web of 
events and circumstances from which the solution above de- 
scribed must be evolved. The attainment of this object consti- 
tutes the first step towards the complete solution of the question 
proposed. It is to be noted that thus far the process of solution 
is logical, i. e. conducted by symbols of logical significance, and 
resulting in an equation interpretable into a proposition. Let this 
result be termed the final logical equation. 

The second step of the process deserves attentive remark. 
From the final logical equation to which the previous step has 
conducted us, are deduced, by inspection, a series of algebraic 
equations implicitly involving the complete solution of the pro- 
blem proposed. Of the mode in which this transition is effected 
let it suffice to say, that there exists a definite relation between 
the laws by which the probabilities of events are expressed as 
algebraic functions of the probabilities of other events upon which 
they depend, and the laws by which the logical connexion of 
the events is itself expressed. This relation, like the other co- 
incidences of formal law which have been referred to, is not 
founded upon hypothesis, but is made known to us by observation 
(1.4), and reflection. If, however, its reality were assumed a priori 
as the basis of the very definition of Probability, strict deduction 
would thence lead us to the received numerical definition as a 



CHAP. I.] NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. 17 

necessary consequence. The Theory of Probabilities stands, as 
it has already been remarked (1. 1 2), in equally close relation to 
Logic and to Arithmetic ; and it is indifferent, so far as results 
are concerned, whether we regard it as springing out of the lat- 
ter of these sciences, or as founded in the mutual relations which 
connect the two together. 

16. There are some circumstances, interesting perhaps to the 
mathematician, attending the general solutions deduced by the 
above method, which it may be desirable to notice. 

1st. As the method is independent of the number and the 
nature of the data, it continues to be applicable when the latter 
are insufficient to render determinate the value sought. When 
such is the case, the final expression of the solution will contain 
terms with arbitrary constant coefficients. To such terms there 
will correspond terms in the final logical equation (I. 15), the 
interpretation of which will inform us what new data are re- 
quisite in order to determine the values of those constants, and 
thus render the numerical solution complete. If such data are 
not to be obtained, we can still, by giving to the constants their 
limiting values and 1, determine the limits within which the 
probability sought must lie independently of all further expe- 
rience. When the event whose probability is sought is quite in- 
dependent of those whose probabilities are given, the limits thus 
obtained for its value will be and 1, as it is evident that they 
ought to be, and the interpretation of the constants will only 
lead to a re-statement of the original problem. 

2ndly. The expression of the final solution will in all cases 
involve a particular element of quantity, determinable by the so- 
lution of an algebraic equation. Now when that equation is of 
an elevated degree, a difficulty may seem to arise as to the se- 
lection of the proper root. There are, indeed, cases in which 
both the elements given and the element sought are so obviously 
restricted by necessary conditions that no choice remains. But 
in complex instances the discovery of such conditions, by un- 
assisted force of reasoning, would be hopeless. A distinct me- 
thod is requisite for this end, a method which might not 
inappropriately be termed the Calculus of Statistical Conditions. 
Into the nature of this method I shall not here further enter 



18 NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. [CHAP. I. 

than to say, that, like the previous method, it is based upon the 
employment of the " final logical equation," and that it definitely 
assigns, 1st, the conditions which must be fulfilled among the 
numerical elements of the data, in order that the problem may 
be real, i. e. derived from a possible experience ; 2ndly, the nu- 
merical limits, within which the probability sought must have 
been confined, if, instead of being determined by theory, it had 
been deduced directly by observation from the same system of 
phenomena from which the data were derived. It is clear that 
these limits will be actual limits of the probability sought. 
Now, on supposing the data subject to the conditions above as- 
signed to them, it appears in every instance which I have exa- 
mined that there exists one root, and only one root, of the final 
algebraic equation which is subject to the required limitations. 
Every source of ambiguity is thus removed. It would even seem 
that new truths relating to the theory of algebraic equations 
are thus incidentally brought to light. It is remarkable that 
the special element of quantity, to which the previous discussion 
relates, depends only upon the data, and not at all upon the 
qucBsitum of the problem proposed. Hence the solution of each 
particular problem unties the knot of difficulty for a system of 
problems, viz., for that system of problems which is marked by 
the possession of common data, independently of the nature of 
their qucesita. This circumstance is important whenever from a 
particular system of data it is required to deduce a series of con- 
nected conclusions. And it further gives to the solutions of 
particular problems that character of relationship, derived from 
their dependence upon a central and fundamental unity, which 
not unfrequently marks the application of general methods. 

17. But though the above considerations, with others of a 
like nature, justify the assertion that the method of this treatise, 
for the solution of questions in the theory of Probabilities, is a 
general method, it does not thence follow that we are relieved in 
all cases from the necessity of recourse to hypothetical grounds. 
It has been observed that a solution may consist entirely of terms 
affected by arbitrary constant coefficients, may, in fact, be 
wholly indefinite. The application of the method of this work to 
some of the most important qiiestions within its range would 



CHAP. I.] NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. 19 

were the data of experience alone employed present results of 
this character. To obtain a definite solution it is necessary, in 
such cases, to have recourse to hypotheses possessing more or less 
of independent probability, but incapable of exact verification. 
Generally speaking, such hypotheses will differ from the imme- 
diate results of experience in partaking of a logical rather than of a 
numerical character ; in prescribing the conditions under which 
phaenomena occur, rather than assigning the relative frequency 
of their occurrence. This circumstance is, however, unimportant. 
Whatever their nature may be, the hypotheses assumed must 
thenceforth be regarded as belonging to the actual data, although 
tending, as is obvious, to give to the solution itself somewhat of 
a hypothetical character. With this understanding as to the 
possible sources of the data actually employed, the method is 
perfectly general, but for the correctness of the hypothetical ele- 
ments introduced it is of course no more responsible than for the 
correctness of the numerical data derived from experience. 

In illustration of these remarks we may observe that the 
theory of the reduction of astronomical observations* rests, in 
part, upon hypothetical grounds. It assumes certain positions 
as to the nature of error, the equal probabilities of its occurrence 
in the form of excess or defect, &c., without which it would be 
impossible to obtain any definite conclusions from a system of 
conflicting observations. But granting such positions as the 
above, the residue of the investigation falls strictly within the 
province of the theory of Probabilities. Similar observations 
apply to the important problem which proposes to deduce from 
the records of the majorities of a deliberative assembly the mean 
probability of correct judgment in one of its members. If the 
method of this treatise be applied to the mere numerical data, 
the solution obtained is of that wholly indefinite kind above de- 
scribed. And to show in a more eminent degree the insufficiency 
of those data by themselves, the interpretation of the arbitrary 
constants (I. 16) which appear in the solution, merely produces 

* The author designs to treat this subject either in a separate work or in a 
future Appendix. In the present treatise he avoids the use of the integral 
calculus. 

c2 



20 NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. [CHAP. I. 

a re-statement of the original problem. Admitting, however, 
the hypothesis of the independent formation of opinion in the 
individual mind, either absolutely, as in the speculations of 
Laplace and Poisson, or under limitations imposed by the actual 
data, as will be seen in this treatise, Chap, xxi., the problem as- 
sumes a far more definite character. It will be manifest that the 
ulterior value of the theory of Probabilities must depend very 
much upon the correct formation of such mediate hypotheses, 
where the purely experimental data are insufficient for definite 
solution, and where that further experience indicated by the in- 
terpretation of the final logical equation is unattainable. Upon 
the other hand, an undue readiness to form hypotheses in sub- 
jects which from their very nature are placed beyond human 
ken, must re-act upon the credit of the theory of Probabilities, 
and tend to throw doubt in the general mind over its most legi- 
timate conclusions. 

18. It would, perhaps, be premature to speculate here upon 
the question whether the methods of abstract science are likely at 
any future day to render service in the investigation of social 
problems at all commensurate with those which they have ren- 
dered in various departments of physical inquiry. An attempt 
to resolve this question upon pure d priori grounds of reasoning 
would be very likely to mislead us. For example, the conside- 
ration of human free-agency would seem at first sight to preclude 
the idea that the movements of the social system should ever ma- 
nifest that character of orderly evolution which we are prepared 
to expect under the reign of a physical necessity. Yet already 
do the researches of the statist reveal to us facts at variance with 
such an anticipation. Thus the records of crime and pauperism 
present a degree of regularity unknown in regions in which the 
disturbing influence of human wants and passions is unfelt. On 
the other hand, the distemperature of seasons, the eruption of 
volcanoes, the spread of blight in the vegetable, or of epidemic 
maladies in the animal kingdom, things apparently or chiefly the 
product of natural causes, refuse to be submitted to regular and 
apprehensible laws. " Fickle as the wind," is a proverbial ex- 
pression. Reflection upon these points teaches us in some degree 
to correct our earlier judgments. We learn that we are not to 



CHAP. I.] NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. 21 

expect, under the dominion of necessity, an order perceptible to 
human observation, unless the play of its producing causes is 
sufficiently simple ; nor, on the other hand, to deem that free 
agency in the individual is inconsistent with regularity in the 
motions of the system of which he forms a component unit. 
Human freedom stands out as an apparent fact of our conscious- 
ness, while it is also, I conceive, a highly probable deduction of 
analogy (Chap, xxn.) from the nature of that portion of the 
mind whose scientific constitution we are able to investigate. 
But whether accepted as a fact reposing on consciousness, or as 
a conclusion sanctioned by the reason, it must be so interpreted 
as not to conflict with an established result of observation, viz. : 
that phenomena, in the production of which large masses of men 
are concerned, do actually exhibit a very remarkable degree of 
regularity, enabling us to collect in each succeeding age the ele- 
ments upon which the estimate of its state and progress, so far 
as manifested in outward results, must depend. There is thus no 
sound objection a priori against the possibility of that species of 
data which is requisite for the experimental foundation of a 
science of social statistics. Again, whatever other object this 
treatise may accomplish, it is presumed that it will leave no 
doubt as to the existence of a system of abstract principles and of 
methods founded upon those principles, by which any collective 
body of social data may be made to yield, in an explicit form, 
whatever information they implicitly involve. There may, where 
the data are exceedingly complex, be very great difficulty in ob- 
taining this information, difficulty due not to any imperfection 
of the theory, but to the laborious character of the analytical 
processes to which it points. It is quite conceivable that in many 
instances that difficulty may be such as only united effort could 
overcome. But that we possess theoretically in all cases, and 
practically, so far as the requisite labour of calculation may be 
supplied, the means of evolving from statistical records the seeds 
of general truths which lie buried amid the mass of figures, is a 
position which may, I conceive, with perfect safety be affirmed. 

19. But beyond these general positions I do not venture to 
speak in terms of assurance. Whether the results which might 
be expected from the application of scientific methods to statis- 



22 NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. [CHAP. I. 

tical records, over and above those the discovery of which re- 
quires no such aid, would so far compensate for the labour in- 
volved as to render it worth while to institute such investigations 
upon a proper scale of magnitude, is a point which could, per- 
haps, only be determined by experience. It is to be desired, 
and it might without great presumption be expected, that in 
this, as in other instances, the abstract doctrines of science should 
minister to more than intellectual gratification. Nor, viewing 
the apparent order in which the sciences have been evolved, and 
have successively contributed their aid to the service of mankind, 
does it seem very improbable that a day may arrive in which si- 
milar aid may accrue from departments of the field of knowledge 
yet more intimately allied with the elements of human welfare. 
Let the speculations of this treatise, however, rest at present 
simply upon their claim to be regarded as true. 

20. I design, in the last place, to endeavour to educe from 
the scientific results of the previous inquiries some general inti- 
mations respecting the nature and constitution of the human 
mind. Into the grounds of the possibility of this species of in- 
ference it is not necessary to enter here. One or two general 
observations may serve to indicate the track which I shall endea- 
vour to follow. It cannot but be admitted that our views of 
the science of Logic must materially influence, perhaps mainly 
determine, our opinions upon the nature of the intellectual facul- 
ties. For example, the question whether reasoning consists 
merely in the application of certain first or necessary truths, 
with which the mind has been originally imprinted, or whether 
the mind is itself a seat of law, whose operation is as manifest 
and as conclusive in the particular as in the general formula, or 
whether, as some not undistinguished writers seem to maintain, 
all reasoning is of particulars ; this question, I say, is one which 
not merely affects the science of Logic, but also concerns the for- 
mation of just views of the constitution of the intellectual facul- 
ties. Again, if it is concluded that the mind is by original 
constitution a seat of law, the question of the nature of its sub- 
jection to this law, whether, for instance, it is an obedience 
founded upon necessity, like that which sustains the revolutions 
of the heavens, and preserves the order of Nature, or whether 



CHAP. I.] NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK. 23 

it is a subjection of some quite distinct kind, is also a matter of 
deep speculative interest. Further, if the mind is truly deter- 
mined to be a subject of law, and if its laws also are truly assigned, 
the question of their probable or necessary influence upon the 
course of human thought in different ages is one invested with 
great importance, and well deserving a patient investigation, as 
matter both of philosophy and of history. These and other 
questions I propose, however imperfectly, to discuss in the con- 
cluding portion of the present work. They belong, perhaps, to 
the domain of probable or conjectural, rather than to that of po- 
sitive, knowledge. But it may happen that where there is not 
sufficient warrant for the certainties of science, there may be 
grounds of analogy adequate for the suggestion of highly pro- 
bable opinions. It has seemed to me better that this discussion 
should be entirely reserved for the sequel of the main business of 
this treatise, which is the investigation of scientific truths and 
laws. Experience sufficiently instructs us that the proper order 
of advancement in all inquiries after truth is to proceed from the 
known to the unknown. There are parts, even of the philosophy 
and constitution of the human mind, which have been placed 
fully within the reach of our investigation. To make a due ac- 
quaintance with those portions of our nature the basis of all en- 
deavours to penetrate amid the shadows and uncertainties of that 
conjectural realm which lies beyond and above them, is the 
course most accordant with the limitations of our present con- 
dition. 



24 SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. [CHAP. II, 



CHAPTER II. 

OF SIGNS IN GENERAL, AND OF THE SIGNS APPROPRIATE TO THE 
SCIENCE OF LOGIC IN PARTICULAR ; ALSO OF THE LAWS TO WHICH 
THAT CLASS OF SIGNS ARE SUBJECT. 

1. ^T^HAT Language is an instrument of human reason, and 
-*- not merely a medium for the expression of thought, is a 
truth generally admitted. It is proposed in this chapter to in- 
quire what it is that renders Language thus subservient to the 
most important of our intellectual faculties. In the various 
steps of this inquiry we shall be led to consider the constitution 
of Language, considered as a system adapted to an end or pur- 
pose ; to investigate its elements ; to seek to determine their mu- 
tual relation and dependence ; and to inquire in what manner they 
contribute to the attainment of the end to which, as co-ordinate 
parts of a system, they have respect. 

In proceeding to these inquiries, it will not be necessary to 
enter into the discussion of that famous question of the schools, 
whether Language is to be regarded as an essential instrument 
of reasoning, or whether, on the other hand, it is possible for us 
to reason without its aid. I suppose this question to be beside 
the design of the present treatise, for the following reason, viz., 
that it is the business of Science to investigate laws ; and that, 
whether we regard signs as the representatives of things and of 
their relations, or as the representatives of the conceptions and 
operations of the human intellect, in studying the laws of signs, 
we are in effect studying the manifested laws of reasoning. If 
there exists a difference between the two inquiries, it is one which 
does not affect the scientific expressions of formal law, which are 
the object of investigation in the present stage of this work, but 
relates only to the mode in which those results are presented to 
the mental regard. For though in investigating the laws of signs, 
d posteriori, the immediate subject of examination is Language, 
with the rules which govern its use ; while in making the internal 



CHAP. II.] SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. 25 

processes of thought the direct object of inquiry, we appeal in a 
more immediate way to our personal consciousness, it will be 
found that in both cases the results obtained are formally equi- 
valent. Nor could we easily conceive, that the unnumbered 
tongues and dialects of the earth should have preserved through 
a long succession of ages so much that is common and universal, 
were we not assured of the existence of some deep foundation of 
their agreement in the laws of the mind itself. 

2. The elements of which all language consists are signs or 
symbols. Words are signs. Sometimes they are said to repre- 
sent things ; sometimes the operations by which the mind com- 
bines together the simple notions of things into complex concep- 
tions ; sometimes they express the relations of action, passion, or 
mere quality, which we perceive to exist among the objects of our 
experience ; sometimes the emotions of the perceiving mind. But 
words, although in this and in other ways they fulfil the office of 
signs, or representative symbols, are not the only signs which we 
are capable of employing. Arbitrary marks, which speak only to 
the eye, and arbitrary sounds or actions, which address themselves 
to some other sense, are equally of the nature of signs, provided 
that their representative office is defined and understood. In the 
mathematical sciences, letters, and the symbols + , - , = , &c., are 
used as signs, although the term " sign" is applied to the latter 
class of symbols, which represent operations or relations, rather 
than to the former, which represent the elements of number and 
quantity. As the real import of a sign does not in any way de- 
pend upon its particular form or expression, so neither do the 
laws which determine its use. In the present treatise, however, 
it is with written signs that we have to do, and it is with reference 
to these exclusively that the term " sign" will be employed. The 
essential properties of signs are enumerated in the following de- 
finition. 

Definition. A sign is an arbitrary mark, having a fixed in- 
terpretation, and susceptible of combination with other signs in 
subjection to fixed laws dependent upon their mutual interpre- 
tation. 

3. Let us consider the particulars involved in the above de- 
finition separately. 



26 SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. [CHAP. II. 

(1.) In the first place, a sign is an arbitrary mark. It is 
clearly indifferent what particular word or token we associate 
with a given idea, provided that the association once made is 
permanent. The Romans expressed by the word " civitas" what 
we designate by the word " state." But both they and we 
might equally well have employed any other word to represent 
the same conception. Nothing, indeed, in the nature of Language 
would prevent us from using a mere letter in the same sense. 
Were this done, the laws according to which that letter would 
require to be used would be essentially the same with the laws 
which govern the use of " civitas" in the Latin, and of " state" 
in the English language, so far at least as the use of those words 
is regulated by any general principles common to all languages 
alike. 

(2.) In the second place, it is necessary that each sign should 
possess, within the limits of the same discourse or process of 
reasoning, a fixed interpretation. The necessity of this condi- 
tion is obvious, and seems to be founded in the very nature of the 
subject. There exists, however, a dispute as to the precise nature 
of the representative office of words or symbols used as names in 
the processes of reasoning. By some it is maintained, that they 
represent the conceptions of the mind alone ; by others, that they 
represent things. The question is not of great importance here, 
as its decision cannot affect the laws according to which signs 
are employed. I apprehend, however, that the general answer 
to this and such like questions is, that in the processes of reason- 
ing, signs stand in the place and fulfil the office of the concep- 
tions and operations of the mind ; but that as those conceptions 
and operations represent things, and the connexions and relations 
of things, so signs represent things with their connexions and re- 
lations ; and lastly, that as signs stand in the place of the con- 
ceptions and operations of the mind, they are subject to the laws 
of those conceptions and operations. This view will be more 
fully elucidated in the next chapter ; but it here serves to explain 
the third of those particulars involved in the definition of a sign, 
viz., its subjection to fixed laws of combination depending upon 
the nature of its interpretation. 

4. The analysis and classification of those signs by which the 



CHAP. II.] SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. 27 

operations of reasoning are conducted will be considered in the 
following Proposition : 

PROPOSITION I. 

All the operations of Language, as an instrument of reasoning, 
may be conducted by a system of signs composed of the following ele- 
ments, viz. : 

1st. Literal symbols, as x, y, fyc., representing things as subjects 
of our conceptions. 

2nd. Signs of operation, as +, -, x , standing for those operations 
of the mind by which the conceptions of things are combined or re- 
solved so as to form new conceptions involving the same elements. 

3rd. The sign of identity, = . 

And these symbols of Logic are in their use subject to definite 
laws, partly agreeing with and partly differing from the laws of the 
corresponding symbols in the science of Algebra. 

Let it be assumed as a criterion of the true elements of ra- 
tional discourse, that they should be susceptible of combination 
in the simplest forms and by the simplest laws, and thus com- 
bining should generate all other known and conceivable forms of 
language ; and adopting this principle, let the following classifi- 
cation be considered. 

CLASS I. 

5. Appellative or descriptive signs, expressing either the name 
of a thing., or some quality or circumstance belonging to it. 

To this class we may obviously refer the substantive proper 
or common, and the adjective. These may indeed be regarded as 
differing only in this respect, that the former expresses the sub- 
stantive existence of the individual thing or things to which it 
refers ; the latter implies that existence. If we attach to the 
adjective the universally understood subject " being" or " thing," 
it becomes virtually a substantive, and may for all the essential 
purposes of reasoning be replaced by the substantive. Whether 
or not, in every particular of the mental regard, it is the same 
thing to say, "Water is a fluid thing," as to say, "Water is 
fluid ;" it is at least equivalent in the expression of the processes 
of reasoning. 



28 SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. [CHAP. II. 

It is clear also, that to the above class we must refer any sign 
which may conventionally be used to express some circumstance 
or relation, the detailed exposition of which would involve the 
use of many signs. The epithets of poetic diction are very fre- 
quently of this kind. They are usually compounded adjectives, 
singly fulfilling the office of a many- worded description. Homer's 
" deep-eddying ocean" embodies a virtual description in the single 
word jSafluSi'i'Tjc- And conventionally any other description ad- 
dressed either to the imagination or to the intellect might equally 
be represented by a single sign, the use of which would in all es- 
sential points be subject to the same laws as the use of the ad- 
jective " good" or " great." Combined with the subject " thing," 
such a sign would virtually become a substantive ; and by a single 
substantive the combined meaning both of thing and quality 
might be expressed. 

6. Now, as it has been defined that a sign is an arbitrary 
mark, it is permissible to replace all signs of the species above 
described by letters. Let us then agree to represent the class of 
individuals to which a particular name or description is appli- 
cable, by a single letter, as x. If the name is " men," for instance, 
let x represent "all men," or the class "men." By a class is 
usually meant a collection of individuals, to each of which a 
particular name or description may be applied ; but in this work 
the meaning of the term will be extended so as to include the 
case in which but a single individual exists, answering to the 
required name or description, as well as the cases denoted by 
the terms " nothing" and " universe," which as " classes" 
should be understood to comprise respectively " no beings," 
" all beings." Again, if an adjective, as "good," is employed 
as a term of description, let us represent by a letter, as ?/, all 
things to which the description " good" is applicable, i. e. " all 
good things," or the class "good things." Let it further be 
agreed, that by the combination xy shall be represented that 
class of things to which the names or descriptions represented by 
x and y are simultaneously applicable. Thus, if x alone stands 
for "white things," and y for " sheep," let xy stand for " white 
sheep ;" and in like manner, if z stand for " horned things," and 
x and y retain their previous interpretations, let zxy represent 



CHAP. II.] SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. 29 

" horned white sheep," i. e. that collection of things to which 
the name " sheep," and the descriptions " white" and " horned" 
are together applicable. 

Let us now consider the laws to which the symbols x,y, &c., 
used in the above sense, are subject. 

7. First, it is evident, that according to the above combina- 
tions, the order in which two symbols are written is indifferent. 
The expressions xy and yx equally represent that class of things 
to the several members of which the names or descriptions x and 
y are together applicable. Hence we have, 

xy=yx. (1) 

In the case of x representing white things, and y sheep, either 
of the members of this equation will represent the class of " white 
sheep." There may be a difference as to the order in which the 
conception is formed, but there is none as to the individual things 
which are comprehended under it. In like manner, if x represent 
" estuaries," and y " rivers," the expressions xy and yx will in- 
differently represent " rivers that are estuaries," or u estuaries 
that are rivers," the combination in this case being in ordinary 
language that of two substantives, instead of that of a substantive 
and an adjective as in the previous instance. Let there be a 
third symbol, as z, representing that class of things to which the 
term " navigable" is applicable, and any one of the following 
expressions, 

zxy, zyx, xyz, &c., 

will represent the class of " navigable rivers that are estuaries." 

If one of the descriptive terms should have some implied re- 
ference to another, it is only necessary to include that reference 
expressly in its stated meaning, in order to render the above 
remarks still applicable. Thus, if x represent "wise" and y 
" counsellor," we shall have to define whether x implies wisdom 
in the absolute sense, or only the wisdom of counsel. With such 
definition the law xy = yx continues to be valid. 

We are permitted, therefore, to employ the symbols x, y, z, fyc. 9 in 
the place of the substantives, adjectives, and descriptive phrases subject 
to the rule of interpretation, that any expression in which several of 
these symbols are written together shall represent all the objects or indi- 



30 SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. [CHAP. II. 

victuals to which their several meanings are together applicable, and 
to the law that the order in which the symbols succeed each other is 
indifferent. 

As the rule of interpretation has been sufficiently exempli- 
fied, I shall deem it unnecessary always to express the subject 
"things" in defining the interpretation of a symbol used for an 
adjective. When I say, let x represent " good," it will be un- 
derstood that x only represents " good" when a subject for that 
quality is supplied by another symbol, and that, used alone, its in- 
terpretation will be " good things." 

8. Concerning the law above- determined, the following ob- 
servations, which will also be more or less appropriate to certain 
other laws to be deduced hereafter, may be added. 

First, I would remark, that this law is a law of thought, and 
not, properly speaking, a law of things. Difference in the order 
of the qualities or attributes of an object, apart from all ques- 
tions of causation, is a difference in conception merely. The law 
(1) expresses as a general truth, that the same thing may be con- 
ceived in different ways, and states the nature of that difference ; 
and it does no more than this. 

Secondly, As a law of thought, it is actually developed in a 
law of Language, the product and the instrument of thought. 
Though the tendency of prose writing is toward uniformity, 
yet even there the order of sequence of adjectives absolute in 
their meaning, and applied to the same subject, is indifferent, 
but poetic diction borrows much of its rich diversity from the 
extension of the same lawful freedom to the substantive also. 
The language of Milton is peculiarly distinguished by this spe- 
cies of variety. Not only does the substantive often precede the 
adjectives by which it is qualified, but it is frequently placed in 
their midst. In the first few lines of the invocation to Light, 
we meet with such examples as the following : 

" Offspring of heaven first-born ." 

" The rising world of waters dark and deep" 

" Bright effluence of bright essence increate" 

Now these inverted forms are not simply the fruits of a poetic 
license. They are the natural expressions of a freedom sane- 



CHAP. II.] SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. 31 

tioned by the intimate laws of thought, but for reasons of conve- 
nience not exercised in the ordinary use of language. 

Thirdly, The law expressed by (1) may be characterized by 
saying that the literal symbols a?, y, z, are commutative, like the 
symbols of Algebra. In saying this, it is not affirmed that the 
process of multiplication in Algebra, of which the fundamental 
law is expressed by the equation 

xy = yx, 

possesses in itself any analogy with that process of logical com- 
bination which xy has been made to represent above ; but only 
that if the arithmetical and the logical process are expressed in 
the same manner, their symbolical expressions will be subject to 
the same formal law. The evidence of that subjection is in the 
two cases quite distinct. 

9. As the combination of two literal symbols in the form xy 
expresses the whole of that class of objects to which the names 
or qualities represented by x and y are together applicable, it 
follows that if the two symbols have exactly the same significa- 
tion, their combination expresses no more than either of the 
symbols taken alone would do. In such case we should there- 
fore have 

xy = x. 

As y is, however, supposed to have the same meaning as #, we 
may replace it in the above equation by x, and we thus get 

xx = x. 

Now in common Algebra the combination xx is more briefly re- 
presented by x 2 . Let us adopt the same principle of notation 
here ; for the mode of expressing a particular succession of mental 
operations is a thing in itself quite as arbitrary as the mode of 
expressing a single idea or operation (II. 3). In accordance with 
this notation, then, the above equation assumes the form 

(2) 

and is, in fact, the expression of a second general law of those 
symbols by which names, qualities, or descriptions, are symboli- 
cally represented. 



32 SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. [CHAP. II. 

The reader must bear in mind that although the symbols x 
and y in the examples previously formed received significations 
distinct from each other, nothing prevents us from attributing to 
them precisely the same signification. It is evident that the 
more nearly their actual significations approach to each other, 
the more nearly does the class of things denoted by the combi- 
nation xy approach to identity with the class denoted by x, as 
well as with that denoted by y. The case supposed in the de- 
monstration of the equation (2) is that of absolute identity of 
meaning. The law which it expresses is practically exemplified 
in language. To say " good, good," in relation to any subject, 
though a cumbrous and useless pleonasm, is the same as to say 
"good." Thus "good, good" men, is equivalent to "good" 
men. Such repetitions of words are indeed sometimes employed 
to heighten a quality or strengthen an affirmation. But this 
eifect is merely secondary and conventional ; it is not founded in 
the intrinsic relations of language and thought. Most of the 
operations which we observe in nature, or perform ourselves, are 
of such a kind that their effect is augmented by repetition, and 
this circumstance prepares us to expect the same thing in lan- 
guage, and even to use repetition when we design to speak with 
emphasis. But neither in strict reasoning nor in exact discourse 
is there any just ground for such a practice. 

10. We pass now to the consideration of another class of the 
signs of speech, and of the laws connected with their use. 

CLASS II. 

11. Signs of those mental operations whereby we collect parts 
into a whole, or separate a whole into its parts. 

We are not only capable of entertaining the conceptions of 
objects, as characterized by names, qualities, or circumstances, 
applicable to each individual of the group under consideration, 
but also of forming the aggregate conception of a group of objects 
consisting of partial groups, each of which is separately named 
or described. For this purpose we use the conjunctions "and," 
"or,"&c. " Trees and minerals," "barren mountains, or fer- 
tile vales," are examples of this kind. In strictness, the words 



CHAP. II.] SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. 33 

" and," " or," interposed between the terms descriptive of two or 
more classes of objects, imply that those classes are quite distinct, 
so that no member of one is found in another. In this and in 
all other respects the words " and" " or" are analogous with the 
sign + in algebra, and then* laws are identical. Thus the ex- 
pression " men and women" is, conventional meanings set aside, 
equivalent with the expression " women and men." Let x repre- 
sent "men," y, "women;" and let + stand for "and" and "or," 
then we have 

* + y = V + z, (3) 

an equation which would equally hold true if x and y represented 
number s, and + were the sign of arithmetical addition. 

Let the symbol z stand for the adjective " European," then 
since it is, in effect, the same thing to say " European men and 
women," as to say " European men and European women," we 
have 

z(x + y) = zx + zy. (4) 

And this equation also would be equally true were or, y, and z 
symbols of number, and were the juxtaposition of two literal 
symbols to represent their algebraic product, just as in the logical 
signification previously given, it represents the class of objects to 
which both the epithets conjoined belong. 

The above are the laws which govern the use of the sign 
+, here used to denote the positive operation of aggregating 
parts into a whole. But the very idea of an operation effecting 
some positive change seems to suggest to us the idea of an oppo- 
site or negative operation, having the effect of undoing what the 
former one has done. Thus we cannot conceive it possible to 
collect parts into a whole, and not conceive it also possible to 
separate a part from a whole. This operation we express in 
common language by the sign except, as, " All men except 
Asiatics," " All states except those which are monarchical." 
Here it is implied that the things excepted form a part of the 
things from which they are excepted. As we have expressed 
the operation of aggregation by the sign +, so we may express 
the negative operation above described by - minus. Thus if x 
be taken to represent men, and 37, Asiatics, i. e. Asiatic men, 

D 



34 SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. [CHAP. II. 

then the conception of " All men except Asiatics" will be ex- 
pressed by x - y. And if we represent by #, " states," and by 
y the descriptive property " having a monarchical form," then 
the conception of " All states except those which are monarchi- 
cal" will be expressed by x - xy. 

As it is indifferent for all the essential purposes of reasoning 
whether we express excepted cases first or last in the order of 
speech, it is also indifferent in what order we write any series of 
terms, some of which are affected by the sign -. Thus we have, 
as in the common algebra, 

x-y = -y + X' (5) 

Still representing by x the class "men," and by y "Asiatics," 
let z represent the adjective " white." Now to apply the adjec- 
tive " white" to the collection of men expressed by the phrase 
" Men except Asiatics," is the same as to say, " White men, 
except white Asiatics." Hence we have 

z(x-y) = zx- zy. (6) 

This is also in accordance with the laws of ordinary algebra. 

The equations (4) and (6) may be considered as exemplifica- 
tion of a single general law, which may be stated by saying, that 
the literal symbols, x, y, 2, fyc. are distributive in their operation. 
The general fact which that law expresses is this, viz. : If any 
quality or circumstance is ascribed to all the members of a group, 
formed either by aggregation or exclusion of partial groups, the 
resulting conception is the same as if the quality or circumstance 
were first ascribed to each member of the partial groups, and the 
aggregation or exclusion effected afterwards. That which is 
ascribed to the members of the whole is ascribed to the members 
of all its parts, howsoever those parts are connected together. 

CLASS III. 

12. Signs by which relation is expressed, and by which we 
form propositions. 

Though all verbs may w T ith propriety be referred to this class, 
it is sufficient for the purposes of Logic to consider it as includ- 
ing only the substantive verb is or are, since every other verb 



CHAP. II.] SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. 35 

may be resolved into this element, and one of the signs included 
under Class i. For as those signs are used to express quality or 
circumstance of every kind, they may be employed to express 
the active or passive relation of the subject of the verb, considered 
with reference either to past, to present, or to future time. 
Thus the Proposition, " Caesar conquered the Gauls," may be 
resolved into " Caesar is he who conquered the Gauls." The 
ground of this analysis I conceive to be the following : Unless 
we understand what is meant by having conquered the Gauls, 
i. e. by the expression " One who conquered the Gauls," we 
cannot understand the sentence in question. It is, therefore, 
truly an element of that sentence ; another element is " Caesar," 
and there is yet another required, the copula is, to show the 
connexion of these two. I do not, however, affirm that there is 
no other mode than the above of contemplating the relation ex- 
pressed by the proposition, " Caesar conquered the Gauls ;" but 
only that the analysis here given is a correct one for the particu- 
lar point of view which has been taken, and that it suffices for 
the purposes of logical deduction. It may be remarked that the 
passive and future participles of the Greek language imply the 
existence of the principle which has been asserted, viz. : that the 
sign is or are may be regarded as an element of every personal 
verb. 

13. The above sign, is or are, may be expressed by the sym- 
bol =. The laws, or as would usually be said, the axioms which 
the symbol introduces, are next to be considered. 

Let us take the Proposition, " The stars are the suns and the 
planets," and let us represent stars by #, suns by y, and planets 
by z ; we have then 

* = y + * (7) 

Now if it be true that the stars are the suns and the planets, it 
will follow that the stars, except the planets, are suns. This 
would give the equation 

* - z = y, (8) 

which must therefore be a deduction from (7). Thus a term z 
has been removed from one side of an equation to the other by 

D 2 



36 SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. [CHAP. if. 

changing its sign. This is in accordance with the algebraic rule 
of transposition. 

But instead of dwelling upon particular cases, we may at once 
affirm the general axioms : 

1st. If equal things are added to equal things, the wholes are 
equal. 

2nd. If equal things are taken from equal things, the re- 
mainders are equal. 

And it hence appears that we may add or subtract equations, 
and employ the rule of transposition above given just as in com- 
mon algebra. 

Again : If two classes of things, x and y, be identical, that is, 
if all the members of the one are members of the other, then 
those members of the one class which possess a given property z 
will be identical with those members of the other which possess 
the same property z. Hence if we have the equation 



then whatever class or property z may represent, we have also 

zas = zy. 

This is formally the same as the algebraic law : If both mem- 
bers of an equation are multiplied by the same quantity, the 
products are equal. 

In like manner it may be shown that if the corresponding 
members of two equations are multiplied together, the resulting 
equation is true. 

14. Here, however, the analogy of the present system with 
that of algebra, as commonly stated, appears to stop. Suppose it 
true that those members of a class x which possess a certain pro- 
perty z are identical with those members of a class y which pos- 
sess the same property z, it does not follow that the members of 
the class x universally are identical with the members of the 
class y. Hence it cannot be inferred from the equation 

zx = zy, 
that the equation 

x = y 

is also true. In other words, the axiom of algebraists, that both 



CHAP. 11.] SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. 37 

sides of an equation may be divided by the same quantity, has no 
formal equivalent here. I say no formal equivalent, because, in 
accordance with the general spirit of these inquiries, it is not 
even sought to determine whether the mental operation which is 
represented by removing a logical symbol, z, from a combination 
zx, is in itself analogous with the operation of division in Arith- 
metic. That mental operation is indeed identical with what is 
commonly termed Abstraction, and it will hereafter appear that 
its laws are dependent upon the laws already deduced in this 
chapter. What has now been shown is, that there does not 
exist among those laws anything analogous in form with a com- 
monly received axiom of Algebra. 

But a little consideration will show that even in common 
algebra that axiom does not possess the generality of those other 
axioms which have been considered. The deduction of the 
equation x = y from the equation zx = zy is only valid when it 
is known that z is not equal to 0. If then the value z = is 
supposed to be admissible in the algebraic system, the axiom 
above stated ceases to be applicable, and the analogy before ex- 
emplified remains at least unbroken. 

15. However, it is not with the symbols of quantity generally 
that it is of any importance, except as a matter of speculation, to 
trace such affinities. We have seen (II. 9) that the symbols of 
Logic are subject to the special law, 



x. 



Now of the symbols of Number there are but two, viz. and 1 , 
which are subject to the same formal law. We know that O 2 = 0, 
and that 1 3 = I ; and the equation x z = x, considered as algebraic, 
has no other roots than and 1. Hence, instead of determining 
the measure of formal agreement of the symbols of Logic with 
those of Number generally, it is more immediately suggested to 
us to compare them with symbols of quantity admitting only of 
the values and 1. Let us conceive, then, of an Algebra in 
which the symbols x, y, z, &c. admit indifferently of the values 
and 1, and of these values alone. The laws, the axioms, and 
the processes, of such an Algebra will be identical in their whole 
. extent with the laws, the axioms, and the processes of an Al- 






38 SIGNS AND THEIR LAWS. [CHAP. II. 

gebra of Logic. Difference of interpretation will alone divide 
them. Upon this principle the method of the following work is 
established. 

16. It now remains to show that those constituent parts of 
ordinary language which have not been considered in the pre- 
vious sections of this chapter are either resolvable into the same 
elements as those which have been considered, or are subsidiary 
to those elements by contributing to their more precise defi- 
nition. 

The substantive, the adjective, and the verb, together with 
the particles and, except, we have already considered. The pro- 
noun may be regarded as a particular form of the substantive or 
the adjective. The adverb modifies the meaning of the verb, but 
does not affect its nature. Prepositions contribute to the ex- 
pression of circumstance or relation, and thus tend to give pre- 
cision and detail to the meaning of the literal symbols. The 
conjunctions if, either, or, are used chiefly in the expression of 
relation among propositions, and it will hereafter be shown that 
the same relations can be completely expressed by elementary 
symbols analogous in interpretation, and identical in form and 
law with the symbols whose use and meaning have been ex- 
plained in this Chapter. As to any remaining elements of 
speech, it will, upon examination, be found that they are used 
either to give a more definite significance to the terms of dis- 
course, and thus enter into the interpretation of the literal sym- 
bols already considered, or to express some emotion or state of 
feeling accompanying the utterance of a proposition, and thus do 
not belong to the province of the understanding, with which 
alone our present concern lies. Experience of its use will tes- 
tify to the sufficiency of the classification which has been adopted. 



CHAP. III.] DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. 39 



CHAPTER III. 

DERIVATION OF THE LAWS OF THE SYMBOLS OF LOGIC FROM THE 
LAWS OF THE OPERATIONS OF THE HUMAN MIND. 

1. HPHE object of science, properly so called, is the knowledge 
-- of laws and relations. To be able to distinguish what 
is essential to this end, from what is only accidentally associated 
with it, is one of the most important conditions of scientific pro- 
gress. I say, to distinguish between these elements, because a con- 
sistent devotion to science does not require that the attention 
should be altogether withdrawn from other speculations, often of a 
metaphysical nature, with which it is not unfrequently connected. 
Such questions, for instance, as the existence of a sustaining 
ground of phenomena, the reality of cause, the propriety of forms 
of speech implying that the successive states of things are con- 
nected by operations, and others of a like nature, may possess 
a deep interest and significance in relation to science, without 
being essentially scientific. It is indeed scarcely possible to 
express the conclusions of natural science without borrowing 
the language of these conceptions. Nor is there necessarily 
any practical inconvenience arising from this source. They who 
believe, and they who refuse to believe, that there is more in the 
relation of cause and effect than an invariable order of succession, 
agree in their interpretation of the conclusions of physical astro- 
nomy. But they only agree because they recognise a common ele- 
ment of scientific truth, which is independent of their particular 
views of the nature of causation. 

2. If this distinction is important in physical science, much 
more does it deserve attention in connexion with the science of 
the intellectual powers. For the questions which this science 
presents become, in expression at least, almost necessarily mixed 
up with modes of thought and language, which betray a meta- 
physical origin. The idealist would give to the laws of reasoning 



40 DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. [CHAP. III. 

one form of expression ; the sceptic, if true to his principles, ano- 
ther. They who regard the phenomena with which we are con- 
cerned hi this inquiry as the mere successive states of the thinking 
subject devoid of any causal connexion, and they who refer them 
to the operations of an active intelligence, would, if consistent, 
equally differ in their modes of statement. Like difference would 
also result from a difference of classification of the mental faculties. 
Now the principle which I would here assert, as affording us the 
only ground of confidence and stability amid so much of seeming 
and of real diversity, is the following, viz., that if the laws in ques- 
tion are really deduced from observation, they have a real existence 
as laws of the human mind, independently of any metaphysical 
theory which may seem to be involved in the mode of their state- 
ment. They contain an element of truth which no ulterior cri- 
ticism upon the nature, or even upon the reality, of the mind's 
operations, can essentially affect. Let it even be granted that 
the mind is but a succession of states of consciousness, a series 
of fleeting impressions uncaused from without or from within, 
emerging out of nothing, and returning into nothing again, 
the last refinement of the sceptic intellect, still, as laws of suc- 
cession, or at least of a past succession, the results to which obser- 
vation had led would remain true. They would require to be 
interpreted into a language from whose vocabulary all such terms 
as cause and effect, operation and subject, substance and attri- 
bute, had been banished ; but they would still be valid as scien- 
tific truths. 

Moreover, as any statement of the laws of thought, founded 
upon actual observation, must thus contain scientific elements 
which are independent of metaphysical theories of the nature of 
the mind, the practical application of such elements to the con- 
struction of a system or method of reasoning must also be inde- 
pendent of metaphysical distinctions. For it is upon the scien- 
tific elements involved in the statement of the laws, that any 
practical application will rest, just as the practical conclusions of 
physical astronomy are independent of any theory of the cause 
of gravitation, but rest only on the knowledge of its phaeno- 
menal effects. And, therefore, as respects both the determi- 






CHAP. III.] DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. 41 

nation of the laws of thought, and the practical use of them 
when discovered, we are, for all really scientific ends, uncon- 
cerned with the truth or falsehood of any metaphysical specula- 
tions whatever. 

3. The course which it appears to me to be expedient, under 
these circumstances, to adopt, is to avail myself as far as possible 
of the language of common discourse, without regard to any 
theory of the nature and powers of the mind which it may be 
thought to embody. For instance, it is agreeable to common 
usage to say that we converse with each other by the communi- 
cation of ideas, or conceptions, such communication being the 
office of words ; and that with reference to any particular ideas or 
conceptions presented to it, the mind possesses certain powers or 
faculties by which the mental regard maybe fixed upon some ideas, 
to the exclusion of others, or by which the given conceptions or 
ideas may, in various ways, be combined together. To those 
faculties or powers different names, as Attention, Simple Appre- 
hension, Conception or Imagination, Abstraction, &c., have been 
given, names which have not only furnished the titles of distinct 
divisions of the philosophy of the human mind, but passed into 
the common language of men. Whenever, then, occasion shall 
occur to use these terms, I shall do so without implying thereby 
that I accept the theory that the mind possesses such and such 
powers and faculties as distinct elements of its activity. Nor is 
it indeed necessary to inquire whether such powers of the under- 
standing have a distinct existence or not. We may merge these 
different titles under the one generic name of Operations of the 
human mind, define these operations so far as is necessary for the 
purposes of this work, and then seek to express their ultimate laws. 
Such will be the general order of the course which I shall pur- 
sue, though reference will occasionally be made to the names which 
common agreement has assigned to the particular states or ope- 
rations of the mind which may fall under our notice. 

It will be most convenient to distribute the more definite re- 
sults of the following investigation into distinct Propositions. 



42 DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. [CHAP. III. 

PROPOSITION I. 

4. To deduce the laws of the symbols of Logic from a conside- 
ration of those operations of the mind which are implied in the strict 
use of language as an instrument of reasoning. 

In every discourse, whether of the mind conversing with its 
own thoughts, or of the individual in his intercourse with others, 
there is an assumed or expressed limit within which the subjects of 
its operation are confined. The most unfettered discourse is that 
in which the words we use are understood in the widest possible 
application, and for them the limits of discourse are co-extensive 
with those of the universe itself. But more usually we confine our- 
selves to a less spacious field. Sometimes, in discoursing of men 
we imply (without expressing the limitation) that it is of men 
only under certain circumstances and conditions that we speak, 
as of civilized men, or of men in the vigour of life, or of men 
under some other condition or relation. Now, whatever may be 
the extent of the field within which all the objects of our dis- 
course are found, that field may properly be termed the universe 
of discourse. 

5. Furthermore, this universe of discourse is in the strictest 
sense the ultimate subject of the discourse. The office of any name 
or descriptive term employed under the limitations supposed is not 
to raise in the mind the conception of all the beings or objects to 
which that name or description is applicable, but only of those 
which exist within the supposed universe of discourse. If that 
universe of discourse is the actual universe of things, which it 
always is when our words are taken in their real and literal sense, 
then by men we mean all men that exist ; but if the universe of 
discourse is limited by any antecedent implied understanding, 
then it is of men under the limitation thus introduced that we 
speak. It is in both cases the business of the word men to direct 
a certain operation of the mind t by which, from the proper uni- 
verse of discourse, we select or fix upon the individuals signified. 

6. Exactly of the same kind is the mental operation implied 
by the use of an adjective. Let, for instance, the universe of dis- 
course be the actual Universe. Then, as the word men directs 



CHAP. III.] DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. 43 

us to select mentally from that Universe all the beings to which 
the term "men" is applicable ; so the adjective "good," in the 
combination " good men," directs us still further to select men- 
tally from the class of men all those who possess the further 
quality "good;" and if another adjective were prefixed to the 
combination " good men," it would direct a further operation of 
the same nature, having reference to that further quality which 
it might be chosen to express. 

It is important to notice carefully the real nature of the ope- 
ration here described, for it is conceivable, that it might have 
been different from what it is. Were the adjective simply attri- 
butive in its character, it would seem, that when a particular set 
of beings is designated by men, the prefixing of the adjective 
good would direct us to attach mentally to all those beings the 
quality of goodness. But this is not the real office of the ad- 
jective. The operation which we really perform is one of se- 
lection according to a prescribed principle or idea. To what fa- 
culties of the mind such an operation would be referred, according 
to the received classification of its powers, it is not important to 
inquire, but I suppose that it would be considered as dependent 
upon the two faculties of Conception or Imagination, and Atten- 
tion. To the one of these faculties might be referred the forma- 
tion of the general conception ; to the other the fixing- of the 
mental regard upon those individuals within the prescribed uni- 
verse of discourse which answer to the conception. If, however, 
as seems not improbable, the power of Attention is nothing more 
than the power of continuing the exercise of any other faculty of the 
mind, we might properly regard the whole of the mental process 
above described as referrible to the mental faculty of Imagination 
or Conception, the first step of the process being the conception 
of the Universe itself, and each succeeding step limiting in a de- 
finite manner the conception thus formed. Adopting this view, I 
shall describe each such step, or any definite combination of such 
steps, as a definite act of conception. And the use of this term I 
shall extend so as to include in its meaning nottmly the conception 
of classes of objects represented by particular names or simple 
attributes of quality, but also the combination of such concep- 
tions in any manner consistent with the powers and limitations 



44 DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. [CHAP. III. 

of the human mind ; indeed, any intellectual operation short 
of that which is involved in the structure of a sentence or propo- 
sition. The general laws to which such operations of the mind 
are subject are now to be considered. 

7. Now it will be shown that the laws which in the preced- 
ing chapter have been determined a posteriori from the consti- 
tution of language, for the use of the literal symbols of Logic, 
are in reality the laws of that definite mental operation which 
has just been described. We commence our discourse with a 
certain understanding as to the limits of its subject, i. e. as to 
the limits of its Universe. Every name, every term of descrip- 
tion that we employ, directs him whom we address to the per- 
formance of a certain mental operation upon that subject. And 
thus is thought communicated. But as each name or descriptive 
term is in this view but the representative of an intellectual ope- 
ration, that operation being also prior in the order of nature, it 
is clear that the laws of the name or symbol must be of a deriva- 
tive character, must, in fact, originate in those of the operation 
which they represent. That the laws of the symbol and of the 
mental process are identical in expression will now be shown. 

8. Let us then suppose that the universe of our discourse is 
the actual universe, so that words are to be used in the full ex- 
tent of their meaning, and let us consider the two mental opera- 
tions implied by the words " white" and " men." The word 
" men" implies the operation of selecting in thought from its 
subject, the universe, all men; and the resulting conception, 
men, becomes the subject of the next operation. The operation 
implied by the word " white" is that of selecting from its subject, 
"men," all of that class which are white. The final resulting 
conception is that of " white men." Now it is perfectly appa- 
rent that if the operations above described had been performed 
in a converse order, the result would have been the same. Whe- 
ther we begin by forming the conception of " men," and then 
by a second intellectual act limit that conception to " white 
men," or whether we begin by forming the conception of " white 
objects," and then limit it to such of that class as are "men," is 
perfectly indifferent so far as the result is concerned. It is ob- 
vious that the order of the mental processes would be equally 



CHAP. III.] DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. 45 

indifferent if for the words "white" and "men" we substituted 
any other descriptive or appellative terms whatever, provided 
only that their meaning was fixed and absolute. And thus the 
indifference of the order of two successive acts of the faculty of 
Conception, the one of which furnishes the subject upon which 
the other is supposed to operate, is a general condition of the 
exercise of that faculty. It is a law of the mind, and it is the 
real origin of that law of the literal symbols of Logic which con- 
stitutes its formal expression (1) Chap. n. 

9. It is equally clear that the mental operation above de- 
scribed is of such a nature that its effect is not altered by repe- 
tition. Suppose that by a definite act of conception the attention 
has been fixed upon men, and that by another exercise of the 
same faculty we limit it to those of the race who are white. 
Then any further repetition of the latter mental act, by which 
the attention is limited to white objects, does not in any way 
modify the conception arrived at, viz., that of white men. This 
is also an example of a general law of the mind, and it has its 
formal expression in the law ((2) Chap, n.) of the literal symbols. 

10. Again, it is manifest that from the conceptions of two 
distinct classes of things we can form the conception of that col- 
lection of things which the two classes taken together compose ; 
and it is obviously indifferent in what order of position or of 
priority those classes are presented to the mental view. This is 
another general law of the mind, and its expression is found in 
(3) Chap. n. 

11. It is not necessary to pursue this course of inquiry and 
comparison. Sufficient illustration has been given to render ma- 
nifest the two following positions, viz. : 

First, That the operations of the mind, by which, in the 
exercise of its power of imagination or conception, it combines 
and modifies the simple ideas of things or qualities, not less than 
those operations of the reason which are exercised upon truths 
and propositions, are subject to general laws. 

Secondly, That those laws are mathematical in their form, 
and that they are actually developed in the essential laws of 
human language. Wherefore the laws of the symbols of Logic 



46 DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. [CHAP. III. 

are deducible from a consideration of the operations of the mind 
in reasoning. 

12. The remainder of this chapter will be occupied with 
questions relating to that law of thought whose expression is 
# 2 = x (II. 9), a law which, as has been implied (II. 15), forms 
the characteristic distinction of the operations of the mind in its 
ordinary discourse and reasoning, as compared with its operations 
when occupied with the general algebra of quantity. An im- 
portant part of the following inquiry will consist in proving that 
the symbols and 1 occupy a place, and are susceptible of an 
interpretation, among the symbols of Logic ; and it may first be 
necessary to show how particular symbols, such as the above, 
may with propriety and advantage be employed in the represen- 
tation of distinct systems of thought. 

The ground of this propriety cannot consist in any commu- 
nity of interpretation. For in systems of thought so truly 
distinct as those of Logic and Arithmetic (I use the latter term 
in its widest sense as the science of Number), there is, properly 
speaking, no community of subject. The one of them is conver- 
sant with the very conceptions of things, the other takes account 
solely of their numerical relations. But inasmuch as the forms 
and methods of any system of reasoning depend immediately upon 
the laws to which the symbols are subject, and only mediately, 
through the above link of connexion, upon their interpretation, 
there may be both propriety and advantage in employing the 
same symbols in different systems of thought, provided that such 
interpretations can be assigned to them as shall render their for- 
mal laws identical, and their use consistent. The ground of that 
employment will not then be community of interpretation, but 
the community of the formal laws to which in their respective 
systems they are subject. Nor must that community of formal 
laws be established upon any other ground than that of a careful 
observation and comparison of those results which are seen to 
flow independently from the interpretations of the systems under 
consideration. 

These observations will explain the process of inquiry adopted 
in the following Proposition. The literal symbols of Logic are 



i 



CHAP. III.] DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. 47 

universally subject to the law whose expression is a; 2 = x. Of 
the symbols of Number there are two only, and 1, which sa- 
tisfy this law. But each of these symbols is also subject to a law 
peculiar to itself in the system of numerical magnitude, and this 
suggests the inquiry, what interpretations must be given to the 
literal symbols of Logic, in order that the same peculiar and 
formal laws may be realized in the logical system also. 

PROPOSITION II. 

13. To determine the logical value and significance of the 
symbols and 1. 

The symbol 0, as used in Algebra, satisfies the following for- 
mal law, 

x y = 0, or Oy = 0, (1) 

whatever number y may represent. That this formal law may be 
obeyed in the system of Logic, we must assign to the symbol 
such an interpretation that the class represented by Oy may be 
identical with the class represented by 0, whatever the class y 
may be. A little consideration will show that this condition is 
satisfied if the symbol represent Nothing. In accordance with 
a previous definition, we may term ^No thing a class. In fact, 
Nothing and Universe are the two limits of class extension, for 
they are the limits of the possible interpretations of general 
names, none of which can relate to fewer individuals than are 
comprised in Nothing, or to more than are comprised in the 
Universe. Now whatever the class y may be, the individuals 
which are common to it and to the class " Nothing" are identi- 
cal with those comprised in the class " Nothing," for they are 
none. And thus by assigning to the interpretation Nothing, 
the law (1) is satisfied; and it is not otherwise satisfied consis- 
tently with the perfectly general character of the class y. 

Secondly, The symbol 1 satisfies in the system of Number 
the following law, viz., 

1 x y = y-> or \y = y, 

whatever number y may represent. And this formal equation 
being assumed as equally valid in the system of this work, in 



48 DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. [CHAP. III. 

which 1 and y represent classes, it appears that the symbol 1 
must represent such a class that all the individuals which are 
found in any proposed class y are also all the individuals \y that 
are common to that class y and the class represented by 1. A 
little consideration will here show that the class represented by 1 
must be " the Universe," since this is the only class in which 
are found all the individuals that exist in any class. Hence the 
respective interpretations of the symbols and 1 in the system 
of Logic are Nothing and Universe. 

14. As with the idea of any class of objects as "men," there 
is suggested to the mind the idea of the contrary class of beings 
which are not men ; and as the whole Universe is made up of 
these two classes together, since of every individual which it 
comprehends we may affirm either that it is a man, or that it is 
not a man, it becomes important to inquire how such contrary 
names are to be expressed. Such is the object of the following 
Proposition. 

PROPOSITION III. 

If x represent any class of objects, then will 1 - x represent the 
contrary or supplementary class of objects, i. e. the class including 
all objects which are not comprehended in the class x. 

For greater distinctness of conception let x represent the class 
men, and let us express, according to the last Proposition, the 
Universe by 1 ; now if from the conception of the Universe, as 
consisting of " men" and " not-men," we exclude the conception 
of " men," the resulting conception is that of the contrary class, 
" not-men." Hence the class " not-men" will be represented by 
1 - x. And, in general, whatever class of objects is represented 
by the symbol x, the contrary class will be expressed by 1 - x. 

15. Although the following Proposition belongs in strictness 
to a future chapter of this work, devoted to the subject of 
maxims or necessary truths, yet, on account of the great impor- 
tance of that law of thought to which it relates, it has been 
thought proper to introduce it here. 



CHAP. III.] DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. 49 

PROPOSITION IV. 

That axiom of metaphysicians which is termed the principle of 
contradiction, and which affirms that it is impossible for any being to 
possess a quality, and at the same time not to possess it, is a conse- 
quence of the fundamental law of thought, whose expression is x* = x. 

Let us write this equation in the form 

x - x* = 0, 
whence we have 

x(l-x) = 0; (1) 

both these transformations being justified by the axiomatic laws 
of combination and transposition (II. 13). Let us, for simplicity 
of conception, give to the symbol x the particular interpretation 
of men, then 1 - x will represent the class of " not-men" 
(Prop, in.) Now the formal product of the expressions of two 
classes represents that class of individuals which is common to 
them both (II. 6). Hence #(1 - x) will represent the class 
whose members are at once " men," and " not men," and the 
equation (1) thus express the principle, that a class whose mem- 
bers are at the same time men and not men does not exist. In 
other words, that it is impossible for the same individual to be at 
the same time a man and not a man. Now let the meaning of 
the symbol x be extended from the representing of " men," to 
that of any class of beings characterized by the possession of any 
quality whatever ; and the equation (1) will then express that it 
is impossible for a being to possess a quality and not to possess 
that quality at the same time. But this is identically that 
66 principle of contradiction" which Aristotle has described as the 
fundamental axiom of all philosophy. " It is impossible that the 
same quality should both belong and not belong to the same 
thing. . . This is the most certain of all principles. . . Wherefore 
they who demonstrate refer to this as an ultimate opinion. For 
it is by nature the source of all the other axioms."* 

* To yap avrb apa vrcap^iv rt KOI /i?) virdp^iv advvarov r< airy /cat 
TO avro. . . AVTT) Sri iraauiv tori (3((3aiOTaTij TWV ap^Stv. . . Ato 7raJT ol cnr 



vvvreg ti'e TCLVTI\V dvdyovffiv iffxdTrjv S6%av <j>v<rei yap dpxn 
iravTtav Metapkysica, in. 3. 
E 



50 DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. [CHAP. III. 

The above interpretation has been introduced not on account 
of its immediate value in the present system, but as an illustration 
of a significant fact in the philosophy of the intellectual powers, 
viz., that what has been commonly regarded as the fundamental 
axiom of metaphysics is but the consequence of a law of thought, 
mathematical in its form. I desire to direct attention also to the 
circumstance that the equation (1) in which that fundamental 
law of thought is expressed is an equation of the second degree.* 
Without speculating at all in this chapter upon the question, 
whether that circumstance is necessary in its own nature, we 
may venture to assert that if it had not existed, the whole pro- 
cedure of the understanding would have been different from what 
it is. Thus it is a consequence of the fact that the fundamental 
equation of thought is of the second degree, that we perform the 
operation of analysis and classification, by division into pairs of 

* Should it here be said that the existence of the equation a- 2 = x necessitates 
also the existence of the equation x 3 = x, which is of the third degree, and then 
inquired whether that equation does not indicate a process of trichotomy ; the 
answer is, that the equation x 3 = x is not interpretable in the system of logic, 
For writing it in either of the forms 

*(!-) (14*) =0, (2) 

*(!-) (-1-*) = 0, (3) 

we see that its interpretation, if possible at all, must involve that of the factor 
1 4 x, or of the factor 1 ar. The former is not interpretable, because we 
cannot conceive of the addition of any class x to the universe 1 ; the latter is not 
interpretable, because the symbol 1 is not subject to the law * (1 x} = 0, to 
which all class symbols are subject. Hence the equation x 3 = x admits of no in- 
terpretation analogous to that of the equation # 2 = x. Were the former equation, 
however, true independently of the latter, i. e. were that act of the mind which 
is denoted by the symbol j, such that its second repetition should reproduce the 
result of a single operation, but not its first or mere repetition, it is presumable 
that we should be able to interpret one of the forms (2), (3), which under the 
actual conditions of thought we cannot do. There exist operations, known to 
the mathematician, the law of which may be adequately expressed by the equa- 
tion a: 3 = x. But they are of a nature altogether foreign to the province of 
general reasoning. 

In saying that it is conceivable that the law of thought might have been dif- 
ferent from what it is, I mean only that we can frame such an hypothesis, and 
study its consequences. The possibility of doing this involves no such doctrine 
as that the actual law of human reason is the product either of chance or of arbi- 
trary will. 



; 



CHAP. III.] DERIVATION OF THE LAWS. 51 

opposites, or, as it is technically said, by dichotomy. Now if the 
equation in question had been of the third degree, still admitting 
of interpretation as such, the mental division must have been 
threefold in character, and we must have proceeded by a species 
of trichotomy, the real nature of which it is impossible for us, 
with our existing faculties, adequately to conceive, but the laws 
of which we might still investigate as an object of intellectual 
speculation. 

16. The law of thought expressed by the equation (1) will, 
for reasons which are made apparent by the above discussion, be 
occasionally referred to as the " law of duality." 



E 2 



52 DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. IV, 



CHAPTER IV. 

OF THE DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS INTO THE TWO CLASSES OF 
" PRIMARY" AND " SECONDARY ;" OF THE CHARACTERISTIC PRO- 
PERTIES OF THOSE CLASSES, AND OF THE LAWS OF THE EXPRES- 
SION OF PRIMARY PROPOSITIONS. 

1 . r I THE laws of those mental operations which are concerned 
-**- in the processes of Conception or Imagination having 
been investigated, and the corresponding laws of the symbols 
by which they are represented explained, we are led to consider 
the practical application of the results obtained : first, in the 
expression of the complex terms of propositions ; secondly, in 
the expression of propositions ; and lastly, in the construction of 
a general method of deductive analysis. In the present chapter 
we shall be chiefly concerned with the first of these objects, as 
an introduction to which it is necessary to establish the following 
Proposition : 

PROPOSITION I. 

All logical propositions may be considered as belonging to one 
or the other of two great classes, to which the respective names of 
" Primary" or " Concrete Propositions" and " Secondary" or " Ab- 
stract Propositions" may be given. 

Every assertion that we make may be referred to one or the 
other of the two following kinds. Either it expresses a relation 
among things, or it expresses, or is equivalent to the expression of, 
a relation among propositions. An assertion respecting the pro- 
perties of things, or the phenomena which they manifest, or the 
circumstances in which they are placed, is, properly speaking, the 
assertion of a relation among things. To say that " snow is 
white," is for the ends of logic equivalent to saying, that " snow 
is a white thing." An assertion respecting facts or events, their 
mutual connexion and dependence, is, for the same ends, generally 
equivalent to the assertion, that such and such propositions con- 



CHAP. IV.] DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. 53 

cerning those events have a certain relation to each other as 
respects their mutual truth or falsehood. The former class of 
propositions, relating to things, I call " Primary ;" the latter class, 
relating to propositions, I call " Secondary." The distinction is 
in practice nearly but not quite co-extensive with the common 
logical distinction of propositions as categorical or hypothetical. 

For instance, the propositions, "The sun shines," "The earth 
is warmed," are primary; the proposition, " If the sun shines 
the earth is warmed," is secondary. To say, " The sun shines," 
is to say, " The sun is that which shines," and it expresses a re- 
lation between two classes of things, viz., "the sun" and "things 
which shine." The secondary proposition, however, given above, 
expresses a relation of dependence between the two primary propo- 
sitions, " The sun shines," and " The earth is warmed." I do not 
hereby affirm that the relation between these propositions is, like 
that which exists between the facts which they express, a rela- 
tion of causality, but only that the relation among the propo- 
sitions so implies, and is so implied by, the relation among the 
facts, that it may for the ends of logic be used as a fit repre- 
sentative of that relation. 

2. If instead of the proposition, " The sun shines," we say, 
" It is true that the sun shines," we then speak not directly of 
things, but of a proposition concerning things, viz., of the pro- 
position, " The sun shines." And, therefore, the proposition in 
which we thus speak is a secondary one. Every primary pro- 
position may thus give rise to a secondary proposition, viz., to 
that secondary proposition which asserts its truth, or declares its 
falsehood. 

It will usually happen, that the particles if, either, or, will 
indicate that a proposition is secondary ; but they do not neces- 
sarily imply that such is the case. The proposition, " Animals 
are either rational or irrational," is primary. It cannot be re- 
solved into " Either animals are rational or animals are irra- 
tional," and it does not therefore express a relation of dependence 
between the two propositions connected together in the latter 
disjunctive sentence. The particles, either, or, are in fact no 
criterion of the nature of propositions, although it happens that 
they are more frequently found in secondary propositions. Even 



54 DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. IV. 

the conjunction zfmay be found in primary propositions. " Men 
are, if wise, then temperate," is an example of the kind. It 
cannot be resolved into " If all men are wise, then all men are 
temperate." 

3. As it is not my design to discuss the merits or defects of 
the ordinary division of propositions, I shall simply remark here, 
that the principle upon which the present classification is founded 
is clear and definite in its application, that it involves a real 
and fundamental distinction in propositions, and that it is of 
essential importance to the development of a general method of 
reasoning. Nor does the fact that a primary proposition may 
be put into a form in which it becomes secondary at all conflict 
with the views here maintained. For in the case thus supposed, 
it is not of the things connected together in the primary propo- 
sition that any direct account is taken, but only of the propo- 
sition itself considered as true or as false. 

4. In the expression both of primary and of secondary propo- 
sitions, the same symbols, subject, as it will appear, to the same 
laws, will be employed in this work. The difference between 
the two cases is a difference not of form but of interpretation. 
In both cases the actual relation which it is the object of the 
proposition to express will be denoted by the sign = . In the 
expression of primary propositions, the members thus connected 
will usually represent the " terms" of a proposition, or, as they 
are more particularly designated, its subject and predicate. 

PROPOSITION II. 

5. To deduce a general method, founded upon the enumeration of 
possible varieties, for the expression of any class or collection ofthings, 
which may constitute a " t&rm? of a Primary Proposition. 

First, If the class or collection of things to be expressed is 
defined only by names or qualities common to all the individuals 
of which it consists, its expression will consist of a single term, 
in which the symbols expressive of those names or qualities will 
be combined without any connecting sign, as if by the alge- 
braic process of multiplication. Thus, if x represent opaque 
substances, y polished substances, z stones, we shall have, 



CHAP. IV.] DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. 55 

xyz = opaque polished stones ; 

xy (1 - z) = opaque polished substances which are not stones; 
# (1 - y) (1 - z) = opaque substances which are not polished, 
and are not stones ; 

and so on for any other combination. Let it be observed, that 
each of these expressions satisfies the same law of duality, as the 
individual symbols which it contains. Thus, 

xyz x xyz = xyz ; 

xy (1 - z) x xy (1 - z) = xy (1 - z) ; 

and so on. Any such term as the above we shall designate as 
a " class term," because it expresses a class of things by means 
of the common properties or names of the individual members of 
such class. 

Secondly, If we speak of a collection of things, different 
portions of which are defined by different properties, names, or 
attributes, the expressions for those different portions must be 
separately formed, and then connected by the sign + . But if 
the collection of which we desire to speak has been formed by 
excluding from some wider collection a defined portion of its 
members, the sign - must be prefixed to the symbolical expres- 
sion of the excluded portion. Respecting the use of these sym- 
bols some further observations may be added. 

6. Speaking generally, the symbol + is the equivalent of the 
conjunctions " and," " or," and the symbol -, the equivalent of 
the preposition " except." Of the conjunctions " and" and " or," 
the former is usually employed when the collection to be de- 
scribed forms the subject, the latter when it forms the predicate, 
of a proposition. " The scholar and the man of the world de- 
sire happiness," may be taken as an illustration of one of these 
cases. " Things possessing utility are either productive of plea- 
sure or preventive of pain," may exemplify the other. Now 
whenever an expression involving these particles presents itself 
in a primary proposition, it becomes very important to know 
whether the groups or classes separated in thought by them are 
intended to be quite distinct from each other and mutually ex- 
clusive, or not. Does the expression, "Scholars and men of the 
world," include or exclude those who are both ? Does the ex- 



56 DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. IV. 

pression, "Either productive of pleasure or preventive of pain," 
include or exclude things which possess both these qualities ? I 
apprehend that in strictness of meaning the conjunctions " and," 
" or," do possess the power of separation or exclusion here re- 
ferred to ; that the formula, " All #'s are either y's or z's," 
rigorously interpreted, means, " All afs are either y's, but not z's," 
or, ** z'a but not y's." But it must at the same time be admitted, 
that the "jus et norma loquendi" seems rather to favour an oppo- 
site interpretation. The expression, " Either y's or z's," would 
generally be understood to include things that are y's and Z'B at 
the same time, together with things which come under the one, 
but not the other. Remembering, however, that the symbol + 
does possess the separating power which has been the subject of 
discussion, we must resolve any disjunctive expression which may 
come before us into elements really separated in thought, and 
then connect their respective expressions by the symbol + . 

And thus, according to the meaning implied, the expression, 
" Things which are either xs or y's," will have two different sym- 
bolical equivalents. If we mean, " Things which are #'s, but 
not y's, or y's, but not xs" the expression will be 



the symbol x standing for #'s, y for y's. If, however, we mean, 
" Things which are either #'s, or, if not #'s, then y's," the ex- 

pression will be 

x + y (1 - x). 

This expression supposes the admissibility of things which are 
both #'s and y's at the same time. It might more fully be ex- 
pressed in the form 

*y + x (1 - y) + y (1 - #) ; 

but this expression, on addition of the two first terms, only re- 
produces the former one. 

Let it be observed that the expressions above given satisfy 
the fundamental law of duality (III. 16). Thus we have 

{x (1 -y) + y (1 - x)}* = * (1 -y) + y (1 - *), 



It will be seen hereafter, that this is but a particular manifesta- 



CHAP. IV.] DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. 57 

tion of a general law of expressions representing " classes or 
collections of things." 

7. The results of these investigations may be embodied in 
the following rule of expression. 

RULE. Express simple names or qualities by the symbols x,y, z, 
Sfc., their contraries by 1 - x, 1 - y, 1 - z, fyc.; classes of tilings 
defined by common names or qualities, by connecting the correspond- 
ing symbols as in multiplication ; collections of things, consisting of 
portions different from each other, by connecting the expressions of 
those portions by the sigti+. In particular, let the expression, " Either 
xs orys," be expressed by # (1 - y) + y(\- x), when the classes de- 
noted by x and y are exclusive, by x + y (1 x) when they are not 
exclusive. Similarly let the expression, "Either x's, or y"s, or z's" be 
expressed byx(\-y)(L-z) + y(\-x)(\-z) + z(\-x)(\-y), 
when the classes denoted by x, y, and z, are designed to be mutually 
exclusive, by x + y (1 - x) + z (1 - x) (\-y), when they are not meant 
to be exclusive, and so on. 

8. On this rule of expression is founded the converse rule of 
interpretation. Both these will be exemplified with, perhaps, 
sufficient fulness in the following instances. Omitting for bre- 
vity the universal subject " things," or " beings," let us assume 

x = hard, y = elastic, z = metals ; 
and we shall have the following results : 

" Non-elastic metals," will be expressed by z (1 ?/) ; 
" Elastic substances with non-elastic metals," by y + z (1 - y) ; 

" Hard substances, except metals," by x -y ; 
" Metallic substances, except those which are neither hard nor 
elastic," by z -z (1 - x) (1 - y\ or by z {1 - (1 - #) (l-y)} 9 
vide (6), Chap. II. 

In the last example, what we had really to express was " Metals, 
except not hard, not elastic, metals." Conjunctions used be- 
tween adjectives are usually superfluous, and, therefore, must 
not be expressed symbolically. 

Thus, " Metals hard and elastic," is equivalent to " Hard 
elastic metals," and expressed by xyz. 

Take next the expression, " Hard substances, except those 



58 DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. IV. 

which are metallic and non-elastic, and those which are elastic 
and non-metallic." Here the word those means hard substances. 
so that the expression really means. Hard substances except hard 
substances, metallic, non-elastic, and hard substances non-metallic, 
elastic ; the word except extending to both the classes which 
follow it. The complete expression is 



x- xz-y 
or, x-xz (\-y]-xy(\-z). 

9. The preceding Proposition, with the different illustrations 
which have been given of it, is a necessary preliminary to the 
following one, which will complete the design of the present 
chapter. 

PROPOSITION III. 

To deduce from an examination of their possible varieties a gene- 
ral method for the expression of Primary or Concrete Propositions. 

A primary proposition, in the most general sense, consists of 
two terms, between which a relation is asserted to exist. These 
terms are not necessarily single-worded names, but may represent 
any collection of objects, such as we have been engaged in consi- 
dering in the previous sections. The mode of expressing those 
terms is, therefore, comprehended in the general precepts above 
given, and it only remains to discover how the relations between 
the terms are to be expressed. This will evidently depend upon 
the nature of the relation, and more particularly upon the ques- 
tion whether, in that relation, the terms are understood to be 
universal or particular, i. e. whether we speak of the whole of 
that collection of objects to which a term refers, or indefinitely of 
the whole or of a part of it, the usual signification of the prefix, 
" some." 

Suppose that we wish to express a relation of identity be- 
tween the two classes, " Fixed Stars" and " Suns," i. e. to 
express that " All fixed stars are suns," and " All suns are fixed 
stars." Here, if x stand for fixed stars, and y for suns, we shall 

have 

x = y 

for the equation required. 



CHAP. IV.] DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. 59 

In the proposition, " All fixed stars are suns," the term "all 
fixed stars" would be called the subject, and " suns" the predi- 
cate. Suppose that we extend the meaning of the terms subject 
and predicate in the following manner. By subject let us mean 
the first term of any affirmative proposition, i. e. the term which 
precedes the copula is or are ; and by predicate let us agree to 
mean the second term, i. e. the one which follows the copula ; 
and let us admit the assumption that either of these may be uni- 
versal or particular, so that, in either case, the whole class may 
be implied, or only a part of it. Then we shall have the follow- 
ing Rule for cases such as the one in the last example : 

10. RULE. When both Subject and Predicate of a Proposition 
are universal, form the separate expressions for them, and connect them 
by the sign =. 

This case will usually present itself in the expression of the 
definitions of science, or of subjects treated after the manner of 
pure science. Mr. Senior's definition of wealth affords a good 
example of this kind, viz. : 

" Wealth consists of things transferable, limited in supply, 
and either productive of pleasure or preventive of pain." 

Before proceeding to express this definition symbolically, it 
must be remarked that the conjunction and is superfluous. 
Wealth is really defined by its possession of three properties or 
qualities, not by its composition out of three classes or collections 
of objects. Omitting then the conjunction and, let us make 

w = wealth. 

t = things transferable. 

s = limited in supply. 

p = productive of pleasure. 

r = preventive of pain. 

Now it is plain from the nature of the subject, that the ex- 
pression, "Either productive of pleasure or preventive of pain," 
in the above definition, is meant to be equivalent to " Either pro- 
ductive of pleasure ; or, if not productive of pleasure, preventive 
of pain." Thus the class of things which the above expression, 
taken alone, would define, would consist of all things productive 



60 DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. IV. 

of pleasure, together with all things not productive of pleasure, 
but preventive of pain, and its symbolical expression would be 



If then we attach to this expression placed in brackets to denote 
that both its terms are referred to, the symbols s and t limiting 
its application to things "transferable" and " limited in supply," 
we obtain the following symbolical equivalent for the original 
definition, viz. : 

w = st[p + r(\-p)}. (1) 

If the expression, " Either productive of pleasure or preventive of 
pain," were intended to point out merely those things which are 
productive of pleasure without being preventive of pain, p (1 - r), 
or preventive of pain, without being productive of pleasure, 
r (1 - p) (exclusion being made of those things which are both 
productive of pleasure and preventive of pain), the expression in 
symbols of the definition would be 

w-*t{p(l-r) + r(l-p)}. (2) 

All this agrees with what has before been more generally stated. 
The reader may be curious to inquire what effect would be 
produced if we literally translated the expression, " Things pro- 
ductive of pleasure or preventive of pain," by p + r, making the 
symbolical equation of the definition to be 

w = st(p + r). (3) 

The answer is, that this expression would be equivalent to (2), 
with the additional implication that the classes of things denoted 
by stp and str are quite distinct, so that of things transferable 
and limited in supply there exist none in the universe which are 
at the same time both productive of pleasure and preventive of 
pain. How the full import of any equation may be determined 
will be explained hereafter. What has been said may show that be- 
fore attempting to translate our data into the rigorous language 
of symbols, it is above all things necessary to ascertain the in- 
tended import of the words we are using. But this necessity 
cannot be regarded as an evil by those who value correctness of 



CHAP. IV.] DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. 61 

thought, and regard the right employment of language as both 
its instrument and its safeguard. 

1 1 . Let us consider next the case in which the predicate of 
the proposition is particular, e. g. " All men are mortal." 

In this case it is clear that our meaning is, " All men are 
some mortal beings," and we must seek the expression of the 
predicate, " some mortal beings." Represent then by v, a class 
indefinite in every respect but this, viz., that some of its members 
are mortal beings, and let x stand for "mortal beings, "then will 
vx represent " some mortal beings." Hence if y represent men, 
the equation sought will be 

y = vx. 



From such considerations we derive the following Rule, for 
expressing an affirmative universal proposition whose predicate 
is particular : 

RULE. Express as before the subject and the predicate, attach 
to the latter the indefinite symbol v, and equate the expressions. 

It is obvious that v is a symbol of the same kind as x, y, &c., 
and that it is subject to the general law, 

v z = v, or v (1 - v) = 0. 

Thus, to express the proposition, " The planets are either 
primary or secondary," we should, according to the rule, proceed 
thus: 

Let x represent planets (the subject) ; 
y = primary bodies ; 
z = secondary bodies ; 

then, assuming the conjunction "or" to separate absolutely the 
class of " primary" from that of " secondary" bodies, so far as 
they enter into our consideration in the proposition given, we 
find for the equation of the proposition 

x = v{y(l-z) + z(l-y)}. (4) 

It may be worth while to notice, that in this case the literal 
translation of the premises into the form 

x = v (y + z) (5) 



62 DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. IV. 

would be exactly equivalent, v being an indefinite class symbol. 
The form (4) is, however, the better, as the expression 



consists of terms representing classes quite distinct from each 
other, and satisfies the fundamental law of duality. 

If we take the proposition, " The heavenly bodies are either 
suns, or planets, or comets," representing these classes of things 
by w 9 #, /, z, respectively, its expression, on the supposition that 
none of the heavenly bodies belong at once to two of the divi- 
sions above mentioned, will be 



If, however, it were meant to be implied that the heavenly 
bodies were either suns, or, if not suns, planets, or, if neither suns 
nor planets, fixed stars, a meaning which does not exclude the 
supposition of some of them belonging at once to two or to all 
three of the divisions of suns, planets, and fixed stars, the ex- 
pression required would be 

v> = v[x+y(l-a:) + z(l-x) (1 -y)}. (6) 

The above examples belong to the class of descriptions, not 
definitions. Indeed the predicates of propositions are usually 
particular. When this is not the case, either the predicate is a 
singular term, or we employ, instead of the copula " is" or " are," 
some form of connexion, which implies that the predicate is to be 
taken universally. 

12. Consider next the case of universal negative propositions, 
e. g. " No men are perfect beings." 

Now it is manifest that in this case we do not speak of a class 
termed "no men," and assert of this class that all its members 
are " perfect beings." But we virtually make an assertion about 
" all men' to the effect that they are " not perfect beings." Thus 
the true meaning of the proposition is this : 

1 " All men (subject) are (copula) not perfect (predicate) ;" 
whence, if y represent "men," and x "perfect beings," we shall 
have 

y = v(l -#), 



CHAP. IV.] DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. 63 

and similarly in any other case. Thus we have the following 
Kule: 

RULE. To express any proposition of the form " No x's are 
ys," convert it into the form " All xs are not ys" and then proceed 
as in the previous case. 

13. Consider, lastly, the case in which the subject of the 
proposition is particular, e. g. " Some men are not wise." Here, 
as has been remarked, the negative not may properly be referred, 
certainly, at least, for the ends of Logic, to the predicate wise ; 
for we do not mean to say that it is not true that " Some men 
are wise," but we intend to predicate of " some men" a want of 
wisdom. The requisite form of the given proposition is, there- 
fore, " Some men are not- wise." Putting, then, y for "men," 
x for " wise," i. e. "wise beings," and introducing v as the sym- 
bol of a class indefinite in all respects but this, that it contains 
some individuals of the class to whose expression it is prefixed, 
we have 

vy = v(l - x). 

14. We may comprise all that we have determined in the 
following general Rule : 

GENERAL RULE FOR THE SYMBOLICAL EXPRESSION OF PRIMARY 
PROPOSITIONS. 

1st. If the proposition is affirmative, form the expression of the 
subject and that of the predicate. Should either of them be particular, 
attach to it the indefinite symbol v, and then equate the resulting ex- 
pressions. 

2ndly. If the proposition is negative, express first its true mean- 
ing by attaching the negative particle to the predicate, then proceed as 
above. 

One or two additional examples may suffice for illustration. 

Ex. " No men are placed in exalted stations, and free from 
envious regards." 

Let y represent "men," x, " placed in exalted stations," z 9 
" free from envious regards." 

Now the expression of the class described as "placed in 



64 DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. IV. 

exalted station," and " free from envious regards," is xz. Hence 
the contrary class, i. e. they to whom this description does not 
apply, will be represented by 1 - xz, and to this class all men 
are referred. Hence we have 

y = v(l - xz). 

If the proposition thus expressed had been placed in the equiva- 
lent form, " Men in exalted stations are not free from envious 
regards," its expression would have been 

yx - v (1 - z). 

It will hereafter appear that this expression is really equivalent 
to the previous one, on the particular hypothesis involved, viz., 
that v is an indefinite class symbol. 

Ex. " No men are heroes but those who unite self-denial to 
courage." 

Let x = " men," y - " heroes," z = " those who practise self- 
denial," w 9 "those who possess courage." 

The assertion really is, that " men who do not possess cou- 
rage and practise self-denial are not heroes." 

Hence we have 

x (1 - zw) = v (1 - y) 

for the equation required. 

15. In closing this Chapter it may be interesting to compare 
together the great leading types of propositions symbolically ex- 
pressed. If we agree to represent by X and Y the symbolical 
expressions of the " terms," or things related, those types will 

be 

X = uY, 

X = Y, 
vX = vY. 

In the first, the predicate only is particular ; in the second, both 
terms are universal ; in the third, both are particular. Some mi- 
nor forms are really included under these. Thus, if Y= 0, the 

second form becomes 

A r =0; 

and if Y= 1 it becomes 



CHAP. IV.] DIVISION OF PROPOSITIONS. 65 

both which forms admit of interpretation. It is further to be 
noticed, that the expressions X and Y, if founded upon a suffi- 
ciently careful analysis of the meaning of the " terms" of the 
proposition, will satisfy the fundamental law of duality which 
requires that we have 

X 2 = X or X(\ - X) = 0, 
Y 2 = Y or Y(l - Y) = 0. 



66 PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. [CHAP. V. 



CHAPTER V. 

OF THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING, AND 
OF THE EXPANSION OR DEVELOPMENT OF EXPRESSIONS INVOLV- 
ING LOGICAL SYMBOLS. 

1 . r |TEIE previous chapters of this work have been devoted to 
-*- the investigation of the fundamental laws of the opera- 
tions of the mind in reasoning; of their development in the 
laws of the symbols of Logic; and of the principles of expression, 
by which that species of propositions called primary may be repre- 
sented in the language of symbols. These inquiries have been 
in the strictest sense preliminary. They form an indispensable 
introduction to one of the chief objects of this treatise the con- 
struction of a system or method of Logic upon the basis of an 
exact summary of the fundamental laws of thought. There are 
certain considerations touching the nature of this end, and the 
means of its attainment, to which I deem it necessary here to 
direct attention. 

2. I would remark in the first place that the generality of a 
method in Logic must very much depend upon the generality of 
its elementary processes and laws. We have, for instance, in the 
previous sections of this work investigated, among other things, 
the laws of that logical process of addition which is symbolized 
by the sign + . Now those laws have been determined from the 
study of instances, in all of which it has been a necessary condi- 
tion, that the classes or things added together in thought should 
be mutually exclusive. The expression x + y seems indeed un- 
interpretable, unless it be assumed that the things represented 
by x and the things represented by y are entirely separate ; 
that they embrace no individuals in common. And conditions 
analogous to this have been involved in those acts of conception 
from the study of which the laws of the other symbolical opera- 
tions have been ascertained. The question then arises, whether 



CHAP. V.] PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. 67 

it is necessary to restrict the application of these symbolical laws 
and processes by the same conditions of interpretability under 
which the knowledge of them was obtained. If such restriction 
is necessary, it is manifest that no such thing as a general 
method in Logic is possible. On the other hand, if such restric- 
tion is unnecessary, in what light are we to contemplate pro- 
cesses which appear to be uninterpretable in that sphere of thought 
which they are designed to aid ? These questions do not belong 
to the science of Logic alone. They are equally pertinent to every 
developed form of human reasoning which is based upon the 
employment of a symbolical language. 

3. I would observe in the second place, that this apparent 
failure of correspondency between process and interpretation does 
not manifest itself in the ordinary applications of human rea- 
son. For no operations are there performed of which the mean- 
ing and the application are not seen ; and to most minds it does 
not suffice that merely formal reasoning should connect their 
premises and their conclusions ; but every step of the connecting 
train, every mediate result which is established in the course of 
demonstration, must be intelligible also. And without doubt, 
this is both an actual condition and an important safeguard, in 
the reasonings and discourses of common life. 

There are perhaps many who would be disposed to extend 
the same principle to the general use of symbolical language as 
an instrument of reasoning. It might be argued, that as the 
laws or axioms which govern the use of symbols are established 
upon an investigation of those cases only in which interpretation 
is possible, we have no right to extend their application to other 
cases in which interpretation is impossible or doubtful, even 
though (as should be admitted) such application is employed in 
the intermediate steps of demonstration only. Were this ob- 
jection conclusive, it must be acknowledged that slight ad- 
vantage would accrue from the use of a symbolical method in 
Logic. Perhaps that advantage would be confined to the mecha- 
nical gain of employing short and convenient symbols in the 
place of more cumbrous ones. But the objection itself is falla- 
cious. Whatever our d priori anticipations might be, it is an 
unquestionable fact that the validity of a conclusion arrived at 

F2 



68 PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. [CHAP. V. 

by any symbolical process of reasoning, does not depend upon 
our ability to interpret the formal results which have presented 
themselves in the different stages of the investigation. There 
exist, in fact, certain general principles relating to the use of 
symbolical methods, which, as pertaining to the particular sub- 
ject of Logic, I shall first state, and I shall then offer some re- 
marks upon the nature and upon the grounds of their claim to 
acceptance. 

4. The conditions of valid reasoning, by the aid of symbols, 
are 

1st, That a fixed interpretation be assigned to the symbols 
employed in the expression of the data; and that the laws of the 
combination of those symbols be correctly determined from that 
interpretation. 

2nd, That the formal processes of solution or demonstration 
be conducted throughout in obedience to all the laws deter- 
mined as above, without regard to the question of the interpreta- 
bility of the particular results obtained. 

3rd, That the final result be interpretable in form, and that 
it be actually interpreted in accordance with that system of in- 
terpretation which has been employed in the expression of the 
data. Concerning these principles, the following observations 
may be made. 

5. The necessity of a fixed interpretation of the symbols has 
already been sufficiently dwelt upon (II. 3). The necessity that 
the fixed result should be in such a form as to admit of that in- 
terpretation being applied, is founded on the obvious principle, 
that the use of symbols is a means towards an end, that end 
being the knowledge of some intelligible fact or truth. And 
that this end may be attained, the final result which expresses 
the symbolical conclusion must be in an interpretable form. It 
is, however, in connexion with the second of the above general 
principles or conditions (V. 4), that the greatest difficulty is 
likely to be felt, and upon this point a few additional words are 
necessary. 

I would then remark, that the principle in question may be 
considered as resting upon a general law of the mind, the know- 
ledge of which is not given to us a priori, i. e. antecedently to 



CHAP. V.] PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. 69 

experience, but is derived, like the knowledge of the other laws 
of the mind, from the clear manifestation of the general principle 
in the particular instance. A single example of reasoning, in 
which symbols are employed in obedience to laws founded upon 
their interpretation, but without any sustained reference to that 
interpretation, the chain of demonstration conducting us through 
intermediate steps which are not interpretable, to a final result 
which is interpretable, seems not only to establish the validity of 
the particular application, but to make known to us the general 
law manifested therein. No accumulation of instances can pro- 
perly add weight to such evidence. It may furnish us with clearer 
conceptions of that common element of truth upon which the ap- 
plication of the principle depends, and so prepare the way for its 
reception. It may, where the immediate force of the evidence is 
not felt, serve as a verification, a posteriori, of the practical vali- 
dity of the principle in question. But this does not affect the posi- 
tion affirmed, viz., that the general principle must be seen in the 
particular instance, seen to be general in application as well as 
true in the special example. The employment of the uninterpre- 
table symbol ^ - 1, in the intermediate processes of trigonometry, 
furnishes an illustration of what has been said. I apprehend that 
there is no mode of explaining that application which does not 
covertly assume the very principle in question. But that prin- 
ciple, though not, as I conceive, warranted by formal reasoning 
based upon other grounds, seems to deserve a place among those 
axiomatic truths which constitute, in some sense, the foundation 
of the possibility of general knowledge, and which may properly 
be regarded as expressions of the mind's own laws and consti- 
tution. 

6. The following is the mode in which the principle above 
stated will be applied in the present work. It has been seen, 
that any system of propositions may be expressed by equations 
involving symbols #, ?/, 2, which, whenever interpretation is pos- 
sible, are subject to laws identical in form with the laws of a sys- 
tem of quantitative symbols, susceptible only of the values and 
1 (II. 15). But as the formal processes of reasoning depend only 
upon the laws of the symbols, and not upon the nature of their 
interpretation, we are permitted to treat the above symbols, 



70 PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. [CHAP. V 

x, ?/, 0, as if they were quantitative symbols of the kind above 
described. We may in fact lay aside the logical interpretation of 
the symbols in the given equation ; convert them into quantitative sym- 
bols, susceptible only of the values and 1 ; perform upon them as such 
all the requisite processes of solution; and finally restore to them their 
logical interpretation. And this is the mode of procedure which 
will actually be adopted, though it will be deemed unnecessary 
to restate in every instance the nature of the transformation em- 
ployed. The processes to which the symbols x, y, z, regarded 
as quantitative and of the species above described, are subject, are 
not limited by those conditions of thought to which they would, 
if performed upon purely logical symbols, be subject, and a free- 
dom of operation is given to us in the use of them, without 
which, the inquiry after a general method in Logic would be a 
hopeless quest. 

Now the above system of processes would conduct us to no 
intelligible result, unless the final equations resulting therefrom 
were in a form which should render their interpretation, after 
restoring to the symbols their logical significance, possible. 
There exists, however, a general method of reducing equations 
to such a form, and the remainder of this chapter will be devoted 
to its consideration. I shall say little concerning the way in 
which the method renders interpretation possible, this point 
being reserved for the next chapter, but shall chiefly confine 
myself here to the mere process employed, which may be cha- 
racterized as a process of " development." As introductory to 
the nature of this process, it may be proper first to make a few 
observations. 

7 . Suppose that we are considering any class of things with 
reference to this question, viz., the relation in which its members 
stand as to the possession or the want of a certain property x. As 
every individual in the proposed class either possesses or does 
not possess the property in question, we may divide the class 
into two portions, the former consisting of those individuals 
which possess, the latter of those which do not possess, the pro- 
perty. This possibility of dividing in thought the whole class 
into two constituent portions, is antecedent to all knowledge of 
the constitution of the class derived from any other source ; of 



CHAP. V.] PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. 71 

which knowledge the effect can only be to inform us, more or 
less precisely, to what further conditions the portions of the class 
which possess and which do not possess the given property are 
subject. Suppose, then, such knowledge is to the following effect, 
viz., that the members of that portion which possess the property 
x, possess also a certain property w, and that these conditions 
united are a sufficient definition of them. We may then repre- 
sent that portion of the original class by the expression ux (II. 6). 
If, further, we obtain information that the members of the ori- 
ginal class which do not possess the property #, are subject to a 
condition v, and are thus defined, it is clear, that those members 
will be represented by the expression v (1 -x). Hence the class 
in its totality will be represented by 

ux + v (1 - x)', 

which may be considered as a general developed form for the 
expression of any class of objects considered with reference to 
the possession or the want of a given property x. 

The general form thus established upon purely logical 
grounds may also be deduced from distinct considerations of 
formal law, applicable to the symbols #, y, 3, equally in their 
logical and in their quantitative interpretation already referred to 
(V.6). 

8. Definition. Any algebraic expression involving a sym- 
bol x is termed a function of #, and may be represented under 
the abbreviated general form f(x}. Any expression involving 
two symbols, x and y, is similarly termed a function of x and y, 
and may be represented under the general form f(x, y\ and so 
on for any other case. 

Thus the form / (x) would indifferently represent any of the 

following functions, viz., #, 1 -as, , &c. ; and/ (x,y) would 

M I ftl 

equally represent any of the forms x + ?/, x - 2y, - J~, &c. 

x - 2y 

On the same principles of notation, if in any function f(x\ 
we change x into 1, the result will be expressed by the form 
/(I) ; if in the same function we change x into 0, the result will 
be expressed by the form /(O). Thus, if f (x) represent the 



72 PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. [CHAP. V. 

function ^-^j- , /(I) will represent ^-^ , and / (0) will repre- 
sent - . 
a 

9. Definition. Any function f(x) , in which x is a logical 
symbol, or a symbol of quantity susceptible only of the values 
and 1, is said to be developed, when it is reduced to the form 
ax + b (1 - #), a and b being so determined as to make the result 
equivalent to the function from which it was derived. 

This definition assumes, that it is possible to represent any 
function /(#) in the form supposed. The assumption is vindi- 
cated in the following Proposition. 

PROPOSITION I. 

10. To develop any function f (x) in which x is a logical symbol. 

By the principle which has been asserted in this chapter, it 
is lawful to treat a? as a quantitative symbol, susceptible only of 
the values and 1. 

Assume then, 

f(x\ = cue + b (1 #), 

and making x = 1, we have 

/(!) = . 
Again, in the same equation making x - 0, we have 



Hence the values of a and b are determined, and substituting 
them in the first equation, we have 

/(*)=/(!) a+/(0)(l-*); (1) 

as the development sought.* The second member of the equa- 

* To some it may be interesting to remark, that the development of /(JT) 
obtained in this chapter, strictly holds, in the logical system, the place of the 
expansion of /(#) in ascending powers of a: in the system of ordinary algebra. 
Thus it may be obtained by introducing into the expression of Taylor's well- 
known theorem, viz. : 

/GO =/(0) +/ (0)* +/" (0) ~ 4/'" (0) y-l^, &C. (1) 

the condition * (1 - ar) = 0, whence we find .r 2 = x, x 3 = x, &c., and 



CHAP. V.] PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. 73 

tion adequately represents the function /(#), whatever the form 
of that function may be. For x regarded as a quantitative sym- 
bol admits only of the values and 1, and for each of these 
values the development 



assumes the same value as the function /(#). 

As an illustration, let it be required to develop the function 

- . Here, when x = 1, we find/(l) = ^ , and when x = 0, 
we find/(0) = =- , or 1. Hence the expression required is 

- - = - x + 1 - x\ 
1 + 20 3 

and this equation is satisfied for each of the values of which the 
symbol x is susceptible. 

PROPOSITION II. 

To expand or develop a function involving any number of logical 
symbols. 

Let us begin with the case in which there are two symbols, 
cc and y, and let us represent the function to be developed by 

/<*,?) 

First, considering / (x, y) as a function of x alone, and ex- 
panding it by the general theorem (1), we have 

0(1-*); (2) 



/GO =/() + (/' (0) + 77^ + i^i + &c ' } * (2) 

But making in (1), x = 1, we get 

/(I) =/(0) +/' (0) +^ +{^ + &c. ; 
whence 

/' (0) +4^ + &c - ^/c 1 ) -/()' 

and (2) becomes, on substitution, 

/G0=/(0) +{/0)-/(0)}*, 



the form in question. This demonstration in supposing/(ar) to be developable in 
a series of ascending powers of x is less general than the one in the text. 



74 PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. [CHAP. V. 

wherein /(I, y) represents what the proposed function becomes, 
when in it for x we write 1, and/ (0, y) what the said function 
becomes, when in it for x we write 0. 

Now, taking the coefficient / (1, ?/), and regarding it as a func- 
tion of?/, and expanding it accordingly, we have 



o)(i-y), (3) 

wherein /(1, 1) represents what /(I, y) becomes when y is made 
equal to 1, and /(I, 0) what /(I, y) becomes when y is made 
equal to 0. 

In like manner, the coefficient /(O, y) gives by expansion, 

/(0,y)=/(0,l)y+/(0,0)-(l-y). (4) 

Substitute in (2) for /(I, y), /(O, y\ their values given in (3) 
and (4), and we have 

/(*, y) =/(!, 1) xy +/(!, 0) (1 - y) + / (0, 1) (1 - ) y 

+/(0, 0) (1 - x) (1 - y), (5) 

for the expansion required. Here /(I, 1) represents what/^, y) 
becomes when we make therein # = 1, y = !;/(!, 0) represents 
what f(x, y) becomes when we make therein x = 1, y = 0, and 
so on for the rest. 

1 x 
Thus, if/(#, y) represent the function - - , we find 



whence the expansion of the given function is \" 

Jay + 0*(1 - y) + J(l - ) y + (1 -*) (1 -y). 

It will in the next chapter be seen that the forms - and -, the 

former of which is known to mathematicians as the symbol of in- 
determinate quantity, admit, in such expressions as the above, of 
a very important logical interpretation. 

Suppose, in the next place, that we have three symbols in 
the function to be expanded, which we may represent under the 
general form/(.r, y, z). Proceeding as before, we get 



CHAP. V.] PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. 75 



-z)+f(l 9 9 l)x(l-y)z 
+ /(!, 0, 0) (1 -y) (I-*) +/(0, 1, 1) (1 - tf)yz 
+ /(0, 1,0) (l-a)y (l-*)+/(0,0,l) (l-*)(l-y)z 



in which /(I, 1,1) represents what the function /*(#, ?/, 2:) be- 
comes when we make therein x - 1, y = 1, 2=1, and so on for 
the rest. 

11. It is now easy to see the general law which determines 
the expansion of any proposed function, and to reduce the me- 
thod of effecting the expansion to a rule. But before proceeding 
to the expression of such a rule, it will be convenient to premise 
the following observations : 

Each form of expansion that we have obtained consists of cer- 
tain terms, into which the symbols x, y, &c. enter, multiplied by 
coefficients, into which those symbols do not enter. Thus the 
expansion of f(x) consists of two terms, as and 1 - x, multiplied 
by the coefficients f(l) and/(0) respectively. And the expan- 
sion of /(#, y) consists of the four terms xy, x (1 - y), (1 - x) y, 
and (1 - #), (1 - y), multiplied by the coefficients /(I, !),/(!, 0), 
/(O, 1),/(0, 0), respectively. The terms #, 1 -#, in the former 
case, and the terms xy^ x(\ -y), &c., in the latter, we shall call 
the constituents of the expansion. It is evident that they are in 
form independent of the form of the function to be expanded. 
Of the constituent xy, x and y are termed the factors. 

The general rule of development will therefore consist of two 
parts, the first of which will relate to the formation of the consti- 
tuents of the expansion, the second to the determination of their 
respective coefficients. It is as follows : 

1st. To expand any function of the symbols x, y, z. Form a 
series of constituents in the following manner : Let the first con- 
stituent be the product of the symbols ; change in this product 
any symbol z into I z, for the second constituent. Then in 
both these change any other symbol y into 1 - y, for two more 
constituents. Then in the four constituents thus obtained change 
any other symbol X into 1 - x, for four new constituents, and so 
on until the number of possible changes is exhausted. 

2ndly . To find the coefficient of any constituent. If that con- 



76 PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. [CHAP. V. 

stituent involves x as a factor, change in the original function x 
into 1 ; but if it involves 1 - x as a factor, change in the original 
function x into 0. Apply the same rule with reference to the 
symbols y, z, &c. : the final calculated value of the function thus 
transformed will be the coefficient sought. 

The sum of the constituents, multiplied each by its respective 
coefficient, will be the expansion required. 

12. It is worthy of observation, that a function may be de- 
veloped with reference to symbols which it does not explicitly 
contain. Thus if, proceeding according to the rule, we seek to 
develop the function 1 - a, with reference to the symbols x and 
y, we have, 

When x = 1 and y = 1 the given function = 0. 
x= 1 y = =0. 

z = y = 1 =1. 

z = y = =1. 

Whence the development is 

1 - x = xy + x (1 - y) + (1 - #) y + (1 - x) (1 - y) ; 
and this is a true development. The addition of the terms ( 1 - x)y 
and (1 - x) (1 - y) produces the function 1 - x. 

The symbol 1 thus developed according to the rule, with re- 
spect to the symbol #, gives 

x + I - x. 
Developed with respect to x and y, it gives 

xy + x (1 - y) + (1 - x) y + (1 - x) (1 - y). 

Similarly developed with respect to any set of symbols, it pro- 
duces a series consisting of all possible constituents of those 
symbols. 

13. A few additional remarks concerning the nature of the 
general expansions may with propriety be added. Let us take, 
for illustration, the general theorem (5), which presents the type 
of development for functions of two logical symbols. 

In the first place, that theorem is perfectly true and intel- 
ligible when x and y are quantitative symbols of the species con- 
sidered in this chapter, whatever algebraic form may be assigned 
to the function /(#, ?/), and it may therefore be intelligibly em- 



CHAP. V.] PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. 77 

ployed in any stage of the process of analysis intermediate be- 
tween the change of interpretation of the symbols from the 
logical to the quantitative system above referred to, and the final 
restoration of the logical interpretation. 

Secondly. The theorem is perfectly true and intelligible when 
x and y are logical symbols, provided that the form of the func- 
tion /(#, y] is such as to represent a class or collection of thing s, 
in which case the second member is always logically interpretable. 
For instance, if /(#, y) represent the function 1 - x + xy, we ob- 
tain on applying the theorem 

1 -x + xy = xy + Ox(\-y) + (\ -x)y + (I -x) (I-?/), 

= xy + (l-x)y+(l-a!)(l-y) 9 
and this result is intelligible and true. 

Thus we may regard the theorem as true and intelligible for 
quantitative symbols of the species above described, always ; for 
logical symbols, always when interpretable. Whensoever there- 
fore it is employed in this work it must be understood that the 
symbols 37, y are quantitative and of the particular species referred 
to, if the expansion obtained is not interpretable. 

But though the expansion is not always immediately inter- 
pretable, it always conducts us at once to results which are in- 
terpretable. Thus the expression x - y gives on development 
the form 



which is not generally interpretable. We cannot take, in thought, 
from the class of things which are a?'s and not ?/'s, the class of 
things which are ?/'s and not o?'s, because the latter class is not 
contained in the former. But if the form x - y presented itself 
as the first member of an equation, of which the second member 
was 0, we should have on development 

*(i-y)-(i-*)-o: 

Now it will be shown in the next chapter that the above equa- 
tion, x and y being regarded as quantitative and of the species 
described, is resolvable at once into the two equations 
tf(l-?/) = 0, y(l-#) = 0, 

and these equations are directly interpretable in Logic when lo- 



78 PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. [CHAP. V. 

gical interpretations are assigned to the symbols x and y. And 
it may be remarked, that though functions do not necessarily be- 
come interpretable upon development, yet equations are always 
reducible by this process to interpretable forms. 

14. The following Proposition establishes some important 
properties of constituents. In its enunciation the symbol t is 
employed to represent indifferently any constituent of an expan- 
sion. Thus if the expansion is that of a function of two symbols 
x and ?/, t represents any of the four forms xy, x (1 - y), (1 - x)y, 
and (1 - x) (1 - y}. Where it is necessary to represent the con- 
stituents of an expansion by single symbols, and yet to distinguish 
them from each other, the distinction will be marked by suffixes. 
Thus ti might be employed to represent xy, t z to represent x(l -y) 9 
and so on. 

PROPOSITION III. 

Any single constituent t of an expansion satisfies the law of dua- 
lity whose expression is 

<(i-0 = o. 

The product of any two distinct constituents of an expansion is equal 
to 0, and the sum of all the constituents is equal to 1. 

1st. Consider the particular constituent xy. We have 



xy x xy 

But x 2 = x, y z = y, by the fundamental law of class symbols ; 
hence 

xy x xy = xy. 

Or representing xy by t, 

t x t = t, 
or 2(1 -t) = 0. 

Similarly the constituent x ( 1 - y) satisfies the same law. For we 
have 

tf = x 9 (l-2/) 2 =l-y, 

.-. [x(l-y)}* = x(l-y), or *(!-*) = 0. 

Now every factor of every constituent is either of the form x or 
of the form I - x. Hence the square of each factor is equal to that 



CHAP. V.] PRINCIPLES OF SYMBOLICAL REASONING. 79 

factor, and therefore the square of the product of the factors, i. e. 
of the constituent, is equal to the constituent ; wherefore t repre- 
senting any constituent, we have 

t z = t, or (1-0 = 0. 

2ndly. The product of any two constituents is 0. This is 
evident from the general law of the symbols expressed by the 
equation x (1 - x) = ; for whatever constituents in the same ex- 
pansion we take, there will be at least one factor x in the one, to 
which will correspond a factor 1 - x in the other. 

3rdly. The sum of all the constituents of an expansion is 
unity. This is evident from addition of the two constituents x 
and 1 - x, or of the four constituents, xy, x (1 - y), (1 - #)y, 
(1 -x) (1 -y). But it is also, and more generally, proved by 
expanding 1 in terms of any set of symbols (V. 12). The consti- 
tuents in this case are formed as usual, and all the coefficients 
are unity. 

15. With the above Proposition we may connect the fol- 
lowing. 

PROPOSITION IV. 

If V represent the sum of any series of constituents, the separate 
coefficients of which are 1, then is the condition satisfied, 



Let 1, t 2 . . . t n be the constituents in question, then 

F= *! + t z . . . + t n . 

Squaring both sides, and observing that t? = t lt ^ 2 = 0, &c., we 

have 

F 3 = *! + t z . . . + t n ; 
whence 

F= V\ 
Therefore 

V(\ - V) = 0. 



80 OF INTERPRETATION. [CHAP. VI. 



CHAPTER VI. 

OF THE GENERAL INTERPRETATION OF LOGICAL EQUATIONS, AND 
THE RESULTING ANALYSIS OF PROPOSITIONS. ALSO, OF THE 
CONDITION OF INTERPRETABILITY OF LOGICAL FUNCTIONS. 

1 . TT has been observed that the complete expansion of any 
-*- function by the general rule demonstrated in the last 
chapter, involves two distinct sets of elements, viz., the consti- 
tuents of the expansion, and their coefficients. I propose in 
the present chapter to inquire, first, into the interpretation of 
constituents, and afterwards into the mode in which that inter- 
pretation is modified by the coefficients with which they are 
connected. 

The terms " logical equation," " logical function," &c., will 
be employed generally to denote any equation or function in- 
volving the symbols a, ?/, &c., which may present itself either 
in the expression of a system of premises, or in the train of sym- 
bolical results which intervenes between the premises and the 
conclusion. If that function or equation is in a form not imme- 
diately interpretable in Logic, the symbols #, y, &c., must be re- 
garded as quantitative symbols of the species described in previous 
chapters (II. 15), (V. 6), as satisfying the law, 

x (1 - x] = 0. 

By the problem, then, of the interpretation of any such logical 
function or equation, is meant the reduction of it to a form in 
which, when logical values are assigned to the symbols #, y, &c., 
it shall become interpretable, together with the resulting inter- 
pretation. These conventional definitions are in accordance with 
the general principles for the conducting of the method of this 
treatise, laid down in the previous chapter. 



CHAP. VI.] OF INTERPRETATION. 81 



PROPOSITION I. 

2. The constituents of the expansion of any function of the logi- 
cal symbols x, y, fyc., are inter pretable, and represent the several 
exclusive divisions of the universe of discourse, formed by the predica- 
tion and denial in every possible way of the qualities denoted by the 
symbols x, y, fyc. 

For greater distinctness of conception, let it be supposed that 
the function expanded involves two symbols x and y, with re- 
ference to which the expansion has been effected. We have then 
the following constituents, viz. : 

xy, x(l-y\ (l-x)y, (l-x)(l-y). 

Of these it is evident, that the first xy represents that class 
of objects which at the same time possess both the elementary 
qualities expressed by x and ?/, and that the second x ( 1 - y) re- 
presents the class possessing the property # , but not the property 
y. In like manner the third constituent represents the class of 
objects which possess the property represented by y, but not 
that represented by x ; and the fourth constituent (1- x) (1 - y), 
represents that class of objects, the members of which possess nei- 
ther of the qualities in question. 

Thus the constituents in the case just considered represent 
all the four classes of objects which can be described by affirma- 
tion and denial of the properties expressed by x and y. Those 
classes are distinct from each other. No member of one is a mem- 
ber of another, for each class possesses some property or quality 
contrary to a property or quality possessed by any other class. 
Again, these classes together make up the universe, for there is 
no object which may not be described by the presence or the 
absence of a proposed quality, and thus each individual thing in 
the universe may be referred to some one or other of the four 
classes made by the possible combination of the two given 
classes x and y, and their contraries. 

The remarks which have here been made with reference to the 
constituents of/ (x, y) are perfectly general in character. The 
constituents of any expansion represent classes those classes 



82 OF INTERPRETATION. [CHAP. VI. 

are mutually distinct, through the possession of contrary qualities, 
and they together make up the universe of discourse. 

3. These properties of constituents have their expression in 
the theorems demonstrated in the conclusion of the last chapter, 
and might thence have been deduced. From the fact that every 
constituent satisfies the fundamental law of the individual sym- 
bols, it might have been conjectured that each constituent would 
represent a class. From the fact that the product of any two 
constituents of an expansion vanishes, it might have been con- 
cluded that the classes they represent are mutually exclusive. 
Lastly, from the fact that the sum of the constituents of an ex- 
pansion is unity, it might have been inferred, that the classes 
which they represent, together make up the universe. 

4. Upon the laws of constituents and the mode of their in- 
terpretation above determined, are founded the analysis and the 
interpretation of logical equations. That all such equations ad- 
mit of interpretation by the theorem of development has already 
been stated. I propose here to investigate the forms of possible 
solution which thus present themselves in the conclusion of a 
train of reasoning, and to show how those forms arise. Although, 
properly speaking, they are but manifestations of a single funda- 
mental type or principle of expression, it will conduce to clearness 
of apprehension if the minor varieties which they exhibit are 
presented separately to the mind. 

The forms, which are three in number, are as follows : 

FORM I. 

5. The form we shall first consider arises when any logical 
equation V= is developed, and the result, after resolution into 
its component equations, is to be interpreted. The function is sup- 
posed to involve the logical symbols #,?/,&c., in combinations Avhich 
are not fractional. Fractional combinations indeed only arise in 
the class of problems which will be considered when we come to 
speak of the third of the forms of solution above referred to. 

PROPOSITION II. 

To itrierpret the logical equation V 0. 
For simplicity let us suppose that V involves but two sym- 



CHAP. VI.] OF INTERPRETATION. 83 

bols, x and ?/, and let us represent the development of the given 
equation by 

axy + bx (1 - y) + c (1 - *) y + d(l - a) (I - y) = ; (1) 
a, b 9 c, and d being definite numerical constants. 

Now, suppose that any coefficient, as a, does not vanish. 
Then multiplying each side of the equation by the constituent #y, 
to which that coefficient is attached, we have 

axy = 0, 
whence, as a does not vanish, 

ajf-'O, 

and this result is quite independent of the nature of the other co- 
efficients of the expansion. Its interpretation, on assigning to 
x and y their logical significance, is " No individuals belonging at 
once to the class represented by #, and the class represented by y, 
exist." 

But if the coefficient a does vanish, the term axy does not 
appear in the development (1), and, therefore, the equation xy = 
cannot thence be deduced. 

In like manner, if the coefficient b does not vanish, we have 



which admits of the interpretation, "There are no individuals 
which at the same time belong to the class #, and do not belong 
to the class y." 

Either of the above interpretations may, however, as will sub- 
sequently be shown, be exhibited in a different form. 

The sum of the distinct interpretations thus obtained from 
the several terms of the expansion whose coefficients do not 
vanish, will constitute the complete interpretation of the equation 
V = 0. The analysis is essentially independent of the number 
of logical symbols involved in the function V, and the object of 
the proposition will, therefore, in all instances, be attained by the 
following Rule: 

RULE. Develop the function V, and equate to every consti- 
tuent whose coefficient does not vanish. The interpretation of these 
results collectively will constitute the interpretation of the aiven 
equation. 

G 2 



84 OF INTERPRETATION. [CHAP. VI. 

6. Let us take as an example the definition of " clean beasts," 
laid down in the Jewish law, viz., " Clean beasts are those 
which both divide the hoof and chew the cud," and let us assume 

x = clean beasts ; 
y = beasts dividing the hoof; 
z = beasts chewing the cud. 
Then the given proposition will be represented by the equation 

x=yz t 
which we shall reduce to the form 

x - yz = 0, 

and seek that form of interpretation to which the present method 
leads. Fully developing the first member, we have 

xyz + xy (1 - z) + x (1 - y)z + x(\ y) (1 - z) 



Whence the terms, whose coefficients do not vanish, give 



These equations express a denial of the existence of certain classes 
of objects, viz. : 

1st. Of beasts which are clean, and divide the hoof, but do 
not chew the cud. 

2nd. Of beasts which are clean, and chew the cud, but do not 
divide the hoof. 

3rd. Of beasts which are clean, and neither divide the hoof 
nor chew the cud. 

4th. Of beasts which divide the hoof, and chew the cud, and 
are not clean. 

Now all these several denials are really involved in the origi- 
nal proposition. And conversely, if these denials be granted, 
the original proposition will follow as a necessary consequence. 
They are, in fact, the separate elements of that proposition. 
Every primary proposition can thus be resolved into a series of 
denials of the existence of certain defined classes of things, and 
may, from that system of denials, be itself reconstructed. It 
might here be asked, how it is possible to make an assertive pro- 



CHAP. VI.] OF INTERPRETATION. 85 

position out of a series of denials or negations ? From what 
source is the positive element derived ? I answer, that the mind 
assumes the existence of a universe not d priori as a fact inde- 
pendent of experience, but either a posteriori as a deduction 
from experience, or hypothetically as a foundation of the possi- 
bility of assertive reasoning. Thus from the Proposition, " There 
are no men who are not fallible," which is a negation or denial of 
the existence of " infallible men," it may be inferred either hypo- 
thetically, " All men (if men exist) are fallible," or absolutely, 
(experience having assured us of the existence of the race), " All 
men are fallible." 

The form in which conclusions are exhibited by the method 
of this Proposition may be termed the form of " Single or Con- 
joint Denial." 

FORM II. 

7. As the previous form was derived from the development 
and interpretation of an equation whose second member is 0, the 
present form, which is supplementary to it, will be derived from 
the development and interpretation of an equation whose second 
member is 1 . It is, however, readily suggested by the analysis 
of the previous Proposition. 

Thus in the example last discussed we deduced from the 
equation 

x - yz = 

the conjoint denial of the existence of the classes represented by 
the constituents 

xy(\-z\ xz(\-y\ x(\-y)(\-z), (\-x)yz, 

whose coefficients were not equal to 0. It follows hence that 
the remaining constituents represent classes which make up the 
universe. Hence we shall have 



This is equivalent to the affirmation that all existing things be- 
long to some one or other of the following classes, viz. : 

1st. Clean beasts both dividing the hoof and chewing the 
cud. 



86 OF INTERPRETATION. [CHAP. VI. 

2nd. Unclean beasts dividing the hoof, but not chewing the 
cud. 

3rd. Unclean beasts chewing the cud, but not dividing the 
hoof. 

4th. Things which are neither clean beasts, nor chewers of 
the cud, nor dividers of the hoof. 

This form of conclusion may be termed the form of " Single 
or Disjunctive Affirmation," single when but one constituent 
appears in the final equation ; disjunctive when, as above, more 
constituents than one are there found. 

Any equation, V= 0, wherein V satisfies the law of duality, 
may also be made to yield this form of interpretation by reducing 
it to the form 1 - F= 1, and developing the first member. The 
case, however, is really included in the next general form. Both 
the previous forms are of slight importance compared with the 
following one. 

FORM III. 

8. In the two preceding cases the functions to be developed 
were equated to and to 1 respectively. In the present case I 
shall suppose the corresponding function equated to any logical 
symbol w. We are then to endeavour to interpret the equation 
V w, V being a function of the logical symbols x, y, z, &c. In 
the first place, however, I deem it necessary to show how the 
equation V=w, or, as it will usually present itself, w = F, arises. 

Let us resume the definition of " clean beasts," employed in 
the previous examples, viz., "Clean beasts are those which both 
divide the hoof and chew the cud," and suppose it required to de- 
termine the relation in which "beasts chewing the cud" stand to 
" clean beasts" and " beasts dividing the hoof." The equation 
expressing the given proposition is 



and our object will be accomplished if we can determine z as an 
interpretable function of x and y. 

Now treating #, y, z as symbols of quantity subject to a pe- 
culiar law, we may deduce from the above equation, by solution, 

x 

z - -. 



CHAP. VI.] OF INTERPRETATION. 87 

But this equation is not at present in an interpretable form. If 
we can reduce it to such a form it will furnish the relation 
required. 

On developing the second member of the above equation, we 
have 

* - *y + i * ( 1 - y) + 0(1- *) y + J (1 - *) ( 1 - y ), 

and it will be shown hereafter (Prop. 3) that this admits of the 
following interpretation : 

" Beasts which chew the cud consist of all clean beasts 
(which also divide the hoof), together with an indefinite re- 
mainder (some, none, or all) of unclean beasts which do not di- 
vide the hoof." 

9. Now the above is a particular example of a problem of the 
utmost generality in Logic, and which may thus be stated : 
" Given any logical equation connecting the symbols a?, y, z 9 w, 
required an interpretable expression for the relation of the [class 
represented by w to the classes represented by the other symbols 
x, y, z, &c." 

The solution of this problem consists in all cases in deter- 
mining, from the equation given, the expression of the above 
symbol w, in terms of the other symbols, and rendering that ex- 
pression interpretable by development. Now the equation given 
is always of the first degree with respect to each of the symbols 
involved. The required expression for w can therefore always 
be found. In fact, if we develop the given equation, whatever 
its form may be with respect to iv, we obtain an equation of the 
form 

w) = Q, (1) 



E and E being functions of the remaining symbols. From the 
above we have 

E=(E-E)w. 
Therefore 



and expanding the second member by the rule of development, it- 
will only remain to interpret the result in logic by the next 
proposition. 



88 OF INTERPRETATION. [CHAP. VI. 

V 
If the fraction = = has common factors in its numerator 

JLJ & 

and denominator, we are not permitted to reject them, unless they 
are mere numerical constants. For the symbols #, ?/, &c., re- 
garded as quantitative, may admit of such values and 1 as to 
cause the common factors to become equal to 0, in which case 
the algebraic rule of reduction fails. This is the case contem- 
plated in our remarks on the failure of the algebraic axiom of 
division (II. 14). To express the solution in the form (2), and 
without attempting to perform any unauthorized reductions, to 
interpret the result by the theorem of development, is a course 
strictly in accordance with the general principles of this treatise. 
If the relation of the class expressed by 1 - w to the other 
classes, x, y, &c. is required, we deduce from (1), in like manner 
as above, 



to the interpretation of which also the method of the following 
Proposition is applicable : 

PROPOSITION III. 

10. To determine the interpretation of any logical equation of 
the form w=V, in which w is a class symbol, and V a function of 
other class symbols quite unlimited in its form. 

Let the second member of the above equation be fully ex- 
panded. Each coefficient of the result will belong to some one 
of the four classes, which, with their respective interpretations, 
we proceed to discuss. 

1st. Let the coefficient be 1. As this is the symbol of the 
universe, and as the product of any two class symbols represents 
those individuals which are found in both classes, any constituent 
which has unity for its coefficient must be interpreted without 
limitation, i. e. the whole of the class which it represents is 
implied. 

2nd. Let the coefficient be 0. As in Logic, equally with 
Arithmetic, this is the symbol of Nothing, no part of the class 



CHAP. VI.] OF INTERPRETATION. 89 

represented by the constituent to which it is prefixed must be 
taken. 

3rd. Let the coefficient be of the form -. Now, as in Arith- 

metic, the symbol represents an indefinite number, except when 

otherwise determined by some special circumstance, analogy 
would suggest that in the system of this work the same symbol 
should represent an indefinite class. That this is its true mean- 
ing will be made clear from the following example : 

Let us take the Proposition, " Men not mortal do not exist ;" 
represent this Proposition by symbols; and seek, in obedience to 
the laws to which those symbols have been proved to be subject, 
a reverse definition of " mortal beings," in terms of " men." 

Now if we represent " men" by y, and " mortal beings" by x, 
the Proposition, " Men who are not mortals do not exist," will 
be expressed by the equation 



from which we are to seek the value of x. Now the above equa- 

tion gives 

y - yx = 0, or yx = y. 

Were this an ordinary algebraic equation, we should, in the next 
place, divide both sides of it by y. But it has been remarked in 
Chap. u. that the operation of division cannot be performed with 
the symbols with which we are now engaged. Our resource, then, 
is to express the operation, and develop the result by the method 
of the preceding chapter. We have, then, first, 

.y 

x , 

y 

and, expanding the second member as directed, 

*=y + o( l -!/) 

This implies that mortals (x) consist of all men (y), together 
with such a remainder of beings which are not men (1 - y), as 

will be indicated by the coefficient -. Now let us inquire what 



90 . OF INTERPRETATION. [CHAP. VI. 

remainder of " not men" is implied by the premiss. It might 
happen that the remainder included all the beings who are not 
men, or it might include only some of them, and not others, or it 
might include none, and any one of these assumptions would be 
in perfect accordance with our premiss. In other words, whether 
those beings which are not men are all, or some, or none, of them 
mortal, the truth of the premiss which virtually asserts that all 
men are mortal, will be equally unaffected, and therefore the 

expression here indicates that all, some, or none of the class to 

whose expression it is affixed must be taken. 

Although the above determination of the significance of the 

symbol - is founded only upon the examination of a particular 

case, yet the principle involved in the demonstration is general, 
and there are no circumstances under which the symbol can pre- 
sent itself to which the same mode of analysis is inapplicable. 

We may properly term - an indefinite class symbol, and may, if 

convenience should require, replace it by an uncompounded sym- 
bol v, subject to the fundamental law, v (1 - v) = 0. 

4th. It may happen that the coefficient of a constituent in an 
expansion does not belong to any of the previous cases. To as- 
certain its true interpretation when this happens, it will be ne- 
cessary to premise the following theorem : 

11. THEOREM. If a function V, intended to represent any 
class or collection of objects, w, be expanded, and if the numerical 
coefficient, a, of any constituent in its development, do not satisfy 
the law. 



then the constituent in question must be made equal to 0. 

To prove the theorem generally, let us represent the expan- 
sion given, under the form 

iv - aiti + a z t z + 3^ 3 + &c., (1) 

in which H 2 , t 39 &c. represent the constituents, and a lt 2) 3> &c- 
the coefficients ; let us also suppose that j and a z do not satisfy 

the law 

il - i)= 0, 2 (1 - 2 ) = 0; 



CHAP. VI.] OF INTERPRETATION. 91 

but that the other coefficients are subject to the law in question, 

so that we have 

3 2 = 3 , &c. 

Now multiply each side of the equation (1) by itself. The re- 
sult will be 

w = af <j + 2 2 4 + &c. (2) 

This is evident from the fact that it must represent the develop- 
ment of the equation 

w= V\ 

but it may also be proved by actually squaring (1), and observing 
that we have 

t l Z = t 1 , *2* = *2, ^2 = 0, &C. 

by the properties of constituents. Now subtracting (2) from (1), 
we have 

(! - af) #! + (# 2 - #2 2 ) 2 = 0. 

Or, i (1 - x) 1 



Multiply the last equation by ti ; then since ti t z = 0, we have 

! (1 - !) ^ = 0, whence ti = 0. 
In like manner multiplying the same equation by 2 > we have 

3 ( 1 - # 3 ) t?, = 0, whence t z = 0. 

Thus it may be shown generally that any constituent whose 
coefficient is not subject to the same fundamental law as the sym- 
bols themselves must be separately equated to 0. The usual 

form under which such coefficients occur is -. This is the alge- 

braic symbol of infinity. Now the nearer any number approaches 
to infinity (allowing such an expression), the more does it depart 
from the condition of satisfying the fundamental law above re- 
ferred to. 

The symbol -, whose interpretation was previously dis- 

cussed, does not necessarily disobey the law we are here consi- 
dering, for it admits of the numerical values and 1 indifferently. 
Its actual interpretation, however, as an indefinite class symbol, 
cannot, I conceive, except upon the ground of analogy, be de- 



92 OF INTERPRETATION. [CHAP. VI. 

duced from its arithmetical properties, but must be established 
experimentally. 

12. We may now collect the results to which we have been 
led, into the following summary : 

1st. The symbol 1, as the coefficient of a term in a develop- 
ment, indicates that the whole of the class which that constituent 
represents, is to be taken. 

2nd. The coefficient indicates that none of the class are to 
be taken. 

3rd. The symbol - indicates that a perfectly indefinite por- 

tion of the class, i. e. some, none, or all of its members are to be 
taken. 

4th. Any other symbol as a coefficient indicates that the 
constituent to which it is prefixed must be equated to 0. 

It follows hence that if the solution of a problem, obtained 
by development, be of the form 



that solution may be resolved into the two following equations, 
viz., 

w = A + vC, (3) 

D = 0, (4) 

v being an indefinite class symbol. The interpretation of (3) 
shows what elements enter, or may enter, into the composition 
of w, the class of things whose definition is required ; and the 
interpretation of (4) shows what relations exist among the ele- 
ments of the original problem, in perfect independence of w. 

Such are the canons of interpretation. It may be added, that 
they are universal in their application, and that their use is 
always unembarrassed by exception or failure. 

13. Corollary. If Fbe an independently interpretable logi- 
cal function, it will satisfy the symbolical law, F(l - F) = 0. 

By an independently interpretable logical function, I mean 
one which is interpretable, without presupposing any relation 
among the things represented by the symbols which it involves. 
Thus x ( 1 - y) is independently interpretable, but x - y is not so. 



CHAP. VI.] OF INTERPRETATION. 93 

The latter function presupposes, as a condition of its interpreta- 
tion, that the class represented by y is wholly contained in the 
class represented by x ; the former function does not imply any 
such requirement. 

Now if V is independently interpretable, and if w represent 
the collection of individuals which it contains, the equation 
w = V will hold true without entailing as a consequence the va- 
nishing of any of the constituents in the development of V\ 
since such vanishing of constituents would imply relations among 
the classes of things denoted by the symbols in V. Hence the 
development of V will be of the form 



the coefficients a 1? a 2 > &c. all satisfying the condition 

! (1 - fli) = 0, 2 (1 - 2 ) = 0, &c. 
Hence by the reasoning of Prop. 4, Chap. v. the function V will 

be subject to the law 

V(\ - 7) = 0. 

This result, though evident d priori from the fact that V is sup- 
posed to represent a class or collection of things, is thus seen to 
follow also from the properties of the constituents of which it is 
composed. The condition V(\ - V) = may be termed "the 
condition of interpretability of logical functions." 

14. The general form of solutions, or logical conclusions de- 
veloped in the last Proposition, may be designated as a " Relation 
between terms." I use, as before, the word " terms" to denote 
the parts of a proposition, whether simple or complex, which are 
connected by the copula " is" or " are." The classes of things re- 
presented by the individual symbols may be called the elements 
of the proposition. 

15. Ex. 1. Resuming the definition of " clean beasts," 
(VI. 6), required a description of "unclean beasts." 

Here, as before, x standing for " clean beasts," ?/for "beasts 
dividing the hoof," z for " beasts chewing the cud," we have 

x = yz; (5) 

whence 

I- x = 1 -yz-, 

and developing the second member, 



94 OF INTERPRETATION. [CHAP. VI. 



which is interpretable into the following Proposition: Unclean 
beasts are all which divide the hoof without chewing the cud, all 
which chew the cud without dividing the hoof, and all which neither 
divide the hoof nor chew the cud. 

Ex. 2. The same definition being given, required a descrip- 
tion of beasts which do not divide the hoof. 

From the equation x = yz we have 

x 

y---, 

therefore, . z - x 

z 

and developing the second member, 



Here, according to the Rule, the term whose coefficients is , 
must be separately equated to 0, whence we have 



whereof the first equation gives by interpretation the Proposition : 
Beasts which do not divide the hoof consist of all unclean beasts which 
chew the cud, and an indefinite remainder (some, none, or all) of un- 
clean beasts which do not chew the cud. 

The second equation gives the Proposition : There are no clean 
beasts which do not chew the cud. This is one of the independent 
relations above referred to. We sought the direct relation of 
" Beasts not dividing the hoof," to " Clean beasts and beasts 
which chew the cud." It happens, however, that independently 
of any relation to beasts not dividing the hoof, there exists, in 
virtue of the premiss, a separate relation between clean beasts 
and beasts which chew the cud. This relation is also necessarily 
given by the process. 

Ex. 3. Let us take the following definition, viz. : " Respon- 
sible beings are all rational beings who are either free to act, or 



CHAP. VI.] OF INTERPRETATION. 95 

have voluntarily sacrificed their freedom," and apply to it the 
preceding analysis. 

Let x stand for responsible beings. 
y rational beings. 
z those who are free to act, 
w ,, those who have voluntarily sacrificed their 

freedom of action. 

In the expression of this definition I shall assume, that the 
two alternatives which it presents, viz. : " Rational beings free 
to act," and " Rational beings whose freedom of action has been 
voluntarily sacrificed," are mutually exclusive, so that no indivi- 
duals are found at once in both these divisions. This will per- 
mit us to interpret the proposition literally into the language of 

symbols, as follows : 

x = yz 4 yw. (6) 

Let us first determine hence the relation of "rational beings" to 
responsible beings, beings free to act, and beings whose freedom 
of action has been voluntarily abjured. Perhaps this object will 
be better stated by saying, that we desire to express the relation 
among the elements of the premiss in such a form as will enable 
us to determine how far rationality may be inferred from respon- 
sibility, freedom of action, a voluntary sacrifice of freedom, and 
their contraries. 

From (6) we have 

x 



z+ w 



and developing the second member, but rejecting terms whose 
coefficients are 0, 

y^ xzw + xz(\ -w) + x(l -z)w + -x(\-z)(\-w) 



whence, equating to the terms whose coefficients are - and -, 
we have 

y = xz (1 - w) + xw (1 - z) + v (1 - x) (1 - z) (1 - w) ; (7) 

xzw = ; (8) 



96 OF INTERPRETATION. [CHAP. VI. 

a?(l-e)(l-w) = 0; (9) 

whence by interpretation 

DIRECT CONCLUSION. Rational beings are all responsible beings 
who are either free to act, not having voluntarily sacrificed their free- 
dom, or not free to act, having voluntarily sacrificed their freedom, 
together with an indefinite remainder (some, none, or all) of beings 
not responsible, not free, and not having voluntarily sacrificed their 
freedom. 

FIRST INDEPENDENT RELATION. No responsible beings are at 
the same time free to act, and in the condition of having voluntarily 
sacrificed their freedom. 

SECOND. No responsible beings are not free to act, and at the 
same time in the condition of not having sacrificed their freedom. 

The independent relations above determined may, however, 
be put in another and more convenient form. Thus (8) gives 

xw = - = z + - (1 - 2), on development ; 

or, xw = v (1 - z) ; (10) 

and in like manner (9) gives 



or, x (1 - w) = vz ; (11) 

and (10) and (11) interpreted give the following Propositions : 

1st. Responsible beings who have voluntarily sacrificed their free- 
dom are not free. 

2nd. Responsible beings who have not voluntarily sacrificed their 
freedom are free. 

These, however, are merely different forms of the relations 
before determined. 

16. In examining these results, the reader must bear in mind, 
that the sole province of a method of inference or analysis, is to 
determine those relations which are necessitated by the connexion 
of the terms in the original proposition. Accordingly, in esti- 
mating the completeness with which this object is effected, we 
have nothing whatever to do with those other relations which 



CHAP. VI.] OF INTERPRETATION. 97 

may be suggested to our minds by the meaning of the terms 
employed, as distinct from their expressed connexion. Thus it 
seems obvious to remark, that " They who have voluntarily sa- 
crificed then: freedom are not free," this being a relation implied 
in the very meaning of the terms. And hence it might appear, 
that the first of the two independent relations assigned by the me- 
thod is on the one hand needlessly limited, and on the other hand 
superfluous. However, if regard be had merely to the connexion 
of the terms in the original premiss, it will be seen that the re- 
lation in question is not liable to either of these charges. The 
solution, as expressed in the direct conclusion and the indepen- 
dent relations, conjointly, is perfectly complete, without being 
in any way superfluous. 

If we wish to take into account the implicit relation above 
referred to, viz., " They who have voluntarily sacrificed their 
freedom are not free," we can do so by making this a distinct 
proposition, the proper expression of which would be 

w = v (1 - z). 

This equation we should have to employ together with that 
expressive of the original premiss. The mode in which such an 
examination must be conducted will appear when we enter upon 
the theory of systems of propositions in a future chapter. The 
sole difference of result to which the analysis leads is, that the 
first of the independent relations deduced above is superseded. 

17. Ex. 4. Assuming the same definition as in Example 2, 
let it be required to obtain a description of irrational persons. 

We have 



z + w 

Z + W - X 



- XZW -f XZ (1 - W) -f X (1 - Z) W - J? X (1 - Z) (1 

'2 



with xzw = 0, x (1 - z) (1 - w) = 0. 

H 



98 OF INTERPRETATION. [CHAP. VI. 

The independent relations here given are the same as we 
before arrived at, as they evidently ought to be, since whatever 
relations prevail independently of the existence of a given class 
of objects ?/, prevail independently also of the existence of the con- 
trary class 1 - y. 

The direct solution afforded by the first equation is : Irra- 
tional persons consist of all irresponsible beings who are either free to 
act, or have voluntarily sacrificed their liberty, and are not free to 
act ; together with an indefinite remainder of irresponsible beings 
who have not sacrificed their liberty, and are not free to act. 

18. The propositions analyzed in this chapter have been of 
that species called definitions. I have discussed none of which 
the second or predicate term is particular, and of which the ge- 
neral type is Y = vX, Y and X being functions of the logical 
symbols #, y, z 9 &c., and v an indefinite class symbol. The ana- 
lysis of such propositions is greatly facilitated (though the step 
is not an essential one) by the elimination of the symbol v, and 
this process depends upon the method of the next chapter. I 
postpone also the consideration of another important problem 
necessary to complete the theory of single propositions, but of 
which the analysis really depends upon the method of the reduc- 
tion of systems of propositions to be developed in a future page 
of this work. 



CHAP. VII.] OF ELIMINATION. 99 



CHAPTER VII. 

ON ELIMINATION. 

1. TN the examples discussed in the last chapter, all the ele- 
-- ments of the original premiss re-appeared in the conclusion, 
only in a different order, and with a different connexion. But it 
more usually happens in common reasoning, and especially when 
we have more than one premiss, that some of the elements are 
required not to appear in the conclusion. Such elements, or, as 
they are commonly called, " middle terms," may be considered 
as introduced into the original propositions only for the sake of 
that connexion which they assist to establish among the other 
elements, which are alone designed to enter into the expression of 
the conclusion. 

2. Respecting such intermediate elements, or middle terms, 
some erroneous notions prevail. It is a general opinion, to which, 
however, the examples contained in the last chapter furnish a con- 
tradiction, that inference consists peculiarly in the elimination of 
such terms, and that the elementary type of this process is exhi- 
bited in the elimination of one middle term from two premises, so as 
to produce a single resulting conclusion into which that term does 
not enter. Hence it is commonly held, that syllogism is the basis, 
or else the common type, of all inference, which may thus, how- 
ever complex its form and structure, be resolved into a series of 
syllogisms. The propriety of this view will be considered in a 
subsequent chapter. At present I wish to direct attention to an 
important, but hitherto unnoticed, point of difference between 
the system of Logic, as expressed by symbols, and that of com- 
mon algebra, with reference to the subject of elimination. In 
the algebraic system we are able to eliminate one symbol from 
two equations, two symbols from three equations, and generally 
n - 1 symbols from n equations. There thus exists a definite 
connexion between the number of independent equations given, 

H 2 



100 OF ELIMINATION. [CHAP. VII. 

and the number of symbols of quantity which it is possible to 
eliminate from them. But it is otherwise with the system of 
Logic. No fixed connexion there prevails between the num- 
ber of equations given representing propositions or premises, 
and the number of typical symbols of which the elimination 
can be effected. From a single equation an indefinite num- 
ber of such symbols may be eliminated. On the other hand, 
from an indefinite number of equations, a single class symbol 
only may be eliminated. We may affirm, that in this peculiar 
system, the problem of elimination is resolvable under all circum- 
stances alike. This is a consequence of that remarkable law of 
duality to which the symbols of Logic are subject. To the equa- 
tions furnished by the premises given, there is added another 
equation or system of equations drawn from the fundamental 
laws of thought itself, and supplying the necessary means for the 
solution of the problem in question. Of the many consequences 
which flow from the law of duality, this is perhaps the most 
deserving of attention. 

3. As in Algebra it often happens, that the elimination of 
symbols from a given system of equations conducts to a mere 
identity in the form = 0, no independent relations connecting 
the symbols which remain ; so in the system of Logic, a like re- 
sult, admitting of a similar interpretation, may present itself. 
Such a circumstance does not detract from the generality of 
the principle before stated. The object of the method upon 
which we are about to enter is to eliminate any number of sym- 
bols from any number of logical equations, and to exhibit in the 
result the actual relations which remain. Now it may be, that 
no such residual relations exist. In such a case the truth of the 
method is shown by its leading us to a merely identical propo- 
sition. 

4. The notation adopted in the following Propositions is 
similar to that of the last chapter. By / (x) is meant any ex- 
pression involving the logical symbol x, with or without other 
logical symbols. By /(I) is meant what/(#) becomes when x 
is therein changed into 1 ; by /(O) what the same function be- 
comes when x is changed into 0. 



CHAP. VII.] OF ELIMINATION. 101 



PROPOSITION I. 

5. If f(x) = be any logical equation involving the class symbol 
with or without other class symbols, then will the equation 



be true, independently of the interpretation of x ; and it will be the 
complete result of the elimination of x from the above equation. 

In other words, the elimination of a; from any given equation, 
f(x)=0 } will be effected by successively changing in that equation x into 
1, and x into 0, and multiplying the two resulting equations together. 

Similarly the complete result of the elimination of any class sym- 
bols, x, y, fyc.,from any equation of the form V= 0, will be obtained 
by completely expanding the first member of that equation in con- 
stituents of the given symbols, and multiplying together all the coeffi- 
cients of those constituents, and equating the product to 0. 

Developing the first member of the equation f(x) = 0, we 
have (V. 10), 



{/(1)-/(0)}*+/(0) = 0. (1) 

/(Q) 






and /(I) 

'/(<>) -/(I)' 

Substitute these expressions for x and 1 - x in the fundamental 
equation 

x (1 - x) = 0, 
and there results 

/(0)/(1) -Q. 

(/(O) -/(!))'" 

or, /(1)/(0)-0, (2) 

the form required. 

6. It is seen in this process, that the elimination is really effected 
between the given equation f(x) = and the universally true 
equation x (1 - x) = 0, expressing the fundamental law of logical 
symbols, qua logical. There exists, therefore, no need of more 



** 

102 OF ELIMINATION. [CHAP. VII. 

than one premiss or equation, in order to render possible the eli- 
mination of a term, the necessary law of thought virtually sup- 
plying the other premiss or equation. And though the demon- 
stration of this conclusion may be exhibited in other forms, yet 
the same element furnished by the mind itself will still be vir- 
tually present. Thus we might proceed as follows : 
Multiply (1) by a?, and we have 

* /(1)*-0, . (3) 

and let us seek by the forms of ordinary algebra to eliminate x 
from this equation and (1). 

Now if we have two algebraic equations of the form 

ax + b = 0, 
ax + b' = ; 

it is well known that the result of the elimination of x is 

ab'-a'b = Q. (4) 

But comparing the above pair of equations with (1) and (3) 
respectively, we find 



-/(o), 

'=/(!) '=<); 

which, substituted in (4), give 

/(i)/(o) = o, 

as before. In this form of the demonstration, the fundamental 
equation x (1 - x) = 0, makes its appearance in the derivation of 
(3) from (1). 

7. I shall add yet another form of the demonstration, par- 
taking of a half logical character, and which may set the demon- 
stration of this important theorem in a clearer light. 

We have as before 



Multiply this equation first by #, and secondly by 1 - #, we get 

/(1)*-0, /(0)(l-)-0. 
From these we have by solution and development, 



CHAP. VII.] OF ELIMINATION. 103 

/(I) = - = - (1 - a?), on development, 
x u 



The direct interpretation of these equations is 

1st. Whatever individuals are included in the class repre- 

sented by /(I), are not a?'s. 

2nd. Whatever individuals are included in the class repre- 

sented by/(0), are x'a. 

Whence by common logic, there are no individuals at once 

in the class /(I) and in the class /(O), i.e. there are no indivi- 

duals in the class / (1) /(O). Hence, 

/(1)/(0) = 0. (5) 

Or it would suffice to multiply together the developed equa- 
tions, whence the result would immediately follow. 

8. The theorem (5) furnishes us with the following Rule : 

TO ELIMINATE ANY SYMBOL FROM A PROPOSED EQUATION. 

RULE. The terms of the equation having been brought, by trans- 
position if necessary, to the first side, give to the symbol successively 
the values 1 and 0, and multiply the resulting equations together. 

The first part of the Proposition is now proved. 

9. Consider in the next place the general equation 

/(*)- ! 

the first member of which represents any function of a?, y, and 
other symbols. 

By what has been shown, the result of the elimination of y 
from this equation will be 

/O, !)/(>, 0) = 0; 

for such is the form to which we are conducted by successively 
changing in the given equation y into 1, and y into 0, and multi- 
plying the results together. 

Again, if in the result obtained we change successively x into 
1, and x into 0, and multiply the results together, we have 

/(1,1)/(1,0)/(0,1)/(0,0)-0; (6) 

as the final result of elimination. 



104 OF ELIMINATION. [CHAP. VII. 

But the four factors of the first member of this equation are 
the four coefficients of the complete expansion of /(#, ?/), the 
first member of the original equation ; whence the second part of 
the Proposition is manifest. 

EXAMPLES. 

10. Ex. 1. Having given the Proposition, "All men are 
mortal," and its symbolical expression, in the equation, 

y = vx 9 

in which y represents "men," and a: "mortals," it is required to 
eliminate the indefinite class symbol v, and to interpret the 
result. 

Here bringing the terms to the first side, we have 

y - vx = 0. 
When v = 1 this becomes 



and when v = it becomes 

y=0; 

and these two equations multiplied together, give 

y - yx = 0, 
or y(l-#)=0, 

it being observed that y z = y. 

The above equation is the required result of elimination, and 
its interpretation is, Men who are not mortal do not exist, an 
obvious conclusion. 

If from the equation last obtained we seek a description of 
beings who are not mortal, we have 

' 



y 

Whence, by expansion, 1 -x = -(1-y), which interpreted gives, 
They who are not mortal are not men. This is an example of 



CHAP. VII.] OF ELIMINATION. 105 

what in the common logic is called conversion by contraposition, 
or negative conversion.* 

Ex. 2. Taking the Proposition, " No men are perfect," as 
represented by the equation 



wherein y represents " men," and x " perfect beings," it is re- 
quired to eliminate v, and find from the result a description both 
of perfect beings and of imperfect beings. We have 

y-9(l-):-0. 

Whence, by the rule of elimination, 

fcf-(l-*)}xy-0, 
or y - y (1 - x) = 0, 

or yx = ; 

which is interpreted by the Proposition, Perfect men do not exist. 
From the above equation we have 

# = - = -(l-2/)by development ; 

whence, by interpretation, No perfect beings are men. Simi- 
larly, 



which, on interpretation, gives, Imperfect beings are all men with 
an indefinite remainder of beings, which are not men. 

11. It will generally be the most convenient course, in the 
treatment of propositions, to eliminate first the indefinite class 
symbol v, wherever it occurs in the corresponding equations. 
This will only modify their form, without impairing their signifi- 
cance. Let us apply this process to one of the examples of 
Chap. iv. For the Proposition, " No men are placed in exalted 
stations and free from envious regards," we found the expression 

y = v (1 - xz), 

and for the equivalent Proposition, " Men in exalted stations are 
not free from envious regards," the expression 
yx = v(\- z); 

* Whately's Logic, Book II. chap. H. sec. 4. 



106 OF ELIMINATION. [CHAP. VII. 

and it was observed that these equations, v being an indefinite 
class symbol, were themselves equivalent. To prove this, it is 
only necessary to eliminate from each the symbol v. The first 
equation is 

y - v (1 - xz) = 0, 

whence, first making v = 1, and then v = 0, and multiplying the 
results, we have 

(y- 1 +xz)y = 0, 

or yxz = 0. 

Now the second of the given equations becomes on transposition 

yx - v(l - z) = 0; 

whence (yx - 1 + z) yx = 0, 

or yxz = 0, 

as before. The reader will easily interpret the result, 

12. Ex. 3. As a subject for the general method of this 
chapter, we will resume Mr. Senior's definition of wealth, viz. : 
" Wealth consists of things transferable, limited in supply, and 
either productive of pleasure or preventive of pain." We shall 
consider this definition, agreeably to a former remark, as including 
all things which possess at once both the qualities expressed in 
the last part of the definition, upon which assumption we have, 
as our representative equation, 

w = st {pr+p(l -r) + r(l - p)}, 
or w = st{p + r(l -p)}, 

wherein 

w stands for wealth. 

s things limited in supply. 

t ,, things transferable. 

p things productive of pleasure. 

r things preventive of pain. 

From the above equation we can eliminate any symbols that 
we do not desire to take into account, and express the result by 
solution and development, according to any proposed arrange- 
ment of subject and predicate. 

Let us first consider what the expression for w, wealth, would 



CHAP. VII.] OF ELIMINATION. 107 

be if the element r, referring to prevention of pain, were elimi- 
nated. Now bringing the terms of the equation to the first side, 

we get 

w st (/? + r rp) - 0. 

Making r = 1, the first member becomes w st, and making 
r - it becomes w - stp ; whence we have by the Rule, 

(w - si) (w - stp) = 0, (7) 

or w - wstp - wst + stp = ; (8) 

whence stp 

= st + stp - 1 ' 

the development of the second member of which equation gives 
w = stp + Q$t(l -p). (9) 

Whence we have the conclusion, Wealth consists of all things 
limited in supply, transferable, and productive of pleasure, and an 
indefinite remainder of things limited in supply, transferable, and 
not productive of pleasure. This is sufficiently obvious. 

Let it be remarked that it is not necessary to perform the 
multiplication indicated in (7), and reduce that equation to the 
form (8), in order to determine the expression of w in terms of 
the other symbols. The process of development may in all cases 
be made to supersede that of multiplication. Thus if we de- 
velop (7) in terms of w, we find 

(1 - st) (1 - stp) w + stp (l-w) = 0, 

whence _ stp 

= stp -(I -st) (I -stp)' 9 

and this equation developed will give, as before, 
w = stp + - st(l - p). 

13. Suppose next that we seek a description of things limited 
in supply, as dependent upon their relation to wealth, transferable- 
ness, and tendency to produce pleasure, omitting all reference to 
the prevention of pain. 



108 OF ELIMINATION. [CHAP. VII. 

From equation (8), which is the result of the elimination of 
r from the original equation, we have 

w - s (wt + wtp - tp) - ; 

whence w 

s - 
wt + wtp - tp 

= wtp + wt(l-p)+-w(l-t)p + -w(l- t) (1 - p) 



We will first give the direct interpretation of the above solution, 
term by term ; afterwards we shall offer some general remarks 
which it suggests ; and, finally, show how the expression of the 
conclusion may be somewhat abbreviated. 

First, then, the direct interpretation is, Things limited in 
supply consist of All wealth transferable and productive of pleasure 
all wealth transferable, and not productive of pleasure, an indefi- 
nite amount of what is not wealth, but is either transferable, and not 
productive of pleasure, or intransferable and productive of pleasure, 
or neither transferable nor productive of pleasure. 

To which the terms whose coefficients are - permit us to add 
the following independent relations, viz. : 

1st. Wealth that is intransferable, and productive of pleasure, 
does not exist. 

2ndly. Wealth that is intransferable, and not productive of plea- 
sure, does not exist. 

14. Respecting this solution I suppose the following remarks 
are likely to be made. 

First, it may be said, that in the expression above obtained 
for " things limited in supply," the term " All wealth transfer- 
able," &c., is in part redundant ; since all wealth is (as implied 
in the original proposition, and directly asserted in the indepen- 
dent relations) necessarily transferable. 

I answer, that although in ordinary speech we should not 



CHAP. VII.] OF ELIMINATION. 109 

deem it necessary to add to " wealth" the epithet " transferable," 
if another part of our reasoning had led us to express the con- 
clusion, that there is no wealth which is not transferable, yet it 
pertains to the perfection of this method that it in all cases fully 
defines the objects represented by each term of the conclusion, 
by stating the relation they bear to each quality or element of dis- 
tinction that we have chosen to employ. This is necessary in order 
to keep the different parts of the solution really distinct and in- 
dependent, and actually prevents redundancy. Suppose that the 
pair of terms we have been considering had not contained the 
word " transferable," and had unitedly been " All wealth," we 
could then logically resolve the single term " All wealth" into 
the two terms "All wealth transferable," and "All wealth 
intransferable." But the latter term is shown to disappear by 
the "independent relations." Hence it forms no part of the de- 
scription required, and is therefore redundant. The remaining 
term agrees with the conclusion actually obtained. 

Solutions in which there cannot, by logical divisions, be pro- 
duced any superfluous or redundant terms, may be termed pure 
solutions. Such are all the solutions obtained by the method of 
development and elimination above explained. It is proper to 
notice, that if the common algebraic method of elimination were 
adopted in the cases in which that method is possible in the pre- 
sent system, we should not be able to depend upon the purity of 
the solutions obtained. Its want of generality would not be its 
only defect. 

15. In the second place, it will be remarked, that the con- 
clusion contains two terms, the aggregate significance of which 
would be more conveniently expressed by a single term. Instead 
of " All wealth productive of pleasure, and transferable," and 
"All wealth not productive of pleasure, and transferable," we 
might simply say, " All wealth transferable." This remark is 
quite just. But it must be noticed that whenever any such sim- 
plifications are possible, they are immediately suggested by the 
form of the equation we have to interpret ; and if that equation 
be reduced to its simplest form, then the interpretation to which 
it conducts will be in its simplest form also. Thus in the original 
solution the terms wtp and wt(\ - jo), which have unity for their 



110 OF ELIMINATION. [CHAP. VII. 

coefficient, give, on addition, wt; the terms w (1 - t) p and 
w(\ ~t) (1 - p) 9 which have - for their coefficient give w ( 1 - 1) ; 
and the terms (1 - w) (1 - t)p and (1 - w) (1 -t) (1 -p), which 
have -ft for then* coefficient, give (1 - w) (1 - t). Whence the 
complete solution is 



_ _ - - , 

with the independent relation, 

w (1 - Z) = 0, or w = - 1. 

The interpretation would now stand thus : 

1st. Things limited in supply consist of all wealth transferable, 
with an indefinite remainder of what is not wealth and not transfer- 
able, and of transferable articles which are not wealth, and are not 
productive of pleasure. 

2nd. All wealth is transferable. 

This is the simplest form under which the general conclusion, 
with its attendant condition, can be put. 

16. When it is required to eliminate two or more symbols 
from a proposed equation we can either employ (6) Prop. I., or 
eliminate them in succession, the order of the process being in- 
different. From the equation 

w = st (p + r pr), 

we have eliminated r, and found the result, 

w - wst - wstp + stp = 0. 

Suppose that it had been required to eliminate both r and t, then 
taking the above as the first step of the process, it remains to 
eliminate from the last equation t. Now when t = 1 the first 
member of that equation becomes 

w - ws - wsp -f sp, 
and when t = the same member becomes iv. Whence we have 

w (w - ws - wsp + sp) = 0, 
or w - ws = 0, 

for the required result of elimination. 



CHAP. VII.] OF ELIMINATION. HI 

If from the last result we determine w 9 we have 





w 



l-s ' 



whence " All wealth is limited in supply." As p does not enter 
into the equation, it is evident that the above is true, irrespec- 
tively of any relation which the elements of the conclusion bear 
to the quality "productive of pleasure." 

Resuming the original equation, let it be required to elimi- 
nate s and t. We have 

w = st (p + r - pr). 

Instead, however, of separately eliminating s and t according to 
the Rule, it will suffice to treat st as a single symbol, seeing that 
it satisfies the fundamental law of the symbols by the equation 

st (1 - st) = 0. 
Placing, therefore, the given equation under the form 

w - st (p + r - pr) - ; 

and making st successively equal to 1 and to 0, and taking the 
product of the results, we have 

(w - p - r + pr) w = 0, 
or w - wp - wr + wpr = 0, 

for the result sought. 

As a particular illustration, let it be required to deduce an 
expression for " things productive of pleasure" (p), in terms of 
"wealth" (w), and " things preventive of pain" (r). 

We have, on solving the equation, 

_w(l -r) 
P ~w(\ -r) 

= ^wr + w(l - r) + 5(1 - w) r + ? (1 - w) (1 - r) 

= w(l -r) + -wr + -(l -w). 
Whence the following conclusion: Things productive of plea- 



112 OF ELIMINATION. [CHAP. VII. 

sure are, all wealth not preventive of pain, an indefinite amount 
of wealth that is preventive of pain, and an indefinite amount of 
what is not wealth. 

From the same equation we get 

_! "(l~r)_ 
/" w(l-r)~w(l-r) 9 

which developed, gives 

w(l-p) = -wr + -(l-w).r + -(l-w}.(\-r) 



Whence, Things not productive of pleasure are either wealth, pre- 
ventive of pain, or what is not wealth. 

Equally easy would be the discussion of any similar case. 

17. In the last example of elimination, we have eliminated 
the compound symbol st from the given equation, by treating it 
as a single symbol. The same method is applicable to any com- 
bination of symbols which satisfies the fundamental law of indi- 
vidual symbols. Thus the expression p + r - pr will, on being 
multiplied by itself, reproduce itself, so that if we represent 
p + r-pr by a single symbol as ?/, we shall have the fundamen- 
tal law obeyed, the equation 

y = y\ or y (1 - y) = 0, 

being satisfied. For the rule of elimination for symbols is founded 
upon the supposition that each individual symbol is subject to 
that law ; and hence the elimination of any function or combina- 
tion of such symbols from an equation, may be effected by a sin- 
gle operation, whenever that law is satisfied by the function. 

Though the forms of interpretation adopted in this and the 
previous chapter show, perhaps better than any others, the di- 

rect significance of the symbols 1 and - , modes of expression 

more agreeable to those of common discourse may, with equal 
truth and propriety, be employed. Thus the equation (9) may 
be interpreted in the following manner : Wealth is either limited 
in supply, transferable, and productive of pleasure, or limited in sup- 



CHAP. VII.] OF ELIMINATION. 113 

ply, transferable, and not productive of pleasure. And reversely, 
Whatever is limited in supply, transferable, and productive of plea- 
sure, is wealth. Reverse interpretations, similar to the above, are 
always furnished when the final development introduces terms 
having unity as a coefficient. 

18. NOTE. The fundamental equation /(1)/(0) = 0, ex- 
pressing the result of the elimination of the symbol x from any 
equation f(x) = 0, admits of a remarkable interpretation. 

It is to be remembered, that by the equation /(#) = is im- 
plied some proposition in which the individuals represented by 
the class x, suppose " men," are referred to, together, it may be, 
with other individuals ; and it is our object to ascertain whether 
there is implied in the proposition any relation among the other 
individuals, independently of those found in the class men. Now 
the equation /(I) = expresses what the original proposition 
would become if men made up the universe, and the equation 
/(O) = expresses what that original proposition would become 
if men ceased to exist, wherefore the equation /(I) /(O) = ex- 
presses what in virtue of the original proposition would be 
equally true on either assumption, i. e. equally true whether 
"men" were "all things" or "nothing." Wherefore the theo- 
rem expresses that what is equally true, whether a given class of 
objects embraces the whole universe or disappears from existence, 
is independent of that class altogether, and vice versa. Herein 
we see another example of the interpretation of formal results, 
immediately deduced from the mathematical laws of thought, into 
general axioms of philosophy. 



114 OF REDUCTION. [CHAP. VIII. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

ON THE REDUCTION OF SYSTEMS OF PROPOSITIONS. 

1. TN the preceding chapters we have determined sufficiently 
-*- for the most essential purposes the theory of single pri- 
mary propositions, or, to speak more accurately, of primary pro- 
positions expressed by a single equation. And we have estab- 
lished upon that theory an adequate method. We have shown 
how any element involved in the given system of equations may 
be eliminated, and the relation which connects the remaining 
elements deduced in any proposed form, whether of denial, of af- 
firmation, or of the more usual relation of subject and predicate. 
It remains that we proceed to the consideration of systems of 
propositions, and institute with respect to them a similar series 
of investigations. We are to inquire whether it is possible from 
the equations by which a system of propositions is expressed to 
eliminate, ad libitum, any number of the symbols involved ; to 
deduce by interpretation of the result the whole of the relations 
implied among the remaining symbols ; and to determine in par- 
ticular the expression of any single element, or of any inter- 
pretable combination of elements, in terms of the other elements, 
so as to present the conclusion in any admissible form that may 
be required. These questions will be answered by showing that it 
is possible to reduce any system of equations, or any of the equa- 
tions involved in a system, to an equivalent single equation, to 
which the methods of the previous chapters may be immediately 
applied. It will be seen also, that in this reduction is involved 
an important extension of the theory of single propositions, which 
in the previous discussion of the subject we were compelled to 
forego. This circumstance is not peculiar in its nature. There 
are many special departments of science which cannot be com- 
pletely surveyed from within, but require to be studied also from 
an external point of view, and to be regarded in connexion with 



CHAP. VIII.] OF REDUCTION. 115 

other and kindred subjects, in order that their full proportions 
may be understood. 

This chapter will exhibit two distinct modes of reducing 
systems of equations to equivalent single equations. The first 
of these rests upon the employment of arbitrary constant multi- 
pliers. It is a method sufficiently simple in theory, but it has the 
inconvenience of rendering the subsequent processes of elimina- 
tion and development, when they occur, somewhat tedious. It was, 
however, the method of reduction first discovered, and partly on 
this account, and partly on account of its simplicity, it has been 
thought proper to retain it. The second method does not re- 
quire the introduction of arbitrary constants, and is in nearly 
all respects preferable to the preceding one. It will, therefore, 
generally be adopted in the subsequent investigations of this 
work. 

2. We proceed to the consideration of the first method. 

PROPOSITION I. 

Any system of logical equations may be reduced to a single equiva- 
lent equation, by multiplying each equation after the first by a dis- 
tinct arbitrary constant quantity, and adding all the results, including 
the first equation, together. 

By Prop. 2, Chap, vi., the interpretation of any single 
equation, f(x,y ..) = is obtained by equating to those con- 
stituents of the development of the first member, whose co- 
efficients do not vanish. And hence, if there be given two equa- 
tions, f(x,y..) = 0, and F(x, y . .) = 0, their united import will be 
contained in the system of results formed by equating to all 
those constituents which thus present themselves in both, or in 
either, of the given equations developed according to the Rule of 
Chap. vi. Thus let it be supposed, that we have the two equations 

^-2* = 0, (1) 

* - y = 5 (2) 

The development of the first gives 

- xy - 2tf (1 - y) = ; 

whence, xy = 0, x (1 - y) - 0. (3) 

i 2 



116 OF REDUCTION. [CHAP. VIII. 

The development of the second equation gives 

aO-y)-yO-*) = 5 

whence, x (1 - y) = 0, y (1 - x) = 0. (4) 

The constituents whose coefficients do not vanish in both deve- 
lopments are xy, x (1 - ?/), and (1 - x) y, and these would to- 
gether give the system 

**/ = 0, *(!-*,) = 0, (1-aOy-O; (5) 

which is equivalent to the two systems given by the developments 
separately, seeing that in those systems the equation x (1 - y) = 
is repeated. Confining ourselves to the case of binary systems 
of equations, it remains then to determine a single equation, 
which on development shall yield the same constituents with 
coefficients which do not vanish, as the given equations produce. 
Now if we represent by 

V, = 0, F 2 = 0, 

the given equations, F, and F 2 being functions of the logical sym- 
bols x 9 y, z 9 &c. ; then the single equation 

F I + F,-0, (6) 

c being an arbitrary constant quantity, will accomplish the re- 
quired object. For let At represent any term in the full de- 
velopment F! wherein t is a constituent and A its numerical 
coefficient, and let Bt represent the corresponding term in the 
full development of F 2 , then will the corresponding term in the 
development of (6) be 

(A + cB) t. 

The coefficient of t vanishes if A and B both vanish, but not 
otherwise. For if we assume that A and B do not both vanish, 
and at the same tune make 

A + cB = 0, (7) 

the following cases alone can present themselves. 

1st. That A vanishes and B does not vanish. In this case 
the above equation becomes 



CHAP. VIII.] OF REDUCTION. 117 

and requires that c = 0. But this contradicts the hypothesis that 
c is an arbitrary constant. 

2nd. That B vanishes and A does not vanish. This assump- 
tion reduces (7) to 

,1 = 0, 

by which the assumption is itself violated. 

3rd. That neither A nor B vanishes. The equation (7) then 
gives 

- A 
C = 1T' 

which is a definite value, and, therefore, conflicts with the hy- 
pothesis that c is arbitrary. 

Hence the coefficient A + cB vanishes when A and B both 
vanish, but not otherwise. Therefore, the same constituents 
will appear in the development of (6), with coefficients which do 
not vanish, as in the equations V l = 0, F 2 = 0, singly or together. 
And the equation V i + c V 2 = 0, will be equivalent to the sys- 
tem V l = 0, F 2 = 0. 

By similar reasoning it appears, that the general system of 

equations 

V, = 0, F 2 = 0, F 3 = 0, &c. ; 

may be replaced by the single equation 

F 1 + cF 2 + e'F 3 + &c. = 0, 

c, c', &c., being arbitrary constants. The equation thus formed 
may be treated in all respects as the ordinary logical equations 
of the previous chapters. The arbitrary constants c l5 <? 2 , &c., are 
not logical symbols. They do not satisfy the law, 

c, (1 - Cl ) = 0, c, (1 - c 2 ) = 0. 

But then- introduction is justified by that general principle which 
has been stated in (II. 15) and (V. 6), and exemplified in nearly 
all our subsequent investigations, viz., that equations involving 
the symbols of Logic may be treated in all respects as if those 
symbols were symbols of quantity, subject to the special law 
x (1 - x) = 0, until in the final stage of solution they assume a 
form interpretable in that system of thought with which Logic 
is conversant. 



118 OF REDUCTION. [CHAP. VIII. 

3. The following example will serve to illustrate the above 
method. 

Ex. 1. Suppose that an analysis of the proper ties of a parti- 
cular class of substances has led to the following general conclu- 
sions, viz. : 

1st. That wherever the properties A and B are combined, 
either the property C, or the property D, is present also ; but 
they are not jointly present. 

2nd. That wherever the properties B and C are combined, 
the properties A and D are either both present with them, or 
both absent. 

3rd. That wherever the properties A and B are both absent, 
the properties C and D are both absent also; and vice versa, where 
the properties C and D are both absent, A and B are both absent 
also. 

Let it then be required from the above to determine what 
may be concluded in any particular instance from the presence of 
the property A with respect to the presence or absence of the 
properties B and C, paying no regard to the property D. 

Represent the property A by x ; 
the property B by y ; 
the property C by z ; 
,, the property D by w. 

Then the symbolical expression of the premises will be 

xy = v [w (1 - z) + z (1 - w)} ; 
yz = v {xw + (I- x) (I- w)}; 
(\-x)(l-y) = (l-z)(l-w). 

From the first two of these equations, separately eliminating the 
indefinite class symbol v, we have 

xy{l-w(l-z)-z(l-w)} = 0; 
yz{l-xw-(l-x)(l- w)} = 0. 
Now if we observe that by development 

1 - w (1 - z) - z (I - w) = wz + (1 - w) (1 - z), 
and 

1 - xw - (1 - x) ( 1 - w) = x (1 - w) + w (1 - x), 



CHAP. VIII.] OF REDUCTION. 119 

and in these expressions replace, for simplicity, 
1 - x by x, 1-ybyy, &c., 
we shall have from the three last equations, 

xy (wz + wz) = 0;' (1) 

yz (xw + xw) = Q' } (2) 

xy=Hz; (3) 

and from this system we must eliminate w. 

Multiplying the second of the above equations by c, and the 
third by c', and adding the results to the first, we have 

xy (wz + wz) + cyz (xw + xw) + c' (Icy - wx) = 0. 

When w is made equal to 1 , and therefore w to 0, the first mem- 
ber of the above equation becomes 

xyz + cxyz + c'xy. 

And when in the same member w is made and w = 1, it be- 
comes 

xyz + cxyz + c'xy - cz. 

Hence the result of the elimination of w may be expressed in the 
form 

(xyz + cxyz + c'xy) (xyz + cxyz + c'xy - cz) = ; (4) 

and from this equation x is to be determined. 

Were we now to proceed as in former instances, we should 
multiply together the factors in the first member of the above 
equation ; but it may be well to show that such a course is not 
at all necessary. Let us 'develop the first member of (4) with 
reference to #, the symbol whose expression is sought, we find 

yz (yz + cyz - cz) x + (cyz + c'y) (c'y - c'z) (1 - x) = ; 
or, cyzx + (cyz + c'y) (c'y - cz) (1 - x) = ; 

whence we find, 

(cyz + c'y) (c'y - c'z) 
(cyz + c'y) (c'y - c'z) - cyz ' 

and developing the second member with respect to y and z 9 



120 OF REDUCTION. [CHAP. VIII. 



. C' 2 . _ 
-yz+-yz + -y 



the interpretation of which is, Wherever the property A is present, 
there either C is present and B absent, or C is absent. And in- 
versely, Wherever the property C is present, and the property 13 
absent, there the property A is present. 

These results may be much more readily obtained by the 
method next to be explained. It is, however, satisfactory to 
possess different modes, serving for mutual verification, of ar- 
riving at the same conclusion. 

4. We proceed to the second method. 

PROPOSITION II. 

If any equations, V l = 0, F 2 = 0, fyc., are such that the develop- 
ments of their first members consist only of constituents with positive 
coefficients, those equations may be combined together into a single 
equivalent equation by addition. 

For, as before, let At represent any term in the development 
of the function F 1} Bt the corresponding term in the develop- 
ment of F 2 , and so on. Then will the corresponding term in the 
development of the equation 

Fx+Fo-f&c. = 0, (1) 

formed by the addition of the several given equations, be 
(A + B + &c.) t. 

But as by hypothesis the coefficients A, B, &c. are none of them 
negative, the aggregate coefficient A + B, &c. in the derived 
equation will only vanish when the separate coefficients A, B, &c. 
vanish together. Hence the same constituents will appear in the 
development of the equation (1) as in the several equations 
V l = 0, F 2 = 0, &c. of the original system taken collectively, and 
therefore the interpretation of the equation ( 1 ) will be equiva- 



CHAP. VIII.] OF REDUCTION. 121 

lent to the collective interpretations of the several equations from 
which it is derived. 



PROPOSITION III. 

5. If V l = 0, F 2 = 0, fyc. represent any system of equations, the 
terms of which have by transposition been brought to the first side, 
then the combined interpretation of the system will be involved in the 
single equation, 

V* + F 2 2 + $c. = 0, 

formed by adding together the squares of the given equations. 

For let any equation of the system, as Fj. = 0, produce on de- 
velopment an equation 

a\t\ + a z t 2 + &G. = 0, 

in which t l9 t z , &c. are constituents, and 15 a Z9 &c. then* corres- 
ponding coefficients. Then the equation Fj 2 = will produce 
on development an equation 

<Zi 2 i + 2 2 *2 + <& = 0, 

as may be proved either from the law of the development or by 
squaring the function a l t 1 + # 2 2 , &c. in subjection to the con- 
ditions 

*1 2 = *1, * 2 2 =*2, *1*2 = 0, 

assigned in Prop. 3, Chap. v. Hence the constituents which 
appear in the expansion of the equation F x 2 = 0, are the same 
with those which appear in the expansion of the equation V l = 0, 
and they have positive coefficients. And the same remark ap- 
plies to the equations F 3 = 0, &c. Whence, by the last Propo- 
sition, the equation 

F, 2 + F 2 2 + &c. = 

will be equivalent in interpretation to the system of equations 
F! = 0, F 2 = 0, &c. 

Corollary. Any equation, F= 0, of which the first member 
already satisfies the condition 

F 2 = F, or F(l - F) = 0, 



122 OF REDUCTION. [CHAP. VIII. 

does not need (as it would remain unaffected by) the process of 
squaring. Such equations are, indeed, immediately developable 
into a series of constituents, with coefficients equal to 1, Chap. v. 
Prop. 4. 

PROPOSITION IV. 

6. Whenever the equations of a system have by the above pro- 
cess of squaring, or by any other process, been reduced to a form 
such that all the constituents exhibited in their development have 
positive coefficients, any derived equations obtained by elimination 
will possess the same character, and may be combined with the 
other equations by addition. 

Suppose that we have to eliminate a symbol x from any 
equation V = 0, which is such that none of the constituents, in 
the full development of its first member, have negative coefficients. 
That expansion may be written in the form 



! and F being each of the form 



in which ^ t z . . t n are constituents of the other symbols, and 
a l 2 a n in each case positive or vanishing quantities. The re- 
sult of elimination is 

F, F 2 = 0; 

and as the coefficients in V l and F 2 are none of them negative, 
there can be no negative coefficients in the product V l F 2 . 
Hence the equation V l F 2 = may be added to any other equa- 
tion, the coefficients of whose constituents are positive, and the 
resulting equation will combine the full significance of those 
from which it was obtained. 

PROPOSITION V. 

7. To deduce from the previous Propositions a practical rule or 
method for the reduction of systems of equations expressing propo- 
sitions in Logic. 

We have by the previous investigations established the fol- 
lowing points, viz. : 



CHAP. VIII.] OF REDUCTION. 123 

1st. That any equations which are of the form F=0, V sa- 
tisfying the fundamental law of duality F(l - F) = 0, may be 
combined together by simple addition. 

2ndly. That any other equations of the form F= may be 
reduced, by the process of squaring, to a form in which the same 
principle of combination by mere addition is applicable. 

It remains then only to determine what equations in the ac- 
tual expression of propositions belong to the former, and what to 
the latter, class. 

Now the general types of propositions have been set forth in 
the conclusion of Chap. iv. The division of propositions which 
they represent is as follows : 

1st. Propositions, of which the subject is universal, and the 
predicate particular. 

The symbolical type (IV. 15) is 



X and Y satisfying the law of duality. Eliminating v, we have 
X(l-Y) = 0, ....-' . (1) 

and this will be found also to satisfy the same law. No further 
reduction by the process of squaring is needed. 

2nd. Propositions of which both terms are universal, and of 
which the symbolical type is 

x= y, 

X and Y separately satisfying the law of duality. Writing the 
equation in the form X - Y = 0, and squaring, we have 

X-2XY+ Y=0, 
or X(l- Y)+ Y(1--X) = 0. (2) 

The first member of this equation satisfies the law of duality, as 
is evident from its very form. 

We may arrive at the same equation in a different manner. 

The equation 

X = Y 

is equivalent to the two equations 

X=vY 9 Y=vX, 



124 OF REDUCTION. [CHAP. VIII. 

(for to affirm that X'a are identical with Y s is to affirm both that 
All X*s are Y*s, and that All ys are X 9 s). Now these equa- 
tions give, on elimination of v, 



which added, produce (2). 

3rd. Propositions of which both terms are particular. The 
form of such propositions is 



but v is not quite arbitrary, and therefore must not be eliminated. 
For v is the representative of some, which, though it may include 
in its meaning all, does not include none. We must therefore 
transpose the second member to the first side, and square the 
resulting equation according to the rule. 
The result will obviously be 

vX(l - Y) + vY(l-X) = 0. 

The above conclusions it may be convenient to embody in a 
Rule, which will serve for constant future direction. 

8. RULE. The equations being so expressed as that the terms X 
and Yin the following typical forms obey the law of duality, change 
the equations 

X =vYintoX(l- Y) = 0, 

X = YintoX(l - Y) + F(l - X) = 0. 

vX=vYinto vX(l-Y) + vY(l - X) = 0. 

Any equation which is given in the form X = will not need transfor- 
mation, and any equation ivhich presents itself in the form X=l 
may be replaced by 1 - X = 0, as appears from the second of the 
above transformations. 

When the equations of the system have thus been reduced, 
any of them, as well as any equations derived from them by the 
process of elimination, may be combined by addition. 

9. NOTE. It has been seen in Chapter iv. that in literally 
translating the terms of a proposition, without attending to its 
real meaning, into the language of symbols, we may produce 
equations in which the terms X and Y do not obey the law of 
duality. The equation w = st (p + r), given in (3) Prop. 3 of 



CHAP. VIII.] OF REDUCTION. 125 

the chapter referred to, is of this kind. Such equations, how- 
ever, as it has been seen, have a meaning. Should it, for cu- 
riosity, or for any other motive, be determined to employ them, 
it will be best to reduce them by the Rule (VI. 5). 

10. Ex. 2. Let us take the following Propositions of Ele- 
mentary Geometry : 

1st. Similar figures consist of all whose corresponding angles 
are equal, and whose corresponding sides are proportional. 

2nd. Triangles whose corresponding angles are equal have 
their corresponding sides proportional, and vice versa. 
To represent these premises, let us make 
s = similar. 
t = triangles. \ 

q = having corresponding angles equal. 
r = having corresponding sides proportional. 

Then the premises are expressed by the following equations : 

s = qr, (1) 

tq=tr. (2) 

Reducing by the Rule, or, which amounts to the same thing, 
bringing the terms of these equations to the first side, squaring 
each equation, and then adding, we have 

s + qr - 2qrs + tq + ir - 2tqr = 0. (3) 

Let it be required to deduce a description of dissimilar figures 
formed out of the elements expressed by the terms, triangles, 
having corresponding angles equal, having corresponding sides 
proportional. 

We have from (3), 

_ tq + qr + rt - 2tqr 



0) 



And fully developing the second member, we find 

1 - s = Qtqr + 2tq (l-r) + 2*r (1 - q) + t (1 - q) (1 - r) 



126 OF REDUCTION. [CHAP. VIII. 

In the above development two of the terms have the coefficient 
2, these must be equated to by the Rule, then those terms 
whose coefficients are being rejected, we have 

1 -,=(! -q) (l-r) + (l -t)q(l -r) + (l-t)r (1 - j) 

+ (l-f)(l-y)(l-r); (6) 

<y(l-r) = 0; (7) 

<r(l- 3 )-0; (8) 

the direct interpretation of which is 

1st. Dissimilar figures consist of all triangles which have not their 
corresponding angles equal and sides proportional, and of all figures 
not being triangles which have either their angles equal, and sides not 
proportional, or their corresponding sides proportional, and angles 
not equal, or neither their corresponding angles equal nor corres- 
ponding sides proportional. 

2nd. There are no triangles whose corresponding angles are equal, 
and sides not proportional. 

3rd. There are no triangles whose corresponding sides are pro- 
portional and angles not equal. 

\ 1 . Such are the immediate interpretations of the final equa- 
tion. It is seen, in accordance with the general theory, that in 
deducing a description of a particular class of objects, viz., dis- 
similar figures, in terms of certain other elements of the original 
premises, we obtain also the independent relations which exist 
among those elements in virtue of the same premises. And that 
this is not superfluous information, even as respects the imme- 
diate object of inquiry, may easily be shown. For example, the 
independent relations may always be made use of to reduce, if it 
be thought desirable, to a briefer form, the expression of that re- 
lation which is directly sought. Thus if we write (7) in the 
form 



and add it to (6), we get, since 



(!-*)(! -?)(i -r), 



CHAP. VIII.] OF REDUCTION. 127 

which, on interpretation, would give for the first term of the de- 
scription of dissimilar figures, " Triangles whose corresponding 
sides are not proportional," instead of the fuller description origi- 
nally obtained. A regard to convenience must always determine 
the propriety of such reduction. 

12. A reduction which is always advantageous (VII. 15) con- 
sists in collecting the terms of the immediate description sought, 
as of the second member of (5) or (6), into as few groups as 
possible. Thus the third and fourth terms of the second mem- 
ber of (6) produce by addition the single term (1 - t) (1 - q). 
If this reduction be combined with the last, we have 

1 - . = /(I - r) + (1 - t)q (1 -r) + (I-*) (1 - q), 
the interpretation of which is 

Dissimilar figures consist of all triangles whose corresponding 
sides are not proportional, and all figures not being triangles which 
have either their corresponding angles unequal, or their corresponding 
angles equal, but sides not proportional. 

The fulness of the general solution is therefore not a super- 
fluity. While it gives us all the information that we seek, it 
provides us also with the means of expressing that information 
in the mode that is most advantageous. 

13. Another observation, illustrative of a principle which has 
already been stated, remains to be made. Two of the terms in 
the full development of 1 - s in (5) have 2 for their coefficients, 

instead of -. It will hereafter be shown that this circumstance 

indicates that the two premises were not independent. To verify 
this, let us resume the equations of the premises in their reduced 
forms, viz., ( 

s(l - qr) -t qr(l - s) = 0, 



Now if the first members of these equations have any common 
constituents, they will appear on multiplying the equations to- 
gether. If we do this we obtain 

stq(l - r) + str(l - q) = 0. 



128 OF REDUCTION. [CHAP. VIII. 

Whence there will result 

stq (l-r) = 0, sir (1 - q) = 0, 

these being equations which are deducible from either of the 
primitive ones. Their interpretations are 

Similar triangles which have their corresponding angles equal 
have their corresponding sides proportional. 

Similar triangles which have their corresponding sides propor- 
tional have their corresponding angles equal. 

And these conclusions are equally deducible from either pre- 
miss singly. In this respect, according to the definitions laid 
down, the premises are not independent. 

14. Let us, in conclusion, resume the problem discussed in 
illustration of the first method of this chapter, and endeavour to 
ascertain, by the present method, what may be concluded from 
the presence of the property C, with reference to the properties 
A and B. 

We found on eliminating the symbols v the following equa- 
tions, viz. : 

xy(wz + wz) = Q, (1) 

yz (xw + xw) = 0, (2) 

Icy = wz. (3) 

From these we are to eliminate w and determine z. Now (1) 
and (2) already satisfy the condition F(l - F) = 0. The third 
equation gives, on bringing the terms to the first side, and 
squaring 

xy (1 - ~cz) + w~z(l - xy) - 0. (4) 

Adding (1) (2) and (4) together, we have 

xy (wz + wz) + yz (xw + x) + xy(l-wz) + wz(l- xy) = 0. 
Eliminating w, we get 

(xyz + yzx + wy) {xyz + yzx + xyz + z(l - xy)} = 0. 

Now, on multiplying the terms in the second factor by those in 
the first successively, observing that 

xx = 0, yy = 0, z~z = 0, 



CHAP. VIII.] OF REDUCTION. 129 

nearly all disappear, and we have only left 

xyz + xyz = ; (5) 

whence 



0_ 

Qxy + - xy + - xy + Qxy 

0_ 



furnishing the interpretation. Wherever the property C is found, 
either the property A or the property B will be found with it, but 
not both of them together. 

From the equation (5) we may readily deduce the result ar- 
rived at in the previous investigation by the method of arbitrary 
constant multipliers, as well as any other proposed forms of the 
relation between x, y, and z ; e. g. If the property B is absent, 
either A and C will be jointly present, or Cwill be absent. And 
conversely, If A and C are jointly present, B will be absent. 
The converse part of this conclusion is founded on the presence 
of a term xz with unity for its coefficient in the developed value 



130 METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. [CHAP. IX. 



CHAPTER IX. 

ON CERTAIN METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. 

1 . ^T^HOUGH the three fundamental methods of development, 
-*- elimination, and reduction, established and illustrated in 
the previous chapters, are sufficient for all the practical ends of 
Logic, yet there are certain cases in which they admit, and espe- 
cially the method of elimination, of being simplified in an im- 
portant degree ; and to these I wish to direct attention in the 
present chapter. I shall first demonstrate some propositions in 
which the principles of the above methods of abbreviation are 
contained, and I shall afterwards apply them to particular ex- 
amples. 

Let us designate as class terms any terms which satisfy the 
fundamental law V (1 - V) = 0. Such terms will individually 
be constituents; but, when occurring together, will not, as do 
the terms of a development, necessarily involve the same symbols 
in each. Thus ax + bxy + cyz may be described as an expression 
consisting of three class terms, a?, xy> and yz> multiplied by the 
coefficients a, b, c respectively. The principle applied in the two 
following Propositions, and which, in some instances, greatly 
abbreviates the process of elimination, is that of the rejection of 
superfluous class terms; those being regarded as superfluous 
which do not add to the constituents of the final result. 

PROPOSITION I. 

2. From any equation, V= 0, in which V consists of a series of 
class terms having positive coefficients, we are permitted to reject any 
term which contains another term as a factor, and to change every 
positive coefficient to unity. 

For the significance of this series of positive terms depends 
only upon the number and nature of the constituents of its final 
expansion, i. e. of its expansion with reference to all the symbols 



CHAP. IX.] METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. 131 

which it involves, and not at all upon the actual values of the 
coefficients (VI. 5). Now let x be any term of the series, and 
xy any other term having a; as a factor. The expansion of x with 
reference to the symbols x and y will be 

and the expansion of the sum of the terms x and xy will be 

But by what has been said, these expressions occurring in the 
first member of an equation, of which the second member is 0, 
and of which all the coefficients of the first member are positive, 
are equivalent ; since there must exist simply the two constituents 
xy and x (1 - y) in the final expansion, whence will simply arise 
the resulting equations 

xy = 0, x (1 - y) = 0. 

And, therefore, the aggregate of terms x + xy may be replaced by 
the single term x. 

The same reasoning applies to all the cases contemplated in 
the Proposition. Thus, if the term x is repeated, the aggregate 
2x may be replaced by x, because under the circumstances the 
equation x = must appear in the final reduction. 

PROPOSITION II. 

3. Whenever in the process of elimination we have to multiply 
together two factors, each consisting solely of positive terms, satisfying 
the fundamental law of logical symbols, it is permitted to reject from 
both factors any common term, or from either factor any term which 
is divisible by a term in the other factor ; provided always, that the 
rejected term be added to the product of the resulting factors. 

In the enunciation of this Proposition, the word "divisible" 
is a term of convenience, used in the algebraic sense, in which xy 
and x (1 - y) are said to be divisible by x. 

To render more clear the import of this Proposition, let it be 
supposed that the factors to be multiplied together are x + y + z 
and x + yw + t. It is then asserted, that from these two factors 
we may reject the term x, and that from the second factor we 
may reject the term yw, provided that these terms be transferred 

K2 



132 METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. [CHAP. IX. 

to the final product. Thus, the resulting factors being y + z 
and , if to their product yt + zt we add the terms x and yw, 

we have 

x + yw + yt + zt, 

as an expression equivalent to the product of the given factors 
x + y + z and x + yw + t ; equivalent namely in the process of 
elimination. 

Let us consider, first, the case in which the two factors have 
a common term a?, and let us represent the factors by the expres- 
sions x + P, x + Q, supposing P in the one case and Q in the 
other to be the sum of the positive terms additional to x. 

Now, 

(x + P) (x + Q) = x + xP + xQ + PQ. (1) 

But the process of elimination consists in multiplying certain 
factors together, and equating the result to 0. Either then the 
second member of the above equation is to be equated to 0, or it 
is a factor of some expression which is to be equated to 0. 

If the former alternative be taken, then, by the last Propo- 
sition, we are permitted to reject the terms xP and#Q, inasmuch 
as they are positive terms having another term # as a factor. 
The resulting expression is 



which is what we should obtain by rejecting x from both factors, 
and adding it to the product of the factors which remain. 

Taking the second alternative, the only mode in which the 
second member of (1) can affect the final result of elimination 
must depend upon the number and nature of its constituents, 
both which elements are unaffected by the rejection of the terms 
xP and xQ. For that development of x includes all possible con- 
stituents of which # is a factor. 

Consider finally the case in which one of the factors contains 
a term, as xy, divisible by a term, x 9 in the other factor. 

Let x + P and xy + Q be the factors. Now 

(x + P) (xy + Q) = xy+ xQ + xyP + PQ. 

But by the reasoning of the last Proposition, the term xyP may be 
rejected as containing another positive term xy as a factor, whence 
we have 



CHAP. IX.] METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. 133 

xy + xQ + PQ 
= xy + (x + P)Q. 

But this expresses the rejection of the term xy from the second 
factor, and its transference to the final product. Wherefore the 
Proposition is manifest. 

PROPOSITION III. 

4. If t be any symbol which is retained in the final result of the 
elimination of any other symbols from any system of equations, the re- 
sult of such elimination may be expressed in the form 

Et + E(l-t) = 0, 

iu which E is formed by makiny in the proposed system t = 1, and eli- 
minating the same other symbols ; andE' by making in the proposed 
system t = 0, and eliminating the same other symbols. 

For let (t) = represent the final result of elimination. 
Expanding this equation, we have 

#(!)* + * (0) (1 - = 0. 

Now by whatever process we deduce the function $ (t) from the 
proposed system of equations, by the same process should we de- 
duce (1), if in those equations t were changed into 1; and by 
the same process should we deduce (0), if in the same equations 
t were changed into 0. Whence the truth of the proposition is 
manifest. 

5. Of the three propositions last proved, it may be remarked, 
that though quite unessential to the strict development or appli- 
cation of the general theory, they yet accomplish important ends 
of a practical nature. By Prop. 1 we can simplify the results 
of addition ; by Prop. 2 we can simplify those of multiplication ; 
and by Prop. 3 we can break up any tedious process of elimi- 
nation into two distinct processes, which will in general be of a 
much less complex character. This method will be very fre- 
quently adopted, when the final object of inquiry is the determi- 
nation of the value of , in terms of the other symbols which remain 
after the elimination is performed. 

6. Ex. 1. Aristotle, in the Nicomachean Ethics, Book n. 
Cap. 3, having determined that actions are virtuous, not as pos- 
sessing in themselves a certain character, but as implying a cer- 



134 % METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. [CHAP. IX. 

tain condition of mind in him who performs them, viz., that he 
perform them knowingly, and with deliberate preference, and for 
their own sakes, and upon fixed principles of conduct, proceeds 
in the two following chapters to consider the question, whether 
virtue is to be referred to the genus of Passions, or Faculties, or 
Habits, together with some other connected points. He grounds 
his investigation upon the following premises, from which, also, 
he deduces the general doctrine and definition of moral virtue, of 
which the remainder of the treatise forms an exposition. 

PREMISES. 

1. Virtue is either a passion ("jrdOog), or a faculty (Suva/a?), 
or a habit (!c) 

2. Passions are not things according to which we are praised 
or blamed, or in which we exercise deliberate preference. 

3. Faculties are not things according to which we are praised 
or blamed, and which are accompanied by deliberate preference. 

4. Virtue is something according to which we are praised 
or blamed, and which is accompanied by deliberate preference. . 

5. Whatever art or science makes its work to be in a good 
state avoids extremes, and keeps the mean in view relative to 
human nature (TO JU&TOV . . . TTJOOC i?juac). 

6. Virtue is more exact and excellent than any art or science. 
This is an argument a fortiori. If science and true art shun 

defect and extravagance alike, much more does virtue pursue the 
undeviating line of moderation. If they cause their work to be 
in a good state, much more reason have to we to say that Virtue 
causeth her peculiar work to be " in a good state." Let the 
final premiss be thus interpreted. Let us also pretermit all re- 
ference to praise or blame, since the mention of these in the pre- 
mises accompanies only the mention of deliberate preference, and 
this is an element which we purpose to retain. We may then 
assume as our representative symbols 

v = virtue. 

p passions. 

f = faculties. 

h = habits. 

d = things accompanied by deliberate preference. 



CHAP. IX.] METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. 135 

g = things causing their work to be in a good state. 
m= things keeping the mean in view relative to human 
nature. 

Using, then, q as an indefinite class symbol, our premises will be 
expressed by the following equations : 

= <?{/> (1 -/) (1 - h) +/(! -p) (l-K) + h(l -p) (1 -/)). 
p=g(l-d). 



f=q(l-d). 
v = qd. 



And separately eliminating from these the symbols q, 



pd = 0. (2) 

fd = 0. (3) 

v(l-d) = Q. (4) 

<7(1-7H) = 0. (5) 

Ki-^) = o. (6) 

We shall first eliminate from (2), (3), and (4) the symbol d, and 

then determine v in relation to p, /, and h. Now the addition of 
(2), (3), and (4) gives 



From which, eliminating d in the ordinary way, we find 

0+/) = o. 

Adding this to (1), and determining v, we find 





Whence by development, 



The interpretation of this equation is : Virtue is a habit, and not 
a faculty or a passion. 



136 METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. [CHAP. IX. 

Next, we will eliminate/, /?, and g from the original system 
of equations, and then determine v in relation to h, d, and m. 
We will in this case eliminate p and / together. On addition of 
(1),(2), and (3), we get 

v{\-p(\-f)(\-h)-f(\-p)(\-h)-h(\-p)(l-f)} 

+ pd+fd = 0. 

Developing this with reference to p and /, we have 
(v -f Zd)pf + (vh + d)p(l -/) + ( vh + (1 - P)f 



Whence the result of elimination will be 

(v + 2<f) (vh + d) (vh + d)v(l - h) = 0. 

Now v + 2d=v + d+d, which by Prop. I. is reducible to v + d. 
The product of this and the second factor is 

(v + d) (vh + d), 
which by Prop. II. reduces to 

d + v (vh) or vh -f d. 

In like manner, this result, multiplied by the third factor, gives 
simply vh + d. Lastly, this multiplied by the fourth factor, 
v (1 - A), gives, as the final equation, 

vd(l-h) = Q. (8) 

It remains to eliminate g from (5) and (6). The result is 

v (I - m) = 0. (9) 

Finally, the equations (4), (8), and (9) give on addition 
v(l-d) + vd(l-h) + v(l-m) = 0, 

from which we have 

_ _ _ 

~ 1-d + d(l -h) +1-TO* 

And the development of this result gives 

v = - hdm, 
f which the interpretation is, Virtue is a habit accompanied by 



CHAP. IX.] METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. 137 

deliberate preference, and keeping in view the mean relative to 
human nature. 

Properly speaking, this is not a definition, but a description 
of virtue. It is all, however, that can be correctly inferred from 
the premises. Aristotle specially connects with it the necessity 
of prudence, to determine the safe and middle line of action ; and 
there is no doubt that the ancient theories of virtue generally 
partook more of an intellectual character than those (the theory 
of utility excepted) which have most prevailed in modern days. 
Virtue was regarded as consisting in the right state and habit of 
the whole mind, rather than in the single supremacy of con- 
science or the moral faculty. And to some extent those theories 
were undoubtedly right. For though unqualified obedience to 
the dictates of conscience is an essential element of virtuous con- 
duct, yet the conformity of those dictates with those unchanging 
principles of rectitude (alwvta Sticma) which are founded in, or 
which rather are themselves the foundation of the constitution of 
things, is another element. And generally this conformity, in 
any high degree at least, is inconsistent with a state of ignorance 
and mental hebetude. Reverting to the particular theory of 
Aristotle, it will probably appear to most that it is of too ne- 
gative a character, and that the shunning of extremes does not 
afford a sufficient scope for the expenditure of the nobler energies 
of our being. Aristotle seems to have been imperfectly conscious 
of this defect of his system, when in the opening of his seventh 
book he spoke of an "heroic virtue"* rising above the measure 
of human nature. 

7. I have already remarked (VIII. 1) that the theory of sin- 
gle equations or propositions comprehends questions which can- 
not be fully answered, except in connexion with the theory of 
systems of equations. This remark is exemplified when it is 
proposed to determine from a given single equation the relation, 
not of some single elementary class, but of some compound class, 
involving in its expression more than one element, in terms of 
the remaining elements. The following particular example, and 
the succeeding general problem, are of this nature. 

* Tt}v vnep 7/ict dptr^v rjpuiiicfiv nva /cat 0tiav.- NIC. ETII. Book vii. 



138 METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. [CHAP. IX. 

Ex. 2. Let us resume the symbolical expression of the defi- 
nition of wealth employed in Chap, vn., viz., 

w = st {p + r(l -p)}, 
wherein, as before, 

w = wealth, 

s = things limited in supply, 

t = things transferable, 

p = things productive of pleasure, 

r things preventive of pain ; 

and suppose it required to determine hence the relation of things 
transferable and productive of pleasure, to the other elements of 
the definition, viz., wealth, things limited in supply, and things 
preventive of pain. 

The expression for things transferable and productive of plea- 
sure is tp. Let us represent this by a new symbol y. We have 
then the equations 

w = st {p + r(l - p)}, 

y = t p> 

from which, if we eliminate t and p, we may determine y as a 
function of w 9 s, and r. The result interpreted will give the re- 
lation sought. 

Bringing the terms of these equations to the first side, we 

have 

w-stp- sir (l-p) = 0. f 

y-tp = 0. 

And adding the squares of these equations together, 
w + stp + sir (1 -p) - 2wstp - Zwstr (1 - p) + y+tp- tytp = 0. (4) 

Developing the first member with respect to t and p, in order to 
eliminate those symbols, we have 

(w + s - 2ws + 1 - y) tp -f (w + sr - 2wsr 4- y) t (1 - p) 

+ (w + y) (1 - t)p + (w + y)(l- t) (l-p); (5) 

and the result of the elimination of t and p will be obtained by 
equating to the product of the four coefficients of 

tp* '0 -p\ (1 - P> and (i - (i - p)- 



CHAP. IX.] METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. 139 

Or, by Prop. 3, the result of the elimination of t and p from the 
above equation will be of the form 



wherein E is the result obtained by changing in the given equa- 
tion y into 1, and then eliminating t and p ; and E r the result 
obtained by changing in the same equation y into 0, and then 
eliminating t and p. And the mode in each case of eliminating t 
and p is to multiply together the coefficients of the four con- 
stituents tp, t(l- p), &c. 

If we make y = 1, the coefficients become 

1st. w (1 - s) + s (1 - w). 

2nd. 1 + w (1 - sr) + s (1 - w) r 9 equivalent to 1 by Prop. I. 

3rd and 4th. 1 + w, equivalent to 1 by Prop. I. 

Hence the value of E will be 

w(l - s) + s(l -w). 

Again, in (5) making y = 0, we have for the coefficients 

1st. 1 + w (1 - s) + s (1 - w), equivalent to 1. 

2nd. w (1 - sr) + sr (1 - w). 

3rd and 4th. w. 

The product of these coefficients gives 

E' = w(l-sr). 

The equation from which y is to be determined, therefore, is 
{w (1 - s) + s (1 - w)} y + w (1 - sr) (1 - y) = 0, 
w (1 - sr) 



w ( 1 - 



and expanding the second member, 

y = - wsr + ws (1 - r) + - w (1 - s) r + - w (1 - s) (1 - r) 

+ (1 - w) sr + (1 -w) s (1 - r) + - (1 - w) (1 - s) r 



"O v * 
whence reducing 



140 METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. [CHAP. IX. 

y = ws (1 - r) + Q wsr + - (1 - w) (I - s), (6) 

with w (1 - s) = 0. (7) 

The interpretation of which is 

1st. Things transferable and productive of pleasure consist of 
all wealth (limited in supply and) not preventive of pain , an inde- 
finite amount of wealth (limited in supply and) preventive of pain, 
and an indefinite amount of what is not wealth jand not limited in 
supply. 

2nd. All wealth is limited in supply. 

I have in the above solution written in parentheses that part 
of the full description which is implied by the accompanying in- 
dependent relation (7). 

8. The following problem is of a more general nature, and 
will furnish an easy practical rule for problems such as the last. 

GENERAL PROBLEM. 

Given any equation connecting the symbols z,y..w 9 z.. 

Required to determine the logical expression of .any class ex- 
^essed in any way by the symbols x^ y . . in terms of the remaining 
symbols, w, z, &c. 

Let us confine ourselves to the case in which there are but 
two symbols, x, y, and two symbols, w, z, a case sufficient to de- 
termine the general Rule. 

Let V - be the given equation, and let $ (x, y) represent 
the class whose expression is to be determined. 

Assume t = (#, ^), then, from the above two equations, x 
and y are to be eliminated. 

Now the equation V= may be expanded in the form 

Axy + Bx(\ -y)+C(\-x)y+D(l-x)(\-y) = 0, (1) 
A 9 -B, C, and D being functions of the symbols w and z. 

Again, as (#, y) represents a class or collection of things, it 
must consist of a constituent, or series of constituents, whose co- 
efficients are 1. 



CHAP. IX.] METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. 141 

Wherefore if the full development of (x, y) be represented 
in the form 

axy + bx(\ - y) + c(\ -x)y + d(l-x) (1 - y), 

the coefficients #, 5, c, c? must each be 1 or 0. 

Now reducing the equation t = (#, y) by transposition and 
squaring, to the form 



and expanding with reference to a? and y> we get 

b) + b(l -t)} x(\-y) 



whence, adding this to (1), we have 

(A + t(l-a) + a(l-t)}xy 

+ {B + t(l-b) + b(l-)} x(l-y) + &c. = 0. 

Let the result of the elimination of a? and y be of the form 
Et + E'(l-t) = 0, 

then E will, by what has been said, be the reduced product of 
what the coefficients of the above expansion become when t = 1 , 
and E the product of the same factors similarly reduced by the 
condition t = 0. 

Hence E will be the reduced product 

(A + 1 - a) (B + 1 - b) (C+ 1 - c) (D + 1 - d). 

Considering any factor of this expression, as A + 1 - , we see 
that when a = I it becomes A, and when a = it becomes 1+^4, 
which reduces by Prop. I. to 1. Hence we may infer that E will 
be the product of the coefficients of those constituents in the de- 
velopment of V whose coefficients in the development of (#, y) 
are 1. 

Moreover E' will be the reduced product 

(A + a)(B + b) (C+c)(D + d). 

Considering any one of these factors, as A + , we see that this 
becomes A when a = 0, and reduces to 1 when a = 1 ; and so on 
for the others. Hence E' will be the product of the coefficients 



142 METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. [CHAP. IX. 

of those constituents in the development of y, whose coefficients 
in the development (x, y) are 0. Viewing these cases together, 
we may establish the following Rule : 

9. To deduce from a logical equation the relation of any class 
expressed by a given combination of the symbols x, y, fyc, to the 
classes represented by any other symbols involved in the given 
equation. 

RULE. Expand the given equation with reference to the sym- 
bols x, y. Then form the equation 

Et + E'(\-t) = 0, 

in which E is the product of the coefficients of all those constituents 
in the above development, whose coefficients in the expression of the 
given class are 1, and E' the product of the coefficients of those con- 
stituents of the development whose coefficients in the expression of the 
given class are 0. The value oft deduced from the above equation 
by solution and interpretation will be the expression required. 

NOTE. Although in the demonstration of this Rule V is sup- 
posed to consist solely of positive terms, it may easily be shown that 
this condition is unnecessary, and the Rule general, and that no pre- 
paration of the given equation is really required. 

10. Ex. 3. The same definition of wealth being given as in 
Example 2, required an expression for things transferable, but not 
productive of pleasure, t(\ - p), in terms of the other elements 
represented by w, s, and r. 

The equation 

w - sip - str (!-/>) = 0, 

gives, when squared, 

w + stp + str (1 - p) - 2wstp - 2wstr (1 - p) = ; 
and developing the first member with respect to t and p, 

(w + s- %ws) tp + (w + sr- 2wsr) t (1 - p) + w (1 - t)p 

+ w(l-)(l-p) = 0. 

The coefficients of which it is best to exhibit as in the following 
equation ; 



0. 



CHAP. IX.] METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. 143 

Let the function t (1 -p) to be determined, be represented by z ; 
then the full development of z in respect of t and p is 

z = tp + t (1 - p) + (1 - t) p + (1 - /) (1 - p). 
Hence, by the last problem, we have 



where E = w (1 - sr) + sr (1 - w) ; 

JE'= {w (1 - s) + s (1 - w)} x w x w = w (I - s); 
.-. {w (1 - sr) + sr (1 - w?)) z + w (1 - 5) (1 - z) = 0. 

Hence, 

_ w(l-s) 
2wsr - ws - sr 

= - wsr + ws (l-r) + -w (I- s)r +-w(l - s)(l- r), 
+ (1 - w) sr + ? (1 - ,) , (1 - r) + (1 - w) (1 - *) r 



z = - lvsr + -(l- w ) s (l- r ) + ^(i- w ) (l _ s ), 
with w (1 - 5) = 0. 

Hence, Things transferable and not productive of pleasure are 
either wealth (limited in supply and preventive of pain); or things 
which are not wealth, but limited in supply and not preventive of 
pain ; or things which are not wealth, and are unlimited in supply. 

The following results, deduced in a similar manner, will be 
easily verified : 

Things limited in supply and productive of pleasure which are 
not wealthy are intransferable. 

Wealth that is not productive of pleasure is transferable, limited 
in supply, and preventive of pain. 

Things limited in supply which are either wealth, or are pro- 
ductive of pleasure, but not both, are either transferable and pre- 
ventive of pain, or intransferable. 

1 1 . From the domain of natural history a large number of 
curious examples might be selected. I do not, however, con- 



144 METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. [cHAP. IX. 

ceive that such applications would possess any independent va- 
lue. They would, for instance, throw no light upon the true 
principles of classification in the science of zoology. For the 
discovery of these, some basis of positive knowledge is requisite^, 
some acquaintance with organic structure, with teleological adap- 
tation ; and this is a species of knowledge which can only be de- 
rived from the use of external means of observation and analysis. 
Taking, however, any collection of propositions in natural his- 
tory, a great number of logical problems present themselves, 
without regard to the system of classification adopted. Perhaps 
in forming such examples, it is better to avoid, as superfluous, 
the mention of that property of a class or species which is im- 
mediately suggested by its name, e. g. the ring-structure in the 
annelida, a class of animals including the earth-worm and the 
leech. 

Ex. 4. 1. The annelida are soft-bodied, and either naked or 
enclosed in a tube. 

2. The annelida consist of all invertebrate animals having 
red blood in a double system of circulating vessels. 

Assume a = annelida ; 

s = soft-bodied animals ; 

n = naked ; 

t = enclosed in a tube ; 

i = invertebrate ; 

r = having red blood, &c. 

Then the propositions given will be expressed by the equations 
a = vs {n (1 - t) + t (1 - n)} ; (1) 

a = ir ; (2) 

to which we may add the implied condition, 

nt = 0. (3) 

On eliminating v, and reducing the system to a single equation, 
we have 

a {l-sn(l- t)-8t(l-n)} + a(l- ir) + ir(l - a) +nt= 0. (4) 

Suppose that we wish to obtain the relation in which soft- 
bodied animals enclosed in tubes are placed (by virtue of the 



CHAP. IX.] METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. 145 

premises) with respect to the following elements, viz., the pos- 
session of red blood, of an external covering, and of a vertebral 
column. 

We must first eliminate a. The result is 

ir { 1 - sn (1 - t) - st (1 - n) } + nt = 0. 

Then (IX. 9) developing with respect to s and /, and reducing 
the first coefficient by Prop. 1, we have 

nst+ir(l-n)s(l-t) + (ir + n)([- s) t + ir(l-s)(l-t) = 0. (5) 
Hence, if st = w, we find 

mo -f ir (1 - n) x (ir + n) x ir (1 - w) = ; 
or, nw + ir (I - n) (I - w) = ; 



i 

- . ir ( 1 - n) - n 

= ra + r (1 - n) + Qi (1 - r) n + - i (1 - r) (1 - w 
+ (1 - 1) r + ? (1 - r (1 - n) + (1 - i) (1 - r) n 



Hence, soft-bodied animals enclosed in tubes consist of all 
invertebrate animals having red blood and not naked., and an in- 
definite remainder of invertebrate animals not having red blood and 
not naked, and of vertebrate animals which are not naked. 

And in an exactly similar manner, the following reduced equa- 
tions, the interpretation of which is left to the reader, have been 
deduced from the development (5). 






146 METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. [CHAP. IX. 

In none of the above examples has it been my object to ex- 
hibit in any special manner the power of the method. That, 
i conceive, can only be fully displayed in connexion with the 
mathematical theory of probabilities. I would, however, suggest 
to any who may be desirous of forming a correct opinion upon 
this point, that they examine by the rules of ordinary logic the 
following problem, before inspecting its solution ; remembering 
at the same time, that whatever complexity it possesses might 
be multiplied indefinitely, with no other effect than to render its 
solution by the method of this work more operose, but not less 
certainly attainable. 

Ex. 5. Let the observation of a class of natural productions 
be supposed to have led to the following general results. 

1st, That in whichsoever of these productions the properties 
A and C are missing, the property E is found, together with one 
of the properties B and D, but not with both. 

2nd, That wherever the properties A and D are found while 
E is missing, the properties B and C will either both be found, 
or both be missing. 

3rd, That wherever the property A is found in conjunction 
with either B or E, or both of them, there either the property 
C or the property D will be found, but not both of them. And 
conversely, wherever the property C or D is found singly, there 
the property A will be found in conjunction with either B or E, 
or both of them. 

Let it then be required to ascertain, first, what in any parti- 
cular instance may be concluded from the ascertained presence of 
the property A 9 with reference to the properties B, C, and D ; 
also whether any relations exist independently among the pro- 
perties By C, and D. Secondly, what may be concluded in like 
manner respecting the property B, and the properties A 9 C, 
andD. 

It will be observed, that in each of the three data, the informa- 
tion conveyed respecting the properties A , 5, C, and D, is com- 
plicated with another element, E, about which we desire to say 
nothing in our conclusion. It will hence be requisite to eliminate 
the symbol representing the property E from the system of equa- 
tions, by which the given propositions will be expressed. 



CHAP. IX.] METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. 147 

Let us represent the property A by x, B by y, C by z, D by 
iv, E by v. The data are 

~xz = qv (yw + wy)\ (1) 

vxw = q (yz + y~z)', (2) 

a^ + #i># = t0J + ZMJ; (3) 

a? standing for 1 - #, &c., and ^ being an indefinite class symbol. 
Eliminating q separately from the first and second equations, 
and adding the results to the third equation reduced by (5), 
Chap.'vm., we get 

xz (1 - vyw - vwy) + vxw (yz + zy) + (xy + xvy) (wz + wz) 

+ (wz + zw) (\-xy- xvy) = 0. (4) 

From this equation v must be eliminated, and the value of x 
determined from the result. For effecting this object 9 it will 
be convenient to employ the method of Prop. 3 of the present 
chapter. 

Let then the result of elimination be represented by the 
equation 



To find E make x = 1 in the first member of (4), we find 
vw (yz + zy) + (y + vy) (wz + wz) + (wz + zw) vy. 
Eliminating u, we have 

(wz -f wz) {w (ylz + zy) + y (wz + wz) + y (wz + zw) } ; 

which, on actual multiplication, in accordance with the conditions 
ww = 0, zz = 0, &c., gives 



Next, to find E make x = in (4), we have 

z (1 - vyw - vyw) + wz + zw. . 
whence, eliminating v, and reducing the result by Propositions 

1 and 2, we find 

E' = wz + zw + ywz; 

and, therefore, finally we have 

(wz + ywz)x + (wz + zw+ywz)x = Q; (5) 

from which 

L2* 



148 METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. [CHAP. IX. 



wz + zw + ywz 
~ wz + zw + ywz-wz- ywz' 



wherefore, by development, 

x = Oyzw + yzw + yzw + Qy zw 
+ Qyzw + yzw + yzw + yz7>; 
or, collecting the terms in vertical columns, 



the interpretation of which is 

In whatever substances the property A is found, there will also 
be found either the property C or the property Z), but not both, or 
else the properties B, C, and D, will all be wanting. And con- 
versely, where either the property C or the property D is found 
singly ', or the properties B, C, and D, are together missing, there 
the property A will be found. 

It also appears that there is no independent relation among 
the properties B, C, and D. 

Secondly, we are to find y. Now developing (5) with respect 
to that symbol, 

(xwz + xwlz-\- xwz+ ~xzw)y + (xwz + xwz + Iczw + xzw) y = ; 
whence, proceeding as before, 

y - xw'z + - (xwz + xwz + xzw), (7) 



0; (8) 

Q- 9 (9) 

0; (10) 

From (10) reduced by solution to the form 



r*g| 

we have the independent relation, If the property A is absent 
and C present, D is present. Again, by addition and solution (8) 
and (9) give 

__ 0_ 

xz + xz - w. 

Whence we have for the general solution and the remaining in- 
dependent relation : 



CHAP. IX.] METHODS OF ABBREVIATION. 149 

1st. If the property B be present in one of the productions, either 
the properties A, C 9 and D, are all absent, or some one alone of them 
is absent. And conversely, if they are all absent it may be con- 
cluded that the property A is present (7). 

2nd. If A and C are both present or both absent, D will be ab- 
sent, quite independently of the presence or absence ofB (8) and (9). 

I have not attempted to verify these conclusions. 



150 CONDITIONS OF A PERFECT METHOD. [CHAP. X. 



CHAPTER X. 

OF THE CONDITIONS OF A PERFECT METHOD. 

1 HTTHE subject of Primary Propositions has been discussed at 
-*- length, and we are about to enter upon the consideration 
of Secondary Propositions. The interval of transition between 
these two great divisions of the science of Logic may afford a fit 
occasion for us to pause, and while reviewing some of the past 
steps of our progress, to inquire what it is that in a subject like 
that with which we have been occupied constitutes perfection of 
method. I do not here speak of that perfection only which con- 
sists in power, but of that also which is founded in the conception 
of what is fit and beautiful. It is probable that a careful analysis 
of this question would conduct us to some such conclusion as the 
following, viz., that a perfect method should not only be an effi- 
cient one, as respects the accomplishment of the objects for which 
it is designed, but should in all its parts and processes manifest 
a certain unity and harmony. This conception would be most 
fully realized if even the very forms of the method were sugges- 
tive of the fundamental principles, and if possible of the one fun- 
damental principle, upon which they are founded. In applying 
these considerations to the science of Reasoning, it may be well 
to extend our view beyond the mere analytical processes, and to 
inquire what is best as respects not only the mode or form of 
deduction, but also the system of data or premises from which 
the deduction is to be made. 

2. As respects mere power, there is no doubt that the first 
of the methods developed in Chapter vm. is, within its proper 
sphere, a perfect one. The introduction of arbitrary constants 
makes us independent of the forms of the premises, as well as of 
any conditions among the equations by which they are repre- 
sented. But it seems to introduce a foreign element, and while 
it is a more laborious, it is also a less elegant form of solution 
than the second method of reduction demonstrated in the same 



CHAP. X.] CONDITIONS OF A PERFECT METHOD. 151 

chapter. There are, however, conditions under which the latter 
method assumes a more perfect form than it otherwise bears. To 
make the one fundamental condition expressed by the equation 

x(l -x) = 0, 

the universal type of form, would give a unity of character to 
both processes and results, which would not else be attainable. 
Were brevity or convenience the only valuable quality of a me- 
thod, no advantage would flow from the adoption of such a prin- 
ciple. For to impose upon every step of a solution the character 
above described, would involve in some instances no slight la- 
bour of preliminary reduction. But it is still interesting to know 
that this can be done, and it is even of some importance to be 
acquainted with the conditions under which such a form of solu- 
tion would spontaneously present itself. Some of these points 
will be considered in-the present chapter. 

PROPOSITION I. 

3. To reduce any equation among logical symbols to the form 
V= 0, in which V satisfies the law of duality, 

V(\ - V) = 0. 

It is shown in Chap. v. Prop. 4, that the above condition is 
satisfied whenever V is the sum of a series of constituents. And 
it is evident from Prop. 2, Chap. vi. that all equations are equi- 
valent which, when reduced by transposition to the form V = 0, 
produce, by development of the first member, the same series of 
constituents with coefficients which do not vanish ; the particular 
numerical values of those coefficients being immaterial. 

Hence the object of this Proposition may always be accom- 
plished by bringing all the terms of an equation to the first side, 
fully expanding that member, and changing in the result all the co- 
efficients which do not vanish into unity, except such as have already 
that value. 

But as the development of functions containing many sym- 
bols conducts us to expressions inconvenient from their great 



152 CONDITIONS OF A PERFECT METHOD. [CHAP. X. 

length, it is desirable to show how, in the only cases which do 
practically offer themselves to our notice, this source of com- 
plexity may be avoided. 

The great primary forms of equations have already been dis- 
cussed in Chapter viu. They are 



Whenever the conditions X (1 - X) = 0, Y(l - Y) = 0, are 
satisfied, we have seen that the two first of the above equations 
conduct us to the forms 

X(1-Y) = 0, (1) 

X(l- Y) + Y(l -X) = 0; (2) 

and under the same circumstances it may be shown that the last 
of them gives 

v{X(l-Y)+Y(l-X)}=0', (3) 

all which results obviously satisfy, in their first members, the 
condition 

V(\ - V) = 0. 

Now as the above are the forms and conditions under which the 
equations of a logical system properly expressed do actually pre- 
sent themselves, it is always possible to reduce them by the 
above method into subjection to the law required. Though, 
however, the separate equations may thus satisfy the law, their 
equivalent sum (VIII. 4) may not do so, and it remains to 
show how upon it also the requisite condition may be imposed. 

Let us then represent the equation formed by adding the 
several reduced equations of the system together, in the form 

v + v + v" 9 &c. = 0, (4) 

this equation being singly equivalent to the system from which 
it was obtained. We suppose v, v' 9 u", &c. to be class terms 
(IX. 1) satisfying the conditions 

v(l-v) = 0, v(l -v') = 0, &c. 
Now the full interpretation of (4) would be found by deve- 



CHAP. X.] CONDITIONS OF A PERFECT METHOD. 153 

loping the first member with respect to all the elementary symbols 
x, y, &c. which it contains, and equating to all the constituents 
whose coefficients do not vanish ; in other words, all the consti- 
tuents which are found in either v,, v', v", &c. But those consti- 
tuents consist of 1st, such as are found in vj 2nd, such as are 
not found in v, but are found in v' ; 3rd, such as are neither found 
in v nor v' 9 but are found in v", and so on. Hence they will be 
such as are found in the expression 

v + (l-v) v' + (1 - v) (1 - v) v" + &c., (5) 

an expression in which no constituents are repeated, and which 
obviously satisfies the law F(l - V) = 0. 
Thus if we had the expression 

(1 - t) + v + (1 - z) + tzw, 

in which the terms 1 - t, I - z are bracketed to indicate that they 
are to be taken as single class terms, we should, in accordance 
with (5), reduce it to an expression satisfying the condition 
P^(l - V) = 0, by multiplying all the terms after the first by t, 
then all after the second by 1 - v ; lastly, the term which remains 
after the third by z ; the result being 

1 - t + tv + t(\ - v) (1 - z) + t (1 - v) zw. (6) 

4. All logical equations then are reducible to the form F= 0, 
V satisfying the law of duality. But it would obviously be a 
higher degree of perfection if equations always presented them- 
selves in such a form, without preparation of any kind, and not 
only exhibited this form in their original statement, but retained 
it unimpaired after those additions which are necessary in order 
to reduce systems of equations to single equivalent forms. That 
they do not spontaneously present this feature is not properly 
attributable to defect of method, but is a consequence of the fact 
that our premises are not always complete, and accurate, and in- 
dependent. They are not complete when they involve material 
(as distinguished from formal) relations, which are not expressed. 
They are not accurate when they imply relations which are not 
intended. But setting aside these points, with which, in the 
present instance, we are less concerned, let it be considered in 
what sense they may fail of being independent. 



154 CONDITIONS OF A PERFECT METHOD. [CHAP. X. 

5. A system of propositions may be termed independent, 
when it is not possible to deduce from any portion of the system 
a conclusion deducible from any other portion of it. Supposing 
the equations representing those propositions all reduced to the 

form 

7-0, 

then the above condition implies that no constituent which can 
be made to appear in the development of a particular function V 
of the system, can be made to appear in the development of any 
other function V of the same system. When this condition is 
not satisfied, the equations of the system are not independent. 
This may happen in various cases. Let all the equations satisfy 
in their first members the law of duality, then if there appears a 
positive term x in the expansion of one equation, and a term xy 
in that of another, the equations are not independent, for the 
term x is further developable into xy + x ( 1 - y), and the equation 



is thus involved in both the equations of the system. Again, let 
a term xy appear in one equation, and a term xz in another. 
Both these may be developed so as to give the common consti- 
tuent xyz. And other cases may easily be imagined in which 
premises which appear at first sight to be quite independent are 
not really so. Whenever equations of the form V= are thus 
not truly independent, though individually they may satisfy the 
law of duality, 

7(1 - 7) = 0, 

the equivalent equation obtained by adding them together will 
not satisfy that condition, unless sufficient reductions by the me- 
thod of the present chapter have been performed. When, on 
the other hand, the equations of a system both satisfy the above 
law, and are independent of each other, their sum will also sa- 
tisfy the same law. I have dwelt upon these points at greater 
length than would otherwise have been necessary, because it ap- 
pears to me to be important to endeavour to form to ourselves, 
and to keep before us in all our investigations, the pattern of an 
ideal perfection, the object and the guide of future efforts. In 



CHAP. X.] CONDITIONS OF A PERFECT METHOD. 155 

the present class of inquiries the chief aim of improvement of me- 
thod should be to facilitate, as far as is consistent with brevity, 
the transformation of equations, so as to make the fundamental 
condition above adverted to universal. 

In connexion with this subject the following Propositions are 
deserving of attention. 

PROPOSITION II. 

If the first member of any equation V satisfy the condition 
V(\ - V) = 0, and if the expression of any symbol t of that equa- 
tion be determined as a developed function of the other symbols, the 

coefficients of the expansion can only assume the forms 1, 0, -, -. 

For if the equation be expanded with reference to t, we ob- 
tain as the result, 

Et+E(\-), (1) 

E and E' being what V becomes when t is successively changed 
therein into 1 and 0. Hence E and E will themselves satisfy 

the conditions 

E) = 0, (2) 

Now (1) gives 




the second member of which is to be expanded as a function of 
the remaining symbols. It is evident that the only numerical 
values which E and E' can receive in the calculation of the co- 
efficients will be 1 and 0. The following cases alone can there- 
fore arise : 

1st. E'=l, E=l, 



2nd. E' - 1, E = 0, then E , _ E = 1. 

77" 

3rd. E = 0, E = 1, then -= - ^ = 0. 



4th. 



Whence the truth of the Proposition is manifest. 



156 CONDITIONS OF A PERFECT METHOD. [CHAP. X. 

6. It may be remarked that the forms 1, 0, and appear in 
the solution of equations independently of any reference to the 
condition V(l - V) = 0. But it is not so with the coefficient . 

The terms to which this coefficient is attached when the above 
condition is satisfied may receive any other value except the 

three values 1, 0, and -, when that condition is not satisfied. It 

is permitted, and it would conduce to uniformity, to change any 
coefficient of a development not presenting itself in any of the 

four forms referred to in this Proposition into -, regarding this 

as the symbol proper to indicate that the coefficient to which it is 
attached should be equated to 0. This course I shall frequently 
adopt. 

PROPOSITION III. 

7. The result of the elimination of any symbols x, y, fyc.from 
an equation F=0, of which the first member identically satisfies 
the law of duality, 

V(\ - V) = 0, 

may be obtained by developing the given equation with reference to 
the other symbols, and equating to the sum of those constituents 
whose coefficients in the expansion are equal to unity. 

Suppose that the given equation V= involves but three 
symbols, #, y, and , of which x and y are to be eliminated. Let 
the development of the equation, with respect to t, be 

4* + JS (1 - = 0, (1) 

A and B being free from the symbol t. 

By Chap. ix. Prop. 3, the result of the elimination of x and y 
from the given equation will be of the form 

JEfr+ #(l-f) = 0, (2) 

in which E is the result obtained by eliminating the symbols x 
and y from the equation A = 0, E' the result obtained by elimi- 
nating from the equation B = 0. 



CHAP. X.] CONDITIONS OF A PERFECT METHOD. 157 

Now A and B must satisfy the condition 



Hence A (confining ourselves for the present to this coefficient) 
will either be or 1, or a constituent, or the sum of a part of the 
constituents which involve the symbols x and y. If A = it is 
evident that E = ; if A is a single constituent, or the sum of a 
part of the constituents involving x and y, E will be 0. For the 
full development of A, with respect to x and y, will contain terms 
with vanishing coefficients, and E is the product of all the co- 
efficients. Hence when A = 1, Eis equal to A, but in other cases 
E is equal to 0. Similarly, when B = 1, _E"is equal to B, but in 
other cases E' vanishes. Hence the expression (2) will consist of 
that part, if any there be, of (1) in which the coefficients A, B 
are unity. And this reasoning is general. Suppose, for instance, 
that V involved the sjmbols #, y, z, t, and that it were required 
to eliminate x and y. Then if the development of V, with re- 
ference to z and t, were 

zt + xz(l -f) + y(\ -z)t+ (l-z) (!-*) 
the result sought would be 



this being that portion of the development of which the co- 
efficients are unity. 

Hence, if from any system of equations we deduce a single 
equivalent equation V= 0, V satisfying the condition 

7(1 - 7) = 0, 

the ordinary processes of elimination may be entirely dispensed 
with, and the single process of development made to supply 
their place. 

8. It may be that there is no practical advantage in the me- 
thod thus pointed out, but it possesses a theoretical unity and 
completeness which render it deserving of regard, and I shall ac- 
cordingly devote a future chapter (XIV.) to its illustration. The 
progress of applied mathematics has presented other and signal 
examples of the reduction of systems of problems or equations to 
the dominion of some central but pervading law. 



158 CONDITIONS OF A PERFECT METHOD. [CHAP. X. 

9. It is seen from what precedes that there is one class of 
propositions to which all the special appliances of the above me- 
thods of preparation are unnecessary. It is that which is cha- 
racterized by the following conditions : 

First, That the propositions are of the ordinary kind, implied 
by the use of the copula is or are, the predicates being particular. 

Secondly, That the terms of the proposition are intelligible 
without the supposition of any understood relation among the 
elements which enter into the expression of those terms. 

Thirdly, That the propositions are independent. 

We may, if such speculation is not altogether vain, permit 
ourselves to conjecture that these are the conditions which would 
be obeyed in the employment of language as an instrument of 
expression and of thought, by unerring beings, declaring simply 
what they mean, without suppression on the one hand, and with- 
out repetition on the other. Considered both in their relation 
to the idea of a perfect language, and in their relation to the pro- 
cesses of an exact method, these conditions are equally worthy 
of the attention of the student. 



CHAP. XI.] OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 159 



CHAPTER XI. 

OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS, AND OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THEIR 
SYMBOLICAL EXPRESSION. 

1. r I THE doctrine has already been established in Chap, iv., 
-*- that every logical proposition may be referred to one or 
the other of two great classes, viz., Primary Propositions and 
Secondary Propositions. The former of these classes has been 
discussed in the preceding chapters of this work, and we are now 
led to the consideration of Secondary Propositions, i. e. of Propo- 
sitions concerning, or relating to, other propositions regarded as 
true or false. The investigation upon which we are entering will, 
in its general order and progress, resemble that which we have al- 
ready conducted. The two inquiries differ as to the subjects of 
thought which they recognise, not as to the formal and scientific 
laws which they reveal, or the methods or processes which are 
founded upon those laws. Probability would in some measure fa- 
vour the expectation of such a result. It consists with all that we 
know of the uniformity of Nature, and all that we believe of the im- 
mutable constancy of the Author of Nature, to suppose, that in the 
mind, which has been endowed with such high capabilities, not 
only for converse with surrounding scenes, but for the knowledge 
of itself, and for reflection upon the laws of its own constitution, 
there should exist a harmony and uniformity not less real than 
that which the study of the physical sciences makes known to us. 
Anticipations such as this are never to be made the primary rule 
of our inquiries, nor are they in any degree to divert us from 
those labours of patient research by which we ascertain what is 
the actual constitution of things within the particular province 
submitted to investigation. But when the grounds of resem- 
blance have been properly and independently determined, it is 
not inconsistent, even with purely scientific ends, to make that 
resemblance a subject of meditation, to trace its extent, and to 
receive the intimations of truth, yet undiscovered, which it may 



160 OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XI. 

seem to us to convey. The necessity of a final appeal to fact is 
not thus set aside; nor is the use of analogy extended beyond its 
proper sphere, the suggestion of relations which independent 
inquiry must either verify or cause to be rejected. 

2. Secondary Propositions are those which concern or relate to 
Propositions considered as true or false. The relations of things 
we express by primary propositions. But we are able to make 
Propositions themselves also the subject of thought, and to ex- 
press our judgments concerning them. The expression of any 
such judgment constitutes a secondary proposition. There exists 
no proposition whatever of which a competent degree of know- 
ledge would not enable us to make one or the other of these two 
assertions, viz., either that the proposition is true, or that it is 
false ; and each of these assertions is a secondary proposition. " It 
is true that the sun shines ;" t; It is not true that the planets 
shine by their own light ;" are examples of this kind. In the 
former example the Proposition " The sun shines," is asserted to 
be true. In the latter, the Proposition, " The planets shine by 
their own light," is asserted to be false. Secondary propositions 
also include all judgments by which we express a relation or de- 
pendence among propositions. To this class or division we may 
refer conditional propositions, as, " If the sun shine the day will 
be fair." Also most disjunctive propositions, as, " Either the sun 
will shine, or the enterprise will be postponed." In the former 
example we express the dependence of the truth of the Propo- 
sition, " The day will be fair," upon the truth of the Proposition, 
" The sun will shine." In the latter we express a relation between 
the two Propositions, " The sun will shine," " The enterprise will 
be postponed," implying that the truth of the one excludes the 
truth of the other. To the same class of secondary propositions we 
must also refer all those propositions which assert the simultaneous 
truth or falsehood of propositions, as, " It is not true both that 
' the sun will shine' and that ' the journey will be postponed.' " 
The elements of distinction which we have noticed may even be 
blended together in the same secondary proposition. It may in- 
volve both the disjunctive element expressed by either, or, and 
the conditional element expressed by if; in addition to which, 
the connected propositions may themselves be of a compound 



CHAP. XI.] OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 161 

character. If" the sun shine," and " leisure permit," then either 
" the enterprise shall be commenced," or " some preliminary 
step shall be taken." In this example a number of propositions 
are connected together, not arbitrarily and unmeaningly, but in 
such a manner as to express a definite connexion between them, a 
connexion having reference to their respective truth or falsehood. 
This combination, therefore, according to our definition, forms 
a Secondary Proposition. 

The theory of Secondary Propositions is deserving of at- 
tentive study, as well on account of its varied applications, as 
for that close and harmonious analogy, already referred to, which 
it sustains with the theory of Primary Propositions. Upon each 
of these points I desire to offer a few further observations. 

3. I would in the first place remark, that it is in the form of 
secondary propositions, at least as often as in that of primary pro- 
positions, that the reasonings of ordinary life are exhibited. The 
discourses, too, of the moralist and the metaphysician are perhaps 
less often concerning things and their qualities, than concerning 
principles and hypotheses, concerning truths and the mutual con- 
nexion and relation of truths. The conclusions which our narrow 
experience suggests in relation to the great questions of morals and 
society yet unsolved, manifest, in more ways than one, the limi- 
tations of their human origin ; and though the existence of uni- 
versal principles is not to be questioned, the partial formulas 
which comprise our knowledge of their application are subject 
to conditions, and exceptions, and failure. Thus, in those de- 
partments of inquiry which, from the nature of their subject- 
matter, should be the most interesting of all, much of our actual 
knowledge is hypothetical. That there has been a strong ten- 
dency to the adoption of the same forms of thought in writers 
on speculative philosophy, will hereafter appear. Hence the in- 
troduction of a general method for the discussion of hypothetical 
and the other varieties of secondary propositions, will open to us 
a more interesting field of applications than we have before met 
with. 

4. The discussion of the theory of Secondary Propositions is 
in the next place interesting, from the close and remarkable ana- 
logy which it bears with the theory of Primary Propositions. It 

M 



162 OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XI. 

will appear, that the formal laws to which the operations of the mind 
are subject, are identical in expression in both cases. The mathe- 
matical processes which are founded on those laws are, therefore, 
identical also. Thus the methods which have been investigated 
in the former portion of this work will continue to be available 
in the new applications to which we are about to proceed. But 
while the laws and processes of the method remain unchanged, 
the rule of interpretation must be adapted to new conditions. 
Instead of classes of*, things, we shall have to substitute propo- 
sitions, and for the relations of classes and individuals, we shall 
have to consider the connexions of propositions or of events. 
Still, between the two systems, however differing in purport and 
interpretation, there will be seen to exist a pervading harmonious 
relation, an analogy which, while it serves to facilitate the con- 
quest of every yet remaining difficulty, is of itself an interesting 
subject of study, and a conclusive proof of that unity of cha- 
racter which marks the constitution of the human faculties. 

PROPOSITION I. 

5. To investigate the nature of the connexion of Secondary Pro- 
positions with the idea of Time. 

It is necessary, in entering upon this inquiry, to state clearly 
the nature of the analogy which connects Secondary with Primary 
Propositions. 

Primary Propositions express relations among things, viewed 
as component parts of a universe within the limits of which, 
whether coextensive with the limits of the actual universe or 
not, the matter of our discourse is confined. The relations ex- 
pressed are essentially substantive. Some, or all, or none, of the 
members of a given class, are also members of another class. 
The subjects to which primary propositions refer the relations 
among those subjects which they express are all of the above 
character. 

But in treating of secondary propositions, we find ourselves con- 
cerned with another class both of subjects and relations. For the 
subjects with which we have to do are themselves propositions, so 
that the question may be asked, Can we regard these subjects 



CHAP. XI.] OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 163 

also as things, and refer them, by analogy with the previous 
case, to a universe of their own? Again, the relations among 
these subject propositions are relations of coexistent truth or 
falsehood, not of substantive equivalence. We do not say, when 
expressing the connexion of two distinct propositions, that the 
one is the other, but use some such forms of speech as the fol- 
lowing, according to the meaning which we desire to convey : 
"Either the proposition X is true, or the proposition Fis true ;" 
" If the proposition X is true, the proposition Y is true ;" " The 
propositions X and Fare jointly true ;" and so on. 

Now, in considering any such relations as the above, we are 
not called upon to inquire into the whole extent of their possible 
meaning (for this might involve us in metaphysical questions of 
causation, which are beyond the proper limits of science) ; but it 
suffices to ascertain some meaning which they undoubtedly pos- 
sess, and which is adequate for the purposes of logical deduction. 
Let us take, as an instance for examination, the conditional pro- 
position, " If the proposition X is true, the proposition F is 
true." An undoubted meaning of this proposition is, that the 
time in which the proposition X is true, is time in which the pro- 
position Fis true. This indeed is only a relation of coexistence, 
and may or may not exhaust the meaning of the proposition, but 
it is a relation really involved in the statement of the proposition, 
and further, it suffices for all the purposes of logical inference. 

The language of common life sanctions this view of the es- 
sential connexion of secondary propositions with the notion of 
time. Thus we limit the application of a primary proposition by 
the word " some," but that of a secondary proposition by the 
word " sometimes." To say, " Sometimes injustice triumphs," 
is equivalent to asserting that there are times in which the pro- 
position " Injustice now triumphs," is a true proposition. There 
are indeed propositions, the truth of which is not thus limited to 
particular periods or conjunctures ; propositions which are true 
throughout all time, and have received the appellation of " eter- 
nal truths." The distinction must be familiar to every reader of 
Plato and Aristotle, by the latter of whom, especially, it is em- 
ployed to denote the contrast between the abstract verities of 
science, such as the propositions of geometry which are always 

M 2 



164 OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XI. 

true, and those contingent or phenomenal relations of things 
which are sometimes true and sometimes false. But the forms of 
language in which both kinds of propositions are expressed ma- 
nifest a common dependence upon the idea of time ; in the one 
case as limited to some finite duration, in the other as stretched 
out to eternity. 

6. It may indeed be said, that in ordinary reasoning we are 
often quite unconscious of this notion of time involved in the very 
language we are using. But the remark, however just, only 
serves to show that we commonly reason by the aid of words 
and the forms of a well-constructed language, without attending 
to the ulterior grounds upon which those very forms have been 
established. The course of the present investigation will afford an 
illustration of the very same principle. I shall avail myself of 
the notion of time in order to determine the laws of the expression 
of secondary propositions, as well as the laws of combination of 
the symbols by which they are expressed. But when those 
laws and those forms are once determined, this notion of time 
(essential, as I believe it to be, to the above end) may practically 
be dispensed with. We may then pass from the forms of com- 
mon language to the closely analogous forms of the symbolical 
instrument of thought here developed, and use its processes, and 
interpret its results, without any conscious recognition of the idea 
of time whatever. 

PROPOSITION II. 

7. To establish a system of notation for the expression of 
Secondary Propositions, and to show that the symbols which it 
involves are subject to the same laws of combination as the corres- 
ponding symbols employed in the expression of Primary Propo- 
sitions. 

Let us employ the capital letters X, Y, Z, to denote the ele- 
mentary propositions concerning which we desire to make some 
assertion touching their truth or falsehood, or among which we 
seek to express some relation in the form of a secondary propo- 
sition. And let us employ the corresponding small letters x, y, z, 
considered as expressive of mental operations, in the following 



CHAP. XI.] OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 165 

sense, viz. : Let x represent an act of the mind by which we fix 
our regard upon that portion of time for which the proposition X 
18 true ; and let this meaning be understood when it is asserted 
that x denotes the time for which the proposition X is true. Let 
us further employ the connecting signs +, -, =, &c., in the fol- 
lowing sense, viz. : Let x + y denote the aggregate of those por- 
tions of time for which the propositions X and Tare respectively 
true, those times being entirely separated from each other. Si- 
milarly let x - y denote that remainder of time which is left when 
we take away from the portion of time for which X is true, that 
(by supposition) included portion for which Fis true. Also, let 
x = y denote that the time for which the proposition X is true, 
is identical with the time for which the proposition Yis true. 
We shall term x the representative symbol of the proposition X, &c. 
From the above definitions it will follow, that we shall 
always have 

x + y = y + x -> 

for either member will denote the same aggregate of time. 

Let us further represent by xy the performance in succession 
of the two operations represented by y and x, i. e. the whole 
mental operation which consists of the following elements, viz., 
1st, The mental selection of that portion of time for which the 
proposition Fis true. 2ndly, The mental selection, out of that 
portion of time, of such portion as it contains of the time in 
which the proposition X is true, the result of these successive 
processes being the fixing of the mental regard upon the whole 
of that portion of time for which the propositions X and Y are 
both true. 

From this definition it will follow, that we shall always have 

xy = yx. (1) 

For whether we select mentally, first that portion of time for 
which the proposition Y is true, then out of the result that con- 
tained portion for which X is true ; or first, that portion of time 
for which the proposition X is true, then out of the result that 
contained portion of it for which the proposition Y is true ; we 
shall arrive at the same final result, viz., that portion of time for 
which the propositions X and Y are both true. 



166 OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XI. 

By continuing this method of reasoning it may be established, 
that the laws of combination of the symbols x, y^ z, &c., in the 
species of interpretation here assigned to them, are identical in 
expression with the laws of combination of the same symbols, in 
the interpretation assigned to them in the first part of this 
treatise. The reason of this final identity is apparent. For in 
both cases it is the same faculty, or the same combination of fa- 
culties, of which we study the operations ; operations, the essen- 
tial character of which is unaffected, whether we suppose them to 
be engaged upon that universe of things in which all existence 
is contained, or upon that whole of time in which all events are 
realized, and to some part, at least, of which all assertions, 
truths, and propositions, refer. 

Thus, in addition to the laws above stated, we shall have by 
(4), Chap, ii., the law whose expression is 

x (y + z) = xy + xz ; (2) 

and more particularly the fundamental law of duality (2) Chap, n., 
whose expression is 

x~ = x, or, x(l -x) = 0; (3) 

a law, which while it serves to distinguish the system of thought 
in Logic from the system of thought in the science of quantity, 
gives to the processes of the former a completeness and a gene- 
rality which they could not otherwise possess. 

8. Again, as this law (3) (as well as the other laws) is satis- 
fied by the symbols and 1, we are led, as before, to inquire 
whether those symbols do not admit of interpretation in the pre- 
sent system of thought. The same course of reasoning which we 
before pursued shows that they do, and warrants us in the two 
following positions, viz. : 

1st, That in the expression of secondary propositions, re- 
presents nothing in reference to the element of time. 

2nd, That in the same system 1 represents the universe, or 
whole of time, to which the discourse is supposed in any manner 
to relate. 

As in primary propositions the universe of discourse is some- 
times limited to a small portion of the actual universe of things, 
and is sometimes co-extensive with that universe ; so in secon- 



CHAP. XI.] OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 167 

dary propositions, the universe of discourse may be limited to a 
single day or to the passing moment, or it may comprise the 
whole duration of time. It may, in the most literal sense, be 
" eternal." Indeed, unless there is some limitation expressed or 
implied in the nature of the discourse, the proper interpretation 
of the symbol 1 in secondary propositions is " eternity ;" even as 
its proper interpretation in the primary system is the actually 
existent universe. 

9. Instead of appropriating the symbols x 9 y, z, to the repre- 
sentation of the truths of propositions, we might with equal pro- 
priety apply them to represent the occurrence of events. In fact, 
the occurrence of an event both implies, and is implied by, the 
truth of a proposition, viz., of the proposition which asserts the 
occurrence of the event. The one signification of the symbol x 
necessarily involves the other. It will greatly conduce to con- 
venience to be able to- employ our symbols in either of these 
really equivalent interpretations which the circumstances of a 
problem may suggest to us as most desirable ; and of this liberty 
I shall avail myself whenever occasion requires. In problems of 
pure Logic I shall consider the symbols #, y, &c. as representing 
elementary propositions, among which relation is expressed in 
the premises. In the mathematical theory of probabilities, which, 
as before intimated (I. 12), rests upon a basis of Logic, and 
which it is designed to treat in a subsequent portion of this work, 
I shall employ the same symbols to denote the simple events, 
whose implied or required frequency of occurrence it counts 
among its elements. 

PROPOSITION III. 

1 0. To deduce general Rules for the expression of Secondary 
Propositions. 

In the various inquiries arising out of this Proposition, fulness 
of demonstration will be the less necessary, because of the exact 
analogy which they bear with similar inquiries already completed 
with reference to primary propositions. We shall first consider 
the expression of terms ; secondly, that of the propositions by 
which they are connected. 



168 OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XI 

As 1 denotes the whole duration of time, and x that portion 
of it for which the proposition X is true, 1 - x will denote that 
portion of time for which the proposition X is false. 

Again, as xy denotes that portion of time for which the pro- 
positions X and Y are both true, we shall, by combining this and 
the previous observation, be led to the following interpretations, 
viz. : 

The expression x (1 - y) will represent the time during which 
the proposition X is true, and the proposition Y false. The ex- 
pression (1 - x) (1 -y} will represent the time during which the 
propositions X and Y are simultaneously false. 

The expression x(l - y) +y(l - x) will express the time 
during which either X is true or Y true, but not both ; for that 
time is the sum of the times in which they are singly and exclu- 
sively true. The expression xy + (1 - x) (1 - y) will express the 
time during which X and Y are either both true or both false. 

If another symbol z presents itself, the same principles remain 
applicable. Thus xyz denotes the time in which the propositions 
X, Y, and Z are simultaneously true ; (1 - x) (1 -y) (1 - z) the 
time in which they are simultaneously false; and the sum of 
these expressions would denote the time in which they are either 
true or false together. 

The general principles of interpretation involved in the above 
examples do not need any further illustrations or more explicit 
statement. 

1 1 . The laws of the expression of propositions may now be 
exhibited and studied in the distinct cases in which they present 
themselves. There is, however, one principle of fundamental 
importance to which I wish in the first place to direct attention. 
Although the principles of expression which have been laid down 
are perfectly general, and enable us to limit our assertions of the 
truth or falsehood of propositions to any particular portions of 
that whole of time (whether it be an unlimited eternity, or a pe- 
riod whose beginning and whose end are definitely fixed, or the 
passing moment) which constitutes the universe of our discourse, 
yet, in the actual procedure of human reasoning, such limitation 
is not commonly employed. When we assert that a proposition 
is true, we generally mean that it is true throughout the whole 



CHAP. XI.] OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 169 

duration of the time to which our discourse refers ; and when dif- 
ferent assertions of the unconditional truth or falsehood of propo- 
sitions are jointly made as the premises of a logical demonstration, 
it is to the same universe of time that those assertions are re- 
ferred, and not to particular and limited parts of it. In that 
necessary matter which is the object or field of the exact sciences 
every assertion of a truth may be the assertion of an " eternal 
truth." In reasoning upon transient phaenomena (as of some 
social conjuncture) each assertion may be qualified by an imme- 
diate reference to the present time, " Now." But in both cases, 
unless there is a distinct expression to the contrary, it is to the 
same period of duration that each separate proposition relates. 
The cases which then arise for our consideration are the fol- 
lowing : 

1st. To express the Proposition, " The proposition X is true." 

We are here required to express that within those limits of 
time to which the matter of our discourse is confined the propo- 
sition X is true. Now the time for which the proposition X is 
true is denoted by x 9 and the extent of time to which our dis- 
course refers is represented by 1. Hence we have 

=1 (4) 

as the expression required. 

2nd. To express the Proposition, "The proposition X is 
falser 

We are here to express that within the limits of time to which 
our discourse relates, the proposition X is false ; or that within 
those limits there is no portion of time for which it is true. Now 
the portion of time for which it is true is x. Hence the required 

equation will be 

x = 0. (5) 

This result might also be obtained by equating to the whole du- 
ration of time 1, the expression for the time during which the 
proposition X is false, viz., 1 - x. This gives 

!-*=!, 
whence x = 0. 

3rd. To express the disjunctive Proposition, "Either the pro- 



170 OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XI. 

position X is true or the proposition Y is true ;" it being thereby 
implied that the said propositions are mutually exclusive, that is to 
say, that one only of them is true. 

The time for which either the proposition X is true or the 
proposition Y is true, but not both, is represented by the ex- 
pression x(\ -y) + y (1 - x). Hence we have 

x(l-y) + u(\-x) = l, (6) 

for the equation required. 

If in the above Proposition the particles either, or, are sup- 
posed not to possess an absolutely disjunctive power, so that the 
possibility of the simultaneous truth of the propositions X and Y 
is not excluded, we must add to the first member of the above 
equations the term xy. We shall thus have 

xy + x(l-y) + (\-x)y= 1, 
or x + (1 - x)y = 1. 

4th. To express the conditional Proposition, " If the propo- 
sition Y is true, the proposition X is true." 

Since whenever the proposition Y is true, the proposition X 
is true, it is necessary and sufficient here to express, that the time 
in which the proposition Y is true is time in which the propo- 
sition X is true ; that is to say, that it is some indefinite portion 
of the whole time in which the proposition X is true. Now the 
time in which the proposition Y is true is y, and the whole time 
in which the proposition X is true is x. Let v be a symbol of 
time indefinite, then will vx represent an indefinite portion of the 
whole time x. Accordingly, we shall have 

y = vx 
as the expression of the proposition given. 

12. When v is thus regarded as a symbol of time indefinite, 
vx may be understood to represent the whole, or an indefinite 
part, or no part, of the whole time x ; for any one of these mean- 
ings may be realized by a particular determination of the arbitrary 
symbol v. Thus, if v be determined to represent a time in which 
the whole time x is included, vx will represent the whole time x. 
If v be determined to represent a time, some part of which is in- 



CHAP. XI.] OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 171 

eluded in the time #, but which does not fill up the measure of 
that time, vx will represent a part of the time x. If, lastly, v is 
determined to represent a time, of which no part is common with 
any part of the time x, vx will assume the value 0, and will be 
equivalent to " no time," or " never." 

Now it is to be observed that the proposition, " If Y is true, 
-XT is true," contains no assertion of the truth of either of the 
propositions X and Y. It may equally consist with the suppo- 
sition that the truth of the proposition Y is a condition indis- 
pensable to the truth of the proposition X, in which case we 
shall have v = I ; or with the supposition that although Y ex- 
presses a condition which, when realized, assures us of the truth 
of X, yet X may be true without implying the fulfilment of that 
condition, in which case v denotes a time, some part of which is 
contained in the whole time x ; or, lastly, with the supposition 
that the proposition'T is not true at all, in which case v repre- 
sents some time, no part of which is common with any part of 
the time x. All these cases are involved in the general suppo- 
sition that v is a symbol of time indefinite. 

5th. To express a proposition in which the conditional and the 
disjunctive characters both exist. 

The general form of a conditional proposition is, " If Y is 
true, X is true," and its expression is, by the last section, y = vx. 
We may properly, in analogy with the usage which has been es- 
tablished in primary propositions, designate Y and X as the 
terms of the conditional proposition into which they enter ; and 
we may further adopt the language of the ordinary Logic, which 
designates the term Y, to which the particle if is attached, the 
" antecedent" of the proposition, and the term X the " conse- 
quent." 

Now instead of the terms, as in the above case, being simple 
propositions, let each or either of them be a disjunctive propo- 
sition involving different terms connected by the particles either , 
or, as in the following illustrative examples, in which X, Y, Z, 
&c. denote simple propositions. 

1st. If either X is true or Y is true, then ^is true. 

2nd. If X is true, then either Y is true or Z true. 



172 OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XI. 

3rd. If either X is true or Y is true, then either Z and W 
are both true, or they are both false. 

It is evident that in the above cases the relation of the ante- 
cedent to the consequent is not affected by the circumstance that 
one of those terms or both are of a disjunctive character. Ac- 
cordingly it is only necessary to obtain, in conformity with the 
principles already established, the proper expressions for the ante- 
cedent and the consequent, to affect the latter with the indefinite 
symbol v, and to equate the results. Thus for the propositions 
above stated we shall have the respective equations, 

1st. #(1 -y) + (1 -x)y = vz. 

2nd. x = v(y(l-z) + z(l-y)}. 

3rd. x (1 - y) + y (1 - x) = v {zw + (1 - z) (1 - w) } . 

The rule here exemplified is of general application. 

Cases in which the disjunctive and the conditional elements 
enter in a manner different from the above into the expression of 
a compound proposition, are conceivable, but I am not aware that 
they are ever presented to us by the natural exigencies of human 
reason, and I shall therefore refrain from any discussion of them. 
No serious difficulty will arise from this omission, as the general 
principles which have formed the basis of the above applications 
are perfectly general, and a slight effort of thought will adapt 
them to any imaginable case. 

13. In the laws of expression above stated those of interpre- 
tation are implicitly involved. The equation 

x= 1 

must be understood to express that the proposition X is true ; 

the equation 

* = 0, 

that the proposition X is false. The equation 

will express that the propositions -X" and Y are both true toge- 
ther ; and the equation 

that they are not both together true. 



CHAP. XI.] OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 173 

In like manner the equations 



will respectively assert the truth and the falsehood of the disjunc- 
tive Proposition, "Either X is true or Y is true." The equa- 
tions 

y = vx 

y = v(l -x) 

will respectively express the Propositions, " If the proposition Y 
is true, the proposition X is true." "If the proposition Y is 
true, the proposition X is false." 

Examples will frequently present themselves, in the suc- 
ceeding chapters of this work, of a case in which some terms of a 
particular member of an equation are affected by the indefinite 
symbol v, and others not so affected. The following instance 
will serve for illustration. Suppose that we have 

y = xz + vx (1 - 2"). 

Here it is implied that the time for which the proposition Y is 
true consists of all the time for which X and Z are together true, 
together with an indefinite portion of the time for which X is 
true and Z false. From this it may be seen, 1st, That if Yis 
true, either X and ^are together true, or X is true and Z false ; 
2ndly, If X and Z are together true, Y is true. The latter of 
these may be called the reverse interpretation, and it consists in 
taking the antecedent out of the second member, and the conse- 
quent from the first member of the equation. The existence of 
a term in the second member, whose coefficient is unity, renders 
this latter mode of interpretation possible. The general principle 
which it involves may be thus stated : 

14. PRINCIPLE. Any constituent term or terms in a particular 
member of an equation which have for their coefficient unity, may 
be taken as the antecedent of a proposition, of which all the terms 
in the other member form the consequent. 

Thus the equation 

y = xz + vx (1 - z) + (1 - x) (1 - z) 
would have the following interpretations : 



174 OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XI. 

DIRECT INTERPRETATION. If the proposition Y is true, then 
either X and Z are true, or X is true and Z false, or X and Z 
are both false. 

REVERSE INTERPRETATION. If either X and Z are true, or 
X and Z are false, Y is true. 

The aggregate of these partial interpretations will express 
the whole significance of the equation given. 

15. We may here call attention again to the remark, that 
although the idea of time appears to be an essential element in 
the theory of the interpretation of secondary propositions, it may 
practically be neglected as soon as the laws of expression and of 
interpretation are definitely established. The forms to which 
those laws give rise seem, indeed, to correspond with the forms of 
a perfect language. Let us imagine any known or existing lan- 
guage freed from idioms and divested of superfluity, and let us 
express in that language any given proposition in a manner the 
most simple and literal, the most in accordance with those 
principles of pure and universal thought upon which all languages 
are founded, of which all bear the manifestation, but from which 
all have more or less departed. The transition from such a lan- 
guage to the notation of analysis would consist of no more than 
the substitution of one set of signs for another, without essential 
change either of form or character. For the elements, whether 
things or propositions, among which relation is expressed, we 
should substitute letters; for the disjunctive conjunction we 
should write + ; for the connecting copula or sign of relation, we 
should write =. This analogy I need not pursue. Its reality 
and completeness will be made more apparent from the study of 
those forms of expression which will present themselves in sub- 
sequent applications of the present theory, viewed in more imme- 
diate comparison with that imperfect yet noble instrument of 
thought the English language. 

16. Upon the general analogy between the theory of Primary 
and that of Secondary Propositions, I am desirous of adding a 
few remarks before dismissing the subject of the present chapter. 

We might undoubtedly have established the theory of Pri- 
mary Propositions upon the simple notion of space, in the same 



CHAP. XI.] OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 175 

way as that of secondary propositions has been established upon 
the notion of time. Perhaps, had this been done, the analogy 
which we are contemplating would have been in somewhat closer 
accordance with the view of those who regard space and time 
as merely " forms of the human understanding," conditions of 
knowledge imposed by the very constitution of the mind upon 
all that is submitted to its apprehension. But this view, while 
on the one hand it is incapable of demonstration, on the other 
hand ties us down to the recognition of " place," TO TTOU, as an 
essential category of existence. The question, indeed, whether 
it is so or not, lies, I apprehend, beyond the reach of our faculties; 
but it may be, and I conceive has been, established, that the 
formal processes of reasoning in primary propositions do not re- 
quire, as an essential condition, the manifestation in space of the 
things about which we reason; that they would remain appli- 
cable, with equal strictness of demonstration, to forms of exis- 
tence, if such there be, which lie beyond the realm of sensible 
extension. It is a fact, perhaps, in some degree analogous to this, 
that we are able in many known examples in geometry and dy- 
namics, to exhibit the formal analysis of problems founded upon 
some intellectual conception of space different from that which is 
presented to us by the senses, or which can be realized by the 
imagination.* I conceive, therefore, that the idea of space is not 

* Space is presented to us in perception, as possessing the three dimensions 
of length, breadth, and depth. But in a large class of problems relating to the 
properties of curved surfaces, the rotations of solid bodies around axes, the vi- 
brations of elastic media, &c., this limitation appears in the analytical investi- 
gation to be of an arbitrary character, and if attention were paid to the processes 
of solution alone, no reason could be discovered why space should not exist in 
four or in any greater number of dimensions. The intellectual procedure in 
the imaginary world thus suggested can be apprehended by the clearest light of 
analogy. 

The existence of space in three dimensions, and the views thereupon of the 
religious and philosophical mind of antiquity, are thus set forth by Aristotle: 
MtyeOoQ Se. TO ptv <j> 'iv, ypa/jjurf, TO $' iiri dvo tiriirtdov, TO 5' ITTI Tpia <ra>fj.a' 
Kat TTaoct Tavra OVK tffnv aXXo jttsysOof, $ia TO Tptd TrdvTa ilvai KOI TO TDIQ 
rrdvTy. KdOairep yap Qacri /cat ol HvOa-yoptioi, TO TTCLV icai TO, irdvTa TOIQ Tpiaiv 
tipiaTcti. TeXevrj) yap Kai fiiaov ical px 7 ) TOV &pt6pbv t\f.i T'OV TOV TraVTOQ' 
TaiJTa dt TOV TYIQ TpidSog. Aio Trapd TTJQ <f>vaui)g tiXrjtyoTte uHnrep vofiovg tKeivrjQ, 
Kat Trpogrde dyiaTtiaQ xP^/^a T &v Qttiv r< dpiOfjuf TOVT(. De Ccelo, 1. 



176 OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XI. 

essential to the development of a theory of primary propositions, 
but am disposed, though desiring to speak with diffidence upon 
a question of such extreme difficulty, to think that the idea of 
time is essential to the establishment of a theory of secondary 
propositions. There seem to be grounds for thinking, that 
without any change in those faculties which are concerned in 
reasoning, the manifestation of space to the human mind might 
have been different from what it is, but not (at least the same) 
grounds for supposing that the manifestation of time could have 
been otherwise than we perceive it to be. Dismissing, however, 
these speculations as possibly not altogether free from presump- 
tion, let it be affirmed that the real ground upon which the 
symbol 1 represents in primary propositions the universe of 
things, and not the space they occupy, is, that the sign of 
identity = connecting the members of the corresponding equa- 
tions, implies that the things which they represent are identical, 
not simply that they are found in the same portion of space. 
Let it in like manner be affirmed, that the reason why the symbol 
1 in secondary propositions represents, not the universe of events, 
but the eternity in whose successive moments and periods they 
are evolved, is, that the same sign of identity connecting the 
logical members of the corresponding equations implies, not that 
the events which those members represent are identical, but that 
the times of their occurrence are the same. These reasons appear 
to me to be decisive of the immediate question of interpretation. In 
a former treatise on this subject (Mathematical Analysis of Logic, 
p. 49), following the theory of Wallis respecting the Reduction 
of Hypothetical Propositions, I was led to interpret the symbol 1 
in secondary propositions as the universe of" cases" or " conjunc- 
tures of circumstances;" but this view involves the necessity of a 
definition of what is meant by a " case," or " conjuncture of 
circumstances ;" and it is certain, that whatever is involved in 
the term beyond the notion of time is alien to the objects, and 
restrictive of the processes, of formal Logic. 



CHAP. XII.] METHODS IN SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 177 



CHAPTER XII. 

OF THE METHODS AND PROCESSES TO BE ADOPTED IN THE TREAT- 
MENT OF SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 

1. TT has appeared from previous researches (XI. 7) that the 
-- laws of combination of the literal symbols of Logic are the 
same, whether those symbols are employed in the expression of 
primary or in that of secondary propositions, the sole existing 
difference between the two cases being a difference of interpre- 
tation. It has also been established (V. 6), that whenever dis- 
tinct systems of thought and interpretation are connected with 
the same system of for*nal laws, i. e., of laws relating to the com- 
bination and use of symbols, the attendant processes, intermediate 
between the expression of the primary conditions of a problem 
and the interpretation of its symbolical solution, are the same in 
both. Hence, as between the systems of thought manifested in 
the two forms of primary and of secondary propositions, this com- 
munity of formal law exists, the processes which have been es- 
tablished and illustrated in our discussion of the former class of 
propositions will, without any modification, be applicable to the 
latter. 

2. Thus the laws of the two fundamental processes of elimi- 
nation and development are the same in the system of secondary 
as in the system of primary propositions. Again, it has been 
seen (Chap. vi. Prop. 2) how, in primary propositions, the inter- 
pretation of any proposed equation devoid of fractional forms 
may be effected by developing it into a series of constituents, and 
equating to every constituent whose coefficient does not vanish. 
To the equations of secondary propositions the same method is 
applicable, and the interpreted result to which it finally conducts 
us is, as in the former case (VI. 6), a system of co-existent denials. 
But while in the former case the force of those denials is ex- 
pended upon the existence of certain classes of things, in the 
latter it relates to the truth of certain combinations of the ele- 



178 METHODS IN SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XII. 

mentary propositions involved in the terms of the given premises. 
And as in primary propositions it was seen that the system of 
denials admitted of conversion into various other forms of propo- 
sitions (VI. 7), &c., such conversion will be found to be possible 
here also, the sole difference consisting not in the forms of the 
equations, but in the nature of their interpretation. 

3. Moreover, as in primary propositions, we can find the ex- 
pression of any element entering into a system of equations, in 
terms of the remaining elements (VI. 10), or of any selected 
number of the remaining elements, and interpret that expression 
into a logical inference, the same object can be accomplished by 
the same means, difference of interpretation alone excepted, in 
the system of secondary propositions. The elimination of those 
elements which we desire to banish from the final solution, the 
reduction of the system to a single equation, the algebraic solu- 
tion and the mode of its development into an interpretable form, 
differ in no respect from the corresponding steps in the discussion 
of primary propositions. 

To remove, however, any possible difficulty, it may be de- 
sirable to collect under a general Rule the different cases which 
present themselves in the treatment of secondary propositions. 

RULE. Express symbolically the given propositions (XI. 11). 

Eliminate separately from each equation in which it is found the 
indefinite symbol v (VII. 5). 

Eliminate the remaining symbols which it is desired to banish 
from the final solution : always before elimination reducing to a 
single equation those equations in which the symbol or symbols to 
be eliminated are found (VIII. 7). Collect the resulting equa- 
tions into a single equation V= 0. 

Then proceed according to the particular form in which it is 
desired to express the final relation, as 

1st. If in the form of a denial, or system of denials, develop the 
function V, and equate to all those constituents whose coefficients 
do not vanish. 

2ndly. If in the form of a disjunctive proposition, equate to 1 
the sum of those constituents whose coffiedents vanish. 

3rdly. If in the form of a conditional proposition having a sim- 



CHAP. XII.] METHODS IN SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 179 

pie element, as x or 1 - x, for its antecedent, determine the alge- 
braic expression of that element, and develop that expression. 

4thly. If in the form of a conditional proposition having a 
compound expression, as xy, xy + (1 -x) (1 -y), fyc.,for its ante- 
cedent, equate that expression to a new symbol t, and determine t 
as a developed function of the symbols which are to appear in the 
consequent, either by ordinary methods or by the special method 
(IX. 9). 

5thly. Interpret the results by (XL 13, 14). 

If it only be desired to ascertain whether a particular elemen- 
tary proposition x is true or false, we must eliminate all the sym- 
bols but x ; then the equation x=\ will indicate that the proposition 
is true, x = that it is false, = that the premises are insufficient 
to determine whether it is true or false. 

4. Ex.1. The following prediction is made the subject of a 
curious discussion in Cicero's fragmentary treatise, De Fato : 
" Si quis (Fabius) natus est oriente Canicula, is in mari non mo- 
rietur." I shall apply to it the method of this chapter. Let y 
represent the proposition, " Fabius was born at the rising of the 
dogstar;" x the proposition, " Fabius will die in the sea." 
In saying that x represents the proposition, " Fabius, &c.," it is 
only meant that x is a symbol so appropriated (XL 7) to the 
above proposition, that the equation x = 1 declares, and the equa- 
tion x = denies, the truth of that proposition. The equation 
we have to discuss will be 

V ' y = v(i-x). '- (i) 

And, first, let it be required to reduce the given proposition to a 
negation or system of negations (XII. 3). We have, on trans- 
position, 

y-t>(l-*)-0. 
Eliminating v, 

y{y-(\ -x)} =0, 

or, y-y(l-x) = Q, 

or, yx = 0. (2) 

The interpretation of this result is : " It is not true that Fabius 
was born at the rising of the dogstar, and will die in the sea." 

N 2 



180 METHODS IN SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XII. 

Cicero terms this form of proposition, "Conjunctio ex repug- 
nantibus ;" and he remarks that Chrysippus thought in this way 
to evade the difficulty which he imagined to exist in contingent 
assertions respecting the future : " Hoc loco Chrysippus aestuans 
falli sperat Chaldaeos caeterosque divinos, neque eos usuros esse 
conjunctionibus ut ita sua percepta pronuntient : Si quis natus 
est oriente Canicula is in mari non morietur ; sed potius ita dicant: 
Non et natus est quis oriente Canicula, et in mari morietur. 
O licentiam jocularem ! . . . . Multa genera sunt enuntiandi, nee 
ullum distortius quam hoc quo Chrysippus sperat Chalda3os con- 
tentos Stoicorum causa fore." Cic. De Fato, 7, 8. 

5. To reduce the given proposition to a disjunctive form. 
The constituents not entering into the first member of (2) are 



Whence we have 

y (!-*) + *(! -y) + (1 -*) (1 -y) - 1. (3) 

The interpretation of which is : Either Fabius was born at the 
rising of the dogstar, and will not perish in the sea; or he was not 
born at the rising of the dog star, and will perish in the sea; or he 
was not born at the rising of the dog star, and will not perish in 
the sea. 

In cases like the above, however, in which there exist consti- 
tuents differing from each other only by a single factor, it is, as 
we have seen (VII. 15), most convenient to collect such consti- 
tuents into a single term. If we thus connect the first and third 
terms of (3), we have 

(l-y)#+l-tf=l; 

and if we similarly connect the second and third, we have 
y(l-x)+ l-,y= 1. 

These forms of the equation severally give the interpretations 
Either Fabius was not born under the dogstar, and will die in 

the sea, or he will not die in the sea. 

Either Fabius was born under the dogstar, and will not die in 

the sea, or he was not born under the dog star. 



CHAP. XII.] METHODS IN SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 181 

It is evident that these interpretations are strictly equivalent 
to the former one. 

Let us ascertain, in the form of a conditional proposition, the 
consequences which flow from the hypothesis, that " Fabius will 
perish in the sea." 

In the equation (2), which expresses the result of the elimi- 
nation of v from the original equation, we must seek to determine 
a: as a function of y. 

We have 

# = - = Oy + -(l-2/)on expansion, 
or, N 

*=o(i-3/); 

the interpretation of which is, If Fabius shall die in the sea, he 
was not born at the rising of the dog star. 

These examples serve in some measure to illustrate the con- 
nexion which has been established in the previous sections be- 
tween primary and secondary propositions, a connexion of which 
the two distinguishing features are identity of process and analogy 
of interpretation. 

6. Ex. 2. There is a remarkable argument in the second 
book of the Republic of Plato, the design of which is to prove 
the immutability of the Divine Nature. It is a very fine example 
both of the careful induction from familiar instances by which 
Plato arrives at general principles, and of the clear and connected 
logic by which he deduces from them the particular inferences 
which it is his object to establish. The argument is contained 
in the following dialogue : 

" Must not that which departs from its proper form be 
changed either by itself or by another thing ? Necessarily so. 
Are not things which are in the best state least changed and dis- 
turbed, as the body by meats and drinks, and labours, and every 
species of plant by heats and winds, and such like affections ? Is 
not the healthiest and strongest the least changed ? Assuredly. 
And does not any trouble from without least disturb and change 
that soul which is strongest and wisest ? And as to all made 
vessels, and furnitures, and garments, according to the same 



182 METHODS IN SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XII. 

principle, are not those which are well wrought, and in a good 
condition, least changed by time and other accidents ? Even so. 
And whatever is in a right state, either by nature or by art, or 
by both these, admits of the smallest change from any other 
thing. So it seems. But God and things divine are in every 
sense in the best state. Assuredly. In this way, then, God 
should least of all bear many forms ? Least, indeed, of all. 
Again, should He transform and change Himself? Manifestly He 
must do so, if He is changed at all. Changes He then Himself to 
that which is more good and fair, or to that which is worse and 
baser ? Necessarily to the worse, if he be changed. For never 
shall we say that God is indigent of beauty or of virtue. You 
speak most rightly, said I, and the matter being so, seems it to 
you, O Adimantus, that God or man willingly makes himself in 
any sense worse ? Impossible, said he. Impossible, then, it is, 
said I, that a god should wish to change himself; but ever being 
fairest and best, each of them ever remains absolutely in the same 
form." 

The premises of the above argument are the following : 

1st. If the Deity suffers change, He is changed either by Him- 
self or by another. 

2nd. If He is in the best state, He is not changed by another. 

3rd. The Deity is in the best state. 

4th. If the Deity is changed by Himself, He is changed to a 
worse state. 

5th. If He acts willingly, He is not changed to a worse state. 

6th. The Deity acts willingly. 

Let us express the elements of these premises as follows : 

Let x represent the proposition, " The Deity suffers change." 
y, He is changed by Himself. 
z, He is changed by another. 
s 9 He is in the best state. 
t, He is changed to a worse state. 
w 9 He acts willingly. 

Then the premises expressed in symbolical language yield, after 
elimination of the indefinite class symbols v, the following equa- 
tions : 



CHAP. XII.] METHODS IN SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. 183 

*3f* + *0-y)(l-*) = 0, (1) 

sz = 0, (2) 

* - 1, (3) 

y (i-0 = o, (4) 

wt = 0, (5) 

w =1. (6) 

Retaining x 9 I shall eliminate in succession z 9 s, y, t, and w (this 
being the order in which those symbols occur in the above sys- 
tem), and interpret the successive results. 
Eliminating z from (1) and (2), we get 

M (l-y)-0. (7) 

Eliminating s from (3) and (7), 

*(l-y)-0. (8) 

Eliminating y from (4) and (8), 

*(1-0-0. (9) 

Eliminating t from (5) and (9), 

xw = 0. (10) 

Eliminating w from (6) and (10), 

x = 0. (11) 

These equations, beginning with (8), give the following 
results : 

From (8) we have x = - y 9 therefore, If the Deity suffers 
change. He is changed by Himself. 

From (9), x = t 9 If the Deity suffers change 9 He is changed 
to a worse state. 

From (10), x = - (1 - w). If the Deity suffers change, He 

does not act willingly. 

From (11), The Deity does not suffer change . This is Plato's 
result. 

Now I have before remarked, that the order of elimination 
is indifferent. Let us in the present case seek to verify this fact 
by eliminating the same symbols in a reverse order, beginning 
with w. The resulting equations are, 



184 METHODS IN SECONDARY PROPOSITIONS. [CHAP. XII. 

t = 0, y = 0, x (1 - z) = 0, * = 0, x = ; 

yielding the following interpretations : 

God is not changed to a worse state. 

He is not changed by Himself. 

If He suffers change, He is changed by another. 

He is not changed by another. 

He is not changed. 

We thus reach by a different route the same conclusion. 

Though as an exhibition of the power of the method, the 
above examples are of slight value, they serve as well as more 
complicated instances would do, to illustrate its nature and cha- 
racter. 

7. It may be remarked, as a final instance of analogy between 
the system of primary and that of secondary propositions, that 
in the latter system also the fundamental equation, 

x (1 - x) = 0, 

admits of interpretation. It expresses the axiom, A proposition 
cannot at the same time be true and false. Let this be compared 
with the corresponding interpretation (III. 15). Solved under 

the form 





by development, it furnishes the respective axioms : "A thing is 
what it is:" " If a proposition is true, it is true:" forms of what has 
been termed " The principle of identity." Upon the nature and 
the value of these axioms the most opposite opinions have been 
entertained. Some have regarded them as the very pith and mar- 
row of philosophy. Locke devoted to them a chapter, headed, 
" On Trifling Propositions."* In both these views there seems 
to have been a mixture of truth and error. Regarded as sup- 
planting experience, or as furnishing materials for the vain and 
wordy j anglings of the schools, such propositions are worse than 
trifling. Viewed, on the other hand, as intimately allied with 
the very laws and conditions of thought, they rise into at least a 
speculative importance. 

* Essay on the Human Understanding, Book IV. Chap. viii. 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 185 



CHAPTER XIII. 

ANALYSIS OF A PORTION OF DR. SAMUEL CLARKE'S " DEMONSTRA- 
TION OF THE BEING AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD," AND OF A 
PORTION OF THE " ETHICA ORDINE GEOMETRICO DEMON- 
STRATA" OF SPINOZA. 

1 . r pHE general order which, in the investigations of the fol- 
-- lowing chapter, I design to pursue, is the following. I 
shall examine what are the actual premises involved in the de- 
monstrations of some of the general propositions of the above 
treatises, whether those premises be expressed or implied. By 
the actual premises I -mean whatever propositions are assumed 
in the course of the argument, without being proved, and are 
employed as parts of the foundation upon which the final conclu- 
sion is built. The premises thus determined, I shall express in 
the language of symbols, and I shall then deduce from them by 
thejnethods developed in the previous chapters of this work, the 
most important inferences which they involve, in addition to the 
particular inferences actually drawn by the authors. I shall in 
some instances modify the premises by the omission of some fact 
or principle which is contained in them, or by the addition or 
substitution of some new proposition, and shall determine how 
by such change the ultimate conclusions are affected. In the 
pursuit of these objects it will not devolve upon me to inquire, 
except incidentally, how far the metaphysical principles laid down 
in these celebrated productions are worthy of confidence, but 
only to ascertain what conclusions may justly be drawn from 
given premises ; and in doing this, to exemplify the perfect li- 
berty which we possess as concerns both the choice and the 
order of the elements of the final or concluding propositions, viz., 
as to determining what elementary propositions are true or false, 
and what are true or false under given restrictions, or in given 
combinations. 

2. The chief practical difficulty of this inquiry will consist, 



186 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

not in the application of the method to the premises once deter- 
mined, but in ascertaining what the premises are. In what are 
regarded as the most rigorous examples of reasoning applied to 
metaphysical questions, it will occasionally be found that different 
trains of thought are blended together; that particular but essen- 
tial parts of the demonstration are given parenthetically, or out 
of the main course of the argument; that the meaning of a pre- 
miss may be in some degree ambiguous ; and, not unfrequently, 
that arguments, viewed by the strict laws of formal reasoning, 
are incorrect or inconclusive. The difficulty of determining and 
distinctly exhibiting the true premises of a demonstration may, 
in such cases, be very considerable. But it is a difficulty which 
must be overcome by all who would ascertain whether a parti- 
cular conclusion is proved or not, whatever form they may be 
prepared or disposed to give to the ulterior process of reasoning. 
It is a difficulty, therefore, which is not peculiar to the method 
of this work, though it manifests itself more distinctly in con- 
nexion with this method than with any other. So intimate, in- 
deed, is this connexion, that it is impossible, employing the me- 
thod of this treatise, to form even a conjecture as to the validity 
of a conclusion, without a distinct apprehension and exact state- 
ment of all the premises upon which it rests. In the more usual 
course of procedure, nothing is, however, more common than to 
examine some of the steps of a train of argument, and thence to 
form a vague general impression of the scope of the whole, with- 
out any such preliminary and thorough analysis of the premises 
which it involves. 

The necessity of a rigorous determination of the real pre- 
mises of a demonstration ought not to be regarded as an evil ; 
especially as, when that task is accomplished, every source of 
doubt or ambiguity is removed. In employing the method of 
this treatise, the order in which premises are arranged, the mode 
of connexion which they exhibit, with every similar circumstance, 
may be esteemed a matter of indifference, and the process of 
inference is conducted with a precision which might almost be 
termed mechanical. 

3. The " Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of 
God," consists of a series of propositions or theorems, each 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 187 

of them proved by means of premises resolvable, for the most 
part, into two distinct classes, viz., facts of observation, such 
as the existence of a material world, the phenomenon of mo- 
tion, &c., and hypothetical principles, the authority and uni- 
versality of which are supposed to be recognised a priori. It is, 
of course, upon the truth of the latter, assuming the correctness 
of the reasoning, that the validity of the demonstration really de- 
pends. But whatever may be thought of its claims in this re- 
spect, it is unquestionable that, as an intellectual performance, its 
merits are very high. Though the trains of argument of which 
it consists are not in general very clearly arranged, they are al- 
most always specimens of correct Logic, and they exhibit a 
subtlety of apprehension and a force of reasoning w r hich have 
seldom been equalled, never perhaps surpassed. We see in them 
the consummation of those intellectual efforts which were awa- 
kened in the realm of metaphysical inquiry, at a period when the 
dominion of hypothetical principles was less questioned than it 
now is, and when the rigorous demonstrations of the newly risen 
school of mathematical physics seemed to have furnished a model 
for their direction. They appear to me for this reason (not to 
mention the dignity of the subject of which they treat) to be 
deserving of high consideration ; and I do not deem it a vain 
or superfluous task to expend upon some of them a careful 
analysis. 

4. The Ethics of Benedict Spinoza is a treatise, the object 
of which is to prove the identity of God and the universe,- and 
to establish, upon this doctrine, a system of morals and of philo- 
sophy. The analysis of its main argument is extremely difficult, 
owing not to the complexity of the separate propositions which it 
involves, but to the use of vague definitions, and of axioms which, 
through a like defect of clearness, it is perplexing to determine 
whether we ought to accept or to reject. While the reasoning of 
Dr. Samuel Clarke is in part verbal, that of Spinoza is so in a much 
greater degree; and perhaps this is the reason why, to some 
minds, it has appeared to possess a formal cogency, to which in 
reality it possesses no just claim. These points will, however, 
be considered in the proper place. 



188 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

CLARKE'S DEMONSTRATION. 

PROPOSITION I. 
5. " Something has existed from eternity" 

The proof is as follows : 

" For since something now is, 'tis manifest that something 
always was. Otherwise the things that now are must have risen 
out of nothing, absolutely and without cause. Which is a 
plain contradiction in terms. For to say a thing is produced, 
and yet that there is no cause at all of that production, is to say 
that something is effected when it is effected by nothing, that is, 
at the same time when it is not effected at all. Whatever exists 
has a cause of its existence, either in the necessity of its own 
nature, and thus it must have been of itself eternal : or in the 
will of some other being, and then that other being must, at least 
in the order of nature and causality, have existed before it." 

Let us now proceed to analyze the above demonstration. Its 
first sentence is resolvable into the following propositions : 

1st. Something is. 

2nd. If something is, either something always was, or the 
things that now are must have risen out of nothing. 

The next portion of the demonstration consists of a proof 
that the second of the above alternatives, viz., " The things that 
now are have risen out of nothing," is impossible, and it may 
formally be resolved as follows : 

3rd. If the things that now are have risen out of nothing, 
something has been effected, and at the same time that some- 
thing has been effected by nothing. 

4th. If that something has been effected by nothing, it has 
not been effected at all. 

The second portion of this argument appears to be a mere 
assumption of the point to be proved, or an attempt to make that 
point clearer by a different verbal statement. 

The third and last portion of the demonstration contains a dis- 
tinct proof of the truth of either the original proposition to be 
proved, viz., " Something always was," or the point proved in 
the second part of the demonstration, viz., the untenable nature 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 189 

of the hypothesis, that " the things that now are have risen out 
of nothing." It is resolvable as follows : 

5th. If something is, either it exists by the necessity of its 
own nature, or it exists by the will of another being. 

6th. If it exists by the necessity of its own nature, something 
always was. 

7th. If it exists by the will of another being, then the pro- 
position, that the things which exist have arisen out of nothing, 
is false. 

The last proposition is not expressed in the same form in the 
text of Dr. Clarke ; but his expressed conclusion of the prior ex- 
istence of another Being is clearly meant as equivalent to a de- 
nial of the proposition that the things which now are have risen 
out of nothing. 

It appears, therefore, that the demonstration consists of two 
distinct trains of argument : one of those trains comprising what 
I have designated as the first and second parts of the demonstra- 
tion ; the other comprising ihejirst and third parts. Let us con- 
sider the latter train. 

The premises are : 

1st. Something is. 

2nd. If something is, either something always was, or the 
things that now are have risen out of nothing. 

3rd. If something is, either it exists in the necessity of its 
own nature, or it exists by the will of another being. 

4th. If it exists in the necessity of its own nature, something 
always was. 

5th. If it exists by the will of another being, then the hy- 
pothesis, that the things which now are have risen out of nothing, 
is false. 

We must now express symbolically the above proposition. 

Let x = Something is. 

y = Something always was. 

z = The things which now are have risen from 

nothing. 
p - It exists in the necessity of its own nature 

(i.e. the something spoken of above). 
q - It exists by the will of another Being. 



190 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

It must be understood, that by the expression, Let x = 
" Something is," is meant no more than that x is the repre- 
sentative symbol of that proposition (XI. 7), the equations 
x = 1, x = 0, respectively declaring its truth and its falsehood. 
The equations of the premises are : 

1st. x = 1; 

2nd. x = v{y(\-z) + z(\-y)}i 

3rd. x = v{p(\-q) + q(\-p)}., 

4th. p = vy; 

5th. q = v(\-z); 

and on eliminating the several indefinite symbols v, we have 

1-* = 0; (1) 

r)} = 0; (2) 

y)}-0; (3) 

P0-y)-0; (4) 

qz = . (5) 

6. First, I shall examine whether any conclusions are dedu- 
cible from the above, concerning the truth or falsity of the 
single propositions represented by the symbols y, z, p, q, viz., of 
the propositions, " Something always was ;" " The things which 
now are have risen from nothing;" " The something which is 
exists by the necessity of its own nature ;" " The something 
which is exists by the will of another being." 

For this purpose we must separately eliminate all the symbols 
but <y, all these but z, &c. The resulting equation will deter- 
mine whether any such separate relations exist. 

To eliminate x from (1), (2), and (3), it is only necessary to 
substitute in (2) and (3) the value of # derived from (1). We 
find as the results, 

yz + (1 - y) (1 - z) = 0. (6) 

W + 0-XK1 -<?) = (7) 

To eliminate p we have from (4) and (7), by addition, 

j>(i-y)+^ + (i-/00-y) = o; ( 8 ) 

whence we find, 

(i-y)(i-y)-o. (9) 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 191 

To eliminate q from (5) and (9), we have 

y*+(l-y)(l-y)-0; 

whence we find 

*(l-y)-0. (10) 

There now remain but the two equations (6) and (10), which, 
on addition, give 

yz + 1 - y = 0. 

Eliminating from this equation z, we have 

l-2/ = 0, or, s/=l. (11) 

Eliminating from the same equation y, we have 

z = 0. (12) 

The interpretation of (1 1) is 

Something always was. 
The interpretation of (12) is 

The things which are have not risen from nothing. 
Next resuming the system (6), (7), with the two equations 
(4), (5), let us determine the two equations involving p and q 
respectively. 

To eliminate y we have from (4) and (6), 



whence (p + 1 - z) z = 0, or, pz = 0. (13) 

To eliminate z from (5) and (13), we have 

qz + pz = ; 
whence we get, 

= 0. 

There remains then but the equation (7) } from which elimi- 
nating q, we have = for the final equation, in p. 

Hence there is no conclusion derivable from the premises af- 
firming the simple truth or falsehood of the proposition, " The 
something which is exists in the necessity of its own nature" And as, 
on eliminating p, there is the same result, = 0, for the ultimate 
equation in q, it also follows, that there is no conclusion deducible 
from the premises as to the simple truth or falsehood of the propo- 
sition, " The something which is exists by the ivill of another Being ." 



192 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

Of relations connecting more than one of the propositions re- 
presented by the elementary symbols, it is needless to consider 
any but that which is denoted by the equation (7) connecting 
p and </, inasmuch as the propositions represented by the remain- 
ing symbols are absolutely true or false independently of any con- 
nexion of the kind here spoken of. The interpretation of (7), 
placed under the form 

p(l-q) + q(l-p) = 1, is, 

The something which, is, either exists in the necessity of its 
own nature, or by the will of another being. 

I have exhibited the details of the above analysis with a, 
perhaps, needless fulness and prolixity, because in the examples 
which will follow, I propose rather to indicate the steps by 
which results are obtained, than to incur the danger of a weari- 
some frequency of repetition. The conclusions which have re- 
sulted from the above application of the method are easily verified 
by ordinary reasoning. 

The reader will have no difficulty in applying the method 
to the other train of premises involved in Dr. Clarke's first Pro- 
position, and deducing from them the two first of the conclusions 
to which the above analysis has led. 

PROPOSITION II. 

7. Some one unchangeable and independent Being has existed 
from eternity. 

The premises from which the above proposition is proved 
are the following : 

1st. Something has always existed. 

2nd. If something has always existed, either there has existed 
some one unchangeable and independent being, or the whole of 
existing things has been comprehended in a succession of change- 
able and dependent beings. 

3rd. If the universe has consisted of a succession of change- 
able and dependent beings, either that series has had a cause from 
without, or it has had a cause from within. 

4th. It has not had a cause from without (because it includes, 
by hypothesis, all things that exist). 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 193 

5th. It has not had a cause from within (because no part is 
necessary, and if no part is necessary, the whole cannot be ne- 
cessary). 

Omitting, merely for brevity, the subsidiary proofs contained 
in the parentheses of the fourth and fifth premiss, we may repre- 
sent the premises as follows : 

Let x = Something has always existed. 

y There has existed some one unchangeable and in- 
dependent being. 
z = There has existed a succession of changeable and 

dependent beings. 

p = That series has had a cause from without. 
q = That series has had a cause from within. 
Then we have the following system of equations, viz. : 
1st. x = 1 ; 

2nd. x"= v (y (1 - z) + z (1 - y)} ; 
3rd. z = v{p(l-q) + (\-p)q}', 
4th. p = ; 
5th. q = : 

which, on the separate elimination of the indefinite symbols v, 
gives 

1-# = 0; (1) 

s{y* + (l-y)(l-*)}-0; (2) 

*(j*+-0->>(l-*))-0; (3) 

P = 0; (4) 

q = 0. (5) 

The elimination from the above system of re, p, q, and y, con- 
ducts to the equation 

z = 0. 

And the elimination of #, p, q, and z, conducts in a similar man- 
ner to the equation 

jr-i; 

Of which equations the respective interpretations are : 

1st. The whole of existing things has not been comprehended 

in a succession of changeable and dependent beings. 

2nd. There has existed some one unchangeable and independent 

being. 



194 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

The latter of these is the proposition which Dr. Clarke proves. 
As, by the above analysis, all the propositions represented by the 
literal symbols x, y, z, p, q, are determined as absolutely true or 
false, it is needless to inquire into the existence of any further re- 
lations connecting those propositions together. 

Another proof is given of Prop, n., which for brevity I pass 
over. It may be observed, that the " impossibility of infinite 
succession," the proof of which forms a part of Clarke's argu- 
ment, has commonly been assumed as a fundamental principle of 
metaphysics, and extended to other questions than that of causa- 
tion. Aristotle applies it to establish the necessity of first prin- 
ciples of demonstration;* the necessity of an end (the good), in 
human actions, &c.| There is, perhaps, no principle more fre- 
quently referred to in his writings. By the schoolmen it was 
similarly applied to prove the impossibility of an infinite subor- 
dination of genera and species, and hence the necessary existence 
of universals. Apparently the impossibility of our forming a 
definite and complete conception of an infinite series, i. e. of 
comprehending it as a whole, has been confounded with a logical 
inconsistency, or contradiction in the idea itself. 

8. The analysis of the following argument depends upon the 
theory of Primary Propositions. 

PROPOSITION III. 
That unchangeable and independent Being must be self-existent. 

The premises are : 

1 . Every being must either have come into existence out of 
nothing, or it must have been produced by some external cause, 
or it must be self-existent. 

2. No being has come into existence out of nothing. 

3. The unchangeable and independent Being has not been 
produced by an external cause. 

For the symbolical expression of the above, let us assume, 



* Metaphysics, III. 4 ; Anal. Post. I. 19, et seq. 
f Nic. Ethics, Book I. Cap. n. 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 195 

x = Beings which have arisen out of nothing. 

y = Beings which have been produced by an external 

cause. 

z = Beings which are self-existent. 
w = The unchangeable and independent Being. 

Then we have 

x(l - y) (1 - z) + y (1 - x) (1 - z) + z(\ - x} (1 - y) = 1, (1) 

x = 0, (2) 

w = v(l-y), (3) 

from the last of which eliminating v 9 

wy = 0. (4) 

Whenever, as above, the value of a symbol is given as or 1, it 
is best eliminated by simple substitution. Thus the elimination 
of x gives 

y(i-*) + *(i-y)=i; (5) 

or, yz + (l-y)(l-z) = 0. (6) 

Now adding (4) and (6), and eliminating y, we get 
w(\ -z) = 0, 

/. 10 = VZ\ 

the interpretation of which is, The unchangeable and indepen- 
dent being is necessarily self-existing. 

Of (5), in its actual form, the interpretation is, Every being 
has either be en produced by an external cause, or it is self-existent. 

9. In Dr. Samuel Clarke's observations on the above propo- 
sition occurs a remarkable argument, designed to prove that the 
material world is not the self-existent being above spoken of. 
The passage to which I refer is the following : 

" If matter be supposed to exist necessarily, then in that ne- 
cessary existence there is either included the power of gravitation, 
or not. If not, then in a world merely material, and in which no 
intelligent being presides, there never could have been any mo- 
tion ; because motion, as has been already shown, and is now 
granted in the question, is not necessary of itself. But if the 

o 2 



196 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

power of gravitation be included in the pretended necessary ex- 
istence of matter : then, it following necessarily that there must 
be a vacuum (as the incomparable Sir Isaac Newton has abun- 
dantly demonstrated that there must, if gravitation be an uni- 
versal quality or affection of matter), it follows likewise, that 
matter is not a necessary being. For if a vacuum actually be, 
then it is plainly more than possible for matter not to be." 
(pp. 25, 26). 

It will, upon attentive examination, be found that the actual 
premises involved in the above demonstration are the following : 

1st. If matter is a necessary being, either the property of gra- 
vitation is necessarily present, or it is necessarily absent. 

2nd. If gravitation is necessarily absent, and the world is not 
subject to any presiding Intelligence, motion does not exist. 

3rd. If the property of gravitation is necessarily present, the 
existence of a vacuum is necessary. 

4th. If the existence of a vacuum is necessary, matter is not a 
necessary being. 

5th. If matter is a necessary being, the world is not subject 
to a presiding Intelligence. 

6th. Motion exists. 

Of the above premises the first four are expressed in the de- 
monstration ; the fifth is implied in the connexion of its first and 
second sentences ; and the sixth expresses a fact, which the au- 
thor does not appear to have thought it necessary to state, but 
which is obviously a part of the ground of his reasoning. Let us 
represent the elementary propositions in the following manner : 

Let x = Matter is a necessary being. 

y = Gravitation is necessarily present. 

t = Gravitation is necessarily absent. 

z = The world is merely material, and not subject to 

any presiding Intelligence. 
w = Motion exists. 
v = A vacuum is necessary. 

Then the system of premises will be represented by the following 
equations, in which q is employed as the symbol of time indefi- 
nite: 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 197 



tz = q(\ - iv). 
y = qv. 
v = q(\ - x). 
x = qz. 
w= 1. 

From which, if we eliminate the symbols ^, we have the follow- 
ing system, viz. : 

*fo*+0-y)0-0}-- 0) 

tzw = 0. (2) 

y(l-tO = o. (3) 

vx = 0. (4) 

*(l-z) = 0. (5) 

1 - MV= 0. (6) 

Now if from these equations we eliminate w, v, z, y^ and t, we 

obtain the equation 

x = 0, 

which expresses the proposition, Matter is not a necessary being. 
This is Dr. Clarke's conclusion. If we endeavour to eliminate 
any other set of five symbols (except the set v, z 9 y, t, and x 9 
which would give w = 1), we obtain a result of the form = 0. 
It hence appears that there are no other conclusions expressive of 
the absolute truth or falsehood of any of the elementary propositions 
designated by single symbols. 

Of conclusions expressed by equations involving two symbols, 
there exists but the following, viz. : If the world is merely mate- 
rial, and not subject to a presiding Intelligence, gravitation is not 
necessarily absent. This conclusion is expressed by the equation 

tz = 0, whence z = q ( 1 - t). 

If in the above analysis we suppress the concluding premiss, ex- 
pressing the fact of the existence of motion, and leave the hypo- 
thetical principles which are embodied in the remaining premises 
untouched, some remarkable conclusions follow. To these I 
shall direct attention in the following chapter. 

10. Of the remainder of Dr. Clarke's argument I shall briefly 
state the substance and connexion, dwelling only on certain por- 



198 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

tions of it which are of a more complex character than the others, 
and afford better illustrations of the method of this work. 

In Prop. iv. it is shown that the substance or essence of the 
self- existent being is incomprehensible. The tenor of the reason- 
ing employed is, that we are ignorant of the essential nature of 
all other things, much more, then, of the essence of the self- 
existent being. 

In Prop. v. it is contended that "though the substance or 
essence of the self-existent being is itself absolutely incompre- 
hensible to us, yet many of the essential attributes of his nature 
are strictly demonstrable, as well as his existence." 

In Prop. vi. it is argued that "the self-existent being must 
of necessity be infinite and omnipresent ;" and it is contended 
that his infinity must be "an infinity of fulness as well as of 
immensity." The ground upon which the demonstration pro- 
ceeds is, that an absolute necessity of existence must be inde- 
pendent of tune, place, and circumstance, free from limitation, 
and therefore excluding all imperfection. And hence it is in- 
ferred that the self-existent being must be " a most simple, un- 
changeable, incorruptible being, without parts, figure, motion, 
or any other such properties as we find in matter." 

The premises actually employed may be exhibited as follows : 

1 . If a finite being is self-existent, it is a contradiction to 
suppose it not to exist. 

2. A finite being may, without contradiction, be absent from 
one place. 

3. That which may without contradiction be absent from one 
place may without contradiction be absent from all places. 

4. That which may without contradiction be absent from all 
places may without contradiction be supposed not to exist. 

Let us assume 
x = Finite beings. 
y = Things self-existent. 

z = Things which it is a contradiction to suppose not to exist. 
w = Things which may be absent without contradiction from 

one place. 
t = Things which without contradiction may be absent from 

every place. 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 199 

We have on expressing the above, and eliminating the indefinite 

symbols, 

xy(l-z) = 0. (1) 

x(l - w) = 0. (2) 

w(l-t) = 0. (3) 

tz = 0. (4) 

Eliminating in succession t, w, and z, we get 



... 

the interpretation of which is, Whatever is self-existent is in- 
finite. 

In Prop. vn. it is argued that the self-existent being must of 
necessity be One. The' order of the proof is, that the self-exis- 
tent being is "necessarily existent," that "necessity absolute in 
itself is simple and uniform, and without any possible difference 
or variety," that all "variety or difference of existence" implies 
dependence ; and hence that " whatever exists necessarily is the 
one simple essence of the self-existent being." 

The conclusion is also made to flow from the following pre- 
mises : 

1 . If there are two or more necessary and independent beings, 
either of them may be supposed to exist alone. 

2. If either may be supposed to exist alone, it is not a contra- 
diction to suppose the other not to exist. 

3. If it is not a contradiction to suppose this, there are not 
two necessary and independent beings. 

Let us represent the elementary propositions as follows : 
x = there exist two necessary independent beings. 
y = either may be supposed to exist alone. 
z - it is not a contradiction to suppose the other not to exist. 

We have then, on proceeding as before, 

*0-y)-o. (i) 

y(i-*)-o. (2) 

zx = 0. (3) 



200 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

Eliminating y and z, we have 

x = 0. 

Whence, There do not exist two necessary and independent beings. 

1 1 . To the premises upon which the two previous propositions 
rest, it is well known that Bishop Butler, who at the time of the 
publication of the " Demonstration," was a student in a non- 
conformist academy, made objection in some celebrated letters, 
which, together with Dr. Clarke's replies to them, are usually 
appended to editions of the work. The real question at issue is 
the validity of the principle, that " whatsoever is absolutely ne- 
cessary at all is absolutely necessary in every part of space, and 
in every point of duration," a principle assumed in Dr. Clarke's 
reasoning, and explicitly stated in his reply to Butler's first let- 
ter. In his second communication Butler says : " I do not con- 
ceive that the idea of ubiquity is contained in the idea of self- 
existence, or directly follows from it, any otherwise than as what- 
ever exists must exist somewhere." That is to say, necessary 
existence implies existence in some part of space, but not in 
every part. It does not appear that Dr. Clarke was ever able to 
dispose effectually of this objection. The whole of the corres- 
pondence is extremely curious and interesting. The objections 
of Butler are precisely those which would occur to an acute mind 
impressed with the conviction, that upon the sifting of first prin- 
ciples, rather than upon any mechanical dexterity of reasoning, 
the successful investigation of truth mainly depends. And the 
replies of Dr. Clarke, although they cannot be admitted as satis- 
factory, evince, in a remarkable degree, that peculiar intellectual 
power which is manifest in the work from which the discussion 
arose. 

12. In Prop. vin. it is argued that the self-existent and ori- 
ginal cause of all things must be an Intelligent Being. 

The main argument adduced in support of this proposition is, 
that as the cause is more excellent than the effect, the self- 
existent being, as the cause and original of all things, must con- 
tain in itself the perfections of all things ; and that Intelligence 
is one of the perfections manifested in a part of the creation. It 
is further argued that this perfection is not a modification of 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 201 

figure, divisibility, or any of the known properties of matter ; 
for these are not perfections, but limitations. To this is added 
the a posteriori argument from the manifestation of design in the 
frame of the universe. 

There is appended, however, a distinct argument for the 
existence of an intelligent self-existent being, founded upon the 
phenomenal existence of motion in the universe. I shall briefly 
exhibit this proof, and shall apply to it the method of the present 
treatise. 

The argument, omitting unimportant explanations, is as fol- 
lows : 

" 'Tis evident there is some such a thing as motion in the 
world ; which either began at some time or other, or was eternal. 
If it began in time, then the question is granted that the first 
cause is an intelligent being. . . . On the contrary, if motion was 
eternal, either it was eternally caused by some eternal intelligent 
being, or it must of itself be necessary and self-existent, or else, 
without any necessity in its own nature, and without any external 
necessary cause, it must have existed from eternity by an endless 
successive communication. If motion was eternally caused by 
some eternal intelligent being, this also is granting the question 
as to the present dispute. If it was of itself necessary and self- 
existent, then it follows that it must be a contradiction in terms 
to suppose any matter to be at rest. And yet, at the same time, 
because the determination of this self-existent motion must be 
every way at once, the effect of it would be nothing else but a 
perpetual rest. . . . But if it be said that motion, without any ne- 
cessity in its own nature, and without any external necessary 
cause, has existed from eternity merely by an endless successive 
communication, as Spinoza inconsistently enough seems to assert, 
this I have before shown (in the proof of the second general 
proposition of this discourse) to be a plain contradiction. It re- 
mains, therefore, that motion must of necessity be originally 
caused by something that is intelligent." 

The premises of the above argument may be thus disposed : 

1. If motion began in time, the first cause is an intelligent 
being. 



202 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

2. If motion has existed from eternity, either it has been 
eternally caused by some eternal intelligent being, or it is self- 
existent, or it must have existed by endless successive communi- 
cation. 

3. If motion has been eternally caused by an eternal intelli- 
gent being, the first cause is an intelligent being. 

4. If it is self-existent, matter is at rest and not at rest. 

5. That motion has existed by endless successive communi- 
cation, and that at the same time it is not self-existent, and has 
not been eternally caused by some eternal intelligent being, is 
false. 

To express these propositions, let us assume 

x = Motion began in time (and therefore) 
1 - x Motion has existed from eternity. 
y = The first cause is an intelligent being. 
p = Motion has been eternally caused by some eternal intelli- 

gent being. 

q = Motion is self-existent. 

r = Motion has existed by endless successive communication. 
s = Matter is at rest. 

The equations of the premises then are 



q = vs (1 - s) = 0. 

'0 -?) 0-p)-o. 

Since, by the fourth equation, q = 0, we obtain, on substituting 
for q its value in the remaining equations, the system 

x = vy, 1 - x = v {p(l - r) + r (1 -/?)), 
p = vij, r(l-p) = Q, 

from which eliminating the indefinite symbols v, we have the 

final reduced system, 

*(l-y)-0, (l) 

(l-)(pr+(l-.p)0-r)}-0, (*> 

/,(l-y) = 0. (3) 

r(l-p)-0. (4) 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 203 

We shall first seek the value of y, the symbol involved in Dr. 
Clarke's conclusion. First, eliminating x from (1) and (2), we 
have 

(i-y) If + 0-.p)0 ->)}- o- (5) 

Next, to eliminate r from (4) and (5), we have 



whence 

(l-y)(l-p)-0. (6) 

Lastly, eliminating p from (3) and (6), we have 



which expresses the required conclusion, The first came is an 
intelligent being. 

Let us now examine what other conclusions are deducible 
from the premises. 

If we substitute the value just found for y in the equations 
(1), (2), (3), (4), they are reduced to the following pair of equa- 
tions, viz., 

(l-*){pr + (l-p)(l-r)}=0, r(l-p) = 0. (7) 
Eliminating from these equations x, we have 
r(l -p) = 0, whence r = vp 9 

which expresses the conclusion, If motion has existed by endless 
successive communication, it has been eternally caused by an eter- 
nal intelligent being. 

Again eliminating, from the given pair, r, we have 

(l-*)(l-p) = 0, 

or, 1 - x = vp, 

which expresses the conclusion, If motion has existed from eter- 
nity, it has been eternally caused by some eternal intelligent being. 

Lastly, from the same original pair eliminating p, we get 

(l-a)r=-.0, 
which, solved in the form 



2 04 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

gives the conclusion, If motion has existed from eternity, it has not 
existed by an endless successive communication. 

Solved under the form 

r = vx, 

the above equation leads to the equivalent conclusion, If motion 
exists by an endless successive communication, it began in time. 

13. Now it will appear to the reader that the first and last of 
the above four conclusions are inconsistent with each other. The 
two consequences drawn from the hypothesis that motion exists 
by an endless successive communication, viz., 1st, that it has 
been eternally caused by an eternal intelligent being ; 2ndly, that 
it began in time, are plainly at variance. Nevertheless, they are 
both rigorous deductions from the original premises. The oppo- 
sition between them is not of a logical, but of what is technically 
termed a material, character. This opposition might, however, 
have been formally stated in the premises. We might have 
added to them a formal proposition, asserting that " whatever is 
eternally caused by an eternal intelligent being, does not begin in 
time." Had this been done, no such opposition as now appears 
in our conclusions could have presented itself. Formal logic 
can only take account of relations which are formally expressed 
(VI. 16) ; and it may thus, in particular instances, become ne- 
cessary to express, in a formal manner, some connexion among 
the premises which, without actual statement, is involved in the 
very meaning of the language employed. 

To illustrate what has been said, let us add to the equations 
(2) and (4) the equation 

px = 0, 

which expresses the condition above adverted to. We have 

(l-x) ipr + (l-p)(l-r)} + r (1 - p) + px = 0. (8) 
Eliminating p from this, we find simply 

r = 0, 

which expresses the proposition, Motion does not exist by an end- 
less successive communication. If now we substitute for r its value 
in (8), we have 

(1 - x) (1 - p) + px = 0, or, 1 - x = /?; 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 205 

whence we have the interpretation, If motion has existed from 
eternity, it has been eternally caused by an eternal intelligent being ; 
together with the converse of that proposition. 

In Prop. ix. it is argued, that " the self-existent and original 
cause of all things is not a necessary agent, but a being endued 
with liberty and choice." The proof is based mainly upon his 
possession of intelligence, and upon the existence of final causes, 
implying design and choice. To the objection that the supreme 
cause operates by necessity for the production of what is best, it 
is replied, that this is a necessity of fitness and wisdom, and not 
of nature. 

14. In Prop. x. it is argued, that '.'the self-existent being, 
the supreme cause of all things, must of necessity have infinite 
power." The ground of the demonstration is, that as " all the 
powers of all things are derived from him, nothing can make any 
difficulty or resistance to the execution of his will." It is de- 
fined that the infinite power of the self-existent being does not 
extend to the " making of a thing which implies a contradiction," 
or the doing of that "which would imply imperfection (whether 
natural or moral) in the being to whom such power is ascribed," 
but that it does extend to the creation of matter, and of an im- 
material, cogitative substance, endued with a power of beginning 
motion, and with a liberty of will or choice. Upon this doctrine 
of liberty it is contended that we are able to give a satisfactory 
answer to "that ancient and great question, voOev TO KQICOV, 
what is the cause and original of evil ?" The argument on this 
head I shall briefly exhibit. 

" All that we call evil is either an evil of imperfection, as the 
want of certain faculties or excellencies which other creatures 
have ; or natural evil, as pain, death, and the like ; or moral evil, 
as all kinds of vice. The first of these is not properly an evil ; 
for every power, faculty, or perfection, which any creature enjoys, 
being the free gift of God, . . it is plain the want of any certain 
faculty or perfection in any kind of creatures, which never be- 
longed to their natures is no more an evil to them, than their 
never having been created or brought into being at all could pro- 
perly have been called an evil. The second kind of evil, which 
we call natural evil, is either a necessary consequence of the 



206 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

former, as death to a creature on whose nature immortality was 
never conferred ; and then it is no more properly an evil than the 
former. Or else it is counterpoised on the whole with as great 
or greater good, as the afflictions and sufferings of good men, 
and then also it is not properly an evil; or else, lastly, it is a 
punishment, and then it is a necessary consequence of the third 
and last kind of evil, viz., moral evil. And this arises wholly 
from the abuse of liberty which God gave to His creatures for 
other purposes, and which it was reasonable and fit to give them 
for the perfection and order of the whole creation. Only they, 
contrary to God's intention and command, have abused what was 
necessary to the perfection of the whole, to the corruption and 
depravation of themselves. And thus all sorts of evils have en- 
tered into the world without any diminution to the infinite good- 
ness of the Creator and Governor thereof." p. 112. 

The main premises of the above argument may be thus 
stated : 

1st. All reputed evil is either evil of imperfection, or natural 
evil, or moral evil. 

2nd. Evil of imperfection is not absolute evil. 

3rd. Natural evil is either a consequence of evil of imperfec- 
tion, or it is compensated with greater good, or it is a conse- 
quence of moral evil. 

4th. That which is either a consequence of evil of imperfec- 
tion, or is compensated with greater good, is not absolute evil. 

5th. All absolute evils are included in reputed evils. 

To express these premises let us assume 

w = reputed evil. 

x = evil of imperfection. 

y = natural evil. 

z = moral evil. 

p = consequence of evil of imperfection. 

q = compensated with greater good. 

r = consequence of moral evil. 

t = absolute evil. 

Then, regarding the premises as Primary Propositions, of which 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 207 

all the predicates are particular, and the conjunctions either, or, 
as absolutely disjunctive, we have the following equations : 



(l -t). 



t = vw. 
From which, if we separately eliminate the symbol v, we have 



xt = 0, (2) 



p)}t = Q ) (4) 

^ f(l-t0)=.0. (5) 

Let it be required, first, to find what conclusion the premises 
warrant us in forming respecting absolute evils, as concerns their 
dependence upon moral evils, and the consequences of moral 
evils. 

For this purpose we must determine t in terms of z and r. 
The symbols w, x 9 y, p, q must therefore be eliminated. The 
process is easy, as any set of the equations is reducible to a single 
equation by addition. 

Eliminating w from (1) and (5), we have 



The elimination of/? from (3) and (4) gives 

yqr + yqt + yt(l-r)(\-q) = Q. (7) 

The elimination of q from this gives 

yt(l - r) - 0. (8) 

The elimination of x between (2) and (6) gives 

t{yz+(l-y)(l-z))-Q, (9) 

The elimination of y from (8) and (9) gives 

t(l - z) (1 - r) = 0. 
This is the only relation existing between the elements t, z, and r. 



208 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIIL 

We hence get 



- 

-!(> -^ 

the interpretation of which is, Absolute evil is either moral evil, or 
it is, if not moral evil, a consequence of moral evil. 

Any of the results obtained in the process of the above solu- 
tion furnish us with interpretations. Thus from (8) we might 
deduce 



whence, Absolute evils are either natural evils, which are the con- 
sequences of moral evils, or they are not natural evils at all. 

A variety of other conclusions may be deduced from the given 
equations in reply to questions which may be arbitrarily pro- 
posed. Of such I shall give a few examples, without exhibiting 
the intermediate processes of solution. 

Quest. 1 . Can any relation be deduced from the premises 
connecting the following elements, viz. : absolute evils, conse- 
quences of evils of imperfection, evils compensated with greater 
good? 

Ans. No relation exists. If we eliminate all the symbols but 
z,p, q, the result is = 0. 

Quest. 2. Is any relation implied between absolute evils, 
evils of imperfection, and consequences of evils of imperfection. 

Ans. The final relation between x, t, and p is 

xt + pt = ; 
whence 



Therefore, Absolute evils are neither evils of imperfection, nor con- 
sequences of evils of imperfection. 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 209 

Quest, 3. Required the relation of natural evils to evils of 
imperfection and evils compensated with greater good. 

Weflnd - y-0, 



Therefore, Natural evils are either consequences of evils of imper- 
fection which are not compensated with greater good, or they are not 
consequences of evils of imperfection at all. 

Quest. 4. In what relation do those natural evils which are 
not moral evils stand to absolute evils and the consequences of 
moral evils ? 

Ify (1 - z) = .?, we find, after elimination, 



Therefore, Natural evils, ichich are not moral evils, are either abso- 
lute evils, which are the consequences of moral evils, or they are not 
absolute evils at all. 

The following conclusions have been deduced in a similar 
manner. The subject of each conclusion will show of what par- 
ticular things a description was required, and the predicate will 
show what elements it was designed to involve : 

Absolute evils, which are not consequences of moral evils, are 
moral and not natural evils. 

Absolute evils which are not moral evils are natural evils, which 
are the consequences of moral evils. 

Natural evils which are not consequences of moral evils are not 
absolute evils. 

Lastly, let us seek a description of evils which are not abso- 
lute, expressed in terms of natural and moral evils. 

We obtain as the final equation, 

i-*-=y* + jjy(i-*) + Jo-y)* + (i-y)(i-*)- 

The direct interpretation of this equation is a necessary truth, 
but the reverse interpretation is remarkable. Evils which are both 

p 



210 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

natural and moral, and evils which are neither natural nor moral, 
are not absolute evils. 

This conclusion, though it may not express a truth, is cer- 
tainly involved in the given premises, as formally stated. 

15. Let us take from the same argument a somewhat fuller 
system of premises, and let us in those premises suppose that the 
particles, either, or, are not absolutely disjunctive, so that in the 
meaning of the expression, " either evil of imperfection, or na- 
tural evil, or moral evil," we include whatever possesses one or 
more of these qualities. 

Let the premises be 

1 . All evil (w) is either evil of imperfection (#), or natural 
evil (y\ or moral evil (z). 

2. Evil of imperfection (x) is not absolute evil (t). 

3. Natural evil (y) is either a consequence of evil of imper- 
fection (p), or it is compensated with greater good (^), or it is a 
consequence of moral evil (r). 

4. Whatever is a consequence of evil of imperfection (p) is 
not absolute evil (t). 

5. Whatever is compensated with greater good (q) is not 
absolute evil (i). 

6. Moral evil (z) is a consequence of the abuse of liberty (u). 

7 . That which is a consequence of moral evil (r) is a conse- 
quence of the abuse of liberty (u). 

8. Absolute evils are included in reputed evils. 

The premises expressed in the usual way give, after the elimi- 
nation of the indefinite symbols v, the following equations : 

w(l-x)(l-y)(l-z) = 0, (1) 

xt = 0, (2) 

y(l-p)(l-q)(\-r) = Q, (3) 

/rf = 0, (4) 

qt = 0, (5) 

z(l-u) = 9 (6) 

r(l-) = 0, (7) 

t (1 - w) = 0. (8) 

Each of these equations satisfies the condition F(l - V) = 0. 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 211 

The following results are easily deduced 

Natural evil is either absolute evil, which is a consequence of mo- 
ral evil, or it is not absolute evil at all. 

All evils are either absolute evils, which are consequences of the 
abuse of liberty, or they are not absolute evils. 

Natural evils are either evils of imperfection, which are not ab- 
solute evils, or they are not evils of imperfection at all. 

Absolute evils are either natural evils, which are Consequences of 
the abuse of liberty, or they are not natural evils, and at the same 
time not evils of imperfection. 

Consequences of the abuse of liberty include all natural evils 
which are absolute evils, and are not evils of imperfection, with an 
indefinite remainder of natural evils which are not absolute, and of 
evils which are not natural. 

16. These examples will suffice for illustration. The reader 
can easily supply others if they are needed. We proceed now to 
examine the most essential portions of the demonstration of 
Spinoza. 

DEFINITIONS. 

1. By a cause of itself (causa sui), I understand that of which 
the essence involves existence, or that of which the nature can- 
not be conceived except as existing. 

2. That thing is said to be finite or bounded in its own kind 
(in suo generefinitd) which may be bounded by another thing of 
the same kind ; e. g. Body is said to be finite, because we can 
always conceive of another body greater than a given one. So 
thought is bounded by other thought. But body is not bounded 
by thought, nor thought by body. 

3. By substance, I understand that which is in itself (in se), 
and is conceived by itself (per se concipitur\ i. e., that whose 
conception does not require to be formed from the conception of 
another thing. 

4. By attribute, I understand that which the intellect per- 
ceives in substance, as constituting its very essence. 

5. By mode, I understand the affections of substance, or that 
which is in another thing, by which thing also it is conceived. 

6. By God, I understand the Being absolutely infinite, that 



212 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

is the substance consisting of infinite attributes, each of which 
expresses an eternal and infinite essence. 

Explanation. I say absolutely infinite, not infinite in its 
own kind. For to whatever is only infinite in its own kind we 
may deny the possession of (some) infinite attributes. But when 
a thing is absolutely infinite, whatsoever expresses essence and 
involves no negation belongs to its essence. 

7. That thing is termedfree, which exists by the sole neces- 
sity of its own nature, and is determined to action by itself alone ; 
necessary, or rather constrained, which is determined by another 
thing to existence and action, in a certain and determinate man- 
ner. 

8. By eternity, I understand existence itself, in so far as it is 
conceived necessarily to follow from the sole definition of the 
eternal thing. 

Explanation. For such existence, as an eternal truth, is con- 
ceived as the essence of the thing, and therefore cannot be ex- 
plained by mere duration or time, though the latter should be 
conceived as without beginning and without end. 

AXIOMS. 

1 . All things which exist are either in themselves (in se) or 
in another thing. 

2. That which cannot be conceived by another thing ought 
to be conceived by itself. 

3. From a given determinate cause the effect necessarily fol- 
lows, and, contrariwise, if no determinate cause be granted, it is 
impossible that an effect should follow. 

4. The knowledge of the effect depends upon, and involves, 
the knowledge of the cause. 

5. Things which have nothing in common cannot be under- 
stood by means of each other ; or the conception of the one does 
not involve the conception of the other. 

6. A true idea ought to agree with its own object. (Idea 
vera debet cum suo ideato convenire.) 

7. Whatever can be conceived as non-existing does not in- 
volve existence in its essence. 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 213 

Other definitions are implied, and other axioms are virtually 
assumed, in some of the demonstrations. Thus, in Prop, i., 
" Substance is prior in nature to its affections," the proof of 
which consists in a mere reference to Defs. 3 and 5, there seems 
to be an assumption of the following axiom, viz., " That by which 
a thing is conceived is prior in nature to the thing conceived." 
Again, in the demonstration of Prop. v. the converse of this 
axiom is assumed to be true. Many other examples of the same 
kind occur. It is impossible, therefore, by the mere processes of 
Logic, to deduce the whole of the conclusions of the first book of 
the Ethics from the axioms and definitions which are prefixed to 
it, and which are given above. In the brief analysis which will 
follow, I shall endeavour to present in their proper order what 
appear to me to. be the real premises, whether formally stated or 
implied, and shall show ip what manner they involve the conclu- 
sions to which Spinoza was led. 

17. I conceive, then, that in the course of his demonstration, 
Spinoza effects several parallel divisions of the universe of pos- 
sible existence, as, 

1st. Into things which are in themselves, #, and things which 
are in some other thing, x\ whence, as these classes of thing toge- 
ther make up the universe, we have 

x + x r = 1 ; (Ax. i.) 
or, x = 1 - of. 

2nd. Into things which are conceived by themselves, y, and 
things which are conceived through some other thing, #'; 

whence 

y=\-y'. (Ax. n.) 

3rd. Into substance, z, and modes, z' ; whence 

z=l-z'. (Def. in. v.) 
4th. Into things free, jf, and things necessary, /'; whence 

/=!-/. (Def.vn.) 

5th. Into things which are causes and self-existent, e, and 
things caused by some other thing, e\ whence 

e = 1 - e. (Def. i. Ax. vn.) 



214 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

And his reasoning proceeds upon the expressed or assumed 
principle, that these divisions are not only parallel, but equiva- 
lent. Thus in Def. in., Substance is made equivalent with that 
which is conceived by itself; whence 



Again, Ax. iv., as it is actually applied by Spinoza, estab- 
lishes the identity of cause with that by which a thing is con- 
ceived; whence 

y = e. 

Again, in Def. vii., things free are identified with things 
self-existent ; whence 

/-* 

Lastly, in Def. v., mode is made identical with that which is 
in another thing ; whence z = a/, and therefore, 

z = x. 

All these results may be collected together into the following 
series of equations, viz. : 

x = y = 2 =f= e= \- X '=l-y'= !-/'= l-z'= l-e. 

And any two members of this series connected together by the 
sign of equality express a conclusion, whether drawn by Spinoza 
or not, which is a legitimate consequence of his system. Thus 
the equation 

z = 1 - e, 

expresses the sixth proposition of his system, viz., One substance 
cannot be produced by another. Similarly the equation 



expresses his seventh proposition, viz., " It pertains to the nature 
of substance to exist." This train of deduction it is unnecessary 
to pursue. Spinoza applies it chiefly to the deduction according 
to his views of the properties of the Divine Nature, having first 
endeavoured to prove that the only substance is God. In the 
steps of this process, there appear to me to exist some fallacies, 
dependent chiefly upon the ambiguous use of words, to which it 
will be necessary here to direct attention. 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 215 

18. In Prop. v. it is endeavoured to show, that " There cannot 
exist two or more substances of the same nature or attribute.'* 
The proof is virtually as follows : If there are more substances 
than one, they are distinguished either by attributes or modes ; 
if by attributes, then there is only one substance of the same at- 
tribute ; if by modes, then, laying aside these as non-essential, 
there remains no real ground of distinction. Hence there exists 
but one substance of the same attribute. The assumptions here 
involved are inconsistent with those which are found in other 
parts of the treatise. Thus substance, Def. iv., is apprehended 
by the intellect through the means of attribute. By Def. vi. it 
may have many attributes. One substance may, therefore, con- 
ceivably be distinguished from another by a difference in some of 
its attributes, while others remain the same. 

In Prop. viu. it is attempted to show that, All substance 
is necessarily infinite. ^*The proof is as follows. There ex- 
ists but one substance, of one attribute, Prop. v. ; and it per- 
tains to its nature to exist, Prop. vn. It will, therefore, be of its 
nature to exist either as finite or infinite. But not as finite, for, 
by Def. n. it would require to be bounded by another substance 
of the same nature, which also ought to exist necessarily, Prop, 
vn. Therefore, there would be two substances of the same 
attribute, which is absurd, Prop. v. Substance, therefore, is 
infinite. 

In this demonstration the word " finite" is confounded with 
the expression, " Finite in its own kind," Def. n. It is thus as- 
sumed that nothing can be finite, unless it is bounded by another 
thing of the same kind. This is not consistent with the ordi- 
nary meaning of the term. Spinoza's use of the term finite 
tends to make space the only form of substance, and all existing 
things but affections of space, and this, I think, is really one of 
the ultimate foundations of his system. 

The first scholium applied to the above Proposition is re- 
markable. I give it in the original words : " Quum finitum esse 
revera sit ex parte negatio, et infinitum absoluta affirmatio exis- 
tentiae alicujus naturae, sequitur ergo ex sola Prop. vn. omnem 
substantiam debere esse infinitam." Now this is in reality an 
assertion of the principle affirmed by Clarke, and controverted by 



216 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

Butler (XIII. 11), that necessary existence implies existence 
in every part of space. Probably this principle will be found to 
lie at the basis of every attempt to demonstrate, d priori, the 
existence of an Infinite Being. 

From the general properties of substance above stated, and 
the definition of God as the substance consisting of infinite at- 
tributes, the peculiar doctrines of Spinoza relating to the Divine 
Nature necessarily follow. As substance is self-existent, free, 
causal in its very nature, the thing in which other things are, 
and by which they are conceived ; the same properties are also 
asserted of the Deity. He is self-existent, Prop. xi. ; indivi- 
sible, Prop. xiii. ; the only substance, Prop. xiv. ; the Being in 
which all things are, and by which all things are conceived, 
Prop, xv.; free, Prop. xvn. ; the immanent cause of all things, 
Prop. xvni. The proof that God is the only substance is drawn 
from Def. vi., which is interpreted into a declaration that " God 
is the Being absolutely infinite, of whom no attribute which ex- 
presses the essence of substance can be denied." Every con- 
ceivable attribute being thus assigned by definition to Him, and 
it being determined in Prop. v. that there cannot exist two sub- 
stances of the same attribute, it follows that God is the only 
substance. 

Though the " Ethics" of Spinoza, like a large portion of his 
other writings, is presented in the geometrical form, it does not 
afford a good praxis for the symbolical method of this work. 
Of course every train of reasoning admits, when its ultimate 
premises are truly determined, of being treated by that method ; 
but in the present instance, such treatment scarcely differs, ex- 
cept in the use of letters for words, from the processes employed 
in the original demonstrations. Reasoning which consists so 
largely of a play upon terms defined as equivalent, is not often 
met with ; and it is rather on account of the interest attaching to 
the subject, than of the merits of the demonstrations, highly as 
by some they are esteemed, that I have devoted a few pages 
here to their exposition. 

19. It is not possible, I think, to rise from the perusal of the 
arguments of Clarke and Spinoza without a deep conviction of the 
futility of all endeavours to establish, entirely d priori, the existence 



CHAP. XIII.] CLARKE AND SPINOZA. 217 

of an Infinite Being, His attributes, and His relation to the uni- 
verse. The fundamental principle of all such speculations, viz., that 
whatever we can clearly conceive, must exist, fails to accomplish 
its end, even when its truth is admitted. For how shall the finite 
comprehend the infinite ? Yet must the possibility of such con- 
ception be granted, and in something more than the sense of 
a mere withdrawal of the limits of phenomenal existence, before 
any solid ground can be established for the knowledge, d priori, 
of things infinite and eternal. Spinoza's affirmation of the re- 
ality of such knowledge is plain and explicit: " Mens humana 
adaequatum habet cognitionem asternae et infinite essentiae Dei" 
(Prop. XLVII., Part 2nd). Let this be compared with Prop, 
xxxiv., Part 2nd : " Omnis idea quae in nobis est absoluta 
sive adaequata et perfecta, vera est ;" and with Axiom vi., Part 
1st, " Idea vera debet cum suo ideato convenire." Moreover, this 
species of knowledge is made the essential constituent of all other 
knowledge : " De natura rationis est res sub quadam aeternitatis 
specie percipere" (Prop. XLIV., Cor. n., Part 2nd). Were it 
said, that there is a tendency in the human mind to rise in con- 
templation from the particular towards the universal, from the 
finite towards the infinite, from the transient towards the eternal ; 
and that this tendency suggests to us, with high probability, the 
existence of more than sense perceives or understanding compre- 
hends ; the statement might be accepted as true for at least a 
a large number of minds. There is, however, a class of specu- 
lations, the character of which must be explained in part by 
reference to other causes, impatience of probable or limited 
knowledge, so often all that we can really attain to ; a desire for 
absolute certainty where intimations sufficient to mark out before 
us the path of duty, but not to satisfy the demands of the specu- 
lative intellect, have alone been granted to us ; perhaps, too, 
dissatisfaction with the present scene of things. With the 
undue predominance of these motives, the more sober procedure 
of analogy and probable induction falls into neglect. Yet the lat- 
ter is, beyond all question, the course most adapted to our pre- 
sent condition. To infer the existence of an intelligent cause 
from the teeming evidences of surrounding design, to rise to the 
conception of a moral Governor of the world, from the study of 



218 CLARKE AND SPINOZA. [CHAP. XIII. 

the constitution and the moral provisions of our own nature ; 
these, though but the feeble steps of an understanding limited 
in its faculties and its materials of knowledge, are of more avail 
than the ambitious attempt to arrive at a certainty unattainable 
on the ground of natural religion. And as these were the most 
ancient, so are they still the most solid foundations, Revelation 
being set apart, of the belief that the course of this world is not 
abandoned to chance and inexorable fate. 



CHAP. XIV.] EXAMPLE OF ANALYSIS. 219 



CHAPTER XIV. 

EXAMPLE OF THE ANALYSIS OF A SYSTEM OF EQUATIONS BY THE 
METHOD OF REDUCTION TO A SINGLE EQUIVALENT EQUATION 
V= 0, WHEREIN V SATISFIES THE CONDITION V (1 - V) = 0. 

1 T ET us take the remarkable system of premises employed 
-*^ in the previous Chapter, to prove that " Matter is not a 
necessary being ;" and suppressing the 6th premiss, viz., Motion 
exists, examine some of the consequences which flow from the 
remaining premises. This is in reality to accept as true Dr. 
Clarke's hypothetical principles ; but to suppose ourselves igno- 
norant of the fact of the existence of motion. Instances may 
occur in which such a selection of a portion of the premises of 
an argument may lead to interesting consequences, though it is 
with other views that the present example has been resumed. The 
premises actually employed will be 

1 . If matter is a necessary being, either the property of gravi- 
tation is necessarily present, or it is necessarily absent. 

2. If gravitation is necessarily absent, and the world is not 
subject to any presiding intelligence, motion does not exist. 

3. If gravitation is necessarily present, a vacuum is necessary. 

4. If a vacuum is necessary, matter is not a necessary being. 

5. If matter is a necessary being, the world is not subject 
to a presiding intelligence. 

If, as before, we represent the elementary propositions by the 
following notation, viz. : 

x = Matter is a necessary being. 

y = Gravitation is necessarily present. 

iv = Motion exists. 

t = Gravitation is necessarily absent. 

z = The world is merely material, and not subject to a 

presiding intelligence. 
v = A vacuum is necessary. 



220 EXAMPLE OF ANALYSIS. [c HAP. XIV. 

We shall on expression of the premises and elimination of the 
indefinite class symbols (q), obtain the following system of equa- 
tions : 

xyt 4 xyt = 0, 

tzw = 0, 

yv = 0, 

vx = 0, 

xz = 0; 

in which for brevity y stands for 1 - y, t for 1 - , and so on; whence, 
also, 1 - f=t, 1 - y = y, &c. 

As the first members of these equations involve only positive 
terms, we can form a single equation by adding them together 
(VIII. Prop. 2), viz. : 

xyt + xyt + yv + vx + x z + tzw = 0, 

and it remains to reduce the first member so as to cause it to 
satisfy the condition F (I - V) = 0. 

For this purpose we will first obtain its development with 
reference to the symbols x and y. The result is 

(t + v + v + z + tzw) xy + (t + v + z + tzw) xy 
+ (v + tzw) xy + tzwxy = 0. 

And our object will be accomplished by reducing the four coeffi- 
cients of the development to equivalent forms, themselves satis- 
fying the condition required. 

Now the first coefficient is, since v + v = 1, 

1 + t + z + tzw 9 

which reduces to unity (IX. Prop. 1). 
The second coefficient is 

t + v -4- z + tzw ; 
and its reduced form (X. 3) is 

tvzw. 



The third coefficient, v + tzw 9 reduces by the same method 
to v + tztvv; and the last coefficient tzw needs no reduction. 
Hence the development becomes 



CHAP. XIV.] EXAMPLE OF ANALYSIS. 221 

xy + (t + tv + tvz + tvzw) xy + ( v + tzwv) xy + tzwxy = 0; (1) 
and this is the form of reduction sought. 

2. Now according to the principle asserted in Prop, in., 
Chap, x., the whole relation connecting any particular set of the 
symbols in the above equation may be deduced by developing 
that equation with reference to the particular symbols in question, 
and retaining in the result only those constituents whose coef- 
ficients are unity. Thus, if x and y are the symbols chosen, we 
are immediately conducted to the equation 

## = 0, 
whence we have 



with the interpretation, If gravitation is necessarily present, mat- 
ter is not a necessary being-:' 

Let us next seek the relation between x and w. Developing 
(1) with respect to those symbols, we get 

(y + ty + tvy + tvzy + tvzy) xw + (y + ty + tvy + tvzy) xw 

-f (vy + tzvy + tzy) xiv + vyxw = 0. 

The coefficient of xw, and it alone, reduces to unity. For 
tvzy + tvzy = tvy, and tvy + tvy = ty, and ~ty -I- ty = y, and lastly, 
y + y = 1. This is always the mode in which such reductions 
take place. Hence we get 

xw = 0, 
.-. to -(!-*), 

of which the interpretation is, If motion exists, matter is not a ne- 
cessary being. 

If, in like manner, we develop (1) with respect to x and z, 
we get the equation 

xz = 0, 


***** 

with the interpretation, If matter is a necessary being, the world 
is merely material, and without a presiding intelligence. 



222 EXAMPLE OF ANALYSIS. [CHAP. XIV. 

This, indeed, is only the fifth premiss reproduced, but it 
shows that there is no other relation connecting the two elements 
which it involves. 

If we seek the whole relation connecting the elements x, w, 
and y, we find, on developing (1) with reference to those sym- 
bols, and proceeding as before, 

xy + xwy = 0. 

Suppose it required to determine hence the consequences of the 
hypothesis, " Motion does not exist," relatively to the questions 
of the necessity of matter, and the necessary presence of gravita- 
tion. We find 



xy 
1 0_ 



or, 1 - w = xy + - x, with xy = 0. 

The direct interpretation of the first equation is, If motion does 
not exist, either matter is a necessary being., and gravitation is not 
necessarily present, or matter is not a necessary being. 

The reverse interpretation is, If matter is a necessary being, 
and gravitation not necessary, motion does not exist. 

In exactly the same mode, if we sought the full relation be- 
tween x, z, and w, we should find 

xzw + xz = 0. 
From this we may deduce 

z = xw + - x, with xw = 0. 

Therefore, If the world is merely material, and not subject to 
any presiding intelligence, either matter is a necessary being, and 
motion does not exist, or matter is not a necessary being. 

Also, reversely, If matter is a necessary being, and there is no 
such thing as motion, the world is merely material. 

3. We might, of course, extend the same method to the de- 



CHAP. XIV.] EXAMPLE OF ANALYSIS. 223 

termination of the consequences of any complex hypothesis u 9 
such as, " The world is merely material, and without any pre- 
siding intelligence (2-), but motion exists" (w), with reference to 
any other elements of doubt or speculation involved in the origi- 
nal premises, such as, " Matter is a necessary being" (#), " Gra- 
vitation is a necessary quality of matter," (y). We should, for 
this purpose, connect with the general equation (1) a new 

equation, 

u = wz, 

reduce the system thus formed to a single equation, V- 0, in 
which V satisfies the condition V(\ - V) = 0, and proceed as 
above to determine the relation between u, x, and y, and finally u 
as a developed function of x and y. But it is very much better 
to adopt the methods of Chapters vm. and ix. 1 shall here 
simply indicate a few resuks, with the leading steps of their de- 
duction, and leave their verification to the reader's choice. 

In the problem last mentioned we find, as the relation con- 
necting x, y, w, and z, 

xw + xwy -f xwyz = 0. 

And if we write u = xy, and then eliminate the symbols x and y 
by the general problem, Chap, ix., we find 

xu + xyu = 0, 
whence 1 . _ _ 



. _ 
Qxy 

wherefore _ . , 

wz = - x with xy = 0. 

Hence, If the world is merely material, and without a presiding 
intelligence, and at the same time motion exists, matter is not a ne- 
cessary being. 

Now it has before been shown that if motion exists, matter is 
not a necessary being, so that the above conclusion tells us even 
less than we had before ascertained to be (inferentially) true. 
Nevertheless, that conclusion is the proper and complete answer 
to the question which was proposed, which was, to determine 
simply the consequences of a certain complex hypothesis. 



224 EXAMPLE OF ANALYSIS. [CHAP. XIV. 

4. It would thus be easy, even from the limited system of 
premises before us, to deduce a great variety of additional infe- 
rences, involving, in the conditions which are given, any pro- 
posed combinations of the elementary propositions. If the con- 
dition is one which is inconsistent with the premises, the fact 
will be indicated by the form of the solution. The value which 
the method will assign to the combination of symbols expressive 
of the proposed condition will be 0. If, on the other hand, the 
fulfilment of the condition in question imposes no restriction upon 
the propositions among which relation is sought, so that every 
combination of those propositions is equally possible, the fact 
will also be indicated by the form of the solution. Examples 
of each of these cases are subjoined. 

If in the ordinary way we seek the consequences which would 
flow from the condition that matter is a necessary being , and at 
the same time that motion exists, as aifecting the Propositions, 
The world is merely material, and without a presiding intelligence, 
and, Gravitation is necessarily present, we shall obtain the equa- 
tion 

xw = 0, 

which indicates that the condition proposed is inconsistent with 
the premises, and therefore cannot be fulfilled. 

If we seek the consequences which would flow from the con- 
dition that Matter is not a necessary being, and at the same time 
that Motion does exist, with reference to the same elements as 
above, viz., the absence of a presiding intelligence, and the neces- 
sity of gravitation, we obtain the following result, 



which might literally be interpreted as follows : 

If matter is not a necessary being, and motion exists, then 
either the world is merely material and without a presiding intel- 
ligence, and gravitation is necessary, or one of these two results fol- 
lows without the other, or they both fail of being true. Wherefore 
of the four possible combinations, of which some one is true of 
necessity, and of which of necessity one only can be true, it is 



CHAP. XIV.] EXAMPLE OF ANALYSIS. 225 

affirmed that any one may be true. Such a result is a truism 
a mere necessary truth. Still it contains the only answer which 
can be given to the question proposed. 

I do not deem it necessary to vindicate against the charge of 
laborious trifling these applications. It may be requisite to en- 
ter with some fulness into details useless in themselves, in order 
to establish confidence in general principles and methods. When 
this end shall have been accomplished in the subject of the pre- 
sent inquiry, let all that has contributed to its attainment, but 
has afterwards been found superfluous, be forgotten. 



226 ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. [CHAP. XV. 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC AND ITS MODERN EXTENSIONS, EX- 
AMINED BY THE METHOD OF THIS TREATISE. 

1. HPHE logical system of Aristotle, modified in its details, 
-- but unchanged in its essential features, occupies [so im- 
portant a place in academical education, that some account of its 
nature, and some brief discussion of the leading problems which 
it presents, seem to be called for in the present work. It is, I 
trust, in no narrow or harshly critical spirit that I approach this 
task. My object, indeed, is not to institute any direct compa- 
rison between the time-honoured system of the schools and that 
of the present treatise ; but, setting truth above all other con- 
siderations, to endeavour to exhibit the real nature of the ancient 
doctrine, and to remove one or two prevailing misapprehensions 
respecting its extent and sufficiency. 

That which may be regarded as essential in the spirit and 
procedure of the Aristotelian, and of all cognate systems of Logic, 
is the attempted classification of the allowable forms of inference, 
and the distinct reference of those forms, collectively or indivi- 
dually, to some general principle of an axiomatic nature, such as 
the " dictum of Aristotle :" Whatsoever is affirmed or denied of 
the genus may in the same sense be affirmed or denied of any 
species included under that genus. Concerning such general 
principles it may, I think, be observed, that they either state di- 
rectly, but in an abstract form, the argument which they are 
supposed to elucidate, and, so stating that argument, affirm its 
validity ; or involve in their expression technical terms which, 
after definition, conduct us again to the same point, viz., 
the abstract statement of the supposed allowable forms of in- 
ference. The idea of classification is thus a pervading element 
in those systems. Furthermore, they exhibit Logic as resolvable 
into two great branches, the one of which is occupied with the 
treatment of categorical, the other with that of hypothetical or 



CHAP. XV.] ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. 227 

conditional propositions. The distinction is nearly identical with 
that of primary and secondary propositions in the present work. 
The discussion of the theory of categorical propositions is, in all 
the ordinary treatises of Logic, much more full and elaborate than 
that of hypothetical propositions, and is occupied partly with 
ancient scholastic distinctions, partly with the canons of deduc- 
tive inference. To the latter application only is it necessary to 
direct attention here. 

2. Categorical propositions are classed under the four fol- 
lowing heads, viz. : 

TYPE. 

1st. Universal affirmative Propositions : All Y's are X'a. 

2nd. Universal negative No F's are X'a. 

3rd. Particular affirmative Some Y'a are X's. 

4th. Particular negative ^ Some F's are not X'a. 

To these forms, four others have recently been added, so as 
to constitute in the whole eight forms (see the next article) sus- 
ceptible, however, of reduction to six, and subject to relations 
which have been discussed with great fulness and ability by Pro- 
fessor De Morgan, in his Formal Logic. A scheme somewhat 
different from the above has been given to the world by Sir W. 
Hamilton, and is made the basis of a method of syllogistic in- 
ference, which is spoken of with very high respect by authorities 
on the subject of Logic.* 

The processes of Formal Logic, in relation to the above system 
of propositions, are described as of two kinds, viz., " Conversion" 
and " Syllogism." By Conversion is meant the expression of 
any proposition of the above kind in an equivalent form, but with 
a reversed order of terms. By Syllogism is meant the deduction 
from two such propositions having a common term, whether 
subject or predicate, of some third proposition inferentially in- 
volved in the two, and forming the " conclusion." It is main- 
tained by most writers on Logic, that these processes, and ac- 
cording to some, the single process of Syllogism, furnish the 
universal types of reasoning, and that it is the business of the 
mind, in any train of demonstration, to conform itself, whether 

* Thomson's Outlines of the Laws of Thought, p. 177. 
Q2 



228 ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. [CHAP. XV. 

consciously or unconsciously, to the particular models of the pro- 
cesses which have been classified in the writings of logicians. 

3. The course which I design to pursue is to show how 
these processes of Syllogism and Conversion may be conducted 
in the most general manner upon the principles of the present 
treatise, and, viewing them thus in relation to a system of Logic, 
the foundations of which, it is conceived, have been laid in the 
ultimate laws of thought, to seek to determine their true place 
and essential character. 

The expressions of the eight fundamental types of proposi- 
tion in the language of symbols are as follows : 

1. All Y's area's, y = vx. 

2. No Y's are X's, y = v(l-x). 

3. Some Y's are X 's, vy = vx. 

4. Some Y's are not-X's, vy v (1 - x). 

5. All not- Y's are X's, 1 - y = vx. (1) 

6. No not- Y's are X's, I - y = v (1 - x). 

7. Some not- Y's are X'a, v (1 -y) = vx. 

8. Some not- Y's are not-X's, v (1 -y) = v (1 - x). 

In referring to these forms, it will be convenient to apply, in 
a sense shortly to be explained, the epithets of logical quantity, 
"universal" and "particular," and of quality, "affirmative" and 
" negative," to the terms of propositions, and not to the propo- 
sitions themselves. We shall thus consider the term " All Y's," 
as universal-affirmative ; the term ** Y's," or " Some Y's," as 
particular-affirmative ; the term " All not- Y's," as universal-ne- 
gative ; the term " Some not- Y's," as particular-negative. The 
expression " No Y's," is not properly a term of a proposition, for 
the true meaning of the proposition, " No Y's are X's," is "All 
Y's are not-X's." The subject of that proposition is, therefore, 
universal-affirmative, the predicate particular-negative. That 
there is a real distinction between the conceptions of " men" and 
"not men" is manifest. This distinction is all that I contem- 
plate when applying as above the designations of affirmative and 
negative, without, however, insisting upon the etymological pro- 
priety of the application to the terms of propositions. The 
designations positive and privative would have been more ap- 



CHAP. XV.] ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. 229 

propriate, but the former term is already employed in a fixed 
sense in other parts of this work. 

4. From the symbolical forms above given the laws of con- 
version immediately follow. Thus from the equation 



representing the proposition, " All Y'a are X'a," we deduce, on 
eliminating v t 



which gives by solution with reference to 1 - a, 

i-*-5<i-y); :' ..,;!' 

the interpretation of which is, 

All not-X's are not- Y'a. 

This is an example of what is called " negative conversion." 
In like manner, the equation 

y = v (I - x), 
representing the proposition, " No Y'a are X's," gives 



the interpretation of which is, "NoX's are Y'a." This is an 
example of what is termed simple conversion ; though it is in re- 
ality of the same kind as the conversion exhibited in the previous 
example. All the examples of conversion which have been noticed 
by logicians are either of the above kind, or of that which con- 
sists in the mere transposition of the terms of a proposition, with- 
out altering their quality, as when we change 

vy = vx, representing, Some Y'a are X's 9 
into 

vx = vy, representing, Some X 'a are Y'a ; 

or they involve a combination of those processes with some auxi- 
liary process of limitation, as when from the equation 

y = vx, representing, All Y*s are X'a, 
we deduce on multiplication by v 9 

vy = vx, representing, Some Y*s are X's, 
and hence 

vx - vy, representing, Some X's are Y'a. 



230 ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. [CHAP. XV. 

In this example, the process of limitation precedes that of 
transposition. 

From these instances it is seen that conversion is a particu- 
lar application of a much more general process in Logic, of which 
many examples have been given in this work. That process has 
for its object the determination of any element in any proposition, 
however complex, as a logical function of the remaining elements. 
Instead of confining our attention to the subject and predicate, 
regarded as simple terms, we can take any element or any 
combination of elements entering into either of them ; make that 
element, or that combination, the " subject" of a new proposition ; 
and determine what its predicate shall be, in accordance with the 
data afforded to us. It may be remarked, that even the simple 
forms of propositions enumerated above afford some ground for 
the application of such a method, beyond what the received laws 
of conversion appear to recognise. Thus the equation 

2/= vx, representing, All Y's are X's, 

gives us, in addition to the proposition before deduced, the three 
following : 

1st. y (1 - a?) = 0. There are no Y's that are not-X's. 

2nd. 1 -y= -x + (l-x). Things that are not- Y's include all 

things that are not-X's, and an 
indefinite remainder of things 
that are X's. 

3rd. x = y + - (I - y). Things that are X'a include all things 

that are F's, and an indefinite 
remainder of things that are not- 

Y's. 

These conclusions, it is true, merely place the given propo- 
sition in other and equivalent forms, but such and no more is 
the office of the received mode of " negative conversion." 

Furthermore, these processes of conversion are not elemen- 
tary, but they are combinations of processes more simple than 
they, more immediately dependent upon the ultimate laws and 
axioms which govern the use of the symbolical instrument of 



CHAP. XV.] ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. 231 

reasoning. This remark is equally applicable to the case of 
Syllogism, which we proceed next to consider. 

5. The nature of syllogism is best seen in the particular in- 
stance. Suppose that we have the propositions, 

All X's are F's, 
All Y's are Z'a. 

From these we may deduce the conclusion, 
All X'a are 



This is a syllogistic inference. The terms X and Z are called 
the extremes, and Y is called the middle term. The function 
of the syllogism generally may now be defined. Given two pro- 
positions of the kind whose species are tabulated in (1), and in- 
volving one middle or common term Y, which is connected in 
one of the propositions with an extreme X, in the other with an 
extreme Z\ required the relation connecting the extremes X and 
Z. The term Y may appear in its affirmative form, as, All Y's, 
Some Ps ; or in its negative form, as, All not- Y* s, Some not- 
Y's ; in either proposition, without regard to the particular form 
which it assumes in the other. 

Nothing is easier than in particular instances to resolve the 
Syllogism by the method of this treatise. Its resolution is, in- 
deed, a particular application of the process for the reduction of 
systems of propositions. Taking the examples above given, 
we have, 



whence by substitution, 

x = vv'z, 

which is interpreted into 

All X's area's. 

Or, proceeding rigorously in accordance with the method deve- 
loped in (VIII. 7) 5 we deduce 

x (1 - y) = 0, y (1 - z) = 0. 

Adding these equations, and eliminating y> we have 



232 ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. [CHAP. XV. 

whence x = - z 9 or, All X'B are Z's. 

And in the same way may any other case be treated. 

6. Quitting, however, the consideration of special examples, 
let us examine the general forms to which all syllogism may be 
reduced. 

PROPOSITION I. 
To deduce the general rules of Syllogism. 

By the general rules of Syllogism, I here mean the rules appli- 
cable to premises admitting of every variety both of quantity 
and of quality in their subjects and predicates, except the com- 
bination of two universal terms in the same proposition. The 
admissible forms of propositions are therefore those of which a 
tabular view is given in (1). 

Let X and Fbe the elements or things entering into the first 
premiss, Z and Y those involved in the second. Two cases, fun- 
damentally different in character, will then present themselves. 
The terms involving Y will either be of like or of unlike quality, 
those terms being regarded as of like quality when they both 
speak of " Y's," or both of" Not- Y's," as of unlike quality when 
one of them speaks of " F's," and the other of " Not- YV' Any 
pair of premises, in which the former condition is satisfied, may 
be represented by the equations 

vx = v'y, (1) 

wz = wy ; (2) 

for we can employ the symbol y to represent either " All F's," 
or " All not- Y' s," since the interpretation of the symbol is purely 
conventional. If we employ y in the sense of "All not-Y's," 
then 1 - y will represent " All F's," and no other change will 
be introduced. An equal freedom is permitted with respect 
to the symbols x and z, so that the equations (1) and (2) may, 
by properly assigning the interpretations of x, y, and z, be made 
to represent all varieties in the combination of premises depen- 
dent upon the quality of the respective terms. Again, by as- 
suming proper interpretations to the symbols v, v', w, w\ in those 
equations, all varieties with reference to quantity may also be 



CHAP. XV.] ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. 233 

represented. Thus, if we take v-l 9 and represent by v a class 
indefinite, the equation (1) will represent a universal proposition 
according to the ordinary sense of that term, i. e., a proposition 
with universal subject and particular predicate. We may, in 
fact, give to subject and predicate in either premiss whatever 
quantities (using this term in the scholastic sense) we please, ex- 
cept that by hypothesis, they must not both be universal. The 
system (1), (2), represents, therefore, with perfect generality, 
the possible combinations of premises which have like middle 
terms. 

7. That our analysis may be as general as the equations to 
which it is applied, let us, by the method of this work, elimi- 
nate y from (1) and (2), and seek the expressions for #, 1 - x, and 
vx 9 in terms of z and of the symbols v 9 v' 9 w, w f . The above will 
include all the possible forms of the subject of the conclusion. 
The form v (1 -x) is excluded, inasmuch as we cannot from the 
interpretation vx = Some X's, given in the premises, interpret 
v (1 - x) as Some not-X's. The symbol v, when used in the sense 
of "some," applies to that term only with which it is connected 
in the premises. 

The results of the analysis are as follows : 

x = [w'ww'+ 5 {vv'(l-w) (l-w')+ww'(l-v)(l-v')+(l-v)(l-w)}]z 
+ |j{ttf(l-t0+l -*}(!-*) (I.) 

1 -x= [v (1 -v) {ww +(\ -t0) (1 -0) +v(l -w)w 



z) ) (II.) 

vv(l -to) (1 -O) z+ (l _^') (i - z ). (HI.) 



Each of these expressions involves in its second member two 
terms, of one of which z is a factor, of the other 1 - z. But 
syllogistic inference does not, as a matter of form, admit of con- 
trary classes in its conclusion, as of Z'a and not-^'s together. 



234 ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. [CHAP. XV. 

We must, therefore, in order to determine the rules of that 
species of inference, ascertain under what conditions the second 
members of any of our equations are reducible to a single term. 

The simplest form is (III.), an( i ft is reducible to a single 
term if w = 1 . The equation then becomes 

vx = vv'wz, (3) 

the first member is identical with the extreme in the first pre- 
miss; the second is of the same quantity and quality as the extreme 
in the second premiss. For since w' = 1, the second member of 
(2), involving the middle term y, is universal ; therefore, by the 
hypothesis, the first member is particular, and therefore, the se- 
cond member of (3), involving the same symbol w in its coeffi- 
cient, is particular also. Hence we deduce the following law. 

CONDITION OF INFERENCE. One middle term, at least, uni- 
versal. 

RULE OF INFERENCE. Equate the extremes. 

From an analysis of the equations (I.) and (II.), it will further 
appear, that the above is the only condition of syllogistic in- 
ference when the middle terms are of like quality. Thus the 
second member of (I.) reduces to a single term, if w = \ and 
v = I ; and the second member of (II.) reduces to a single term, 
if w/ = 1, v=\ 9 w = 1. In each of these cases, it is necessary that 
w' = 1 , the solely sufficient condition before assigned. 

Consider, secondly, the case in which the middle terms are 
of unlike quality. The premises may then be represented un- 
der the forms 

vx = v'y, (4) 

wz = w ( 1 y) ; (5) 

and if, as before, we eliminate y, and determine the expressions 
of #, 1 - ar, and vx, we get 



(1 -w) w r + [ww'(\ -) + (! -v) (1 -v*) (1 -w) 

")}-]z 

a - *) 



CHAP. XV.] ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. 235 

1 - x = [WWV + V (1 - V 7 ) (1 - w) + - (WW (1 - V) 

+ (1 - 17) (1 - I/) (1 - to) + t/(l - w) (1 - j ] z 

w') + (l-v)(l-v')}](l-z). (V.) 



u# = {uu'(l - 20)10' + - vv f (I - w) (I - w')} z 

+ (vv'w' + ? W (1 - /)} (1 - z). (VI.) 

Now the second member of (VI.) reduces to a single term rela- 
tively to z 9 if w = 1, giving 

v# = { w'w' + - vv (1 - w) } (1 - z) ; 

the second member of which is opposite, both in quantity and 
quality, to the corresponding extreme, wz, in the second premiss. 
For since w = 1, wz is universal. But the factor vv' indicates 
that the term to which it is attached is particular, since by hypo- 
thesis v and v are not both equal to 1. Hence we deduce the 
following law of inference in the case of like middle terms : 

FIRST CONDITION OF INFERENCE. At least one universal 
extreme. 

RULE OF INFERENCE. Change the quantity and quality of 
that extreme, and equate the result to the other extreme. 

Moreover, the second member of (V.) reduces to a single term 
if v' = 1, w' = 1 ; it then gives 

1 - x = {vw + - (1 - v) w} z. 

Now since t/=l, w' = 1, the middle terms of the premises are 
both universal, therefore the extremes vx 9 wz 9 are particular. 
But in the conclusion the extreme involving x is opposite, both 
in quantity and quality, to the extreme vx in the first premiss, 
while the extreme involving z agrees both in quantity and qua- 
lity with the corresponding extreme wz in the second premiss. 
Hence the following general law : 



236 ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. [CHAP. XV. 

SECOND CONDITION OF INFERENCE. Two universal middle 
terms. 

RULE OF INFERENCE. Change the quantity and quality of 
either extreme, and equate the result to the other extreme un- 
changed. 

There are in the case of unlike middle terms no other condi- 
tions or rules of syllogistic inference than the above. Thus the 
equation (IV.), though reducible to the form of a syllogistic con- 
clusion, when w = 1 and v = 1, does not thereby establish a new 
condition of inference ; since, by what has preceded, the single 
condition v = 1, or w = 1, would suffice. 

8. The following examples will sufficiently illustrate the ge- 
neral rules of syllogism above given : 

1. All Fs area's. 
All Z's are Fs. 

This belongs to Case 1 . All Y's is the universal middle term. 
The extremes equated give as the conclusion 
Ally's are JTs; 

the universal term, All Z's, becoming the subject ; the particular 
term (some) X's, the predicate. 

2. AU X's are Y's. 
No Z's are Y's. 

The proper expression of these premises is 

AU X's are Fs. 

All Z's are not- Fs. 

They belong to Case 2, and satisfy the first condition of inference. 
The middle term, Fs, in the first premiss, is particular-affirma- 
tive ; that in the second premiss, not- Fs, particular-negative. 
If we take All Z's as the universal extreme, and change its 
quantity and quality according to the rule, we obtain the term 
Some not-^'s, and this equated with the other extreme, All X's, 
gives, 

All X's are not-Z's, i. e., No ^s are Z's. 

If we commence with the other universal extreme, and proceed 
similarly, we obtain the equivalent result, 
No Z's are X's. 



CHAP. XV.] ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. 237 

3. All y s are A"s. 
All not- Y's area's. 

Here also the middle terms are unlike in quality. The premises 
therefore belong to Case 2, and there being two universal middle 
terms, the second condition of inference is satisfied. If by the 
rule we change the quantity and quality of the first extreme, 
(some) X's, we obtain All not-X's, which, equated with the 
other extreme, gives 

All not-A r 's are Z's. 

The reverse order of procedure would give the equivalent result, 
All not-^'s are X's. 

The conclusions of the two last examples would not be recog- 
nised as valid in the scholastic system of Logic, which virtually 
requires that the subject of ti proposition should be affirmative. 
They are, however, perfectly legitimate in themselves, and the 
rules by which they are determined form undoubtedly the most 
general canons of syllogistic inference. The process of investi- 
gation by which they are deduced will probably appear to be of 
needless complexity ; and it is certain that they might have been 
obtained with greater facility, and without the aid of any sym- 
bolical instrument whatever. It was, however, my object to 
conduct the investigation in the most general manner, and by an 
analysis thoroughly exhaustive. With this end in view, the 
brevity or prolixity of the method employed is a matter of indif- 
ference. Indeed the analysis is not properly that of the syllogism, 
but of a much more general combination of propositions ; for we 
are permitted to assign to the symbols v 9 v' 9 w, w', any class-in- 
terpretations that we please. To illustrate this remark, I will 
apply the solution (I.) to the following imaginary case : 

Suppose that a number of pieces of cloth striped with diffe- 
rent colours were submitted to inspection, and that the two fol- 
lowing observations were made upon them : 

1st. That every piece striped with white and green was also 
striped with black and yellow, and vice versa. 

2nd. That every piece striped with red and orange was also 
striped with blue and yellow, and vice versa. 



238 ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. [CHAP. XV. 

Suppose it then required to determine how the pieces marked 
with green stood affected with reference to the colours white, 
black, red, orange, and blue. 

Here if we assume v = white, x = green, v = black, y - yellow, 
w = red, z = orange, w' = blue, the expression of our premises will 
be 

vx = v'y, 
wz = w'y, 

agreeing with the system (1) (2). The equation (I.) then leads 
to the following conclusion : 

Pieces striped with green are either striped with orange, 
white, black, red, and blue, together, all pieces possessing which 
character are included in those striped with green ; or they are 
striped with orange, white, and black, but not with red or blue ; 
or they are striped with orange, red, and blue, but not with white 
or black ; or they are striped with orange, but not with white or 
red ; or they are striped with white and black, but not with blue 
or orange ; or they are striped neither with white nor orange. 

Considering the nature of this conclusion, neither the sym- 
bolical expression (I.) by which it is conveyed, nor the analysis 
by which that expression is deduced, can be considered as need- 
lessly complex. 

9. The form in which the doctrine of syllogism has been 
presented in this chapter affords ground for an important obser- 
vation. We have seen that in each of its two great divisions the 
entire discussion is reducible, so far, at least, as concerns the de- 
termination of rules and methods, to the analysis of a pair of 
equations, viz., of the system (1), (2), when the premises have 
like middle terms, and of the system (4), (5), when the middle 
terms are unlike. Moreover, that analysis has been actually 
conducted by a method founded upon certain general laws de- 
duced immediately from the constitution of language, Chap, n., 
confirmed by the study of the operations of the human mind, 
Chap, in., and proved to be applicable to the analysis of all sys- 
tems of equations whatever, by which propositions, or combina- 
tions of propositions, can be represented, Chap. vm. Here, then, 
we have the means of definitely resolving the question, whether 
syllogism is indeed the fundamental type of reasoning, whether 



CHAP. XV.] ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. 239 

the study of its laws is co-extensive with the study of deductive 
logic. For if it be so, some indication of the fact must be given 
in the systems of equations upon the analysis of which we have 
been engaged. It cannot be conceived that syllogism should be 
the one essential process of reasoning, and yet the manifestation 
of that process present nothing indicative of this high quali ty of 
pre-eminence. No sign, however, appears that the discussion of 
all systems of equations expressing propositions is involved in 
that of the particular system examined in this chapter. And yet 
writers on Logic have been all but unanimous in their assertion, 
not merely of the supremacy, but of the universal sufficiency of 
syllogistic inference in deductive reasoning. The language of 
Archbishop Whately, always clear and definite, and on the sub- 
ject of Logic entitled to peculiar attention, is very express on 
this point. " For Logic," Jae says, " which is, as it were, the 
Grammar of Reasoning, does not bring forward the regular Syl- 
logism as a distinct mode of argumentation, designed to be substi- 
tuted for any other mode ; but as the form to which all correct 
reasoning may be ultimately reduced."* And Mr. Mill, in a 
chapter of his System of Logic, entitled, " Of Ratiocination or 
Syllogism," having enumerated the ordinary forms of syllogism, 
observes, " All valid ratiocination, all reasoning by which from 
general propositions previously admitted, other propositions, 
equally or less general, are inferred, may be exhibited in some of 
the above forms." And again : " We are therefore at liberty, 
in conformity with the general opinion of logicians, to consider 
the two elementary forms of the first figure as the universal types 
of all correct ratiocination." In accordance with these views it 
has been contended that the science of Logic enjoys an immunity 
from those conditions of imperfection and of progress to which 
all other sciences are subject ;f and its origin from the travail of 
one mighty mind of old has, by a somewhat daring metaphor, 
been compared to the mythological birth of Pallas. 

As Syllogism is a species of elimination, the question before 
us manifestly resolves itself into the two following ones : 1st. 
Whether all elimination is reducible to Syllogism ; 2ndly. Whe- 

* Elements of Logic, p. 13, ninth edition, 
f Introduction to Kant's "Logik," 



240 ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. [CHAP. XV. 

ther deductive reasoning can with propriety be regarded as con- 
sisting only of elimination. I believe, upon careful examination, 
the true answer to the former question to be, that it is always 
theoretically possible so to resolve and combine propositions that 
elimination may subsequently be effected by the syllogistic ca- 
nons, but that the process of reduction would in many instances 
be constrained and unnatural, and would involve operations 
which are not syllogistic. To the second question I reply, that 
reasoning cannot, except by an arbitrary restriction of its mean- 
ing, be confined to the process of elimination. No definition can 
suffice which makes it less than the aggregate of the methods 
which are founded upon the laws of thought, as exercised upon 
propositions ; and among those methods, the process of elimina- 
tion, eminently important as it is, occupies only a place. 

Much of the error, as I cannot but regard it, which prevails 
respecting the nature of the Syllogism and the extent of its 
office, seems to be founded in a disposition to regard all those 
truths in Logic as primary which possess the character of sim- 
plicity and intuitive certainty, without- inquiring into the relation 
which they sustain to other truths in the Science, or to general 
methods in the Art, of Reasoning. Aristotle's dictum de omni et 
nullo is a self-evident principle, but it is not found among those 
ultimate laws of the reasoning faculty to which all other laws, 
however plain and self-evident, admit of being traced, and from 
which they may in strictest order of scientific evolution be de- 
duced. For though of every science the fundamental truths are 
usually the most simple of apprehension, yet is not that sim- 
plicity the criterion by which their title to be regarded as funda- 
mental must be judged. This must be sought for in the nature 
and extent of the structure which they are capable of supporting. 
Taking this view, Leibnitz appears to me to have judged cor- 
rectly when he assigned to the " principle of contradiction" a 
fundamental place in Logic ;* for we have seen the consequences 
of that law of thought of which it is the axiomatic expression 
(III. 15). But enough has been said upon the nature of deduc- 
tive inference and upon its constitutive elements. The subject of 

* Nouveaux Essais sur 1'entendement humain. Liv. iv. cap. 2. Theodicee 
Pt. I. sec. 44. 



CHAP. XV.] ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. 241 

induction may probably receive some attention in another part of 
this work. 

10. It has been remarked in this chapter that the ordinary 
treatment of hypothetical, is much more defective than that of 
categorical, propositions. What is commonly termed the hypo- 
thetical syllogism appears, indeed, to be no syllogism at all. 
Let the argument 

If^L is B, CisD, 
But A is B 9 
Therefore C is D 9 
be put in the form 

If the proposition X is true, Y is true, 
But X is true, 
Therefore Y is true ; 

f 

wherein by X is meant the proposition A is B, and by Y, the 
proposition C is D. It is then seen that the premises contain 
only two terms or elements, while a syllogism essentially involves 
three. The following would be a genuine hypothetical syllogism : 

If X is true, Y is true ; 
If Y is true, Z is true ; 
,'. If X is true, Z is true. 

After the discussion of secondary propositions in a former 
part of this work, it is evident that the forms of hypothetical 
syllogism must present, in every respect, an exact counterpart to 
those of categorical syllogism. Particular Propositions, such as, 
" Sometimes if X is true, Y is true," may be introduced, and the 
conditions and rules of inference deduced in this chapter for ca- 
tegorical syllogisms may, without abatement, be interpreted to 
meet the corresponding cases in hypotheticals. 

1 1 . To what final conclusions are we then led respecting the 
nature and extent of the scholastic logic? I think to the following : 
that it is not a science, but a collection of scientific truths, too 
incomplete to form a system of themselves, and not sufficiently 
fundamental to serve as the foundation upon which a perfect 
system may rest. It does not, however, follow, that because the 
logic of the schools has been invested with attributes to which it 



242 ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC. [CHAP. XV. 

has no just claim, it is therefore undeserving of regard. A sys- 
tem which has been associated with the very growth of language, 
which has left its stamp upon the greatest questions and the 
most famous demonstrations of philosophy, cannot be altogether 
unworthy of attention. Memory, too, and usage, it must be ad- 
mitted, have much to do with the intellectual processes ; and 
there are certain of the canons of the ancient logic which have 
become almost inwoven in the very texture of thought in cultured 
minds. But whether the mnemonic forms, in which the particu- 
lar rules of conversion and syllogism have been exhibited, possess 
any real utility, whether the very skill which they are supposed 
to impart might not, with greater advantage to the mental 
powers, be acquired by the unassisted efforts of a mind left to its 
own resources, are questions which it might still be not un- 
profitable to examine. As concerns the particular results de- 
duced in this chapter, it is to be observed, that they are solely 
designed to aid the inquiry concerning the nature of the ordinary 
or scholastic logic, and its relation to a more perfect theory of 
deductive reasoning. 



CHAP. XVI.] OF THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. 243 



CHAPTER XVI. 

ON THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. 

1. T3EFORE the expiration of another year just two centuries 
-"-^ will have rolled away since Pascal solved the first known 
question in the theory of Probabilities, and laid, in its solution, 
the foundations of a science possessing no common share of the 
attraction which belongs to the more abstract of mathematical 
speculations. The problem which the Chevalier de Mere, a re- 
puted gamester, proposed to the recluse of Port Royal (not yet 
withdrawn from the interests* of science* by the more distracting 
contemplation of the "greatness and the misery of man"), was 
the first of a long series of problems, destined to call into exis- 
tence new methods in mathematical analysis, and to render va- 
luable service in the practical concerns of life. Nor does the in- 
terest of the subject centre merely in its mathematical connexion, 
or its associations of utility. The attention is repaid which is 
devoted to the theory of Probabilities as an independent object 
of speculation, to the fundamental modes in which it has been 
conceived, to the great secondary principles which, as in the 
contemporaneous science of Mechanics, have gradually been an- 
nexed to it, and, lastly, to the estimate of the measure of per- 
fection which has been actually attained. I speak here of that 
perfection which consists in unity of conception and harmony of 
processes. Some of these points it is designed very briefly to 
consider in the present chapter. 

2. A distinguished writerj has thus stated the fundamental 
definitions of the science : 



* See in particular a letter addressed by Pascal to Fermat, who had solicited 
his attention to a mathematical problem (Port Royal, par M. de Sainte Beuve); 
also various passages in the collection of Fragments published by M. Prosper 
Faugere. 

f Poisson, Recherches sur la Probabilite des Jugemens. 

R2 



244 OF THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVI. 

" The probability of an event is the reason we have to believe 
that it has taken place, or that it will take place." 

" The measure of the probability of an event is the ratio of 
the number of cases favourable to that event, to the total num- 
ber of cases favourable or contrary, and all equally possible" 
(equally likely to happen). 

From these definitions it follows that the word probability, in 
its mathematical acceptation, has reference to the state of our 
knowledge of the circumstances under which an event may hap- 
pen or fail. With the degree of information which we possess 
concerning the circumstances of an event, the reason we have to 
think that it will occur, or, to use a single term, our expectation of 
it, will vary. Probability is expectation founded upon partial 
knowledge. A perfect acquaintance with all the circumstances 
affecting the occurrence of an event would change expectation 
into certainty, and leave neither room nor demand for a theory 
of probabilities. 

3. Though our expectation of an event grows stronger with 
the increase of the ratio of the number of the known cases fa- 
vourable to its occurrence to the whole number of equally pos- 
sible cases, favourable or unfavourable, it would be unphilosophical 
to affirm that the strength of that expectation, viewed as an 
emotion of the mind, is capable of being referred to any numerical 
standard. The man of sanguine temperament builds high hopes 
where the timid despair, and the irresolute are lost in doubt. 
As subjects of scientific inquiry, there is some analogy between 
opinion and sensation. The thermometer and the carefully pre- 
pared photographic plate indicate, not the intensity of the sen- 
sations of heat and light, but certain physical circumstances 
which accompany the production of those sensations. So also 
the theory of probabilities contemplates the numerical measure 
of the circumstances upon which expectation is founded ; and this 
object embraces the whole range of its legitimate applications. 
The rules which we ehiploy in life-assurance, and in the other 
statistical applications of the theory of probabilities, are altogether 
independent of the mental phenomena of expectation. They are 
founded upon the assumption that the future will bear a resem- 



CHAP. XVI.] OF THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. 245 

blance to the past ; that under the same circumstances the same 
event will tend to recur with a definite numerical frequency ; not 
upon any attempt to submit to calculation the strength of human 
hopes and fears. 

Now experience actually testifies that events of a given species 
do, under given circumstances, tend to recur with definite fre- 
quency, whether their true causes be known to us or unknown. 
Of course this tendency is, in general, only manifested when the 
area of observation is sufficiently large. The judicial records of 
a great nation, its registries of births and deaths, in relation to 
age and sex, &c., present a remarkable uniformity from year to 
year. In a given language, or family of languages, the same 
sounds, and successions of sounds, and, if it be a written lan- 
guage, the same characters and successions of characters recur 
with determinate frequency.'" The key to the rude Ogham in- 
scriptions, found in various parts of Ireland, and in which no 
distinction of words could at first be traced, was, by a strict ap- 
plication of this principle, recovered.* The same method, it is 
understood, has been appliedf to the deciphering of the cuneiform 
records recently disentombed from the ruins of Nineveh by the 
enterprise of Mr. Layard. 

4. Let us endeavour from the above statements and defini- 
tions to form a conception of the legitimate object of the theory 
of Probabilities. 

Probability, it has been said, consists in the expectation 
founded upon a particular kind of knowledge, viz., the know- 
ledge of the relative frequency of occurrence of events. Hence 
the probabilities of events, or of combinations of events, whether 
deduced from a knowledge of the particular constitution of 
things under which they happen, or derived from the long-con- 
tinued observation of a past series of their occurrences and fai- 
lures, constitute, in all cases, our data. The probability of some 



* The discovery is due to the Rev. Charles Graves, Professor of Mathematics 

in the University of Dublin Vide Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 

Feb. 14, 1848. Professor Graves informs me that he has verified the principle 
by constructing sequence tables for all the European languages. 

t By the learned Orientalist, Dr. Edward Hincks. 



^46 OF THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVI. 

connected event, or combination of events, constitutes the cor- 
responding quasitum, or object sought. Now in the most gene- 
ral, yet strict meaning of the term "event," every combination 
of events constitutes also an event. The simultaneous occur- 
rence of two or more events, or the occurrence of an event under 
given conditions, or in any conceivable connexion with other 
events, is still an event. Using the term in this liberty of appli- 
cation, the object of the theory of probabilities might be thus 
denned. Given the probabilities of any events, of whatever 
kind, to find the probability of some other event connected with 
them. 

5. Events may be distinguished as simple or compound, the 
latter term being applied to such events as consist in a combina- 
tion of simple events (I. 13). In this manner we might define it 
as the practical end of the theory under consideration to deter- 
mine the probability of some event, simple or compound, from 
the given probabilities of other events, simple or compound, 
with which, by the terms of its definition, it stands connected. 

Thus if it is known from the constitution of a die that there 

is a probability, measured by the fraction ^, that the result of 

any particular throw will be an ace, and if it is required to deter- 
mine the probability that there shall occur one ace, and only one, 
in two successive throws, we may state the problem in the order 
of its data and its qucesitum, as follows : 

FIRST DATUM. Probability of the event that the first throw 

11 l 

will give an ace = -. 

SECOND DATUM. Probability of the event that the second 
throw will give an ace = ^. 

QU^SITUM. Probability of the event that either the first 
throw will give an ace, and the second not an ace ; or the first 
will not give an ace, and the second will give one. 

Here the two data are the probabilities of simple events de- 
fined as the first throw giving an ace, and the second throw 
giving an ace. The quaesitum is the probability of a compound 
event, a certain disjunctive combination of the simple events 



CHAP. XVI.] OF THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. 247 

involved or implied in the data. Probably it will generally hapr- 
pen, when the numerical conditions of a problem are capable of 
being deduced, as above, from the constitution of things under 
which they exist, that the data will be the probabilities of simple 
events, and the qusesitum the probability of a compound event 
dependent upon the said simple events. Such is the case with a 
class of problems which has occupied perhaps an undue share of 
the attention of those who have studied the theory of probabilities, 
viz., games of chance and skill, in the former of which some 
physical circumstance, as the constitution of a die, determines 
the probability of each possible step of the game, its issue being 
some definite combination of those steps ; while in the latter, the 
relative dexterity of the players, supposed to be known a priori, 
equally determines the same element. But where, as in statisti- 
cal problems, the elements of'our knowledge are drawn, not from 
the study of the constitution of things, but from the registered 
observations of Nature or of human society, there is no reason 
why the data which such observations afford should be the pro- 
babilities of simple events. On the contrary, the occurrence of 
events or conditions in marked combinations (indicative of some 
secret connexion of a causal character) suggests to us the pro- 
priety of making such concurrences, profitable for future instruc- 
tion by a numerical record of their frequency. Now the data 
which observations of this kind afford are the probabilities of 
compound events. The solution, by some general method, of 
problems in which such data are involved, is thus not only essen- 
tial to the perfect development of the theory of probabilities, but 
also a perhaps necessary condition of its application to a large 
and practically important class of inquiries. 

6. Before we proceed to estimate to what extent known me- 
thods may be applied to the solution of problems such as the 
above, it will be advantageous to notice, that there is another 
form under which all questions in the theory of probabilities may 
be viewed ; and this form consists in substituting for events the 
propositions which assert that those events have occurred, or 
will occur ; and viewing the element of numerical probability as 
having reference to the truth of those propositions, not to the oc- 



248 OF THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVI. 

currence of the events concerning which they make assertion. 
Thus, instead of considering the numerical fraction p as ex- 
pressing the probability of the occurrence of an event E, let it 
be viewed as representing the probability of the truth of the 
proposition X, which asserts that the event E will occur. Si- 
milarly, instead of any probability, q, being considered as re- 
ferring to some compound event, such as the concurrence of the 
events E and F, let it represent the probability of the truth of 
the proposition which asserts that E and F will jointly occur; 
and in like manner, let the transformation be made from disjunc- 
tive and hypothetical combinations of events to disjunctive and 
conditional propositions. Though the new application thus as- 
signed to probability is a necessary concomitant of the old one, 
its adoption will be attended with a practical advantage drawn 
from the circumstance that we have already discussed the theory 
of propositions, have defined their principal varieties, and estab- 
lished methods for determining, in every case, the amount and 
character of their mutual dependence. Upon this, or upon some 
equivalent basis, any general theory of probabilities must rest. 
I do not say that other considerations may not in certain cases of 
applied theory be requisite. The data may prove insufficient for 
definite solution, and this defect it may be thought necessary to 
supply by hypothesis. Or, where the statement of large num- 
bers is involved, difficulties may arise after the solution, from this 
source, for which special methods of treatment are required. 
But in every instance, some form of the general problem as above 
stated (Art. 4) is involved, and in the discussion of that problem 
the proper and peculiar work of the theory consists. I desire it 
to be observed, that to this object the investigations of the fol- 
lowing chapters are mainly devoted. It is not intended to enter, 
except incidentally, upon questions involving supplementary hy- 
potheses, because it is of primary importance, even with reference 
to such questions (I. 17), that a general method, founded upon 
a solid and sufficient basis of theory, be first established. 

7. The following is a summary, chiefly taken from Laplace, of 
the principles which have been applied to the solution of questions 
of probability. They are consequences of its fundamental defini- 



CHAP. XVI.] OF THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. 249 

tions already stated, and may be regarded as indicating the degree 
in which it has been found possible to render those definitions 
available. 

PRINCIPLE 1st. If p be the probability of the occurrence of 
any event, I p will be the probability of its non-occurrence. 

2nd. The probability of the concurrence of two independent 
events is the product of the probabilities of those events. 

3rd. The probability of the concurrence of two dependent 
events is equal to the product of the probability of one of them 
by the probability that if that event occur, the other will happen 
also. 

4th. The probability that if an event, E, take place, an event, 
F, will also take place, is equal to the probability of the concur- 
rence of the events E and F, divided by the probability of the 
occurrence of E. 

5th. The probability of the occurrence of one or the other of 
two events which cannot concur is equal to the sum of their se- 
parate probabilities. 

6th. If an observed event can only result from some one of n 
different causes which are d priori equally probable, the proba- 
bility of any one of the causes is a fraction whose numerator is the 
probability of the event, on the hypothesis of the existence of that 
cause, and whose denominator is the sum of the similar proba- 
bilities relative to all the causes. 

7th. The probability of a future event is the sum of the pro- 
ducts formed by multiplying the probability of each cause by 
the probability that if that cause exist, the said future event 
will take place. 

8. Respecting the extent and the relative sufficiency of these 
principles, the following observations may be made. 

1st. It is always possible, by the due combination of these 
principles, to express the probability of a compound event, de- 
pendent in any manner upon independent simple events whose 
distinct probabilities are given. A very large proportion of the 
problems which have been actually solved are of this kind, and, 
the difficulty attending their solution has not arisen from the in- 
sufficiency of the indications furnished by the theory of proba- 
bilities, but from the need of an analysis which should render 



250 OF THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVI. 

those indications available when functions of large numbers, or 
series consisting of many and complicated terms, are thereby in- 
troduced. It may, therefore, be fully conceded, that all pro- 
blems having for their data the probabilities of independent 
simple events fall within the scope of received methods. 

2ndly. Certain of the principles above enumerated, and espe- 
cially the sixth and seventh, do not presuppose that all the data 
are the probabilities of simple events. In their peculiar applica- 
tion to questions of causation, they do, however, assume, that the 
causes of which they take account are mutually exclusive, so 
that no combination of them in the production of an effect is 
possible. If, as before explained, we transfer the numerical pro- 
babilities from the events with which they are connected to the 
propositions by which those events are expressed, the most ge- 
neral problem to which the aforesaid principles are applicable 
may be stated in the following order of data and qucesita. 

DATA. 

1st. The probabilities of the n conditional propositions : 
If the cause A l exist, the event E will follow ; 



2nd. The condition that the antecedents of those propositions 
are mutually conflicting. 

REQUIREMENTS. 

The probability of the truth of the proposition which declares 
the occurrence of the event E\ also, when that proposition is 
known to be true, the probabilities of truth of the several pro- 
positions which affirm the respective occurrences of the causes 
A A A 

-"-l j "% *-n 

Here it is seen, that the data are the probabilities of a series 
of compound events, expressed by conditional propositions. But 
the system is obviously a very limited and particular one. For 
the antecedents of the propositions are subject to the condition of 
being mutually exclusive, and there is but one consequent, the 
event JE, in the whole system. It does not follow, from our 



CHAP. XVI.] OF THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. 251 

ability to discuss such a system as the above, that we are able to 
resolve problems whose data are the probabilities of any system 
of conditional propositions ; far less that we can resolve problems 
whose data are the probabilities of any system of propositions 
whatever. And, viewing the subject in its material rather 
than its formal aspect, it is evident, that the hypothesis of exclu- 
sive causation is one which is not often realized in the actual 
world, the phenomena of which seem to be, usually, the products 
of complex causes, the amount and character of whose co-opera- 
tion is unknown. Such is, without doubt, the case in nearly all 
departments of natural or social inquiry in which the doctrine of 
probabilities holds out any new promise of useful applications. 

9. To the above principles we may add another, which has 
been stated in the following terms by the Savilian Professor of 
Astronomy in the University of Oxford.* 

"Principle 8. If there be any number of mutually exclusive 
hypotheses, h l9 A 25 ^ 3 , . . of which the probabilities relative to a 
particular state of information are p^p^p A , . . and if new infor- 
mation be given which changes the probabilities of some of them, 
suppose of k m+l and all that follow, without having otherwise 
any reference to the rest ; then the probabilities of these latter 
have the same ratios to one another, after the new information, 
that they had before, that is, 

P\ : p'z : p'z - - : p'm = PI P* PS ' Pm, 

where the accented letters denote the values after the new infor- 
mation has been acquired." 

This principle is apparently of a more fundamental character 
than the most of those before enumerated, and perhaps it might, as 
has been suggested by Professor Donkin, be regarded as axio- 
matic. It seems indeed to be founded in the very definition of 
the measure of probability, as "the ratio of the number of cases 
favourable to an event to the total number of cases favourable or 
contrary, and all equally possible." For, adopting this definition, 
it is evident that in whatever proportion the number of equally 

* On certain Questions relating to the Theory of Probabilities ; by W. F. 
Donkin, M. A., F. R. S., &c. Philosophical Magazine, May, 1851. 



252 OF THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVI. 

possible cases is diminished, while the'number of favourable cases 
remains unaltered, in exactly the same proportion will the pro- 
babilities of any events to which these cases have reference be 
increased. And as the new hypothesis, viz., the diminution of 
the number of possible cases without affecting the number of 
them which are favourable to the events in question, increases 
the probabilities of those events in a constant ratio, the relative 
measures of those probabilities remain unaltered. If the principle 
we are considering be then, as it appears to be, inseparably in- 
volved in the very definition of probability, it can scarcely, of 
itself, conduct us further than the attentive study of the defini- 
tion would alone do, in the solution of problems. From these 
considerations it appears to be doubtful whether, without some 
aid of a different kind from any that has yet offered itself to our 
notice, any considerable advance, either in the theory of proba- 
bilities as a branch of speculative knowledge, or in the practical 
solution of its problems can be hoped for. And the establish- 
ment, solely upon the basis of any such collection of principles as 
the above, of a method universally applicable to the solution of 
problems, without regard either to the number or to the nature 
of the propositions involved in the expression of their data, 
seems to be impossible. For the attainment of such an object 
other elements are needed, the consideration of which will occupy 
the next chapter. 



CHAP. XVII.] GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. 253 



CHAPTER XVII. 

DEMONSTRATION OF A GENERAL METHOD FOR THE SOLUTION OF 
PROBLEMS IN THE THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. 

1. TT has been defined (XVI. 2), that "the measure of the 
J- probability of an event is the ratio of the number of cases 
favourable to that event, to the total number of cases favourable 
or unfavourable, and all equally possible." In the following in- 
vestigations the term probability will be used in the above sense 
of " measure of probability." 

From the above definition we may deduce the following con- 
clusions. 

I. When it is certain that an event will occur, the probability 
of that event, in the above mathematical sense, is 1 . For the 
cases which are favourable to the event, and the cases which are 
possible, are in this instance the same. 

Hence, also, ifp be the probability that an event x will happen, 
1 - p will be the probability that the said event will not happen. 
To deduce this result directly from the definition, let m be the 
number of cases favourable to the events, n the number of cases 
possible, then n - m is the number of cases unfavourable to the 
event x. Hence, by definition, 

- = probability that x will happen. 

= probability that x will not happen. 

But n - m m 

=1 =!-. 

n n 

II. The probability of the concurrence of any two events is 
the product of the probability of either of those events by the 
probability that if that event occur, the other will occur also. 

Let m be the number of cases favourable to the happening 
of the first event, and n the number of equally possible cases un- 
favourable to it; then the probability of the first event is, bydefini- 



254 GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVII. 

tion, . Of the m cases favourable to the first event, let / 

m + n 

cases be favourable to the conjunction of the first and second 
events, then, by definition, is the probability that if the first 

event happen, the second also will happen. Multiplying these 
fractions together, we have 

m l_ I 



m + n m m + n 

But the resulting fraction has for its numerator the num- 

m + n 

ber of cases favourable to the conjunction of events, and for its 
denominator, the number m + n of possible cases. Therefore, 
it represents the probability of the joint occurrence of the two 
events. 

Hence, if p be the probability of any event x, and q the pro- 
bability that if x occur y will occur, the probability of the con- 
junction xy will be pq. 

III. The probability that if an event x occur, the event y will 
occur, is a fraction whose numerator is the probability of their 
joint occurrence, and denominator the probability of the occur- 
rence of the event x. 

This is an immediate consequence of Principle 2nd. 

IV. The probability of the occurrence of some one of a series 
of exclusive events is equal to the sum of their separate proba- 
bilities. 

For let n be the number of possible cases ; m^ the number of 
those cases favourable to the first event ; m 2 the number of cases 
favourable to the second, &c. Then the separate probabilities of 

the events are , , &c. Again, as the events are exclusive, 
n n 

none of the cases favourable to one of them is favourable to 
another; and, therefore, the number of cases favourable to some 
one of the series will be m l + m z . . , and the probability of some 

one of the series happening will be - . But this is the 

sum of the previous fractions, - , , &c. Whence the prin- 
ciple is manifest. 



CHAP. XVII.] GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. 255 

2. DEFINITION. Two events are said to be independent 
when the probability of the happening of either of them is 
unaffected by our expectation of the occurrence or failure of 
the other. 

From this definition, combined with Principle II., we have 
the following conclusion : 

V. The probability of the concurrence of two independent 
events is equal to the product of the separate probabilities of 
those events. 

For if p be the probability of an event x 9 q that of an eventy 
regarded as quite independent of #, then is q also the probability 
that if x occur y will occur. Hence, by Principle II., pq is the 
probability of the concurrence of x and y. 

Undqr the same circumstances, the probability that x will 
occur and y not occur will be./> (1 - q). For p is the probability 
that x will occur, and 1 - q the probability that y will not occur. 
In like manner (1 - p} (1 - q) will be the probability that both 
the events fail of occurring. 

3. There exists yet another principle, different in kind from 
the above, but necessary to the subsequent investigations of this 
chapter, before proceeding to the explicit statement of which I 
desire to make one or two preliminary observations. 

I would, in the first place, remark that the distinction be- 
tween simple and compound events is not one founded in the 
nature of events themselves, but upon the mode or connexion in 
which they are presented to the mind. How many separate par- 
ticulars, for instance, are implied in the terms " To be in health," 
" To prosper," &c., each of which might still be regarded as 
expressing a " simple event" ? The prescriptive usages of lan- 
guage, which have assigned to particular combinations of events 
single and definite appellations, and have left unnumbered other 
combinations to be expressed by corresponding combinations of 
distinct terms or phrases, is essentially arbitrary. When, then, 
we designate as simple events those which are expressed by a 
single verb, or by what grammarians term a simple sentence, we 
do not thereby imply any real simplicity in the events them- 
selves, but use the term solely with reference to grammatical 
expression. 



256 GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVII. 

4. Now if this distinction of events, as simple or compound, is 
not founded in their real nature, but rests upon the accidents of 
language, it cannot affect the question of their mutual depend- 
ence or independence. If my knowledge of two simple events is 
confined to this particular fact, viz., that the probability of the 
occurrence of one of them is /?, and that of the other q ; then I re- 
gard the events as independent, and thereupon affirm that the 
probability of their joint occurrence is pq. But the ground of 
this affirmation is not that the events are simple ones, but that 
the data afford no information whatever concerning any connexion 
or dependence between them. When the probabilities of events 
are given, but all information respecting their dependence with- 
held, the mind regards them as independent. And this mode of 
thought is equally correct whether the events, judged According 
to actual expression, are simple or compound, i. e., whether each 
of them is expressed by a single verb or by a combination of 
verbs. 

o. Let it, however, be supposed that, together with the pro- 
babilities of certain events, we possess some definite information 
respecting their possible combinations. For example, let it be 
known that certain combinations are excluded from happening, 
and therefore that the remaining combinations alone are possible. 
Then still is the same general principle applicable. The mode 
in which we avail ourselves of this information in the calculation 
of the probability of^any conceivable issue of events depends not 
upon the nature of the events whose probabilities and whose 
limits of possible connexion are given. It matters not whether 
they are simple or compound. It is indifferent from what source, 
or by what methods, the knowledge of their probabilities and of 
their connecting relations has been derived. We must regard 
the events as independent of any connexion beside that of which 
we have infonnation, deeming it of no consequence whether such in- 
formation has been explicitly conveyed to us in the data, or thence 
deduced by logical inference. And this leads us to the statement 
of the general principle in question, viz. : 

VI. The events whose probabilities are given are to be re- 
garded as independent of any connexion but such as is either 
expressed, or necessarily implied, in the data ; and the mode in 



CHAP/XVII.] GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. 257 

which our knowledge of that connexion is to be employed is in- 
dependent of the nature of the source from which such know- 
ledge has been derived. 

The practical importance of the above principle consists 
in the circumstance^ that whatever may be the nature of the 
events whose probabilities are given, whatever the nature of 
the event whose probability is sought, we are always able, by an 
application of the Calculus of Logic, to determine the expression 
of the latter event as a definite combination of the former events, 
and definitely to assign the whole of the implied relations con- 
necting the former events with each other. In other words, we 
can determine what that combination of the given events is whose 
probability is required, and what combinations of them are alone 
possible. It follows then from the above principle, that we can 
reason upon those events as if they were simple events, whose 
conditions of possible combination had been directly given by 
experience, and of which the probability of some definite combi- 
nation is sought. The possibility of a general method in proba- 
bilities depends upon this reduction. 

6. As the investigations upon which we are about to enter 
are based upon the employment of the Calculus of Logic, it is 
necessary to explain certain terms and modes of expression which 
are derived from this application. 

By the event #, I mean that event of which the proposition 
which affirms the occurrence is symbolically expressed by the 

equation 

x = 1. 

By the event $ (x, y, z, . .), I mean that event of which the 
occurrence is expressed by the equation 



Such an event may be termed a compound event, in relation to 
the simple events x, y, z, which its conception involves. Thus, 
if x represent the event " It rains," y the event " It thunders," 
the separate occurrences of those events being expressed by the 
logical equations 

*=!> /=!> 

then will x(\-y)+y(\-x) represent the event or state of 

s 



258 GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVII. 

things denoted by the Proposition, " It either rains or thunders, 
but not both ;" the expression of that state of things being 



If for brevity we represent the function (x, y, z 9 . .), used in 
the above acceptation by F, it is evident (VI. 13) that the law 
of duality 

F(l - F) = 0, 

will be identically satisfied. 

The simple events x, y, z will be said to be " conditioned" 
when they are not free to occur in every possible combination ; 
in other words, when some compound event depending upon 
them is precluded from occurring. Thus the events denoted by 
the propositions, " It rains," " It thunders," are "conditioned" 
if the event denoted by the proposition, " It thunders, but does 
not rain," is excluded from happening, so that the range of pos- 
sible is less than the range of conceivable combination. Simple 
unconditioned events are by definition independent. 

Any compound event is similarly said to be conditioned if it 
is assumed that it can only occur under a certain condition, that 
is, in combination with some other event constituting, by its pre- 
sence, that condition. 

7. We shall proceed in the natural order of thought, from 
simple and unconditioned, to compound and conditioned events. 

PROPOSITION I. 

1st. If p 9 q, r are the respective probabilities of any uncon- 
ditioned simple events x, y, z, the probability of any compound 
event F will be [F], this function [F] being formed by changing, 
in the function F, the symbols x, y, z into p, q, r, fyc. 

2ndly. Under the same circumstances , the probability that if 
the event V occur, any other event V will also occur, will be 

[W'l 

L -, J , wherein [FF 7 ] denotes the result obtained by multiplying 

together the logical functions V and V, and changing in the result 
x, y, z, Sfc. into p, q, r, -c. 

Let us confine our attention in the first place to the pos- 



CHAP. XVII.] GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. 259 

sible combinations of the two simple events, x and#, of which the 
respective probabilities are p and q. The primary combinations 
of those events (V. 11), and their corresponding probabilities, are 
as follows : 

EVENTS. PROBABILITIES. 

xy. Concurrence of a? and y, pq. 

x (1 - y) 9 Occurrence of x without y, p (1 - q). 

(1 - x)y, Occurrence of y without x, (1 - p) q. 

(1 - x) (1 - #), Conjoint failure of x and y, (1 - p) (1 - q). 

We see that in these cases the probability of the compound event 
represented by a constituent is the same function of p and q as 
the logical expression of that event is of x and y ; and it is obvious 
that this remark applies, whatever may be the number of the 
simple events whose probabilities are given, and whose joint ex- 
istence or failure is involved in the compound event of which we 
seek the probability. 

Consider, in the second place, any disjunctive combination of 
the above constituents. The compound event, expressed in or- 
dinary language as the occurrence of " either the event x without 
the event y, or the event y without the event x" is symbolically 
expressed in the form x (1 - y) + y (1 - or), and its probability, 
determined by Principles iv. and v., is p (1 - q) + q (1 - p). The 
latter of these expressions is the same function of p and q as the 
former is of x and y . And it is obvious that this is also a par- 
ticular illustration of a general rule. The events which are ex- 
pressed by any two or more constituents are mutually exclusive. 
The only possible combination of them is a disjunctive one, ex- 
pressed in ordinary language by the conjunction 0r, in the lan- 
guage of symbolical logic by the sign +. Now the probability of 
the occurrence of some one out of a set of mutually exclusive 
events is the sum of their separate probabilities, and is expressed 
by connecting the expressions for those separate probabilities by 
the sign +. Thus the law above exemplified is seen to be general. 
The probability of any unconditioned event Fwill be found by 
changing in V the symbols x, y, z, . . into /?, q, r, . . 

8. Again, by Principle in., the probability that if the event 
V occur, the event V will occur with it, is expressed by a frac- 

s2 



260 GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVII. 

tion whose numerator is the probability of the joint occurrence 
of V and F', and denominator the probability of the occurrence 
of V. 

Now the expression of that event, or state of things, which is 
constituted by the joint occurrence of the events Fand F', will 
be formed by multiplying together the expressions F and V ac- 
cording to the rules of the Calculus of Logic ; since whatever 
constituents are found in both V and V will appear in the pro- 
duct, and no others. Again, by what has just been shown, the 
probability of the event represented by that product will be de- 
termined by changing therein #, y, z into /?, q, r, . . Hence the 
numerator sought will be what \_W~\ by definition represents. 
And the denominator will be [F], wherefore 

[FF1 
Probability that if F occur, V will occur with it = -*. 

9. For example, if the probabilities of the simple events 
x, y, z are p, q, r respectively, and it is required to find the pro- 
bability that if either x or y occur, then either y or z will occur, 
we have for the logical expressions of the antecedent and conse- 
quent 

1st. Either x or y occurs, x (1 - y) + y (1 - x). 
2nd. Either y or z occurs, y (1 - z) + z (1 - y). 

If now we multiply these two expressions together according to 
the rules of the Calculus of Logic, we shall have for the expres- 
sion of the concurrence of antecedent and consequent, 

xz(\-y)+ y (\-x)(\-z). 

Changing in this result #, y, z into p, q, r, and similarly trans- 
forming the expression of the antecedent, we find for the proba- 
bility sought the value 



The special function of the calculus, in a case like the above, is 
to supply the office of the reason in determining what are the 
conjunctures involved at once in the consequent and the ante- 
cedent. But the advantage of this application is almost entirely 



CHAP. XVII.] GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. 261 

prospective, and will be made manifest in a subsequent propo- 
sition. 

PROPOSITION II. 

10. It is knovm that the probabilities of certain simple events 
x, y, z 9 . . are p, q,r, . . respectively when a certain condition F is 
satisfied; V being in expression a function ofx,y 9 z,.. Required 
the absolute probabilities of the events x 9 y 9 z 9 . . 9 that is, the 
probabilities of their respective occurrence independently of the con- 
dition V. 

Let p 9 </, r, &c., be the probabilities required, i. e. the pro- 
babilities of the events x, y, z, . . , regarded not only as simple, 
but as independent events. Then by Prop. i. the probabilities 
that these events will occur when the condition F, represented 
by the logical equation V-\ 9 is satisfied, are 

\xV} \yV} [zF] 

TFT- IF!' IT]' 



in which [x F] denotes the result obtained by multiplying F by 
x, according to the rules of the Calculus of Logic, and changing 
in the result x, y, z 9 into p, q', r' 9 &c. But the above condi- 
tioned probabilities are by hypothesis equal to p, q, r, . . re- 
spectively. Hence we have, 

|>F] [yF] [zF] 



' ' 

from which system of equations equal in number to the quanti- 
ties p' 9 q' 9 r', . . , the values of those quantities may be deter- 
mined. 

Now x V consists simply of those constituents in F of which 
a; is a factor. Let this sum be represented by V X9 and in like 
manner let y V be represented by V y9 &c. Our equations then 
assume the form 



, .,. , 

where [ FJ denotes the results obtained by changing in V x the 
symbols x, y 9 z 9 &c., into p, q 9 r 9 &c. 

To render the meaning of the general problem and the 



262 GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVII. 

ciple of its solution more evident, let us take the following ex- 
ample. Suppose that in the drawing of balls from an urn 
attention had only been paid to those cases in which the balls 
drawn were either of a particular colour, "white," or of a par- 
ticular composition, " marble," or were marked by both these 
characters, no record having been kept of those cases in which a 
ball that was neither white nor of marble had been drawn. Let 
it then have been found, that whenever the supposed condition 
was satisfied, there was a probability/? that a white ball would be 
drawn, and a probability q that a marble ball would be drawn : and 
from these data alone let it be required to find the probability 
that in the next drawing, without reference at all to the condi- 
tion above mentioned, a white ball will be drawn ; also the pro- 
bability that a marble ball will be drawn. 

Here if x represent the drawing of a white ball, y that of a 
marble ball, the condition V will be represented by the logical 

function 

xy + x(l-y) + (1 -x)y. 
Hence we have 

V x = xy + x(\-y) = x 9 V y = xy + (1 - x) y =y; 
whence 



and the final equations of the problem are 



from which we find 

p+ q -1 , p +q -1 

' = - - - - , q '=- - - . 
q p 

It is seen that p and q are respectively proportional to p and 
q 9 as by Professor Donkin's principle they ought to be. The 
solution of this class of problems might indeed, by a direct appli- 
cation of that principle, be obtained. 

To meet a possible objection, I here remark, that the above 
reasoning does not require that the drawings of a white and a 
marble ball should be independent, in virtue of the physical con- 
stitution of the balls. The assumption of their independence is 
indeed involved in the solution, but it does not rest upon any 



CHAP. XVII.] GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. 263 

prior assumption as to the nature of the balls, and their relations, 
or freedom from relations, of form, colour, structure, &c. It is 
founded upon our total ignorance of all these things. Probabi- 
lity always has reference to the state of our actual knowledge, 
and its numerical value varies with varying information. 

PROPOSITION III. 

11, To determine in any question of probabilities the logical 
connexion of the qucesitum with the data; that is, to assign the event 
whose probability is sought, as a logical function of the event whose 
probabilities are given. 

Let S 9 T, &c., represent any compound events whose pro- 
babilities are given, S and T being in expression known func- 
tions of the symbols x, y, z, &c., representing simple events. 
Similarly let W represent any event whose probability is sought, 
W being also a known function of #, y, z, &c. As S, T, . . W 
must satisfy the fundamental law of duality, we are permitted 
to replace them by single logical symbols, s, t, . . w. Assume 

then 

s = S, t=T, w = W. 

These, by the definition of S, T, . . W, will be a series of 
logical equations connecting the symbols s, t, . . w, with the sym- 
bols x, y, z . . 

By the methods of the Calculus of Logic we can eliminate 
from the above system any of the symbols #, y, z, . . , repre- 
senting events whose probabilities are not given, and determine 
w as a developed function of s, t, &c., and of such of the symbols 
x, y, z, &c., if any such there be, as correspond to events whose 
probabilities are given. The result will be of the form 



where A, B, C, and D comprise among them all the possible 
constituents which can be formed from the symbols s, , &c., i. e. 
from all the symbols representing events whose probabilities are 
given. 

The above will evidently be the complete expression of the 
relation sought. For it fully determines the event W 9 repre- 



264 GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVII. 

sented by the single symbol w, as a function or combination of 
the events similarly denoted by the symbols s, t, &c., and it as- 
signs by the laws of the Calculus of Logic the condition 



as connecting the events s, , &c., among themselves. We may, 
therefore, by Principle vi., regard s, t, &c., as simple events, of 
which the combination w, and the condition with which it is as- 
sociated D 9 are definitely determined. 

Uniformity in the logical processes of reduction being de- 
sirable, I shall here state the order which will generally be pur- 
sued. 

12. By (VIII. 8), the primitive equations are reducible to 
the forms 



(1) 



w(l-W)+W(l-w)=Q; 

under which they can be added together without impairing their 
significance. We can then eliminate the symbols #, y, z, either 
separately or together. If the latter course is chosen, it is ne- 
cessary, after adding together the equations of the system, to 
develop the result with reference to all the symbols to be elimi- 
nated, and equate to the product of all the coefficients of the 
constituents (VII. 9). 

As w is the symbol whose expression is sought, we may also, 
by Prop. in. Chap, ix., express the result of elimination in the 
form 

Ew + E'(\ - w) = 0. 

E and E' being successively determined by making in the 
general system (1), w = 1 and w = 0, and eliminating the symbols 
x, y, z, . . Thus the single equations from which E and E are 
to be respectively determined become 

s (1 - S) + S(\ -s) + t(l - T) + T(l - f) . . + 1 -W= 0; 



From these it only remains to eliminate x, y, z, &c., and to de- 
termine w by subsequent development^ 



CHAP. XVII.] GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. 265 

In the process of elimination we may, if needful, avail our- 
selves of the simplifications of Props, i. and n. Chap. ix. 

13. Should the data, beside informing us of the probabilities 
of events, further assign among them any explicit connexion, such 
connexion must be logically expressed, and the equation or equa- 
tions thus formed be introduced into the general system. 

PROPOSITION IV. 

14. Given the probabilities of any system of events ; to deter- 
mine by a general method the consequent or derived probability of 
any other event. 

As in the last Proposition, let S, T 7 , &c., be the events whose 
probabilities are given, TFthe event whose probability is sought, 
these being known functions of #, y, z, &c. Let us represent the 
data as follows : 

Probability of S = p ; 

Probability of T= ? ; 

and so on, p, q, &c., being known numerical values. If then 
we represent the compound event S by s, T by t, and W by w, 
we find by the last proposition, 

w = A + QB + - C + - D\ C2^ 

ft 

^4, JB, C 9 and D being functions of s, t, &c. Moreover the data 
(1) are transformed into 

Prob. s = p, Prob. t = q, &c. (3) 

Now the equation (2) is resolvable into the system 
w = A + qC 1 

D-O < 4 > 

x/ u, j 

q being an indefinite class symbol (VI. 12). But since by the 
properties of constituents (V. Prop, in.), we have 

A + B+ C+D= 1, 

the second equation of the above system may be expressed in the 

form 

A + B+ C= 1. 



266 GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVII. 

If we represent the function A + B + C by F, the system (4) 

becomes 

w = A + qCj (5) 

F- 1. (6) 

Let us for a moment consider this result. Since F is the sum 
of a series of constituents of s, t, &c., it represents the compound 
event in which the simple events involved are those denoted by 
s 9 t, &G. Hence (6) shows that the events denoted by s, t, &c., 
and whose probabilities are /?, q, &c., have such probabilities not 
as independent events, but as events subject to a certain condition 
F. Equation (5) expresses w as a similarly conditioned combi- 
nation of the same events. 

Now by Principle vi. the mode in which this knowledge of the 
connexion of events has been obtained does not influence the mode 
in which, when obtained, it is to be employed. We must reason 
upon it as if experience had presented to us the events s, t, &c., 
as simple events, free to enter into every combination, but pos- 
sessing, when actually subject to the condition F", the probabili- 
ties p, q, &c., respectively. 

Let then //, q', . . , be the corresponding probabilities of such 
events, when the restriction F is removed. Then by Prop. u. 
of the present chapter, these quantities will be determined by the 
system of equations, 

& c, (T) 



) 

and by Prop. i. the probability of the event w under the same 
condition F will be 



wherein V 8 denotes the sum of those constituents in F of which s 
is a factor, and [ FJ what that sum becomes when s, , . . , are 
changed into p', </, . . , respectively. The constant c represents 
the probability of the indefinite event q\ it is, therefore, arbitrary, 
and admits of any value from to 1 . 

Now it will be observed, that the values of/?', q' 9 &c., are de- 
termined from (7) only in order that they may be substituted in 
(8), so as to render Prob. w a function of known quantities, p, q, 



CHAP. XVII.] GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. 267 

&c. It is obvious, therefore, that instead of the letters p' 9 q' 9 &c., 
we might employ any others as s, t, &c., in the same quantitative 
acceptations. This particular step would simply involve a change 
of meaning of the symbols s, t, &c. their ceasing to be logical, 
and becoming quantitative. The systems (7) and (8) would then 
become 



Prob. w = -. (10) 

In employing these, it is only necessary to determine from (9) 
s, t, &c., regarded as quantitative symbols, in terms of/?, q, &c., 
and substitute the resulting values in (10). It is evident, that 
s, t, &c., inasmuch as they represent probabilities, will be positive 
proper fractions. 

The system (9) may be more symmetrically expressed in the 
form 



P 9. 
Or we may express both (9) and (10) together in the symme- 

trical system 

K = F, = C = 

p q u 

wherein u represents Prob. w. 

15. It remains to interpret the constant c assumed to repre- 
sent the probability of the indefinite event q. Now the logical 
equation 

w = A + qC, 

interpreted in the reverse order, implies that if either the event 
A take place, or the event C in connexion with the event q, the 
event w will take place, and not otherwise. Hence q represents 
that condition under which, if the event C take place, the event 
w will take place. But the probability of q is c. Hence, there- 
fore, c = probability that if the event C take place the event w 
will take place. 

Wherefore by Principle n., 

_ Probability of concurrence of C and w 
Probability of C 



268 GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVII. 

We may hence determine the nature of that new experience 
from which the actual value of c may be obtained. For if we 
substitute in C for , t, &c., their original expressions as func- 
tions of the simple events x, y, z, &c., we shall form the ex- 
pression of that event whose probability constitutes the denomi- 
nator of the above value of c ; and if we multiply that expression 
by the original expression of w, we shall form the expression of 
that event whose probability constitutes the numerator of c, and 
the ratio of the frequency of this event to that of the former one, de- 
termined by new observations, will give the value of c. Let it be 
remarked here, that the constant c does not necessarily make its 
appearance in the solution of a problem. It is only when the 
data are insufficient to render determinate the probability sought, 
that this arbitrary element presents itself, and in this case it is 
seen that the final logical equation (2) or (5) informs us how it 
is to be determined. 

If that new experience by which c may be determined can- 
not be obtained, we can still, by assigning to c its limiting values 
and 1, determine the limits of the probability of w. These 
are 

Minor limit of Prob. w = -== . 

a i M A + C 

Superior limit = ^ . 

Between these limits, it is certain that the probability sought 
must lie independently of all new experience which does not ab- 
solutely contradict the past. 

If the expression of the event C consists of many constituents, 
the logical value of w being of the form 

^ ^ 

w = A + -C l + -C 2 + &c. 9 

we can, instead of employing their aggregate as above, present 
the final solution in the form 



-r, , A + C^Ci + C 2 C 2 + &C. 

Jrrob. w = =^ _ 



CHAP. XVII.] GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. 269 

Here Cj. = probability that if the event d occur, the event w will 
occur, and so on for the others. Convenience must decide which 
form is to be preferred. 

16. The above is the complete theoretical solution of the 
problem proposed. It may be added, that it is applicable equally 
to the case in which any of the events mentioned in its original 
statement are conditioned. Thus, if one of the data is the proba- 
bility p, that if the event x occur the event y will occur ; the 
probability of the occurrence of x not being given, we must as- 
sume Prob. x = c (an arbitrary constant), then Prob. xy = cp, and 
these two conditions must be introduced into the data, and em- 
ployed according to the previous method. Again, if it is sought 
to determine the probability that if an event x occur an event y 
will occur, the solution will assume the form 



-r, , '* i , Prob. xy 
Prob. sought = _ . ^ 



Prob. x 9 

the numerator and denominator of which must be separately de- 
termined by the previous general method. 

17. We are enabled by the results of these investigations to 
establish a general rule for the solution of questions in probabi- 
lities. 

GENERAL RULE. 

CASE I. When all the events are unconditioned. 

Form the symbolical expressions of the events whose proba- 
bilities are given or sought. 

Equate such of those expressions as relate to compound events 
to a new series of symbols, s, t, &c., which symbols regard as re- 
presenting the events, no longer as compound but simple, to 
whose expressions they have been equated. 

Eliminate from the equations thus formed all the logical sym- 
bols, except those which express events, s, t, &c., whose respective 
probabilities p, q, &c. are given, or the event w whose probability 
is sought, and determine w as a developed function of s, t, &c. 
in the form 



270 GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVII. 

Let A + B + C = F, and let V 8 represent the aggregate of 
those constituents in V which contain s as a factor, V t of those 
which contain t as a factor, and thus for all the symbols whose 
probabilities are given. 

Then, passing from Logic to Algebra, form the equations 

|-f^ 

-o A + cC 

Prob. 10 - F , (2) 

from (1) determine s, t, &c. as functions of/?, ^, &c., and sub- 
stitute their values in (2). The result will express the solution 
required. 

Or form the symmetrical system of equations 

V._V, A + cC V 

J~~q' ~iT T 

where u represents the probability sought. 

If c appear in the solution, its interpretation will be 

_ Prob. Cw 
Prob. c ' 

and this interpretation indicates the nature of the experience 
which is necessary for its discovery. 

CASE II. When some of the events are conditioned. 
If there be given the probability p that if the event X occur, 
the event Y will occur, and if the probability of the antecedent 
X be not given, resolve the proposition into the two following, 
viz.: 

Probability of X = c, 
Probability of Xy = cp. 

If the quaesitum be the probability that if the event W occur, 
the event Z will occur, determine separately, by the previous 
case, the terms of the fraction 

Prob. WZ 
Prob. W ' 

and the fraction itself will express the probability sought. 



CHAP. XVII.] GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. 271 

It is understood in this case that X, Y, W, Z may be any 
compound events whatsoever. The expressions X Y and WZ 
represent the products of the symbolical expressions of X and Y 
and of Wand. Z, formed according to the rules of the Calculus of 
Logic. 

The determination of the single constant c may in certain 
cases be resolved into, or replaced by, the determination of a series 
of arbitrary constants c 1? c 2 . . according to convenience, as pre- 
viously explained. '. t, 

18. It has been stated (I. 12) that there exist two distinct de- 
finitions, or modes of conception, upon which the theory of pro- 
babilities may be made to depend, one of them being connected 
more immediately with Number, the other more directly with 
Logic. We have now considered the consequences which flow 
from the numerical definition, and have shown how it conducts 
us to a point in which the necessity of a connexion with Logic 
obviously suggests itself. We have seen to some extent what 
is the nature of that connexion ; and further, in what manner the 
peculiar processes of Logic, and the more familiar ones of quanti- 
tative Algebra, are involved in the same general method of solu- 
tion, each of these so accomplishing its own object that the two 
processes may be regarded as supplementary to each other. It 
remains to institute the reverse order of investigation, and, setting 
out from a definition of probability in which the logical relation 
is more immediately involved, to show how the numerical defini- 
tion would thence arise, and how the same general method, 
equally dependent upon both elements, would finally, but by a 
different order of procedure, be established. 

That between the symbolical expressions of the logical cal- 
culus and those of Algebra there exists a close analogy, is a fact 
to which attention has frequently been directed in the course of 
the present treatise. It might even be said that they possess a 
community of forms, and, to a very considerable degree, a com- 
munity of laws. With a single exception in the latter respect, 
their difference is only one of interpretation. Thus the same 
expression admits of a logical or of a quantitative interpretation, 
according to the particular meaning which we attach to the sym- 



272 GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVII. 

bols it involves. The expression xy represents, under the former 
condition, a concurrence of the events denoted by x and y ; under 
the latter, the product of the numbers or quantities denoted by x 
and y. And thus every expression denoting an event, simple or 
compound, admits, under another system of interpretation, of a 
meaning purely quantitative. Here then arises the question, 
whether there exists any principle of transition, in accordance 
with which the logical and the numerical interpretations of the 
same symbolical expression shall have an intelligible connexion. 
And to this question the following considerations afford an 
answer. 

19. Let it be granted that there exists such a feeling as ex- 
pectation, a feeling of which the object is the occurrence of events, 
and which admits of differing degrees of intensity. Let it also 
be granted that this feeling of expectation accompanies our 
knowledge of the circumstances under which events are produced, 
and that it varies with the degree and kind of that knowledge. 
Then, without assuming, or tacitly implying, that the intensity 
of the feeling of expectation, viewed as a mental emotion, admits 
of precise numerical measurement, it is perfectly legitimate to 
inquire into the possibility of a mode of numerical estimation 
which shall, at least, satisfy these following conditions, viz., that 
the numerical value which it assigns shall increase when the 
known circumstances of an event are felt to justify a stronger 
expectation, shall diminish when they demand a weaker expec- 
tation, and shall remain constant when they obviously require an 
equal degree of expectation. 

Now these conditions at least will be satisfied, if we assume 
the fundamental principle of expectation to be this, viz., that the 
laws for the expression of expectation, viewed as a numerical 
element, shall be the same as the laws for the expression of the 
expected event viewed as a logical element. Thus if ^ (x, y> z) re- 
present any unconditional event compounded in any manner of 
the events or, y, 2, let the same expression (x, y> z), according 
to the above principle, denote the expectation of that event ; 
x, y, z representing no longer the simple events involved, but 
the expectations of those events. 



CHAP. XVII.] GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. 273 

For, in the first place, it is evident that, under this hypothesis, 
the probability of the occurrence of some one of a set of mutually 
exclusive events will be equal to the sum of the separate proba- 
bilities of those events. Thus if the alternation in question con- 
sist of n mutually exclusive events whose expressions are 

tf>iO, y, z), 02 (%, y,z), 0n (x, y, z), 

the expression of that alternation will be 

0! (#, y, z) + 2 0, y, z) . . -f M (>,y,*) = 1; 

the literal symbols x 9 y, z being logical, and relating to the sim- 
ple events of which the three alternatives are compounded : 
and, by hypothesis, the expression of the probability that some 
one of those alternatives will occur is 

0, (#, y, z) + 02 (x, y, z) . . + n (x, y, z), 

* 

x, y, z here denoting the probabilities of the above simple events. 
Now this expression increases, cceteris paribus, with the increase 
of the number of the alternatives which are involved, and di- 
minishes with the diminution of their number ; which is agree- 
able to the condition stated. 

Furthermore, if we set out from the above hypothetical defi- 
nition of the measure of probability, we shall be conducted, 
either by necessary inference or by successive steps of suggestion, 
which might perhaps be termed necessary, to the received nu- 
merical definition. We are at once led to recognise unity (1) 
as the proper numerical measure of certainty. For it is certain 
that any event x or its contrary 1 - x will occur. The expres- 
sion of this proposition is 

x + (1 - x) = 1, 

whence, by hypothesis, x+ (1 - x), the measure of the proba- 
bility of the above proposition, becomes the measure of certainty. 
But the value of that expression is 1, whatever the particular 
value of x may be. Unity, or 1, is therefore, on the hypothesis 
in question, the measure of certainty. 

Let there, in the next place, be n mutually exclusive, but 
equally possible events, which we will represent by t ly 2 ? t n . 



274 GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. [CHAP. XVII. 

The proposition which affirms that some one of these must occur 
will be expressed by the equation 

#! + t 2 . . + t n = 1 ; 

and, as when we pass in accordance with the reasoning of the 
last section to numerical probabilities, the same equation remains 
true in form, and as the probabilities t l9 2 . . t n are equal, we 

have 

nt, = i, 

whence f x = -, and similarly t z = -, t n = -. Suppose it then re- 
quired to determine the probability that some one event of the 
partial series 2 > t* - t m will occur, we have for the expression 
required 

t l + t% . . + t m = - + - . . to m terms 
n n 

m 



Hence, therefore, if there are m cases favourable . to the occur- 
rence of a particular alternation of events out of n possible and 
equally probable cases, the probability of the occurrence of that 

?// 

alternation will be expressed by the fraction . 

Now the occurrence of any event which may happen in diffe- 
rent equally possible ways is really equivalent to the occurrence 
of an alternation, i. e., of some one out of a set of alternatives. 
Hence the probability of the occurrence of any event may be 
expressed by a fraction whose numerator represents the number 
of cases favourable to its occurrence, and denominator the total 
number of equally possible cases. But this is the rigorous nume- 
rical definition of the measure of probability. That definition is 
therefore involved in the more peculiarly logical definition, the 
consequences of which we have endeavoured to trace. 

20. From the above investigations it clearly appears, 1st, 
that whether we set out from the ordinary numerical definition 
of the measure of probability, or from the definition which assigns 
to the numerical measure of probability such a law of value as 
shall establish a formal identity between the logical expressions 



CHAP. XVII.] GENERAL METHOD IN PROBABILITIES. 275 

of events and the algebraic expressions of their values, we shall 
be led to the same system of practical results. 2ndly, that 
either of these definitions pursued to its consequences, and con- 
sidered in connexion with the relations which it inseparably in- 
volves, conducts us, by inference or suggestion, to the other 
definition. To a scientific view of the theory of probabilities 
it is essential that both principles should be viewed together, in 
their mutual bearing and dependence. 



276 ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. [CHAP. XVIII. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE GENERAL METHOD IN PROBA- 
BILITIES. 

1 TT is designed here to illustrate, by elementary examples, 
-- the general method demonstrated in the last chapter. 
The examples chosen will be chiefly such as, from their sim- 
plicity, permit a ready verification of the solutions obtained. 
But some intimations will appear of a higher class of problems, 
hereafter to be more fully considered, the analysis of which 
would be incomplete without the aid of a distinct method deter- 
mining the necessary conditions among their data, in order that 
they may represent a possible experience, and assigning the cor- 
responding limits of the final solutions. The fuller consideration 
of that method, and of its applications, is reserved for the next 
chapter. 

2. Ex. 1. The probability that it thunders upon a given 
day is p 9 the probability that it both thunders and hails is q 9 but 
of the connexion of the two phenomena of thunder and hail, no- 
thing further is supposed to be known. Required the probability 
that it hails on the proposed day. 

Let x represent the event It thunders. 
Let y represent the event It hails. 

Then xy will represent the event It thunders and hails ; and 
the data of the problem are 

Prob. x = p, Prob. xy = q. 

There being here but one compound event xy involved, assume, 
according to the rule, 

xy = u. (1) 

Our data then become 

Prob. x = p, Prob. u = q ; (2) 

,nd it is required to find Prob. y. Now (1) gives 



a 



HAP. XVIII.] ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. 277 

y = - = ux + - u (1 - x) + (1 - u) x + - (1 - u) (1 - x). 

Hence (XVII. 17) we find 

V = ux + (1 - u) x + (1 - u) (1 - z), 
V x = ux + (1 - u) x = x, V u = ux\ 

and the equations of the General Rule, viz., 



Prob. y = 



A + cC 

V 

become, on substitution, and observing that A = ux, C= (1 - u) 
(1 - #), and that F reduces to # + (1 - u) (1 - #), 

f V7 1 

- = - = *H-0-)(l-*). (3) 

UX + C(l- U) (1 - X) ... 

* n i-)0-x) ' (4) 

from which we readily deduce, by elimination of x and u 9 



= q + c(l-p). (5) 

In this result c represents the unknown probability that if the 
event (1 -u) (1 - x) happen, the event y will happen. Now 
(I -u) (!-#) = (!- xy) (1 - #) = 1 - x, on actual multiplication. 
Hence c is the unknown probability that if it do not thunder, it 
will hail. 

The general solution (5) may therefore be interpreted as fol- 
lows : The probability that it hails is equal to the probability 
that it thunders and hails, q, together with the probability that it 
does not thunder, 1 -jo, multiplied by the probability c, that if it 
does not thunder it will hail. And common reasoning verifies 
this result. 

If c cannot be numerically determined, we find, on assigning 
to it the limiting values and 1, the following limits of Prob. y, 
viz. : 

Inferior limit = q. 
Superior limit = q + I - p. 



278 ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. [CHAP. XVIII. 

3. Ex. 2. The probability that one or both of two events 
happen is p, that one or both of them fail is q. What is the 
probability that only one of these happens ? 

Let x and y represent the respective events, then the data 

are 

Prob.xy + x (1 -y) + (1 - x)y = p, 

Prob.a?(l -y) + (l-x)y + (1 - x) (1 -y) = y; 
and we are to find 



Here all the events concerned being compound, assume 



Then eliminating x and y, and determining w as a developed 
function of s and t, we find 

w = st + s (1 - *) + (1 - s) t + i (1 - 5) (1 - *). 

Hence ^ = s, C=0, V=st + s(l-t) + (1 -s)t = s + (1 -s)t, 
V-s^ Vf=t- 9 and the equations of the General Rule (XVII. 17) 
become 



Prob. 



~' H , . 0) 



w 



(l -s)t' 
whence we find, on eliminating s and t, 

Prob. ic =p + g - 1. 

Hence p + q - 1 is the measure of the probability sought. This 
result may be verified as follows : Since p is the probability that 
one or both of the given events occur, 1 - p will be the proba- 
bility that they both fail ; and since q is the probability that one 
or both fail, 1 - q is the probability that they both happen. 
Hence 1 - p + 1 - #, or 2 -p - q, is the probability that they 
either both happen or both fail. But the only remaining alter- 
native which is possible is that one alone of the events happens. 
Hence the probability of this occurrence is 1 - (2 - p - q) 9 or 
p -f q - 1 , as above. 



CHAP. XVIII.] ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. 279 

4. Ex. 3. The probability that a witness A speaks the truth 
is p, the probability that another witness B speaks the truth is q, 
and the probability that they disagree in a statement is r. What 
is the probability that if they agree, their statement is true ? 

Let x represent the hypothesis that A speaks truth ; y that 
B speaks truth ; then the hypothesis that A and B disagree in 
then: statement will be represented by x (1 - y) + y (1 - x) ; the 
hypothesis that they agree in statement by xy + (1 - x) (1 - y), 
and the hypothesis that they agree in the truth by xy. Hence 
we have the following data : 

Prob. x - p, Prob. y = q, Prob. x(l ~ y) + y (I - #) = r, 
from which we are to determine 

Prob. xy 



Prob. xy + (1 - x) (1 - #)' 

But as Prob. x (1 - y) + y (Y- x) = r, it is evident that Prob. 
xy + (1 - x) (1 - y) will be 1 - r ; we have therefore to seek 

Prob. xy 
l-r 

Now the compound events concerned being in expression, 
x (1 - y) + y (1 - x) and xy, let us assume 



*. -- J , (1) 

Our data then are Prob. x = p, Prob. y = q, Prob. 5 = r, and we 
are to find Prob. w. 

The system (1) gives, on reduction, 



+ xy(l- w) + w(l -xy) = 0; 
whence 



2xy- 1 
-xys + xy(l-s)+Ox(l - y}s + -x (1 - y) (1 - s) 

-- 



280 ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. [CHAP. XVIII. 

In the expression of this development, the coefficient - has been 
made to replace every equivalent form (X. 6). Here we have 
V= xy(\ - s) + x(l - y)s + (1- x)ys + (1 - x) (1 - y) (1 -*); 
whence, passing from Logic to Algebra, 
xy (1 - s) + #(1 -y)s _xy (I -s) + (I - x 

p ~Y~ 



r 
- x)ys +(!-)(!- y) (1 - s). 



p , _ _ xy (1 - s) 
~ 



from which we readily deduce 



whence we have 

-r , . 



for the value sought. 

If in the same way we seek the probability that if A and B 
agree in their statement, that statement will be false, we must 
replace the second equation of the system (1) by the following, 

viz.: 

(l-x)(\-y)~w; 

the final logical equation will then be 

w=*-xys + Qxy(l-s) + Ox (1 - y) s + -x (I- y) (l-s) 

+ 0(1- x)ys + 1 (l-x)y(l-s) + -(1 - x) (1 - y)s 

+ (1-*)(1-2,)(1-.); (4) 
whence, proceeding as before, we finally deduce 



2 

Wherefore we have 



(5) 



CHAP. XVIII.] ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. 281 

Prob.(l-g)(l-y) _ 2-p-q-r 
l-r 2(1 -r) 

for the value here sought. 

These results are mutually consistent. For since it is certain 
that the joint statement of A and B must be either true or false, 
the second members of (3) and (5) ought by addition to make 1. 
Now we have identically, 

p + q - r 2 -p- a - r 
- 1 * * = 1 

2(1 -r) H 2(1 -r) 

It is probable, from the simplicity of the results (5) and (6), 
that they might easily be deduced by the application of known 
principles ; but it is to be remarked that they do not fall directly 
within the scope of known methods. The number of the data 
exceeds that of the simple events which they involve. M. Cour- 
not, in his very able wor^ " Exposition de la Theorie des 
Chances," has proposed, in such cases as the above, to select 
from the original premises different sets of data, each set equal in 
number to the simple events which they involve, to assume that 
those simple events are independent, determine separately from 
the respective sets of the data their probabilities, and comparing 
the different values thus found for the same elements, judge how 
far the assumption of independence is justified. This method 
can only approach to correctness when the said simple events 
prove, according to the above criterion, to be nearly or quite in- 
dependent ; and in the questions of testimony and of judgment, 
in which such an hypothesis is adopted, it seems doubtful whether 
it is justified by actual experience of the ways of men. 

5. Ex. 4. From observations made during a period of gene- 
ral sickness, there was a probability p that any house taken at 
random in a particular district was visited by fever, a probability 
q that it was visited by cholera, and a probability r that it es- 
caped both diseases, and was not in a defective sanitary condition 
as regarded cleanliness and ventilation. What is the probability 
that any house taken at random was in a defective sanitary 
condition ? 

With reference to any house, let us appropriate the symbols 
x 9 y, z 9 as follows, viz. : 



282 ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. [CHAP. XVIII. 

The symbol x to the visitation of fever. 
y ,, cholera. 

z defective sanitary condition. 

The events whose probabilities are given are then denoted by 
x, y, and (I - x) (1 - y) (1 - ,?), the event whose probability is 
sought is z. Assume then, 



then our data are, 

Prob. x = p 9 Prob. y = q, Prob. w = r, 
and we are to find Prob. z. Now (1) gives 



+ ^(l-x)yw + -(l 

+ 0-a)(i-y)(i-0- 0) 

The value of Fdeduced from the above is 

F= xy (1 - w) + x (1 - y) (1 - w) + (1 - x) y (1 - w) 
+ (l-x)(l-y)w + (l-x)(l-y)(l-w)=l 
and similarly reducing V X9 V y , V w , we get 

V x = x(l-w), V s = y(l-w) 9 V w ~ 
furnishing the algebraic equations 



.-)(l-y). (2) 



As respects those terms of the development characterized by 
the coefficients -, I shall, instead of collecting them into a single 

term, present them, for the sake of variety (XVII. 18), in the 
form 



w )3 (3) 

the value of Prob. z will then be 



CHAP. XVIII.] ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. 283 

Prob = o-^o-yx^^+^o- 

l-w + w(l-x) 
From (2) and (4) we deduce 

(1 - p - r) (1 - q - r) 
Prob. z = ^ F * ++ 



as the expression of the probability required. If in this result 
we make c = 0, and d = 0, we find for an inferior limit of its value 

- p-i - -; and if we make c = 1, c'= 1, we obtain 

for its superior limit 1 - r. 

6. It appears from inspection of this solution, that the pre- 
mises chosen were exceedingly defective. The constants c and 
d indicate this, and the corresponding terms (3) of the final 
logical equation show how the deficiency is to be supplied. 
Thus, since 



we learn that c is the probability that if any house was visited by 
fever its sanitary condition is defective, and that c is the proba- 
bility that if any house was visited by cholera without fever, its 
sanitary condition was defective. 

If the terms of the logical development affected by the coeffi- 

cient - had been collected together as in the direct statement of 

the general rule, the final solution would have assumed the fol- 
lowing form : 



-n i- 

Prob. z 






p + q - -2 



c here representing the probability that if a house was visited by 
either or both of the diseases mentioned, its sanitary condition 
was defective. This result is perfectly consistent with the former 
one, and indeed the necessary equivalence of the different forms 
of solution presented in such cases may be formally established. 

The above solution may be verified in particular cases. Thus, 
taking the second form, if c= I we find Prob. z = 1 - r, a correct 
result. For if the presence of either fever or cholera certainly 



284 ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. [CHAP. XVIII. 

indicated a defective sanitary condition, the probability that any 
house would be in a defective sanitary state would be simply 
equal to the probability that it was not found in that category 
denoted by 2, the probability of which would, by the data, be 1 - r. 
Perhaps the general verification of the above solution would be 
difficult. 

The constants p, q, and r in the above solution are subject to 

the conditions 

/? + /<!, + r<l. 

7. Ex. 5. Given the probabilities of the premises of a hypo- 
thetical syllogism to find the probability of the conclusion. 
Let the syllogism in its naked form be as follows : 

Major premiss : If the proposition Yis true X is true. 
Minor premiss : If the proposition Z is true Y is true. 
Conclusion : If the proposition Z is true X is true. 

Suppose the probability of the major premiss to bep, that of the 
minor premiss q. 

The data then are as follows, representing the proposition X 
by x, &c., and assuming c and c as arbitrary constants : 

Prob. y = c, Prob. xy = cp ; 
Prob. z = c', Prob. yz = c'q ; 
from which we are to determine, 

Prob. xz Prob. xz 

__ r\\* _ . 

Prob.z c 

Let us assume, 

xy = u, yz = V) xz - w ; 

then, proceeding according to the usual method to determine w 
as a developed function of y, z 9 u 9 and v, the symbols corres- 
ponding to propositions whose probabilities are given, we find 

w = uzvy + OM (1 - z*) (1 - v) y + (1 - u) zvy 



+ (1 - u) (1 - z) (1 - v) (1 - y) + terms whose coeffi- 
cients are - ; 



CHAP. XVIII.] ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. 285 

and passing from Logic to Algebra, 

uzvy + u (1 - z) (1 - v) y _ uzvy + (1 - u) zvy + (1 - u) z (1 - 0)(1 -y) 
cp c' 

uzvy + (1 - u) zvy 



p r ob. 

wherein 



F= wzvy + w(l -2)(1 -u)y + (1 -w) zvy + (l -u) z(l-v) (1 -^) 

+ (\-u)(l-z)(l-v)y + (l- u) (1 - z) (1 - *) (1 - y), 
the solution of this system of equations gives 

Prob. w = Jpq + ac (1 - q\ 
whence 

Prob. xy /i \ 

- ^ - =pq + a(l-q), 

C 

the value required. In this expression the arbitrary constant a 
is the probability that if the proposition Z is true and Y false, X 
is true. In other words, it is the probability, that if the minor 
premiss is false, the conclusion is true. 

This investigation might have been greatly simplified by as- 
suming the proposition ^"to be true, and then seeking the proba- 
bility of X. The data would have been simply 

Prob. y = #, Prob. xy = pq ; 

whence we should have found Prob. x = pq + a (1 - q). It is 
evident that under the circumstances this mode of procedure 
would have been allowable, but I have preferred to deduce the 
solution by the direct and unconditioned application of the 
method. The result is one which ordinary reasoning verifies, 
and which it does not indeed require a calculus to obtain. Ge- 
neral methods are apt to appear most cumbrous when applied to 
cases in which their aid is the least required. 

Let it be observed, that the above method is equally appli- 
cable to the categorical syllogism, and not to the syllogism only, 



286 ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. [CHAP. XVIII. 

but to every form of deductive ratiocination. Given the proba- 
bilities separately attaching to the premises of any train of ar- 
gument ; it is always possible by the above method to determine 
the consequent probability of the truth of a conclusion legitimately 
drawn from such premises. It is not needful to remind the 
reader, that the truth and the correctness of a conclusion are dif- 
ferent things. 

8. One remarkable circumstance which presents itself in such 
applications deserves to be specially noticed. It is, that propo- 
sitions which, when true, are equivalent, are not necessarily 
equivalent when regarded only as probable. This principle will 
be illustrated in the following example. 

Ex. 6. Given the probability p of the disjunctive proposition 
" Either the proposition Yis true, or both the propositions X and 
Fare false," required the probability of the conditional propo- 
sition, " If the proposition X is true, Yis true." 

Let x and y be appropriated to the propositions X and Y 
respectively. Then we have 

Prob.y + (l-x) (1 -#)=;>, 

from which it is required to find the value of -^ ^ . 

Prob. x 

Assume y + (1 - x) (1 - y) = t. (1) 

Eliminating y we get 

(1 - a) (1 - = 0. 

Whence "' 



and proceeding in the usual way, 

Prob. x = 1 - p + cp. (2) 

Where c is the probability that if either Y is true, or X and Y 
false, X is true. 

Next to find Prob. ocy. Assume 

xy = iv. (3) 

Eliminating y from (1) and (3) we get* 

* (1 - = ; 



CHAP. XVIII.] ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. 287 

whence, proceeding as above, 

Prob. z = cp, 
c having the same interpretation as before. Hence 

Prob. xy cp 

Prob. x 1 - p + cp ' 

for the probability of the truth of the conditional proposition 
given. 

Now in the science of pure Logic, which, as such, is conver- 
sant only with truth and with falsehood, the above disjunctive 
and conditional propositions are equivalent. They are true and 
they are false together. It is seen, however, from the above in- 
vestigation, that when the disjunctive proposition has a proba- 
bility p, the conditional proposition has a different and partly in- 

cv 
definite probability - . Nevertheless these expressions 

are such, that when either of them becomes 1 or 0, the other as- 
sumes the same value. The results are, therefore, perfectly con- 
sistent, and the logical transformation serves to verify the formula 
deduced from the theory of probabilities. 

The reader will easily prove by a similar analysis, that if the 
probability of the conditional proposition were given as /?, that 
of the disjunctive proposition would be 1 - c + cp, where c is the 
arbitrary probability of the truth of the proposition X. 

9. Ex. 7. Required to determine the probability of an event 
#, having given either the first, or the first and second, or the 
first, second, and third of the following data, viz. : 

1st. The probability that the event x occurs, or that it alone 
of the three events x, y, z, fails, is p. 

2nd. The probability that the event y occurs, or that it alone 
of the three events x, y 9 z, fails, is q. 

3rd. The probability that the event z occurs, or that it alone 
of the three events x, y, z, fails, is r. 

SOLUTION OF THE FIRST CASE. 

Here we suppose that only the first of the above data is 
given. 



288 ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. [CHAP. XVIII. 

We have then, 

Prob. {x + (1 - x) yz} = p, 
to find Prob. x. 

Let x + (1 - x) yz = s 9 

then eliminating yz as a single symbol, we get, 

x(l-s) = 0. 
Hence 



whence, proceeding according to the rule, we have 

Prob. x = cp, (1) 

where c is the probability that if x occurs, or alone fails, the 
former of the two alternatives is the one that will happen. The 
limits of the solution are evidently and p. 

This solution appears to give us no information beyond what 
unassisted good sense would have conveyed. It is, however, all 
that the single datum here assumed really warrants us in infer- 
ring. We shall in the next solution see how an addition to our 
data restricts within narrower limits the final solution, 

SOLUTION OF THE SECOND CASE. 

Here we assume as our data the equations 
Prob. {x + (1 - x) yz} = p, 

Prob. {y + (l-y)xz) = q. 
Let us write 



from the first of which we have, by (VIII. 7), 

{x+(\-x)yz} (l-s) + s{l-z-(l-x)yz} = 0, 
or (a; + xyz) ~s + sx (1 - yz) = ; 

provided that for simplicity we write x for 1 - a?, y for 1 - y, and 
so on. Now, writing for 1 - yz its value in constituents, we 

have 

(x + xyz) s + sx (yz + yz + yz) = 0, 

an equation consisting solely of positive terms. 



CHAP. XVIII.] ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. 289 

In like manner we have from the second equation, 
(y + yxz) 1, + ty (xz + xz + xz) = ; 

and from the sum of these two equations we are to eliminate y 
and z. 

If in that sum we make y = 1, z = 1, we get the result ~s + t. 

If in the same sum we make y = 1, z = 0, we get the result 

xs + s x + t. 
If in the same sum we make y = 0, z = 1, we get 

xs + sx + xt -f tx. 

And if, lastly, in the same sum we make y = 0, z = 0, we find 
xs + sx + tx + tx 9 or #? + sx + t. 

These four expressions are to be multiplied together. Now 
the first and third may be multiplied in the following manner : 

(?+ ) (x's + sx + xi + tx) 

= xs + xt + (s + i) (sx + tx) by (IX. Prop, n.) 

j = x~s + xt + ~sxt + sxl. (2) 

Again, the second and fourth give by (IX. Prop, i.) 

(xs + SX + 1) (xJ+ sx + t) 

= x~s + sx. (3) 

Lastly, (2) and (3) multiplied together give 
(xJ + sx) (x~s + sxJ + xt + tUTs) 
= xs + sx (sxt + xt + tx~s) 

= x~s + sxt. 
Whence the final equation is 

(l-s)x + s(l -#)(1-^) = 0, 
which, solved with reference to x, gives 



X = 



(1-0 -(!-) 
= ^st + * (1 - 1) + (1 - *) < + (1 - s) (1 - t), 



290 ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. [CHAP. XVIII. 

and, proceeding with this according to the rule, we have, finally, 
Prob. x = p(l - q) + cpq. (4) 

where c is the probability that if the event st happen, x will 
happen. Now if we form the developed expression of st by mul- 
tiplying the expressions for s and t together, we find 

c = Prob. that if x and y happen together, or x and z happen 
together, and y fail, or y and z happen together, and x fail, the 
event a will happen. 

The limits of Prob. x are evidently p (1 - q} and p. 

This solution is more definite than the former one, inasmuch 
as it contains a term unaffected by an arbitrary constant. 

SOLUTION OF THE THIRD CASE. 

Here the data are 

Prob. {x + (1 - x)yz] = p, 
Prob. [y + (1 - y) xz\ = q, 
Prob. (z+ (I- z)xy] = r. 

Let us, as before, write x for 1 - #, &c., and assume 

x + xyz = s, 



z + ~zxy = u. 
On reduction by (VIII. 8) we obtain the equation 

(x + xyzjs + sx (yz + y z + yz) 

+ (y + yxz) t + ty (zx + xz + xz) 

-f (z + zxy) u+ uz (xy + Icy + xy) = 0. (5) 

Now instead of directly eliminating y and z from the above 
equation, let us, in accordance with (IX. Prop, in.), assume the 
result of that elimination to be 

Ex + E(\ -tf) = 0, 

then E will be found by making in the given equation x = 1, 
and eliminating y and z from the resulting equation, and E' will 
be found by making in the given equation x = 0, and eliminating 
y and z from the result. First, then, making x = 1, we have 



CHAP. XVIII.] ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. 291 



* + (y + y*) * + ffi + ( z 

and making in the first member of this equation successively 
y = 1, z = 1, y = 1, z = 0, &c., and multiplying together the 
results, we have the expression 

(7 + t + u ) (? + if + ) (7 + t + u) (s + + M), 
which is equivalent to 

(? + t + u) ( J -i- t -f w). 

This is the expression for J5J. We shall retain it in its present 
form. It has already been shown by example (VIII. 3), that 
the actual reduction of such expressions by multiplication, though 
convenient, is not necessary. 

Again in (5), making x = 0, we have 

yzs + s (yz + y z + yz)*+ yi + ty + zu + uz = ; 

from which, by the same process of elimination, we find for E the 
expression 

(?+ ~t\+ u) (s + ~t + u) (s + t + u) (s -f t + u) 

The final result of the elimination of y and z from (5) is there- 
fore 



Whence we have 

_ _ (s + t+u) (s+t+u)(s+t+u)(s+t+u) 



or, developing the second member, 



+ - *stu + QTstu + Q~stu + 

Hence, passing from Logic to Algebra, 

stu + stu _ stu + ~stu _ stu + stu 
-7- ,.'_ (7) 

= stu + stu +"stu + Htu + ~stu. 
u 2 



292 ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. [CHAP. XVIII. 

stu + cstu 



Prob.aj 



stu+ stu + stu + stu + stu 



(8) 



To simplify this system of equations, change into s, into t, 

s t 

&c., and after the change let X stand for stu + s + t+l. We then 

have 

-T) . S + CStU 

Prob. x = j, (9) 

with the relations 

stu -t- s stu + t stu + u 

= = = stu + s + t + u + I = X. (10) 

p q r 

From these equations we get 

stu + s = \p, (11) 

stu + s = \ t-u- 1, 



Similarly, u + s = X (1 - q) - 1, 

and s + t = \ (1-r) - 1. 

From which equations we find 



(12) 



2 

Now, by (10), 

stu = \p - s. 

Substitute in this equation the values of s, t, and u above deter- 
mined, and we have 



= 4 {( P + q + r-l)X + l}, (13) 

an equation which determines X. The values of s, t, and u, are 
then given by (12), and their substitution in (9) completes the 
solution of the problem. 



CHAP. XVIII.] ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. 293 

10. Now a difficulty, the bringing of which prominently be- 
fore the reader has been one object of this investigation, here 
arises. How shall it be determined, which root of the above 
equation ought to taken for the value of X. To this difficulty 
some reference was made in the opening of the present chapter, 
and it was intimated that its fuller consideration was reserved for 
the next one ; from which the following results are taken. 

In order that the data of the problem may be derived from 
a possible experience, the quantities p, q, and r must be subject 
to the following conditions : 

1 +p-q-r >0, 

l+q-p-r>Q, (14) 

l+r-p-q>0. 

Moreover, the value of X to be employed in the general solution 
must satisfy the following conditions : 

\>-, - - - , X>. - l , X^ 1 - - - . (15) 
1+p-q-r l+q-p-r l+r-p-q 

Now these two sets of conditions suffice for the limitation of 
the general solution. It may be shown, that the central equation 
(13) furnishes but one value of X, which does satisfy these con- 
ditions, and that value of X is the one required. 

Let 1 + p - q - r be the least of the three coefficients of X 

given above, then - -- will be the greatest of those va- 

lues, above which we are % to show that there exists but one value 
of X. Let us write (13) in the form 



-4{(p + ?+r-l)X + l) = 0; (16) 

and represent the first member by F. 

Assume X = - -- , then V becomes 
1 + p - q - r 



which is negative. 



294 ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATIONS. [CHAP. XVIII. 

Let X = oo, then Vis positive and infinite. 
Again, 

= (l+p-q-r)(l +q-p-r)[(l + r-p-q)\-l} 

+ similar positive terms, 

which expression is positive between the limits X = 

and X = oo. 

If then we construct a curve whose abscissa shall be measured 
by X, and whose ordinates by F, that curve will, between the 
limits specified, pass from below to above the abscissa X, its con- 
vexity always being downwards. Hence it will but once intersect 
the abscissa X within those limits ; and the equation (16) will, there- 
fore, have but one root thereto corresponding. 

The solution is, therefore, expressed by (9), X being that 
root of (13) which satisfies the conditions (15), and s, t, and u 
being given by (12). The interpretation of c may be deduced 
in the usual way. 

It appears from the above, that the problem is, in all cases, 
more or less indeterminate. 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 295 



CHAPTER XIX. 

OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 

1. ~P) Y the term statistical conditions, I mean those conditions 
J-J which must connect the numerical data of a problem in 
order that those data may be consistent with each other, and 
therefore such as statistical observations might actually have 
furnished. The determination of such conditions constitutes an 
important problem, the solution of which, to an extent sufficient 
at least for the requirements of this work, I purpose to undertake 
in the present chapter, regarding it partly as an independent ob- 
ject of speculation, but partly also as a necessary supplement to 
the theory of probabilities already in some degree exemplified. 
The nature of the connexion between the two subjects may be 
stated as follows : 

2. There are innumerable instances, and one of the kind 
presented itself in the last chapter, Ex. 7, in which the solution 
of a question in the theory of probabilities is finally dependent 
upon the solution of an algebraic equation of an elevated degree. 
In such cases the selection of the proper root must be determined 
by certain conditions, partly relating to the numerical values as- 
signed in the data, partly to the due limitation of the element 
required. The discovery of such conditions may sometimes be 
effected by unaided reasoning. For instance, if there is a proba- 
bility p of the occurrence of an event A, and a probability q of 
the concurrence of the said event -4, and another event J5, it is 
evident that we must have 



But for the general determination of such relations, a distinct 
method is required, and this we proceed to establish. 

As derived from actual experience, the probability of any 
event is the result of a process of approximation. It is the limit 
of the ratio of the number of cases in which the event is observed 
to occur, to the whole number of equally possible cases which 



296 OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. [CHAP. XIX. 

observation records, a limit to which we approach the more 
nearly as the number of observations is increased. Now let the 
symbol n, prefixed to the expression of any class, represent the 
number of individuals contained in that class. Thus, x represent- 
ing men, and y white beings, let us assume 

nx = number of men. 

nxy = number of white men. 

nx (1 - y) = number of men who are not white; and so on. 

In accordance with this notation w(l) will represent the number 
of individuals contained in the universe of discourse, and 



will represent the probability that any individual being, selec 
out of that universe of being denoted by n ( 1), is a man. If ob- 
servation has not made us acquainted with the total values of 
n(x) and n(l), then the probability in question is the limit to 

which TTT approaches as the number of individual observations 

is increased. 

In like manner if, as will generally be supposed in this chap- 
ter, x represent an event of a particular kind observed, n (x) will 
represent the number of occurrences of that event, n (1) the 
number of observed events (equally probable) of all kinds, and 

-y-r , or its limit, the probability of the occurrence of the 
n(\.) 

event x. 

Hence it is clear that any conclusions which may be deduced 
respecting the ratios of the quantities n (x), n (?/), n (1), &c. may 
be converted into conclusions respecting the probabilities of the 
events represented by #, y, &c. Thus, if we should find such a 
relation as the following, viz., 



expressing that the number of times in which the event x occurs 
and the number of times in which the event y occurs, are toge- 
ther less than the number of possible occurrences n (I), we might 
thence deduce the relation, 

fe) , n (y) , i 



or Prob. x + Prob. y < 1 . 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 297 

And generally any such statistical relations as the above will be 
converted into relations connecting the probabilities of the events 
concerned, by changing n(l) into 1, and any other symbol n(x) 
into Prob. x. 

3. First, then, we shall investigate a method of determining 
the numerical relations of classes or events, and more particularly 
the major and minor limits of numerical value. Secondly, we 
shall apply the method to the limitation of the solutions of ques- 
tions in the theory of probabilities. 

It is evident that the symbol n is distributive in its operation. 
Thus we have 

n(ay+(l-x) (l-y)} = nxy + n(\ -x) (1 -y) 
nx (1 - y) = nx - nxy, 

and so on. The number of things contained in any class re- 
solvable into distinct groups or portions is equal to the sum of 
the numbers of things founcl in those separate portions. It is 
evident, further, that any expression formed of the logical sym- 
bols x, y, &c. may be developed or expanded in any way consis- 
tent with the laws of the symbols, and the symbol n applied to 
each term of the result, provided that any constant multiplier 
which may appear, be placed outside the symbol n\ without affect- 
ing the value of the result. The expression n (1), should it ap- 
pear, will of course represent the number of individuals contained 
in the universe. Thus, 

n (1-tf) (l-y) = n(l -x-y + xy) 
n (1) - n (x) - n (y) + n (xy). 

Again, n [xy + (1 - a) (1 - y)} = n (1 - x - y + 2xy) 
= n (1) - nx - ny + 2nxy). 

In the last member the term 2nxy indicates twice the number of 
individuals contained in the class xy. 

4. We proceed now to investigate the numerical limits of 
classes whose logical expression is given. In this inquiry the 
following principles are of fundamental importance : 

1st. If all the members of a given class possess a certain pro- 
perty # , the total number of individuals contained in the class x 



298 OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. [CHAP. XIX. 

will be a superior limit of the number of individuals contained in 
the given class. 

2nd. A minor limit of the number of individuals in any class y 
will be found by subtracting a major numerical limit of the con- 
trary class, I-?/, from the number of individuals contained in the 
universe. 

To exemplify these principles, let us apply them to the fol- 
lowing problem : 

PROBLEM. Given, ft(l), n(x)^ and n(y), required the su- 
perior and inferior limits of nxy. 

Here our data are the number of individuals contained in the 
universe of discourse, the number contained in the class #, and 
the number in the class ?/, and it is required to determine the 
limits of the number contained in the class composed of the indi- 
viduals that are found at once in the class x and in the class y. 

By Principle i. this number cannot exceed the number con- 
tained in the class #, nor can it exceed the number contained in 
the class y. Its major limit will then be the least of the two va- 
lues n(x) and (y). 

By Principle n. a minor limit of the class xy will be given by 
the expression 

n (1)- major limit of {x(\ -y) + y(\ -#) + (!-#) (l-y)J,(l) 

since x (1 - y) + y (1 - x) + (1 - #) (1 - y) is the complement of 
the class xy, i. e. what it wants to make up the universe. 

Now x (1 - y) + (1 - x) (1 - y) = 1 - y. We have there- 
fore for (1), 

n (1) - major limit of { 1 -y + y (1 - x)} 
= n (1) - n (1 - y) - major limit of y (1 - #). (2) 

The major limit of ?/(! - x) is the least of the two values n(y) 
and n(\ - x). Let n (y) be the least, then (2) becomes 

n(\)-n(\-y)-n(y) 
= (1) -*(!) + fi (y)-n(y) = 0. 
Secondly, let n (1 - x) be less than n (#), then 
major limit of ny (1 - x) - n (1 - x) ; 
therefore (2) becomes 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 299 

n(\)-n(\-y)-n(\-x) 

-(l)-(l) + *(y)-(l) + n(0) 

= nx -f ny ft(l). 

The minor limit of nxy is therefore either or n (x) + n (y) - w(l), 
according as n (y) is less or greater than n (1 - #), or, which is an 
equivalent condition, according as n (x) is greater or less than 
n(\-y). 

Now as is necessarily a minor limit of the numerical value 
of any class, it is sufficient to take account of the second of the 
above expressions for the minor limit of w (#?/). We have, there- 
fore, 

Major limit of n (xy) = least of values n (x) and n (y). 
Minor limit of n (xy} = n (x) + n (y) - n (1).* 

PROPOSITION I. 

^* 

5. To express the major and minor limits of a class represented 
by any constituent of the symbols x, y, z, -c., having given the va- 
lues ofn (x), n (y), n (*), *c., and n (1). 

Consider first the constituent xyz. 

It is evident that the major numerical limit will be the least 
of the values n(x), n(y), n(z). 

The minor numerical limit may be deduced as in the previous 
problem, but it may also be deduced from the solution of that 
problem. Thus : 

Minor limit of n (xyz) = n (xy) + n(z) - n (1). (1) 

Now this means that n (xyz) is at least as great as the expres- 
sion n(xy) + n(z) - ra(l). But n(xy) is at least as great as 
n (x) + n (y) - n (1). Therefore n (xyz} is at least as great as 

n (x) + n (y) -n(\) + n(z)-n (1), 
or n (x) + n (y) + n(z) ~ 2n (1). 

* The above expression for the minor limit of nxy is applied by Professor 
De Morgan, by whom it appears to have been first given, to the syllogistic form : 
Most men in a certain company have coats. 
Most men in the same company have waistcoats. 
Therefore some in the company have coats and waistcoats. 



300 OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. [CHAP. XIX. 

Hence we have 

Minor limit of n (xyz) = n (x) + n (y) + n (z) - 2n (1). 

By extending this mode of reasoning we shall arrive at the 
following conclusions : 

1st. The major numerical limit of the class represented by 
any constituent will be found by prefixing n separately to each 
factor of the constituent, and taking the least of the resulting 
values. 

2nd. The minor limit will be found by adding all the values 
above mentioned together, and subtracting from the result as 
many, less one, times the value of n(l). 

Thus we should have 

Major limit ofnxy (1 - z) = least of the values nx, ny, and n(l - z). 
Minor limit of nxy(\ - z) = n (x) + n (y) + n (1 - z) - 2n(l) 

= nx + n(y) -n(z) - n(l). 

In the use of general symbols it is perhaps better to regard all 
the values n (#), n (y), n (1 - z), as major limits of n (xy (1 - z)} 9 
since, in fact, it cannot exceed any of them. I shall in the fol- 
lowing investigations adopt this mode of expression. 

PROPOSITION II. 

6. To determine the major numerical limit of a class expressed 
by a series of constituents of the symbols #, y, z, *c., the values of 
n(x), n(y), n(z), r., andn(l), being given. 

Evidently one mode of determining such a limit would be to 
form the least possible sum of the major limits of the several con- 
stituents. Thus a major limit of the expression 



would be found by adding the least of the two values nx, ny, fur- 
nished by the first constituent, to the least of the two values 
n (1 - #), n (1 - y), furnished by the second constituent. If we 
do not know which is in each case the least value, we must form 
the four possible sums, and reject any of these which are equal to 
or exceed n (1). Thus in the above example we should have 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 301 

nx + n(\ -x) = w(l). 

n(x) + n(\ -y) = n(\) + n(x) - n(y). 

n(y) +n(l-y) = n(l) + w(y) - rc(#). 



Rejecting the first and last of the above values, we have 
n (1) -f n (x) - n (y), and n (1) + n (y) - n (x), 
for the expressions required, one of which will (unless nx = ny) 
be less than n(l), and the other greater. The least must of 
course be taken. 

When two or more of the constituents possess a common fac- 
tor, as x, that factor can only, as is obvious from Principle I., 
furnish a single term n (x) in the final expression of the major 
limit. Thus if n (x) appear as a major limit in two or more con- 
stituents, we must, in adding those limits together, replace 
nx + nx by nx, and so on. -Take, for example, the expression 
n {xy + x (1 - y)z}. The major limits of this expression, imme- 
diately furnished by addition, would be 

1. nx. 4. ny + nx. 

2. nx + n (1 - y). 5. ny + n (1 - y). 

3. nx + n (z). 6. ny + nz. 

Of these the first and sixth only need be retained ; the second, 

third, and fourth being greater than the first ; and the fifth being 

equal to n (1). The limits are therefore 

n (x) and n (y} + n (z), 

and of these two values the last, supposing it to be less than n (1), 

must be taken. 

These considerations lead us to the following Rule : 

RULE. Take one factor from each constituent, and prefix to 

it the symbol w, add the several terms or results thus formed toge- 

ther, rejecting all repetitions of the same term ; the sum thus ob- 

tained will be a major limit of the expression, and the least of all 

such sums ivill be the major limit to be employed. 
Thus the major limits of the expression 

xyz + *(1 -y) (1 - z) + (1 - x) (l-g) (1 - z) 

would be 



302 OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. [CHAP. XIX. 

n (x) + n (1 - y\ and n (x) + n (1 - z), 
or n (#) + n (1) - TZ (?/), and n(x) + n (1) - H (z). 

If we began with n (y), selected from the first term, and took 
n (x) from the second, we should have to take n (1 - y) from the 
third term, and this would give 

n (y) + n (x) + n (1 - y), or w (1) + n (as). 

But as this result exceeds n (1), which is an obvious major limit 
to every class, it need not be taken into account. 

PROPOSITION III. 

7. To find the minor numerical limit of any class expressed by 
constituents of the symbols #, y, z 9 having given n(x), n(y), n(z) .. 

-CO- 

This object may be effected by the application of the pre- 
ceding Proposition, combined with Principle n., but it is better 
effected by the following method : 

Let any two constituents, which differ from one another only 
by a single factor, be added, so as to form a single class term 
as x ( 1 - y) + xy form #, and this species of aggregation having 
been carried on as far as possible, i. e., there having been selected 
out of the given series of constituents as many sums of this kind 
as can be formed, each such sum comprising as many constituents 
as can be collected into a single term, without regarding whether 
any of the said constituents enter into the composition of other 
terms, let these ultimate aggregates, together with those con- 
stituents which do not admit of being thus added together, be 
written down as distinct terms. Then the several minor limits 
of those terms, deduced by Prop. I., will be the minor limits of 
the expression given, and one only of those minor limits will at 
the same time be positive. 

Thus from the expression xy + (1 x)y + (1 - x) (1 - y) we 
can form the aggregates y and 1 - a?, by respectively adding the 
first and second terms together, and the second and third. 
Hence n (y) and n(l - x) will be the minor limits of the expres- 
sion given. Again, if the expression given were 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 303 

xyz + x (1 - y) z + (1 - x) yz + (1 - x) (1 - y) z 



we should obtain by addition of the first four terms the single 
term z 9 by addition of the first and fifth term the single term #y, 
and by addition of the fourth and sixth terms the single term 
(1 - x) (1 - y) ; and there is no other way in which constituents 
can be collected into single terms, nor are there are any consti- 
tuents left which have not been thus taken account of. The 
three resulting terms give, as the minor limits of the given ex- 
pression, the values 

n(z\ n(x) + n(y) -n(l), 
and n (1 - x) + n (1 - y) - n (1), or n (1) - n (x) - n (y). 

8. The proof of the above rule consists in the proper appli- 
cation of the following principles : 1st. The minor limit of any 
collection of constituents which admit of being added into a sin- 
gle term, will obviously be' the minor limit of that single term. 
This explains the first part of the rule. 2nd. The minor limit 
of the sum of any two terms which either are distinct constituents, 
or consist of distinct constituents, but do not admit of being 
added together, will be the sum of their respective minor limits, 
if those minor limits are both positive; but if one be positive, and 
the other negative, it will be equal to the positive minor limit 
alone. For if the negative one were added, the value of the limit 
would be diminished, i. e. it would be less for the sum of two 
terms than for a single term. Now whenever two constituents 
differ in more than one factor, so as not to admit of being added 
together, the minor limits of the two cannot be both positive. 
Thus let the terms be xyz and ( 1 - x) ( 1 - y) z, which differ in 
two factors, the minor limit of the first is n (x + y + z - 2), that 
of the second n (1 - x + 1 - y + z - 2), or, 

1st. n{x + y- I -(1 -z)}. 2nd. n (I - x - y - (1-*)}. 

If n (x + y - 1) is positive, n (1 - x - y} is negative, and the se- 
cond must be negative. If n (x + y - 1 ) is negative, the first is 
negative; and similarly for cases in which a larger number of 
factors are involved. It may in this manner be shown that, ac- 
cording to the mode in which the aggregate terms are formed in 



304 OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. [CHAP. XIX. 

the application of the rule, no two minor limits of distinct terms 
can be added together, for either those terms will involve some 
common constituent, in which case it is clear that we cannot add 
their minor limits together, or the minor limits of the two will 
not be both positive, in which case the addition would be useless. 

PROPOSITION IV. 

9. Given the respective numbers of individuals comprised in 
any classes, s, t, *c. logically defined, to deduce a system of nume- 
rical limits of any other class w, also logically defined. 

As this is the most general problem which it is meant to dis- 
cuss in the present chapter, the previous inquiries being merely 
introductory to it, and the succeeding ones occupied with its ap- 
plication, it is desirable to state clearly its nature and design. 

When the classes s 9 t..w are said to be logically defined, it 
is meant that they are classes so defined as to enable us to write 
down their symbolical expressions, whether the classes in ques- 
tion be simple or compound. By the general method of this 
treatise, the symbol w can then be determined directly as a deve- 
loped function of the symbols s, t, &c. in the form 

1 
w = A + + - C+-D t (1) 

wherein A,B,C, and D are formed of the constituents of s, t, &c. 
How from such an expression the numerical limits of w may in 
the most general manner be determined, will be considered here- 
after. At present we merely purpose to show how far this object 
can be accomplished on the principles developed in the previous 
propositions; such an inquiry being sufficient for the purposes of 
this work. For simplicity, I shall found my argument upon the 
particular development, 

-rf + o(i-o + J(i-*)* + J(i-) (i-O, (2) 

in which all the varieties of coefficients present themselves. 

Of the constituent (I -s) (I - <), which has for its coeffi- 
cient -, it is implied that some, none, or all of the class denoted 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 305 

by that constituent are found in w. It is evident that n (10) will 
have its highest numerical value when all the members of the 
class denoted by (1 - s) (1 -t) are found in w. Moreover, as 
none of the individuals contained in the classes denoted by 
s (1 - 1) and (1 - s) t are found in w> the superior numerical limits 
of 10 will be identical with those of the class st + (1 - s) (1 - t). 
They are, therefore, 

ns + n (I - t) and nt + n (1 - s). 

In like manner a system of superior numerical limits of the 
development A + QB + - C + - D, may be found from those of 
A + Cby Prop. 2. 

Again, any minor numerical limit of w will, by Principle n., 
be given by the expression 

n (1) - major limit of n (1 - w) 9 

but the development of w being given by (1), that of 1 - w will 
obviously be 

l-w = OA + B + ^C + i Z>. 

This may be directly proved by the method of Prop. 2, Chap. x. 
Hence 

Minor limit of n(w) = n(l) - major limit (B + C) 

= minor limit of (J. + JD), 

by Principle n., since the classes A + D and B + C are supple- 
mentary. Thus the minor limit of the second member of (2) 
would be n (t) 9 and, generalizing this mode of reasoning, we have 
the following result : 

A system of minor limits of the development 
A + QB + .C + ^D 

will be given by the minor limits of A + D. 

This result may also be directly inferred. For of minor nu- 
merical limits we are bound to seek the greatest. Now we ob- 
tain inj general a higher minor limit by connecting the class D 

x 



306 OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. [CHAP. XIX. 

with A in the expression of w, a combination which, as shown in 
various examples of the Logic we are permitted to make, than 
we other wise should obtain. 

Finally, as the concluding term of the development of w in- 
dicates the equation D = 0, it is evident that n (Z>) = 0. Hence 

we have 

Minor limit of n (Z>) < 0, 

and this equation, treated by Prop. 3, gives the requisite condi- 
tions among the numerical elements n(s), n(t), &c., in order that 
the problem may be real, and may embody in its data the re- 
sults of a possible experience. 

Thus from the term - (1 - s) t in the second member of (2) 

we should deduce 

n(\ -s) + n(t) -n(l)<0, 



These conclusions may be embodied in the following rule : 

10. RULE. Determine the expression of the class w as a deve- 
loped logical function of the symbols s, t, fyc. in the form 



Then will 

Maj. lim. w = Maj. lim. A + C. 

Min. lim. w = Min. lim. A + D. 
The necessary numerical conditions among the data being given by 

the inequality 

Min. lim.Z><rc(l). 

To apply the above method to the limitation of the solutions 
of questions in probabilities, it is only necessary to replace in 
each of the formulae n (x) by Prob. #, n (y) by Prob. y t &c., and, 
finally, n (1) by 1. The application being, however, of great im- 
portance, it may be desirable to exhibit in the form of a rule 
the chief results of transformation. 

11. Given the probabilities of any events s, t, &c., whereof 
another event w is a developed logical function, in the form 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 307 

required the systems of superior and inferior limits of Prob. iv, 
and the conditions among the data. 

SOLUTION. The superior limits of Prob. (A + (7), and the 
inferior limits of Prob. {A + D) will form two such systems as are 
sought. The conditions among the constants in the data will be 
given by the inequality, 

Inf. lim. Prob. D < 0. 

In the application of these principles we have always 
Inf. lim. Prob. x l x 2 . . x n = Prob. a?! + Prob. x 2 . . + Prob.# n - (n - 1 ). 

Moreover, the inferior limits can only be determined from single 
terms, either given or formed by aggregation. Superior limits 
are included in the form S Prob. x, Prob. x applying only to 
symbols which are different, and are taken from different terms in 
the expression whose superior limit is sought. Thus the supe- 
rior limits of Prob. xyz + x (1 - y) (1 - z) are 

Prob. x, Prob. y + Prob. (1 - z), and Prob. z + Prob. (1 -y). 

Let it be observed, that if in the last case we had taken Prob. z 
from the first term, and Prob. ( 1 - 2) from the second, a con- 
nexion not forbidden, we should have had as their sum 1, which 
as a result would be useless because a priori necessary. It is 
obvious that we may reject any limits which do not fall between 
and 1. 

Let us apply this method to Ex. 7, Case in. of the last 
chapter. 

The final logical solution is 

1-1 

x = - stu -f - stu + - stu + stu 

+ -~stu + Q~siu + Q~stu + Q~stu 9 
the data being 

Prob. s = p, Prob. t = q, Prob. u = r. 

We shall seek both the numerical limits of x, and the condi- 
tions connecting p, q, and r. 

x2 



308 OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. [CHAP. XIX. 

The superior limits of x are, according to the rule, given by 
those of stu + stu. They are, therefore, 

p 9 q + 1 - r, r + I - q. 
The inferior limit of x are given by those of 
stu + stu, + stu -f ~stu. 

We may collect the first and third of these constituents in the 
single term st. and the second and third in the single term su. 
The inferior limits of x must then be deduced separately from 
the terms s (1 - Q, s (1 - u) 9 (1 - s) tu 9 which give 

p + I - q - I, p+l-r-l, l-p + q + r-2 9 
or p - q 9 p - r, and q + r - p - 1 . 

Finally, the conditions among the constants p 9 q, and r, are 
given by the terms 

stu, stUy ~stu, 

from which, by the rule, we deduce 

p+l-q+r-2<0 9 p + q+l-r-2<0 9 I-p+q + r-2<Q. 
ml + q-p-r>Q 9 l+ r -p-q>0 9 l+ p -q- r = Q t 

These are the limiting conditions employed in the analysis of 
the final solution. The conditions by which in that solution A is 
limited, were determined, however, simply from the conditions 
that the quantities s 9 t, and u should be positive. Narrower 
limits of that quantity might, in all probability, have been de- 
duced from the above investigation. 

12. The following application is taken from an important pro- 
blem, the solution of which will be given in the next chapter. 
There are given, 

Prob. x = c l9 Prob. y = c 2 , Prob. s = c, p l9 Prob. t = c 2 p z , 
together with the logical equation 

z = stocy + sixy + Htxy + Q~st 
1 f stxy + stxy + stxy + stxy + stxy 
v [_ -f st~xy + ~stxy + Htxy -f "stxy ; 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 309 

and it is required to determine the conditions among the constants 
15 <? 2 , /?i, j9 2 , and the major and minor limits of z. 

First let us seek the conditions among the constants. Con- 

fining our attention to the terms whose coefficients are - , we 

readily form, by the aggregation of constituents, the following 
terms, viz. : 

s(l-x) 9 *(l-y) sq(\-t), to(l-); 

nor can we form any other terms which are not included under 
these. Hence the conditions among the constants are, 



n(t)+n(l-y)-n (1) ^ 0, 

n (s) + n (y) + n (I - t) - 2n (1) ^ 0, 

n(t)+n (x\ + n(l-s) - 2n (1) < 0. 

Now replace n (x) by c l9 n (y) by c 2 , n (s) by dp l9 n (t) by 
c 2 j9 2 , and n(l) by 1, and we have, after slight reductions, 

C 2 , 



Such are, then, the requisite conditions among the constants. 

Again, the major limits of z are identical with those of the 
expression 

stxy + s(\-i)x(\-y)-t(\-s)t(\- x) y\ 

which, if we bear in mind the conditions 

n(s)<n (a?), n(i)<n (y), 
above determined, will be found to be 

n (s) + n (t), or, c^ -f c 2 /? 2 , 
n(s) + n(l- x), or, 1 - d (1 - /? t ). 



Lastly, to ascertain the minor limits of z, we readily form 
from the constituents, whose coefficients are 1 or -, the single 
terms s and t, nor can any other terms not included under these be 



310 OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. [CHAP. XIX. 

formed by selection or aggregation. Hence, for the minor limits 
of z we have the values c l p l and c 2 p z . 

13. It is to be observed, that the method developed above 
does not always assign the narrowest limits which it is possible 
to determine. But it in all cases, I believe, sufficiently limits the 
solutions of questions in the theory of probabilities. 

The problem of the determination of the narrowest limits of 
numerical extension of a class is, however, always reducible to a 
purely algebraical form.* Thus, resuming the equations 



let the highest inferior numerical limit of w be represented by 
the formula an (s) + bn (#)..+ dn (1), wherein a, 6, c, . . d are 
numerical constants to be determined, and s, t, &c., the logical 
symbols of which A, B, C, D are constituents. Then 

an (s) + bn (t) . . + dn (1) = minor limit of A subject 

to the condition D = 0. 
Hence if we develop the function 

as + bt . . + d, 

reject from the result all constituents which are found in Z), the 
coefficients of those constituents which remain, and are found 
also in A, ought not individually to exceed unity in value, and 
the coefficients of those constituents which remain, and which 
are not found in A, should individually not exceed in value. 
Hence we shall have a series of inequalities of the form f< 1, 
and another series of the form g < 0, /"and g being linear func- 
tions of , b, c, &c. Then those values ofa,b..d, which, while 
satisfying the above conditions, give to the function 

an(s) + bn(t) . . + dn(l), 
its highest value must be determined, and the highest value in 

* The author regrets the loss of a manuscript, written about four years ago, 
in which this method, he believes, was developed at considerable length. His 
recollection of the contents is almost entirely confined to the impression that the 
principle of the method was the same as above described, and that its suffici- 
ency was proved. The prior methods of this chapter are, it is almost needless 
to say, easier, though certainly less general. 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 311 

question will be the highest minor limit of w. To the above we 
may add the relations similarly formed for the determination of 
the relations among the given constants ft (s), n (/) . . n (1). 

14. The following somewhat complicated example will show 
how the limitation of a solution is effected, when the problem 
involves an arbitrary element, constituting it the representative 
of a system of problems agreeing in their data, but unlimited in 
their quaesita. 

PROBLEM. Of n events x l x z . . x n , the following particulars 
are known : 

1st. The probability that either the event x l will occur, or 
all the events fail, is pi . 

2nd. The probability that either the event x 2 will occur, or 
all the events fail, is p 2 . And so on for the others. 

It is required to find the probability of any single event, or 
combination of events, represented by the general functional form 
(x l . . x n ), or 0. 

Adopting a previous notation, the data of the problem are 

Prob. (Xi + x l . .x n )=pi . . Prob. (x n + x t . . x n ) = p n . 

And Prob. (x l . . x n ) is required. 
Assume generally 

X r + X V . . X n = S rt (1) 

t = w. (2) 

We hence obtain the collective logical equation of the problem 

2 {(x r + x l . . x n ) s r + s r (x r - #1 . . Xn)} + $w + w!j> = 0. (3) 

From this equation we must eliminate the symbols x l , . . x n , and 
determine w as a developed logical function of s l . . s n . 

Let us represent the result of the aforesaid elimination in the 
form 

Ew 



then will E be the result of the elimination of the same symbols 
from the equation 

2 {(X r + X l .. X n ) S r + S r (x r - X l . . X n )} + 1-0 = 0. (4) 

Now E will be the product of the coefficients of all the con- 
stituents (considered with reference to the symbols x l , x. 2 . . x n ) 



312 OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. [CHAP. XIX. 

which are found in the development of the first member of the 
above equation. Moreover, 0, and therefore 1 - 0, will consist 
of a series of such constituents, having unity for their respective 
coefficients. In determining the forms of the coefficients in the 
development of the first member of (4), it will be convenient to 
arrange them in the following manner : 

1st. The coefficients of constituents found in 1 - 0. 

2nd. The coefficient of x ly x z . . x tl) if found in 0. 

3rd. The coefficients of constituents found in 0, excluding the 
constituent lc l , x 2 . . x n . 

The above is manifestly an exhaustive classification. 

First then ; the coefficient of any constituent found in 1 0, 
will, in the development of the first member of (4), be of the form 

1 + positive terms derived from S. 

Hence, every such coefficient may be replaced by unity, Prop. i. 
Chap. ix. 

Secondly ; the coefficient of x l . . z n9 if found in 0, in the 
development of the first member of (4) will be 

SSrj 01 Si + S z + H n 

Thirdly; the coefficient of any other constituent, x l . . x i9 
Zi+i . . x n , found in 0, in the development of the first member 
of (4) will be *i . . + $j + $t+i . . + s n . 

Now it is seen, that E is the product of all the coefficients 
above determined; but as the coefficients of those constituents 
which are not found in reduce to unity, E may be regarded as 
the product of the coefficients of those constituents which are found 
in 0. From the mode in which those coefficients are formed, we 
derive the following rule for the determination of -E, viz., in 
each constituent found in 0, except the constituent xi x 2 . . x n , 
for Xi write J 19 for Xi write s\ 9 and so on, and add the results; 
but for the constituent Xi , x z . . x n , if it occur in <p , write ?i + J 2 . . + J n ; 
the product of all these sums is E. 

To find E' we must in (3) make w = 0, and eliminate Xi , x, . . x n 
from the reduced equation. That equation. will be 

-f X n ) S r +S r (Xr-Xt ..)} f = 0. (5) 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 313 

Hence E' will be formed from the constituents in 1 - 0, i. e. 
from the constituents not found in in the same way as E is 
formed from the constituents found in 0. 

Consider next the equation 

Ew + E'(\ -w) = 0. 
This gives 

' ' 



Now -Z? and ." are functions of the symbols Si , * 2 . . s n . The 
expansion of the value of w will, therefore, consist of all the con- 
stituents which can be formed out of those symbols, with their 
proper coefficients annexed to them, as determined by the rule 
of development. 

Moreover, E and E' are each formed by the multiplication of 
factors, and neither of them^can vanish unless some one of the 
factors of which it is composed vanishes. Again, any factor, as 
~s : . . + s n can only vanish when all the terms by the addition of 
which it is formed vanish together, since in development we at- 
tribute to these terms the values and 1, only. It is further evi- 
dent, that no two factors differing from each other can vanish 
together. Thus the factors Hi 4- s 3 . . + H n , and $i + ~s z . . + ? , can- 
not simultaneously vanish, for the former cannot vanish unless 
s 1 = 0, or $i = 1 ; but the latter cannot vanish unless s x = 0. 

First, let us determine the coefficient of the constituent 
"siS 2 *n in the development of the value of w. 

The simultaneous assumption Jj = 1, ? 2 = 1 . . ? = 1, would 
cause the factor s t + s z . . + s n to vanish if this should occur in 
E or E'-, and no other factor under the same assumption would 
vanish ; but Si + s z . . + s n does not occur as a factor of either 
E or jE 7 ; neither of these quantities, therefore, can vanish; and, 

TfT ft 

therefore, the expression -- =,, is neither 1,0, nor -. 
L - XL 

Wherefore the coefficient of J x <F 2 . . ~s n in the expanded value 
of w, may be represented by - . 

Secondly, let us determine the coefficient of the constituent 



314 OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. [CHAP. XIX. 

The assumptions $1 = 1, s 2 = 1, . . s n - 1, would cause the factor 
$! + s 2 - + ~$n to vanish. Now this factor is found in E and not 
in E whenever contains both the constituents x l x 2 . . x n and 

77" 77" 

Xi x z - . x n - Here then - ^ becomes - or 1. The factor 

?i + ? 2 + sn is found in ./' and not in JS', if contains neither 
of the constituents Xi x z . . x n and Xix z ..x n - Here then 

V 

- - -becomes ^ or 0. Lastly, the factor ^ + ? 2 . . + ? is 
jL Hj JL/ 

contained in both ^J and E', if one of the constituents x l x z . . x n 

E' 

and xiXz. . x n is found in rf>, and one is not. Here then r - 



becomes - . 

The coefficient of the constituent s s z . . s n , will therefore be 
1,0, or - , according as contains both the constituents x l x 2 . . x n 

and XiXz'.Xn^ or neither of them, or one of them and not the 
other. 

Lastly, to determine the coefficient of any other constituent 
as s l . . S L sui . .?. 

The assumptions Si = 1, . . $i = 1, s i+1 = 0, s n = 0, would 
cause the factor 1 : . . + ^ + s i+l . . + s n to vanish. Now this fac- 
tor is found in E, if the constituent x^ . . x- t x i+l . . x n is found in 
<p and in E', if the said constituent is not found in 0. In the 

77" 77" 

former case we have -=$ - ^ = ^r = 1 ; in the latter case we have 
Jbj Jit L 

E' _ Q 

E 1 - E Q-E~ 

Hence the coefficient of any other constituent ^ . . s i9 H i+l . . ?, 
is 1 or according as the similar constituent x l . . xi xi +l . . x n 
is or is not found in (ft. 

We may, therefore, practically determine the value of w in 
the following manner. Rejecting from the given expression of 
the constituents x l x z . . x n and and x l x 2 . . x n , should both or 
either of them be contained in it, let the symbols x l , x. 2 , . . x n , 
in the result be changed into s 19 5 2 , . .s n respectively. Let the co- 
efficients of the constituents Sj, s 2 . . s n and sj ? 3 . . ~s n be determined 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 315 

according to the special rules for those cases given above, and let 
every other constituent have for its coefficient 0. The result 
will be the value of w as a function of *i, $ 2 , . . s n . 

As a particular case, let = x^ It is required from the 
given data to determine the probability of the event x . 

The symbol x l9 expanded in terms of the entire series of sym- 
bols a?!, #2, . . x n9 will generate all the constituents of those 
symbols which have x l as a factor. Among those constituents 
will be found the constituent x l x 2 . . x n9 but not the constituent 

Hence in the expanded value of x l as a function of the sym- 
bols Si , s 29 . . s n , the constituent Si s z . . s n will have the coefficient 

- , and the constituent 7i J 2 the coefficient - . 

If from Xi we reject the constituent x l x z . . #, the result 
will be x l - XiX z . . x n9 and changing therein Xi into s l9 &c., we 
have $i Si s z . . s n for the corresponding portion of the expres- 
sion of x\ as a function of s l9 s 2 , s n . 

Hence the final expression for x is 

1__ _ 

.Sn + QS l S,..S n + -S l S z .. Sn (?) 

+ constituents whose coefficients are 0. 
The sum of all the constituents in the above expansion whose 
coefficients are either 1, 0, or , will be 1 - ~si~s z s- 

We shall, therefore, have the following algebraic system for 
the determination of Prob. x l9 viz. : 



T> i Si ~ SiS 2 . . S n + CS 1 S 2 . . S n 

Prob. x l = - - =^z - - - , (8) 

1 - Si s 2 . . s n 



with the relations 

1 fz S n 

Pi ~ P* ' ~ Pn (9) 

= 1 Si S 2 . . S n = X. 

It will be seen, that the relations for the determination of 
Si s z . . s n are quite independent of the form of the function 0, 
and the values of these quantities, determined once, will serve 



316 OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. [CHAP. XIX. 

for all possible problems in which the data are the same, how- 
ever the qu&sita of those problems may vary. The nature of 
that event, or combination of events, whose probability is sought, 
will affect only the form of the function in which the determined 
values of s l s^.. s n are to be substituted. 
We have from (9) 



Whence 
Or, 



i - X = (i-pA) (1 -M) (i -pnX) ; (10) 



from which equation the value of X is to be determined. 

Supposing this value determined, the value of Prob. x l will be 

__ /?iX- (1-c)/?!/^. . p n \ n 

i - (i ~- pi\) (i 



or, on reduction by (10), 

Prob.#! =P! - (1 - c) ji/? 2 ..p ra X n - 1 . (11) 

Let us next seek the conditions which must be fulfilled 
among the constants p l9 p 25 /?nj and the limits of the value of 
Prob. #! 

As there is but one term with the coefficient - , there is but 
one condition among the constants, viz., 

Minor limit, (1 - $j) (1 - s 2 ) . . (1 - s n ) < 0. 
Or, n (1 - Sl ) +n(l- s 2 ) ..+n(l- s n ) - (w- 1) (!)< 0. 
Or, w(l)-(*i)-w(*2) ..-()< 0. 

Whence p l + p 2 . . + p n > 1, 

the condition required. 

The major limit of Prob. x l is the major limit of the sum of 

those constituents whose coefficients are 1 or - . But that sum is s x . 

Hence, 

Major limit, Prob. x l = major limit Si = p^ . 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 317 

/ 

The minor limit of Prob. x l will be identical with the minor 
limit of the expression 

81 - 8 l S 2 . . S n + (1 - S^ (1 - S 2 ) (1 - S n ). 

A little attention will show that the different aggregates, 
terms which can be formed out of the above, each including the 
greatest possible number of constituents, will be the following, 



*! (1 - S 2 ), 5i (1 - S 3 ), . . Si (1 - ), (1 - * 2 ) (1 - * 3 ) . . (1 - *). 

From these we deduce the following expressions for the minor 
limit, viz. : 

Pi-p*, Pi -Pz PI -Pn, l-p z ~p z . . -p n . 

The value of Prob. x l will, therefore, not fall short of any of 
these values, nor exceed the value of pi . 

Instead, however, of employing these conditions, we may 
directly avail ourselves of the" principle stated in the demon- 
stration of the general method in probabilities. The condition 
that Si, 2 , . .s n must each be less than unity, requires that X 

should be less than each of the quantities , , . . . And 

Pi P* Pn 

the condition that s l9 s 2 $n, must each be greater than 0, re- 
quires that X should also be greater than 0. Now pi p z . . p n 
-being proper fractions satisfying the condition 

Pi + j2 + Pn > 1, 

it may be shown that but one positive value of X can be deduced 
from the central equation (10) which shall be less than each of 

the quantities , , . . . That value of X is, therefore, the 

Pi P* Pn 
one required. 

To prove this, let us consider the equation 

(1 - Pl \) (1 -/> 2 X) (1 - jp.X) - 1 + X = 0. 

When X = the first member vanishes, and the equation is 
satisfied. Let us examine the variations of the first member 

between the limits X = and X = , supposing//! the greatest of 

PI 
the values pi p 2 . . p n . 



318 OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. [CHAP. XIX. 

Representing the first member of the equation by V, we have 



which, when X = 0, assumes the form - p - p 2 . . - p n + 1 ? and 
is negative in value. 
Again, we have 



consisting of a series of terms which, under the given restrictions 
with reference to the value of X, are positive. 



Lastly, when X = , we have 




Pi 



which is positive. 

From all this it appears, that if we construct a curve, the or- 
dinates of which shall represent the value of V corresponding to 
the abscissa X, that curve will pass through the origin, and will 
for small values of X lie beneath the abscissa. Its convexity will, 

between the limits X = and X = be downwards, and at the 

Pi 

extreme limit the curve will be above the abscissa, its ordinate 

PI 

being positive. It follows from this description, that it will in- 
tersect the abscissa once, and only once, within the limits speci- 

fied, viz., between the values X = 0, and X = . 

Pi 

The solution of the problem is, therefore, expressed by (11), 
the value of X being that root of the equation (10), which lies 

within the limits and , , . . . 
Pi p* Pn 

The constant c is obviously the probability, that if the events 
#i 5 #2> #n> all happen, or all fail, they will all happen. 

This determination of the value of X suffices for all problems 
in which the data are the same as in the one just considered. It 
is, as from previous discussions we are prepared to expect, a de- 
termination independent of the form of the function 0. 



CHAP. XIX.] OF STATISTICAL CONDITIONS. 319 

Let us, as another example, suppose 

= Or W = X l (1 - # 2 ) . . (1 - X n ) . . + X n (1 - X^ . . (1 - #n-i). 

This is equivalent to requiring the probability, that of the events 
# 1} # 2 , . . x n one, and only one, will happen. The value of w will 
obviously be 

W = S l (l-S 2 )..(l-S n )..+ S n (l-S l )..(l-S n _ l ) + -(l-S l )..(l-Sn), 

from which we should have 

Prob. [X, (1 - X,) . . (1 - X n } . . + X n (1 - X,) . . (1 - X^,)} 
S l (1 - g 2 ) . . (1 - 8 n ) . . + S n (1 -*!)..(!- S n -i) 



This solution serves well to illustrate the remarks made in the 
introductory chapter (I. 16) The essential difficulties of the 
problem are founded in the nature of its data and not in that of 
its qua3sita. The central equation by which A is determined, and 
the peculiar discussions connected therewith, are equally perti- 
nent to every form which that problem can be made to assume, 
by varying the interpretation of the arbitrary elements in its 
original statement. 



320 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 



CHAPTER XX. 

PROBLEMS RELATING TO THE CONNEXION OF CAUSES AND 
EFFECTS. 

1 O O to apprehend in all particular instances the relation of 
^ cause and effect, as to connect the two extremes in thought 
according to the order in which they are connected in nature 
(for the modus operandi is, and must ever be, unknown to us), 
is the final object of science. This treatise has shown, that there 
is special reference to such an object in the constitution of the 
intellectual faculties. There is a sphere of thought which com- 
prehends things only as coexistent parts of a universe; but 
there is also a sphere of thought (Chap, xi.) in which they are 
apprehended as links of an unbroken, and, to human appear- 
ance, an endless chain as having their place in an order con- 
necting them both with that which has gone before, and with 
that which shall follow after. In the contemplation of such 
a series, it is impossible not to feel the pre-eminence which is due, 
above all other relations, to the relation of cause and effect. 

Here I propose to consider, in their abstract form, some pro- 
blems in which the above relation is involved. There exists 
among such problems, as might be anticipated from the nature 
of the relation with which they are concerned, a wide diversity. 
From the probabilities of causes assigned a priori, or given by 
experience, and their respective probabilities of association with 
an effect contemplated, it may be required to determine the pro- 
bability of that effect ; and this either, 1st, absolutely, or 2ndly, 
under given conditions. To such an object some of the earlier 
of the following problems relate. On the other hand, it may be 
required to determine the probability of a particular cause, or of 
some particular connexion among a system of causes, from ob- 
served effects, and the known tendencies of the said causes, singly 
or in connexion, to the production of such effects. This class of 
questions will be considered in a subsequent portion of the 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 321 

chapter, and other forms of the general inquiry will also be 
noticed. I would remark, that although these examples are de- 
signed chiefly as illustrations of a method, no regard has been 
paid to the question of ease or convenience in the application of 
that method. On the contrary, they have been devised, with 
whatever success, as types of the class of problems which might 
be expected to arise from the study of the relation of cause and 
effect in the more complex of its actual and visible manifestations. 

2. PROBLEM I. The probabilities of two causes A l and^4 2 
are Ci and c 2 respectively. The probability that if the cause A l 
present itself, an event E will accompany it (whether as a conse- 
quence of the cause A l or not) is p l , and the probability that if 
the cause A 2 present itself, that event E will accompany it, 
whether as a consequence of it or not, is p^ . Moreover, the 
event E cannot appear in the absence of both the causes AI and 
At-* Required the probability of the event E. 

The solution of what this problem becomes in the case in 
which the causes A 19 A z are mutually exclusive, is well known 
to be 

Prob. E = ^ i + c z2 ; 



and it expresses a particular case of a fundamental and very im- 
portant principle in the received theory of probabilities. Here 
it is proposed to solve the problem free from the restriction above 
stated. 

* The mode in which such data as the above might be furnished by expe- 
rience is easily conceivable. Opposite the window of the room in which I write 
is a field, liable to be overflowed from two causes, distinct, but capable of being 
combined, viz., floods from the upper sources of the River Lee, and tides from 
the ocean. Suppose that observations made on N separate occasions have 
yielded the following results : On A occasions the river was swollen by freshets, 
and on P of those occasions it was inundated, whether from this cause or not. 
On B occasions the river was swollen by the tide, and on Q of those occasions it 
was inundated, whether from this cause or not. Supposing, then, that the field 
cannot be inundated in the absence of both the causes above mentioned, let it be 
required to determine the total probability of its inundation. 

Here the elements a, b, p, q of the general problem represent the ratios 

A P B Q 

AT' A' N' B' 

or rather the values to which those ratios approach, as the value of A" is indefi- 
nitely increased. 

Y 



322 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

Let us represent 

The cause A by x. 
The cause A 2 by y . 
The effect E by z. 

Then we have the following numerical data : 

Prob. x = c 19 Prob. # = c 2 , 

Prob. xz = Ci_p M Prob. yz = C 2 p 2 . 

Again, it is provided that if the causes A 19 A 2 are both ab- 
sent, the effect E does not occur ; whence we have the logical 
equation 

(l-x)(l-y) = v(l-z). 
Or, eliminating u, 

z(l-x)(l-y)~ 0. (2) 

Now assume, 

xz = s, yz = t. (3) 

Then, reducing these equations (VIII. 7), and connecting the 
result with (2), 

xz(l-s)+s(l-xz) + yz(l-t)+t(l-yz) + z(l-x)(l-y)=Q. (4) 

From this equation, z must be determined as a developed 
logical function of #, y, s, and , and its probability thence de- 
duced by means of the data, 

Prob. x = GI , Prob. y = c^ Prob. s = c t pi , Prob. t = c z p 2 . (5) 

Now developing(4) with respect to z, and putting x for 1 - #, 
^ for 1 = y, and so on, we have 

(x s + so; + yi + ty + xy) z + (s + 2) z = 0, 



s + t-xs-sx-yt - ty - xy 

I , 1 _ 1 
000 

1 - 1 -_ 1 - 

-f - stxy + stxy + -stxy-}- 
00 

1- 1 _ 1_ 

M stxy -\ stxy + stxy -f s t xy 
00 

+ Q7txy + Qstxy + O'stxy-}- Vstxy. (6) 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 323 

From this result we find (XVII. 17), 

V '= stxy + stxy -i- Jtxy + Jtxy + Jtxy 

+ Jtxy -f stxy 
= stxy + stxy +Jtxy + Jt. 

Whence, passing from Logic to Algebra, we have the following 
system of equations, u standing for the probability sought : 

stxy + stxy + Jtx stxy + Jtxy + Jty 

Ci C z 

_ stxy + stxy _ stxy +Jtxy /y\ 

Cipi c z p z 

_ stxy + stxy + Htxy stxy + stxy + Jtxy + ~st _ v 

~^r ~T 

from which we must eliminate s 9 t> x, y, and V. 
Now if we have any series'of equal fractions, as 



we know that 

la + mb + nc 



= x. 



la+ mb' + nc' 
And thus from the above system of equations we may deduce 

Jtxy stxy Ht v 

u - c l p l u - c 2 p z I - u 

whence we have, on equating the product of the three first mem- 
bers to the cube of the last, 



(u - dpi) (u - c 2 p 2 ) (1 - u) 
Again, from the system (7) we have 

stx ~sty stxy 

I u Ci + c^pi \ uc> t j f c z p 2 c l p l 

whence proceeding as before 



- w) (1 - c 2 + c z p z - u) (c,p, -I- c 2 p 2 - u) 

Y 2 



= F3. (9) 



324 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

Equating the values of F 3 in (8) and (9), we have 



= j 1 - cj. (1 -pj -u} { 1 - c 2 (1 -p z )-u} 
which may be more conveniently written in the form 
(u-dp^u-dfr) (l-Ci(l -pi)-u] [l-c 2 (l-p 2 )-u 



c\p\ + c 2 p z -u I -u 






From this equation the value of u may be found. It remains 
only to determine which of the roots must be taken for this pur- 
pose. 

3. It has been shown (XIX. 12) that the quantity u, in 
order that it may represent the probability required in the above 
case, must exceed each of the quantities CIJPI, c z p Z9 and fall 
short of each of the quantities 1-^(1 - ji), 1 - c 2 (1 - jt? 2 ), and 
c l p l + c 2 /? 2 ; the condition among the constants, moreover, being 
that the three last quantities must individually exceed each of 
the two former ones. Now I shall show that these conditions 
being satisfied, the final equation (10) has but one root which 
falls within the limits assigned. That root will therefore be the 
required value of u. 

Let us represent the lower limits c l p-^ c z p 29 by , b respec- 
tively, and the upper limits 1 -^(1 -pi), 1 - c a (l - p z ), and 
Cipi + c z p z , by ', b r , c' respectively. Then the general equation 
may be expressed in the form 

(u -a) (u- b) (1 - ?/> - (a 1 - u) (b - u) (c - u) --= 0, (11) 
or (1 - a - b') u 2 - [ab - ab' + (1 - a - b) c} u + ab - ab'c' = 0. 

Representing the first member of the above equation by F, we 
have 

|- * fl -'-') 02) 

Now let us suppose a the highest of the lower limits of u, a the 
lowest of its higher limits, and trace the progress of the values 
of V between the limits u = a and u = a. 

When u = , we see from the form of the first member of (1 1) 
that V is negative, and when u = a we see that V is positive. 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 325 

Between those limits V varies continuously without becoming 

d z V 
infinite, and -=-^ is always of the same sign. 

Hence if u represent the abscissa V the ordinate of a plane 
curve, it is evident that the curve will pass from a point below 
the axis of u corresponding to u = a, to a point above the axis of 
u corresponding to u = ', the curve remaining continuous, and 
having its concavity or convexity always turned in the same di- 
rection. A little attention will show that, under these circum- 
stances, it must cut the axis of u once, and only once. 

Hence between the limits u = , u = ', there exists one value 
ofw, and only one, which satisfies the equation (11). It will 
further appear, if in thought the curve be traced, that the other 
value of u will be less than a when the quantity 1 - a - b' is po- 
sitive and greater than any one of the quantities a', #, c' when 
1 - a - b' is negative. It hence follows that in the solution of 
(11) the positive sign of the radical must be taken. We thus 
find 

ab-a'b'+(l-a'-b')c+)/Q , . 

2(1 - a -b') 

where Q= {ab-a'b'+(l -a'-6>'} 2 - 4(1 -a-b')(ab-ab'c). 

4. The results of this investigation may to some extent be 
verified. Thus, it is evident that the probability of the event E 
must in general exceed the probability of the concurrence of the 
event E and the cause A^ or A z . Hence we must have, as the 
solution indicates, 

u > Cii 9 u 



Again, it is clear that the probability of the effect E must in 
general be less than it would be if the causes A lt A z were mu- 
tually exclusive. Hence 

U < C^i + C 2 J0 2 . 

Lastly, since the probability of the failure of the effect ^con- 
curring with the presence of the cause A 1 must, in general, be 
less than the absolute probability of the failure of E, we have 

Ci (1 - pi) < 1 - u, 



326 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

Similarly, 



< - 



And thus the conditions by which the general solution was 
limited are confirmed. 

Again, let p l = 1, p 2 = 1. This is to suppose that when either 
of the causes A 19 A z is present, the event E will occur. We have 
then a = CD b = c Z9 a = 1, b' 1, c' = Ci -f c 2 , and substituting in 
(13) we get 

C! - C a - I) 2 + 4 (d C z - C t - C 2 )| 



-2 

= d + c 2 - CiCjj on reduction 



Now this is the known expression for the probability that one 
cause at least will be present, which, under the circumstances, is 
evidently the probability of the event E. 

Finally, let it be supposed that c x and c 2 are very small, so 
that their product may be neglected ; then the expression for u 
reduces to c l p l + C 2 p 2 . Now the smaller the probability of each 
cause, the smaller, in a much higher degree, is the probability of 
a conjunction of causes. Ultimately, therefore, such reduction 
continuing, the probability of the event E becomes the same as 
if the causes were mutually exclusive. 

I have dwelt at greater length upon this solution, because it 
serves in some respect as a model for those which follow, some of 
which, being of a more complex character, might, without such 
preparation, appear difficult. 

5. PROBLEM II. In place of the supposition adopted in the 
previous problem, that the event E cannot happen when both the 
causes A 19 A z are absent, let it be assumed that the causes A 19 A 2 
cannot both be absent, and let the other circumstances remain as 
before. Required, then, the probability of the event E. 

Here, in place of the equation (2) of the previous solution, we 
have the equation 

(l-*)(l-y)-0. 

The developed logical expression of z is found to be 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 327 

z = stxy + - stxy + - stxy + ^sfxy 




- ~stxy + stxy + -'stxy 



Q~s~txy 
and the final solution is 



the quantity u being determined by the solution of the equation 

(u-d) (u-b) _(a'-u) (b'-u) m 

a + b-u ~ u-a-b' + l' 

wherein a = c^p l9 b = c. 2 p 2 , a = 1 - c x (1 - />i), b' = 1 - c 2 (1 - Pz)- 

The conditions of limitation are the following : That value 
of u must be chosen which exceeds each of the three quantities 

, ft, and a + b' - 1 , 

and which at the same time falls short of each of the three quan- 
tities 

', b', and a + b. 

Exactly as in the solution of the previous problem, it may be 
shown that the quadratic equation (1) will have one root, and 
only one root, satisfying these conditions. The conditions them- 
selves were deduced by the same rule as before, excepting that 
the minor limit a' + b' - I was found by seeking the major limit 
of 1 - z. 

It may be added that the constants in the data, beside satis- 
fying the conditions implied above, viz., that the quantities a', b\ 
and a + ft, must individually exceed , ft, and a + ft' - 1, must 
also satisfy the condition c t + c 2 > 1 . This also appears from the 
application of the rule. 

6. PROBLEM III. The probabilities of two events A and B 
are a and ft respectively, the probability that if the event A take 
place an event E will accompany it is p, and the probability that 



328 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX 

if the event B take place, the same event E will accompany it 
is q. Required the probability that if the event A take place the 
event B will take place, or vice versa, the probability that if B 
take place, A will take place. 

Let us represent the event A by x 9 the event B by y, and the 
event E by z. Then the data are 

Prob. x = a 9 Prob. y - b. 
Prob. xz = ap 9 Prob. yz = bq. 
Whence it is required to find 

Prob. xy Prob. xy 
Prob. re Prob.^* 



Let a^ = s 9 yz = , ar# = w. 

Eliminating z, we have, on reduction, 

sx + ty + sy~t + xfs + xyw + (1 - xy) 10 = 0, 
_ sx + ty + syJ+ xfs + xy 






= xyst -4- 

+ - xys~t+ Qxys~+ - xyst+ - xyst 

+ n x y~*t + n x y&t + Qxy~st + - xy~st 
+ xyst + Qxy~s~t + Qxy~s~f + Qxy'sT. (1) 

Hence, passing from Logic to Algebra, 

xyst -f xys~i 



cc, y, s, and f being determined by the system of equations 
xyst + xys7+ xysJ+ xy~s1 _ xyst + xy~st + xys~t+ xys7 

~~aT "T" 

xyst + xyst xyst + Icyst 
ap bq 

= xyst + xysl + xyst + xys~t + xy'st + xy~s~t + xy~st = F. 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 329 

To reduce the above system to a more convenient form, let every 
member be divided by Icy ~s~t, and in the result let 

xs yt x y 

=. = m, !r=. = m, = n, ^ = n. 

xs yt x y 

We then find 

mm + m + nri + n mm + m + nri + ri 
~a~ ~b~ 

mm + m mm + m 



ap bq 

= mm! + m + m + nri + n + ri + 1 . 
Also, 

^ . mm! + nri 

.rrob. xy = ; -, -, ; r. 

mm + m + m + nn + n + n + 1 

These equations may be reduced to the form 

mm + m mm + In nri + n nri + ri 
ap bq a(l-p) b(\-q) 

mm' + nri 



p 

)b * 



(m + 1) (m' + 1) + (+ 1) (w'+ 1) - 1* 
Now assume 



.__, __. 

m 
Then since /rm + m = 



-, - T^~7 - T^J 
m + 1 (m + 1) (v + /x - 1) 

and so on for the other numerators of the system, we find, on 
substituting and multiplying each member of the system by 
v + fi - 1, the following results : 

m/m m'/uL nv riv 

~ 



(m+ 1) ap (m 

Prob. xy = (mm + nri) (v + p - 1). (3) 

From the above system we have 



m 



an ap 

, whence m = - . 



m + I fj. fj. - ap 



330 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

Similarly 

bq a (1 - p) , b(l - q) 

V' n= y n = _\(i y 

Hence JJL v s 

m + 1 = - , n + I = r, &c. 

ILL- ap v-a(l-p) 

Substitute these values in (2) reduced to the form 

fJ. V 



+ H-1 



+l) (n+ 1) (v> 1)' 
and we have 



i _- 

" jU V 

Substitute also for m, TTZ', &c. their values in (3), and we have 

Prob. xy 

"I , , 

- J ^ + ^ 



v- 



b (4)> 



Now the first equation of the system (4) gives 

ap 

V 

abpq 

.'. r** = v - 1 + ap + bq. 

Similarly, 



a /K\ 

(5) 



Adding these equations together, and observing that the first 
member of the result becomes identical with the expression just 
found for Prob. xy> we have 

Prob. xy = v + n + a + b- e l. 
Let us represent Prob. xy by u, and let a + b - 2 = m, then 

ju + v = u - m. (6) 

Again, from (5) we have 

.fj.v = abpq - (ap + bq - 1) ^. (7) 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 331 

Similarly from the first and third members of (4) equated we 
have 



VLV = ab(l -p)(\-q)- (a(\-p) + b(l - q) - 1} v . 

Let us represent ap + bq - 1 by h, and a (1 - p) + b (1 - ^) - 1 by 
^'. We find on equating the above values of /xv, 

fyi - h'v = ab {pq + (l-p)(l-q)} 
= ab(p + q- 1). 

Let ab (p + q - 1) = /, then 

hfi - h' v = /. (8) 

Now from (6) and (8) we get 

h' (u - m) + I h (u - m) - I 

p = - L - v = -- '- - . 

m m 

Substitute these values in (7) reduced to the form 

fj. (v + h) = abpq, 
and we have 

(hu - /) {h' (u - m) + 1} = abpqm^ (9) 

a quadratic equation, the solution of which determines u, the va- 
lue of Prob. xy sought. 

The solution may readily be put in the form 

IV + h(h'm -l) 



But if we further observe that 

IK - h (Km -l) = l(h + h')- hh'm = (/ - hK) m, 
since h = ap + bq 1, K = a (1 - p) + b (1 - q) 1, 
whence h-th'=a-i-b-2 = m ) 

we find 

P roh - ^' + KP''"-0 + m V {(l-hKy + lhKabpq] 
^~ 2M' ' 

It remains to determine which sign must be given to the radi- 
cal. We might ascertain this by the general method exemplified 
in the last problem, but it is far easier, and it fully suffices in the 
present instance, to determine the sign by a comparison of the 



332 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

above formula with the result proper to some known case. For 
instance, if it were certain that the event A is always, and the 
event B never, associated with the event E, then it is certain that 
the events A and B are never conjoined. Hence if p = 1, g = 0, 
we ought to have u = 0. Now the assumptions p- 1, q = 0, 

give 

h = a-l, h' = b-l, Z=0, m = a + b-2. 

Substituting in (10) we have 
p rob _(-l)-l 



and this expression vanishes when the lower sign is taken. 
Hence the final solution of the general problem will be expressed 
in the form 

Frob.03/ lh' + h (h'm -l)- m ^{(l- M') 2 + 4hh'abpg} 
"Prob. or = 2ahh' 

wherein k = ap + bq - 1, h' = a (1 - p) + b (1 - q) - 1, 

/ = ab (p + q - 1), m = a + b - 2. 

As the terms in the final logical solution affected by the co- 
efficient - are the same as in the first problem of this chapter, 
the conditions among the constants will be the same, viz., 
ap 5 1 - b (1 - q), bq < 1 - a (1 - p). 

7. It is a confirmation of the correctness of the above solution 
that the expression obtained is symmetrical with respect to the 
two sets of quantities/?, q, and 1 -p, 1 - q, i. e. that on changing 
p into 1 - p, and q into 1 - q, the expression is unaltered This 
is apparent from the equation 

ftob.q, -06(12 + ^ P)0-g)| 

I fJL V 

employed in deducing the final result. Now if there exist pro- 
babilities p, q of the event E, as consequent upon a knowledge 
of the occurrences of A and B, there exist probabilities 1 -/?, 1 - q 
of the contrary event, that is, of the non-occurrence of E under 
the same circumstances. As then the data are unchanged in 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 333 

form, whether we take account in them of the occurrence or of 
the non-occurrence of E, it is evident that the solution ought to 
be, as it is, a symmetrical function of p, q and 1 - p 9 I - q, 

Let us examine the particular case in which p = 1, q = 1. 
We find 

h = a + b - 1, h f = - 1, / = ab, m = a -f b - 2, 
and substituting 



Prob. x - 2a (a + b - 1) 

-2ab(a + b-l) 
-2a(a + b-l)~ 

It would appear, then, that in this case the events A and B are 
virtually independent of each other. The supposition of their 
invariable association with some other event E, of the frequency 
of whose occurrence, except as it may be inferred from this par- 
ticular connexion, absolutely nothing is known, does not establish 
any dependence between the events A and B themselves. I ap- 
prehend that this conclusion is agreeable to reason, though par- 
ticular examples may appear at first sight to indicate a different 
result. For instance, if the probabilities of the casting up, 1st, 
of a particular species of weed, 2ndly, of a certain description of 
zoophytes upon the sea-shore, had been separately determined, 
and if it had also been ascertained that neither of these events 
could happen except during the agitation of the waves caused by 
a tempest, it would, I think, justly be concluded that the events 
in question were not independent. The picking up of a piece of 
seaweed of the kind supposed would, it is presumed, render more 
probable the discovery of the zoophytes than it would otherwise 
have been. But I apprehend that this fact is due to our know- 
ledge of another circumstance not implied in the actual conditions 
of the problem, viz., that the occurrence of a tempest is but an 
occasional phenomenon. Let the range of observation be con- 
fined to a sea always vexed with storm. It would then, I sup- 
pose, be seen that the casting up of the weeds and of the 
zoophytes ought to be regarded as independent events. Now, 
to speak more generally, there are conditions common to all phae- 



334 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

nomena, conditions which, it is felt, do not affect their mutual 
independence. I apprehend therefore that the solution indicates, 
that when a particular condition has prevailed through the whole 
of our recorded experience, it assumes the above character with 
reference to the class of phenomena over which that experience 
has extended. 

8. PROBLEM IV. To illustrate in some degree the above 
observations, let there be given, in addition to the data of the 
last problem, the absolute probability of the event E, the com- 
pleted system of data being 

Prob. x = a, Prob. y = >, Prob. z = c 9 
Prob. xz = ap, Prob.yz = bq, 

and let it be required to find Prob. xy. 

Assuming, as before, xz = s, yz = t 9 xy = w, the final logical 
equation is 

w = xystz + xysTz + (xystz + xy~tz + xyzsJ + xyzsJ 

xyz'sT). 



+ terms whose coefficients are -. (1) 

The algebraic system having been formed, the subsequent elimi- 
nations may be simplified by the transformations adopted in the 
previous problem. The final result is 

(2) 



The conditions among the constants are 

c > ap, c>bq 9 c < 1 - a (1 - p), c < 1 - b (1 - q). 
Now if p = 1, q = 1, we find 



T> i. 

Prob. xy = , 



c not admitting of any value less than a or b. It follows hence 
that if the event E is known to be an occasional one, its inva- 
riable attendance on the events x and y increases the probability 
of their conjunction in the inverse ratio of its own frequency. 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 335 

The formula (2) may be verified in a large number of cases. 
As a particular instance, let q = c, we find 

Prob. xy = ab. (3) 

Now the assumption q = c involves, by Definition (Chap. XVI.) 
the independence of the events B and E. If then B and E are 
independent, no relation which may exist between A and E can 
establish a relation between A and B ; wherefore A and B are 
also independent, as the above equation (3) implies. 

It may readily be shown from (2) that the value of Prob. z, 
which renders Prob. xy a minimum, is 

Prob z 

If p = <?, this gives 

Prob. z = p ; 

a result, the correctness of which may be shown by the same con- 
siderations which have been applied to (3). 

PROBLEM V. Given the probabilities of any three events, 
and the probability of their conjunction ; required the proba- 
bility of the conjunction of any two of them. 

Suppose the data to be 

Prob. x = p, Prob. y = q, Prob. z = r, Prob. xyz = m, 
and the quaesitum to be Prob. xy. 

Assuming xyz -s, xy = t, we find as the final logical equa- 
tion, 

t = xyzs + xyz~s+Q(xy~s + x~s) + - (sum of all other constituents) ; 

whence, finally, 

Prob . xy . 



wherein p = 1 -p, &c. H= p~q + (p + q)r. 

This admits of verification when p = 1, when 0=1, when r = 0, 
and therefore m = 0, &c. 

Had the condition, Prob. z = r, been omitted, the solution 
would still have been definite. We should have had 



336 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 



and it may be added, as a final confirmation of their correctness, 
that the above results become identical when m = pqr. 

9. The following problem is a generalization of Problem I., 
and its solution, though necessarily more complex, is obtained by 
a similar analysis. 

PROBLEM VI. If an event can only happen as a conse- 
quence of one or more of certain causes A l9 A 29 . . A n9 and if 
generally Ci represent the probability of the cause A i9 and pi the 
probability that if the cause AI exist, the event E will occur, 
then the series of values of c f and pt being given, required the 
probability of the event E* 

Let the causes A l9 A Z9 . . A n be represented by x l9 x Z9 . . #; 
and the event E by z. 

Then we have generally, 

Prob. Xi = ci, Prob. xiz = ci p^ 

Further, the condition that E can only happen in connexion with 
some one or more of the causes A A z ,..A n establishes the logi- 
cal condition, 

r(l-^)(l-^)..(l-^) = 0. (1) 



* It may be proper to .remark, that the above problem was proposed to the 
notice of mathematicians by the author in the Cambridge and Dublin Mathema- 
tical Journal, Nov. 1851, accompanied by the subjoined observations : 

" The motives which have led me, after much consideration, to adopt, with 
reference to this question, a course unusual in the present day, and not upon 
slight grounds to be revived, are the following : First, I propose the question 
as a test of the sufficiency of received methods. Secondly, I anticipate that its 
discussion will in some measure add to our knowledge of an important branch 
of pure analysis. However, it is upon the former of these grounds alone that I 
desire to rest my apology. 

" While hoping that some may be found who, without departing from the line 
of their previous studies, may deem this question worthy of their attention, I 
wholly disclaim the notion of its being offered as a trial of personal skill or 
knowledge, but desire that it may be viewed solely with reference to those pub- 
lic and scientific ends for the sake of which alone it is proposed." 

The author thinks it right to add, that the publication of the above problem 
led to some interesting private correspondence, but did not elicit a solution. 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 337 

Now let us assume generally 



which is reducible to the form 



forming the type of a system of n equations which, together with 
(1), express the logical conditions of the problem. Adding all 
these equations together, as after the previous reduction we are 
permitted to do, we have 

2{x i z(l-t i )+t i (l-x i z)}+z(l-x l )(l-x t )..(l-x n ) = 0, (2) 

(the summation implied by S extending from i = 1 to i = ri) 9 and 
this single and sufficient logical equation, together with the 2 n 
data, represented by the general equations 

Prob. X{ = Ci 9 Prob. ti = c t -jt?;, (3) 

constitute the elements from which we are to determine Prob. z. 
Let (2) be developed with respect to z. We have 

[S{*i(l - ti) + ti(l- Xi )} + (1 - O (1 - O . . (1 -O] z 

+ S*,(l-z) = 0, 

whence 

= _ Zti _ ( 
~ S*<- 2 lx i (l-t i ) + t i (l-x i )}-(l-x l )(l-x t )..(l^-x u y { 

Now any constituent in the expansion of the second member of 
the above equation will consist of 2w factors, of which n are taken 
out of the set x l9 # 2) x m 1 - x l9 1 - # 2 , . . 1 - x and n out of 
the set t i9 Z 2 > > 1 - tiy 1 - ^> 1 - n> no such combination as 
x l (1 - ^i), #! (1 - ti), being admissible. Let us consider first 
those constituents of which (1 - ^), (1 - t 2 ) . . (1 - t n ) forms the 
^-factor, that is the factor derived from the set t l9 . . 1 - ti. 

The coefficient of any such constituent will be found by 
changing 1? t z , . . t n respectively into in the second member of 
(4), and then assigning to x l9 x$ 9 . . x n their values as dependent 
upon the nature of the ^-factor of the constituent. Now simply 
substituting for t l9 t 29 . . t n the value 0, the second member be- 
comes 





338 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

and this vanishes whatever values, 0, 1, we subsequently assign 
to Xi, #25 #n For if those values are not all equal to 0, the 
term 2#; does not vanish, and if they are all equal to 0, the term 
- (1 - Oa) . . (1 - #) becomes - 1, so that in either case the denomi- 
nator does not vanish, and therefore the fraction does. Hence 
the coefficients of all constituents of which (1 - x ) . . (1 - n ) is a 
factor will be 0, and as the sum of all possible ^-constituents is 
unity, there will be an aggregate term (1 - ti) . . (1 - ) in the 
development of z. 

Consider, in the next place, any constituent of which the 
^-factor is ti t z . . t r (1 - t M ) . . (1 - 4)5 r being equal to or greater 
than unity. Making in the second member of (4), t l = 1, . . t r = 1, 
rn - 0, . . = 0, we get the expression 

r 

Xi..+X r - X r+ i .. -X n -(l- X,) (I - X t ) . . (1 - X n )' 

Now the only admissible values of the symbols being and 1 , 
it is evident that the above expression will be equal to 1 when 
Xi = 1 . . x r = 1, x r+ i = 0, . . x n = 0, and that for all other combi- 
nations of value that expression will assume a value greater than 
unity. Hence the coefficient 1 will be applied to all constituents 
of the final development which are of the form 



X l . . X r (1 - X r+ i) ..(!-#)*!.. t r (1 - t r+l ) . . (1 - t n ), 

the ^-factor being similar to the ^-factor, while other consti- 
tuents included under the present case will have the virtual co- 

efficient -. Also, it is manifest that this reasoning is independent 

of the particular arrangement and succession of the individual 
symbols. 

Hence the complete expansion of z will be of the form 

2 = S (XT) + (1 - ti) (1 - * 8 ) . . (1 - t n ) 

+ constituents whose coefficients are -, (5) 

where T represents any ^-constituent except (1 - ^) . . (1 - ), 
and X the corresponding or similar constituent of x l . . x n . 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 339 

For instance, if n = 2, we shall have 



x l9 x Z9 &c. standing for 1 - x, 1 - x 2 , &c. ; whence 

Z 



+ constituents whose coefficients are -. 

This result agrees, difference of notation being allowed for, with 
the developed form of z in Problem I. of this chapter, as it evi- 
dently ought to do. 

10. To avoid complexity, I purpose to deduce from the above 
equation (6) the necessary conditions for the determination of 
Prob. z for the particular case in which n = 2, in such a form as 
may enable us, by pursuing in- thought the same line of investi- 
gation, to assign the corresponding conditions for the more gene- 
ral case in which n possesses any integral value whatever. 

Supposing then n = 2, we have 

V= 



n , 

Prob. 



the conditions for the determination of x l9 t l1 &c., being 

Xi X z ^ tz + X^ ~X Z ti~fz + Xi Xz 7i? 8 + *1 ^2 7] TZ 

Ci 

\ MZ t\ t z + ^i X-iti tz + Xi Xz trfz 



Xi Xz ti tz + Xi Xz 



Divide the members of this system of equations by ^ x x 2 7i7 2 , 
and the numerator and denominator of Prob. z by the same quan- 
tity, and in the results assume 

Xi t\ Xz tz Xi X z x^v 

^-=r = wii, =-= = ?w 2 , = !, = w 2 ; (7) 

Xi t\ Xz tz Xi Xz 

z 2 



340 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX, 

we find 

Prob. z = 

and 



l + m 

-f m l 4- 



m^rii + m l _ m^n^ + m z _ , , 

whence, if we assume, 

(m, + 1) (m 2 + 1) = M, (X + 1) (n z + 1) = ^, (9) 

we have, after a slight reduction, 
Prob.z = -r- 



Cl - /?! C z 1 - 

or 



m 2 M 



+ 1) c^ (m 2 + 1) c 2 j 2 (^ + 1) Ci (1 - 



Now let a similar series of transformations and reductions be 
performed in thought upon the final logical equation (5). We 
shall obtain for the determination of Prob. z the following ex- 
pression : 



wherein 

M = (Wi + 1) (m 2 + 1) . . (m n + 1), 



N = (! + 1) (w 2 +!)..(+ 1), 

. . win, ii, . . w, being given by the system of equations, 

m n M 



(m 2 + 1) c 2 /? 2 ' (w n + l)c n p n 

00 



Still further to simplify the results, assume 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 341 

M+ N- I _ j. M + N-l I 

~~W~ ~p' ~~W "v ; 
whence 



M 



fJL + V 

We find 



whence 

Cipi c n p n 

and finally, 

m +1 = ^ m + 1 M 

fJL - Cl/?l' ' /U - C n pn 

n : +l = ^ r,\ . n n + I = ~ 



Substitute these values with those of M and N in (9), and 
we have 



(fl - Ctfi) (in - C z p z ) . . (fJL- C n p n ) fl + V-l 9 

_ v^ _ 

(v - c, (l- Pl )} {v -c z (\- p z )} . . {v - c n (1 -p n )) ~ p 

which may be reduced to the symmetrical form 



+ v - = 

/i 71 ' 1 

(v-fiQ-pQ) ..(v-c.Q^-^)} (12) 



Finally, 



Let us then assume 1 - v = u 9 we have then 

u _ (M - C ip0 0* - c 
"- 1 



342 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [c HAP. XX. 

If we make for simplicity 

Cipi = ai, c n p n = a n , 1 - c, (1 -p,) = b l9 &c., 
the above equations may be written as follows : 

^ M >-<>^-<>, (14) 

wherein 



This value of p substituted in (14) will give an equation in- 
volving only u, the solution of which will determine Prob. z, 
since by ( 13) Prob. z = u. It remains to assign the limits of u. 

1 1 . Now the very same analysis by which the limits were deter- 
mined in the particular case in which n = 2, (XIX. 12) con- 
ducts us in the present case to the following result. The quan- 
tity U, in order that it may represent the value of Prob. z, must 
must have for its inferior limits the quantities a l9 2 , . . a n9 and 
for its superior limits the quantities 5 n > 2 ? -b n9 a \ + #2 + n 
We may hence infer, a priori, that there will always exist one 
root, and only one root, of the equation (14) satisfying these 
conditions. I deem it sufficient, for practical verification, to show 
that there will exist one, and only one, root of the equation (14), 
between the limits a 19 25 > and b l9 b 2 , . ,b n . 

First, let us consider the nature of the changes to which ju is 
subject in (15), as u varies from a ly which we will suppose the 
greatest of its minor limits, to bi , which we will suppose the least 
of its major limits. When u = a i9 it is evident that JUL is positive 
and greater than a^ . When u = b l9 we have jj. = 6,. , which is also 
positive. Between the limits u- a l9 u = b l9 it may be shown 
that fjL increases with u. Thus we have 

flfri (b,-u)..(b n -u) (ft 1 - 

du l-u n ~ l 



Now let 

bi-u b-u 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 343 

Evidently aj M # 2 > #/n will be proper fractions, and we have 



X n -X l X 3 ..X n .. -#! 0? a #-! +71-0! X 2 . . X n 

- 1 - (1 - #1) x z #3 . . x n - Xi (1 - x 2 ) #3 . . x n . . 
-XiXt.. x n . t (1 - x n ) - ^ a?., . . o? tt . 

Now fhe negative terms in the second member are (if we may 
borrow the language of the logical developments) constituents 
formed from the fractional quantities #1, # 2 , . . # n . Their sum 

cannot therefore exceed unity ; whence ~ is positive, and ju in- 

creases with u between the limits specified. 
Now let (14) be written in the form 



and assume u - a l . The first member becomes 

(18) 



and this expression is negative in value. For, making the same 
assumption in (15), we find 

(bi - u) .. (b n - u) 
fj. - ! = * - ' ^ n _ t - '- = a positive quantity. 

At the same time we have 



(jic - a z ) . . (ju - an) 



H ~ l 



fJL fJ, fl 

and since the factors of the second member are positive fractions, 
that member is less than unity, whence (18) is negative. Where- 
fore the assumption u = i makes the jftrst member of (17} ne- 
gative. 

Secondly, let u = ^ , then by (15) /j. = u = h , and the first mem- 
ber of '(17) becomes positive. 

Lastly, between the limits u = i and u = bi, the first member 
of (17) continuously increases. For the first term of that ex- 
pression written under the form 



344 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

increases, since ju. increases, and, with it, every factor contained. 
Again, the negative term JJL - u diminishes with the increase of 
u, as appears from its value deduced from (15), viz., 

(>! - u) . . (b n - u) 

(i -)-' 

Hence then, between the limits u = a l9 u = b i9 the first member 
of ( 1 7) continuously increases, changing in so doing from a nega- 
tive to a positive value. Wherefore, between the limits assigned, 
there exists one value of u, and only one, by which the said 
equation is satisfied. 

12. Collecting these results together, we arrive at the follow- 
ing solution of the general problem. 

The probability of the event E will be that value of u de- 
duced from the equation 



wherein 

. 



which (value) lies between the two sets of quantities, 

Cip\> c 2 p 29 . . c n p n and 1 - c t (1 -p\) 9 1 - c z (1 -pj . . 1 - c n (!-/>), 

the former set being its inferior, the latter its superior, limits. 

And it may further be inferred in the general case, as it has 
been proved in the particular case of n = 2, that the value of u, 
determined as above, will not exceed the quantity 

Cipi + c 2 p 2 . . + c n p n . 



13. Particular verifications are subjoined. 

1st. Let pi = 1, p 2 = 1, . . p n = 1. This is to suppose it cer- 
tain, that if any one of the events A i9 A 2 . . A n9 happen, the 
event E will happen. In this case, then, the probability of the 
occurrence of E will simply be the probability that the events or 
causes AH A 2 . A n do not all fail of occurring, and its expression 
will therefore be 1 - (1 - c,) (1 - c 2 ) . . (1 - c n ). 

Now the general solution (19) gives 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 345 

_ 0* - fr) . . Q - ) 

M- ^-1 

wherein 

(1 - ti) . 

P^-**Jr^fe-^ 

Hence, 

l- W =(l- Cl )..(l-O, 

.-. tc = 1 - (1 - c x ) . . (1 - O, 
equivalent to the a priori determination above. 
2nd. Let p l = 0, p 2 = 0, p n = 0, then (19) gives 

JU - tt = jU, 
.'. M= 0, 

as it evidently ought to be. 

3rd. Let c : , c 2 ..c n be small quantities, so that their squares 
and products may be neglected. Then developing the second 
members of the equation (19),* 

fJL n - (C.p, + C 2 p z . . + C n p n ) fl n - 1 

>-.- -r- 



.'. U = G!/?! + C 2 p z . . + C n p n . 

Now this is what the solution would be were the causes 
AI, A z . . A n mutually exclusive. But the smaller the proba- 
bilities of those causes, the more do they approach the condition 
of being mutually exclusive, since the smaller is the probability of 
any concurrence among them. Hence the result above obtained 
will undoubtedly be the limiting form of the expression for the 
probability of E. 

4th. In the particular case of n = 2, we may readily elimi- 
nate /i from the general solution. The result is 

(U - CijPi) (U - C 2 j9 2 ) _ { 1 - d (1 - ffQ - U\ { 1 - C z (1 - j? 2 ) - U) 

- u I -u 



which agrees with the particular solution before obtained for this 
case, Problem i. 

Though by the system (19), the solution is in general made 
to depend upon the solution of an equation of a high order, its 



346 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

practical difficulty will not be great. For the conditions relating 
to the limits enable us to select at once a near value of u, and 
the forms of the system (19) are suitable for the processes of suc- 
cessive approximation. 

14. PROBLEM 7. The data being the same as in the last pro- 
blem, required the probability, that if any definite and given 
combination of the causes A 19 A Z9 . .A n , present itself, the event 
E will be realized. 

The cases AI, A 29 . . A n , being represented as before by 
# 15 # 2 j n respectively, let the definite combination of them, 
referred to in the statement of the problem, be represented by 
the (j) (x l , #2 . . x n ) so that the actual occurrence of that combi- 
nation will be expressed by the logical equation, 



The data are 

Prob. x l = c 1? . . Prob. x n = c n9 
Prob. a&iZ - <?!/?!, Prob. x n z = c n p n ; 



and the object of investigation is 

Prob. ft (#1, a? 2 . .~Xn) z . . 

Prob. ft (#i,# 2 x n ) 

We shall first seek the value of the numerator. 
Let us assume, 

x l z = t l . . x n z = t n , (3) 

0(^,^2- . #)* = tl7. (4) 

Or, if for simplicity, we represent $ (x l9 x 2 #n) by 0, the last 

equation will be 

0z = w, (5) 

to which must be added the equation 

*!*,..** = <). (6) 

Now any equation x r z = t r of the system (3) may be reduced 

to the form 

x r zJ r + t r (1 - x r z) = 0. 

Similarly reducing (5), and adding the different results together, 
we obtain the logical equation 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 347 

S [XrZ7 r + t r (1 -X r z)} + *i . . ~X n Z + $ZW + W (1 - 0z) = 0, (7) 



from which z being eliminated, w must be determined as a de- 
veloped logical function of x l , . . x n , *i ?. 

Now making successively z = 1, 2 = in the above equation, 
and multiplying the results together, we have 

{ S (x r T r + !c r tr) +xi..x n + <j>w+w<j>}x (S r + w) = 0. 



Developing this equation with reference to w?, and replacing 
in the result S r + 1 by I, in accordance with Prop. i. Chap, ix., 

we have 

Ew + E' (1 - w) = ; 
wherein 

E = S (X r j r + t r !H; r ) + lCi . . X n + 0, 
.#'= S* r {2 (X r j r 4- ^ r ) + ^ . . X n + $} . 

And hence 



The second member of this equation we must now develop 
with respect to the double series of symbols a? 19 # 2 , . .x n , t l9 t z , . .t n . 
In eifecting this object, it will be most convenient to arrange 
the constituents of the resulting development in three distinct 
classes, and to determine the coefficients proper to those classes 
separately. 

First, let us consider those constituents of which Ji . . 7 n is a 
factor. Making ti = . . t n = 0, we find 

E' = 0, E = Stf r + :Fi ..:? + 0. 

It is evident, that whatever values (0, 1) are given to the ^-sym- 
bols, J^does not vanish. Hence the coefficients of all constituents 
involving ?! . . ~t n are 0. 

Consider secondly, those constituents which do not involve the 
factor ?!..?, and which are symmetrical with reference to the two 
sets of symbols Xi . . x n and t\ . . t n . By symmetrical constituents 
is here meant those which would remain unchanged if x l were 
converted into t l9 # 2 into t z , &c., and vice versa. The constitu- 
ents #1 # *i . . f> *i # *i ' %j &c., are in this sense sym- 
metrical. 



348 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

For all symmetrical constituents it is evident that 

/ S (X r ~t r + t r ~X r ) 

vanishes. For those which do not involve T } . . 7 n , it is further 
evident that "xi . . ~x n also vanishes, whence 



w 



For those constituents of which the ^-factor is found in the 
second member of the above equation becomes 1 ; for those of 
which the ^-factor is found in it becomes 0. Hence the coeffi- 
cients of symmetrical constituents not involving J } . . ?, of which 
the x-f actor is found in <f> will be 1 ; of those of which the x-factor 
is not found in it will be 0. 

Consider lastly, those constituents which are unsymmetrical 
with reference to the two sets of symbols, and which at the same 
time do not involve ?i . . ~t n . 

Here it is evident, that neither E nor E' can vanish, whence 
the numerator of the fractional value of w in (8) must exceed 
the denominator. That value cannot therefore be represented 

by 1, 0, or -. It must then, in the logical development,be re- 
presented by - . Such then will be the coefficient of this class 

of constituents. 

15. Hence the final logical equation by which w is expressed 
as a developed logical function of ar l5 . . x n , ti 9 . . t n , will be of 
the form 

w = 2! (XT) + { 2 Z (XT) + T, ..!}+ i (sum of other con- 
stituents), 

wherein Si (XT) represents the sum of all symmetrical consti- 
tuents of which the factor X is found in 0, and 2 2 (-X^), the 
sum of all symmetrical constituents of which the factor X is not 
found in 0, the constituent xi . . ~x n ~ti . . T n9 should it appear, 
being in either case rejected. 

Passing from Logic to Algebra, it may be observed, that 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 349 

here and in all similar instances, the function F, by the aid of 
which the algebraic system of equations for the determination of 
the values of # 15 . . x n9 15 . . t n is formed, is independent of the 
nature of any function involved, not in the expression of the 
data, but in that of the qutzsitum of the problem proposed. Thus 
we have in the present example, 

Si (XT 1 ) 
Prob. w = \= -, 

wherein V = 2! (XT) + S 2 (XT) + t } ..7 n 

= S (XT 7 ) +*!..*. (10) 

Here ^(XT) represents the sum of all symmetrical constituents 
of the x and t symbols, except the constituent ~x\ . . ~x m ~f\ . . T n . 
This value of V is the same as that virtually employed in the so- 
lution of the preceding problem, and hence we may avail our- 
selves of the results there obtained . 

If then, as in the solution referred to, we assume 

x\ ti x n t n #i e 

=-=r = m ly =-^r = wi n , =-=n l ,&c. y 

Xi t x X n t n Xi 

we shall obtain a result which may be thus written : 

M 

TT' 00 

M l being formed by rejecting from the function the constituent 
Xi . . #, if it is there found, dividing the result by the same con- 
stituent xi . . x m and then changing ^ into m ly ~ into m z , and 

#1 X 2 

so on. The values of M and N are the same as in the preceding 
problem. Reverting to these and to the corresponding values of 
m l9 m z , &c., we find 

Prob. w = M l (n + v - 1), 
the general values of m r , n r being 

C r pr C r (l- Pr ) 

lll r , ll r - -r- -j 

fj.-t, r p r fJi-C r (l-pr) 

and fjL and v being given by the solution of the system of equa- 
tions, 



350 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

1 _(n 

~ 



The above value of Prob. w will be the numerator of the fraction 
(2). It now remains to determine its denominator. 
For this purpose assume 



or = v ; 

whence 0v + t^> = 0* 

Substituting the first member of this equation in (7) in place of 
the corresponding form <f>zw + w (1 - <f>z) we obtain as the primary 
logical equation, 

S [0! r zJ r + t r (1 - tfrZ) ) + Xi . . X n Z + 0U + V0 = 0, 

whence eliminating 2, and reducing by Prop. n. Chap. IX., 

(j)V + V$ + S# r { S (^?r ^r + t r ~X r ) + ~X\ . . ~X n } =0. 

Hence 



and developing as before, 



+ - (sum of other constituents). (12) 

Here Si (X) indicates the sum of all constituents found in 0, 
S 2 (-3Q the sum of all constituents not found in 0. The expres- 
sions are indeed used in place of and 1 - to preserve sym- 
metry. 

It follows hence that Si (X) + S 2 (X) = 1, and that, as be- 
fore, Si (X T) + S 2 (X T) = S (X T). Hence F will have the 
same value as before, and we shall have 



Prob ... 



Or transforming, as in the previous case, 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 351 

wherein NI is formed by dividing by x v . . x nt and changing in 

the result =i into n ly ^ into n Z9 &c. 
x l x z 

Now the final solution of the problem proposed will be given 
by assigning their determined values to the terms of the fraction 

Prob. (x l , . . x n ) z Prob. w 
Prob. (x 1 , . . #)' Prob. v ' 

Hence, therefore, by (11) and (13) we have 
Prob. sought = g^. 

A very slight attention to the mode of formation of the func- 
tions M l and N\ will show that the process may be greatly sim- 
plified. We may, indeed, exhibit the solution of the general 
problem in the form of a rule, as follows : 

Reject from the function $ (# 1} # 2 . . x n ) the constituent x l . . x n if 
it is therein contained, suppress in all the remaining constituents 
the factors x 19 x z , fyc. 9 and change generally in the result x r into 

CrJ)r . Call this result M,. 

fl - C r p r 

Again, replace in the function 0(#i, # 2 . .#) the constituent 
Xi . . x n if it is therein found, by unity; suppress in all the remaining 
constituents the factors r 15 x 29 *c., and change generally in the re- 



SU U 



V-C r (\~p r ) 

Then the solution required will be expressed by the formula 



fi and v being determined by the solution of the system of equations 

i v 1:= 0*-gij>i)'.0-gj>.) 

fl n - 1 

= {v-c 1 (l-p 1 ))..{y- Cn (l-p n )) 

y n-i 

It may be added, that the limits of /m and v are the same as in 
the previous problem. This might be inferred from the general 
principle of continuity; but conditions of limitation, which are 



352 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

probably sufficient, may also be established by other conside- 
rations. 

Thus from the demonstration of the general method in pro- 
babilities, Chap. XVII. Prop, iv., it appears that the quantities 
#i> %M ^u I m the primary system of algebraic equations, 
must be positive proper fractions. Now 



Hence generally n r must be a positive quantity, and therefore 
we must have 

v>c r (l -p r ). 

In like manner since we have 

x r t r c r p r 



we must have generally 

fJL > C r p r . 

16. It is probable that the two classes of conditions thus re- 
presented are together sufficient to determine generally which of 
the roots of the equations determining ju and v are to be taken. 
Let us take in particular the case in which n = 2. Here we have 



i / v .. 

jU + V - 1 = -- - = fJL ~ (dpi + C z p z ) + 



..v = - c l p l - c z p z + - --- - = - c^ - -, 

Whence, since juL>dp\ we have generally 

v < I - dpi- 
In like manner we have 

v < 1 - c 2 /> 2 , p<l-d(l-pi)9 AI < 1 - c 2 (l -p z ). 

Now it has abeady been shown that there will exist but one 
value of fj. satisfying the whole of the above conditions relative 
to that quantity, viz. 

M > C r p r , JU < 1 - C r (1 - /?,.), 

whence the solution for this case, at least, is determinate. And I 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 353 

apprehend that the same method is generally applicable and suf- 
ficient. But this is a question upon which a further degree of 
light is desirable. 

To verify the above results, suppose (x . .#) = 1, which is 
virtually the case considered in the previous problem. Now the 
development of 1 gives all possible constituents of the symbols 
x l9 . . x n . Proceeding then according to the Bule, we find 

M, = 7 - t , - 1 = _ - 1 by (15). 

- ft jh) . (ft- C npn) fJL + V - 1 

Ni = + l---- -1. 

{v-C^l-p,)} .. {v-C n (l -/?)} fjL + V~l 

Substituting in (14) we find 

Prob.z= 1 -v, 

which agrees with the previous solution. 

Again, let $ (#1, . . x n ) = x i9 which, after development and sup- 
pression of the factors x t9 . . x n , gives x 1 (x z + 1) . . (x n + 1), whence 
we find 



^ -= C ^' .by (15). 

) ..(fi-c n p n ) ft + v- 1 



{v-c^l-p} .. {v-c n (l -/?)} n+v-l 
Substituting, we have 

Probability that if the event AI occur, E will occur = p lt 

And this result is verified by the data. Similar verifications 
might easily be added. 

Let us examine the case in which 



Here we find 



fJL ~ C^ fjl - C 



_ , 

' 



_ 
V - C, (1 - /?x) ' V - C n (1 -p n ) ' 



whence we have the following result 

2 A 



354 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

Probability that if some one ^ c r p r 

alone of the causes A^A z ..A n 1 __ ILL - c r p r _ 
present itself, the event E f c r p r c r (l-p r ) 

Will follow. J fJL - C r p r V-C r (l-pr) 

Let it be observed that this case is quite different from the 
well-known one in which the mutually exclusive character of 
the causes A i9 . . A n is one of the elements of the data, expressing 
a condition under which the very observations by which the pro- 
babilities of A 19 A^ &c. are supposed to have been determined, 
were made. 

Consider, lastly, the case in which (x l9 . . #) = Xi x z . . x n . 
Here 

= Cipi ..c n p n _ = c l p l ..c n p n 

~ ~ ft (fJL + V - \ )' 



AT = 
~ 



Hence the following result 

Probability that if all the 

causes A ly . . A n con- _ 

spire, the event E will pi . . p n v"' 1 + (l -p^. .(l-p n ) ju 7 

follow. 

This expression assumes, as it ought to do, the value 1 when any 
one of the quantities p\ 9 . .p n i& equal to 1. 

17. PROBLEM VIII. Certain causes A i9 A^..A n being so 
restricted that they cannot all fail, but still can only occur in cer- 
tain definite combinations denoted by the equation 

(A 19 A 2 . . A n ) = 1, 

and there being given the separate probabilities c l5 . . c n of the 
said causes, and the corresponding probabilities p l9 . . p n that an 
event E will follow if those respective causes are realized, re- 
quired the probability of the event E. 

This problem differs from the one last considered in several 
particulars, but chiefly in this, that the restriction denoted by the 
equation (^4i, . . A n ) = 1, forms one of the data, and is supposed 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 355 

to be furnished by or to be accordant with the very experience 
from which the knowledge of the numerical elements of the 
problem is derived. 

Representing the events A 19 . . A n by x l9 . . x n respectively, 
and the event E by 0, we have 

Prob. x r = c n Prob. x r z = c r p r . (1) 

Let us assume, generally, 

X T z = t n 

then combining the system of equations thus indicated with the 
equations 

x\ - - ~%n = 0, (#1, ..#) = !, or = 1, 

furnished in the data, we ultimately find, as the developed ex- 
pression of z 9 

z=2 (XT) + Oft J, . . l n 2(X), (2) 

where X represents in succession each constituent found in 0, 
and T a similar series of constituents of the symbols fi, . . ; 
S(X T) including only symmetrical constituents with reference 
to the two sets of symbols. 

The method of reduction to be employed in the present case 
is so similar to the one already exemplified in former problems, 
that I shall merely exhibit the results to which it leads. We 
find 



M+N. (4) 



with the relations 

M! M n Ni N n 



C\p\ C n p n Ci ( 1 - pi) C n ( 1 - 



Wherein M is formed by suppressing in (x ly . . x n ) all the fac- 
tors #1, . . JP, and changing in the result x\ into m\ 9 x n into m n9 
while N is formed by substituting in M. , HI for mi , &c. ; more- 
over MI consists of that portion of M of which mi is a factor, 
NI of that portion of N of which n\ is a factor ; and so on. 

Let us take, in illustration, the particular case in which the 
causes A l . . A n are mutually exclusive. Here we have 

(X 19 . . X n ) = X l X 2 . . X n . . . + X n ^ . . ~X n _ v 

2 A 2 



356 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

Whence 

M = Wi + 77Z 2 . . 4- m n , 

N = ^ + n z . . + n n , 
M! = T/Z! , NI = W] , &c. 
Substituting, we have 

wzj wz n HI n n ,_ 



Cn/^n ^(1-pj) <V(1-J>,) 

Hence we find 

T/I! + m z . . + m n ._ _ AT 



c 2 p 2 . . + c n p n 

or M 

= M + N. 

Hence, by (3), 



= ^p, . ,-f c n p n , 
a known result. 

There are other particular cases in which the system (4) ad- 
mits of ready solution. It is, however, obvious that in most 
instances it would lead to results of great complexity. Nor does 
it seem probable that the existence of a functional relation among 
causes, such as is assumed in the data of the general problem, will 
often be presented in actual experience ; if we except only the 
particular cases above discussed. 

Had the general problem been modified by the restriction 
that the event E cannot occur, all the causes A l . . A n being ab- 
sent, instead of the restriction that the said causes cannot all fail, 
the remaining condition denoted by the equation ( A l9 . . A n ) = 1 
being retained, we should have found for the final logical equation 



2(X) being, as before, equal to (x l9 . . # n ), but ^ (XT) formed 
by rejecting from < the particular constituent ^ . . ~x n if therein 
contained, and then multiplying each ^-constituent of the result 
by the corresponding ^-constituent. It is obvious that in the par- 
ticular case in which the causes are mutually exclusive the value 
of Prob. z hence deduced will be the same as before. 

18. PROBLEM IX. Assuming the data of any of the pre- 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 357 

vious problems, let it be required to determine the probability 
that if the event E present itself, it will be associated with the 
particular cause A r ; in other words, to determine the a posteriori 
probability of the cause A r when the event E has been observed 
to occur. 

In this case we must seek the value of the fraction 

Prob. x r z c r p r 

~> , - , or ^^ , by the data. (1) 

Prob.z Prob. z 

As in the previous problems, the value of Prob. z has been as- 
signed upon different hypotheses relative to the connexion or 
want of connexion of the causes, it is evident that in all those 
cases the present problem is susceptible of a determinate solution 
by simply substituting in (1) the value of that element thus de- 
termined. 

If the a priori probabilities of the causes are equal, we have 
d = c 2 . . = c r . Hence for the different causes the value (1) will 
vary directly as the quantity p r . Wherefore whatever the nature 
of the connexion among the causes, the d posteriori probability of 
each cause will be proportional to the probability of the observed 
event E when that cause is known to exist. The particular case 
of this theorem, which presents itself when the causes are mu- 
tually exclusive, is well known. We have then 

vz c r p r p r 



Prob. z ^c r p r pi+ p 2 . . + pn 

the values of c x , . . c n being equal. 

Although, for the demonstration of these and similar theo- 
rems in the particular case in which the causes are mutually ex- 
clusive, it is not necessary to introduce the functional symbol 0, 
which is, indeed, to claim for ourselves the choice of all possible 
and conceivable hypotheses of the connexion of the causes, yet, 
under every form, the solution by the method of this work of 
problems, in which the number of the data is indefinitely great, 
must always partake of a somewhat complex character. Whe- 
ther the systematic evolution which it presents, first, of the logi- 
cal, secondly, of the numerical relations of a problem, furnishes 
any compensation for the length and occasional tediousness of its 



358 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

processes, I do not presume to inquire. Its chief value undoubt- 
edly consists in its power, in the mastery which it gives us over 
questions which would apparently baffle the unassisted strength 
of human reason. For this cause it has not been deemed super- 
fluous to exhibit in this chapter its application to problems, some 
of which may possibly be regarded as repulsive, from their diffi- 
culty. without being recommended by any prospect of immediate 
utility. Of the ulterior value of such speculations it is, I con- 
ceive, impossible for us, at present, to form any decided judg- 
ment. 

19. The following problem is of a much easier description 
than the previous ones. 

PROBLEM X. The probability of the occurrence of a certain 
natural phenomenon under given circumstances is p. Observation 
has also recorded a probability a of the existence of a permanent 
cause of that phenomenon, i.e. of a cause which would always pro- 
duce the event under the circumstances supposed. What is the 
probability that if the phenomenon is observed to occur n times in 
succession under the given circumstances, it will occur the n + I th 
time ? What also is the probability, after such observation, of the 
existence of the permanent cause referred to ? 

FIRST CASE. Let t represent the existence of a permanent 
cause, and x 19 x z . .#n+i the successive occurrences of the natural 
phenomenon. 

If the permanent cause exist, the events x^ , x 2 . . x n+l are ne- 
cessary consequences. Hence 

t = vx 19 t = vx 2 , &c., 
and eliminating the indefinite symbols, 



Now we are to seek the probability that if the combination 
#1 x*+ x n happen, the event # n+1 ';will happen, i. e. we are to seek 
the value of the fraction 

Prob. X x . . x 



Prob. 
We will first seek the value of Prob. Xi x z . . x n . 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 359 

Represent the combination #1 # 2 x n by w, then we have the 
following logical equations : 

t(l - O = 0, t(l - O = . . t(\ - Xn ) = 0, 

#1 #2 . . X n W. 

Reducing the last to the form 

(#1 X 2 . X n ) (1 - W) + W (1 - X l # 2 X n ) = 0, 

and adding it to the former ones, we have 

S(l - Xi) + #! a? 2 . x n (1 - M?) + w (1 - a?i x z . . x n ) = 0, (1) 

wherein S extends to all values of i from 1 to w, for the one logi- 
cal equation of the data. With this we must connect the nume- 
rical conditions, 

Prob. a?j = Prob. # 2 = Prob. x n = p, Prob. t = a ; 
and our object is to find Prob. w. 
From (1) we have 






, , , , 
( 



on developing with respect to t. This result must further be 
developed with respect to x l9 o; 2 , . . x n . 

Now if we make x l = 1, x 2 = 1, . . x n = 1, the coefficients both 
of t and of 1 - 1 become 1. If we give to the same symbols any 
other set of values formed by the interchange of and 1, it is 
evident that the coefficient of t will become negative, while that 
of 1 - 1 will become 0. Hence the full development (2) will be 

w = a?! x 2 . . x n t + Xi x z . . x n (1 - t) + (1 - x l x 2 . . x n ) (1 - 1) 



+ constituents whose coefficients are -, or equivalent to -. 
Here we have 

V '= X l X^..X n t-\-X l SS 2 . .X n (l-t) + (\-X l X z ..X n ) (1 - t) 

= Xi a? 2 . . x n t + I - t ; 
whence, passing from Logic to Algebra, 



360 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 



X l X* . . X n t + X } (1 - t) = X l Xy . . X n t + X 2 (1 - t) 

p p 



x l x z . . x n t + I - t 

From the forms of the above equations it is evident that we 
have #] = # 2 = # Replace then each of these quantities by #, 
and the system becomes 



p a 

Prob. w 



g,^ 



x n t+ l-t 9 
from which we readily deduce 

Prob. w = Prob. x 1 x z . . x n = a + (jp - a) I y- j 
If in this result we change n into n + 1, we get 

Prob. Xi x 2 . . x n+} = a + (p - a) f jT") ' 
Hence we find 




as the expression of the probability that if the phenomenon be n 
times repeated, it will also present itself the n + I th time. By the 
method of Chapter XIX. it is found that a cannot exceed p in 
value. 

The following verifications are obvious : 

1st. If a =0, the expression reduces to p, as it ought to do. 
For when it is certain that no permanent cause exists, the suc- 
cessive occurrences of the phenomenon are independent. 

2nd. If p = 1, the expression becomes 1, as it ought to do. 

3rd. If p = , the expression becomes 1, unless a = 0. If the 
probability of a phenomenon is equal to the probability that there 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 361 

exists a cause which under given circumstances would always 
produce it, then the fact that that phenomenon has ever been no- 
ticed under those circumstances, renders certain its re-appearance 
under the same.* 

4th. As n increases, the expression approaches in value to 
unity. This indicates that the probability of the recurrence of 
the event increases with the frequency of its successive appear- 
ances, a result agreeable to the natural laws of expectation. 

SECOND CASE. We are now to seek the probability d pos- 
teriori of the existence of a permanent cause of the phenomenon. 
This requires that we ascertain the value of the fraction 

aO^*. . x n 



Prob. Xi # 2 . . x n 9 

the denominator of which has already been determined. 
To determine the numerator assume 

tX l X z . . X n = W, 

then proceeding as before, we obtain for the logical develop- 
ment, 

w = tXi x% . . x n + (1 - t). 

Whence, passing from Logic to Algebra, we have at once 

Prob. w = , 

a result which might have been anticipated. Substituting then 
for the numerator and denominator of the above fraction their 
values, we have for the d posteriori probability of a permanent 
cause, the expression 



* As we can neither re-enter nor recall the. state of infancy, we are unable to 
say how far such results as the above serve to explain the confidence with which 
young children connect events whose association they have once perceived. 
But we may conjecture, generally, that the strength of their expectations is 
due to the necessity of inferring (as a part of their rational nature), and the 
narrow but impressive experience upon which the faculty is exercised. Hence 
the reference of every kind of sequence to that of cause and effect. A little 
friend of the author's, on being put to bed, was heard to ask his brother the 
pertinent question, " Why does going to sleep at night make it light in the 
morning?" The brother, who was a year older, was able to reply, that it 
would be light in the morning even if little boys did not go to sleep at night. 



362 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XXi 



a + (- 



It is obvious that the value of this expression increases with the 
value of n. 

I am indebted to a learned correspondent,* whose original 
contributions to the theory of probabilities have already been re- 
ferred to, for the following verification of the first of the above 
results (3). 

" The whole a priori probability of the event (under the cir- 
cumstances) being p, and the probability of some cause C which 
would necessarily produce it, a, let x be the probability that it 
will happen if no such cause as C exist. Then we have the 

equation 

p = a + (1 - a) x, 

whence _ p-a 

~T^~a 

Now the phenomenon observed is the occurrence of the event n 
times. The a priori probability of this would be 

1 supposing C to exist, 

& supposing C not to exist ; 

whence the d posteriori probability that C exists is 



a + - 
that C does not exist is 

(!-)* 



a + (1 - a) x n ' 
Consequently the probability of another occurrence is 

a (1 - a) x n 

a + (1 - a) x* X + a + (1 - a) af X "' 

or a + (1 - a) # n+1 

a + (1 - a) x" ' 

* Professor Donkin. 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 363 

which, on replacing n by its value y , will be found to agree 

with (3)." 

Similar verifications might, it is probable, also be found for 
the following results, obtained by the direct application of the 
general method. 

The probability, under the same circumstances, that if, out of 
n occasions, the event happen r times, and fail n - r times, it will 
happen on the n + I th time is 

a + m (p - a] 



- la\ r - 1 






. . n(n-l) ..n-r+I ,, r 

wherein m = r-^ and I - -. 

1 .2..r n 

The probability of a permanent cause (r being less than n) 
is 0. This is easily verified. 

If p be the probability of an event, and c the probability that 
if it occur it will be due to a permanent cause ; the probability 
after n successive observed occurrences that it will recur on the 
n + I th similar occasion is 

c + (1 - c)x n 



wherein x 

20. It is remarkable that the solutions of the previous pro- 
blems are void of any arbitrary element. "We should scarcely, 
from the appearance of the data, have anticipated such a circum- 
stance. It is, however, to be observed, that in all those problems 
the probabilities of the causes involved are supposed to be known 
a priori. In the absence of this assumed element of knowledge, 
it seems probable that arbitrary constants would necessarily ap- 
pear in the final solution. Some confirmation of this remark is 
afforded by a class of problems to which considerable attention 
has been directed, and which, in conclusion, I shall briefly 
consider. 



364 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

It has been observed that there exists in the heavens a large 
number of double stars of extreme closeness. Either these ap- 
parent instances of connexion have some physical ground or they 
have not. If they have not, we may regard the phenomenon of a 
double star as the accidental result of a " random distribution" of 
stars over the celestial vault, i. e. of a distribution which would 
render it just as probable that either member of the binary sys- 
tem should appear in one spot as in another. If this hypothesis be 
assumed, and if the number of stars of a requisite brightness be 
known, we can determine what is the probability that two of 
them should be found within such limits of mutual distance as 
to constitute the observed phenomenon. Thus Mitchell,* esti- 
mating that there are 230 stars in the heavens equal in brightness 
to ]3 Capricorni, determines that it is 80 to 1 against such a 
combination being presented were those stars distributed at ran- 
dom. The probability, when such a combination has been ob- 
served, that there exists between its members a physical ground 
of connexion, is then required. 

Again, the sum of the inclinations of the orbits of the ten 
known planets to the plane of the ecliptic in the year 1801 was 
91 4 1ST, according to the French measures. Were all inclina- 
tions equally probable, Laplacej determines, that there would be 
only the excessively small probability .00000011235 that the 
mean of the inclinations should fall within the limit thus as- 
signed. And he hence concludes, that there is a very high 
probability in favour of a disposing cause, by which the inclina- 
tions of the planetary orbits have been confined within such narrow 
bounds. Professor De Morgan, J taking the sum of the inclina- 
tions at 92, gives to the above probability the value .00000012, 
and infers that " it is 1 : .00000012, that there was a necessary 
cause in the formation of the solar system for the inclinations 
being what they are." An equally determinate conclusion has 
been drawn from observed coincidences between the direction of 



* Phil. Transactions, An. 1767. 

t Theorie Analytique des Probabilites, p. 276. 

t Encyclopaedia Metropolitana. Art. Probabilities. 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 365 

circular polarization in rock-crystal, and that of certain oblique 
faces in its crystalline structure.* 

These problems are all of a similar character. A certain hypo- 
thesis is framed, of the various possible consequences of which 
we are able to assign the probabilities with perfect rigour. Now 
some actual result of observation being found among those con- 
sequences, and its hypothetical probability being therefore known, 
it is required thence to determine the probability of the hypo- 
thesis assumed, or its contrary. In Mitchell's problem, the hy- 
pothesis is that of a " random distribution of the stars," the 
possible and observed consequence, the appearance of a close 
double star. The very small probability of such a result is held 
to imply that the probability of the hypothesis is equally small, 
or, at least, of the same order of smallness. And hence the high 
and, and as some think, determinate probability of a disposing 
cause in the stellar arrangements is inferred. Similar remarks 
apply to the other examples adduced. 

2 1 . The general problem, in whatsoever form it may be pre- 
sented, admits only of an indefinite solution. Let x represent the 
proposed hypothesis, y a phenomenon which might occur as one 
of its possible consequences, and whose calculated probability, on 
the assumption of the truth of the hypothesis, is/?, and let it be re- 
quired to determine the probability that if the phenomenon y is 
observed, the hypothesis x is true. The very data of this pro- 
blem cannot be expressed without the introduction of an arbi- 
trary element. We can only write 

Prob. x = , Prob. xy = ap; (1) 

a being perfectly arbitrary, except that it must fall within the 
limits and 1 inclusive. If then P represent the conditional pro- 
bability sought, we have 



ff^ ap 
Prob. y Prob. y ' 



It remains then to determine Prob. y . 



* Edinburgh Review, No. 185, p. 32. This article, though not entirely free 
from error, is well worthy of attention. 



366 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

Let xy = t, then 

-^ (3) 



Hence observing that Prob. x = a, Prob. t = ap, and passing from 
Logic to Algebra, we have 

tx + cl -t x 

Frob ^ 

with the relations 



op 

Hence we readily find 

Prob. y = op + c (1 - a). (4) 

Now recurring to (3), we find that c is the probability, that if 
the event (1 - f) (1 - x) occur, the event y will occur. But 



Hence c is the probability that if the event x do not occur, 
the event y will occur. 

Substituting the value of Prob. y in (2), we have the follow- 
ing theorem : 

The calculated probability of any phenomenon y, upon an as- 
sumed physical hypothesis x, being p, the a posteriori probability P 
ofthephysical hypothesis, when the phenomenon has been observed, 
is expressed by the equation 



where a and c are arbitrary constants, the former representing the 
a priori probability of the hypothesis, the latter the probability that 
if the hypothesis were false, the event y would present itself. 

The principal conclusion deducible from the above theorem 
is that, other things being the same, the value of P in creases and 
diminishes simultaneously with that of p. Hence the greater or 
less the probability of the phenomenon when the hypothesis is 
assumed, the greater or less is the probability of the hypothesis 
when the phenomenon has been observed. When p is very small, 
then generally P also is small, unless either a is large or c small. 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 367 

Hence, secondly, if the probability of the phenomenon is very 
small when the hypothesis is assumed, the probability of the hy- 
pothesis is very small when the phenomenon is observed, unless 
either the a priori probability a of the hypothesis is large, or the 
probability of the phenomenon upon any other hypothesis small. 
The formula (5) admits of exact verification in various cases, 
as when c = 0, or a = 1, or a = 0. But it is evident that it does 
not, unless there be means for determining the values of a and c, 
yield a definite value of P. Any solutions which profess to ac- 
complish this object, either are erroneous in principle, or involve 
a tacit assumption respecting the above arbitrary elements. Mr. 
De Morgan's solution of Laplace's problem Concerning the ex- 
istence of a determining cause of the narrow limits within which 
the inclinations of the planetary orbits to the plane of the ecliptic 
are confined, appears to me to be of the latter description. Having 
found a probability^ = .00000012, that the sum of the incli- 
nations would be less than 92 were all degrees of inclination 
equally probable in each orbit, this able writer remarks : " If 
there be a reason for the inclinations being as described, the 
probability of the event is 1. Consequently, it is 1 : .00000012 
(i. e. 1 :/?), that there was a necessary cause in the formation of 
the solar system for the inclinations being what they are." Now 
this result is what the equation (5) would really give, if, assigning 

to p the above value, we should assume c = 1, a = -. For we 

2 

should thus find, 



P = 



.-. I -Pi Pi ili p. (6) 

But P representing the probability, a posteriori, that all 
inclinations are equally probable, 1 - P is the probability, d pos- 
teriori, that such is not the case, or, adopting Mr. De Morgan's 
alternative, that a determining cause exists. The equation (6), 
therefore, agrees with Mr. De Morgan's result. 

22. Are we, however, justified in assigning to a and c parti- 
cular values? I am strongly disposed to think that we are not. 



368 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

The question is of less importance in the special instance than 
in its ulterior bearings. In the received applications of the theory 
of probabilities, arbitrary constants do not explicitly appear ; 
but in the above, and in many > other instances sanctioned by the 
highest authorities, some virtual determination of them has been 
attempted. And this circumstance has given to the results of 
the theory, especially in reference to questions of causation, a 
character of definite precision, which, while on the one hand it 
has seemed to exalt the dominion and extend the province of 
numbers, even beyond the measure of their ancient claim to rule 
the world ;* on the other hand has called forth vigorous protests 
against their intrusion into realms in which conjecture is the only 
basis of inference. The very fact of the appearance of arbitrary 
constants in the solutions of problems like the above, treated 
by the method of this work, seems to imply, that definite solution 
is impossible, and to mark the point where inquiry ought to stop. 
We possess indeed the means of interpreting those constants, but 
the experience which is thus indicated is as much beyond our 
reach as the experience which would preclude the necessity of 
any attempt at solution whatever. 

Another difficulty attendant upon these questions, and inhe- 
rent, perhaps, in the very constitution of our faculties, is that of 
precisely defining what is meant by Order. The manifestations 
of that principle, except in very complex instances, we have no 
difficulty in detecting, nor do we hesitate to impute to it an al- 
most necessary foundation in causes operating under Law. But 
to assign to it a standard of numerical value would be a vain, 
not to say a presumptuous, endeavour. Yet must the attempt be 
made, before we can aspire to weigh with accuracy the probabi- 
bilities of different constitutions of the universe, so as to deter- 
mine the elements upon which alone a definite solution of the 
problems in question can be established. 

23. The most usual mode of endeavouring to evade the ne- 
cessary arbitrariness of the solution of problems in the theory of 



* Mundum regunt numeri. 

f See an interesting paper by Prof. Forbes in the Philosophical Magazine, 
Dec. 1850; also Mill's Logic, chap, xviii. 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 369 

probabilities which rest upon insufficient data, is to assign to some 
element whose real probability is unknown all possible degrees 
of probability ; to suppose that these degrees of probability are 
themselves equally probable ; and, regarding them as so many dis- 
tinct causes of the phenomenon observed, to apply the theorems 
which represent the case of an effect due to some one of a number 
of equally probable but mutually exclusive causes (Problem 9). 
For instance, the rising of the sun after a certain interval of 
darkness having been observed m times in succession, the proba- 
bility of its again rising under the same circumstances is deter- 
mined, on received principles, in the following manner. Let p 
be any unknown probability between and 1 , and c (infinitesimal 
and constant) the probability, that the probability of the sun's 
rising after an interval of darkness lies between the limits p and 
p + dp. Then the probability that the sun will rise m times in 
succession is 



\p m dp-, 

J 



and the probability that he will do this, and will rise again, or, 
which is the same thing, that he will rise m + 1 times in succes- 
sion, is 



c 

'0 



Hence the probability that if he rise m times in succession, he will 
rise the m + 1 th time, is 



c{ p m + l dp 
V F m + * 



f 1 ~ m + 2 ' 

c I p m dp 

the known and generally received solution. 

The above solution is usually founded upon a supposed analogy 
of the problem with that of the drawing of balls from an urn con- 
taining a mixture of black and white balls, between which all 
possible numerical ratios are assumed to be equally probable. 
And it is remarkable, that there are two or three distinct hypo- 
theses which lead to the same final result. For instance, if the 
balls are finite in number, and those which are drawn are not 

2B 



370 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

replaced, or if they are infinite in number, whether those drawn 
are replaced or not, then, supposing that m successive drawings 
have yielded only white balls, the probability of the issue of a 
white ball at the m + I th drawing is 



m 



m + 2 ' 

It has been said, that the principle involved in the above 
and in similar applications is that of the equal distribution of 
our knowledge, or rather of our ignorance the assigning to 
different states of things of which we know nothing, and upon 
the very ground that we know nothing, equal degrees of proba- 
bility. I apprehend, however, that this is an arbitrary method of 
procedure. Instances may occur, and one such has been adduced, 
in which different hypotheses lead to the same final conclusion. 
But those instances are exceptional. With reference to the par- 
ticular problem in question, it is shown in the memoir cited, that 
there is one hypothesis, viz v when the balls are finite in number 
and not replaced, which leads to a different conclusion, and it is 
easy to see that there are other hypotheses, as strictly involving 
the principle of the "equal distribution of knowledge or igno- 
rance," which would also conduct to conflicting results. 

24. For instance, let the case of sunrise be represented by 
the drawing of a white ball from a bag containing an infinite 
number of balls, which are all either black or white, and let the 
assumed principle be, that all possible constitutions of the system 
of balls are equally probable. By a constitution of the system, I 
mean an arrangement which assigns to every ball in the system 
a determinate colour, either black or white. Let us thence seek 
the probability, that if m white balls are drawn in m drawings, 
a white ball will be drawn in the m + I th drawing. 

First, suppose the number of the balls to be /*, and let the 
symbols 19 # 2 , . . M be appropriated to them in the following 
manner. Let X L denote that event which consists in the i th ball 
of the system being white, the proposition declaratory of such a 
state of things being xi = 1. In like manner the compound 

* See a memoir by Bishop Terrot, Edinburgh Phil. Trans, vol. xx. Part iv. 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 371 

symbol 1 - Xi will represent the circumstance of the i th ball being 
black. It is evident that the several constituents formed of the 
entire set of symbols Xi , x z , . . # M will represent in like manner 
the several possible constitutions of the system of balls with 
respect to blackness and whiteness, and the number of such con- 
stitutions being 2^, the probability of each will, in accordance 

with the hypothesis, be . This is the value which we should 
find if we substituted in the expression of any constituent for 
each of the symbols x i9 x 29 . . x^ the value -. Hence, then, the 

probability of any event which can be expressed as a series of 
constituents of the above description, will be found by substi- 

. tuting in such expression the value - for each of the above 

2 

symbols. 

Now the larger p is, the less probable it is that any ball 
which has been drawn and replaced will be drawn again. As JJL 
approaches to infinity, this probability approaches to 0. And 
this being the case, the state of the balls actually drawn can be 
expressed as a logical function of m of the symbols x i9 .. # 2 . . # M , 
and therefore, by development, as a series of constituents of the 
said m symbols. Hence, therefore, its probability will be fonnd 
by substituting for each of the symbols, whether in the unde- 
veloped or the developed form, the value -. But this is the very 

substitution which it would be necessary, and which it would 
suffice, to make, if the probability of a white ball at each drawing 

were known, a priori, to be - . 

It follows, therefore, that if the number of balls be infinite, 
and all constitutions of the system equally probable, the proba- 
bility of drawing m white balls in succession will be , and the 

probability of drawing m + 1 white balls in succession -^-; 
whence the probability that after m white balls have been drawn, 
the next drawing will furnish a white one, will be -. In other 

2s 2 



372 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

words, past experience does not in this case affect future ex- 
pectation. 

25. It may be satisfactory to verify this result by ordinary 
methods. To accomplish this, we shall seek 

First : The probability of drawing r white balls, and p - r 
black balls, in p trials, out of a bag containing p balls, every ball 
being replaced after drawing, and all constitutions of the systems 
being equally probable, a priori. 

Secondly : The value which this probability assumes when 
ju becomes infinite. 

Thirdly : The probability hence derived, that if m white 
balls are drawn in succession, the m + I th ball drawn will be 
white also. 

The probability that r white balls andp - r black ones will be 
drawn in p trials out of an urn containing /u. balls, each ball 
being replaced after trial, and all constitutions of the system as 
above defined being equally probable, is equal to the sum of the 
probabilities of the same result upon the separate hypotheses of 
there being no white balls, 1 white ball, lastly ju white balls in 
the urn. Therefore, it is the sum of the probabilities of this re- 
sult on the hypothesis of there being n white balls, n varying 
from to ju. 

Now supposing that there are n white balls, the probability 

of drawing a white ball in a single drawing is - , and the proba- 
bility of drawing r white balls and p - r black ones in a parti- 
cular order in p drawings, is 



But there being as many such orders as there are combinations 
of r things in p things, the total probability of drawing r white 
balls in p drawings out of the system of /* balls of which n are 
white, is 

-' 



Again, the number of constitutions of the system of ju balls, which 
admit of exactly n balls being white, is 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 373 



1.2 ..n 

and the number of possible constitutions of the system is 2 
Hence the probability that exactly n balls are white is 



Multiplying (1) by this expression, and taking the sum of the 
products from n = to n = ^ we have 






for the expression of the total probability, that out of a system 
of fj. balls of which all constitutions are equally probable, r white 
balls will issue in p drawings. Now 

.,.,, ( A .-l)..Q-n+l)/n\Y n\f- T 

- 1.2..W.2" V M/ 



Z> standing for the symbol ^, so that ^ (D) c nd = (w) t n0 . But 
by a known theorem, 

m 

_ 2). 



In the second member let = #, then 



// A 2 m //* 

^- + =- X* -3- + &C.) (1 -f X>, 
u37 1 . 2t CtX 



snce 



374 PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. [CHAP. XX. 

In the second member of the above equation, performing the dif- 
ferentiations and making x = 1 (since 9 = 0), we get 

D m (I + e e Y = fi (A O m ) 2M- 1 + **Yo ( A2 w ) 2/i " 2 + &c - 

J. t 

The last term of the second member of this equation will be 

M(M " 1) 'i ( 2:r 1)Amo " 2 "-"^^- i )--^- m+i)2> " m; 

since A m OT = 1 . 2 . . m. When ^ is a large quantity this term 
exceeds all the others in value, and as fi approaches to infinity 
tends to become infinitely great in comparison with them. And 
as moreover it assumes the form p m 2* i ~ m , we have, on passing to 
the limit, 

u\ m 

2/ "" 

Hence if (Z>) represent any function of the symbol D, which 
is capable of being expanded in a series of ascending powers of D, 
we have 



if = and JJL = oo. Strictly speaking, this implies that the ratio of 
the two members of the above equation approaches a state of 
equality, as p increases towards infinity, being equal to 0. 

By means of this theorem, the last member of (3) reduces to 
the form 



Hence (2) gives 



as the expression for the probability that from an urn containing 
an infinite number of black and white balls, all constitutions of 
the system being equally probable, r white balls will issue in p 
drawings. 

Hence, making p = m,r = m, the probability that in m drawings 

/\\m 

all the balls will be white is f - j , and the probability that this 



CHAP. XX.] PROBLEMS ON CAUSES. 375 

will be the case, and that moreover the m + I th drawing will 

l\m + i 

, whence the probability, that if the 



first m drawings yield white balls only, the m + I th drawing will 
also yield a white ball, is 



and generally, any proposed result will have the same probability 
as if' it were an even chance whether each particular drawing 
yielded a white or a black ball. This agrees with the conclusion 
before obtained. 

26. These results only illustrate the fact, that when the defect 
of data is supplied by hypothesis, the solutions will, in general, 
vary with the nature of the hypotheses assumed ; so that the 
question still remains, only more definite in form, whether the 
principles of the theory of probabilities serve to guide us in the 
election of such hypotheses. I have already expressed my convic- 
tion that they do not a conviction strengthened by other reasons 
than those above stated. Thus, a definite solution of a problem 
having been found by the method of this work, an equally de- 
finite solution is sometimes attainable by the same method when 
one of the data, suppose Prob. x = p l is omitted. But I have not 
been able to discover any mode of deducing the second solution 
from the first by integration, with respect to p supposed variable 
within limits determined by Chap. xix. This deduction would, 
however, I conceive, be possible, were the principle adverted to 
in Art. 23 valid. Still it is with diffidence that I express my 
dissent on these points from mathematicians generally, and more 
especially from one who, of English writers, has most fully en- 
tered into the spirit and the methods of Laplace ; and I venture 
to hope, that a question, second to none other in the Theory of 
Probabilities in importance, will receive the careful attention 
which it deserves. 



376 PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. [CHAP. XXI. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

PARTICULAR APPLICATION OF THE PREVIOUS GENERAL METHOD 
TO THE QUESTION OF THE PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. 

1 . /^\N the presumption that the general method of this treatise 

Vir for the solution of questions in the theory of probabilities, 
has been sufficiently elucidated in the previous chapters, it is pro- 
posed here to enter upon one of its practical applications selected 
out of the wide field of social statistics, viz., the estimation of the 
probability of judgments. Perhaps this application, if weighed 
by its immediate results, is not the best that could have been 
chosen. One of the first conclusions to which it leads is that of 
the necessary insufficiency of any data that experience alone can 
furnish, for the accomplishment of the most important object of 
the inquiry. But in setting clearly before us the necessity of 
hypotheses as supplementary to the data of experience, and in 
enabling us to deduce with rigour the consequences of any hy- 
pothesis which may be assumed, the method accomplishes all 
that properly lies within its scope. And it may be remarked, 
that in questions which relate to the conduct of our own species, 
hypotheses are more justifiable than in questions such as those re- 
ferred to in the concluding sections of the previous chapter. Our 
general experience of human nature comes in aid of the scantiness 
and imperfection of statistical records. 

2. The elements involved in problems relating to criminal 
assize are the following : 

1st. The probability that a particular member of the jury 
will form a correct opinion upon the case. 

2nd. The probability that the accused party is guilty. 

3rd. The probability that he will be condemned, or that he 
will be acquitted. 

4th. The probability that his condemnation or acquittal will 
be just. 

5th. The constitution of the jury. 



CHAP. XXI.] PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. 377 

6th. The data furnished by experience, such as the relative 
numbers of cases in which unanimous decisions have been arrived 
at, or particular majorities obtained ; the number of cases in 
which decisions have been reversed by superior courts, &c. 

Again, the class of questions under consideration may be 
regarded as either direct or inverse. The direct questions of pro- 
bability are those in which the probability of correct decision 
for each member of the tribunal, or of guilt for the accused 
party, are supposed to be known a priori, and in which the proba- 
bility of a decision of a particular kind, or with a definite majority, 
is sought. Inverse problems are those in which, from the data fur- 
nished by experience, it is required to determine some element 
which, though it stand to those data in the relation of cause to 
effect, cannot directly be made the subject of observation ; as 
when from the records of the decisions of courts it is required to 
determine the probability that a member of a court will judge 
correctly. To this species of problems, the most difficult and 
the most important of the whole series, attention will chiefly be 
directed here. 

3. There is no difficulty in solving the direct problems re- 
ferred to in the above enumeration. Suppose there is but one 
juryman. Let k be the probability that the accused person is 
guilty; x the probability that the juryman will form a correct 
opinion ; X the probability that the accused person will be con- 
demned : then 

kx = probability that the accused party is guilty, and that the 
juryman judges him to be guilty. 

(1- A) (!-#) = probability that the accused person is inno- 
cent, and that the juryman pronounces him guilty. 

Now these being the only cases in which a verdict of con- 
demnation can be given, and being moreover mutually exclusive, 
we have 

X-kx + (l-k)(l- x). (1) 

In like manner, if there be n jurymen whose separate proba- 
bilities of correct judgment are x l9 x z . . x n , the probability of an 
unanimous verdict of condemnation will be 

X = kx l x 2 ..x n + (l- k) (1 - *,) (1 -*,)..(!- x n ). 



378 PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. [CHAP. XXI. 

Whence, if the several probabilities # 1? x z . . x n are equal, and are 
each represented by #, we have 

X= kx n + (I- k) (l-x)\ (2) 

The probability in the latter case, that the accused person is guilty, 
will be 



kx n + (l-k) (\-x) n ' 

All these results assume, that the events whose probabilities 
are denoted by k, x ly x z , &c., are independent, an assumption 
which, however, so far as we are concerned, is involved in the 
fact that those events are the only ones of which the probabilities 
are given. 

The probability of condemnation by a given number of voices 
may be found on the same principles. If a jury is composed of 
three persons, whose several probabilities of correct decision are 
x, x, x" 9 the probability X 2 that the accused person will be de- 
clared guilty by two of them will be 

X z = k [xx 1 (1 - x") + xx' (1 - a/) + x'x" (1 - *)} 



which if x = x = x" reduces to 

3&c 3 (1 - x) + 3 (1 - k) x (1 - x)\ 

And by the same mode of reasoning, it will appear that if 
X{ represent the probability that the accused person will be de- 
clared guilty by i voices out of a jury consisting of n persons, 
whose separate probabilities of correct judgment are equal, and 
represented by x, then 






If the probability of condemnation by a determinate majority a 
is required, we have simply 



i - a = n - , 
whence 

n + a 

t = ' 



CHAP. XXI.] PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. 379 

which must be substituted in the above formula. Of course a 
admits only of such values as make i an integer. If n is even, 
those values are 0, 2, 4, &c. ; if odd, 1, 3, 5, &c., as is otherwise 
obvious. 

The probability of a condemnation by a majority of at least a 
given number of voices m, will be found by adding together the 
following several probabilities determined as above, viz. : 

1st. The probability of a condemnation by an exact ma- 
jority m ; 

2nd. The probability of condemnation by the next greater 
majority m + 2 ; 

and so on ; the last element of the series being the probability of 
unanimous condemnation. Thus the probability of condemnation 
by a majority of 4 at least out of 12 jurors, would be 

8 ~t~ -A-9 + -^M2> 

the values of the above terms being given by (3) after making 
therein n = 12. 

4. When, instead of a jury, we are considering the case of a 
simple deliberative assembly consisting of n persons, whose sepa- 
rate probabilities of correct judgment are denoted by x 9 the above 
formulae are replaced by others, made somewhat more simple by 
the omission of the quantity k. 

The probability of unanimous decision is 

X = a? + (1 - x). 

The probability of an agreement of i voices out of the whole 
number is 



Of this class of investigations it is unnecessary to give any 
further account. They have been pursued to a considerable ex- 
tent by Condorcet, Laplace, Poisson, and other writers, who 
have investigated in particular the modes of calculation and re- 
duction which are necessary to be employed when n and i are 
large numbers. It is apparent that the whole inquiry is of a very 
speculative character. The values of x and k cannot be deter- 



380 PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. [CHAP. XXI. 

mined by direct observation. We can only presume that they 
must both in general exceed the value ; that the former, #, must 

increase with the progress of public intelligence ; while the latter, 
k, must depend much upon those preliminary steps in the ad- 
ministration of the law by which persons suspected of crime are 
brought before the tribunal of their country. It has been re- 
marked by Poisson, that in periods of revolution, as during the 
Reign of Terror in France, the value of k may fall, if account be 

taken of political offences, far below the limit - . The history of 

Europe in days nearer to our own would probably confirm this 
observation, and would show that it is not from the wild license 
of democracy alone, that the accusation of innocence is to be 
apprehended. 

Laplace makes the assumption, that all values of x from 

*=-, to x = 1, 

are equally probable. He thus excludes the supposition that a 
juryman is more likely to be deceived than not, but assumes that 
within the limits to which the probabilities of individual cor- 
rectness of judgment are confined, we have no reason to give 
preference to one value of x over another. This hypothesis is 
entirely arbitrary, and it would be unavailing here to examine 
into its consequences. 

Poisson seems first to have endeavoured to deduce the values 
of x and &, inferentially, from experience. In the six years from 
1825 to 1830 inclusively, the number of individuals accused of 
crimes against the person before the tribunals of France was 
11016, and the number of persons condemned was 5286. The 
juries consisted each of 12 persons, and the decision was pro- 
nounced by a simple majority. Assuming the above numbers 
to be sufficiently large for the estimation of probabilities, there 

would therefore be a probability measured by the fraction ,, * 

or .4782 that an accused person would be condemned by a simple 
majority. We should have the equation 

XT+XI..+ X u = .4782, (5) 



CHAP. XXI.] PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. 381 

the general expression for Xi being given by (3) after making 
therein n = 12. In the year 1831 the law, having received alte- 
ration, required a majority of at least four persons for condemna- 
tion, and the number of persons tried for crimes against the 
person during that year being 2046, and the number condemned 
743, the probability of the condemnation of an individual by the 

743 
above majority was oTZ"' or .3631. Hence we should have 

(6) 

Assuming that the values of k and x were the same for the 
year 1831 as for the previous six years, the two equations (5) and 
(6) enable us to determine approximately their values. Poisson 
thus found, 

k = .5354, x = .6786. 

For crimes against property during the same periods, he 
found by a similar analysis, 

= .6744, a? = .7771. 

The solution of the system (5) (6) conducts in each case to 
two values of k, and to two values of x, the one value in each 

pair being? greater, and the other less, than - . It was assumed, 

2i 

that in each case the larger value should be preferred, it being 
conceived more probable that a party accused ; should be guilty 
than innocent, and more probable that a juryman should form 
a correct than an erroneous opinion upon the evidence* 

5. The data employed by Poisson, especially those which were 
furnished by the year 1831, are evidently too imperfect to permit 
us to attach much confidence to the above determinations of # and 
k ; and it is chiefly for the sake of the method that they are here 
introduced. It would have been possible to record during the 
six years, 1825-30, or during any similar period, the number of 
condemnations pronounced with each possible majority of voices. 
The values of the several elements X 8 , X 9 , . . X W9 were there 
no reasons of policy to forbid, might have been accurately ascer- 
tained. Here then the conception of the general problem, of 
which Poisson's is a particular case, arises. How shall we, from 



382 PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. [CHAP. XXI. 

this apparently supernumerary system of data, determine the 
values of x and k ? If the hypothesis, adopted by Poisson and 
all other writers on the subject, of the absolute independence of 
the events whose probabilities are denoted by x and k be retained, 
we should be led to form a system of five equations of the type (3), 
and either select from these that particular pair of equations which 
might appear to be most advantageous, or combine together the 
equations of the system by the method of least squares. There 
might exist a doubt as to whether the latter method would be 
strictly applicable in such cases, especially if the values of x and k 
afforded by different selected pairs of the given equations were very 
different from each other. M. Cournot has considered a somewhat 
similar problem, in which, from the records of individual votes in 
a court consisting of four judges, it is proposed to investigate the 
separate probabilities of a correct verdict from each judge. For 
the determination of the elements x, x', af', x'" 9 he obtains eight 
equations, which he divides into two sets of four equations, and 
he remarks, that should any considerable discrepancy exist be- 
tween the values of x 9 x', a/', x" 9 determined from those sets, it 
might be regarded as an indication that the hypothesis of the in- 
dependence of the opinions of the judges was, in the particular 
case, untenable. The principle of this mode of investigation has 
been adverted to in (XVIII. 4). 

6. I proceed to apply to the class of problems above indicated, 
the method of this treatise, and shall inquire, first, whether the 
records of courts and deliberative assemblies, alone, can furnish 
any information respecting the probabilities of correct judgment 
for their individual members, and, it appearing that they cannot, 
secondly, what kind and amount of necessary hypothesis will best 
comport with the actual data. 

PROPOSITION I. 

From the mere records of the decisions of a court or deliberative 
assembly, it is not possible to deduce any definite conclusion re- 
specting the correctness of the individual judgments of its members. 

Though this Proposition may appear to express but the con- 
viction of unassisted good sense, it will not be without interest to 
show that it admits of rigorous demonstration. 



CHAP. XXI.] PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. 383 

Let us suppose the case of a deliberative assembly consisting 
of n members, no hypothesis whatever being made respecting 
the dependence or independence of their judgments. Let the 
logical symbols x i9 x 99 . . x n be employed according to the fol- 
lowing definition, viz. : Let the generic symbol # denote that 
event which consists in the uttering of a correct opinion by the 
i th member, Ai of the court. We shall consider the values of 
Prob. #1, Prob. x 29 . . Prob. #, as the qucesita of a problem, the 
expression of whose possible data we must in the next place 
investigate. 

Now those data are the probabilities of events capable of 
being expressed by definite logical functions of the symbols Xi , 
x 2 , . . x n . Let X^ , X 2 , . . X m represent the functions hi question, 
and let the actual system of data be 

Prob. X l = a l9 Prob. X z = 2 Prob. X m = a m . 

Then from the very nature of the case it may be shown that 
X 19 X Z9 . . X m , are functions which remain unchanged if 
a?!, # 2 , x n are therein changed into 1 - x l , 1 - # 2 1 - # 
respectively. Thus, if it were recorded that in a certain pro- 
portion of instances the votes given were unanimous, the event 
whose probability, supposing the instances sufficiently numerous, 
is thence determined, is expressed by the logical function 

X l X Z . , X n + (1 - X,) (I - # 2 ) . . (1 - Xn), 

a function which satisfies the above condition. Again, let it be 
recorded, that in a certain proportion of instances, the vote of an 
individual, suppose Ai 9 differs from that of all the other mem- 
bers of the court. The event, whose probability is thus given, 
will be expressed by the function 

X,(l - X 2 ) , . (1 - X n ) + (1 - Xi) Xi, . . Xnl 

also satisfying the above conditions. Thus, as agreement in 
opinion may be an agreement in either truth or error ; and as, 
when opinions are divided, either party may be right or wrong ; 
it is manifest that the expression of any particular state, whether 
of agreement or difference of sentiment in the assembly, will 
depend upon a logical function of the symbols x l9 x Z9 . . x n9 



384 PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. [CHAP. XXI. 

which similarly involves the privative symbols I - x l9 1 - x t9 
. . 1 - x n . But in the records of assemblies, it is not presumed 
to declare which set of opinions is right or wrong. Hence the 
functions X i9 X^, . . X m must be solely of the kind above de- 
scribed. 

7. Now in proceeding, according to the general method, to 
determine the value of Prob. x l9 we should first equate the func- 
tions Xi 9 . . X m to a new set of symbols t l9 . . t m . From the 
equations 

Xi = ti 9 X Z = 2 , X m = t m9 

thus formed, we should eliminate the symbols # 2 , x 39 . . x n9 and 
then determine x t as a developed logical function of the symbols 
ti, t 29 . . t m , expressive of events whose probabilities are given. 
Let the result of the above elimination be 



Xi) = Q', (1) 

E and E' being function of t lt t 29 . . t m . Then 

'' 



Now the functions X 19 X Z9 . . X m are symmetrical with re- 
ference to the symbols Xi 9 . . x n and 1 - x l9 . . 1 -x n . It is evi- 
dent, therefore, that in the equation E' must be identical with E. 

Hence (2) gives 

E 



and it is evident, that the only coefficients which can appear in the 
development of the second member of the above equation are 

- and -. The former will present itself whenever the values 

assigned to ti , . . t m in determining the coefficient of a constituent, 
are such as to make E = 0, the latter, or an equivalent result, in 
every other case. Hence we may represent the development 
under the form 

*'1 C + 1 D - (3) 

C and D being constituents, or aggregates of constituents, of the 
symbols t l9 t 99 . .t m . 



CHAP. XXI.] PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. 385 

Passing then from Logic to Algebra, we have 

cC 
Frob. x l = -77 = c, 

o 

the function V of the general Rule (XVII. 17) reducing in the 
present case to C. The value of Prob. x l is therefore wholly ar- 
bitrary, if we except the condition that it must not transcend 
the limits and 1. The individual values of Prob. x Z9 . . Prob.# m , 
are in like manner arbitrary. It does not hence follow, that 
these arbitrary values are not connected with each other by ne- 
cessary conditions dependent upon the data. The investigation 
of such conditions would, however, properly fall under the me- 
thods of Chap. xix. 

If, reverting to the final logical equation, we seek the inter- 
pretation of c, we obtain but a restatement of the original pro- 
blem. For since C and D together include all possible consti- 
tuents of t l9 2 . . t m , we have 

C + D = 1 ; 

and since D is affected by the coefficient - , it is evident that on 

substituting therein for t 19 t 2 , . . t m , their expressions in terms of 
# 15 ff 2J . . # , we should have D = 0. Hence the same substitution 
would give C = 1 . Now by the rule, c is the probability that if 
the event denoted by C take place, the event x^ will take place. 
Hence C being equal to 1, and, therefore, embracing all possible 
contingencies, c must be interpreted as the absolute probability of 
the occurrence of the event x t . 

It may be interesting to determine in a particular case the 
actual form of the final logical equation. Suppose, then, that the 
elements from which the data are derived are the records of 
events distinct and mutually exclusive. For instance, let the 
numerical data a l9 tf 3 , . . a m , be the respective probabilities of 
distinct and definite majorities. Then the logical functions 
X 19 X z , . . X m being mutually exclusive, must satisfy the con- 
ditions 

X l X> = 0, . . X l X m = 0, X 2 X m = 0, &c. 
Whence we have, 

ti t, = 0, t, t m = 0, &c. 
2c 



386 PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. [CHAP. XXI. 

Under these circumstances it may easily be shown, that the 
developed logical value of x l will be 

Xl = o ^ ' ' 7w "*" tl ** ' ' Tm ' ' 4 tmJl ' ' tm ~^ 

+ constitutents whose coefficients are - . 

In the above equation ^ stands for 1 - 15 &c. 

These investigations are equally applicable to the case in 
which the probabilities of the verdicts of a jury, so far as agree- 
ment and disagreement of opinion are concerned, form the data 
of a problem. Let the logical symbol w denote that event or 
state of things which consists in the guilt of the accused person. 
Then the functions X 19 X 2 . . X m of the present problem are 
such, that no change would therein ensue from simultaneously 
converting w, x l9 x z . . x n into 1>, aii, x 2 , . . x n respectively. 
Hence the final logical value of w 9 as well as those of x l9 rc 2 ? %n 
will be exhibited under the same form (3), and a like general 
conclusion thence deduced. 

It is therefore established, that from mere statistical docu- 
ments nothing can be inferred respecting either the individual 
correctness of opinion of a judge or counsellor, the guilt of an 
individual, or the merits of a disputed question. If the deter- 
mination of such elements as the above can be reduced within 
the province of science at all, it must be by virtue either of 
some assumed criterion of truth furnishing us with new data, or 
of some hypothesis relative to the connexion or the independence 
of individual judgments, which may warrant a new form of the 
investigation. In the examination of the results of different 
hypotheses, the following general Proposition will be of im- 
portance. 

PROPOSITION II. 

8. Given the probabilities of the n simple events # 15 .r 2 , . . x n9 
viz. : 

Prob. Xi = c l9 Prob. x z = c 2 , . . Prob. x n = c n ; (1) 

also the probabilities of the m-l compound events Xi, A" 2 , . . X m . i , 
viz. : 

Prob. Xi = a t , Prob. X 2 = 2 , . . Prob. X m _, = ,,,.i ; (2) 



CHAP. XXI.] PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. 387 

the latter events X^ . . X m .\ being distinct and mutually exclusive ; 
required the probability of any other compound event X. 

In this proposition it is supposed, that X 19 X 2 , . . X m . l9 as 
well as X 9 are functions of the symbols a?i, # 2 , . . x n alone. 
Moreover, the events X 19 X 29 . . X m . l9 being mutually exclusive, 
we have 

X l X 2 = 0, . . Xi Xm., = 0, X 2 X 3 = 0, &c. ; (3) 

the product of any two members of the system vanishing. Now 
assume 

Xity, X.-,-^-,, X = t. (4) 

Then t must be determined as a logical function of x l , . . x n , 
*u ' t m 

Now by (3), 

all binary products of t l9 . . t m . lt vanishing. The developed ex- 
pression for t can, therefore, only involve in the list of constitu- 
ents which have 1, 0, or - for their coefficients, such as contain 
some one of the following factors, viz. : 

TI standing for 1 - ^ , &c. It remains to assign that portion of 
each constituent which involves the symbols #!..#; together 
with the corresponding coefficients. 

Since Xi = ti (i being any integer between 1 and m- \ inclu- 
sive), it is evident that 

from the very constitution of the functions. Any constituent 
included in the first member of the above equation would, there- 
fore, have - for its coefficient. 
Now let 

-\r i -y -y /*7\ 

and it is evident that such constituents as involve TI . ~t m . l9 as 
a factor, and yet have coefficients of the form 1,0, or -,must be 

2 c 2 



388 PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. [CHAP. XXI. 

included in the expression 

X m ti . t m -\ 

Now X. m may be resolved into two portions, viz., XX m and 
(1 - X) X m , the former being the sum of those constituents of 
X m which are found in X, the latter of those which are not found 
in X. It is evident that in the developed expression of t, which 
is equivalent to X, the coefficients of the constituents in the 
former portion XX m will be 1, while those of the latter portion 
(1 - X) X m will be 0. Hence the elements we have now con- 
sidered will contribute to the development of t the terms 

XX m J, . . T m ., + (1 - X) X m -i, . . 7 m _! . 

Again, since Xi = t ly while X z t = t^t l = 0, &c., it is evident 
that the only constituents involving t\ T 2 . . J m .\ as a factor which 

have coefficients of the form 1, 0, or - , will be included in the ex- 
pression 

X 1 t\ t z . . t m _ i ; 

and reasoning as before, we see that this will contribute to the de- 
velopment of t the terms 

XX, t^ . .J m -i + (Kl-X)X,* l ? 2 .. ?_!. 

Proceeding thus with the remaining terms of (6), we deduce 
for the final expression of , 

t = XX m ti . . t m _i + XXrfi t z . t m _i . . + XX m - l t l . . OT _ 2 wt -i 
+ (1 - X) Xfi . . ?_! + (1 - X) X^Ta ..~f m ., + &c. (8) 

+ terms whose coefficients are . 

In this expression it is to be noted that XX m denotes the sum 
of those constituents which are common to X and X m , that sum 
being actually given by multiplying X and X m together, according 
to the rules of the calculus of Logic. 

In passing from Logic to Algebra, we shall represent by 
(XX m ) what the above product becomes, when, after effecting 
the multiplication, or selecting the common constituents, we 
give to the symbols a?,, . . #, a quantitative meaning. 



CHAP. XXI.] PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. 389 

With this understanding we shall have, by the general Rule 
(XVII. 17), 

Prob. t 

1 ) *, 7 8 . .?.!..+ (XX m . i)?! ..T m .2t m .i 



V = X m ?! . . 7 W _, + X x *i 7 a t-i . . + X*.! 7i . . T OT _2 * w -i (10) 

whence the relations determining #1, . . # B > 'u -i will be of 
the following type (z varying from 1 to ri), 

(xj X m ) % . . ?., + (a< Xjj *! 7, . . 7,.! . . + (^ X^.Q 7 X . . T m _ 2 ^ 



t\ 



tl-F. (11) 



From the above system we shall next eliminate the symbols 

tl, ..*-! 

We have 

t\ t% . . ^jn-i = v 5 #1 . . ^wt-2 t-m-i ~^r? (12) 

A! Am-1 

Substituting these values in (10), we find 

V= XmT, . . Tm-i + a,V . . + ttm.iV. 

Hence, 

(1 -...- a,..) P 

fi . . fcm-l -- V= - 
^m 

Now let 

m= 1 -i - flm-i (13) 

then we have 



< 



OT 



(14) 



Now reducing, by means of (12) and (14), the equation (9), 
and the equation formed by equating the first line of (11) to the 
symbol V\ writing also Prob. X for Prob. t, we have 



wherein X OT and a m are given by (7) and (13). 



390 PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. [CHAP. XXI. 

These equations involve the direct solution of the problem 
under consideration. In (16) we have the type of n equations 
(formed by giving to i the values 1, 2, . . n successively), from 
which the values of # 1? # 2J #n> will be found, and those values 
substituted in (15) give the value of Prob. X as a function of 
the constants i , c l , &c. 

One conclusion deserving of notice, which is deducible from 
the above solution, is, that if the probabilities of the compound 
events X i9 . . X m .i, are the same as they would be were the 
events x l , . . x n entirely independent, and with given probabi- 
lities Ci, . . c n , then the probability of the event X will be the 
same as if calculated upon the same hypothesis of the absolute 
independence of the events %i , . . x n . For upon the hypothesis 
supposed, the assumption x l = c x , x n - c n , in the quantitative 
system would give Xi = cti, X m = a TO , whence (15) and (16) 
would give 

Prob. X = (XXJ + (XX 2 ) . . + (XX n ), (17) 

(an X,) + (an X t )..+ (an X m ) = Ci . (18) 

But since Xi+ X 9 . .+ X m = 1, it is evident that the second 
member of (17) will be formed by taking all the constituents that 
are contained in X, and giving them an algebraic significance. 
And a similar remark applies to (18). Whence those equations 
respectively give 

Prob. X (logical) = X (algebraic), 

on = Ci . 
Wherefore, if X = (#,, o? 2 , - #), we have 

Prob. X = $ (c l9 c 2 , . . c n ), 
which is the result in question. 

Hence too it would follow, that if the quantities c l9 . . c n 
were indeterminate, and no hypothesis were made as to the 
possession of a mean common value, the system (15) (16) would 
be satisfied by giving to those quantities any such values, 
Xi , # 2 > %n 9 as would satisfy the equations 

X l = ! . . X m .i = ,n-i > X = , 

supposing the value of the element a, like the values of ,,. . a m .i, 
to be given by experience. 



CHAP. XXI.] PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. 391 

9. Before applying the general solution (15) (16), to the 
question of the probability of judgments, it will be convenient to 
make the following transformation. Let the data be 

#! = C l .... X n = C n , 

namely, 

Prob. Xi = i .... Prob. X m _ 2 - m - 2 ; 

and let it be required to determine Prob. X m . l9 the unknown 
value of which we will represent by a m _ i . Then in ( 15) and (16) 
we must change 

X into X m . } , Prob. X into m -u 

X m _i into X, n .<2 9 ttm-\ into a m -z* 

X m into X m .i + X m , a m into ,_! + ,; 

with these transformations, and observing that (X m .iX r ) = 0, 
except when r = m - 1, and that it is then equal to X m _i, the 
equations (15) (16) give 



' 



-A-i -^-m-2 -^-JM-I + 

Now from (19) we find 

X m _i ^ X m ^ X m .\ 4- X m 
OT -i m a m -i + a m 

by virtue of which the last term of (20) may be reduced to the 
form 

a m _l (XjXm.i) a m (Xj Xm 



X m 

With these reductions the system (17) and (18) may be replaced 
by the following symmetrical one, viz. : 



i , a * * ^im 

X V Y ~ i% ^ ^ 

-^l ^2 -ILm 

These equations, in connexion with (7) and (13), enable us to 



392 PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. [CHAP. XXI 

determine ,_! as a function of c l . . c n , a l . . a m _ 2s the numerical 
data supposed to be furnished by experience. We now proceed 
to their application. 

PROPOSITION III. 

10. Given any system of probabilities drawn from recorded 
instances of unanimity ', or of assigned numerical majority in the 
decisions of a deliberative assembly ; required^ upon a certain deter- 
minate hypothesis, the mean probability of correct judgment for a 
member of the assembly. 

In what way the probabilities of unanimous decision and of 
specific numerical majorities may be determined from experience, 
has been intimated in a former part of this chapter. Adopting 
the notation of Prop. i. we shall represent the events whose pro- 
babilities are given by the functions X 19 X 2 , . . X m _ l . It has 
appeared from the very nature of the case that these events are 
mutually exclusive, and that the functions by which they are re- 
presented are symmetrical with reference to the symbols a? 19 x z > # 
Those symbols we continue to use in the same sense as in Prop, i., 
viz., by Xi we understand that event which consists in the for- 
mation of a correct opinion by the i th member of the assembly. 

Now the immediate data of experience are 

Prob. Xi=a lt Prob. X 2 = 2 , . . Prob. A r m _ 3 = a ffl _ 2 , (1) 
Prob. *.,_, = a*.,. (2) 

Xi . . Xm.i being functions of the logical symbols x l9 . . x n to the 
probabilities of the events denoted by which, we shall assign the 
indeterminate value c. Thus we shall have 

Prob. a?! = Prob. x z . . = Prob. x n = c. (3) 

Now it has been seen, Prop, i., that the immediate data (1) 
(2), unassisted by any hypothesis, merely conduct us to a re- 
statement of the problem. On the other hand, it is manifest that 
if, adopting the methods of Laplace and Poisson, we employ the 
system (3) alone as the data for the application of the method of 
this work, finally comparing the results obtained with the expe- 
rimental system (1) (2), we are relying wholly upon a doubtful 
hypothesis, the independence of individual judgments. But 



CHAP. XXI.] PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. 393 

though we ought not wholly to rely upon this hypothesis, we 
cannot wholly dispense with it, or with some equivalent substi- 
tute. Let us then examine the consequences of a limited inde- 
pendence of the individual judgments ; the conditions of limitation 
being furnished by the apparently superfluous data. From the 
system (1) (3) let us, by the method of this work, determine 
Prob. X m .i 9 and, comparing the result with (2), determine c. 
Even here an arbitrary power of selection is claimed. But it is 
manifest from Prop. i. that something of this kind is unavoidable, 
if we would obtain a definite solution at all. As to the principle 
of selection, I apprehend tha,t the equation (2) reserved for final 
comparison should be that which, from the magnitude of its nu- 
merical element OT _i, is esteemed the most important of the pri- 
mary series furnished by experience. 

Now, from the mutually exclusive character of the events 
denoted by the functions Xi 9 X 2 , . . X m .i 9 the concluding equa- 
tions of the previous proposition become applicable. On account 
of the symmetry of the same functions, and the reduction of the 
system of values denoted by c* to a single value c 9 the equations 
represented by (22) become identical, the values of x i9 x z , . .x n 
become equal, and may be replaced by a single value x, and we 
have simply, 

Jf = I? (4) 

a^xXi) a m (xX m ) 



The following is the nature of the solution thus indicated : 

The functions X 19 . . X m _i, and the values a^. . # OT _i, being 
given in the data, we have first, 



From each of the functions X i9 X 2 , . . X m thus given or de- 
termined, we must select those constituents which contain a par- 
ticular symbol, as x i9 for a factor. This will determine the func- 
tions (xXi\ (xX 2 ), &c., and then in all the functions we must 
change x i9 x 2 , . . x n individually to x. Or we may regard any 



394 PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. [CHAP. XXI. 

algebraic function Xi in the system (4) (5) as expressing the 
probability of the event denoted by the logical function X it on 
the supposition that the logical symbols x l9 # 2 , . . x n denote in- 
dependent events whose common probability is x. On the same 
supposition (xXi) would denote the probability of the concur- 
rence of any particular event of the series aj 1? x 29 . - x n with Xi. 
The forms of Xt 9 (xXi), &c. being determined, the equation (4) 
gives the value of x, and this, substituted in (5), determines the 
value of the element c required. Of the two values which its so- 
lution will offer, one being greater, and the other less, than ^, the 
greater one must be chosen, whensoever, upon general conside- 
rations, it is thought more probable that a member of the assembly 
will judge correctly, than that he will judge incorrectly. 

Here then, upon the assumed principle that the largest of 
the values a m _i shall be reserved for final comparison in the 
equation (2), we possess a definite solution of the problem pro- 
posed. And the same form of solution remains applicable should 
any other equation of the system, upon any other ground, as that 
of superior accuracy, be similarly reserved in the place of (2). 

1 1 . Let us examine to what extent the above reservation has 
influenced the final solution. It is evident that the equation (5) 
is quite independent of the choice in question. So is likewise 
the second member of (4). Had we reserved the function X 19 
instead of X m -i 9 the equation for the determination of x would 
have been 

*Xi X m 

= ; (o) 

fli a m 

but the value of x thence determined would still have to be sub- 
stituted in the same final equation (5). We know that were 
the events Xi 9 #2, . . x n really independent, the equations (4), 
(6), and all others of which they are types, would prove equi- 
valent, and that the value of x furnished by any one of them 
would be the true value of c. This affords a means of verifying 
(5). For if that equation be correct, it ought, under the above 
circumstances, to be satisfied by the assumption c = x. In other 
words, the equation 

| a m (xX m ) . 

" ~ 1 



CHAP. XXI.] PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. 395 

ought, on solution, to give the same value of x as the equation 
(4) or (6). Now this will be the case. For since, by hypothesis, 



we have, by a known theorem, 

Xi^X, _X m _X l+ Xi..+ X m 
i 2 ' a m a, + 2 . . + a m 

Hence (7) becomes on substituting j for X &c. 



a mere identity. 

Whenever, therefore, the events x l9 x z , . . x n are really inde- 
pendent, the system (4) (5) is a correct one, and is independent 
of the arbitrariness of the first step of the process by which it 
was obtained. When the said events are not independent, the 
final system of equations will possess, leaving in abeyance the 
principle of selection above stated, an arbitrary element. But 
from the persistent form of the equation (5) it may be inferred 
that the solution is arbitrary in a less degree than the solutions 
to which the hypothesis of the absolute independence of the in- 
dividual judgments would conduct us. The discussion of the 
limits of the value of c, as dependent upon the limits of the value 
of ar, would determine such points. 

These considerations suggest to us the question whether the 
equation (7), which is symmetrical with reference to the func- 
tions Xi 9 X Z9 . . X m , free from any arbitrary elements, and rigo- 
rously exact when the events z l9 x 29 . . x n are really independent, 
might not be accepted as a mean general solution of the problem. 
The proper mode of determining this point would, I conceive, be 
to ascertain whether the value of x which it would afford would, 
in general, fall within the limits of the value of c, as determined 
by the systems of equations of which the system (4), (5), presents 
the type. It seems probable that under ordinary circumstances 
this would be the case. Independently of such considerations, 
however, we may regard (7) as itself the expression of a certain 
principle of solution, viz., that regarding X\ 9 X 2 , . . X m as ex- 
clusive causes of the event whose probability is x, we accept the 



396 PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. [CHAP. XXI. 

probabilities of those causes a l9 . . a m from experience, but form 
the conditional probabilities of the event as dependent upon such 
causes, 

W S, &c . (XVII. Prop, i.) 

JLi JL Z 

on the hypothesis of the independence of individual judgments, 
and so deduce the equation (7). I conceive this, however, to be 
a less rigorous, though possibly, in practice a more convenient 
mode of procedure than that adopted in the general solution. 

12. It now only remains to assign the particular forms which 
the algebraic functions Xt, (xXi), &c. in the above equations as- 
sume when the logical function Xi represents that event which 
consists in r members of the assembly voting one way, and n - r 
members the other way. It is evident that in this case the alge- 
braic function Xi expresses what the probability of the supposed 
event would be were the events rc 1? # 2 , . . x n independent, and 
their common probability measured by x. Hence we should 
have, by Art. 3, 



Under the same circumstances (xXi) would represent the pro- 
bability of the compound event, which consists in a particular 
member of the assembly forming a correct judgment, conjointly 
with the general state of voting recorded above. It would, 
therefore, be the probability that a particular member votes cor- 
rectly, while of the remaining n - 1 members, r - 1 vote cor- 
rectly ; or that the same member votes correctly, while of the 
remaining n - 1 members r vote incorrectly. Hence 



+ (fi-1) (n-2) ..(n-r) 






1 . 2 . . r - 1 1 . 2 . . r 

PROPOSITION IV. 

13. Given any system of probabilities drawn from recorded in- 
stances of unanimity, or of assigned numerical majority in the de- 
cisions of a criminal court of justice, required upon hypotheses 
similar to those of the last proposition, the mean probability c of 



CHAP. XXI.] PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. 397 

correct judgment for a member of the court, and the general pro- 
bability k of guilt in an accused person. 

The solution of this problem differs in but a slight degree 
from that of the last, and may be referred to the same general 
formulae, (4) and (5), or (7). It is to be observed, that as there 
are two elements, c and A, to be determined, it is necessary to 
reserve two of the functions Xi 9 X% 9 . . X m _i 9 let us suppose X\ 
and Xm-i, for final comparison, employing either the remaining 
m - 3 functions in the expression of the data, or the two respec- 
tive sets X 29 X Z9 . . X m .v and X X 29 . . . X m _ 2 . In either case 
it is supposed that there must be at least two original indepen- 
dent data. If the equation (7) be alone employed, it would in 
the present instance furnish two equations, which may thus be 
written : 

q.QA-0 a,(xX t ) a m (xX m ) 

v ~~v ' + Y ' ^ ' 

^\i .A.2 j\. m 

.(**.) , .(*.*.) . -(**.) _ , m 

~xT ~xT ~sr~ 

These equations are to be employed in the following manner : 
Let a? 19 # 2 , . . x n represent those events which consist in the for- 
mation of a correct opinion by the members of the court respec- 
tively. Let also w represent that event which consists in the 
guilt of the accused member. By the aid of these symbols we 
can logically express the functions X 19 X 29 . . X m _i 9 whose proba- 
bilities are given, as also the function X m . Then from the func- 
tion Xi select those constituents which contain, as a factor, any 
particular symbol of the set x i9 a? z , . .x n9 and also those consti- 
tuents which contain as a factor w. In both results change 
Xi 9 # 2 ) #n severally into x 9 and w into k. The above results 
will give (xXi) and (kXi). Effecting the same transformations 
throughout, the system (1), (2) will, upon the particular hypo- 
thesis involved, determine x and k. 

14. We may collect from the above investigations the fol- 
lowing facts and conclusions : 

1st. That from the mere records of agreement and disagree- 
ment in the opinions of any body of men, no definite numerical 
conclusions can be drawn respecting either the probability of cor- 



398 PROBABILITY OF JUDGMENTS. [CHAP. XXI. 

rect judgment in an individual member of the body, or the merit 
of the questions submitted to its consideration. 

2nd. That such conclusions may be drawn upon various dis- 
tinct hypotheses, as 1st, Upon the usual hypothesis of the abso- 
lute independence of individual judgments; 2ndly, upon certain 
definite modifications of that hypothesis warranted by the actual 
data ; Srdly, upon a distinct principle of solution suggested by 
the appearance of a common form in the solutions obtained by 
the modifications above adverted to. 

Lastly. That whatever of doubt may attach to the final re- 
sults, rests not upon the imperfection of the method, which 
adapts itself equally to all hypotheses, but upon the uncertainty 
of the hypotheses themselves. 

It seems, however, probable that with even the widest limits 
of hypothesis, consistent with the taking into account of all the 
data of experience, the deviation of the results obtained would be 
but slight, and that their mean values might be determined with 
great confidence by the methods of Prop. in. Of those methods 
I should be disposed to give the preference to the first. Such a 
principle of mean solution having been agreed upon, other consi- 
derations seem to indicate that the values of c and k for tribunals 
and assemblies possessing a definite constitution, and governed 
in their deliberations by fixed rules, would remain nearly con- 
stant, subject, however, to a small secular variation, dependent 
upon the progress of knowledge and of justice among mankind. 
There exist at present few, if any, data proper for their determi- 
nation. 



CHAP. XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 399 



CHAPTER XXII. 

ON THE NATURE OF SCIENCE, AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE 
INTELLECT. 

.! T.TTHAT I mean by the constitution of a system is the 
^ * aggregate of those causes and tendencies which pro- 
duce its observed character, when operating, without interference, 
under those conditions to which the system is conceived to be 
adapted. Our judgment of such adaptation must be founded 
upon a study of the circumstances in which the system attains its 
freest action, produces its most harmonious results, -or fulfils in 
some other way the apparent design of its construction. There 
are cases in which we know distinctly the causes upon which the 
operation of a system depends, as well as its conditions and its 
end. This is the most perfect kind of knowledge relatively to 
the subject under consideration. There are also cases in which 
we know only imperfectly or partially the causes which are at 
work, but are able, nevertheless, to determine to some extent 
the laws of their action, and, beyond this, to discover general 
tendencies, and to infer ulterior purpose. It has thus, I think 
rightly, been concluded that there is a moral faculty in our na- 
ture, not because we can understand the special instruments by 
which it works, as we connect the organ with the faculty of sight, 
nor upon the ground that men agree in the adoption of universal 
rules of conduct ; but because while, in some form or other, the 
sentiment of moral approbation or disapprobation manifests itself 
in all, it tends, wherever human progress is observable, wherever 
society is not either stationary or hastening to decay, to attach 
itself to certain classes of actions, consentaneously, and after a 
manner indicative both of permanency and of law. Always and 
everywhere the manifestation of Order affords a presumption, not 
measurable indeed, but real (XX. 22), of the fulfilment of an end 
or purpose-, and the existence of a ground of orderly causation. 



400 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXII. 

2. The particular question of the constitution of the intellect 
has, it is almost needless to say, attracted the efforts of speculative 
ingenuity in every age. For it not only addresses itself to that 
desire of knowledge which the greatest masters of ancient thought 
believed to be innate in our species, but it adds to the ordinary 
strength of this motive the inducement of a human and personal 
interest. A genuine devotion to truth is, indeed, seldom partial 
in its aims, but while it prompts to expatiate over the fair fields of 
outward observation, forbids to neglect the study of our own fa- 
culties. Even in ages the most devoted to material interests, 
some portion of the current of thought has been reflected in- 
wards, and the desire to comprehend that by which all else is 
comprehended has only been baffled in order to be renewed. 

It is probable that this pertinacity of effort would not have 
been maintained among sincere inquirers after truth, had the 
conviction been general that such speculations are hopelessly 
barren. We may conceive that it has been felt that if something 
of error and uncertainty, always incidental to a state of partial 
information, must ever be attached to the results of such in- 
quiries, a residue of positive knowledge may yet remain ; that 
the contradictions which are met with are more often verbal than 
real ; above all, that even probable conclusions derive here an in- 
terest and a value from their subject, which render them not 
unworthy to claim regard beside the more definite and more 
splendid results of physical science. Such considerations seem 
to be perfectly legitimate. Insoluble as many of the problems 
connected with the inquiry into the nature and constitution of 
the mind must be presumed to be, there are not wanting others 
upon which a limited but not doubtful knowledge, others upon 
which the conclusions of a highly probable analogy, are attain- 
able. As the realms of day and night are not strictly contermi- 
nous, but are separated by a crepuscular zone, through which the 
light of the one fades gradually off into the darkness of the other, 
so it may be said that every region of positive knowledge lies sur- 
rounded by a debateable and speculative territory, over which it 
in some degree extends its influence and its light. Thus there 
may be questions relating to the constitution of the intellect 
which, though they do not admit, in the present state of know- 



CHAP. XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 401 

ledge, of an absolute decision, may receive so much of reflected 
information as to render their probable solution not difficult ; and 
there may also be questions relating to the nature of science, and 
even to particular truths and doctrines of science, upon which 
they who accept the general principles of this work cannot but be 
led to entertain positive opinions, differing, it may be, from those 
which are usually received in the present day.* In what fol- 
lows I shall recapitulate some of the more definite conclusions 
established in the former parts of this treatise, and shall then 
indicate one or two trains of thought, connected with the gene- 
ral objects above adverted to, which they seem to me calculated 
to suggest. 

3. Among those conclusions, relating to the intellectual con- 
stitution, which may be considered as belonging to the realm of 
positive knowledge, we may reckon the scientific laws of thought 
and reasoning, which have formed the basis of the general me- 
thods of this treatise, together with the principles, Chap, v., by 
which their application has been determined. The resolution of 
the domain of thought into two spheres, distinct but coexistent 
(IV. XI.) ; the subjection of the intellectual operations within 
those spheres to a common system of laws (XI.); the general 
mathematical character of those laws, and their actual expression 
(II. III.) ; the extent of their affinity with the laws of thought in 
the domain of number, and the point of their divergence there- 
from ; the dominant character of the two limiting conceptions of 
universe and eternity among all the subjects of thought with 
which Logic is concerned ; the relation of those conceptions to 
the fundamental conception of unity in the science of number, 
these, with many similar results, are not to be ranked as merely 

* The following illustration may suffice : 

It is maintained by some of the highest modern authorities in grammar that 
conjunctions connect propositions only. Now, without inquiring directly whe- 
ther this opinion is sound or not, it is obvious that it cannot consistently beheld 
by any who admit the scientific principles of this treatise ; for to such it would 
seem to involve a denial, either, 1st, of the possibility of performing, or 2ndly, of 
the possibility of expressing, a mental operation, the laws of which, viewed in 
both these relations, have been investigated and applied in the present work. 
(Latham on the English Language; Sir John Stoddart's Universal Gram- 
mar, &c.) 

2 D 



402 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXII. 

probable or analogical conclusions, but are entitled to be re- 
garded as truths of science. Whether they be termed meta- 
physical or not, is a matter of indifference. The nature of the 
evidence upon which they rest, though in kind distinct, is not 
inferior in value to any which can be adduced in support of the 
general truths of physical science. 

Again, it is agreed that there is a certain order observ- 
able in the progress of all the exacter forms of knowledge. 
The study of every department of physical science begins with 
observation, it advances by the collation of facts to a presump- 
tive acquaintance with their connecting law, the validity of 
such presumption it tests by new experiments so devised as to 
augment, if the presumption be well founded, its probability in- 
definitely ; and finally, the law of the phenomenon having been 
with sufficient confidence determined, the investigation of causes, 
conducted by the due mixture of hypothesis and deduction, 
crowns the inquiry. In this advancing order of knowledge, the 
particular faculties and laws whose nature has been considered 
in this work bear their part. It is evident, therefore, that if we 
would impartially investigate either the nature of science, or 
the intellectual constitution in its relation to science, no part of 
the two series above presented ought to be regarded as isolated. 
More especially ought those truths which stand in any kind of 
supplemental relation to each other to be considered in their mu- 
tual bearing and connexion. 

4. Thus the necessity of an experimental basis for all positive 
knowledge, viewed in connexion with the existence and the 
peculiar character of that system of mental laws, and principles, 
and operations, to which attention has been directed, tends to 
throw light upon some important questions by which the world 
of speculative thought is still in a great measure divided. How, 
from the particular facts which experience presents, do we arrive 
at the general propositions of science ? What is the nature of 
these propositions? Are they solely the collections of experi- 
ence, or does the mind supply some connecting principle of its 
own? In a word, what is the nature of scientific truth, and 
what are the grounds of that confidence with which it claims to 
be received? 



CHAP. XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 403 

That to such questions as the above, no single and general 
answer can be given, must be evident. There are cases in which 
they do not even need discussion. Instances are familiar, in 
which general propositions merely express per enumerationem 
simplicem, a fact established by actual observation in all the 
cases to which the proposition applies. The astronomer as- 
serts upon this ground, that all the known planets move from 
west to east round the sun. But there are also cases in which 
general propositions are assumed from observation of their truth 
in particular instances, and extension of that truth to instances 
unobserved. No principle of merely deductive reasoning can 
warrant such a procedure. When from a large number of ob- 
servations on the planet Mars, Kepler inferred that it revolved 
in an ellipse, the conclusion was larger than his premises, or in- 
deed than any premises which mere observation could give. 
What other element, then, is necessary to give even a prospective 
validity to such generalizations as this ? It is the ability in- 
herent in our nature to appreciate Order, and the concurrent pre- 
sumption, however founded, that the phenomena of Nature are 
connected by a principle of Order. Without these, the general 
truths of physical science could never have been ascertained. 
Grant that the procedure thus established can only conduct us 
to probable or to approximate results ; it only follows, that the 
larger number of the generalizations of physical science possess 
but a probable or approximate truth. The security of the tenure 
of knowledge consists in this, that wheresoever such conclusions 
do truly represent the constitution of Nature, our confidence in 
their truth receives indefinite confirmation, and soon becomes 
undistinguishable from certainty. The existence of that prin- 
ciple above represented as the basis of inductive reasoning 
enables us to solve the much disputed question as to the neces- 
sity of general propositions in reasoning. The logician affirms, 
that it is impossible to deduce any conclusion from particular 
premises. Modern writers of high repute have contended, that 
all reasoning is from particular to particular truths.. They in- 
stance, that in concluding from the possession of a property by 
certain members of a class, its possession by some other member, 
it is not necessary to establish the intermediate general conclu- 

2D2 



404 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXII. 

sion which affirms its possession by all the members of the class 
in common. Now whether it is so or not, that principle of 
order or analogy upon which the reasoning is conducted must 
either be stated or apprehended as a general truth, to give vali- 
dity to the final conclusion. In this form, at least, the necessity 
of general propositions as the basis of inference is confirmed, a 
necessity which, however, I conceive to be involved in the very 
existence, and still more in the peculiar nature, of those faculties 
whose laws have been investigated in this work. For if the pro- 
cess of reasoning be carefully analyzed, it will appear that ab- 
straction is made of all peculiarities of the individual to which 
the conclusion refers, and the attention confined to those pro- 
perties by which its membership of the class is defined. 

5. But besides the general propositions which are derived by 
induction from the collated facts of experience, there exist others 
belonging to the domain of what is termed necessary truth. Such 
are the general propositions of Arithmetic, as well as the propo- 
sitions expressing the laws of thought upon which the general 
methods of this treatise are founded; and these propositions 
are not only capable of being rigorously verified in particular 
instances, but are made manifest in all their generality from the 
study of particular instances. Again, there exist general pro- 
positions expressive of necessary truths, but incapable, from the 
imperfection of the senses, of being exactly verified. Some, if 
not all, of the propositions of Geometry are of this nature ; but 
it is not in the region of Geometry alone that such propositions 
are found. The question concerning their nature and origin 
is a very ancient one, and as it is more intimately connected 
with the inquiry into the constitution of the intellect than any 
other to which allusion has been made, it will not be irrelevant 
to consider it here. Among the opinions which have most 
widely prevailed upon the subject are the following. It has 
been maintained, that propositions of the class referred to exist 
in the mind independently of experience, and that those concep- 
tions which are the subjects of them are the imprints of eternal 
archetypes. With such archetypes, conceived, however, to pos- 
sess a reality of which all the objects of sense are but a faint 
shadow or dim suggestion, Plato furnished his ideal world. It 



CHAP. XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 405 

has, on the other hand, been variously contended, that the 
subjects of such propositions are copies of individual objects of 
experience ; that they are mere names ; that they are individual 
objects of experience themselves; and that the propositions which 
relate to them are, on account of the imperfection of those objects, 
bnt partially true; lastly, that they are intellectual products 
formed by abstraction from the sensible perceptions of individual 
things, but so formed as to become, what the individual things 
never can be, subjects of science, i.e. subjects concerning which 
exact and general propositions may be affirmed. And there ex- 
ist, perhaps, yet other views, in some of which the sensible, in 
others the intellectual or ideal, element predominates. 

Now if the last of the views above adverted to be taken (for 
it is not proposed to consider either the purely ideal or the 
purely nominalist view) and if it be inquired what, in the 
sense above stated, are the proper objects of science, objects in 
relation to which its propositions are true without any mixture 
of error, it is conceived that but one answer can be given. It 
is, that neither do individual objects of experience, nor with all 
probability do the mental images which they suggest, possess 
any strict claim to this title. It seems to be certain, that neither 
in nature nor in art do we meet with anything absolutely agreeing 
with the geometrical definition of a straight line, or of a triangle, 
or of a circle, though the deviation therefrom may be inappre- 
ciable by sense ; and it may be conceived as at least doubtful, 
whether we can form a perfect mental image, or conception, with 
which the agreement shall be more exact. But it is not doubtful 
that such conceptions, however imperfect, do point to something 
beyond themselves, in the gradual approach towards which all 
imperfection tends to disappear. Although the perfect triangle, 
or square, or circle, exists not in nature, eludes all our powers of 
representative conception, and is presented to us in thought 
only, as the limit of an indefinite process of abstraction, yet, by 
a wonderful faculty of the understanding, it may be made the 
subject of propositions which are absolutely true. The domain of 
reason is thus revealed to us as larger than that of imagination. 
Should any, indeed, think that we are able to picture to ourselves, 
with rigid accuracy , the scientific elements of form, direction, mag- 



406 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXJI. 

nitude, &c., these things, as actually conceived, will, in the view 
of such persons, be the proper objects of science. But if, as 
seems to me the more just opinion, an incurable imperfection 
attaches to all our attempts to realize with precision these ele- 
ments, then we can only affirm, that the more external objects 
do approach in reality, or the conceptions of fancy by abstraction, 
to certain limiting states, never, it may be, actually attained, the 
more do the general propositions of science concerning those 
things or conceptions approach to absolute truth, the actual devi- 
ation therefrom tending to disappear. To some extent, the same 
observations are applicable also to the physical sciences. What 
have been termed the " fundamental ideas" of those sciences as 
force, polarity, crystallization, &c.,* are neither, as I conceive, 
intellectual products independent of experience, nor mere copies 
of external things ; but while, on the one hand, they have a ne- 
cessary antecedent in experience, on the other hand they require 
for their formation the exercise of the power of abstraction, in 
obedience to some general faculty or disposition of our nature, 
which ever prompts us to the research, and qualifies us for the 
appreciation, of order. t Thus we study approximately the effects 
of gravitation on the motions of the heavenly bodies, by a re- 
ference to the limiting supposition, that the planets are perfect 



* Whe well's Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, pp. 71, 77, 213. 

f- Of the idea of order it has been profoundly said, that it carries within itself 
its own justification or its own control, the very trustworthiness of our faculties 
being judged by the conformity of their results to an order which satisfies the 
reason. *' L'idee de 1'ordre a cela de singulier et d'eminent, qu'elle porte en elle 
meme sa justification ou son controle. Pour trouver si nos autres facultes nous 
trompent ou nous ne trompent pas, nous examinons si les notions qu'elles nous 
donnent s'enchainent on ne s'enchainent pas suivant un ordre qui satisfasse la 
raison." Cournot, Essai sur les fondements de nos Connaissances. Admitting this 
principle as the guide of those powers of abstraction which we undoubtedly pos- 
sess, it seems unphilosophical to assume that the fundamental ideas of the 
sciences are not derivable from experience. Doubtless the capacities which 
have been given to us for the comprehension of the actual world would avail us 
in a differently constituted scene, if in some form or other the dominion of 
order was still maintained. It is conceivable that in such a new theatre of spe- 
culation, the laws of the intellectual procedure remaining the same, the funda- 
mental ideas of the sciences might be wholly different from those with which we 
are at present acquainted. 



CHAP. XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 407 

spheres or spheroids. We determine approximately the path 
of a ray of light through the atmosphere, by a process in which 
abstraction is made of all disturbing influences of temperature. 
And such is the order of procedure in all the higher walks of 
human knowledge. Now what is remarkable in connexion with 
these processes of the intellect is the disposition, and the cor- 
responding ability, to ascend from the imperfect representations 
of sense and the diversities of individual experience, to the per- 
ception of general, and it may be of immutable truths. Where- 
ever this disposition and this ability unite, each series of con- 
nected facts in nature may furnish the intimations of an order 
more exact than that which it directly manifests. For it may 
serve as ground and occasion for the exercise of those powers, 
whose office it is to apprehend the general truths which are in- 
deed exemplified, but never with perfect fidelity, in a world of 
changeful phenomena. 

6. The truth that the ultimate laws of thought are mathe- 
matical in their form, viewed in connexion with the fact of the 
possibility of error, establishes a ground for some remarkable con- 
clusions. If we directed our attention to the scientific truth 
alone, we might be led to infer an almost exact parallelism be- 
tween the intellectual operations and the movements of external 
nature. Suppose any one conversant with physical science, but 
unaccustomed to reflect upon the nature of his own faculties, to 
have been informed, that it had been proved, that the laws of 
those faculties were mathematical ; it is probable that after the 
first feelings of incredulity had subsided, the impression would 
arise, that the order of thought must, therefore^ be as neces- 
sary as that of the material universe. *We know that in the 
realm of natural science, the absolute connexion between the 
initial and final elements of a problem, exhibited in the mathe- 
matical form, fitly symbolizes that physical necessity which binds 
together effect and cause, j The necessary sequence of states and 
conditions in the inorganic world, and the necessary connexion 
of premises and conclusion in the processes of exact demonstra- 
tion thereto applied, seem to be co-ordinate. It may possibly be 
a question, to which of the two series the primary application of 
the term "necessary" is due; whether to the observed constancy of 



408 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXII. 

Nature, or to the indissoluble connexion of propositions in all valid 
reasoning upon her works. Historically we should perhaps give 
the preference to the former, philosophically to the latter view. 
But the fact of the connexion is indisputable, and the analogy to 
which it points is obvious. 

Were, then, the laws of valid reasoning uniformly obeyed, a 
very close parallelism would exist between the operations of the 
intellect and those of external Nature. Subjection to laws ma- 
thematical in their form and expression, even the subjection of 
an absolute obedience, would stamp upon the two series one 
common character. The reign of necessity over the intellectual 
and the physical world would be alike complete and universal. 

But while the observation of external Nature testifies with 
ever-strengthening evidence to the fact, that uniformity of 
operation and unvarying obedience to appointed laws prevail 
throughout her entire domain, the slightest attention to the pro- 
cesses of the intellectual world reveals to us another state of 
things. The mathematical laws of reasoning are, properly speak- 
ing, the laws of right reasoning only, and their actual transgres- 
sion is a perpetually recurring phenomenon. Error, which has 
no place in the material system, occupies a large one here. We 
must accept this as one of those ultimate facts, the origin of which 
it lies beyond the province of science to determine. We must 
admit that there exist laws which even the rigour of their ma- 
thematical forms does not preserve from violation. We must 
ascribe to them an authority the essence of which does not con- 
sist in power, a supremacy which the analogy of the inviolable 
order of the natural world in no way assists us to comprehend. 

"s the distinction thus pointed out is real, it remains un- 
affected by any peculiarity in our views respecting other portions 
of the mental constitution. If we regard the intellect as free, 
and this is apparently the view most in accordance with the gene- 
ral spirit of these speculations, its freedom must be viewed as 
opposed to the dominion of necessity, not to the existence of a 
certain just supremacy of truth. The laws of correct inference 
may be violated, but they do not the less truly exist on this ac- 
count. Equally do they remain unaffected in character and au- 
thority if the hypothesis of necessity in its extreme form be 






CHAP. XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 409 

adopted. Let it be granted that the laws of valid reasoning, 
such as they are determined to be in this work, or, to speak more 
generally, such as they would finally appear in the conclusions of 
an exhaustive analysis, form but a part of the system of laws by 
which the actual processes of reasoning, whether right or wrong, 
are governed. Let it be granted that if that system were known 
to us in its completeness, we should perceive that the whole in- 
tellectual procedure was necessary, even as the movements of the 
inorganic ' world are necessary. And let it finally, as a conse- 
quence of this hypothesis, be granted that the phenomena of in- 
correct reasoning or error, wheresoever presented, are due to the 
interference of other laws with those laws of which right reason- 
ing is the product. Still it would remain that there exist among 
the intellectual laws a number marked out from the rest by this 
special character, viz., that every movement of the intellectual 
system which is accomplished solely under their direction is 
right, that every interference therewith by other laws is not in- 
terference only, but violation. It cannot but be felt that this 
circumstance would give to the laws in question a character of 
distinction and of predominance They would but the more 
evidently seem to indicate a final purpose which is not always 
fulfilled, to possess an authority inherent and just, but not 
always commanding obedience. 

Now a little consideration will show that there is nothing 
analogous to this in the government of the world by natural law. 
The realm of inorganic Nature admits neither of preference nor 
of distinctions. We cannot separate any portion of her laws 
from the rest, and pronounce them alone worthy of obedience, 
alone charged with the fulfilment of her highest purpose. On 
the contrary, all her laws seem to stand co-ordinate, and the 
larger our acquaintance with them, the more necessary does their 
united action seem to the harmony and, so far as we can com- 
prehend it, to the general design of the system. How often the 
most signal departures from apparent order in the inorganic 
world, such as the perturbations of the planetary system, the in- 
terruption of the process of crystallization by the intrusion of a 
foreign force, and others of a like nature, either merge into the 
conception of some more exalted scheme of order, or lose to a 



410 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXII. 

more attentive and instructed gaze their abnormal aspect, it is 
needless to remark. One explanation only of these facts can be 
given, viz., that the distinction between true and false, between 
correct and incorrect, exists in the processes of the intellect, but 
not in the region of a physical necessity. As we advance from 
the lower stages of organic being to the higher grade of conscious 
intelligence, this contrast gradually dawns upon us. Wherever 
the phenomena of life are manifested, the dominion of rigid law 
in some degree yields to that mysterious principle of activity. 
Thus, although the structure of the animal tribes is conformable 
to certain general types, yet are those types sometimes, perhaps, 
in relation to the highest standards of beauty and proportion, 
always, imperfectly realized. The two alternatives, between 
which Art in the present day fluctuates, are the exact imitation 
of individual forms, and the endeavour, by abstraction from all 
such, to arrive at the conception of an ideal grace and expression, 
never, it may be, perfectly manifested in forms of earthly mould. 
Again, those teleological adaptations by which, without the or- 
ganic type being sacrificed, species become fitted to new con- 
ditions or abodes, are but slowly accomplished, accomplished, 
however, not, apparently, by the fateful power of external cir- 
cumstances, but by the calling forth of an energy from within. 
Life in all its forms may thus be contrasted with the passive fixity 
of inorganic nature. But inasmuch as the perfection of the types 
in which it is corporeally manifested is in some measure of an 
ideal character, inasmuch as we cannot precisely define the 
highest suggested excellency of form and of adaptation, the con- 
trast is less marked here than that which exists between the in- 
tellectual processes and those of the purely material world. For 
the definite and technical character of the mathematical laws by 
which both are governed, places in stronger light the fundamental 
difference between the kind of authority which, in their capacity 
of government, they respectively exercise. 

7. There is yet another instance connected with the general 
objects of this chapter, in which the collation of truths or facts, 
drawn from different sources, suggests an instructive train of re- 
flection. It consists in the comparison of the laws of thought, in 
their scientific expression, with the actual forms which physical 



CHAP. XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 411 

speculation in early ages, and metaphysical speculation in all 
ages, have tended to assume. There are two illustrations of this 
remark, to which, in particular, I wish to direct attention here. 

1st. It has been shown (III. 13) that there is a scientific 
connexion between the conceptions of unity in Number, and the 
universe in Logic. They occupy in their respective systems the 
same relative place, and are subject to the same formal laws. 
Now to the Greek mind, in that early stage of activity, a stage 
not less marked, perhaps not less necessary., in the progression of 
the human intellect, than the era of Bacon or of Newton, when 
the great problems of Nature began to unfold themselves, while 
the means of observation were as yet wanting, and its necessity 
not understood, the terms " Universe" and " The One" seem to 
have been regarded as almost identical. To assign the nature of 
that unity of which all existence was thought to be a manifesta- 
tion, was the first aim of philosophy.* Thales sought for this 
fundamental unity in water. Anaximenes and Diogenes con- 
ceived it to be air. Hippasus of Metapontum, and Heraclitus 
the Ephesian, pronounced that it was fire. Less definite or 
less confident in his views, Parmenides simply declared that all 
existing things were One ; Melissus that the Universe was infi- 
nite, unsusceptible of change or motion, One, like to itself, and 
that motion was not, but seemed to be.f In a spirit which, to the 
reflective mind of Aristotle, appeared sober when contrasted 
with the rashness of previous speculation, Anaxagoras of Clazo- 
menae, following, perhaps, the steps of his fellow-citizen, Hermo- 
timus, sought in Intelligence the cause of the world and of its 
order 4 The pantheistic tendency which pervaded many of these 
speculations is manifest in the language of Xenophanes, the 
founder of the Eleatic school, who, " surveying the expanse of 



* See various passages in Aristotle's Metaphysics, Book i. 

"\ 'Edo/ce t fit avT(f TO TTO.V dirttpov tlvai, Kai avaXXotwrov, Kai CLKIVIJTOV, Kai 
ev, ofioiov eavT( Kai TrXrjpeg. Ktvrjviv T p.rj tlvai SoKtiv dt tlvai. Diog. Laert. IX. 
cap. 4. 

J Novv Sri TIQ f.iTT(jJv svtivai, KaQonrtp iv TOIQ yotf, Kai tv ry Qvffei, TOV 

CUTIOV TOV KOGfAOV Kai TTJQ TCl&WQ tTO.(fr]Q 010V vfjty&V ttyCLVI} TTa/o' CtKJ/ \kyOVTClQ 

TOVQ TTpoTtpov. 3?avtpG)Q [iiv ovv 'AvaZayopav ifffifv a'^dftivov TOVTWV T&V \6- 
ywv, aiTiav S' tx^i -rrportpov ' Epfiort/iog 6 KXaZopivtog I'nriiv. Arist. Met. I. 3. 



412 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXII. 

heaven, declared that the One was God."* Perhaps there are few, 
if any, of the forms in which unity can be conceived, in the ab- 
stract as numerical or rational, in the concrete as a passive sub- 
stance, or a central and living principle, of which we do not 
meet with applications in these ancient doctrines. The writings 
of Aristotle, to which I have chiefly referred, abound with allu- 
sions of this nature, though of the larger number of those who 
once addicted themselves to such speculations, it is probable that 
the very names have perished. Strange, but suggestive truth, 
that while Nature in all but the aspect of the heavens must have 
appeared as little else than a scene of unexplained disorder, while 
the popular belief was distracted amid the multiplicity of its gods, 
the conception of a primal unity, if only in a rude, material form, 
should have struck deepest root ; surviving in many a thought- 
ful breast the chills of a lifelong disappointment, and an endless 
search If 

2ndly. In equally intimate alliance with that law of thought 
which is expressed by an equation of the second degree, and 
which has been termed in this treatise the law of duality, stands 
the tendency of ancient thought to those forms of philosophical 
speculation which are known under the name of dualism. The 
theory of Empedocles,t which explained the apparent contradic- 
tions of nature by referring them to the two opposing principles 

* Etvo<f>dvr] de . . . rig TOV o\ov ovpavbv a7ro/3\6;//a, TO v tlvai <f>t]oi TOV 
0ov. Ib. 

t The following lines, preserved by Sextus Empiricus, and ascribed to Timon 
the Sillograph, are not devoid of pathos : 

wf KOI iywv o<j)f\ov TTVKIVOV voov dvTij3o\fj(rai 

(SoXiy d' bc< 
IT EWV) icai dva^iipi 
' OTrirr) yap tftbv voov 
tiQ 'iv r' O.VTO Tf. TTUV dvkXvero. 

I quote them from Ritter, and venture to give the following version 
Be mine, to partial views no more confin'd 
Or sceptic doubts, the truth-illumin'd mind! 
For, long deceiv'd, yet still on Truth intent, 
Life's waning years in wand'rings wild are spent. 
Still restless thought the same high quest essays, 
And still the One, the All, eludes my gaze. 
J Arist. Met I. 4. 6. 



CHAP. XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 413 

of "strife" and "friendship;" and the theory of Leucippus,* 
which resolved all existence into the two elements of a. plenum 
and a vacuum, are of this nature. The famous comparison of the 
universe to a lyre or a bow,t its "recurrent harmony" being the 
product of opposite states of tension, betrays the same origin. 
In the system of Pythagoras, which seems to have been a combi- 
nation of dualism with other elements derived from the study of 
numbers, and of their relations, ten fundamental antitheses are 
recognised: finite and infinite, even and odd, unity and multitude, 
right and left, male and female, rest and motion, straight and 
curved, light and darkness, good and evil, the square and the 
oblong. In that of Alcmaeon the same fundamental dualism is 
accepted, but without the definite and numerical limitation with 
which it is connected in the Pythagorean system. The grand 
development of this idea is, however, met with in that -ancient 
Manichgean doctrine, which not only formed the basis of the re- 
ligious system of Persia, but spread widely through other regions 
of the East, and became memorable in the history of the Christian 
Church. The origin of dualism as a speculative opinion, not 
yet connected with the personification of the Evil Principle, but 
naturally succeeding those doctrines which had assumed the 
primal unity of Nature, is thus stated by Aristotle : " Since 
there manifestly existed in Nature things opposite to the good, 
and not only order and beauty, but also disorder and deformity ; 
and since the evil things did manifestly preponderate in number 
over the good, and the deformed over the beautiful, some one 
else at length introduced strife and friendship as the respective 
causes of these diverse phsenomena/'J And in Greece, indeed, 
it seems to have been chiefly as a philosophical opinion, or as an 
adjunct to philosophical speculation, that the dualistic theory ob- 
tained ground. The moral application of the doctrine most in 

* Arist. Met. i. 4, 9. 

f TrttXtvrpoTrog apuovirj OKWQ Trtp TOOV KO.I \vprjg. Heraclitus, quoted in 
Origenis Philosophumena, ix. 9. Also Plutarch, De hide et Osiride. 

J 'Erst 5e KCU ravavria TOIQ ayaOolQ tvovra fQaivtro iv Ty Qvaii, teal ov 
f.i6vov TO.%IQ Kcii TO KctXbv eiXXd ical draia /cat TO aiaxpov, ical TrXtt'w TO. Kaica 
TU>V aya9it>v icai TO. 0auXa TWV KO\U>V, OVTIDQ dXXof TIQ tyiKiav tiarjt'fyics ical vfl- 
KOQ, fKanpov tKciTtptoiV ct'iTiov TOVTWV. Arist. Metaphysicct, I. 4. 

Witness Aristotle's well-known derivation of the elements from the quali- 



414 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXII. 

accordance with the Greek mind is preserved in the great Pla- 
tonic antithesis of " being and non-being," the connexion of the 
former with whatsoever is good and true, with the eternal ideas, 
and the archetypal world : of the latter with evil, with error, 
with the perishable phenomena of the present scene. The two 
forms of speculation which we have considered were here blended 
together ; nor was it during the youth and maturity of Greek 
philosophy alone that the tendencies of thought above described 
were manifested. Ages of imitation caught up and adopted as 
their own the same spirit. Especially wherever the genius of 
Plato exercised sway was this influence felt. The unity of all 
real being, its identity with truth and goodness considered 
as to their essence ; the illusion, the profound unreality, of all 
merely phaenomenal existence ; such were the views, such the 
dispositions of thought, which it chiefly tended to foster. Hence 
that strong tendency to mysticism which, when the days of re- 
nown, whether on the field of intellectual or on that of social en- 
terprise, had ended in Greece, became prevalent in her schools 
of philosophy, and reached their culminating point among the 
Alexandrian Platonists. The supposititious treatises of Dionysius 
the Areopagite served to convey the same influence, much modi- 
fied by its contact with Aristotelian doctrines, to the scholastic 
disputants of the middle ages. It can furnish no just ground of 
controversy to say, that the tone of thought thus encouraged was 
as little consistent with genuine devotion as with a sober phi- 
losophy. That kindly influence of human affections, that homely 
intercourse with the common things of life, which form so large 
a part of the true, because intended, discipline of our nature, 
would be ill replaced by the contemplation even of the highest 
object of thought, viewed by an excessive abstraction as some- 
thing concerning which not a single intelligible proposition could 
either be affirmed or denied.* I would but slightly allude to 
those connected speculations on the Divine Nature which ascribed 



ties "warm," and "dry," and their contraries. It is characteristic that Plato 
connects their generation with mathematical principles. Timceus, cap. xi. 

* Awroc Kai vTTtp Qkvw karl ical atyaiptatv.Dion. Areop. De Divinis No- 
minibus, cap. ii. 



CHAP. XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 415 

to it the perfect union of opposite qualities,* or to the remarkable 
treatises of Anselm, designed to establish a theory of the universe 
upon the analogies of thought and being.f The primal unity is 
there represented as having its abode in the one eternal Truth. 
The conformity of Nature to her laws, "the obedience of moral 
agents to the dictates of rectitude, are the same Truth seen in 
action; the world itself being but an expression of the self-reflect- 
ing thought of its Author.J Still more marked was the revival 
of the older forms of speculation during the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries. The friends and associates of Lorenzo the 
Magnificent, the recluses known in England as the Cambridge 
Platonists, together with many meditative spirits scattered 
through Europe, devoted themselves anew, either to the task of 
solving the ancient problem, De Uno, Vero, Bono, or to that of 
proving that all such inquiries are futile and vain. The logical 
elements which underlie all these speculations, and from which 
they appear to borrow at least their form, it would be easy to 
trace in the outlines of more modern systems, more especially 
in that association of the doctrine of the absolute unity with the 
distinction of the ego and the non-ego as the type of Nature, 
which forms the basis of the philosophy of Hegel. The attempts 
of speculative minds to ascend to some high pinnacle of truth, 
from which they might survey the entire framework and con- 

* See especially the lofty strain of Hildebert beginning " Alpha et Q magne 
Deus." (Trench's Sacred Latin Poetry.) The principle upon which all these 
speculations rest is thus stated in the treatise referred to in the last note. 
Ovdt v ovv aroirov, t? a^vdpwv IIKOVWV tirl TO TTOLVTUV ainov 'avajSdvraQ, virep- 
KOGIIIOLQ 600aXjuoi Oehjprjffat TrdvTa Iv T( TTO.VTMV din'<>, teal TO. aXXrjXoiQ ivav- 
ria fjiovotidwQ Kal vfw/zsvwe De Divinis Nominibus, cap. v. And the kind of 
knowledge which it is thus sought to attain is described as a "darkness beyond 
light," vTrtpQ&TOG yvotyoQ. (De Mystica Theologia, cap. i.) Milton has a simi- 
lar thought 

" Dark with excessive bright Thy skirts appear." 

Par. Lost, Book in. 
Contrast with these the nobler simplicity of 1 John, i. 5. 

f Monologium, Prosologium, and De Veritate. 

J " Idcirco cum ipse summus spiritus dicit seipsum dicit omnia qua? facta 
sunt." Monolog. cap. xxin. 

See dissertations in Spinoza, Picus of Mirandula, H. More, &c. Modern 
discussions of this nature are chiefly in connexion with aesthetics, the ground of 
the application being contained in the formula of Augustine : " Omnis porro 
pulchritudinis forma, unitas est." 



416 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXII. 

nexion of things in the order of deductive thought. l , have differed 
less in the forms of theory which they have produced, than 
through the nature of the interpretations which have been as- 
signed to those forms.* And herein lies the real question as to 
the influence of philosophical systems upon the disposition and 
the life. For though it is of slight moment that men should 
agree in tracing back all the forms and conditions of being to a 
primal unity, it is otherwise as concerns their conceptions of 
what that unity is, and what are the kinds of relation, beside 
that of mere causality, which it sustains to themselves. Herein 
too may be felt the powerlessness of mere Logic, the insufficiency 
of the profoundest knowledge of the laws of the understanding, 
to resolve those problems which lie nearer to our hearts, as pro- 
gressive years strip away from our life the illusions of its golden 
dawn. 

8. If the extremely arbitrary character of human opinion be 
considered, it will not be expected, nor is it here maintained, that 
the above are the only forms in which speculative men have 
shaped their conjectural solutions of the problem of existence. 
Under particular influences other forms of doctrine have arisen, 
not unfrequently, however, masking those portrayed above. t 

* For instance, the learned mysticism of Gioberti, widely as it differs in its 
spirit and its conclusions from the pantheism of Hegel (both being, perhaps, 
equally remote from truth), resembles it in applying both to thought and 
to being the principles of unity and duality. It is asked: "Or non e egli 
chiaro che ogni discorso si riduce in fine in fine alle idee di Dio, del mondo, e 
della creazione, 1'ultima delle quali e il legame delle due prime ?" And this ques- 
tion being affirmatively answered in the formula, " 1'Ente crea le esistenze," it 
is said of that formula, " Essa abbraccia la realta universale nella dualita del 
necessario e del contingente, esprime il vincolo di questi due ordini, e collocan- 
dolo nella creazion sostanziale, riduce la dualita reale a un principio unico, all 
unita primordiale dell' Ente non astratto, complessivo, e generico, ma concrete, 
individuate, assoluto, e creatore."-_JDe/ Bello e del Buono, pp. 30, 31. 

f Evidence in support of this statement will be found in the remarkable 
treatise recently published under the title (the correctness of which seems doubt- 
ful) of Origenis Philosophumena. The early corruptions of Christianity of which 
it contains the record, though many of them, as is evident from their Ophite 
character, derived from the very dregs of paganism, manifest certain persistent 
forms of philosophical speculation. For the most part they either belong to the 
dualistic scheme, or recognise three principles, primary or derived, between two 

of which the dualistic relation may be traced Orig. Phil., pp. 135, 139, 150, 

235, 253, 264. 



CHAP. XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 417 

But the wide prevalence of the particular theories which we have 
considered, together with their manifest analogy with the ex- 
pressed laws of thought, may justly be conceived to indicate a 
connexion between the two systems. As all other mental acts 
and procedures are beset by their peculiar fallacies, so the opera- 
tion of that law of thought termed in this work the law of duality 
may have its own peculiar tendency to error, exalting mere want 
of agreement into contrariety, and thus form a world which we 
necessarily view as formed of parts supplemental to each other, 
framing the conception of a world fundamentally divided by op- 
posing powers. Such, with some large but hasty inductions from 
phaenomena, may have been the origin of dualism, indepen- 
dently of the question whether dualism is in any form a true 
theory or not. Here, however, it is of more importance to con- 
sider in detail the bearing of these ancient forms of speculation, 
as revived in the present day, upon the progress of real know- 
ledge ; and upon this point I desire, in pursuance of what has 
been said in the previous section, to add the following remarks : 

1st. All sound philosophy gives its verdict against such spe- 
culations, if regarded as a means of determining the actual con- 
stitution of things. It may be that the progress of natural 
knowledge tends towards the recognition of some central Unity 
in Nature. Of such unity as consists in the mutual relation of 
the parts of a system there can be little doubt, and able men 
have speculated, not without grounds, on a more intimate corre- 
lation of physical forces than the mere idea of a system would 
lead us to conjecture. Further, it may be that in the bosom of 
that supposed unity are involved some general principles of di- 
vision and re-union, the sources, under the Supreme Will, of much 
of the related variety of Nature. The instances of sex and po- 
larity have been adduced in support of such a view. As a sup- 
position, I will venture to add, that it is not very improbable 
that, in some such way as this, the constitution of things without 
may correspond to that of the mind within. But such corres- 
pondence, if it shall ever be proved to exist, will appear as the 
last induction from human knowledge, not as the first principle 
of scientific inquiry. The natural order of discovery is from the 
particular to the universal, and it may confidently be affirmed 

2 E 



418 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXII. 

that we have not yet advanced sufficiently far on this track to 
enable us to determine what are the ultimate forms into which all 
the special differences of Nature shall merge, and from which 
they shall receive their explanation. 

2ndly. Were this correspondence between the forms of thought 
and the actual constitution of Nature proved to exist, whatso- 
ever connexion or relation it might be supposed to establish be- 
tween the two systems, it would in no degree affect the question 
of their mutual independence. It would in no sense lead to the 
consequence that the one system is the mere product of the other. 
A too great addiction to metaphysical speculations seems, in 
some instances, to have produced a tendency toward this species 
of illusion. Thus, among the many attempts which have been 
made to explain the existence of evil, it has been sought to assign 
to the fact a merely relative character, to found it upon a species 
of logical opposition to the equally relative element of good. It 
suffices to say, that the assumption is purely gratuitous. What 
evil may be in the eyes of Infinite wisdom and purity, we can at 
the best but dimly conjecture ; but to us, in all its forms, whe- 
ther of pain or defect, or moral transgression, or retributory wo, 
it can wear but one aspect, that of a sad and stern reality, 
against which, upon somewhat more than the highest order of 
prudential considerations, the whole preventive force of our 
nature may be exerted. Now what has been said upon the 
particular question just considered, is equally applicable to many 
other of the debated points of philosophy ; such, for instance, 
as the external reality of space and time. We have no war- 
rant for resolving these into mere forms of the understanding, 
though they unquestionably determine the present sphere of 
our knowledge. And, to speak more generally, there is no war- 
rant for the extremely subjective tendency of much modern spe- 
culation. Whenever, in the view of the intellect, different 
hypotheses are equally consistent with an observed fact, the 
instinctive testimony of consciousness as to their relative value 
must be allowed to possess authority. 

3rdly . If the study of the laws of thought avails us neither 
to determine the actual constitution of things, nor to explain the 
facts involved in that constitution which have perplexed the wise 



CHAP. XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 419 

and saddened the thoughtful in all ages, still less does it enable 
us to rise above the present conditions of our being, or lend its 
sanction to the doctrine which affirms the possibility of an in- 
tuitive knowledge of the infinite, and the unconditioned, whe- 
ther such knowledge be sought for in the realm of Nature, or 
above that realm. We can never be said to comprehend that 
which is represented to thought as the limit of an indefinite 
process of abstraction. A progression ad inftnitum is impos- 
sible to finite powers. But though we cannot comprehend the 
infinite, there may be even scientific grounds for believing that 
human nature is constituted in some relation to the infinite. We 
cannot perfectly express the laws of thought, or establish in the 
most general sense the methods of which they form the basis, with- 
out at least the implication of elements which ordinary language 
expresses by the terms " Universe" and " Eternity." As in the 
pure abstractions of Geometry, so in the domain of Logic it is 
seen, that the empire of Truth is, in a certain sense, larger than 
that of Imagination. And as there are many special departments 
of knowledge which can only be completely surveyed from an ex- 
ternal point, so the theory of the intellectual processes, as applied 
only to finite objects, seems to involve the recognition of a 
sphere of thought from which all limits are withdrawn. If then, 
on the one hand, we cannot discover in the laws of thought and 
their analogies a sufficient basis of proof for the conclusions of 
a too daring mysticism ; on the other hand we should err in re 
garding them as wholly unsuggestive. As parts of our intellec- 
tual nature, it seems not improbable that they should manifest 
their presence otherwise than by merely prescribing the condi- 
tions of formal inference. Whatever grounds we have for con- 
necting them with the peculiar tendencies of physical speculation 
among the Ionian and Italic philosophers, the same grounds 
exist for associating them with a disposition of thought at once 
more common and more legitimate. To no casual influences, at 
least, ought we to attribute that meditative spirit which then 
most delights to commune with the external magnificence of 
Nature, when most impressed with the consciousness of sempi- 
ternal verities, which reads in the nocturnal heavens a bright 
manifestation of order ; or feels in some wild scene among the 



420 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXII. 

hills, the intimations of more than that abstract eternity which 
had rolled away ere yet their dark foundations were laid.* 

9. Refraining from the further prosecution of a train of thought 
which to some may appear to be of too speculative a character, 
let us briefly review the positive results to which we have been led. 
It has appeared that there exist in our nature faculties which 
enable us to ascend from the particular facts of experience to the 
general propositions which form the basis of Science ; as well as 
faculties whose office it is to deduce from general propositions 
accepted as true the particular conclusions which they involve. 
It has been seen, that those faculties are subject in their opera- 
tions to laws capable of precise scientific expression, but invested 
with an authority which, as contrasted with the authority of the 
laws of nature, is distinct, sui generis, and underived. Further, 
there has appeared to be a manifest fitness between the intel- 
lectual procedure thus made known to us, and the conditions of 
that system of things by which we are surrounded, such condi- 
tions, I mean, as the existence of species connected by general 
resemblances, of facts associated under general laws ; together 
with that union of permanency with order, which while it gives 
stability to acquired knowledge, lays a foundation for the hope 
of indefinite progression. Human nature, quite independently 
of its observed or manifested tendencies, is seen to be constituted 
in a certain relation to Truth ; and this relation, considered as a 
subject of speculative knowledge, is as capable of being studied 
in its details, is, moreover, as worthy of being so studied, as are 
the several departments of physical science, considered in the same 
aspect. I would especially direct attention to that view of the 
constitution of the intellect which represents it as subject to laws 
determinate in their character, but not operating by the power of 
necessity; which exhibits it as redeemed from the dominion of 
fate, without being abandoned to the lawlessness of chance. We 
cannot embrace this view without accepting at least as probable 
the intimations which, upon the principle of analogy, it seems to 
furnish respecting another and a higher aspect of our nature, its 
subjection in the sphere of duty as well as in that of knowledge to 

* Psalm xc. 2. 



CHAP. XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 421 

fixed laws whose authority does not consist in power, its con- 
stitution with reference to an ideal standard and a final purpose. 
It has been thought, indeed, that scientific pursuits foster a dis- 
position either to overlook the specific differences between the 
moral and the material world, or to regard the former as in no pro- 
per sense a subject for exact knowledge. Doubtless all exclusive 
pursuits tend to produce partial views, and it may be, that a mind 
long and deeply immersed in the contemplation of scenes over 
which the dominion of a physical necessity is unquestioned and su- 
preme, may admit with difficulty the possibility of another order of 
things. But it is because of the exdusiveness of this devotion to a 
particular sphere of knowledge, that the prejudice in question 
takes possession, if at all, of the mind. The application of 
scientific methods to the study of the intellectual phenomena, 
conducted in an impartial spirit of inquiry, and without over- 
looking those elements of error and disturbance which must be 
accepted as facts, though they cannot be regarded as laws, in 
the constitution of our nature, seems to furnish the materials of 
a juster analogy. 

10. If it be asked to what practical end such inquiries as the 
above point, it may be replied, that there exist various objects, 
in relation to which the courses of men's actions are mainly de- 
termined by their speculative views of human nature. Educa- 
tion, considered in its largest sense, is one of those objects. The 
ultimate ground of all inquiry into its nature and its methods 
must be laid in some previous theory of what man is, what are 
the ends for which his several faculties were designed, what 
are the motives which have power to influence them to sustained 
action, and to elicit their most perfect and most stable results. 
It may be doubted, whether these questions have ever been 
considered fully, and at the same time impartially, in the rela- 
tions here suggested. The highest cultivation of taste by the 
study of the pure models of antiquity, the largest acquaintance 
with the facts and theories of modern physical science, viewed 
from this larger aspect of our nature, can only appear as parts of 
a perfect intellectual discipline. Looking from the same point 
of view upon the means to be employed, we might be led to in- 
quire, whether that all but exclusive appeal which is made in 



422 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXII. 

the present day to the spirit of emulation or cupidity, does not 
tend to weaken the influence of those more enduring motives 
which seem to have been implanted in our nature for the imme- 
diate end in view. Upon these, and upon many other questions, 
the just limits of authority, the reconciliation of freedom of 
thought with discipline of feelings, habits, manners, and upon 
the whole moral aspect of the question, what unfixedness of 
opinion, what diversity of practice, do we meet with ! Yet, in 
the sober view of reason, there is no object within the compass 
of human endeavours which is of more weight and moment than 
this, considered, as I have said, in its largest meaning. Now, 
whatsoever tends to make more exact and definite our view of 
human nature, in any of its real aspects, tends, in the same pro- 
portion, to reduce these questions into narrower compass, and 
restrict the limits of their possible solution. Thus may even 
speculative inquiries prove fruitful of the most important prin- 
ciples of action. 

1 1 . Perhaps the most obviously legitimate bearing of such 
speculations would be upon the question of the place of Mathe- 
matics in the system of human knowledge, and the nature 
and office of mathematical studies, as a means of intellectual 
discipline. No one who has attended to the course of recent 
discussions can think this question an unimportant one. Those 
who have maintained that the position of Mathematics is in 
both respects a fundamental one, have drawn one of their strongest 
arguments from the actual constitution of things. The mate- 
rial frame is subject in all its parts to tlie relations of number. 
All dynamical, chemical, electrical, thermal, actions, seem not 
only to be measurable in themselves, but to be connected with 
each other, even to the extent of mutual convertibility, by nu- 
merical relations of a perfectly definite kind. But the opinion 
in question seems to me to rest upon a deeper basis than this. 
The laws of thought, in all its processes of conception and of 
reasoning, in all those operations of which language is the ex- 
pression or the instrument, are of the same kind as are the laws 
of the acknowledged processes of Mathematics. It is not con- 
tended that it is necessary for us to acquaint ourselves with those 
laws in order to think coherently, or, in the ordinary sense of 



CHAP XXII.] CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. 423 

the terms, to reason well. Men draw inferences without any 
consciousness of those elements upon which the entire procedure 
depends. Still less is it desired to exalt the reasoning faculty 
over the faculties of observation, of reflection, and of judgment. 
But upon the very ground that human thought, traced to its 
ultimate elements, reveals itself in mathematical forms, we have 
a presumption that the mathematical sciences occupy, by the 
constitution of our nature, a fundamental place in human know- 
ledge, and that no system of mental culture can be complete or 
fundamental, which altogether neglects them. 

But the very same class of considerations shows with equal 
force the error of those who regard the study of Mathematics, 
and of their applications, as a sufficient basis either of knowledge 
or of discipline. If the constitution of the material frame is ma- 
thematical, it is not merely so. If the mind, in its capacity of 
formal reasoning, obeys, whether consciously or unconsciously, 
mathematical laws, it claims through its other capacities of sen- 
timent and action, through its perceptions of beauty and of 
moral fitness, through its deep springs of emotion and affection, 
to hold relation to a different order of things. There is, more- 
over, a breadth of intellectual vision, a power of sympathy with 
truth in all its forms and manifestations, which is not measured 
by the force and subtlety of the dialectic faculty. Even the 
revelation of the material universe in its boundless magnitude, 
and pervading order, and constancy of law, is not necessarily the 
most fully apprehended by him who has traced with minutest 
accuracy the steps of the great demonstration. And if we em- 
brace in our survey the interests and duties of life, how little do 
any processes of mere ratiocination enable us to comprehend the 
weightier questions which they present ! As truly, therefore, as 
the cultivation of the mathematical or deductive faculty is a part 
of intellectual discipline, so truly is it only a part. The pre- 
judice which would either banish or make supreme any one 
department of knowledge or faculty of mind, betrays not only 
error of judgment, but a defect of that intellectual modesty 
which is inseparable from a pure devotion to truth. It assumes 
the office of criticising a constitution of things which no human 
appointment has established, or can annul. It sets aside the 



424 CONSTITUTION OF THE INTELLECT. [CHAP. XXII. 

ancient and just conception of truth as one though manifold. 
Much of this error, as actually existent among us, seems due 
to the special and isolated character of scientific teaching 
which character it, in its turn, tends to foster. The study of 
philosophy, notwithstanding a few marked instances of exception, 
has failed to keep pace with the advance of the several depart- 
ments of knowledge, whose mutual relations it is its province to 
determine. It is impossible, however, not to contemplate the 
particular evil in question as part of a larger system, and connect 
it with the too prevalent view of knowledge as a merely secular 
thing, and with the undue predominance, already adverted to, of 
those motives, legitimate within their proper limits, which are 
founded upon a regard to its secular advantages. In the extreme 
case it is not difficult to see that the continued operation of 
such motives, uncontrolled by any higher principles of action, 
uncorrected by the personal influence of superior minds, must 
tend to lower the standard of thought in reference to the objects 
of knowledge, and to render void and ineffectual whatsoever ele- 
ments of a noblerfaith may still survive. And ever in proportion 
as these conditions are realized must the same effects follow. 
Hence, perhaps, it is that we sometimes find juster conceptions 
of the unity, the vital connexion, and the subordination to a 
moral purpose, of the different parts of Truth, among those who 
acknowledge nothing higher than the changing aspect of col- 
lective humanity, than among those who profess an intellectual 
allegiance to the Father of Lights. But these are questions 
which cannot further be pursued here. To some they will ap- 
pear foreign to the professed design of this work. But the 
consideration of them has arisen naturally, either out of the 
speculations which that design involved, or in the course of 
reading and reflection which seemed necessary to its accomplish- 
ment. 



THE END. 



ERRATA. 

Page 57, line 1 1 from bottom, for y read z. 

93, 5, for is read be. 

119, - 6, the letter w imperfect, like v. 

,, 10, for wx read wz. 

120, 1, last term, for z read z. 

1 28, 4 from bottom, for w read x. 

n 6 from bottom, for xw + x read xw + xw. 

8 from bottom, the letter w imperfect, like v f 

129, 2, for xyz read xyz. 

_ 221 , 18, for vy read vy. 

231, 10 from bottom, for vz read v'z. 

261, 2 from bottom, for p, q, r, read p, q, r. 
262, 22, for p and q read p and q. 

270, 6 from bottom, for Xy read XY. 

274, 11, for t* t<i read t\ h. > 
_ 282, - - 10, dele (1) gives. 

291, - 1, for y +yz read y + yz. 

297, 10 from bottom, prefix = 

308, 4, for limit read limits. 

_ 309, - 7, for sq (1 - read sy (1 - . 

313, 13 from bottom, for Si = read si = 0. 

314, 9 from bottom, omit the comma. 

315, 4 from bottom, for s\ $2 s read i s% . . *, 

322, bottom line, read the second term as ~s~txy. 

330, line 6, for v read ri. 

331, 5 from bottom, for p'm read h'm. 

334, - - 16, supply the letter s. 

351, 10 from bottom, for v\ read x\. 

364, 21, /or 91 4187 read 9l-4187. 

373, 7,forp = r read p - r. 

3, 5, and 6 from bottom, for 1 read 0. 

385, 6, for x m read x n . 

_ 386, -- 13, w imperfect, like v. 

388, -- 16, for tm-i read t m -i. 

389, 7 from bottom, for ti . . t m read ~t\ . . ~t m -^ 

. 391, 5, omit namely. 



-RN PAY RESERVE 



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