a manual of logic

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: object to altogether, on the ground of its being impossible to be proved ; that the operations of each service for which credit would be assumed, did not arise out of, and take their character from, the existence of the rival service:—the question is nearly like such a one as this,—Is the heart or the head more useful to the rest of the body i We might indeed reasonably ask, whether Great Britain should seek to be a great naval, or a great military power? Such a question would permit a decision on rational grounds; but in proportion as we become rational, we leave less room for contention, and the other question would probably be preferred by those who propose subjects expressly to provoke discussion.—Is the decline of nations more owing to the misconduct of governments, or the degeneracy of the people i Here two separate causes are assumed, before it has been established that they act separately. We might as well ask, whether the decline of the bucket into the well is more owing to the rope or the wheel? It would indeed be reasonable to inquire, whether wrong principles and practice in government do not produce degeneracy in the people ?—and, whether degeneracy in the people, does not leave little chance of a good government to reclaim them ? The determination of these inquiries, which would be attended with little or no difference of opinion, would show that there is no rational ground for the alternative proposed in the previous question.—Is a convulsive revolution, such as ice have of late so often witnessed on the continent, mischievous or beneficial to a nation ? A sensible reasoner would affirm neither side of the question, unless permitted to qualify, and then he would affirm both: it is mischievous at the time; it is likely to be beneficial in some uncertain number of yea...
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