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Logic, Metaphysics, and the Natural Sociability of Mankind

Francis Hutcheson

Publication Year: 2012

Until the publication of this Liberty Fund edition, all but one of the works contained in Logic, Metaphysics, and the Natural Sociability ofMankind were available only in Latin. This milestone English translation will provide a general audience with insight into Hutcheson’s thought.In the words of the editors: “Hutcheson’s Latin texts in logic (Logicae Compendium) and metaphysics (Synopsis Metaphysicae) form an important part of his collected works. Published respectively in 1756 and, in its second edition, 1744, these works represent Hutcheson’s only systematic treatments of logic, ontology, and pneumatology, or the science of the soul. They were considered indispensable texts for the instruction of students in the eighteenth century. Any serious study of Hutcheson’s moral and political philosophy must take into account his understanding of logic (of ideas, judgments, propositions, and reasoning) and metaphysics (of existence, individuation, causation,substance, the soul, and the attributes of God).”The introduction and notes to this translation situate the texts in the context of Hutcheson’s mature philosophy and relate it to his teaching at Glasgow from 1730 until his death in 1746. At the same time, the editors show the links to his early teaching in Dublin in the 1720s. The work on natural sociability was Hutcheson’s significant inaugural lecture at Glasgow..James Moore is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Concordia University in Montreal.Michael Silverthorne is Honorary University Fellow in the School of Classics at the University of Exeter.Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

Published by: Liberty Fund

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xxviii

Francis Hutcheson’s A Compend of Logic and A Synopsis of Metaphysics represent his only systematic treatments of logic, ontology, and pneumatology, or the science of the soul. They were considered indispensable texts for the instruction of students in the eighteenth century. ...

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A Note of the Text

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pp. xxix-xxx

A Compend of Logic follows the text of Logicae Compendium (Glasgow, 1756). A transcription of Hutcheson’s “Logica” made between 1746 and 1749 by a student at the University of Glasgow (GUL MS Gen. 872) has been used to amend the published version on occasion; all such amendments have been referenced in footnotes. ...

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pp. xxxi-

Our work on this edition of Hutcheson’s Latin texts on logic and metaphysics and his inaugural lecture on the natural sociability of mankind has been assisted and enlivened by discussions with many friends and fellow scholars. The Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society has provided a stimulating forum for exchanges on these subjects, ...

A Compend of Logic

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pp. 1-2

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Dissertation on the Origin of Philosophy and Its Principal Founders and Exponents

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pp. 3-8

Philosophy is the knowledge of the true and the good which men build for themselves by the powers of their own reason. Therefore we are not concerned here with the knowledge of things which has been available to men from the earliest days and which was passed down through the generations from divine revelation. ...

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pp. 9-10

A faculty (habitus) is a more or less efficacious ability (facultas) to act, formed by repeated actions. Faculties are either intellectual or moral: the former strengthen and perfect the powers of the intellect, the latter the powers of the will. ...

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Part I. On Apprehension

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pp. 11-22

Judgment is an act of the mind by which it forms an opinion about two ideas. The sign [of a judgment] is a proposition or expression, which is an utterance that affirms or denies something of something; it is also called predication. ...

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Part II. On the Noetic Judgment and the Proposition

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pp. 23-30

A judgment is “an action of the mind by which it gives a verdict on two ideas in comparison with each other.” That is, a verdict is given that either the ideas represent the same object, or a certain relation or connection exists between their objects.1 ...

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Part III. On Discourse

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pp. 31-48

When the relation or connection of two ideas or terms cannot be directly perceived, the relation between them will often be able to be seen by a comparison of both of them with some third or middle [idea or term] or with several middle [ideas or terms] which are clearly connected with each other. ...

Appendix on Topics, Fallicies, and Method

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pp. 49-56

A Synopsis of Metaphysics Comprehending Ontology and Pneumatology

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pp. 57-58

The Arguments of the Chapters

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pp. 59-64

Part I. On Being and the Common Attributes of Things

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Chapter 1. On Being

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pp. 65-73

In antiquity the accepted division of philosophy was into natural philosophy, which contained all the speculative sciences about both corporeal and incorporeal things; moral philosophy, i.e., ethical and political philosophy; and logical philosophy, which included both logic and rhetoric. ...

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Chapter 2. On the Axioms of Metaphysics

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pp. 74-77

The ancients spoke of these axioms as innate in the sense that it is natural for men to understand them, since we have such a power of reason in us as will lead almost all men to a knowledge of them.1 Some recent writers,2 however, speak of axioms as innate only if they have been known and recognized from the moment that the mind was born. ...

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Chapter 3. On the Properties of Being

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pp. 78-86

Unity is either specific or numerical: the former should rather be called similarity, the latter identity. Numerical identity, which is sufficiently obvious, refuses to be defined. And the doctrine of the scholastics about unity has no use except to rectify their own errors about universal natures. ...

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Chapter 4. On the Principal Divisions of Being

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pp. 87-100

The first division of being is into dependent or created being and independent being, which has been made or created from nothing.1 Independent things seem to imply perfection, absolute things absolute perfection, and relative things a relative perfection. ...

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Chapter 5. On the Categories and the General Properties of Being

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pp. 101-110

We shall survey the chief general properties of beings by going briefly through the ten categories that Archytas2 is said to have first discovered and Aristotle certainly confirmed, whatever the division of things may actually be. The ten categories are: substance, quantity, quality, relation, action, passion, place, time, position, and state. ...

Part II. On the Human Mind

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Chapter I. On the Powers of the Mind, and First on the Understanding

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pp. 111-125

The science of spirits is called pneumatics by modern writers; among the ancients it was a part of metaphysicsor of physics1 But as we have no certain knowledge of any spirits other than human minds and the good God almighty, when we rely on the resources of our own reason alone, they will necessarily be the principal subjects of our discussion. ...

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Chapter 2. On the Will

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pp. 126-137

As soon as an image of good or evil is presented to the mind, another faculty of the soul comes into action, which is distinct from every sense and is called the will; it seeks (appetens) every kind of pleasant sensation and all actions, events, or external things which seem likely to arouse them, and shuns and rejects everything contrary to them. ...

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Chapter 3. Whether Spirit Is a Different Thing from Body,

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pp. 138-144

It is a celebrated question whether thinking thing (res cogitans) is completely different from body, or whether on the contrary matter itself, that is, extended thing (res extensa ), [which is] solid, mobile, and made up of different parts, can understand and will and possess within itself all that we commonly call the properties of spirits.2 ...

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Chapter 4. On the Union of the Mind with the Body, and on a Separate State

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pp. 145-150

The power of the soul to move the limbs of its body is familiar. But whether it is the action (efficacia) of the mind or will that moves the parts of the body directly by itself without the intervention of a superior nature has not been adequately explored. We feel a certain power of the mind, or energy, particularly in the initial moment, ...

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Part III. On God

All philosophy is pleasant and profitable, but no part is richer and more fertile than that which holds the knowledge of God, and which is called natural theology.1 It exhibits what philosophers have perceptively uncovered or diligently argued in sole reliance on the powers of human reason; ...

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Chapter I. In Which It Is Shown That There Is a God

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pp. 152-161

In this part of our course, the question whether there is a God takes first place. But if we are to understand the force of the word, we must first say that God is a certain nature much superior to human nature, governing this whole world by reason and design. ...

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Chapter 2. On the Natural Virtues of God

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pp. 162-167

Since we seem to have shown clearly enough that a superior nature has existed from all eternity, we proceed to explain his virtues or attributes. [We understand well enough from logic that all our ideas arise from some sense either external or internal. What we derive from our external senses is supplemented by arguments ...

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Chapter 3. On the Divine Virtues Concerned with Understanding

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pp. 168-172

When we speak of the living God, we mean by this that he understands and perceives all things, and moves and rules them by his own efficacious will. In no other sense is he to be called the soul of the world.1 For God is not affected with a pleasing or displeasing sense against his will as a result of the motions of matter, ...

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Chapter 4. On the Will of God

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pp. 173-179

1.We also attribute to God a will which is similar to our own, though without our faults, weakness, and imperfection; no intelligent nature would be perfect which lacked a will. There are no violent emotions in God, analogous to human passions, and no disagreeable sensations or distress, since a most powerful and most wise nature ...

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Chapter 5. On the Operations of God

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pp. 180-188

Though we have little knowledge of the operations of God, we should make the following brief, general points. God’s operations have no defects or faults; they follow his intention and his will, and therefore are completely free, though he cannot will anything that does not seem best to him in his wisdom. ...

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On the Natural Sociability of Mankind: Inaugural Oration

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pp. 189-216

After I had devoted six years in this university to the study of humaneletters and philosophy,1 private considerations and duties calledmeaway from this very pleasant place to Ireland, where I was involved in laborious and tedious business and had very little leisure for good letters or the cultivation of the mind.2 ...


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pp. 217-224


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pp. 225-239

Publication Information

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E-ISBN-13: 9781614878148
E-ISBN-10: 1614878145
Print-ISBN-13: 9780865974470

Page Count: 265
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: New Edition

Research Areas


Subject Headings

  • Logic -- Early works to 1800.
  • Metaphysics -- Early works to 1800.
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