Leviathan eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 636 pages of information about Leviathan.

CHAPTER V.

Of reason, and science.

Reason What It Is When a man Reasoneth, hee does nothing els but conceive a summe totall, from Addition of parcels; or conceive a Remainder, from Substraction of one summe from another:  which (if it be done by Words,) is conceiving of the consequence of the names of all the parts, to the name of the whole; or from the names of the whole and one part, to the name of the other part.  And though in some things, (as in numbers,) besides Adding and Substracting, men name other operations, as Multiplying and Dividing; yet they are the same; for Multiplication, is but Addition together of things equall; and Division, but Substracting of one thing, as often as we can.  These operations are not incident to Numbers onely, but to all manner of things that can be added together, and taken one out of another.  For as Arithmeticians teach to adde and substract in Numbers; so the Geometricians teach the same in Lines, Figures (solid and superficiall,) Angles, Proportions, Times, degrees of Swiftnesse, Force, Power, and the like; The Logicians teach the same in Consequences Of Words; adding together Two Names, to make an Affirmation; and Two Affirmations, to make a syllogisme; and Many syllogismes to make a Demonstration; and from the Summe, or Conclusion of a syllogisme, they substract one Proposition, to finde the other.  Writers of Politiques, adde together Pactions, to find mens Duties; and Lawyers, Lawes and Facts, to find what is Right and Wrong in the actions of private men.  In summe, in what matter soever there is place for Addition and Substraction, there also is place for Reason; and where these have no place, there Reason has nothing at all to do.

Reason Defined Out of all which we may define, (that is to say determine,) what that is, which is meant by this word Reason, when wee reckon it amongst the Faculties of the mind.  For Reason, in this sense, is nothing but Reckoning (that is, Adding and Substracting) of the Consequences of generall names agreed upon, for the Marking and Signifying of our thoughts; I say Marking them, when we reckon by our selves; and Signifying, when we demonstrate, or approve our reckonings to other men.

Right Reason Where And as in Arithmetique, unpractised men must, and Professors themselves may often erre, and cast up false; so also in any other subject of Reasoning, the ablest, most attentive, and most practised men, may deceive themselves, and inferre false Conclusions; Not but that Reason it selfe is always Right Reason, as well as Arithmetique is a certain and infallible art:  But no one mans Reason, nor the Reason of any one number of men, makes the certaintie; no more than an account is therefore well cast up, because a great many men have unanimously approved it.  And therfore, as when there is a controversy in an account, the parties must by their own accord, set

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Leviathan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.