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the Metropolitan of Canterbury and the Lord High Chancellor of England—is the son of John Thomson, Esq., of Kelswick House, a merchant draper of great influence, and one of the directors of the local bank in the Cumberland seaport of Whitehaven, where his Grace was born, 11th Feb., 1819. After a little private training in letters he was placed as a pupil in the Free Grammar School of St. Bees, in which parish the town of his birth is situated. St. Bees school, a short distance from Whitehaven, was founded in 1583 by Edmund Grindall, D.D. (1519–1583), Archbishop of Canterbury; but it had at this time fallen considerably into decay, if not disrepute. It has recently (1842) been reconstituted by a decree of the Court of Chancery, and has since, we believe, been brought into excellent working order ; but its condition then, as report goes, seems to have justified the transference of the young Cumberland scholar to the renowned Salopian Royal Free Grammar School of Edward VI., founded in 1553 at Shrewsbury, and reputed to be one of the most effectively conducted of the public schools of England. This seminary, in 1798, had been made the subject of an Act of Parliament for its “better government and regulation.” Subject to the provisions of this statute, the appointment of head master had been conferred upon the Rev. Samuel Butler, A.M. (afterwards D.D.), Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge,-whom the syndics of the University Press had just selected to edit “ Æschylus,” with Stanley's text and notes-a task which had been rejected, under its peculiar conditions, by the learned though injudicious Porson. This work Dr. Butler accomplished with peculiar felicity. He composed many class-books, which still retain their place in schools. While holding this secular office Butler became, in 1802, Vicar of Kenilworth, his native town, and in 1822 he was appointed Archdeacon of Derby. Under his mastership the chief seminary in the Severn-washed capital of Salop rose to be unquestionably first in classical repute of all the public schools of England, and a large number of distinguished pupils passed from its benches to the higher places of society. Upwards of 260 boys, belonging chiefly to the topmost circle of the middle classes, attended it at the time when William Thomson was a scholar. This was during the last four years of Dr. Butler's incumbency, and those probably of the school's greatest efficiency under his care. In 1836, Lord Mel. bourne appointed Dr. Butler to the see of Lichfield and Coventry, whereon the office rendered vacant by that promotion passed unanimously into the hands of the present able head master, the Rev. Benjamin H. Kennedy (now D.D.). The name of William Thomson, Master of Arts, Queen's College, Oxford, Provost (“Gulielmus Thomson, A.M., Coll. Regin. O. Præpos. XL.”), appears among the scholars of Shrewsbury School who have been honoured with academic degrees (“Salopienses gradibus Academicis dignati") prefixed to the Sabrina Corolla (Shrewsbury Garland); but he does not appear to have been a contributor to this repertory of scholarship, -which consists of a few original English poems and a great many translations into Greek and Latin of choice passages
from the best authors, - English, French, German, &c., the whole displaying very remarkable ingenuity, accuracy, culture, and taste. We have heard from other, though only hearsay sources, somewhat the same as we were inclined to infer from this conspicuous absence,—that as a pupil the present Archbishop of York held a fair although an undistinguished place. In 1837, William Thomson proceeded as a foundation scholar to the university of Oxford, thus becoming, what he was for a long time known as, "Thomson of Queen's." The college which he then entered was founded in 1340 by Robert Eylesfield, confessor to Philippa, queen of Edward III., and patroness of Chaucer, for a provost and twelve (now sixteen) fellows chosen from the counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland. In honour of her it was named Queen's College. The foundation statutes of the college made the enjoyment of a Fellowship quite secure to any one of moderate attainments and industry, who should, after having duly kept his university terms, and succeeded in taking a moderate degree, base his claim on the literal legal rendering of the founder's disposition in favour of the inhabitants of the two north-western border counties of England.
The period of the future prelate's university residence was one of very notable stir and movement. Considerable efforts were making to improve the effectiveness of collegiate education, for a fierce onslaught had been made by the Edinburgh Review on the constitution, method of teaching, and efficiency of the universities-most potently and persistently by Sir William Hamilton, himself a student of Balliol. The heads of houses, anxious to ward off these enemies, had tightened
their regulations and heightened the qualifications for degrees. To this external stimulus there was added a spirited effort on the part of several able men, Whately among others, for internal remodelment and progressive improvement. Besides this educational agitation, the religious movement known as Tractarianism (1833—1845) was also in its early vigour and enthusiasm. One of the most exciting incidents of Oxford life, perhaps, was the opposition then offered by several distinguished men of the University, led by the Rev. J. H. Newman, in his
Elucidations of the Bampton Lectures,” to the appointment made by Lord Melbourne, in 1836, of the Rev. Dr. Renn Dickson Hampden (now Bishop of Hereford), to the Regius Professorship of Divinity. The controversy on this question lasted long, and was carried on most virulently. It took six years to change an implied censure of the greatest British expositor of the scholastic philosophy into an implied repeal. The whole interval was occupied in skirmishing and counter skirmishing, between the parties on either side, with all the theological acrimony which marked that period of intense religious passion. Hence the period of Thomson's undergraduateship was one of spiritual activity ; but also, let it be remembered, of peculiar distraction. He is reported to have read constantly, but discursively; to have shown due interest in the cause of thought and of events, but to have exercised much caution and reserve in regard to overt proceedings. Though known as a reader, he was not looked upon, we believe, as in any way a marked or a remarkable scholar, and when in 1840 he proceeded to his examination, he only graduated B.A. in the third class, which is understood to contain the names of those who are deemed worthy of a degree but not of any honourable distinction.
Perhaps a reason for this low position on the class-lists might be guessed at. We have already explained, in our papers on Hamilton, Mill, Whately, and Sir G. C. Lewis, in this series, that a great commotion agitated the university regarding the study of logic. Some, indeed many, had clamoured for the deletion of logic from the list of studies indispensable for graduation. But Copleston's tact, Whately’s opportune and readable treatise, Sir William Hamilton's trenchant articles, and John Stuart Mill's defence and exposition of the true utility of a science of reasoning, had not only arrested the intended omission, but even excited a reaction in favour of assigning to it an efficient worth in graduation for honours. A whole army of text-book makers appeared in Oxford, and an abounding quantity of works on logic were issued from the press. So far did the advocates of the advantages of the study of logic manage to advance in their aggression, that in 1838 a Readership in Logic was instituted, and Richard Michell, B.D., formerly Fellow of Lincoln, had been appointed to the office. It is evident that the parties in whom the nomination of the public examiners in 1840 was vested, were determined that the resolutions taken by the university, on the indispensability of the study of logic in passing for honours, should not become a dead letter through any fault of theirs. The examiners in literæ humaniores, at the Easter Term, for that year, were R. Greswell, B.D., F.R.S., Tutor of Worcester; Robert Hussey, B.D. (afterwards, in 1842, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History and the Study of the Ancient Fathers); Henry Wall, M.A., Fellow of Balliol, author of a “ Practical Logic,” published in 1838; and R. Michell, the above-mentioned Prelector on Logic, who was also Public Orator of the University, and Vice-Principal of St. Magdalen's Hall. It is obvious that these were formidable men to satisfyparticularly in logic, which had two special adepts, advocates, and promoters as its representatives ; and it may well be supposed that with examiners noted for an acquaintance with logic—at least with an Oxford notoriety-it would stand hard with those students who did not appear before them brimful of scholastic dialectics, and crammed with Oxonian teachings upon syllogisms and their laws. It was in logic that “ Thomson of Queen's” made the worst appearance, and in which he may therefore be said to have failed. This, even without considering the specialities of the case here noticed, is not in itself very surprising, for Wbately, who had been "employed in various academic occupations above a quarter of a century,” affirms
that a very small proportion, even of distinguished students, ever become proficients in logic; and that by far the greater part pass through the university without knowing anything at all of the subject.” What was singular, however, was this, that, undeterred
it as it as
say, rather, nerved to greater effort by this failure, William Thom. son devoted the entire energy of his mind, and the whole care and study of the next two years, to the attainment of a trustworthy acquaintance with the principles and practice of logical thought. He found the art of reasoning no “warehouse of useless relics,” but a practical system, an important branch of mental culture. This antipathy to failure, this courage to rise above the sense and shame of it, this earnestness in the retrieval of an error, mark out, as we think, the great man from the mediocre one, and incline us to believe that there lay in his mind a fund of unexcited power which demanded some such occasion to stir it into action, and so rouse a strong nature at once to the delight of exercise and the manifestation of high intellectuality. In 1842, in his twenty-third year, he issued a thin tractate, bearing the title of “An Outline of the Necessary Laws of Thought: a Treatise on Pure and Applied Logic;" a work the clearness and exactness of which excited much attention, and almost immediately achieved a reputation for its author. De Morgan calls it “an acute work, and learned.” Mansel speaks of
a work of much acuteness and originality;" Devey regards
invaluable accession to the literature of logic;" on a former occasion the present writer characterized it as "a work of singular breadth of view, clearness of thought, and precision of style." The book, which won such acceptance from those whose studies led them to know at once the merits of a treatise of this nature, did not satisfy the author. He has diligently revised and extended the contents : seven editions have since been given to the public, and it still retains its hold on the estimation of thinkers as a profound and scientific exposition of the laws of thought. It is generally spoken of and quoted as an authoritative and standard work; and, indeed, it can scarcely be regarded in any other light, as it has received the honour of being, by permission, dedicated to Sir William Hamilton, who has expressed himself in unwontedly encomiastic terms in favour of the logician of Queen's College, Oxford, as the author of a work “of no ordinary merit," and one“ thoroughly embued with the academic spirit.”
The chief logical tendencies of the “Laws of Thought” are due, we think, to a diligent study of the works of Wolf and Kant, the former of whom was the most methodical genius of the dogmatic school in the last century, and the latter of whom was the initiator of the new critical discipline to which philosophy owes so much. In the “ Philosophia Rationalis sive Logica” (1728) he undoubtedly found much of that definite phraseology and verbal distinctness which his logic displays; while in the “Critique of Pure Reason (1787), &c., he found those subtle analyses of mental functions on which his theory of reasoning, may be said to rest. Though the outline which Thomson supplies of the laws of thought are not entirely free from the faults to which the followers of Wolf are subject-a tendency to minute distinctions and subtleties frequently little more than verbal; or from the errors to which Kantians are
peculiarly liable-a too scrupulous adherence to the. mere forms of intelligibilities, and a readiness to look upon logic as a revealer of higher truths than lie within their sphere,-yet the balance of thought is, on the whole, well preserved, and a very fair and legitimate issue has resulted from the union of the dogmatism of the old, and the criticism of the new school of modern metaphysics. A brief glance at the chief tenets of this logic will amply suffice to show the reader that the theory is deftly woven and excellently ar. ranged, and that among the comprehensive and reflective minds of our age,
“ Thomson of Queen's" is well worthy to be ranked. Our quotations and reference will be made to the third edition, that of date 1853, which is in all essential points similar in contents to the later issues, which bear the archiepiscopal imprimatur.
"Logic is the science of the laws of thought." "Logic arises from the reflection of the mind upon its own processes; a logician is not one who thinks, but one who can declare how he thinks.” Pure logic is “the science of the necessary laws of thought in their own nature; applied logic is the science of the necessary laws of thought as employed in attaining truth.” * Truth denotes all that we can ever know of ourselves, the universe, and the Creator.” Logic requires to be considered “ first as a science of laws, and next as a science of laws applied to practice." " Pure logic takes no account of the modes in which we collect the materials of thought, such as perception, belief, memory, suggestion, association of ideas; although these are all, in one sense, laws of thought.” “Thought is not complete without them, but at the same time thought is never complete with them alone."
Logic is a science rather than an art.” "A science teaches us to know, and an art to do." “ The principles which art involves, science evolves.” “By the art of logic we mean so much of the art of thinking as is teachable, and no more. The whole of every science can be made the subject of teaching." Logic only gives us those principles which constitute thought, and presupposes the operation of those principles by which we gain the materials for thinking." “ Pure logic is a science of the formal laws of thinking, and not of the matter." The form is what the mind impresses upon its perceptions of things, which are the matter." "Every act of thought is a thought about something; it has matter as well as form."
The adequate object matter of logic is thought rather than language.” “But language, besides being an interpreter of thought, exercises a powerful influence on the thinking process. The logician is bound to notice it in four functions, (1) as it enables him to analyze complex impressions; (2) as it preserves or records the result of the analysis for future use; (3) as it abbreviates thinking by enabling him to substitute a short word for a highly complex notion, and the like; (4) as it is a means of communication." “Words are conventional signs of what takes place in the mind."
DIVISION OF WORDS.
| Perfect meaning-simple words Nouns
Declaratory-true or false propo2, whose parts have sitions. meaning-sentences Not declaratory—98 a prayer or