Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Means and Instruments which Religion it self makes use of in the Defence and Explication of its Boctrines; as we shall see in the Close of this Discourse.

These are the Reflections that may be made upon the Use of Philosophy in General. Let us proceed to take a View of its Parts as they stand distinctly from each other.

RE

1

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

L

Ogick may be truly stild the first Ray of Evidence, the first Stroke of Method

that appears in the Conduct of Knowledge : As being imploy'd in forming the JudgArs vere ment, which is the ordinary Instrument that & falfa the Mind of Man makes use of, to reason dijudican. justly upon Things, and to pass an exa& Disdi Cic, de Orat.

cernment between Truth and Falfhood, by diDiale&ica viding Simples from Compounds, and Continveri 6 gents from Necessaries. And as this Art is the falfi dif- Source and Fountain of all our Certainty, there captatrix can be little Assurance in our Reasonings withCic. Qu. out its Support and Aid. The Business of LoAcad. gick therefore is, to assist us in the Discovery

of Truth, and to make us feel the Force of Rea. fon. But this excellent Rule assum'd a Character of Falfhood from the Genius of those that first imploy'd it. This pure and uncorrupted Light was soon vitiated and obscur'd; and Human Reason which had submitted to its Guidance, was led astray by its Abuse. Thus Logick, which was invented to fix and rectifie the Understanding, help'd to seduce and pervert it; and the first

Pro Precepts that were given to lead Men to Knowledge, were but so many Snares to betray them into Error. For as nothing is more Secret than Thought, so Logick was at first nothing else but an Art of variously disguising our Thoughts; as appears from the History of its Rise and For. tune in the World.

II. The first Philosophers, who praais'd Reason more than Argument, were so entirely bent on the Study of Nature, as to have little regard to Logical Speculations: They reason'd upon their own Experience, and yet were Strangers to the Art and Method of Reasoning. In Pythagoras's Platonem School, there was no Logick but Authority ; no à PhytbaAppeal from what he pleas'd to dictate. In-goricis indeed Apuleius pretends, that Plato borrow'd telle&uahis first Draught of Logick from the Pythago - Sophie

lem Pbilos reans. But Aristotle allures us, that tho' we meet partem acwith good and just Definitions in the Writings cepisse. of that Sect, yet Logick was then unknown , De Phil. and its Rules uncultivated. Zeno Eleates, a Phi- Plat,

In Metalofopher of a very quick and subtile Genius;

phylo was the first who found out that natural Train of Principles and Consequences in Discourse, which he form’d into a regular Art: As appears from the Testimony of Plato, confirm’d by Proclus. Thus it is plain, that the Sum of Zeno's Logick In Parwas to observe the Dependence and Connexion men. that Propositions bear to each other, and accor. Interpo

Parm. dingly to range them in their natural Order. This was his Way; he explain'd himself only in Dialogue, and Introduc'd two or more Persons, who by their Course of Questions and Answers, reason'd methodically upon all Subjects: And 'twas from this method of Dialogue, that he gave his new invented Art the Name of Dialeštica ; and this put a Period to the more ancient

Way

Ee

Way of teaching Philosophy in Verse. For it was
found very practicable in these Dialogues to pre-
ferve an Air of Freedom and Pleasantry, without
the least Prejudice to what was solid and substan-
tial. Plato follow'd this Manner, as the fittest for
Instruction: The Custom being, for the Master
to interrogate the Scholar, and to make the
Scholar reply, according to his Capacity. Ze-
no, a great Master of Subtilty, did but perplex
and embarrass this Method, by giving it too
nice and captious an Air. Protagoras, Scholar
to Zeno, as Zeno had been to Democritus, still re.
find upon it, and carried it farther into Sophistry.
For having nothing folid in his Genius, he
studied to be subtile, and took up with the Pro-
fellion of a Sophist, not being able to attain to
that of a Philosopher. Aristotle informs us,
that his Business was to prepare common Places
of Questions and Answers, and by this Knack
to surprize and non-plus his Hearers. Simon
the famous Artisan of Athens, so often men-
tion’d in Socrates's Discourse, together with his
Friend Crito, are reported by Diogenes Laertius
to have been both eminent Logicians, and both
of Zeno's School.

III.
Euclid of Megara, still applied himself to the
farther improving and sharpening of Logical
Subtilty, and introduc'd a greater Warmth of

Discourse, a more lively and vehement Manner Λύσσαν

of Debate. Nay, he carried this to such an δεισμό. .

Extreme, as to give Occafion to Timon to reproach Ramus him as having possess’d the People of Megara, Diale&. with a Madne's of Disputing, by teaching them

this sophistical and crafty Method, which Socra tes condemn'd, as void of Sincerity. It was this Euclid and his Scholar Eubulides, that inventgd those Sophisms, which Diogenes Laertius men

1

upon Logick. tions, and which were afterwards so much celebrated in the Schools; tho' after all, they have nothing real in them, but their Acuteness; such as the Dilemma, the Argumentum cornutum, the Electra, the Sorites, the famous Questiones Megarenses, of which Plutarch speaks; together with all that Chicane of Dispute, that brought Logick under Contempt at Athens, and obliged Socrates to expose and ridicule it, in his Dir. courses against the Sophists, in order to the Undeceiving the Minds of the People. From the same Euclid, Demosthenes learnt his Art of Dilemma, and those presling ways of Address, which rendred him fo forcible in his Character of Eloquence. Plato's Logick, which is the same with that of Socrates, consists more in Examples than in Precepts: It has nothing peculiar as to the difputative Part, of which Socrates had but a very mean Opinion: Tho’ both the one and the

It a falta

eft ars dif other of those great Men establish'd the first ferendi Criterion of Truth in the Senses; yet they quam mimaintains that the Understanding was still the nimè pro

babat SOsupreme Judge, and as such ought to determine our Aflent, because it was this alone, that did Cic. Qu. not rest in the Surface, but pierced to the bottom Acad. of Things, which they suppos’d to be in it felf eternal and immutable: This they call’d the Idea, Mentem and fix'd it as the only Rule and Standard of our volebant Conceptions. And because in their Notion , che rerum the Soul of Man was but a little Spark of the judicem; universal Soul of the World, and a Ray of the

cenfebant

idoneam Divinity; they taught, that this divine Particle cui credewhile united to its Principle, the great Fountain retur quia of Light, was ignorant of nothing ; but that upon its entrance into the Body, it contracted such jet simplex

crates.

id quod

unius modi & quale eflet, banc illi ide am app-labant. Id. ibid,

cerneret

Ee 2

« PoprzedniaDalej »