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1. Of the Conduct of the Understanding (1697-1704)

Section 2 (of 99)

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IntroductionThe Logick now in use has soe long possessed the chair as the only art taught in the Schools for the direction of the minde in the study of the Arts and sciences that it would perhaps be thought an affectation of Noveltie to suspect that rules that have served the learned world these two or three thousand years and which without any complaint of defectsthe learned have rested in are not sufficiente to guide the understanding. And I should not doubt but this attempt would be censured as vanity or presumption did not the Great Lord Verulams authority justifie it. Who not servilely thinkeing learneing could not be advanced beyond what it was because for many ages it had not been did not rest in the lazy approbation and applause of what was because it was: but enlarged his minde to what might be. In his preface to his Novum Organum concerning Logick he pronounces thus Qui summas Dialecticae partes tribuerunt atque inde fidissima Scientiis praesidia comparari putarunt verissime et optime viderunt intellectum humanum sibi permissum merito suspectum esse debere. Verum infirmior omnino est malo medicina; nec ipsa mali expers. Si quidem Dialectica, quae recepta est, licet ad civilia et artes, quae in sermone et opinione positae sunt, rectissime adhibeatur; naturae tamen subtilitatem longo intervallo non attingit, et prensando, quod non capit, ad errores potius stabiliendos et quasi figendos, quam ad viam veritati aperiendam valuit.

Diplomatic

Introduction

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The Logick now in use has soe long possessed the chair andas the only art taught in the Schools for the direction of the minde in the study of the Arts and sciences that it would perhaps be thought vanity or presumption an affectation of Noveltie to thing the understandingthinksuspect that rules that have served the learned world these two or three thousand years were not sufficient to and which without any complaint of their deficiencydefectsthe ylearned have rested in sh are not sufficiente to guide the understanding. And I should not doubt but this attempt would quic<kly> be censured as vanity or presumption did not the Great Lord Verulams authority justifie it. Who not servilely thinkeing learneing could not be advanced beyond what it was because for many ages it had not been did not rest in the admiration of wh<at> lazy approbation and applause of what was because it was: but enlarged his minde to what might be. In his preface to his Novum Organum concerning Logick he pronounces thus Qui summas Dialecticae  partes tribuerunt atque inde fidissima Scientiis praesidia comparari putarunt verissime et optime viderunt intellectum humanum sibi permissum merito suspectum esse debere. Verum infirmior omnino est malo medicina; nec ipsa mali expers. Si quidem Dialectica, quae recepta est, licet ad civilia et

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artes, quae in sermone et opinione positae sunt, rectissime adhibeatur; naturae tamen subtilitatem longo intervallo non attingit, et prensando, quod non capit, ad errores potius stabiliendos et quasi figendos, quam ad viam veritati aperiendam valuit.


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For Locke on logic see also ‘By this learned art’.
Cf. Bacon, Works, I, p. 129. The preface is to the Instauratio Magna, of which the Novum Organum was designed to be a part. For Bacon on investigations that go beyond ‘civilia et artes, quae in sermone et opinione positae sunt’, see Of the Advancement of Learning, Bk. II, Works, III, p. 406: ‘For those whose conceits are seated in popular opinions, need only to prove or dispute; but those whose conceits are beyond popular opinions, have a double labour; the one to make themselves conceived, and the other to prove and demonstrate …’ While Bacon denies the old logic philosophical or scientific use, but concedes that it can render practical services, Locke in Essay, III.x.12, p. 496 more radically also denies the Peripatetic logic any use in ‘Humane Life and Society’. On the anti-scholastic purport of the ‘Conduct’, see Schuurman, pp. 47-52.
Preceded by a separate remark on pp. 113-114: NB what here immediately follows concerning Logic is to begin this Chapter | of the conduct of the understanding (See Textual Remarks 1. Of the Conduct of the Understanding (1697-1704) [23].)

Dialecticae] B: Dialectica
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