The reformed school by John Dury.

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The reformed school by John Dury.
Dury, John, 1596-1680.
London :: Printed by R.D. for Richard Wodnothe ...,

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Subject terms
Education -- Early works to 1800.
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"The reformed school by John Dury." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 20, 2024.


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Of Teaching LOGICK.

BY Logick I understand the Art or skill, to make right use of our reasoning Facultie. The facultie of Reason in man, is that abilitie, by which he can set his thoughts in order to judge of all things, which are in his Imagi∣nations.

As large then as the Imagination or Fan∣cy of Man is, so large is the use of Reason; that is to say, it doth reach unto all things, that can be thought upon, for all the thoughts of the heart of Man are contained under this notion of Imaginations; whether they have an Idea or not expresly formed in the mind; for some thoughts are negative to all Ideas. By an Idea I mean the shape and representation of something which the mind doth frame unto it self by the Imaginative Facultie: for, the imaginative Facultie is like a looking-glasse, which being turned to any object whatsoever doth receive the shape thereof, and represents it to the eye of the Understanding: If then the under∣standing Facultie doth look upon the shapes of things, which are in the Imagination not confusedly, but in an orderly way, to com∣pare them and lay them together for some purpose and aim, for which they are taken in∣to

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consideration; then it is said to proceed ra¦tionally; but if it hath either no aim at all or no command of its own thoughts or sk•••• to rule and order them to that aim, which 〈◊〉〈◊〉 doth consider them for: then it doth procee without Reason. Now because to man, t•••• Facultie of Reasoning is that universall Light by which he is to guide his wayes in all parti∣cular objects as well of Meditation, as o Action; therefore if this Light be darkene•••• in him, then all is nothing but darknesse: b•••• if the eye of his Reason be clear, then all i full of Light, which he doth undertake to Ac or Meditate. For this cause the Art of Rea∣soning as to Man, is the chief of all othe Arts and Sciences in humane things; for by i all other Arts are found out; and whatsoever is amisse in them may be rectified: and con∣sequently to teach how to make use of that Reasoning Facultie, which we have to some good purpose, is in all humane things, the matter of greatest importance that can be thought: and yet such is the miserie of our life, that there is scarce any thing lesse mind∣ed; or when minded, lesse taught in a right and profitable way. I shall not at this time intend to make this charge good against the ordinary Teachers of Logick, who for the most part, are so farre out of the way of right Reasoning, that their very precepts are less

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••••en rationall, and they themselves incapable 〈◊〉〈◊〉 better Rules, till they be wholly untaught ••••at which they have learned. But I shall (as ••••iefly as may be, to be well understood) deli∣••••r my conceptions of the right way of teach∣••••g young Scholars the Art of Reasoning by a ositive Method to direct them in it, that in∣••••nd to teach others. I will suppose then, that young Scholar is brought unto me, who is 〈◊〉〈◊〉 puris Naturalibus (as we use to say) that 〈◊〉〈◊〉, who is capable of institution in this kind, 〈◊〉〈◊〉 being no wayes prepossessed with any ha∣its, which may make him unfit to receive he documents which are to be given him: nd as being onely possessed with the com∣on Notions of Naturall things which are he objects of humane Senses; and under∣tanding no more, but the proper sense of all he words of the Language, by which the Notions are expressed in the common speech wherein he is to be taught. To such a young an I first would deliver some common Pre∣ognitions concerning Logick, and afterward would exercise his Reasoning Facultie in the way of Meditation whereof I should find him apable, growing upon him by degrees, till I hould make him master of the use of all his houghts, to all purposes, which he should ap∣ly them unto.

The Precognitions should bring him to consider himself.

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1. That he hath a Naturall abilitie to think and meditate, as all other men have.

2. That men of understanding are distin∣guished from fools by this, that they ca make use of this Abilitie understandingly that is to say, that they understand them∣selves what they do think and meditate, i what order and to what purpose.

3. That therefore there is some way to order and direct the thoughts of the mind: that they may not wander at random as fools thoughts use to do.

4. That this way to order and direct our thoughts, being taught and delivered by cer∣tain Precepts is called the Art of Reasoning or Logick: and that he who is exercised to follow the same is a Rationall man or good Logician.

5. That of all other studies, this is the most worthy of a Man, most profitable and most necessary to attain to the happinesse of this life, so farre as by humane faculties it is attainable: and therefore, with most earnest Affections and desires to be attended unto.

Having by such Preparations as these are, fitted his Understanding and raised his Affe∣ctions to docilitie and attention; I would be∣gin to deliver unto him some Precepts con∣cerning the use of his first Notions, and sin∣gle thoughts, to reach him to take notice of

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them, what they are: not reflexively by the Term of a second Notion (as the ordinary Logicians do, teaching their Scholars to speak they know not what, nor to what use) but directly in the Terms of a single Propo∣sition, to cause him to take notice of the Sub∣ect and Praedicat thereof, and of the conne∣ion of each to other in a way Affirmative and Negative: shewing him that every word n our common speech, doth stand for a single hought or Notion of the Mind, and that he words which we speak, should in their or∣der and coherence expresse the order and co∣herence of our thoughts.

Having then shewed him what a single Proposition is, what parts it is made up of; How these Parts are set together in our thoughts: what the Differences of single Notions are; and of the wayes of their set∣ing together to make a Proposition of them; nd how a single Proposition doth differ from compound: How a compound is made up of two, three or more single ones: and what he wayes of composition are, and their diffe∣ences; and consequently, How many sorts f Compound Propositions there are in our Notions to make up a Period of speech: ha∣ing, I say, shewed him all this, not in abstra∣o and Notionally, but by an Example of very kind, and in concreto, as it were sen∣sibly

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in the Period of some discourse laid open to his thoughts, and analysed before him; that they may be as it were led by the hand to consider of it; then I would set him a dayly task of new Examples which he should be obliged to take into his consideration, to Resolve Analytically by himself according to these Precepts, which I should have given him concerning single and compound Noti∣ons and Propositions; to the end that by thi exercise of his thoughts in Resolving the or∣dinary Periodicall Discourses of Rational men into these Parts and Particles of Pa•••••• whereunto they are Rationally Resoluble: he may be accustomed to observe what use me make of their Notions single and compound to the extent of one Period of their Discour∣ses: Now whether the Notions which he i exercised in be materially Rationall or no; not at all materiall to his Instruction, becaus in this first degree of Precepts, he is one taught to take notice of the Difference 〈◊〉〈◊〉 Notions, and of the frames wherein rhey a•••• set together, in the expressions which rationally men use or may be used, but wheth•••• they be rightly used in this place, and in respect of such and such matter yea or no, th•••• is not to be the object of his consideration this time, that is to be taught afterward due time.

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This being done I would proceed with him to the second degree of Precepts, which should direct him to understand the use of his thoughts in matter of Consequence, when one Proposition is drawn out of another and be∣comes a conclusion arising from it. Here I would let him know what a Consequence is, How many wayes Consequences may be in∣ferred from premises, and what the Principles are, from which Consequences are raised, and by which they are to be tryed, and may be made Conclusions. In this part of the Do∣ctrine as in the former, I would shew him by examples of every kind, how men of under∣standing make use of their thoughts, analy∣sing their discourses wherein such Acts of Reasoning are expressed, whereof he should have received Precepts; and then according to the pattern of Meditation, which I should have given him in this kind, I would oblige him to exercise himself by certain discour∣ses containing Principles and Consequences drawn from them in some Authours, which he should be put to resolve, as to the matter of Consequentiall Inferences, and the Acts of drawing Conclusions from Premises to ob∣serve; how these that use to discourse ratio∣nally do order their thoughts and expresse the same to the capacitie of others.

Then the Scholar whom I should have

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taught these things, should in the third place be directed to take notice of the Acts of Rea∣son, which are employed about the Appre∣hension of Arguments, and the relation of one thing to another by the Notion of an Argument. Here then he should be taught what an Argument is, How many differen sorts of Arguments there are in the use of Reason to be laid hold on; what their diffe∣rent Relations are, and force of arguing, to∣wards that whereof they are conceived to be Arguments. This also should be laid ope to him by Precept and Example, and Practi∣cally in the Analysis of some Discourse; or parcels of Discourse in an Authour shewed▪ How these that are most rationall make use of those Arguments in their Discourses▪ and when he hath been taught to observe these acts of Reason in an Author, he should be pu as at former times to analyticall Tasks to re∣solve the matter of some discourse into the se∣verall Arguments which it containeth, a they stand singly by themselves, whereby he should be able upon examination to tell me where his Authour maketh use of an Argu∣ment taken from the Cause, or from the Ef∣fect, or from the Subject, or Adjunct, or the whole or the part, or contrary or similitude▪ &c. and when he should be complete in this kind of Exercise, then he should be brought

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to the fourth and last degree of Analyticall Doctrine, which is to learn to consider the whole Body of a discourse, and to observe all the Acts of Reason, which a man of understanding doth make use of therein. Here then he is to be taught what a Rationall Discourse is, what is to be observed in it. viz. the Subject whereof it speaketh: the Scope and Purpose whereto it speaketh; the Parts whereof it is made up; their Co∣herence and Distinction, as well in respect of the main Body, as of every particular member of this Discourse, and the order of every thing contained in it, with a reference to the matter and scope, that the whole wis∣dome of the Authour may be discovered. And to instruct him to observe all this in an Authour I would Analyse a Discourse to shew him, How he should proceed in order∣ing his thoughts to reflect upon all these things in his Authour; and having both by Precept and Example shewed him what he ought to do: I would give him a task to ex∣ercise his mind to do the like, and wherein he should fail, I would rectifie him till he should be complete in this Act, and use of his Reason also.

All this being done by these degrees of A∣nalyticall Doctrine, and as it were experi∣mentall manuduction of his thoughts to

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the Practise and use of Reason; I woul then bring him to exercise his Reason Gene∣tically, that is by a way of begetting an producing Notions within himself concern∣ing a Subject which should be given him to Meditate on Rationally. Here then he should be taught what the Difference and use is of Analysis and Genesis: viz. that by the exer∣cise of the former we reflect upon the Acts of other mens Reasoning, and by the exer∣cise of the latter we stirre up our own Facul∣tie to make use of it, to produce Acts an∣swerable to the Rules which we have been taught. And to make him complete in this way also, First the Precepts belonging to the way are to be delivered, and then an Ex∣ample of those Precepts is to be given, and according to these Precepts and Example he is to be exercised, first to meditate upon a simple thema. (as they call it) Genetically, and then upon a compound thema. By a the∣ma is meant a Matter of Meditation, which is either a single Notion or a Proposition, ei∣ther simple or compound: of which things it is needlesse now to speak at large. The summe of all is this: that the Right use of Reason is to be taught first in the Practise, before it be taught in the Theorie, and the Analyticall way of Practice is to go before the Geneticall, and in this teaching the se∣verall

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degrees of every Practice are to be ob∣served, and in every degree, whether the Pre∣cepts directing the to mind observe the Rules of Practice, go before the Example which the Teacher is to propose; or whether they follow the same as observations, to cause the mind reflect upon the things to be imitated in the example, or whether some Precepts be given by way of Praecognita before, or some by way of observation after the ex∣ample; it is not greatly materiall: if they never be separate, but go in their own de∣gree of exercise together, the one alwayes giving light to the other, and both fitted by the Prudencie of the Teacher to the capaci∣tie of the Scholar. And when the use of Reason hath been thus fully taught in a Pra∣cticall way; then the Scientificall and No∣tionall Precepts thereof are to be delivered reflexively upon the Rules of Practice, which have been fully conceived. For the di∣rect knowledge must be proposed before the reflex be offered, because none can reflect upon his way of knowing before he hath at∣tained it; therefore the way of knowing Actually must be experimentally proposed, before the Theoreticall way of apprehending matters be reflexively taught; which is quite opposite to the Practice of those that teach Logick in an ordinary way: who deliver all

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even to Children Reflexively and Scientifi∣cally: before they exercise them in any point of Practice, except in that of a confused, endlesse, unprofitable way of disputing about Notions which is falsly called Logick, by which means those that should be made Scho∣lars of Right Reason, are made habitually wranglers about the Terms of an Art, which they never have been taught: and in stead of making use of their Rationall Facultie, to set it in a way to order their Imaginations aright, they are onely directed and exercised to subti∣lize their Imaginations, and pride themselves in this mainly to have such conceptions, a are beyond the vulgar Capacitie. As if to speak things in the air and out of the com∣mon use were to be Rationall: but of the originall of these Abuses, of the way, How men should be convicted of them and the means, How to rectifie them: and of the more speciall method of teaching the True Art of Reasoning in all the degrees and Parts of the Practice and Theorie thereof; I hope I shall at another time be able to speak more fully, when God shall give me bet∣ter leisure without distraction to elaborate such tasks as in this and other Kinds lie upon my hand. In the mean while, take this as a taste of what may follow in due time; both for the Illustration of this

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way by examples, and for the more par∣ticular deduction of every thing belonging hereunto. I rest upon all occasions of ser∣ice in this or any other kind,

Your affectionate and Loving Friend and Servant in Christ JOHN DURY.

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