Symbolic Logic / Edition 2 available in Hardcover
No doubt this is due to the fact that, however much the utility or fruitfulness of logical investigations may be questioned, their truth up to a certain point is entirely unassailable. If we know positively that all the Ojibbewaya are red-skinned, and if our route of travel takes us through a village inhabited solely by Ojibbeways, we cannot err in our conclusion that the men we shall see in that village will be red-skinned. That is a syllogism in Barbara, and the wit of man has never been able to detect a flaw in it, and never will. And, though we may not care very much to think about syllogisms in Barbara in the abstract, we certainly should be a little ashamed to be convicted of error by such a syllogism in the concrete; as, for instance, if we were to let it be known that we expected to find all the women in the aforesaid village with white faces. To furnish general models of all consistent reasoning, whereby errors such as that just indicated may be avoided, has been the aim of ordinary logic. Such models were first furnished by Aristotle; were further enlarged by the Schoolmen; have been repeated, commented on, and set in new lights by many logicians in every succeeding age, down to Hamilton and Mansel. But, despite the ability, care, and accuracy of the inquirers who have made this subject their study, despite the unassailableness of the syllogistic formula? in themselves, the practical utility of logic has always been a point open to question. The forms of reasoning as exhibited in the different kinds of syllogism are so simple and obvious that no one can feel the excitement of a new discovery in learning them; and, when real argumentative difficulties are met, it is almost always found that uncertainty as to the premises has much more to do with the difficulty than any hidden flaw in the sequence of ideas. Or, even if there is a real argumentative flaw, native common sense generally brings it to light much sooner than the application of any mood and figure of the Syllogism. Not many of us have met with such an instance of logic in practical life as that of the Oxford first-classman, who, on leaving a church where he had been listening with visible impatience to the preacher, exclaimed, "The rascal! he made a fallacy in Baroko."
--The Saturday Review, Vol. 53.