George Boole
GEORGE BOOLE   Macroknow Library

An Investigation of the Laws of Thought.

"Logic is conversant with two kinds of relations, -- relations among things, and relations among facts."1a

" . . . [I]t is the business of science not to create laws, but to discover them."1b

"The object of science, properly so called, is the knowledge of laws and relations."1c JAMES

". . . [T]he mind possesses certain powers or faculties by which the mental regard may be fixed upon some ideas, to the exclusion of others, or by which the given conceptions or ideas may, in various ways, be combined together. To those faculties or powers different names, as Attention, Simple Apprehension, Conception or Imagination, Abstraction, &c., have been given . . ."1d

"That axiom of metaphysicians which is termed the principle of contradiction, and which affirms that it is impossible for any being to possess a quality, and at the same time not to possess it, is a consequence of the fundamental law of thought, whose expression is x2=x."1e*

"Probability is expectation founded upon partial knowledge."1f

"The study of every department of physical science begins with observation, it advances by the collation of facts to a presumptive acquaintance with their connecting law, the validity of such presumption it tests by new experiments so devised as to augment, if the presumption be well founded, its probability indefinitely; and finally, the law of the phænomenon having been with sufficient confidence determined, the investigation of causes, conducted by the due mixture of hypothesis and deduction, crowns the inquiry."1g ARISTOTLE BOOLE PLANCK JAMES EINSTEIN WIGNER CRICK BROMLEY

"It is the ability inherent in our nature to appreciate Order, and the concurrent presumption, however founded, that the phænomena of Nature are connected by a principle of Order. Without these, the general truths of physical science could never have been ascertained."1h

"The natural order of discovery is from the particular to the universal . . ."1i

"The laws of thought, in all its processes of conception and of reasoning, in all those operations of which language is the expression or instrument, are of the same kind as are the laws of the acknowledged processes of Mathematics."1j


* Italics in the original.

1 George Boole (1815-1864). An Investigation of the Laws of Thought on Which Are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1958. (Originally published by Macmillan in 1854.)
a Chapter I. Nature and Design of this Work, at 7.
Ibid., at 11.
Chapter III. Derivation of the Laws, at 39.
Ibid., at 41.
Ibid., at 49.
Chapter XVI. On the Theory of Probabilities, at 244.
Chapter XXII. Constitution of the Intellect, at 402.
Ibid., at 403.
Ibid., at 417.
Ibid., at 422.