I may for this purpose take the general statements or definitions which serve as premisses for my reasonings in the text.
I bring forward those generalisations and definitions because they commend themselves to my diacritical judgment. In other words, I set them forth as results which have been reached after reiterated efforts to call up to mind the totality of my experience, and to de-tect the factor which is common to all the individual experiences.
When for instance I propose a definition, I have endeavoured to call to mind all the different uses of the word with which I am familiar—eliminating, of course, all the obviously incorrect uses.
And when I venture to attempt a generalisation about woman, I endeavour to recall to mind without distinction all the different women I have encountered, and to extricate from my impressions what was common to all,—omitting from consideration (except only when I am dealing specifically with these) all plainly abnormal women.
Having by this procedure arrived at a generalisation—which may of course be correct or incorrect—I submit it to my reader, and ask from him that he should, after going through the same mental operations as myself, review my judgment, and pronounce his verdict.
If it should then so happen that the reader comes, in the case of any generalisation, to the same verdict as that which I have reached, that particular generalisation will, I submit, now go forward not as a datum of my individual experience, but as the intellectual resultant of two separate and distinct experiences. It will thereby be immensely fortified.
If, on the other hand, the reader comes to the conclusion that a particular generalisation is out of conformity with his experience, that generalisation will go forward shorn of some, or perchance all, its authority.
But in any case each individual generalisation must be referred further.
And at the end it will, according as it finds, or fails to find, acceptance among the thoughtful, be endorsed as a truth, and be gathered into the garner of human knowledge; or be recognised as an error, and find its place with the tares, which the householder, in time of the harvest, will tell the reapers to bind in bundles to burn them.
A. E. W.
Programme of this Treatise—Motives from which Women Claim the Suffrage—Types of Men who Support the Suffrage—John Stuart Mill.
The task which I undertake here is to show that the Woman’s Suffrage Movement has no real intellectual or moral sanction, and that there are very weighty reasons why the suffrage should not be conceded to woman.
I would propose to begin by analysing the mental attitude of those who range themselves on the side of woman suffrage, and then to pass on to deal with the principal arguments upon which the woman suffragist relies.