A System of Logic

John Stuart Mill

Introduction, Footnote #03
A narrower view of Logic rebuted elsewheres

The view taken in the text, of the definition and purpose of Logic, stands in marked opposition to that of the school of philosophy which, in this country, is represented by the writings of Sir William Hamilton and of his numerous pupils. Logic, as this school conceives it, is ``the Science of the Formal Laws of Thought''; a definition framed for the express purpose of excluding, as irrelevant to Logic, whatever relates to Belief and Disbelief, or to the pursuit of truth as such, and restricting the science to that very limited portion of its total province, which has reference to the conditions, not of Truth, but of Consistency. What I have thought it useful to say in opposition to this limitation of the field of Logic, has been said at some length in a separate work, first published in 1865, and entitled An Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy, and of the Principal Philosophical Questions discussed in his Writings. For the purposes of the present Treatise, I am content that the justification of the larger extension which I gave to the domain of the science, should rest on the sequel of the Treatise itself. Some remarks on the relation which the Logic of Consistency bears to the Logic of Truth, and on the place which that particular part occupies in the whole to which it belongs, will be found in the present volume (Book IL chap. iii. §9).

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