Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the point at issue is essential to unity in the discussion; for the mind cannot follow the bearing of the proofs unless the point on which they bear is known. It would be useless to attempt to prove that Massachusetts contributed more to civilization in America than did Virginia unless it be made clear what meaning is put into the term civilization. By the explanation of the meaning attached to the terms of the proposition, and to the proposition as a whole, arguments are often rendered unnecessary. Debates sometimes run to great length and are carried on with great vehemence only to discover at last that the opponents hold substantially the same views. Hence, an exposition of the proposition may be the first step in the argument. Whether or not the proposition is announced and explained at the outset, a clear conception of it is the first step in the preparation of the argument.

The arrangement of the parts of the argument has much to do with its effectiveness. The law is that they should be so arranged that they will be cumulative in their effect. Each argument in its place should be such as to permit no rebound ; at least, from any position which had been gained by the preceding argument. From this view it may be inferred the weakest argument should come first, and that the others follow in the order of strength. Yet the law of unity may not permit this; for sometimes a strong argument is needed at the outset to gain confidence in the line of argument. “The Nestorian arrangement of troops, with the weakest in the middle, suggests an advantageous order of arrangement. It avoids anti-climax, and at the same time opens the discussion with a strong argument. An inverse recapitulation of the arguments also obviates the effect of anti-climax, when in the original order the weakest comes last. A mere mention of the weak arguments at the beginning, with the statement that you do not rely upon them or mean to use them, may often prove effective.” 1

Exercises. — I. By the suggestions on page 140-1, test the following syllogisms from Jevons' “ Primer of Logic.” In doing so, train the imagination to image quickly the relations of the three terms involved; and from the relation of the major and minor to the middle, or connecting, term decide what may and what may not be affirmed:

1. All English silver coins are coined at Tower Hill ;

All sixpences are English coins;
Therefore, all sixpences are coined at Tower Hill.

2. All electors pay rates ;

No paupers pay rates ;
Therefore, no paupers are electors.

3. All animals consume oxygen;

Some animals are flesh-eating ;
Therefore, some animals consume oxygen.

4. Some animals are flesh-eating ;

Some animals have two stomachs ;
Therefore, flesh-eating animals have two stomachs.

5. Brittle substances are not fit for coining ;

Some metals are brittle substances ;
Therefore, no metals are fit for coining.

1 D. J. Hill.

6. Every city contains a cathedral ;

Liverpool does not contain a cathedral ;

Therefore, Liverpool is not a city.
7. All minerals are raised from mines ;

All coals are raised from mines;
Therefore, all coals are minerals.

II. 1. Make several illustrations of induction. Analyze them.

2. Select several illustrations of induction. Analyze them.

3. Select a theme and write an argument by analogy. Show that the reasoning in Butler's “ Analogy" is by analogy

III. Prove either the positive or the negative of the following by the a priori method :

1. Free trade, or protection, is conducive to the general good. 2. Intemperance leads to misery. 3. Education lessens crime. 4. Faith in God is conducive to morality. 5. Games of chance are hurtful to morals.

6. Railroads threading the United States north and south would have prevented the Civil War.

7. Intellectual education tends to morality. 8. Science promotes Christianity.

9. The study of history is a more efficient means of culture than the study of Latin.

IV. Prove either the positive or the negative of the following by the a posteriori method :

1. A prohibitory liquor law decreases drunkenness and crime. ·

2. Massachusetts has been a greater civilizing force in America than has Virginia.

3. Wealth is favorable to morality.

4. Popularity is not a sure index to true worth.
5. The Crusades were beneficial to civilization.
6. The exile of the Acadians was not justifiable
7. Longfellow was a greater poet than Chaucer.
8. America has produced better orators than Greece.

9. Argumentation is a more common process of discourse than exposition.

V. In a more complete way, using all the methods of argument necessary to the purpose, treat the following; first having decided upon the exact state of mind supposed to be addressed, and whether the argument is to instruct, move to action, or rouse esthetic pleasure:—

1. The English language is a more perfect means of communication than the Latin.

2. Capital punishment is, or is never, justifiable.

3. The relation between the North and the South are such as to warrant the continuance of peace and harmony.

4. Morality is essential to a high state of civilization.

5. The multiplication of religious sects has been favorable to Christianity.

6. The state should compel the education of children within its jurisdiction.

7. The state should support a university. .

8. “Truth crushed to earth shall rise again. The eternal years of God are hers.”

9. The banishment of Roger Williams was, or was not, justifiable.

10. Should the right of suffrage be extended to women ?
11. Analyze Burke's speech on American Taxation.
12. Analyze Webster's reply to Hayne.

13. Analyze the argument of the Little Cottage Girl, in Wordsworth's “ We are Seven ” ; or the argument in Tennyson's “ Two Voices,” or in “ In Memoriam."

THE LANGUAGE IN DISCOURSE.

ITS FUNDAMENTAL LAW.

The first phase of discourse study is the purpose for which thought is uttered; the second, the thought as a means of securing the end sought; the third, the language conveying the thought to the mind in which the effect is to be produced. This chapter is, therefore, a language study, but a language study in a restricted sense.

A complete study of language requires it to be viewed from two opposite directions: the one as an organized means of communication, the other as organized in the process of communication. The first discusses the origin, the development, and the present structure of language as such, or language in itself; the second, language in living unity with thought, bearing its message to accomplish the end for which the thought in any given case is communicated. This is not a difference in the extent of the view taken, but a difference in the phase on which the attention rests. In both cases language is viewed in its entire extent, but not in its entire content. From this side we see the whole as a body of thought symbol, empty of content, except in so far as necessary to explain the symbol; on that side, the whole as the living body of thought manifesting the soul of an author to the soul of the reader or hearer. In the one, thought is used

« PreviousContinue »